“I’ve already enrolled her in school. I’ve also slipped in an envelope that has money and

a letter to her in her suitcase. I can’t bear to tell her now.”

Sara hugged Kristy and told her she’d return in six months.

“Why can’t I stay with my friend Holly in LA?” Kristy whined.

“Your friend isn’t an adult. She is,” Sara said pointing to Lisa.

Kristy gave her mother a hug. She looked at Lisa then shook her head. “Thanks, you’re

an angel, sis.”

Lisa had a queasy feeling as she watched her sister descend into the darkness. Like she

wasn’t coming back. Thunder boomed overhead, off in the distance, approaching fast.

Lisa put Kristy in the bedroom upstairs in her painting room. “That’s a nice painting,”

Kristy said.

“Thanks,” Lisa said while cleaning up her paintbrushes. “Why does my mom have to go

out of town for her drug treatment?” Kristy asked putting her purse down.

“Because New York has the best drug program,” Lisa said, unfolding the couch into a

bed; she then put Kristy’s suitcase on it.

Kristy stared at a framed picture on the dresser of the two sisters. “Were you close?”

“Not really. She moved out with our father at sixteen when I was seven.” She coughed.

“Well, everything in this room is yours.”

“Can I take a shower?”

“Of course. It’s your pl—place too,” Lisa replied, swallowing. “Just don’t touch the

paintings or supplies, please.”

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