Chapter 13

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Liv returns with my mom and Natalie is in tears. My mom helps the boys dispose of the body while Liv and I work on consoling Natalie.

"How is your mom alive?" She asks.

"It's a very long story," I say. "But you can't tell anybody. Having her here helps all of us, including you."

"Are your parents alive?" She asks Liv.

Liv shakes her head.

"What about Kyle's?" She inquired. "Or Danny's?"

"No," I frown.

"Well, what about your dad?" She asks.

"I don't know," I say. "That's a long story, too."

"Well, why is it your mom that's alive?" She yells. "Why is that fair?"

"I didn't say it was," I say quietly. "I don't know why that had to happen to everyone else's parents. All I know is my mom is okay and she's able to help us through this."

Natalie is silent as my mom and the boys come back in.

"How are you doing?" My mom sits next to Natalie, giving her leg a small squeeze.

Natalie shoots her a glare.

"Can I have a minute with her?" My mom asks.

"We'll be outside," I say.

"Are we sure this was a good idea?" Liv asks once the door is closed behind the four of us.

"No," I shake my head. "But did anyone have anything better?"

"Okay, true," she admits.

"What if she says something about your mom being alive?" Danny points out.

I take a deep breath.

I had just assumed she wouldn't, that she'd be okay with this.

"I guess she'll have to start staying with us so that she can't say anything," Kyle shrugs.

"I don't think that's very smart," Liv says.

"Why?" I ask.

"She clearly hates your mom, so letting her stay with us gives her the opportunity to hurt someone," Liv explains.

"I don't think she would," I say.

"She might," Danny says. "It's Natalie."

"I don't know," Kyle says warily.

I see something in the street out of the corner of my eye, tuning out of the conversation and slightly turning my head. A man is staring at us. He looks to be around twenty or so.

"Guys," I say quietly.

They ignore me, still settling the dispute.

"Guys," I say a little louder. "Look."

They turn and face the road, seeing the man.

"How long has he been there?" Liv asks.

"Couple minutes, probably," I guess.

He begins to walk toward us, something in his hand.

"Hello!" He calls.

"Can we help you?" Kyle asks, stepping forward.

"I hope so," he smiles. "I've been looking for a group of teens all day."

"Okay," Kyle says. "You found one."

"This was given to me to give to, hopefully, you," he explains.

"By who?" I question.

"Your guess is as good as mine," he shrugs. "It was slid under my door this morning with a second note. It said to bring this note to a group of teens, two boys and two girls, in this neighborhood. I'm assuming you're that group."

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