I flipped through the book and stopped at a random page, this turned out to be page 201.
It wasn’t until he started walking again that Scarlet released a captured breath. They’d been walking for hours without sign of another train, a cross-section of tracks, or civilization. On one hand, it was beautiful here – the fresh air, the wildflowers, the critters that came to the edge of the brush to watch Scarlet and Wolf before scurrying back into the ferns.
But on the other hand, her feet and back were sore, her stomach was growling, and now Wolf was telling her that the less loveable creatures of the forest were prowling nearby.
Nobody responds. I think it’s a mistake, a wrong number or a robot, but then I hear the faintest, most distant street noise.
“Who is this?” I say. I’m still holding the baby picture in my other hand and all of the sudden the two things seem connected. I know that’s silly. I know it’s late and I’m scared and my mind is playing weird tricks on me. But I have this sense, this knowledge I can feel all over my body, deep in my bones, that I’m right. That this phone call means something. That the silent person at the end of the lin is trying to tell me something by not saying anything at all.
“Mom?” I whisper.
Whoever it is hangs up.
The trip to Mars was the hardest thing they’d ever experienced. That’s what the grown-ups said. The small, cramped ship. The constant fear of something going wrong. The knowledge that they could never return to Earth.
But honestly, it sounded like a cakewalk compared to sharing a bedroom with Albie.
Because he snored.