I leave the warmth of my mom, and enter the furnace. Elaina. If she was a glacier last night, today she’s a burning beacon of resentment. Her anger-and-gasoline-soaked eyes follow me from my front door to the van, and I can almost feel my rib cage incinerate.
The drive to Barefoot Meadows is never-ending with Elaina’s kerosene stare in the flip-down mirror burning a hole in my heart.
Sometime in the next millennium, Harrison pulls beneath the same group of Elm trees, turns off the ignition, and swings his seat around. “Before we begin, let’s lay some ground rules—“
“What rules?” I ask, feeling like a coyote-cornered rabbit. Right now, everything in my life is controlled by something I don’t understand. The last thing I need is more rules.
A flash of pink fingernails whips through a fiery red mane, and Elaina swings her chair to face me. “Stop interrupting. Why do you have to be such a jerk?”
“Why do you have to be such a fake?” I know. But the words slither out before I can stop them.
Joost stifles a laugh.
“Fake?” Elaina’s emerald eyes squint at me, and the temperature in the van drops to sub-zero. “Dad, I refuse to work with anyone whose IQ is—“
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