#50 I, Isabel Scheherazade, walk over hot coals as Mimi and Pop and I begin to explain to each other what’s just happened. One thing though? We locked eyes with each other. Hot coals and all, we’re connected.
Pop says, Tell it to us from the beginning, Isabel.
I explain how Olivia and I figured out how to leave the twins early, and how we’d tried not to be noticeable, and how I Just Need to See the Killer.
Olivia helped me figure this out, Pop and Mimi, but, she was just helping me do what I was going to do anyway. Don’t blame her.
All during this explaining, I’ve got Pop on one side and Mimi on the other. They listen, lean in and look at me all at the same time. It helps. A little. It also keeps me from making a break for it.
How’d you know I was at court?
The school called, says Pop.
The school called?
It’s a new procedure, Mimi says. They call when anyone’s absent, just to make sure.
Mimi nods. Yes, to make sure the student is sick and not abducted, or some such.
Cray, I think. That’s scary.
So then what? I ask. How did you know I’d be here? At court?
Remember the day you pulled the newspaper out of the bookshelves? Pop looks at me.
I sigh. I want to be in court.
They look at each other and talk silently.
Mimi says, Isabel, we were going to take you back to school and talk later, but let’s do this. We have until the boys get out of Kindergarten. In between now and then, we’ll–
I interrupt. We’ll go to the hearing?
No. Pop frowns. We’ll sit somewhere and explain things to you. We’ll talk, and you’ll listen.
Mimi puts her hand on his arm and gives him a small frown.
Wow, I think to myself. “I’ll talk and you’ll listen” sounds just like Dad used to when I’d done something wrong and he was fed up with All the Nonsense.
I don’t know why, but suddenly I begin to feel safer or something like safe. Secure maybe. Secure the way a Native American baby in a papoose must feel when there’s no way to be anywhere but on its mother’s back. All cozy. I wish Olivia had stayed. She would have liked this part.
—Isabel Scheherazade, a sort of delinquent who is learning slang from Olivia. So cray* means crazy. I THINK it’s a rapper word, but Olivia’s on-line slang dictionary says it’s going mainstream.