‘That’s not my point. You didn’t go to your room.’
I look at Lily. I don’t understand the importance of rehashing an argument. So I didn’t go to my room? It’s over and done with. It was in the past. I can’t change what happened when—
‘You didn’t go to your room, Jenna,’ she repeats.
Okay. I didn’t go—
The greenhouse spins.
Go to your room, Jenna. And I did. Compelled … even when I had a desperate need to do something else. Go to your room, Jenna. And I did.
Claire commands and it happens.
I look at Lily. My mouth opens, but I can’t form any words.
‘I’m sorry,’ she says. ‘But I’m not sorry I told you. It just isn’t right.’
Mother is sitting at the Netbook when I enter the kitchen. ‘Good morning,’ she says. ‘You’re up early.’
I smile. A smile that I guess must not be too different from Dane’s. One that only hovers near my mouth and has no connection to anything within. ‘I didn’t want to miss Father when he calls,’ I say cheerfully.
Lily lowers her newspaper and looks at me.
‘He hasn’t called yet,’ Mother says, barely looking up from what she is reading. ‘I’m glad you’ll be able to talk to him. You went to bed so early last night. I was a little worried.’
nbsp; ‘Because I went to my room? That’s nothing to be afraid of. Do you think it is, Lily?’
‘I think it’s time for me to go.’ She folds up her paper and stands, taking her coffee with her. ‘I have things I want to get an early start on.’
‘I don’t blame you,’ I say. ‘I’d get the hell out of here, too.’
Mother looks up.
I smile and tilt my head. ‘I mean, why sit around, when it’s a perfectly beautiful day?’
Her brow wrinkles. ‘You all right?’
‘Perfect.’ Another smile. ‘Let me know when Father calls,’ I say as I cross the kitchen. Lily is already out the door. Mother returns to her reading, and I open a kitchen cupboard and survey its contents. White plates, cups, bowls. I remove a stack of plates and set them on the island counter that is in full view of the Netbook. I lay them out one by one along the edge of the counter, rim to rim so they are like a giant pearl necklace.
The Netbook buzzes and Mother clicks Father on through. They share greetings. Father calls to me.
‘Good morning, Father,’ I answer.
Mother has turned and noticed the necklace of plates. I put my finger on the edge of the first plate. They both watch, confused, and before they can say anything, I press down on the lip and the plate flips and crashes to the floor.
‘Jenna!’ Mother says, jumping up from her chair.
‘Do you have something you want to say, Mother?’ I put my finger to the next plate and send it shattering to the floor as well. Father jumps in, yelling my name, and a string of other warnings that are drowned out by the third plate crashing to the floor.
‘What is the matter with you? Stop that!’ Mother yells. Father echoes similar warnings.
‘Isn’t there something else you want to say?’ My finger is poised over the fourth plate.
I begin to bring it down, and Mother yells out, ‘Go to your room, Jenna!’