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104 18 ~ Pippa Pippa closed the door behind Gina and leaned against it until the lock clicked. A hoot, that’s what Ma would have called Gina, with her shiny red lipstick and fur collar and big chobble. Ma wouldn’t have meant any disrespect, just that she was different, in a quirky way. Of course, back home Ma would have never had the opportunity to know Gina as a person, hoot or no. The deep brown of Gina’s skin made Pippa ache for Tian. Gina was darker than him, lighter than Delmar. Isis loved all her children, and they weren’t supposed to notice skin color. But she couldn’t help wondering what Abby’s cocoa skin tone would have grown into as an adult. And worrying that having a white mother and a black father would bring her trouble. Ma used to say that being a mother was ninetenths worry. Pippa couldn’t imagine the worry of having a kid with a shunt. Gina said she’d let her know what happened with Zoe, but Pippa couldn’t just sit around and wait for news. She dumped the tea leaves into the compost bucket on the counter, and rinsed out the teapot. It was probably crazy, but maybe just a quick trip to the hospital, to meet this kid Emily loved and find out for herself what was happening. Perhaps she could even help Sam, keep him company since his family was in Maine. There was no one around to try to stop her. Francie was sleeping. Marshall and the twins were out on a home school expedition, not expected back until dinnertime. Liz and Adele were working at the Tea Room, where Pippa was supposed to join them in less than an hour. She knew without asking what they all would say. No way could she ask Francie about this, not since she’d turned all ice-princess remote. Pippa shivered with aloneness. She dried her hands on the dishtowel and wandered into the living room. Isis’ expression was stern, like she didn’t approve either. Maybe in her own way Isis was as rule-bound as Emily. Ellen Meeropol ~ 105 Tian didn’t have any problems with thumbing his nose at authority. He taught them that they didn’t have to follow the rules of society that were wrong-headed, or didn’t apply to them. But he also taught that they should rely only on each other, didn’t need to go looking for anything outside the Pioneer Street family. And look at him, always talking about his new buddy, that bald guard down at the jail. It didn’t make sense, trusting a guard that much, but maybe even Tian needed a little help from the outside once in a while. Rely on yourself, Pippa. Think about this logically. She paced back and forth in front of the Isis painting, stroking soft spirals on her belly. Relax, little one, she whispered . Don’t stress out with my worries. The way she understood the house arrest system, nothing bad would happen if she left the house at the regular time, but instead of taking the bus to the X, took the North End route instead. She could safely visit Zoe at the Children’s Hospital as long as she got home in time, before the ankle monitor could register anything out of the ordinary. She glanced up at Isis for confirmation , but the half-smile on the goddess’s face didn’t change. For the first time, Isis’s expression looked almost like a smirk. She scrawled a message on the chalkboard on the wall next to the telephone: Something came up. Home by dinnertime. When she called the Tea Room, she was grateful no one answered; hopefully that meant they were busy. She left the same message on voicemail, adding at the end, “Don’t worry. Everything’s fine.” Adele would be pissed off; she would probably have to stay and help Liz serve customers. She would sulk for a day or so and then forget all about it. None of them would understand why Pippa wanted to visit some kid she didn’t know, why she cared about a court-assigned nurse. Pippa wasn’t sure she could explain it either, even if Adele or Liz did want to listen. Was it just because she needed Emily’s help, or was the nurse feeling like a friend? Whatever, she was going to...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781597094429
Related ISBN
9781597094993
MARC Record
OCLC
835770696
Pages
216
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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