#34 I, Isabel Scheherazade, get Olivia out of her room by throwing pebbles at her window. She has an unusual way of leaving her house. I learn that she has personal knowledge of the courts.
I throw a pebble at Olivia’s bedroom window. It’s one of those long ones that cranks open. Olivia leans out, Hey, Izzy! She grins. Haven’t seen you in a minute!
Olivia’s likes to take a word and flip its meaning upside down. So, what she really means is I haven’t seen you in a while. She told me that last year she got her whole third grade class to call their pencils whatchamacallits. She said she got the idea from the book Frindle. When I ask if the teacher got mad, she says No!! It was the teacher who read the book to the class.
Can you come out to talk? I ask.
In an hour, Olivia says, and her head ducks back out of sight while one of her black-tight-hiking-boot legs stretches out of the window and onto the humungous apple tree branch that’s twists from the trunk to just below the sill. It’s like a big, knuckly hand. Sturdy. Olivia says it’s about the only thing she can count on in her life.
Once we’re seated on the grass, leaning against the tree, I say, Olivia, I want to go to the preliminary hearing. I need to make sure he gets put in jail for the rest of his life. But Mimi and Pop say we aren’t going.
Olivia gets her scheme-and-plot look. Do you think they would bring you with them if they WERE going?
I shrug my shoulders and say, Well, maybe?
Olivia shakes her head. I think maybe NOT, Izzy. They probably think it’s inappropriate for a kid to be in court for this.
But, Olivia, if I’d stayed in my old school? The fourth grade always has a field trip to the local courthouse during a trial.
Olivia keeps shaking her head nonono. This is way different.
I give her the I-doubt-you-know-what-you’re-talking-about look.
Olivia explains. Hey, for real. I know how courts work. I’ve been personally involved. Trust me.
(More later, our dinner gong is ringing. I need to get home. Trust me. But should I trust Olivia I wonder.