The Healing Place
an older kid to play with for a change. The babies Mrs. Perkins took care of were cute, but they cried a lot and got on Angie’s nerves sometimes. And Carla didn’t run away, fearing Angie was “diseased.”
    Carla huffed. “My mom and dad are divorced, too.”
    Concentrating on the game, Angie pressed her tongue against the roof of her mouth as their cars raced down the pretend track on the television screen. She worked on making her car dodge obstacles that magically appeared in her path as she tried to reach the finish line before Carla’s car.
    “Really?” Angie asked.
    “Yep.” Carla also stared at the screen. “But then my mom started dating again, and now she’s remarried.”
    “Do you live with your dad?”
    “Nope. I’m with my mom most of the time. But I spend Christmas and six weeks every summer with my dad. I like coming to Reno because I get to see my grandma.”
    “I live with my dad.” It was nice to find another kid like her. Most of the kids at church didn’t have divorced parents.
    “When’s he gonna get remarried?” Carla asked.
    “I don’t know.” Angie forced her gaze to remain on the screen.
    “Is he dating anyone, yet?”
    Angie glanced at Carla. “No. But I think my mom will come home soon.”
    “Pow! Game over.” Carla burst out laughing as she drove Angie’s car off the side of the road.
    “Hey, no fair. Let’s go again.”
    “Okay,” Carla agreed.
    “Hey, you two,” Mrs. Perkins called from the doorway. “Lunch in five minutes.”
    “What is it today?” Carla called without looking up.
    “Chicken strips, string beans, apple slices and cheese sticks.”
    “Yum! Chicken strips. My favorite.” Carla licked her lips with delight.
    Angie remained silent. Macaroni and cheese was her favorite, but even that didn’t tempt her anymore. Since she got sick, she didn’t even like chocolate-chip ice cream much and she hated the taste of toothpaste. Dad said it was because of the chemo. Everything was because of the chemo.
    Mrs. Perkins went back into the kitchen and Carla blurted, “You know your mom’s not coming back, right? They never do.”
    Angie frowned, not liking the sound of that. “But you live with your mom and see her all the time.”
    Carla shrugged. “Yeah, but we moved to Nebraska and she flies me here to visit Dad. After a while, she got remarried, and so did my dad. Now, my new stepmom’s gonna have a baby pretty soon.”
    Angie’s mouth dropped open. “A baby? You mean, like all the babies here in your grandma’s house?”
    Carla took that opportunity to surge her car ahead of Angie’s. It was no use. Carla had a lot more practice at playing this video game.
    “Of course, silly. What kind of baby did you think I meant? It won’t be like a puppy or a kitty, and this baby won’t belong to other people. It’ll be all mine.”
    Now that idea appealed to Angie. A little brother all her very own. He wouldn’t ever leave her and he wouldn’t ever cry because she’d take good care of him and make him happy.
    “Wham! I got you again.” Carla whooped with glee.
    Angie dropped her game control and scooted away to rest her back against the edge of the couch. She didn’t care that Carla was better at Crash Car Racers. Right now, she wanted to know more about how to get a baby brother and a new mommy.
    “I’ve always wanted a little brother,” Angie confided.
    “You know your dad has to get married first, right?”
    No, she hadn’t really thought about that, but she wasn’t about to confess it to someone as grown up as Carla. “Sure, I know that.”
    Carla rolled onto the carpet, lying on her stomach as she propped her chin on her hands. “So, who have you got lined up as a potential mom?”
    “I want my old mom back.”
    “Look, divorced people don’t get back together,” Carla lectured. “They just date other people. Your mom left you, so move on.”
    “But what if my dad gets remarried and my new mom moves on, too?” The thought

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