I'm not sure what they were talking about when I came back into the room, but their voices got all hushed. I did hear a few words, which didn't make sense to me. I hurried upstairs to make sure it was okay with Luce if I came over for a while, wondering who Aaron had said probably went "back to Europe."
Upstairs, I sent Lucy a text. "Can I come over in a few?"
She answered almost immediately. "Sure! Just about to text. And Em, too."
"Cool. My dad's driving me, so, maybe ten minutes?"
"Whenever. My mom's shopping and my dad's at the golf course."
For some reason, I was glad her parents wouldn't be there. It seemed like there was something important I needed to tell her, though I didn't know what it was. "What about Daniel?"
"Are you kidding? It's not even 10:00 yet. He'll be asleep for another hour or two."
"I thought he usually got up early to run?"
"Not on the weekend."
I had been off school for a week. I guess I'd forgotten what day it was. "Okay. C U soon."
"Heyyou're going to tell me what the crap is going on, right?"
I was just about to put my phone in my pocket when I saw her text. I had no idea what she was talking about. "Huh?" I asked, including a puzzled-face emoji.
"Ha, ha. Very funny. You said some weird stuff was going on, and you'd tell me but you needed to say it in person. Remember?"
The conversation seemed vaguely familiar, but I had no idea what it had been that I wanted to tell her. There was no point in talking to her about it now, though. "Right," I sent back, thinking once I had her face-to-face, I would figure it out. When I'd talked to her the other day, she'd asked me about my sister and Drew again, and I'd shrugged her off. That was old news, and I didn't want to talk about it anymore.
I turned to look around the room, wondering if there was anything I needed to take with me. We tended to leave stuff at each other's houses. I noticed a book I'd borrowed from Emma sitting on a stack of other books and junk on my desk and decided to take it. I'm usually not a messy person, but I do have a tendency to clutter up my desk. When I picked it up, a landslide ensued, and a bunch of books and notebooks slid off onto the floor. Mumbling one of my dad's favorite non-swear words under my breath, I crouched to pick it all up.
One of the notebooks fell open to a page I didn't remember ever seeing before. It was definitely my handwriting, but I had no idea when I'd written it. This was a little scary, and I crumpled to the floor to look it over.
At first, I thought maybe I'd written it so long ago it just didn't stick with me, or maybe someone else had written it, and their handwriting just looked like mine. But a few of the words on the page leaped out at me, and I realized there was something strange going on here, and it wasn't just with my sister or Drew. When in the world had I written this down? I struggled to remember, haunted by a word written in bold letters and underlined"Transformation."
Lucy's house is huge. Don't get me wrong, I don't exactly live in a shoebox, but she has five bathroomsfive. And there are only four people in her house! And her bedroom has a little alcove in it where she has a sofa, sort of like my sister's room, except it is not supposed to be the master. She has a pool and a big back yard with lots of flowers in it and even a fountain. Seriously. A fountain.
I think my dad doesn't like driving me to Lucy's house because he feels a little inferior. Like I said, he hasn't driven me over in years, but when I was younger he used to drive me, and he'd say things like, "I hope no one minds the rims on my truck," like people were staring out their windows at our vehicle. I always shook my head at him but didn't ever bother to argue because I didn't even understand what he was worried about. Now that I'm a little older, I understand it more, but it's still not a problem. My parents have always done a great job of providing for us, and I would never complain about not having something I needed, or even wanted. It just so happens Lucy's dad is a lawyer and her mother is an accountant. She's very down to earth about it and doesn't even make the rest of us feel inferior when she disappears into her walk-in closet full of designer clothing.
My dad pulled to the curb in front of Luce's house and I gave him a half-smile. "Would you rather I just forget to call you to come to get me and walk home? So Mom doesn't make you come back out?" I knew he wasn't the one who thought I shouldn't walk.
"No, honey, it's fine," he said, patting my knee. "So long as they don't close the gates on my old jalopy."
Lucy's neighborhood is not gated. I rolled my eyes at him. "Okay. I'll see you in a few hours." I reached for the door handle. "Thanks again, Dad!"
He waved and shifted his truck into gear but didn't leave yet, and I knew it was because he was waiting for me to get safely inside of the house before he pulled away, not because he thought anything weird was going on, like my mom apparently did, but because that's what he has always done.
I didn't even get to the front door before it opened. Lucy was standing there with her extremely long brownish/blondish hair in a ponytail, her hands on her slender hips. She was looking at me like she was ready to pounce on me, and my mind wandered back to the notebook I'd shoved in my backpack before I left the house. She must've been talking about what I'd written there, even though I didn't remember writing it down or mentioning it to her.