Almost everyone was gone by five, excluding my sister, Kaia and obviously the resident of the house. We were playing cards as the sun set when Kaia turned to look at me as if she’d just realized something.
“You need to tell me something.”
“You told me to remind you to tell me something. It has to do with this weekend?”
Ada burst into laughter, hardly managing to get out the words, “So… You spoke… To… Vati?” as she gasped for breath. I rolled my eyes but nodded and stood.
“Come for a walk?” I asked and she just nodded, although frowned at Ada before she followed. Hayden’s backyard was huge, the gardens fully maintained with little stone paths weaving through it. We set out on one of those, soaking up the last bits of sunlight for the day.
“What did you want to talk about?”
“I know you have an ulterior motive for the plan.” Her eyes widened but I didn’t let her speak. “I don’t know what it is, but I know it has to do with your grandmother. It’s okay. I do too.”
She stopped and turned to face me, raising her eyebrows. “What is it?”
“Did I ask about yours?”
She shook her head.
“No. But my father wants to meet you again. So that’s what you’re doing this weekend.”
“The whole weekend?” She laughed, running a hand through her hair. The sun was making it shimmer with every step she took, as if it was a reflection off water. “That must be a long meeting.”
“I forgot to mention he lives in Europe. We’re flying out Friday after school.”
Kaia frowned, shaking her head. “I can’t. I’ve got something to do after school.” From the look on her face it was important, but also something she didn’t want to do. Kind of like my feelings towards taking her home.
“Can we leave after?”
“Well, what time is the flight?”
I chuckled, knowing she would enjoy this. “Any time you want. It’s our family’s private jet.”
Her jaw dropped open in a totally unladylike way which she still managed to pull off while looking like a model.
“Yeah. Anyway. What time can we leave?”
She didn’t say anything.
“Is six okay?”
“Are you okay?”
She blinked. “Still trying to get over the fact that you have a private jet.”
“It’s my family’s.” I clarified with a satisfied smirk. “Six?”
“Uh, yeah. Sure. I can be at yours by six.”
We started to walk back in silence. Kaia had said she had something to do on Friday night but didn’t say what. I wanted to know. It seemed like she was dreading it but it was clear she wasn’t going to back out.
“What are you doing Friday night?”
She just shook her head with a crease in her forehead. “It’s not something you need to know.”
“What if I want to know?”
“You’ll have to live in disappointment.”
Hayden and Ada were in fits of laughter when we got back and the big brother side of me made my eyebrows knit together. Sure, Hayden liked Parker - I was almost a hundred percent sure – but I still felt iffy about it. I just had to take comfort in the fact that she was a) my sister and b) he was potentially seeing Parker.
We left after not long, Kaia not saying a word the whole time. She seemed to be in her own little world, wrapped up in her mind so intensely she didn't realize everyone else was existing too.
At that moment, all I wanted was to be a part of that world to see what it was like. To see what was happening. To see what was eating away at her like a termite through wood.