“Must we document every conversation?” Biddy asked sighing.
“Yes,” I replied dumping two sugar packets into my coffee.
She watched me for a moment then said, “It’s not a Voodoo doll.”
A tightness that I had been carrying in the space between my neck and shoulders relaxed an infinitesimal amount. Picking up my coffee cup I asked, “Then what the hell is it?”
“Just a painted doll. This woman I know from my past life, she sort of fancies herself as an expert on Hoodoo. I showed her the doll and she said it’s just a doll. You’re not cursed, but someone wants you to think you are.”
“I don’t know, who?”
I took a turn sighing. Biddy leaned forward and said in a low voice, “I’ve got a theory. It’s the town.”
“Yes. If the stories you’ve documented tell us anything it’s that something about this town attracts intense people. Mostly yuppie types, right? But energy is energy, it isn’t good or bad until someone taps into it. We know this place attracts go-getters and overachievers. But what if it attracts the opposite too?”
“Boring losers?” I said without thinking.
“Mean,” Biddy chided. “No, bad people with bad intentions. We’re obviously a magnet for evil spirits, even monsters. Why wouldn’t the energy here attract bad people too?
“Not everyone I met when I used to ghost hunt wanted their home cleared of evil entities. Some people actually want to harness that power, work with it, aim it. So what if someone aimed it at you? Or at least wanted you to think they did.”
The miniscule easing around my shoulders re-tightened as I considered the implications of Biddy’s theory. “So a stranger really did break into my house? It seems so improbable.”
“Have you had any parties lately, like for the kids where someone might have slipped away and put that doll in the attic?”
I began to shake my head then remembered. “We had this impromptu block party actually. Everyone ended up on our front lawn, watching the kids ride their bikes in the street. People were in and out of the house to use the bathroom, I guess I wasn’t really paying attention.”
“So it could be someone you know.”
I stared at her, completely freaked out.
“It’s just an idea,” Biddy continued, eyeing me, “On the other hand, maybe the doll was just a prank.”
I shook my head, “I don’t think so. It’s too much.”
“Maybe it’s someone who reads the blog and wants to insert themselves in the narrative.”
“If they live in this town then they already are a part of it,” I said.
“Regardless, hold off a bit on interviewing anyone else until we know what’s going on. Take a break. Get some sleep or something. You look like hell.”
I smiled. “I would if I could.”
“Of course you can,” Biddy said, annoyed. “Just stop interviewing people.”
“No, I mean sleep. I can’t sleep,” I explained. “But I’m not going to quit interviewing people. It’s sort of the only thing I have besides the kids. What else am I going to do? Go to a spin class? I already volunteer enough and I can’t just sit around waiting to pick the kids up from school so I can wait to put them to bed and then wait for them to wake up and do it all over again.”
“Get a hobby.”
“Is that what you would do?” I asked, seriously.
Biddy eyed me, “No. I waited until my entire life almost fell apart before turning my back on ghost hunting.”
I waved the comment away, “No one’s life is falling apart. So some weirdo is trying to scare me. So what,” I paused, considering whether I should tell Biddy more. I said, “There was one weird thing, though.”
“What?” Biddy asked quickly.
“Molly Vail, that psychic I interviewed a while back. I had coffee with her yesterday and she mentioned Voodoo. She said she’d had a dream about me. I was standing on the banks of a river. A bad storm was approaching and-” I stopped, taking in Biddy’s crossed arms and raised eyebrows. “She’s the real deal,” I insisted.
“Uh huh,” Biddy replied. “Go on, so you were on the banks of a river in this woman’s dream.”
“Whatever. She said that there were spirits in the water, watching me and waiting for the storm to come and raise the water so they could reach me. Then three woman walked out of the woods behind me with a Voodoo doll and placed it next to me.”
Biddy didn’t say anything.
“Sort of a coincidence, don’t you think? That she had a dream about me and a Voodoo doll?”
