[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]

“We didn’t have to swim,” Andy said.“A big wave came and
lifted us way up.” He reached his arms toward the sky.
Maggie whispered something again, her mouth moving
soundlessly.
I leaned my ear against her lips, “What, Maggie?” I asked.
She mouthed the words silently, then cleared her throat.“It
was Daddy,” she said.
Chapter Fifty-Four
Maggie
SOMEONE HELD MY HAND. I THOUGHT IT MIGHT be Daddy.
My lungs burned when I breathed in. Everything hurt, espe­
cially my neck, and I wanted to reach up and touch the place
that ached, but my arms were too heavy, and anyway, I didn’t
really care. My head seemed disconnected from the pain
somehow. If heaven existed, did it feel like this? Floating above
the pain, holding Daddy’s hand? I thought it probably did.
“She’s smiling,” a man’s voice said.
Uncle Marcus? I tried to open my eyes, but my eyelids were
as heavy as my arms.
“Maggie?” Mom. It was Mom’s hand holding mine.
I remembered the wave. I remembered losing Andy.
“Andy?” My eyelids flew open and I tried to sit up.
before the storm
441
“Whoa.” Uncle Marcus put his hands on my shoulders and
lowered me down again.
“Not so fast, sweetie,” Mom said.
I was in a strange white room. Mom was on my right, still
holding my hand; Uncle Marcus was on my left, running his
hand over my hair.
“I lost Andy,” I said. My voice was raspy, not like my voice at
all.
“Andy’s fine,” Mom said.
“I’m sorry!” I started to cry. “I lost him in the wave!”
“He’s fine, Mags,” Uncle Marcus said. “Don’t cry. He’ll
come see you later.”
My neck hurt. The pain cut through the floaty feeling in my
head. I felt sick to my stomach and swallowed once. Twice. I
was definitely not in heaven.
“You’re in Cape Fear Hospital,” Mom said. “You have a cut
on your neck. It probably hurts a lot.”
I nodded, my eyes shut. Andy was safe? Would they lie to
me about something like that?
“Does it hurt to breathe?” Mom asked.
“Yes,” I whispered.
“You’re going to be fine,” she said. “You and Andy were in­
credibly lucky.”
“Is Ben here?” I opened my eyes again, squinting from the
bright light in the room. I didn’t care who knew about Ben
now. I wanted him with me.
“No, Mags,” Uncle Marcus said. “Just your mom and me.”
“You said something about Daddy saving you,” Mom said.
“Helping you. What did you mean, sweetie?”
I closed my eyes again. I remembered the sense of calm I’d
442
diane chamberlain
felt as the wave lifted me high in the air, but I was awake
enough to know how crazy that would sound to Mom. How
crazy it sounded even to me. I’d keep it to myself.“I don’t know
what you’re talking about,” I said.
Mom hesitated, and I thought she wasn’t going to give up.
“Okay,” she said finally.
I suddenly remembered the whole reason I was there.“The
hearing!” I said, trying to sit up again. “Is it—”
“Postponed.” Mom held me down. “Don’t think about that
now.”
I remembered Andy in The Sea Tender, telling me he’d
gone outside to check for bugs during the lock-in.
“I need to talk to someone,” I said.
“What you need is rest.” Uncle Marcus rubbed my shoulder.
“No. No. I need to talk to Andy’s lawyer. No! To the police.
Right now.”
“You have a lot of pain medication in you,” Mom said. “It’s
not the time.”
“Yes, it’s time!” I insisted. “Yesterday was the time. Last week
was the time. Last month was the time.”
“Mags, what are you talking about?” Uncle Marcus asked.
I couldn’t tell them. They might stop me from doing what
I needed to do. What I should have done weeks ago.
“I’m awake,” I said. “I’m not out of it, and I need to talk to
the police now.” I looked from my mother’s face to Uncle
Marcus’s and saw their confusion. “Now,” I said again. “You’ve
got to let me. Before I chicken out. I need to tell them what
really happened.”
“What do you mean,‘what really happened’?” Mom asked.
She looked a thousand years old.“Did Andy tell you something?”
before the storm
443
She was scared. Was she afraid I’d reveal something that
would send Andy to prison for certain? I wondered if the
same fear would be there if she knew that I was the one who
was going to be locked up for good.
“You really should have a lawyer here,” Uncle Marcus said
for at least the tenth time, when Flip Cates finished reading me
the Miranda Warning. I knew he’d asked Flip to come instead [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]