"Hold on." Frankie didn't want her mother to see this boy. This smart, strange boy she probably shouldn't be talking to. And she didn't want the boy to meet Ruth, either. "She's yanking my chain," she told him, and held out her hand. "I gotta go."
His hand felt warm and solid in hers. "Good luck at school," he said. "Maybe I'll see you around."
"Frankie? Frankie! Who are you talking to?" Ruth's voice barked from the phone.
"You're not going to see me around," laughed Frankie, beginning to walk away. "You live in New York City."
"Maybe I do and maybe I don't," called the boy. "You did say Alabaster, right?"
"I gotta go," Frankie laughed, and put the phone back to her ear. "Mom, I'm on my way back. I'll be there in five. Will you please relax?"
"Good-bye!" called the boy.
Frankie shouted back: "I hope you liked the custard."
"I like vanilla better!" he called. And when she turned to look for him again, he was gone.
Copyright E. Lockhart 2008. All rights reserved. No part of this book maybe reproduced without written permission from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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