Edie listened as hard as she could for the sounds of people leaving the library and locking up, but it was hard to hear from inside the bathroom. At one point she heard someone walking past, but they didn’t stop.
She didn’t know when the bathrooms were cleaned—hopefully every day—but she had to hope it wasn’t on Saturday nights, either before or after the library was closed. Mornings would be a better time to clean the bathrooms, right?
Saturday, February 5
As the year turned to February, the weather warmed, though it was just enough to end the snow and fill the days with freezing rain instead. All the snow that had piled up washed away, but Edie had to dress just as warmly as ever to keep all the cold and wet from getting at her.
She kept looking for more opportunities to go to the library, but, other than her regular study sessions with Derwen—during which she could hardly sneak away to make copies of the book—she didn’t get any chances.
Before they left, Edie secretly dropped her folder on the floor behind the beanbag chair, where Derwen wouldn’t notice it and she could pretend she hadn’t seen it, either. If it was true that no one came to the library on Saturday nights, then no one else would come here and find it, so she would have an excuse to go back.
Edie didn’t know when Derwen would get back, so as soon as she and Corrie returned, she had a quick snack, gathered up her things, and went right back out to the library. Corrie wasn’t saying much, which Edie was grateful for; she was more disappointed than she’d expected to be about not finding her great-grandmother.
Of course, Corrie had seen faeries before who just happened to look like humans—her history teacher from last semester, Professor Drehmer, was one of them. But would Edie’s great-grandmother have been one of them? It certainly wasn’t impossible. Maybe looking like a human had made her want to get involved with the humans more than most faeries.
Corrie led the way, picking one of the houses on either side at random. Edie and Derwen seemed uncertain, so she figured she should be in charge while she knew what was going on. She marched up to the door, almost knocked, then saw the doorbell and rang it. She heard the chime inside, followed by the sound of unhurried footsteps. She turned to Edie and Derwen, standing on the steps behind her, and gave them an encouraging smile.
A young man with dark hair and a dusting of stubble answered the door. “Can I help you?” he asked, smiling at Corrie.
“What do you mean, she never died?” Edie asked in a hushed voice. She inched closer to Rachel, staring at her as though looking more closely would get her clearer answers.
“Oh, no,” whispered Mona. She covered her mouth when Corrie looked at her. “I’m sorry,” she said through her fingers. “She forgets—but it doesn’t do any good to argue with her about it, not when her mind isn’t working. Don’t worry about it, Edith.”
But Edie was obviously not worried about it. She was excited. She wanted more explanations, not argument. And Corrie wanted to hear more, as well.
After they’d been walking around in the park for a few minutes, a voice came from behind them. “Hey, guys.”
Corrie spun around to see Derwen just standing there—not anywhere near any of the groves of trees. And she hadn’t been there a moment ago. “How long have you been here?” she asked.
“Just got here,” said Derwen. “Lal wanted to wait until she could pinpoint you two, instead of sending me to a random location in the park.”
The synagogue was hushed with quiet, and Corrie could tell it was a pleasant place as soon as she walked in. It had good energy, somehow. It made her feel immediately hopeful that they would be able to find help here.
“I don’t hear anything,” Edie whispered. “Services must be over. That’s good. Let’s find the rabbi’s office.”
“Okay,” said Corrie, shaking her head slightly to clear it. “I think we should get going if we want to have any time to talk to people. Did you change your mind yet?”
Derwen smiled. “You were nice enough to bring me soup, so I guess so. I’m not looking forward to it, though. Where are we going? The town has a park, right?”
“There’s a park nearby,” said Edie. “You want us to meet you there?” She named the park.