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    Fade Lisa Mcmann Pdf

    The Wake Trilogy Fade Gone Lisa Mcmann www wake www trilogy free ebook pdf download - author of the middle grade dystopian fantasy series. Lisa McMann is the New York Times bestselling author of the middle grade dystopian fantasy series The Unwanteds, the YA paranormal Wake trilogy, and. The Wake Trilogy Fade Gone Lisa Mcmann ebook: the wake trilogy wake fade gone - the wake trilogy wake fade gone pdf format file 68,52mb.

    Main characters[ edit ] Janie, is the main character. She tells us what is going on in her life, and she is the most important character. She is able to see into other peoples dreams and whenever she sees someone in class, or riding the bus sleeping, she starts to get paralyzed when this happens. Cabel Strumheller, Develops a romantic relationship with Janie and is the only one who knows her secret. He does not play a major role until late in the story.

    She burrows closer into him. How could she have gone so many years without touching people? Arms wrapped loosely in slumber, like a tired Christmas package whose ribbon hangs on, even until the last moment.

    They confirm their plans for tomorrow under the covers. Opposite schedules unlike last semester, because they need to make a broader canvas through the school. All different teachers, too. This time Cabel set up his schedule with Principal Abernethy after Janie got hers, without Abernethy knowing why he picked the classes, teachers, and times that he chose. Cabel agreed with the schedule setup, except for one thing. His only insistence with Captain was to have study hall at the same time as Janie.

    So he can cover for her, in case anybody ever sees what happens to her in there. Captain agreed. Last semester, Janie and Cabel had identical schedules. Which Cabel insists was a fluke. Or maybe she wants to believe that he found her on purpose.

    Even Janie can have her dreams. They drift off to sleep. January 3, , a. She wakes up to the smell of bacon and coffee. The weight of him feels amazing on her body. Or because she was so numb inside, before she let him in.

    She opens her eyes slowly. It takes her a moment to adjust to the bright kitchen light, shining in her eyes. Be excited! Everyone who is heading to college knows that the best semester comes in four more years. Although this one will probably be easier. Her muscles ache from working out. When she emerges, breakfast is on the table. And then she has to go. Back to her house to check on her mother and get her car.

    She clings to him. Except it makes her happy. He kisses her. She kisses him. They kiss. And then she goes. Out the door, crunching through the crust on eighteen inches of Michigan snow.

    Runs into her house. Makes sure her mother has food in the fridge. And grabs money for lunch. She and Cabel accidentally park near each other at school, which makes Ethel very happy, Janie thinks. Carrie whaps Janie on the back of the head. You all better? Check out my cool-ass scar. Did you have a good Christmas? We had our court thingy yesterday, and I did what you suggested.

    I got my charges dropped, but Stu had to pay a fine. No jail time, though.

    She digs around in her backpack and pulls out an envelope. You were awesome to come out in the middle of the night to bail us out. That really freaked me out. Carrie-speak is almost always at full-speed, and it changes direction often. Which is okay. Carrie is a little self-centered. And immature at times. Made me take off work from the nursing home for a while. Have you seen him? You think? Let me know what you find out from Melinda and Shay. Carrie loves a good scandal.

    And Janie loves Carrie. Janie and Cabel have study hall last period in the school library. Nobody looks sleepy. Things are going smoothly. Janie, tucked away at her favorite table in the far back corner of the library, finishes a boring English lit assignment and then tackles her Chem. Her first impression of that class is positive. But Janie, having satisfied all her required courses, is taking whatever she can to help her out in college.

    Advanced math, Spanish, Chemistry 2, and psychology. Psychology is a Captain requirement. Janie picks it up while still reading her text book, and opens it up, pressing out the wrinkles.

    Janie glances casually to the left, between two rows of bookshelves, and nods. She lays her head on her arms as she gets sucked into a dream.

