20. Miranda Doesn’t Want to Make Friends

She whirls, furious, on Dr. Smith. “You’re setting me up on playdates now?”

“He’s around your age.”

“You just don’t want me hanging around Lye anymore because his continued hospitalization demonstrates how incompetent you are.”

“Did Lyman tell you that?”

As if he would! “He didn’t have to! I’m not an idiot!”

“Just show him around. Think of the privileges, Miranda.”

If she does it, she’ll get to borrow two books at a time from the library, so she yanks open the door and bares her teeth at the new boy. “Welcome to Oz. I’m Miranda. Nice to meet you.”

Where to Begin

19. This is Shou, Afraid

When the nurse’s fingers brush against his skin as she removes the blood pressure cuff from his arm, he winces. She doesn’t notice.

“So where are you from?”

“New Jersey,” he rubs his arm where she touched him.

“No, where were you born?”

“New Jersey.” But he knows what she’s asking. “But my parents are from Japan.”

“That’s so exotic,” she croons.

A familiar anger swirls in his stomach, but he does his best to tamp it down before he does something he’ll regret later.

Then it’s back to his intake form. “How old?”


“How tall?”

He winces. “Five-three.”

Where to Begin

18. Miranda and Clarke as Penpals


I don’t know what to tell you. There are splinters in our hands. What did you do this time? Also, we’ve got another psychiatry appointment the day after tomorrow (4/27), so I’m going to need full control on that day.


Hate it here. When are we leaving? – C


We’ll be here until our situation improves. We’re going to be put on a new Rx pending Dr analysis (tomorrow!!! don’t forget!!!), which should mitigate the mood swings. I doubt it’ll be too bad for you, but I’m letting you know anyway.


No more pills. Get us out. – C

Where to Begin

17. Clarke as a Performer

“Wanna see what I can do?”

“No,” Lye replies without looking up. They’re far from the watching eyes of the hospital, so Miranda has let Clarke out for some exercise. Lye just wants to read and work on his tan.  


Lye closes his book around his finger and looks up. “Do you know how similar you two are?”

Clarke sends his fist into the trunk of the thickest oak in the grove. The sound of splintering wood rips the air. He pulls his hand back and watches Lye expectantly. The tree topples.

“Oh my.”

Clarke grins. “I’m strong.”


Where to Begin

16. Lye as a Tour Guide

They stroll arm-in-arm along the wall. Lye points out the plants they pass. Once, long ago, he was going to be a botanist. He still knows their names.

“How old is this place?” She trails the tips of her fingers over old bricks.

Lye eyes Miranda sternly. She talks about home with a faraway look, misses shoelaces more than kids her age, and hates being interrupted, but has no problem interrupting him with questions that have nothing to do with the conversation.

“1855, I’ve been told. Before that, it was the estate of a businessman from Boston.”

“What happened?”

“Who knows.”

Where to Begin

15. Dinner for Two

“He’s an idiot,” Miranda says emphatically as she forks roast beef into her mouth. She eats more than anyone else he’s ever met. “Dissociative Identity Disorder. Ha! He’ll be calling me Sybil next. Wait’ll Clarke meets him.”

“I take it that the session didn’t go well?”  

Miranda gives him a long-suffering look. Lye focuses on his bread so she won’t notice his smile.

When she begins to pick up her tray to go, Lye puts a hand on her shoulder. “You’ve still got to eat your beans, Miranda.”

She gives him that look again but picks up her fork, anyway.

Where to Begin