Part II Chapter One
Now? Not returning to my house, that was unambiguous. Shockingly so. Group wouldn’t help, as they had made clear through Killian. If Killian wanted me, or my great-uncle needed me, as soon as possible, then the trouble my housemates would cause should be avoided. And they would be ready to make some. If I went home the Group would try to forbid my leaving and there would be a serious effort to stop this trip. I faced this knowledge clearly but I also shivered. Where the knowledge came from or, perhaps more accurately, how it had been buried until now was a question I was going to ignore until I had more time to think about it.
All the same my Group didn’t know that I could and would go without their help. I decided what I had with me, right then, was all I would take. And what I had right then was a spare set of clothes which I always carried because the babies could make a mess of me, two hundred and thirty-one dollars in cash from Alina plus whatever James had just given me that I hadn’t even counted before I signed his paper that I didn’t read. A lot of knitting needles and yarn, some makeup, and an ATM card to a bank account of my own with twenty-three thousand dollars in it. Surely that was enough to get me wherever I needed to go. I had kept the bank account secret, for years actually, and now that was a good thing. The money in it had come from my Great Uncle, not my jobs.
I thought I needed to get to the airport and I needed a phone. I turned in at the drugstore and bought a burner phone, and while doing so thought of something else. I suspected that I should find the papers I had signed four years ago with my uncle’s lawyer. He came to see me just before I graduated, with instructions from Great Uncle Duncan. Though I hadn’t paid as much attention as I should to what we were doing, and I hadn’t spent a second since then thinking about what I had signed, I had tucked the papers away in a safe deposit box as I went to join Group. And when we moved to this new city three years ago I had repeated the process. So I went to the bank and got the papers out and canceled the box rental. I also had a little discussion with the bank personnel on traveling. Alina’s handbag was proving very useful.
I took a taxi to the airport. Buying a ticket was relatively easy although asking for a one-way ticket makes people look at you strangely. But I told the ticket agent that I was in a hurry to help a sick relative and didn’t mind paying for a return if it were open. That took care of the lack of luggage question as well.
The plane wouldn’t leave for almost an hour. I sat and took stock and then began to shiver even in my new sweatshirt. I pulled out my current knitting project, a pair of grey, boring, socks, approved by Marielle, and stared at them for a long time and then ripped them out completely. I started a neck warmer on my new needles; I imagined giving it to my uncle. My Great Uncle. In all senses of the word as I remembered him.
The magnetic effect of knitting in public caused all the children in the vicinity to come over and start watching. One woman, traveling with an infant and a three year old looked a little panicky when the flight was called. Since the three-year old had been watching me I helped her board and as luck would have it our seats were close together so I could keep assisting the mother.
But before the boarding I called home. Mary Louise answered. She was probably the best I could have hoped for. I told her that I had lost both my jobs and I was going to help someone. I said I wasn’t coming home for a few weeks but I would be in touch when I knew more. She had enough trouble with this idea that Mary Sue took over the line and demanded to know who was calling. “It’s Jessamyn, Mary Sue. I’ve told Mary Louise that I have to go away for a bit. My jobs have vanished also just by the way. Mary Louise’ll explain it to you. Good-bye.” There was a complete silence and I hung up before it could end. We weren’t paying for Caller ID on the house phone so I thought that should be that.