Waiting for the Storm
I got out of the shower. I went upstairs, splashed my face with cold water, and put on a bit of makeup in an attempt to disguise my flushed skin and puffy eyes.
    I wanted to believe that after Dad’s revelation, things would be different. That after sharing his secret and discovering I felt the same way, he’d talk to me more, maybe even confide in me. But I had a feeling it would take more than our conversation and a few shared tears to make him return to his old self. I would keep hoping and trying though.
    I knew I should attempt the same with Ella, but she didn’t make it easy. It felt like she’d made it her mission to be as miserable as possible, and anything anyone said or did would just make her worse. There was part of me—the part that still thought of her as my baby sister despite the fact she was almost seventeen—that wanted to wrap my arms around her and promise her everything would be okay. But lately instead of any sisterly feelings toward her, all I felt was the same hostility she showed me.
    I hated it—hated the negative emotions eating away at me, hated the distance between us—but I felt powerless. We had both lost Mom, and even though I’d promised to take care of Ella, sometimes I wondered who was going to take care of me.
    I grabbed my purse and met Dad in the car. He didn’t look at me and didn’t say anything, just started the car and pulled out of the driveway.
    I leaned my head back on the seat and watched the scenery pass by. I found Kennedy’s and Miranda’s houses and wondered briefly what they were doing. Where would they get summer jobs? Were they going away to college in the fall?
    When we reached the end of our road, Dad paused for a long time at the stop sign. A few people milled around on the sidewalk, and I caught a glimpse of Hank in the window of the general store.
    “I thought we might just drive for a bit,” Dad said, pulling me from my thoughts. “Then we can park and check out the main street.” He indicated the shops on Carrington Street, and I simply nodded.
    He turned left and drove in the opposite direction from the way we came the day we arrived. I was surprised at the number of businesses clustered together, and thought there must be more people living in this area than I’d originally assumed.
    It didn’t take long for the buildings to become fewer and farther between and finally taper off to farmland once more. There seemed to be more houses on this side of the island, but they were all set way back from the road.
    The street dipped and curved, and the lake came back into view. As we got closer to the water, more houses started popping up, but these were unlike the rest of the houses I’d seen so far. These looked like million dollar homes. Sitting on lots that were easily twice the size of the beach house lots, these houses were enormous, with elaborate architectural designs and massive windows.
    “They’re really something, eh?” Dad commented.
    I murmured my agreement, unable to take my eyes off the houses. I noticed what looked like a gazebo being built at the back of one property, and wondered if Ezra was the one building it.
    We carried on, following the road wherever it turned. We passed a big old church in the middle of nowhere with huge cornfields on either side and across the street. I squinted at the sign as we passed, smiling when I read ‘The Church in the Cornfield’ under the name. Everything seemed so much simpler here than in the city.
    When we’d circled back around to Carrington Street, Dad parked in front of the general store and we got out. Hank was leaning in the doorway again, and he nodded his head in acknowledgement.
    “I guess there’s a library back here somewhere,” Dad said, heading in the opposite direction. I trailed along after him, following him down a short alley to an old house that had been converted into a library.
    When I was little, books had been my dad’s and my ‘ thing ’. Mom loved to read too, but

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