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    It figures. Janie goes along for the ride, although normally she tries to pull out of his dreams now that his nightmares have quieted. But, ever curious, she rides this one out, knowing the bell will ring soon, ending the school day. Cabel is rummaging through his closet, methodically putting on shirts and sweaters over one another, layering more and more pieces until he can hardly move his blimplike body.

    Feeling invasive, she pulls herself out of the dream. When she can see again, she stacks her books into her backpack and waits, thoughtful, until the bell rings. She folds her coat and sets it next to the boots, and heads to the basement. Janie grins.

    She stretches out her slightly aching muscles, picks up the ten-pound barbells, and begins with squats. They work out in silence for forty-five minutes.

    Both of them are mentally reviewing the day. Showered and settled at the small, round conference table in the computer room, Cabel pulls out a sheet of paper and a pen while Janie fires up the laptop. Janie pulls up the template on her screen, squints and then frowns, and fills in the first one. You want their real names or Spanish names? He grins and pulls her hair. She types quickly. Like, ninety words a minute. She uses all of her fingers, not just one from each hand. Imagine that.

    Cabel gawks. Will you do mine for me? Going back and forth between computer screen and handwritten notes gives me a headache. And it makes me very cranky. Charts, records, transcribing medical terms, prescriptions, all that. Not the evil eyebrow! Reads the page. Looks at him. Green, Mrs. So where the hell is Colonel Mustard? Janie stops laughing. Sort of. Actually, she giggles every few minutes as she reads.

    Especially when she finds out Miss Scarlet is actually Mr. Garcia, the industrial tech teacher. But he continues. You should code your notes too, if you take any. It only takes one stupid mistake to blow your cover. Room She e-mails them to him. And be sure to take notes of any intuition, funny feelings, suspicions—anything.

    There are no wrong things to track. She clicks her fingers over the keyboard with finesse, and finishes her charts before Cabel gets his homework done. She goes back and lingers over each entry, trying to think of anything of note, and promises herself to be more discerning tomorrow. Cabel looks at her with a small smile. He pulls Janie toward him in a half-hug.

    She rests her head on his shoulder, and he smoothes her hair. Janie thinks about the box of files from Captain on her bed. She also hates the thought of leaving Cabel. The question hangs in the air. They linger near the back door, forehead to forehead and curved like statues as their lips whisper and brush together. Luckily, Stu and Carrie spend most of their time together. Of course, they still grounded Carrie. For life. As usual. Janie settles in her bed under the covers, and opens the box of material from Captain.

    News flash: Miss Stubin never taught school. And she was married. The frail, gnarled, blind, stickthin, former school teacher who Janie read books to lived a secret life.

    Janie holds her aching head. Closes the file. Returns the stack to the cardboard box and hides it in her closet. Then she turns out her light and slips back under the covers. Miss Stubin, thinks Janie as a grin turns on her lips, was a player back in the day.

    Janie dreams in black and white. The weather is cool and rainy. She looks around excitedly at the corner by the dry goods store, but there is no young couple there, strolling arm in arm.

    Fran has given you my notes. She feels tears spring to her eyes and quickly blinks them away. Miss Stubin chuckles. You may tell her if you wish. Give her my fond regards. To be available to you, just as the one who taught me remained with me until I was fully prepared, fully knowledgeable about what my purpose was in life.

    She hopes it takes a very long time before she no longer needs Miss Stubin. When you have questions about my notes, return here. I trust you know how to find me again? Be careful. And be creative—It may be tricky to find the right dreams to fall into. Keep up your strength. Be prepared for every opportunity to search out the truth. Dreams happen in the strangest places. Watch for them. Miss Stubin cocks her head to the side.

    She stares at the ceiling in the dark, and then flips on her bedside lamp. Scribbles the dream in her notebook. Wow, she thinks.

    Grins sleepily as she turns out the light and rolls over, back to sleep. Study hall is a disaster. She needs to practice concentrating at home, in her own dreams again. Stay strong, like Miss Stubin told her in the dream. Janie feels it coming.

