I closed my eyes and tried to imagine where she bought it. An old bookshop? A random yard sale? EBay? But for some reason I pictured a small antique shop that sold knickknacks as well as books, and a tiny frail man that worked the front desk, ringing up orders using a calculator and a notepad, rather than a cash register or a credit card scanner like everybody else.
In my mind’s eye, I could see this man just handing the book to Amanda without so much as a bag, despite its value. I was even able to picture the book earlier in its history: being passed around a group of girls, all dressed the same in their 1960s plaid bib jumpers, as though maybe at a prep school.
I opened my eyes, my brain whirling with questions. Those visions had been so intense…so specific. “This is all too peculiar.” I sighed.
Nia seemed shocked at Primaplus’s theory about her vivid descriptions. I don’t think that she is ready to admit it, but I kinda believe that it is true. If Amanda is the keeper of important things, the way queenchuki has put it, then what are we? Her seers? Does the answer sit in the knowledge of our totems the way BlueRoseGrey thinks?
Anyway, with school work piling up and the reality of Amanda as confusing as ever, my brain began to panic with confusion and whenever that happens, I need to run.
I started my jog from my house and up Crabapple Hill like any other day. I used to do this run all the time, before this crazy mystery took over my life. Anyway, everything I seemed to run past reminded me of Amanda. The movie theater, Play It Again Sam’s, The Reservoir, The Arcade, Just Desserts…. Orion is riddled with memories of Amanda.
I made it up Crabapple Hill with some trouble. Apparently, running is something you have to work at and practice, weird, right? (note of sarcasm, folks!) Anyway, even Crapapple hill has memories of Amanda, the time she told me about how the universe hums in G minor, the time Callie, NIa and I met there at midnight to talk about Bea, Amanda climbing trees with flowers in her hair. So many memories.
And that’s when I saw it. Carved into a tree. “Where are you Amanda Valentino?”