Chapter 17

I am at the house again, working on biology homework. Aunt Sandra is still at the hospital, sleeping. I didn't bother to wake her.

My head is spinning, repeating my conversation with my mother over and over again, ingraining it into my memory. Had I been to harsh? Too lenient? Should I call her back? Will she try to contact me?

The phases of the cell cycle only take up so much room in my head, and it leaves room for me to think, and agonize, over these thoughts.

Then the phone rings.

I pick it up, hesitant; hoping.

"Hello?"

"Hey, Ada, I've been calling all morning! I heard about what happened..." It's Henry. I recognize the deep voice filled with over-the-top concern.

"Who didn't hear about it, Henry. This town is, like, the size of a football field. You yell something from one end they hear about it the next county over." I don't want to sound so harsh, but I can't keep the grating voice from peeling out of my mouth. "So what do you want?"

I sincerely expect him to hang up on me, at least. But, as always, I am wrong about him.

"I just wanted to know if you needed anything, or wanted to talk, or even come over to my house. You know, if you are feeling lonely." He doesn't sound offended by my insult, but rather embarrassed. He's one of those guys who have too much respect- for a girl, for authority, for his mother, probably. They will sacrifice everything for other people, even their dignity.

And I'm one of those people who takes advantage of it, I remind myself. Why should I start changing myself now?

"I'll be over in 10 minutes."

The End

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