Well, now you do, Annie snapped.
Casey shook her head. Im here until tomorrow afternoon.
Deal with it. Annie glared at her, then turned and stormed out
188 Build My World
of the back door, slamming it behind her. Casey looked at Emily.
Hey, Matty, dont you want to meet Mike? Casey asked.
Can he play ball?
Dan nodded toward the door. You want to play?
Sure, Michael answered. He followed Dan outside.
Casey heard Sams voice. Hes on my team. Hes tall!
She smiled and turned to her mother. Yo
her face. Okay. You go get Rebecca.
Matt was grading papers at the kitchen table when Annie
knocked on the back door. Casey. He was obviously surprised
to see her.
Rebecca Abbott Miller 191
Hey, Matt. I came to get Rebecca. Annie wanted to stay
Michael unlocked the door and swung it open. God, it's
good to be home, he exclaimed.
They stepped into the kitchen and dropped their suitcases on
the floor. He pressed the button on the answering machine to
210 Build My World
play back the messages from
Me, too, she said.
Casey handed Emily a dishtowel. Here, sweetie. Emily
bent down and began to wipe up the tea. Michael grabbed another towel from the kitchen
counter to help her. Casey went to
the back door and stepped out onto the patio. She watched her
Emily, do you have any idea how dangerous this little stunt
Emily shook her head. You know, Im going to get all this
when I get home. I dont need it here, too. She pushed her plate
So you think I shouldnt be upset? You not only worried
Casey smiled. I know. They began walking back down
the hall toward the kitchen.
I cant believe it.
I cant either sometimes, she said with a shake of her
head, but youre going to have to believe it, Em. Tomorrow
hes going to be sitting at the dinner table
Stay, he whispered.
I thought you were asleep.
Whats bothering you, Casey?
She relaxed against him. Just thinking about last night.
Mike, Im just so scared that youll think you cant trust
When I was talking to your mom last night, she told
The girl nodded happily, and Casey took her hand and led
her out to the car. An hour later they were back in Marjories
kitchen. Marjorie and Dan were both sleeping, so Annie took
Emily and Rebecca home, leaving Casey alone in the quiet
house. She spent th
I just dont want it to be unfair to you. I know you want children
Yeah, and he does, too. You really believe that Ill have
kids, dont you?
I do. I watch the news; I read magazines. There are infertile
women giving birth everyday. Im sure there is
drink, then two, then three and the next thing I know, Im waking up in his bed.
She looked Michael for a reaction. And Ive never seen
He nodded. Did CJ ever know?
She shook her head. I dont think so. He never confronted
me with it, and I didnt
about this when we get home. They were silent for the rest of
the ride. Dana dropped them off at the back door.
Are you hungry? Casey asked as they entered the kitchen.
Starved. Emily looked around the vast room in wonder.
Casey shook her head.
back into the kitchen. They sat down at the table.
So you want to tell me about Howie? Casey asked.
Of course she did. So who is this Howie?
Emily sighed. Hes a boy Ive been kinda talking to, like a
boyfriend, I guess.
How old is he?
the front door and piled into their van. Still, she sat. It was cold;
the weatherman had mentioned the possibility of snow, but
Casey couldnt feel it. All she could feel was anger and humiliation and shame.
The front door opened again and Michael appeared
Were? David asked. He looked at Michael. You going
Michael took a sip of his coffee and nodded. Yep.
Thats a short trip, Reed said. We dont have to be back
Yeah, well, its long enough for me.
Gonna meet the parents, Jason sang in a
shoes and grabbed her purse. Can you take me?
Once inside the car, Casey immediately started making
phone calls. She dialed Annies phone number as they sped up
Hello? Matt answered.
Matt, its Casey. She called me. Emily called. Sh
was fifteen, she replied reluctantly.
Why did you do it?
She shrugged. Because I was in love. And CJ wanted to. It
just seemed like thing to do.
It was with CJ?
Casey nodded. Of course.
Werent you scared of getting pregnant?
Casey shook her head. No. We w
They were mid-way through supper when Caseys cell
phone rang. Sorry, she apologized and she rummaged through
her purse. Hello?
It was Annie. Casey. Is she with you?
What? What? Who?
Emily. Is she with you?
No. Whats going on, Annie?
Shes gone. Annie hung
bet you have. I bet Mike has.
Well, youre wrong. Everybody hasnt done it. I havent
done it, Mike hasnt done it.
Lots of people do it all the time and nothing bad happens.
Rebecca Abbott Miller 221
Casey nodded. Youre right. A lot of people try
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