GENRE: YA Spy
I’m at dinner when they come for me. My heartbeat is in my ears, and the adrenaline rushes in my feet, my hands. I’m sitting at a table by the windows in the Cartwright Institute for Young Women dining hall, eating bad dorm food while my friends discuss the chemistry test we took today. Mira swears she failed the test even though I stayed up half the night helping her prepare for it. And I know they’ve come for me.
There’s an uncomfortable squirming in my gut that has nothing to do with Cartwright’s signature meatloaf mush and its proximity to my mouth. There’s a whispering in my ears, memories of voices and people I have tried desperately to forget.
Mira taps me on the shoulder and I jump, sending my knees into the bottom of the long, rectangular table. Chocolate milk splashes out of my glass and splatters all across my blouse, leaving the pristine white cotton pocked with brown freckles. The other girls around us laugh. Mira offers me a napkin. “Sorry,” she says. I take it with burning cheeks.
“No worries.” I dab at the stains and try to swallow down the rising panic in my throat, making me want to cry or scream or choke. “What is it, Mira?”
“I was wondering what you got for the first question,” she says. Her thin, dark eyebrows scrunch low over her eyes in concern.