Coming soon! The next installment in the PARALLELOGRAM series: SEIZE THE PARALLEL. Here’s a preview:
I can’t blame her for what she did. She knew she was dead. I know now, too.
What do you do when your real life is over, and all you have left is this one? You do the best you can. And if you’re Halli Markham, you do a better job than I’ve been doing, pretending to be her.
“I’m not like you,” she told me. “I can’t be you.”
I know that. Any more than I can be her.
But that’s what we’re doing, both of us. Living our opposite lives, messing them up in so many ways, maybe improving them in others.
So I don’t blame her, for most of it.
Just for that one thing.
But that one thing—I’m not sure I can get over it.
When Halli was growing up, she and her grandmother, Ginny, did a lot of dangerous things: exploring the Amazon; climbing the Himalayas; rowing across the Atlantic; trekking to the North and South Poles. The list goes on from there—Ginny Markham was a world explorer, a world adventurer, and she took Halli everywhere with her from the time Halli was a baby.
But even though their adventures were dangerous, Ginny always emphasized two things: one, that preparation is the best defense against everything that can go wrong. And two, when everything goes wrong anyway, face up to it and keep on going from there.
So Halli learned to anticipate. And Halli learned to adapt. To look at her situation with a cold, hard eye, and not wish things were different than they were, but to deal with exactly what was happening at the moment.
So if a rope failed, a bone broke, a boat sank, if Halli and Ginny were lost somewhere in the middle of a violent storm, Halli learned to be quiet. To stop. To assess her condition, her surroundings, her options.
Is it any wonder, then, that once it sank in—the conclusion that Professor Whitfield and I had come to, that the real Halli was dead, and I hadn’t saved her from that avalanche at all, but instead had split off a new parallel universe where the only Halli who had ever existed was this new Halli 2, the one where Halli’s body had only ever had me inside it, and there would be no way to reverse it because the original Halli was gone, that connection severed forever—was it any wonder that a calm came over Halli, and she started thinking about what she had to do?
Especially once I disappeared again, ripped out of the body—my old body—that I’d been able to visit temporarily and share with Halli somehow. Now I was gone, and no matter what Halli and Professor Whitfield tried over the next several hours, they couldn’t bring me back.
So as night fell, and my mother was calling to the daughter she thought was me, asking her what kind of takeout she wanted, and Professor Whitfield told Halli they’d have to try finding me again in the morning, Halli was already thinking about what to do next.
Because just like Ginny said, if things go wrong, you have to be able to rely on yourself. No point clinging to a rockface after your climbing partner has just fallen, and crying because it’s all so sad and frightening. You’d better figure out a way to save yourself. You can cry about it later.
So Halli began making a plan.
PARALLELOGRAM 3: SEIZE THE PARALLEL will be released soon. Excited? I hope so! Stay tuned!