    She sets her book down and glances at Cabel. He gives her a pitying half-smile when he sees the look on her face, and she tries to smile back. From the backseat, a growl, and then a man appears and grabs Stacey around the neck from behind.

    She loses control of the car, and it careens over a ditch, smashes into a line of bushes, and flips over. The man is shaken loose of his grasp, and when the car comes to rest in a parking lot, Stacey, bleeding, climbs out of the car through the broken windshield and starts running. He gets out and follows her. Around and around the parking lot, the man chases her, until she runs for the woods… …trips …falls …and he is on top of her, pinning her down, growling, like a dog, in her face— p.

    But she can hear Cabel next to her. She sits up slowly.

    Squeezes her hands till they ache with pain and pleasure. Wiggles her toes. She stops shaking. Tries to speak. It comes out like a hiss. She shakes her head slowly. Turns toward him. Reaches out. Did you try to pull out of it? Her voice is weak. I tried to help her change it. They wait. Slowly Janie can make out shapes. The world fades back in. Smiles shakily. He searches around in the pack and comes up empty-handed. I can drive. Helps her stand up, slings her backpack over his shoulder, and they walk out to the parking lot.

    He opens the passenger-side door of his car and looks at her, his jaw set. Until she gets in. He drives in silence through the snow to a nearby mini-mart, goes in, and returns with pint of milk and a plastic bag. She does it. He pours half a dozen PowerBars into it. Opens a bar and hands it to her with the milk. She looks down. Then hands them over. He drives her to her house.

    Stares at the steering wheel, his jaw set. Waits for her to get out. She glances at him, a puzzled expression on her face. She swallows the lump in her throat. Takes her backpack and the milk and gets out of the car. Closes the door. Goes up the steps and kicks the snow off her shoes. Not looking back. He pulls out of the driveway slowly, making sure Janie gets inside okay. And drives away. Janie goes to bed, confused and sad, and takes a nap. Looks around the house for something healthy and finds a tomato, growing soft in the refrigerator.

    She sighs. She shrugs on her coat and slips on her boots, grabs fifty dollars from the grocery envelope, and starts walking. The snow is beautiful. Flakes so tiny they sparkle, sequins in the oncoming headlights and under street lamps. Janie slips on her mittens and secures her coat at her throat. Glad she wore boots. A few shoppers stroll to the Muzak piping from the speakers.

    The store is bright with yellowy light, and Janie squints as she enters. She grabs a cart and heads to the produce section, shaking the snowflakes from her hair as she walks. She loosens her coat and tucks her mittens in her pockets. Shopping, once Janie actually gets there, is relaxing to her. She takes her time, reading labels, thinking about things that seem like they might taste good together, picking out the best vegetables, mentally calculating the total cost as she goes along.

    As she meanders, looking at the different kinds of oils and spices, she slows her cart. Glances to the left.

    And hesitantly picks out a red box and a small round container. Puts them in the cart next to the eggs and milk. She wheels to the front of the store and stands in a short line at the one lonely check-out counter. Janie glances at the periodicals while she waits.

    Rides through a wave of hunger nausea. Loads her things onto the belt and watches the scanner anxiously as the number creeps upward. I need to put something back. The line behind Janie grows. Hesitantly picks out the cake mix and the frosting. Hands them to the checker. It figures, she thinks.

    The checker makes like this is huge deal. Stomps on the buttons with her fingers. People thaw, drip, and shift on their feet behind Janie. She ignores them. Sweating profusely. Janie strings the pregnant bags over her arms, three on each side, and flees.

    Sucks in the cold fresh air. Pumps her arms once she reaches the road to get in her workout for the day, trying not to crush the eggs and bread.

    Her arms ache pleasantly at first. Then they just plain ache. After a quarter mile a car slows and comes to a stop in front of Janie.

    A man gets out. Also known as Mr. Durbin, her Chem. I was a few customers behind you in line. Up the hill a ways.

