N ina: What do you mean she hasn’t seen it? Some insane person posted the link on her bloggy thing!

Sarah closed the door to the bedroom before typing back to her sisters.

Sarah: I was fortuitously holding her phone this morning when people started texting her, which enabled me to perform a daring act of sabotage.

Shiri: Speak English or I’m going to scream.

Sarah: I broke her phone. Threw it off a carnival ride.

Nina: [Shocked emoji]

Shiri: [Clapping emoji]

Sarah: In retrospect, it wasn’t a very long-term solution.

Sarah sighed. How long until everyone in Elmway is talking about this? Hours? Minutes? The thought made her throat burn with anger. Someone knocked lightly on the door and Sarah stuffed her phone under her pillow. The door opened; it was only Cassandra, and Sarah let out her breath.

“Thanks, Cassie. You’re going to teach me to use the washing machine one of these days, right?” Sarah said, taking the pile of clean laundry.

Cassandra’s forehead was creased. “You know Amy?”

“Sure, your friend who worked here the night of the parlor meeting?”

“That one. She send me this, because it look like…” Cassandra pulled out her phone, and Sarah groaned inwardly. If the cleaning help recognizes Laylee’s side profile… game over.

“It’s Laylee.” Sarah nodded, lowering her voice. “But she hasn’t seen it. I broke her phone.”

Cassandra shook her head. “She going to go buy a new phone. She going to see this, Miss Sarah….”

“I know.”

“Who did this?”

“Becca Burgenfein. She writes for a big national magazine.”

Cassandra stared back at her blankly.

“And… she also has a very popular blog, where she walks around big cities interviewing people on the street. Usually the anecdotes are less… personal.” Sarah sighed and gestured toward Cassandra’s phone. “That isn’t journalism, that’s just… spewing.”

Cassandra stared at the picture on the phone for another minute, then stuffed it into her pocket.

“This bad, Miss Sarah.”

Sarah flopped back onto her pillow. “Tell me about it.”

Cassandra left the room and Sarah walked over to the window that overlooked the large backyard. A few trees were already in bloom, though it was chilly. Delicate lavender flowers danced between bare branches. How did they dare look like hope?

She saw Gavi walking back and forth across the back lawn, talking animatedly into his phone. He’s trying to fix this. The intensity in his eyes made the lump in Sarah’s throat grow bigger. This is unfixable… the damage has already been done. Reposted, saved in screenshots, shared in links. The woman has millions of followers.

Her fingers reached for her phone, her eyes scanning the words she already knew by heart. I see them. Uptown, or when family obligations drag me back to Brooklyn. They bear names like mine… Rachel, Leah, Rebecca. Names that fade into oblivion next to the labels they wear.