Chapter Three

With their daughter at choir practice, the two parents decide to take a drive to their favorite restaurant for breakfast. Mr. Iverson quickly takes notice of the changing light and adheres to stepping on the brake. However, that doesn't stop the car on the other side of the road from—as if in slow motion—coming speeding towards their own.

Mina, terrified, rather quickly grabs hold of her husband's hand and shuts her eyes tight to keep herself somewhat composed. The impact of the other cars' barreling – head-on – to theirs is enough to cause both of their bodies to jolt upright.

It's not long after that the entire road surrounding the crash is blocked off by both ambulances and police cars. Both Mina and Richard Iverson are hurriedly rushed off to the emergency room.


Choir practice comes to an end, leaving the young girls to skip their way enthusiastically out of the church to the parking lot in search for Adeline's parents. When they don't see the familiar brown SUV, they decide to walk to the playground in the back of the building to get out some energy while they wait.

"I wonder where they're at," Addy says aloud, holding the younger auburn-haired child's hand as they enter the small park. She quirks an eyebrow wondrously, releasing her friend's hand, and peering into her hazel-colored eyes.

Ebonie gives a small shrug and plasters a cheerful grin on her face. "They probably just forgot what time it is or something. Let's go on the swings until they come," she excitedly suggests, already running off towards the large set.

Nodding her head in agreement, Adeline instantly wipes the worry away and follows her best friend to the swings. She sits on the one at the far end, beside the other, with a cheerful grin on her face as she uses her legs to push herself back and forth.

"You get to help me and mom finish baking cookies tonight—I told her that we hadda wait for you to make the gingerbread! We're gonna have a contest to see who can make the most colorful one," the brown-haired eleven-year-old squeals euphorically, twisting herself back and forth on the swing.

"Oh, I love gingerbread," Ebonie exclaims with a smile. She mimics her friend's actions on her own swing and allows her eyes to wander about the parking lot ahead of them. They quickly widen when they catch a glimpse of her mother and father getting out of one of the many parked cars.

She averts her stare over to her friend and waves her hand to catch her attention. "Do you see this? My parents just got out of the car—do they not remember I'm going hone with you?"

Addy quickly follows the other's gaze and slightly shrugs. "Hmm, maybe they just wanted to come to the church or something?"

"Well, let's go see for ourselves," the younger girl suggests, hopping off and walking back towards the parking lot of the church.

Hurriedly, the brunette is on her tail and following closely behind. It only takes a matter of minutes before they come face-to-face with Mr. and Mrs. Huberman. Adeline instantly takes notice of the distressed miens on their faces, causing a faint worry to bubble to the surface.

"Mom? Dad? Is everything okay?" Ebonie breaks the silence with her frantic interrogation. She looks between them worriedly, hands nervously on her small hips. "You do know I'm going home with Addy, right?"