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400 pages, ebook
First published December 26, 2017
“You know, you’re the only person I can sit still with.” “What do you mean?” “I mean, I like to be in motion. I get antsy when I’m doing nothing. But you’re so good at it that I don’t mind it at all.”
Grandpa went straight to the kitchen sink when he walked in the door and began scrubbing his hands with soap and water. “Is everything all right?"
Okay, maybe I needed to work on my tone when making announcements. “Well, there wasn’t an earthquake,” I said.
“Am I supposed to get that reference? Is that a young-person phrase for something earthmoving? Has your earth moved, Abby?” He turned off the water and dried his hands on the towel hanging on the oven.
On the bright side, this wasn’t a feeling I purposefully had very often. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt this amount of sheer panic. Or this amount of hatred toward Cooper. So maybe this would help me paint emotion.
The door opened wider with a squeak. “Hey, you feeling better?”
“Physically? Yes.” I could tell my fever was gone and the headache I’d had for the last couple of days was gone with it. But anger still glowed in my chest like an evil that needed to be exorcised.
He sat down on the yellow-and-white-striped towel on my right side and handed me the bottle of water.
“What’s this garbage? I want caffeine.”
“Just yesterday you told me you were giving up soda. You said it quite dramatically, in fact. And then you said, keep me honest, Cooper.”
“What?” Rachel asked from my left side.
“You had forty-four ounces of Mountain Dew at my house last night.”
“Shhhhh.” I pressed my finger against her lips. “We’re not talking about that.”
Cooper scoffed and Rachel pushed my hand away.
“And it’s not even the Fourth of July,” I said, quieter this time.
“Barely two weeks. Imagine how booked they are for that day.”
“Would you rather have to listen to only quartets for the rest of your life or screeching cats?”
“That’s a hard one. But quartets, I think. Unless they can only sing patriotic songs. Then the cats.”
Four thirty in the morning. You owe me.
That’s why I brought you doughnuts. I owe you nothing.
He sent me back the pile of poop emoji and I laughed.
I smiled and stole one of his fries.
His face went serious. “Don’t eat my fries, Abby. You said you didn’t want any fries, and I said, you’re going to steal mine if you don’t get your own, and you said, no I won’t.”
“Are you reenacting a conversation that happened five minutes ago?”
“Yes, because you seem to have forgotten it.”