Chapter Thirty: They Know

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"Thou shalt not try me."

Mood 24:7


It's hard for me to hide my emotions. I'm used to raging or storming around or slamming things down to show my anger or disappointment

But I can't do that. Not now. I don't want the girls to ask what's wrong.

I don't want to tell them that Aimee's coming back in four days. Not yet.

"Movie night is officially declared," I say as I come back downstairs, where Eloise already has the eggrolls on the table.

"What did Mom say?" Eloise asks, biting her lip nervously.

I wave my hand around. "Just a bunch of sappy stuff about how great her kids are and how amazing they are in school and blah, blah, blah." I roll my eyes.

"What kind of movie?" Jemma asks, reaching for an eggroll, but being stopped with a slap on the hand from Eloise.

"Whatever you guys want!" I say, hoping I don't sound too strained.

"Another dolphin show?" Dusty yawns as she comes into the kitchen, her fine brown hair like a giant static ball framing her head.

"No, seriously, whatever you want."

After thirty minutes of back-and-forth, they finally decide on Evan Almighty, of all movies.

As I sit on the couch with Dusty curled up against my chest, Eloise and Jemma leaning into me on either side, I can't help the silent tears that gather in my eyes. I'm glad it's dark in here so they can't see.

What will I do without them around?

I still only have two days a week at Red Ribbon's, so I'll have to find another job. Will I see Barb and Janet? And what about Finn?

My heart sinks a little further. He's always so busy at the school. I know he'd take the time to see me, but still. I liked being with him in the classroom. He was at home there, so I felt like it was home too.

And my home, this house, wasn't going to exist anymore. The thought makes me sniffle.

"What's wrong, Aunt Bev?" Dusty murmurs, turning her big hazel eyes up at me.

"It's just, um, it's sad that no one believes Evan when he tells them that the rain's coming," I said.

"I think they deserve to die," Dusty deadpans.

I sigh. "Dusty, you're a psychopath."

When the movie ends, Jemma turns it off and immediately asks for dessert.

"Ice cream!" Dusty shouts.

"Uh, wait just a minute, girls," I say, trying to ignore the hollow pit in my stomach. I can't wait any longer.

"Are you and Mr. Watson getting married?" Dusty gasps, jumping off my lap to clap her hands.

"What? No!"

"Are you getting arrested for tax evasion?" Jemma suggests.

"Why would you even think that?"

"I dunno, I just learned about it in school."

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