“No, Amelia. You…are not her,” he whispers. As tears ripple from her eyes, Navid looks down and sees blood dripping from her hand. Her entire body is shaking. He carefully takes the glass away and picks her up. Once they get back to her room, he wraps her hand with a cloth bandage.
Later that night, she finds herself lying in bed and staring at the ceiling. The moon has lit up her room, almost as if it were afraid for her to be in the dark. Thinking about the unfortunate events that have taken place the past few months makes her feel like she’s acting in a horror film, except there’s no “Cut!” at the end. “Good night, Mom and Dad,” she whispers.
She pulls the covers over her face and gladly closes her eyes. Dreaming is such a joy when her reality has become the nightmare. Another dream about Roland invades her subconscious. His face is as clear as day. The blood, the burial, and the entire scene are much more vivid. But the dream always ends the same way, with her reaching for the cactus with the pink flower. She still doesn’t understand what it means.
On Friday, Amelia is happy the weekend has come and is relieved that things around the house have been really quiet. Leona hasn’t had a lot to say to her since she almost killed her, and Eli and Navid have been staying out of sight. Mr. Wilkers kept his word and came over to make sure she was fine. She thinks he suspects something because he told her he saw the brownies on the counter before he left and asked for one but Leona told him they weren’t a good batch and needed to be thrown away. Even though it’s a risk, Amelia is glad he believed her, and at least now she has a witness in case something else happens. Not that it matters because Leona always gets away with murder—literally.
“What am I going to do today?” Amelia wonders aloud. She contemplates asking Leona to let her go shopping with Eli and Navid. She gets dressed and runs downstairs, but once again they’ve left her all alone. She peeps out the window and sees an empty driveway. “They keep leaving me here like a prisoner!” she yells as she slams on the couch and mopes. Then suddenly Leona walks inside with Brady right behind her. She internally gags at the realization that they’re still going strong. When Leona sets eyes on her, she rolls her eyes and smacks her teeth.
“What are you doing, Amelia? Don’t you have something to do?” she snaps.
“Well, I wanted to go into town and do some shopping with my birthday money. Where are Eli and Navid?”
Leona puts her hands on her hips. “I told them to go look for jobs. The summer’s almost over and they need to find work.” That’s right. That also means school is just around the corner. I need to get registered for junior year. She’s still furious at Leona for yanking her out of school and having to hustle to finish sophomore year, and poor Navid graduated without the chance to walk the stage with his class.
“Brady, I’m going to go and change and then we can go for that walk,” Leona declares with a smile.
He sits on the couch across from Amelia and quietly waits for Leona to freshen up. Amelia gathers that he’s very smart and gives off a good vibe. She holds back a laugh when she thinks about what Eli and Navid said about the thickness of his glasses. What’s he doing with Ms. Stupid? I don’t know what he sees in her, but more power to him. She gets up and heads for the stairs when he whispers politely, “Amelia, how are things going? I mean do you like it here?”