    Get in. But…maybe she should take the chance to get to know Mr. Durbin a little better, for investigation purposes. He slips back inside the car and moves four or five plastic grocery bags to the backseat, and she gets in. For the inconvenience, maybe.

    I was happy to see so many students. Ten is big for this one. In Chem. Beecher for Chem. She grins. He puts the car in park and opens his door. He gathers three bags and scoots out of her way, then follows her to the door. Janie hesitates, knocking the snow off her boots, adjusting her bags, so she can open the door.

    Notices things about her house that she overlooks most days. Screen door with a rip in it and hanging a little bit loose on its hinges. Wood exterior rotting at the base, paint peeling from it. Awkward, Janie thinks, going inside, Durbin at her heels. She flips on the entrance light and is momentarily blinded by the brightness. She stops in her tracks until she can see again, and Mr. Durbin bumps into her. Who knows? They turn the corner into the shadowy kitchen. She puts her bags on the counter, and he sets his next to hers.

    See you Monday. She rummages through the bags on a mission. Grabs a handful of grapes, rinses them off quickly, and shoves them in her mouth, craving the fructose rush. She starts to put things away when she hears a step behind her. She whirls around.

    You scared the crap out of me. Heard an extra voice, so I hid in your room. So, who was that? Failing miserably. She raises her eyebrow. He saw me walking home and asked if I wanted a ride. He was in line behind me at the store. It was very nice of him, I thought. Janie turns and continues to put things away. She grabs a few more grapes and snarfs them. I really appreciate it. Did you walk all the way back to school? My brother Charlie gave me a lift.

    She pours some of the milk into a tall glass, grabs the sandwich, and slips past Cabel into the living room. Flips on the TV and squints at it. Finally he pulls a piece of paper from his jacket pocket. Unfolds it. Turns off the TV. He stands directly in front of her, then turns and walks fifteen paces in the opposite direction.

    Stops and turns to face her again. Out loud, please. And smirks. She reads the next line. And the one after that. And guessing. But does it. By memory. All she can make out with her right eye is the E. Just says the letters she remembers from before. And then he takes a second, different chart out. So she needs glasses—maybe. Big deal. Cabel disappears into her bedroom, and she hears him pacing over the creak in the floor and talking to himself. Janie eats her sandwich and downs the glass of milk.

    Goes into the kitchen and makes another.

    Lisa McMann

    Grabs a carrot and peels it over the garbage can. Pours another glass of milk. Squeezes her hands till they ache with pain and pleasure.

    Wiggles her toes. She stops shaking. Tries to speak. It comes out like a hiss. She shakes her head slowly. Turns toward him. Reaches out. Did you try to pull out of it? Her voice is weak. I tried to help her change it. They wait. Slowly Janie can make out shapes. The world fades back in. Smiles shakily. He searches around in the pack and comes up empty-handed. I can drive. Helps her stand up, slings her backpack over his shoulder, and they walk out to the parking lot. He opens the passenger-side door of his car and looks at her, his jaw set.

    Until she gets in. He drives in silence through the snow to a nearby mini-mart, goes in, and returns with pint of milk and a plastic bag. She does it. He pours half a dozen PowerBars into it. Opens a bar and hands it to her with the milk. She looks down.

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    Then hands them over. He drives her to her house. Stares at the steering wheel, his jaw set. Waits for her to get out. She glances at him, a puzzled expression on her face. She swallows the lump in her throat. Takes her backpack and the milk and gets out of the car. Closes the door. Goes up the steps and kicks the snow off her shoes. Not looking back. He pulls out of the driveway slowly, making sure Janie gets inside okay. And drives away. Janie goes to bed, confused and sad, and takes a nap.

    Looks around the house for something healthy and finds a tomato, growing soft in the refrigerator. She sighs. She shrugs on her coat and slips on her boots, grabs fifty dollars from the grocery envelope, and starts walking. The snow is beautiful. Flakes so tiny they sparkle, sequins in the oncoming headlights and under street lamps.

