Sundays With Ingrid
“I just hate him,” Ty said.
Ingrid felt her face twisting up as though she were about to cry, but no tears came. She was all cried out. They were in Ty’s room, maybe less than two hours after Mia’s father’s one and only visit to 99 Maple Lane, a visit that had changed everything. Even Ty’s wall: there was a fist-size hole in the plaster now, and Ty’s knuckles were bloody. Just in case Ingrid tried thinking that this was some nightmare she could awake from, that hole in the wall – so undeniable – was there to stop her.
Two hours that had begun in raging noise – Mom screaming, Dad screaming back, Mom saying words to Dad that Ingrid had never heard from her mouth, Dad banging out the door, suitcase in hand; and Grampy in the background, his skin colorless, his eyes, normally sky blue, suddenly dark, like the sky at night. Now the house was quiet: Mom in her room, door closed; Dad gone to the farm; Grampy around somewhere.
Any chance it wasn’t true, that Mr. McGreevy was just making trouble? Oh, he was making trouble, no doubt about that, but it had to be true. Dad hadn’t denied it, for one thing. Mia had probably found out somehow – which was why she’d been acting so strange lately, why she was going to New York. Had Mr. McGreevy learned the secret from her? Or maybe, seeing her mood, wormed it out of her? At that moment, Ingrid realized she herself had come close to finding out much earlier, down in that parking lot by the falls. Pretty obvious now who’d been sitting on the bench with Mrs. McGreevy – and don’t forget those quick phone calls in the TT, and Dad’s late trips back to the office, late trips that coincided twice with Ingrid’s sightings of Mrs. McGreevy driving down the street in her green hatchback, face intense under the street lamp: it was true, all right.
“Mom’s way prettier than that bitch,” Ty said.
“I was thinking the same thing,” Ingrid said.
“I didn’t even know he knew her.”
“Me neither.” But at that moment, Ingrid remembered that when Mia and her mother were still new to Echo Falls, a tree had fallen on their lawn and Dad had gone over with the chainsaw. Could it have started way back then? She got a terrible inkling of the kinds of thoughts that must be whirling around in Mom’s head.
There was a knock at the door.
“Yeah?” said Ty.
The door opened. Ingrid had expected Mom, but it was Grampy. His skin was still pale, but his eyes were back to normal.
“You kids eaten?” he said.
They shook their heads.
“Gotta eat,” he said.
“We’re not hungry,” Ty said.
“Makes no difference.” Grampy reached into his pocket, handed them each a Slim Jim. They took the Slim Jims, peeled the tops off the wrappers. Grampy glanced at the hole in the wall, sat on the end of Ty’s bed, beside Ingrid. Ty was sitting up at the head of the bed, back against the pillows. The room wasn’t big, and they were all close together, but for some reason it didn’t feel crowded.
“Grampy?” Ingrid said. “What’s going to happen?”
“Divorce?” Ty said.
“Maybe,” said Grampy. “Eat.”
From Into the Dark.
Tags: Echo Falls Series
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