The Evolution of Mara Dyer

Author: P Hana

Page 66

   

None that I’m going to tell you about.

“Nightmares?”

None that I’m going to share.

Dr. Kells leaned forward. “Nothing unusual at all?”

“Nope,” I said, smiling. “Completely normal.” A complete lie.

“And what about being here at Horizons? How do you like our program?”

“Well,” I said, feigning thoughtfulness, “I really like Art Therapy.”

“That’s wonderful, Mara. Have you been writing in your journal?”

The journal I couldn’t even remember receiving? Admitting that meant admitting to losing time. Blacking out. Big red flags that I Am Not Okay. I might as well tattoo my forehead with the words INSTITUTIONALIZE ME.

So I told Dr. Kells it was lost. Normal people lose things all the time. No big.

“Have you been more forgetful lately?” she asked.

“No,” I said, acting surprised by the question.

“Well, some of the medications could be responsible for that. I want you to pay attention and see if there’s anything else like that that you’ve noticed.” She pushed her glasses up on her nose. “Even if you don’t think something is important. I think maybe I will adjust some of your dosages,” she said, writing that down on her notepad. “What about emotionally?”

“What do you mean?”

“How are you getting along with the other students?”

“Good.”

Dr. Kells leaned back in her chair and crossed her legs; her nude pantyhose crinkled over her knees like a second, artificial skin. “How about Phoebe?”

So that was where this line of questioning was going. I sighed. “I wouldn’t say we’re friends.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Does Phoebe have any friends?” I asked her.

“Well, Mara, I’m more interested in hearing why you and she don’t get along.”

“Because she’s certifiably insane. And she’s a liar.”

“It seems like you don’t like her very much.”

I rubbed my chin. “That’s pretty accurate, yes.”

“Phoebe said you threatened her.”

“She said I threatened her?” I told Dr. Kells about the sinister I see you note Phoebe left in my bag, but, “I’ll have a talk with her,” was all Dr. Kells said.

Then she asked, “How about Adam?”

I shifted uncomfortably. I couldn’t stand him, either.

“Have you made any friends here, Mara?”

The air conditioning clicked on as the silence stretched out. “Jamie,” I suggested.

“You two knew each other from Croyden, right?”

“Yeah . . .”

“How about Tara?”

Who the heck was Tara?

“Megan?” Dr. Kells asked hopefully.

Megan. Megan of the bizarre phobias. We’d barely spoken to each other, but when I saw her I said hello—I decided to nod in response to Dr. Kells’s question, and tossed out Stella’s name for good measure. Dr. Kells didn’t seem particularly impressed.

“All right,” she said then, and waved her hand at her office door. “You’re free to go. Let’s talk again before the retreat.”

“Actually,” I said, drawing out the word. “I might not be going.” I tried not to sound smug.

“That’s too bad.” Dr. Kells looked disappointed. “Our students tend to find it rewarding. Maybe you’ll join us on the next one?”

“Definitely,” I said before grabbing my bag, thanking her for the chat, and making my escape.

It would have been nice if Anna’s death and Phoebe’s fingernails had been the worst parts of my day.

Dad drove me home and the house was quiet when we reached it—school had started again for Daniel and Joseph, and they weren’t home yet. Mom was probably still working. With Noah in Rhode Island until tomorrow, I found myself confined in the house with nothing to do.

So I settled on research. I passed my grandmother’s portrait in the hallway on the way to my room and resolved to give New Theories in Genetics the old college try, as Daniel had said. Six hundred pages be damned.

But it wasn’t on my bookshelf.

Or in my closet.

I started taking down boxes from my closet shelves, wondering if maybe I put it in one of them to keep it safe and just didn’t remember. But even after I emptied their contents on the floor, nothing.

I grew increasingly frantic until I remembered that the last time I saw it was in the family room before the carnival, and that before I left it there, Daniel insisted on borrowing it. It was probably just in his room. I felt a little relieved and a little crazy for freaking out. Normal people forget things like that all the time.

I went into Daniel’s room and scanned his shelves; there were some books missing from one, leaving the remaining spines slanted against one another at a sharp angle.

I wouldn’t have noticed the composition notebook otherwise. Wouldn’t have noticed the fact that my handwriting was on the front cover. Spelling out my name.

The notebook was completely, utterly unfamiliar to me, and the realization etched my mind with fear.

I remembered Brooke’s words:

“Mara, where’s your journal?”

“I never got a journal.”

“Of course you did. On your first day, don’t you remember?”

I didn’t, but now I was looking right at it. I opened it up.

There was nothing on the first page, and I almost felt relief.

But then I flipped it over.

Panic rushed in, tidal and fierce and tugging me away. My knees almost buckled beneath me. I sat on Daniel’s bed, folding into myself as I stared.

Each line on the second page was filled with words. Hundreds of words on thirteen lines, arranged into the briefest of sentences.

Help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me help me

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