A key scraped its way into the front door and she was no longer an orphan. The ends of one of her two long braids swung into her mouth as she turned and skittered down the hallway. Spitting and out of breath, she made it to the foyer in time to see Marva’s dirty blue and grey sneaker kick open the front door, hands busy with grocery bags, cold air swirling in with her.
“Close the door behind me, Sadie,” Marva said on her way to the kitchen. Sadie complied, then wandered over to the breakfast bar and peered inside one of the bags. A loaf of wheat bread pummeled her head.
“You can get a good look at everything while you help me put it away.”
Sadie’s top lip curled into a snarl. Marva raised one bushy eyebrow and the loaf of bread.
Sadie flinched. “Fine,” she said and pulled the milk out of a bag, “Since when do you do the grocery shopping at almost 11 o’clock at night?”
Marva shrugged. There was no particular reason, so she added this question to the long list of Sadie’s questions she’d become an expert at leaving unanswered since Oren left. After a lengthy investigation, the authorities found no signs of foul play or Oren’s old hatchback--the car they’d sworn would be Sadie’s when she was old enough to drive. He’d left in July, but the vacuum-sealed bags of winter clothes they stored underneath the bed were gone along with his wallet. There’d been no charges made on his credit cards in the last two years, but she kept them open just in case; though the part of her that housed hope for his return closed when she discovered his missing clothes.