“Do you remember where that old tree house is?” she murmured softly.
“Would I forget?” His sneer disappeared for a moment, replaced by a soft smile. She squeezed his hand quickly and then merged back into the end of the glittering crowd. It disappeared down the street and the man slipped around the corner the other way, blending into the shadows with strange ease.


“Joanna! Joanna!” A nervous, mousy, middle-aged woman stood at the bottom of a flight of stairs. “Please come down, Joanna!”
“It’s Jo.”
“Joanna, sweetie- I mean, Jo-“
“I’m coming, Ma. Wind down, will ya?” A teenaged girl with curly black hair and green eyes, dressed in cargo pants and a tank top, barreled down the stairs in her black work boots.
“Good morning, sweetie- breakfast’s in the-“

“Mom. I’m already late. Jeez.” Joanna stomped past her mother, hoisting a backpack on her back and hooking her finger through a ring of keys. “Later.”
Her mother sighed and shut the door behind her daughter.

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