Gwen knocked on her daughter’s door, refraining from reading her mind.
“Go away,” came the sullen reply in a voice filled with tears.
“Cadie, I just want to talk to you. I know this is much for you to handle so soon. Just open the door,” she pleaded.
“I said go away. I don’t want to talk. Just leave me alone.”
Gwen sighed and momentarily contemplated using telekinesis to unlock the door, but quickly decided against it. “No,” she said to herself. “Just as well, add raging teen emotions to a prying mother.” She shook her head. “I will not be that mother.”
Acadia tightly hugged her stuffed dog, one of the few things she’d been able to take with her from Vanaheim. She sniffed and roughly wiped her eyes with the back of her hand and looked at the picture she’d set on the dresser this morning.
“Do I belong on Vanaheim, the place I vaguely remember? Or stay on Earth, the place I’ve grown up?” she asked the younger her in the picture. But the child in the picture offered no answer and remained silent, continuing to stare at the painter as she clung to her father’s leg.
Acadia tossed the picture back on her dresser and lay on her back with a large pillow over her face and groaned. Her phone started ringing. She ignored it and continued hiding. It continued to ring.
“What?” she asked angrily as she answered it and tossed away the pillow.
“Sorry, Cadie. Is this a bad time?” asked the voice on the other end.
Acadia sat up and wiped her eyes again. “No, it’s not. Hey, Chris, sorry about that,” she said quickly.
“Are you okay?” he asked, concern in his voice.
She nodded, even though he couldn’t see her. “Yeah, I’m fine,” she replied. “What’s up?”
He took a deep breath. “So I wanted to talk to you about something,” he began slowly, his words picking up speed as he continued talking.
“Chris, slow down, I can’t understand you,” Acadia said quickly, cutting him off. “What’s going on?”
Chris sighed. “Can you come down to the parking garage? I want to show you something.”
She looked in her mirror at her smeared mascara and eyeliner. “Sure, um…just give me a minute.”
She hung up and ran into her bathroom, makeup remover in hand. She took off her makeup and frowned at her now unruly wavy hair. Acadia took one of the ponytail holders from her wrist and threw her hair up into a messy bun. She took one look at her reflection and stuck out her tongue, then turned to leave.