“What are you thinking about?”
It’s almost eleven, and Danny and I are lying on his bed, legs tangled together under an old blanket. I had to wait till Mom was asleep to sneak back to the loft tonight. I didn’t stay long the first time, after I let Danny soothe all the rough edges from running into Gabriel. This time Mom was in bed, the little TV on her dresser flickering softly in the dark. Robin was snoring in her room, one hand on Mr. Purrfect, her orange tiger. He blinked at me in the dark when I peeked through the crack in her door, yellow eyes cold and uninterested.
I never know what to tell Danny when he asks questions like that. Your funeral? The fact that Becker still hasn’t come back to school because one of his legs doesn’t work right, and he’s flying on painkillers most of the time anyway? The way Ryan can barely look at me anymore? How much I really hate running into your mom in town, and how often she still looks like she just finished crying?
“Wren?” Anxious, almost pleading. Needy. His fingers tighten around my arm.
“French,” I whisper, letting my lips brush the cool smoothness of his cheek. “Madame Hobart’s been on the warpath lately. And I still fuck up pluperfect conjugations.”
“I told you you should’ve taken Spanish,” he says, and he almost sounds like the old Danny when he laughs. “I think Mr. Hill is stoned most of the time.”
I can’t help but smile at that, because he’s right. Mr. Hill wears the same tie for days at a time, and blinks like a startled owl when anyone asks him a question. Danny was always talking about him, back when he was ... well, still in school.And still alive, a voice in my head whispers.
More to come soon!