That morning there had been a lady bug waiting to greet her on the bathroom mirror. It seemed an auspicious event. “Hello,” she whispered to her polka-dotted guest. And though it was not a response she could hear, she felt sure the ladybug returned her greeting in kind. “I wonder what other surprises might be
“Looks like rain,” Emma’s Grandma Frances said, looking up. Emma squinted up at the vast blue sky, then at her grandmother. “Where?” she asked. “On its way.” Grandma Frances nodded. “Let’s you and I find a place to wait it out.” “A place to hide?” Emma asked, excited by the idea of a new game.
The sun rises. Red with possibility.
Lettie looked up at her with unreadable blue eyes, and Ayn knew it would be better to be quiet and follow. They entered a sparsely furnished room where several men and women clustered together, talking quietly in groups. Ayn recognized many of them as being other Counsel members. At the far end of the room
Ayn jogged to catch up. Lettie was small, but fast. “Where are we going?” she asked. “Father Gheraeld would like to meet you.” “Me? Why? I mean, won’t I meet him at the dinner? That’s what Dad said,” Ayn said. Lettie stopped in front of the door at the end of the hallway and turned
There was a team of people inside the room. Two of them had already pulled her dad’s jacket from his shoulders, when he said, “Surely she can stay with me.” Lettie held a hand up and said, “You’ve not much time, Professor Hyarzden. Your daughter will be waiting at the table for you. We’ll see
“What about the garden?” Ayn asked. “For the hundredth time, Ayn,” her dad said, “they said they’d have someone come do the upkeep. Like with the house. Keep an eye on it.” Leaving the garden to strangers felt like the biggest abandonment of her mom. She had loved tending the garden, and it showed. Their yard
Even with all of that, Ayn couldn’t help feeling like they were running away. It had been a year since her mom had died. And while she knew she’d never see her mom again, leaving somehow made that fact seem even more real. Like somehow, living and breathing in the same walls where her mom
“It’ll be good for us to be somewhere else for awhile,” her dad said. “We’ll be able to come back here when you’re done with your term? That’s what they said?” Ayn said. “That’s the plan.” “It’s weird to think of it being empty for the next two years,” she said. They’d already packed what
* * * Her dad had been nervous that night. He’d almost left home without taking his phone, where his notes were saved for his speech. Zoe had come trotting in from the kitchen, holding the phone gingerly in her mouth. “Good girl,” Ayn said, as Zoe dropped the phone onto her outstretched hand. “Don’t