“Welcome to Misty Valley!” Ms. Webster called, smiling. Her face looked pleasant now, wholesomely weathered. Her eyes were calm, sane. The streaky black makeup, the tears, the skull smile were all gone. She might have been a totally different person, except Ollie recognized her long amber-honey braid.
Henry calls me at 12:01 the night before homecoming. Or technically – and assuming the alarm clock I knock off my nightstand once a day is even in the right time zone – the morning of homecoming.
“Cleveland. I need you. Put some pants on.”
I pause the third episode in my Air Crash Investigation marathon. I’m supposed to be writing the world’s most uninteresting article for The Lion Ledger, our school paper, but literal fiery death is better than forcing myself to care about city council elections. “Who says I’m not wearing pants?”
“Come on. I know you’re not.”
I dangle one hand off the bed, snag a pair of black-and-white cow-print pajama bottoms, and wrestle into them. “I totally am.”
“You are now.”