“What did she say it meant?”
“She didn’t know, but she thought it was some sort of a warning.”
“Well at the very least you’d better stay away from ghost filled rivers,” Biddy said looking down at her watch. “I have to scoot.”
“Where are you headed?” I asked.
“Spin class,” she replied making me laugh out loud. “What’s on tap for you today?”
“I’m actually going to meet a woman with a monster story.”
“Where? Here?” Biddy asked.
“No, her house. She lives over on Bristol Road.”
“You’re not supposed to go to people’s houses alone,” Biddy pointed out.
“It’ll be fine,” I said.
Lindsay Deardon is a very specific type of woman. One which I typically avoid like the plague. I’m not being judgy, well maybe a little, but I’m quite certain that I’m not her type either. Whereas I am all mirrored behavior and self deprecation, she is deliberate and confident. I avoid awkward silences like they are an email from the PTO. Lindsay takes a moment to think before she speaks. She chooses words carefully. I ramble nervously. She’s all control and calculation, scanning through her steel trap-like mind for measured and appropriate responses. Lindsay does not giggle. And if passive aggression were an art form, Lindsay would be a master creator.
I wasn’t exactly in peak performance when I met Ms. Deardon. My insomnia had been tapping me on the shoulder every night at three-thirty a.m. for weeks. Up for the day I ran from vague but nagging fears by watching Ghost Adventures re-runs and highlighting self-help books until the sun came up. I’d become so tired in fact that I was losing the ability to interact properly with people. I couldn’t recall simple words like “driveway” or “sneaker.” I’d find myself in the kitchen standing over the girls’ half-packed lunches having realized that I had zoned out thinking about some imagined conversation with an acquaintance who’d offended me long ago. I was half in the world, half in my scrambled brain. It was worse than having an infant. At least an infant keeps you on some sort of a schedule. This fog of exhaustion was all-encompassing.
I’ve been depressed before. I’ve been really tired for long periods of time before. This was different. It felt as though something was keeping me from myself. Distracting me, running me. It was aggressive. Relentless.
And it was in that mental state of tired confusion that I met Lindsay.
She lived in a very expensive part of town among brick mansions and storybook style estates, complete with English gardens and discreet guest homes hidden by impeccable landscaping. Hers was a massive grey colonial with a winding shell driveway, a gorgeous detail I hadn’t seen this side of the Sagamore bridge. Huge, I mean colossal maple trees shaded the yard and the house, their leaves browned and curled at the edges. We’d had a humid summer and a fungus had taken hold of all the maple trees in town. It crimped and browned their leaves making the autumn landscape a dull sepia.
Black shuttered windows watched me park my Suburban and crunch across the driveway in brand new Uggs. I’d returned to my roots. Re-adopting an old uniform; skinny jeans, button down, green quilted down vest, and obnoxiously cozy boots. I climbed the granite steps and rang the doorbell. A pretty young woman with a bouncy ponytail, black framed glasses and business attire opened the door and said, “Good day, Maam.”
Having never met Lindsay before I mistakenly assumed that this woman was her. A parent I knew from Joey’s pre-K class had put us in touch with one another. Joey’s friend’s mom read the blog. She’d grown up in Wellesley alongside Lindsay, the two carpooled to an early morning boot camp on the Boston Common twice a week and Lindsay had asked her if she knew anyone discreet that might help her with a tricky paranormal situation. My name came up and a terse email exchange ensued. I was to report to Lindsay’s home on that day at that time and listen to her story. Advice would be appreciated.
I’m self-aware enough to know that no one should accept advice from me, but I figured I’d record the story and point her in the direction of one of Biddy’s old friends.