    Janie slips on her mittens and secures her coat at her throat. Glad she wore boots. A few shoppers stroll to the Muzak piping from the speakers. The store is bright with yellowy light, and Janie squints as she enters. She grabs a cart and heads to the produce section, shaking the snowflakes from her hair as she walks. She loosens her coat and tucks her mittens in her pockets. Shopping, once Janie actually gets there, is relaxing to her. She takes her time, reading labels, thinking about things that seem like they might taste good together, picking out the best vegetables, mentally calculating the total cost as she goes along.

    As she meanders, looking at the different kinds of oils and spices, she slows her cart. Glances to the left. And hesitantly picks out a red box and a small round container. Puts them in the cart next to the eggs and milk. She wheels to the front of the store and stands in a short line at the one lonely check-out counter. Janie glances at the periodicals while she waits. Rides through a wave of hunger nausea. Loads her things onto the belt and watches the scanner anxiously as the number creeps upward.

    I need to put something back. The line behind Janie grows. Hesitantly picks out the cake mix and the frosting. Hands them to the checker. It figures, she thinks. The checker makes like this is huge deal. Stomps on the buttons with her fingers. People thaw, drip, and shift on their feet behind Janie. She ignores them. Sweating profusely. Janie strings the pregnant bags over her arms, three on each side, and flees. Sucks in the cold fresh air.

    Pumps her arms once she reaches the road to get in her workout for the day, trying not to crush the eggs and bread. Her arms ache pleasantly at first. Then they just plain ache. After a quarter mile a car slows and comes to a stop in front of Janie.

    A man gets out. Also known as Mr. Durbin, her Chem. I was a few customers behind you in line. Up the hill a ways. Get in. But…maybe she should take the chance to get to know Mr. Durbin a little better, for investigation purposes. He slips back inside the car and moves four or five plastic grocery bags to the backseat, and she gets in. For the inconvenience, maybe.

    I was happy to see so many students. Ten is big for this one. In Chem. Beecher for Chem. She grins. He puts the car in park and opens his door. He gathers three bags and scoots out of her way, then follows her to the door. Janie hesitates, knocking the snow off her boots, adjusting her bags, so she can open the door. Notices things about her house that she overlooks most days. Screen door with a rip in it and hanging a little bit loose on its hinges. Wood exterior rotting at the base, paint peeling from it.

    Awkward, Janie thinks, going inside, Durbin at her heels. She flips on the entrance light and is momentarily blinded by the brightness. She stops in her tracks until she can see again, and Mr. Durbin bumps into her. Who knows? They turn the corner into the shadowy kitchen. She puts her bags on the counter, and he sets his next to hers.

    See you Monday. She rummages through the bags on a mission. Grabs a handful of grapes, rinses them off quickly, and shoves them in her mouth, craving the fructose rush. She starts to put things away when she hears a step behind her. She whirls around. You scared the crap out of me. Heard an extra voice, so I hid in your room. So, who was that? Failing miserably. She raises her eyebrow. He saw me walking home and asked if I wanted a ride.

    He was in line behind me at the store. It was very nice of him, I thought. Janie turns and continues to put things away. She grabs a few more grapes and snarfs them. I really appreciate it. Did you walk all the way back to school? My brother Charlie gave me a lift. She pours some of the milk into a tall glass, grabs the sandwich, and slips past Cabel into the living room. Flips on the TV and squints at it. Finally he pulls a piece of paper from his jacket pocket.

    Unfolds it. Turns off the TV. He stands directly in front of her, then turns and walks fifteen paces in the opposite direction. Stops and turns to face her again. Out loud, please. And smirks. She reads the next line. And the one after that. And guessing. But does it. By memory. All she can make out with her right eye is the E. Just says the letters she remembers from before. And then he takes a second, different chart out.

    So she needs glasses—maybe. Big deal. Cabel disappears into her bedroom, and she hears him pacing over the creak in the floor and talking to himself. Janie eats her sandwich and downs the glass of milk. Goes into the kitchen and makes another. Grabs a carrot and peels it over the garbage can.

