Chapter Eleven – Notes to Lana

I had to e-mail Lana.

She would want to know.

Hi, Lana.

The house is gone. Someone burned it. I don't know who or when or why.

I thought you should know.


It seemed insincere, but I sent it.

I thought about clarifying "the house," but she was a smart girl, she'd get it… I hoped.

I wasted thirty minutes messing on the computer. I checked my e-mail again, delighted to find that she'd replied.

I found all of the old stuff we found in a pocket of my old sweater.

My mom threw it away.

Is it all gone?

I stared at it for a moment, perplexed, letting it sink into my skin. So she did remember.

I was glad she hadn't said sorry. It would have seemed wrong… But at the same time I couldn't help but wonder if her mom had really thrown it away. Maybe Lana had tossed it herself.

No. Lana wouldn't do that. I had seen the wonder in her eyes when we were in the house. It was an honest fascination.

But that was the old Lana. I didn't know about the new Lana, the Lana that cared about clothes and popularity.

But maybe Lana had actually kept it and was just embarrassed. Maybe she really did care. Was that a possibility?

I replied.

It's all gone. There's nothing left.

Nothing left except the doll, I added silently.

I wondered what her reaction had been. I wished that I had seen her face so I could read her… It was so hard to tell what she was feeling.

Lana sent back a message almost immediately.


No punctuation, no capitalization, not even spelled correctly. But something she had once said stirred in my mind…

"I spell like a dyslexic person."

Nonetheless, I was still hurt. Was that all she could tell me? All she bothered to say about the house, my house, which was burned forever? I wanted to see her, scream at her, yell until my voice was gone, too.


The wall that I had built around me to keep out Lana shuddered. The mask started to slowly fade.