is so cool. It has a puffy red couch against the wall with all the pillows I made that have satin trim and ribbons and sequins. And a stainless-steel mini fridge with a magnet that says, LEAP AND THE NET WILL APPEAR . Then there’s my architect table with the special lamp that I love sitting at because it makes me feel all adult. Like I just came back from a hard day at work, figuring out how the skylights should look in a new green office building. And then there’s all my projects. Things I haven’t felt like doing since The Incident. Like the decoupage jewelry boxes and bags I make for my friends. There’s just no inspiration anymore. The passion’s gone. The phone still doesn’t ring. At my computer, I click on my day-planner widget. I have this thing about writing down everything I have to do. I like the feeling I get when I finish something in my day planner and I can check it off. So maybe there’s something pending I forgot about. But when I go through everything, there’s only school-related stuff. There’s a pile of journals on my desk. Each one is for something different: fave quotes from books and movies, Top Five lists, and my general journal where I do my moon sketching. I’m not ready to take it to the blog level. Because how can you be totally honest about your feelings if you know someone’s going to read all about them? I decide to make a new list. Top Five Reasons Why Steve Isn’t Calling Me 5. He’s cramming for a test. 4. He thinks I’m asleep. 3. He’s asleep. 2. He’d rather talk to me in person tomorrow. 1. He hates me. It feels like the walls of my room are closing in on me. What if I organize my books by size and color instead of author? I saw that one time in Real Simple magazine and it looked sharp. And it’s only ten thirty. Steve might still call for like another hour. . . . By the time I’m done with Project Reconfiguring Bookshelves, it’s after midnight. None of my homework is done. And the phone never rang.
CHAPTER 4 Tuesday “EAT YOUR EGGS ,” Mom says. “They’re too runny,” I say. “No, they’re not.” “How do you know? You’re only having coffee.” Mom gives me The Look. It’s the look she gives me when I’m being persnickety. “Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed,” she goes. “That tends to happen when someone was up until three.” Mom sighs. “Do we need to take away your TV?” That would be the royal we. She uses the royal we whenever she threatens, implying that Dad has input. But in reality, it’s more like my dad is never here and Mom makes all the real decisions herself. He’s not even here now. Dad leaves wicked early, because by the time we wake up in New York, people have had most of their day in Japan already. So all those finance guys have to be at work by seven—sometimes earlier. Apparently, no one is allowed to work on Wall Street plus have a life. And even when Dad’s here, he’s a severe CrackBerry addict, so it’s not exactly like he’s really with you when he’s with you. Mom is a corporate lawyer, so she works long hours, too, but she doesn’t OD like Dad. “I was doing homework, Mom.” “Why so late?” “I couldn’t concentrate before.” “Why not?” Here’s what will happen if I tell Mom why not. She’ll listen up to a point, with these strategically timed glances at the clock I’m not supposed to notice. So it’s really just half listening, half thinking through her itinerary for the day. Then while she’s giving me detailed advice, she’ll pack files into her briefcase. And then her briefcase will click shut, along with my problem. Case closed. It’s not like she’s a bad mom. I know she tries. It’s just that when you’re trying to balance so many things at the same time, it’s inevitable that something’s going to fall. And her job has changed her a lot. My parents didn’t used to be this way. They were all into that seventies lifestyle, way more