    Pours another glass of milk. Takes her feast to the living room again and sits down. Turns the TV back on. Her hands have stopped shaking. She swallows the last drops of milk and feels it sloshing around in her belly.

    She smiles, contented. Thinks she ought to be the poster girl for the Got Milk? She gets up and heads down the short hallway, pushes the door open, and gets sucked into darkness immediately.

    She staggers. Drops to the floor.

    Each time he locks it, another lock appears. As he secures each new one, the others spring open. Janie reaches for the door, blindly. Backs out of her room on her hands and knees, pulling the door shut with her.

    And the connection is broken. She blinks, seeing stars, and gets back to her feet. Pulls a ratty old blanket from the closet and settles on the couch, sighing.

    January 7, , 6: Janie is startled awake. She looks around as a cold blast of air washes over the living room. She sits up and goes to the kitchen, looking out the window. Fresh footprints in the snow lead down the drive, across the street, and into the yard on the other side.

    She checks her bedroom. She shakes her head. What a jerk, she thinks. Then she finds his note. Janie climbs into her bed. Her pillow smells like him. She smiles. Hugs it. Talks to herself.

    Janie rolls over and rouses herself. Looks at the clock. Repeats her mantra. Pictures the scene in her head. Looks around. No one is there. Janie wanders up and down the street, looking for Miss Stubin, but the street is vacant. Janie sits on the bench where she sat before. Recalls the previous conversation. Janie slaps her hand to her forehead and the dream fades.

    When Janie wakes, she vows to practice directing and controlling her dreams every night. It will help. She knows it will. Janie munches on toast as she pulls out the box of files from Captain. She begins where she left off, and reads the reports, fascinated. She finishes the second file. Still sitting on her bed in her pajamas. Remains of snacks everywhere. Give me thirty minutes. I promise. I just…I worry about you. Can we talk about this when I come over? Janie hears a light knock and the door opening.

    Shit, Janie thinks. She grabs her coat and puts on a smile. Care to join me? Just bored. Does he do that regularly? Just whenever the guys call him. She keeps her face turned toward the direction she thinks Cabel will come from.

    Whether I do it or not is the real question. Carrie steps inside, and Janie gives Cabel a fleeting glance over her shoulder.

    He shrugs and flashes the okay sign. Janie follows Carrie in. January 8, , Janie calls Cabel. Gets his voice mail. Leaves a message on the answering machine. The phone rings. I had a thing to go to. Janie wakes up on her birthday feeling terribly sorry for herself. She should know better. This happens every year. It seems worse this year, somehow. She greets her mother in the kitchen.

    Her mother gives her a half-grunt, fixes her morning drink, and disappears into her bedroom. Just like any ordinary day. Janie fixes frozen waffles for breakfast. Sticks a god-damn candle in them. Lights it. Blows it out. Happy birthday to me, she thinks. Back when her grandma was alive, she at least got a present.

    She gets to school late. Janie always hated Bashful. Psychology is interesting. Wang is the most incompetent psych teacher in the history of the subject. So far, Janie knows more than he does. Apparently he likes to dance. Carrie told Janie that Melinda saw him in Lansing at a club, and he was tearing it up. Funny, that. Because he seems very, very shy.

    It spatters on her shoe and soaks in. And then, in chemistry, her beaker explodes. Sends a shard of glass, like a throwing star, into her gut. Rips her shirt. She excuses herself from class to stop the bleeding.

    The school nurse tells her to be more careful. Janie rolls her eyes. Back in class, Mr. Lunch is barfaritos. Dopey, Dippy, and Dumbass are all on their toes today. Janie finally resorts to throwing paper clips at their heads to wake them up. By the time she gets to study hall, she feels like crying. And then, Janie realizes with that keen, womanly sense of dread that she has her period. She gets a hall pass and spends most of the hour in the bathroom, just getting away from everybody.

