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Can’t forget that intro!

Psst — part 1 if you need a refresher

In the POV of Delaney

I slump in the hallway of the AG Doll Orphanage, lowering my gaze to the floor and feeling my heart sink all the way to my stomach. I never let myself cry, but a sob comes up and chokes in my throat anyway.

I stare at the paper in my hand, handed to me by Mrs. Bailey herself, the matron of the AGDO. I’m being adopted — but not by the same people who adopted Taryn like I had hoped.

A surge of anger blazes inside me as I harden my gaze and crumple the paper in my hand. I force myself to take a deep breath — I’m not going to cry.

I stand up straight, hold my head up high, and square my shoulders as I swallow the lump in my throat and storm down the hall. This is unacceptable, and I’m about to walk right up to Mrs. Bailey’s face and tell her so.

I march up to her office and clench my fist to pound angrily on the door and am surprised when it swings open before I can knock on it.

“Delaney Adair Clark,” she utters my full name with a hint of disgust for the hundredth time that day. “Ironic you should show up here — I made a mistake in giving you that paper.”

I draw a blank. “You what?”

“Do I have to repeat myself? I said I made a mistake. Give it to me.”

My cheeks flame when I unclench my other first, opening my palm to reveal the crumpled ball in my hand. Mrs. Bailey snorts in more disgust. “On second thought, keep it. We’ll print a new one.”

She then hands me a new paper, and my face instantly brightens. “This is really where you’ll be staying.”

I almost rip the paper away from her in excitement, my heart fluttering when my eyes read over the address — hey, wait, what? This is even further from the previous address! This isn’t Taryn’s home at all!

I look up indignantly. “This isn’t fair!” I cry.

Mrs. Bailey furrows her eyebrows and jabs her accusing ring finger at me. “I’ve been at odds with you for a long time, Miss Clark. The sooner you’re adopted, the better. Now will you go pack your things? You leave tomorrow morning for Tennessee. And don’t give me any more of your sass mouth, either.”

By the time she slams the door in my face, I can’t respond with a smart remark if I want to.

I slump heavily against the wall again, back where I’ve started; having hopelessly stared at the address that is to be my new home…

… Far, far away from Taryn.

*

I don’t know how I’m going to do this. The Uber driver drops me off at the beginning of DWOD Drive, and I walk down the street with my gaze downcast. With every step I am taking, I am getting closer and closer to a whole new family.

I have been taking things hard ever since Taryn was adopted, and I haven’t seen or heard from her since.

And now I am about to leave her behind as a part of my past forever.

When I look up, I see another girl walking down the street. We both smile politely. But when we keep walking toward each other without stopping, our smiles fade as we look at each other in confusion.

When we both reach the driveway of the house I am supposed to live in, we stop right in front of each other with more looks of confusion.

I make a face and then turn to continue on to the door… and I notice that the girl follows me.

I turn around sharply. “Are you a stalker?”

“No, are you?” She returns quickly.

“Is this your house?” I ask.

“No, but I got adopted by these people, so it’s about to be.”

I half-smile. “I’m going to be living here, too.”

“Oh! Nice to meet you!”

I half-smile again and then resume walking up to the door.

The girl and I both knock at the same time. I think it’s funny at first. Then, when no one answers, I decide to knock a second time — but apparently the other girl does, too.

I turn to her. “Uh, are you copying me?”

She raises an eyebrow. “I was gonna ask the same thing.”

I narrow my eyes and then raise my hand to knock once more but notice her hand is perfectly synced with mine.

“Hey! You are copying me!”

“Um, no. You’re copying me.”

I hmph, peeved. After five minutes of awkward silence, no one answers the door.

“Well, uh…” The other girl and I both say at exactly the same time.

“Knock it off!” We both say — at exactly the same time. The girl and I furrow our eyebrows at each other.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” She finally asks.

“Our minds are in synchronization?”

“Um, close. We should bust in!”

My face lights up. This girl thinks too much like me.

Which is a bad thing… but fun. “Let’s do it!”

We both back up and look around for possible break-in options.

“Hey, look,” I say, pointing to a heavy piece of mulch on the ground. “Let’s throw that into the window and break in.”

The girl turns to look at me. “Wait, what? That’s a terrible idea.”

“What do you mean, terrible idea? You’re supposed to be my long-lost mind twin or something.”

“You have enough money to pay for that window?” She jerks her head toward it.

“Ah, no. Good point.”

I look past and above the girl’s head at the doorbell. She turns to look, too, and we both have the same idea.

At exactly the same moment, we both lunge and dive to be the first to curl our fingers around the piece of mulch.

But of course, the girl and I grab it at exactly the same time.

“Let it go,” I say, pulling it toward me as we stand up.

“My mulch,” she returns, pulling it toward her.

I rip it harshly toward me, but she only rips it harshly back.

“It was my idea,” I inform her. “I should throw it.”

“No way! The idea was both of ours.”

“I’m not letting go of this mulch.”

The girl narrows her gaze for a few seconds, but when she realizes I’m serious, she releases her grip.

She’s slightly nicer than me.

“But if you can’t get it on the first try, I get to throw it. Bet you anything that you’ll miss.”

Slightly.

“Bet you anything that I won’t,” I quip, reeling my arm back for the toss.

WHOOSH! The mulch flies out of my hand and into the air — and hits the doorbell. The button signals its being-pressed by lighting up a ring of blue around it.

I turn to her with a smirk as the mulch falls down to the ground and the doorbell sounds indoors. “I win.”

The girl grins back. “Nice shot.”

She then extends her hand for a shake. “Katy Christine Cooper,” she introduces herself with a sweeter smile. “K.C. for short.”

I don’t have good sportsmanship by any means, but Katy’s niceness makes me want to be nice, too. “Delaney Danger Clark,” I say back, taking her hand and shaking it.

K.C. doesn’t rip her hand back with a shriek like most people do when I tell them this. Instead, her eyes simply widen. “Your middle name is actually Danger?”

“Yep,” I grin. “I’m being serious when I say that Danger’s my middle name.”

“Nice,” she nods with a half-jealous smirk.

Ha ha.

At this moment, the door opens with a start. We both jump of surprise and turn to see who it is.

A girl with caramel curls and striking green eyes steps out and drops her jaw when she sees me. “Delaney?” She whispers in awe.

What on earth is my sister doing in Tennessee? I can’t believe she is standing right here. “Taryn?”

To be continued… in Heads Up – Part Three!

Finally, right? XD

Oh, quick notice — I’m going to have to cut back and be stricter on the amount of emails I reply to. Honestly, I’d love to reply to each and every single one with just as many words as you send me, but my parents are having to put limits on my computer time. Answering a ton of emails is just too time-consuming now. The criteria for ensuring a reply to your email is as follows…

  • Do email me if you have an important question (such as a collab, blog advice, advertising, etc.).
  • Only email me if you’d rather keep your message private — if you’re just wondering whether or not I have eaten enchiladas soaked in maple syrup or cherry cheesecake-flavored meatballs, please ask that in the comments.
  • Prayer requests [are not just accepted on my personal blog and] are always, ALWAYS replied to — and prayed over every day until you email me with a status update!
  • Any emails not following the criteria will either not be replied to or will have very, very short replies. 😉
I’m sorry to have to cut back on the emailing! For the time being, though, I’ll keep on replying to every comment. So please, comment away — you rock!