*** Rain beat Jodi’s face. She sputtered, rolling to her side and sitting slowly against a tree trunk. She straightened the glasses on her nose. “What… where…” She was off trail, in a stand of trees. Her bike lay on its side several feet away, along with her backpack. She got up stiffly to retrieve
What finally stopped Jodi’s momentum, was seeing a star hanging from a tree. She squeezed the hand brakes, slowing as she got closer. The star hung from the branch of a tree that had lost most of its leaves in the front yard of a small, white cottage. It was the same six-sided star that
It began to rain. Jodi barely noticed. As soon as she saw her mom’s name, tears pricked her eyes and spilled over, mixing with the rain drops hitting the paper. It wasn’t long before it was impossible to tell if it was tears or rain making the words harder to read. Brenda May Sutters, aged
She made it to the park in record time. Rupert Foster Park meandered along a waterfront, dotted with picnic tables and populated by geese who hadn’t flown south yet, and ducks. Jodi rode off the bike trail, steering for a picnic table close to the shoreline. A group of ducks waddled towards her, quacking hopefully
“Take the phone at least.” Her step-mother held out a pink-cased cell phone. Both she and Stacy had been given cells phones when they’d moved in, something their mother had never been able to afford. “Thanks,” Jodi mumbled. She stashed the phone in the back pouch of her bike jacket, along with extra protein bars
Jodi’s solace during the months that followed came from riding her bike. Her step mother bought her long johns and heavy gloves, since the weather was turning colder, and a new helmet. She was glad to have her do something other than sleeping—her main activity outside of school and the weekly visits to Dr. Mitchell’s.