The bitter winter days were mellowing just a little, and the nicer days were becoming cautiously frequent, like they were fighting a battle and feeling optimistic about winning. The thought pleased Sheva as she walked toward the school building. The chill lingered but there was sun, and while it was definitely too early for spring fever, she noted a certain spring in the steps of the girls around her. 

Her own steps were heavy, though. Sheva’s eyes skimmed the groups of girls heading into the building, looking for Adina. Nowhere. 

Sheva headed into the building, her sense of unease increasing. She had called Adina once last night. No one had answered. She hadn’t tried again. 

She didn’t like the distance that was growing between them every moment. For goodness’ sake, where was Adina? 

“Good morning,” Sheva said distractedly to Sari, who was holding open the classroom door. 

“You think so, huh?” 

Sheva, already two paces past Sari, looked back at her, surprised at the tone. Sari stared back, a mocking expression on her face. Ooookay. Mentally, Sheva shrugged. Sari could be like that sometimes. 

She dumped her bag on her seat and looked around for Adina. She wasn’t at her seat, she wasn’t at the door… There was a cluster of girls in the corner of the classroom. Adina wouldn’t be th—Wait. Sheva craned her head. 

Adina was standing in middle of a group of girls, talking urgently. As Sheva watched, several girls glanced around, then leaned back in toward Adina. 

Her imagination was running away with her, Sheva thought. Of course, they weren’t… they couldn’t be… talking about her? 

Of course they weren’t! 

Sheva shook her head. What was the matter with her? Since when was she so insecure? She and Adina were best friends! She had that CD Adina had given her, with the theme song they’d written together, to prove it. And all the pictures, and conversations, and everything! She would just walk over and join the group. Whatever had happened that had caused Adina’s silence yesterday obviously didn’t seem to be impeding her social life today. That was probably what she was telling everyone. 

Sheva looked toward the group again, but made no move to walk toward them. 

Something didn’t add up. Something had happened to Adina yesterday, and she had shut everyone out. Including Sheva. 

But that was Adina, that’s what she did when she was upset. 

Today that mysterious issue was obviously not a problem. 

So… why hadn’t she called Sheva last night? 

Why hadn’t she greeted her this morning? 

Come to think of it, where were Leah and Fraida and Gitty and Sari and everyone? Why had no one greeted her? 

Sheva thought back to Sari’s snide response to her good morning. Stop it, she thought firmly. You’re reading too much into it, making a big deal out of nothing. 

Then why was Sheva frozen in place, feeling deathly afraid of whatever was going on in that corner?