    So back to the school nurse for the second time that day. The nurse is not very sympathetic. Finally, with five minutes left of school, she heads back to the library. Cabel gives her a questioning look.

    He glances around. Slides into the seat across from her. Like five, maybe? Janie finishes up her English homework, gathers up her backpack and coat, and heads over to Mr. She opens the door.

    His tie hangs loose around his neck, and the top button of his shirt is undone. He looks up. She stands waiting, shifting her weight from one foot to the other.

    She has cramps. And a headache. Durbin scribbles a few more notes, then sets his pen down and looks at Janie. Rough day? Hate when that happens. Her voice is thin, and she fights off the tears. He regards her thoughtfully. And then he changes the subject. Tell me about your little explosion. Points at the chalkboard. Durbin taps his chin. He stands up, gathers a beaker and the components for the formula, and sets them at her lab table. Waves her over. Durbin looks down at the formula. I want you to be able to see.

    Janie puts on her safety glasses, and lights the burner. Squints at the instructions and measures carefully.

    Mixes it up. Stirs evenly for two minutes. Lets it come to a boil. Times it perfectly. Cuts the heat. It turns a glorious purple.

    Smells like cough syrup. Durbin pats her on the shoulder. Takes off her safety glasses. And his hand is still on her shoulder. Caressing it now. Oh god, she thinks. She wants to get away.

    His hand slides down her back just a little, so lightly she can hardly feel it, and then to the small of her back. Janie fights back a shudder. Tries to breathe normally. Handle it, Hannagan, she tells herself. He steps away and begins to help her clean up the lab table. Janie wants to run. Knows she needs to keep her cool, but instead she escapes at the first reasonable opportunity. It was one thing talking about what might happen, and it was an entirely different thing to actually experience it.

    Janie shudders and forces herself to walk calmly. Get her thoughts together. She heads outside for the parking lot. And then she remembers she left her goddamned backpack on the goddamned lab table.

    Her keys are in that bag. The office is closed by now. She goes back anyway, feeling like a dork, and meets Mr. Durbin halfway. Janie thinks fast. Knows what she needs to do. She struggles to get over the creep factor. And then she turns and heads down the hallway, taking long, loose strides. When she rounds the corner, she glances over her shoulder at him. She waves and disappears. Calls her cell phone. Tells her about her hunch. Now I want you to research. A high-school statewide competition that Fieldridge sends a team to?

    Something like that? Yeah, I think so. There must be. If there is one, and this Durbin goes to it, I want you to sign up. Can you? Not yet. Oh, and Janie? You hear me? Stop by after school.

    It already makes me ill, knowing that creep is hitting on other high-school girls, much less you. She swallows. Janie blinks her tears away. She jiggles her keys, trying to find the right one, and he opens the door. She looks up at him. The one where a much younger, much happier mother flies through a psychedelic tunnel of flashing, spinning, colored lights, holding hands with the hippie who looks like Jesus Christ.

    Their sunglasses reflect the dizzying stripes, making it even harder for Janie to stop the vertigo. This dream always makes Janie sick to her stomach.

    What's her stupid mother doing sleeping in the living room, anyway? But Janie is curious. She tries to focus. She peers at the man in the dream as she floats alongside the oblivious pair. Janie's mother could see Janie, if only she looked. But she never does. The man can't see her, of course. It's not his dream. Janie wishes she could get him to take off his sunglasses.

    She wants to see his face. Wonders if his eyes are brown like hers. She can never focus her attention in one place for long, though, with all the spinning colors. Abruptly the dream changes. The hippie man fades, and Janie's mother stands in a line of people that stretches on for what seems like miles.

    Her shoulders curl over, worn, like thin pages in a well-read book. Her face is grim, set. She's holding — jiggling — a screaming, red-faced baby. Not this again. Janie doesn't want to watch anymore — she hates this part. Hates it. She gathers all her strength and concentrates.

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