#45 Can a kid break a rule even though the “caretaker” hasn’t laid down the rules? What’s next for me, Isabel Scheherazade? Hint: It requires going to Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe.
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. We all ponder kidnapping for a few seconds, I break the silence with, 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. Then he looks at Mim and they do that thing where they communicate for a few paragraphs without talking.
Mimi takes over, 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’s one raised eyebrow goes to a full frown. We’ll get some sandwiches and drinks at Belle’s 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 Oliver had stayed. He 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 Oliver’s on-line slang dictionary says it’s going mainstream.