Grasping at Eternity (The Kindrily)

Free Grasping at Eternity (The Kindrily) by Karen Amanda Hooper

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Authors: Karen Amanda Hooper
his shoulder—the number twelve surrounded by linking circles.
    “What’s your tattoo mean?” I asked.
    “Oh, uhh.” He looked over his shoulder then at Faith. “My soccer number is twelve.”
    “And the rings?”
    He smiled. “They represent an unbreakable bond.”
    Kind of odd someone would love their soccer team that much, but who was I to judge?
    Faith wrapped her arms around Shiloh’s waist and said something in a foreign language. He answered in the same sort of incomprehensible words.
    “What language is that?” I asked.
    “Duh,” Carson said. “Japanese.”
    “You both know how to speak Japanese?”
    “Just a little,” Shiloh replied, holding his thumb and index finger close together.
    “We should get going.” Faith giggled. “Dakota, you want a ride?”
    “Nah,” he replied. “I’m spending the night here so I can beat Carson at his new video game.”
    Krista and I said goodbye to Faith and Shiloh, then ended up following Carson and Dakota toward the game room.
    Carson stopped short and I ran into his back. “Where do you think you’re going?”
    Yet another awkward hallway encounter with Carson. “To the guest room.”
    He pointed down the hall. “No, we fixed yours today. No more guest room for you two.”
    No way could they repair that much fire and water damage in one day. After he and Dakota walked away, Krista and I headed for our original room.
    I took a few weary steps toward the door. “He’s messing with us, right?”
    Krista shrugged.  
    I squinted, like that would make the scene easier to look at, and pushed the door open. “What the—?”

MOVING AWAY BUT GETTING CLOSER
     
    Maryah
     
    Everything looked exactly like it did before the fire. The same tree branch bed posts, same linens, even the dream catcher looked identical to the one that hung there before. No scorched floors or ceiling. No water damage or smoke smell.
    “How?” I asked Krista.
    “They work fast.”
    “It doesn’t make sense.”
    “It’s a big family. They must have pulled together and worked all day. They’re trying hard to make you feel comfortable and happy here. It’s sweet.”
    Another hint that she wanted me to live with the Lunas. I’d always believed that Krista and I were inseparable, but ever since we arrived in Sedona, it felt like she was pushing me away. Only one way to be sure.
    “I’ve decided I’m staying.”
    And there it was. A gleam in her eye. “You are? You’re sure?”
    I hesitated, not sure whatsoever. “It’ll be a fresh start.”
    She actually smiled—a huge, blinding, so-relieved-to-be-ditching-my-zombie-cousin smile. “I am so jealous. I mean, I’m sad we’ll be so far apart, but I know you’ll feel much better here.”
    Sad? She was so far from sad she’d need a GPS to find it. I’d never seen her look happier. I didn’t know whether to cry or yell at her for being so heartless.
    “Oh, Pudding, this is going to be your healing place. I just know it. I’ll explain everything to my mom and dad so they understand. And I’ll make sure all your stuff gets packed and shipped to you.”
    She didn’t even want me flying home with her to pack my stuff! I couldn’t open my mouth or I was certain I’d cry or scream, so I just nodded.
    “You should go tell Louise. She’ll be thrilled.”
    Go tell Louise. What if Louise didn’t want me either? What if she was being nice and hospitable out of respect for my mother, but never expected me to actually move into her home?
    A headache unfurled at the base of my neck. I sucked in air, realizing I hadn’t taken a breath in at least fifty sprinting heartbeats. What if no one wanted me?
     
    ∞
     
    I found Louise in the library, working on her laptop. I knocked on the doorframe before entering. “Hi.”
    “Hello.” She stopped typing and folded her screen down. Her silver bracelets clinked together initiating a long moment of us silently staring at each other until finally, “Carson told me you watched one of

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