Sometimes we stop and remember that we are just one person among billions. And sometimes, that invisibility is a good thing.
Sunday morning. Get up. Do exercises. I’m looking good!
Alina goes fishing in the park.
“I want a red herring. I want a red herring!”
The repo man shows up again. He has some choice thoughts about Alina’s gardening.
I guess no one paid the bills again. Just when I though things were getting better around here.
Gotta get out. I’ll stroll downtown. Wonder what I’ll find.
I stumble into a crowd at city hall, protesting the recent string of
I think I’m in trouble.
Look Right Through Me
Rally. Downtown. With cops. Protesting crime.
And I’m in the middle of it.
I take a look at a sign. It looks an awful lot like my mask. There’s no way I don’t stand out here, and it’s too late to slip quietly away.
I have to do something radical.
I’m so nervous I’m shaking. I take a deep breath.
“Who would do such a thing!”
“Who would steal from innocent people? Catch this criminal!”
I’m starting to get into this.
“We’re supposed to be free. Where’s our freedom from crime?”
“Make Sunset Valley a safe place for our children!”
This is actually fun!
I recognize the cop in charge of all this. It’s Hank Goddard, the guy I robbed as a little kid.
I wonder how much he knows.
“So, Hank? I’m worried about this robber. What should I know?”
“We don’t have much info. We don’t even have a description. Just keep your eyes open for anyone acting suspiciously, okay?”
“Thanks Hank. You’re a great cop!” I’ve pulled it off ! And the crowd’s winding down now.
“Hmm, this book ‘Time Spy’ is wonderful!”
They’ve all gone on to other things. It’s time for me to leave.
I swing by home. Kimmo and Alina are just sitting in front of the TV. I’ve never seen anyone so invested in the GARDENING CHANNEL!
Still on a high from this afternoon, I head over to Sam’s. I can hear my own house from across the street.
(“They put the veggies in the salad!” “Noooo!”)
Whew. I am exhausted. And hungry!
Surely no one will mind if I-
“Stop!” “Dani, don’t do that!”
Sam sits down in the chair across from me. I figure he wants to chat, but instead he pulls out a remote and turns the TV on.
Geez, it’s just a piece of toast!
I mean, maybe I shouldn’t have taken it but – it’s soooooo good!
Sam finally turns to look at me.
“Dani, just ask next time, okay? Money’s been tight lately.”
Yeah Sam, well money’s going to get a lot tighter.
There’s stuff in this bedroom I haven’t stolen yet!
I go back downstairs to find Leighton fussing at Sam. I think he’s telling him to exercise more. I feel kinda sorry for him.
I feel bad for getting upset earlier. I holler from outside, “Night Sam! Thanks for the bread and jam!” Just seeing him puts me in a good mood.
I have happy dreams. For a few hours, I’m the best thief in the whole world.
“Who’s a good little red herring? You are Marci! You are!”
“Goodnight little fish.”
“Blebleble! Booga booga! Goodnight, you silly clown you!”
Monday morning! It’s my first day of high school. It’s a ready-made excuse to get out of this house.
“Hello? Boss? … An opportunity? … You’d like me to find out everything I can about Miraj Alvi? Can do!”
“An opportunity? You say there’s big money in a biography of Nicholas Sweet? I’ll get right on it!”
“…Soon as I finish reading this book…”
After school, I get invited to Juan Keaton’s house. This is so easy it feels like a joke.
Juan sits outside to do his homework. It’s too light to nab anything now, so I do some homework too.
Then Juan’s mom comes home.
Figures. She’s another cop.
“This book ‘Time Spy’ is the best book ever!”
I’m only half done. But between the homework and the stress of sitting across from a cop, I just can’t take it anymore.
Juan’s mom turns to shake my hand.
“Justine Keaton. You must be Juan’s friend! It’s so nice to meet you!”
“So you’re in law enforcement? Very smart of you!”
Not smart enough to catch me though! I sneak away into an upstairs bedroom.
It’s…sparse. Come to think of it, this whole house is really sparse.
The Keaton’s must not make that much money.
Not like that will stop me!
I’m still so stressed. I need to go home and relax and finish my homework.
“Don’t leave yet Dani! Mom’s just started dinner.”
“Okay.” Yeah, I can stay for a home-cooked meal.
Mmm, it’s…unevenly cooked. And it gives me a slight bellyache. But the Keaton’s have been really nice to me, and I feel good.
I run home. Gotta finish my homework!
But I’m sooo tired.
I’ll just need to relax for a bit first and…
“Have you read the Time Spy, Dani? This is the best book ever! I can’t put it down! It’s so thrilling and…”
Oh, high school is gonna be hard.
Next: Chapter 7