So the woman who was not Lindsay, whose role in the home was never explained or addressed but who I decided must be some sort of a housekeeper/personal assistant lead me into a grand sitting room towards the back of the house. There sat the real Lindsay in a crisp white button down shirt, impossibly skinny skinny jeans, and emerald green ballet flats. She wore her long thick highlighted blond hair in perfect beach waves that needed a good tousling. A thick slab of bangs swept across her forehead. Tasteful diamond studs, a big diamond pendant and a ring finger dripping with diamonds displayed tiny and not so tiny exclamation points of wealth. She was thin, pilates thin and she was pretty, and she was really fucking rich. She was wearing lipstick.
My hostess looked up from the October issue of Vogue and stood as the housekeeper/personal assistant person announced my arrival.
Lindsay thanked me for coming. “Would you like anything to drink?” She asked. “Sparkling water? Kombucha?” I declined and she said to the P.A., “Please close the doors behind you Rebecca. That will be all for today.”
Lindsay indicated that I take a seat across from her on a full-sized pink linen couch the twin to the one on which she perched. A gold-framed glass coffee table sat prissily between us, holding a green lacquer tray atop which sat a pile of home decorating books, a candle and a small orchid. The candle had never been lit.
The walls around us were a stark white and aside from ornate golden wall sconces to each side of the French doors, the room’s windows provided the only decoration, a view of the rolling back yard edged by dense forest. I could see the edge of a brick patio bordered by healthy hydrangea and there was a, well I wouldn’t call it a shed because it was beautiful and built to look like a small replica of the house itself. It was set back into the woods in a little carved out cove, shaded by trees.There was even a shell covered walkway leading from the patio to the tiny house. It was absolutely adorable, enchanting even.
“It’s just a play house for the girls,” Lindsay said dismissively when she noticed me looking at the structure.
I commented on how sweet that was and said something about how my girls would love a playhouse like that.
“They’ve maybe used it twice in the past year. It’s a den of spider webs,” Lindsay replied, obviously annoyed about it, though I couldn’t tell if she was annoyed that they’d used it only twice or that they’d played in it at all.
I pulled the digital recorder out of my vest pocket. Prior to meeting this woman who looked like she stepped out of an episode of Guiding Light, I’d been feeling pretty good about the fact that not only had I showered and dried my hair that morning, I had on blush and real clothing, not work out clothes. Lindsay’s sleek no nonsense perfection made me feel like a bulky clod.
I showed her my digital recorder and turned it on before placing it on the coffee table between us. As I did I notice the rug under our feet. It was so pretty. A soft green with specks of gold threads running through it. I became self-conscious of my stupid boots.
“Where shall we begin?” Lindsay asked as though she were heading a board meeting.
“I don’t know much about your situation,” I replied taking a deep breath. It was all I could do not to just walk out of that room. It is hard to explain and I am sure it is all wrapped up in my own projections and neurosis, but women like Lindsay – self-possessed, pulled together, direct – make me want to run in the opposite direction. I find them too strict and they find me too flighty. I’ve been trying to be more comfortable with being uncomfortable but it’s a real work in progress.
Lindsay crossed her legs and played with the gargantuan eternity band on her left hand. She was looking out the window as she said, “I don’t even know what you’re doing here. I don’t know what you could possibly do for me, I don’t know if anyone can do anything.”
I made myself remain silent. Trust me, that’s really hard for me to do.
Finally, just as I was about to either explode or fill the silence with nervous chatter, Lindsay said, “Someone, or rather, something is trying to ruin me.”
I was surprised. “How?”
“It is pretending to be me and doing and saying things that I would simply never do.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand,” I said.
“It began with that goddamn necklace,” she spat as though I should know what she was talking about. When I didn’t offer the understanding she expected she elaborated, “The pearl necklace, from the auction in Stowe. That’s what the thing escaped out of and I need you or someone you know to tell me how to put it back.”
“Look,” I offered, creeped out. “Just tell me everything. Then we’ll figure out how to fix things.”
“That woman with the sailor’s valentine. What ended up happening to her?” Lindsay asked abruptly. “Did you do anything to help her?”
My mind caught up and I said, “Oh, you mean Pam. I called her a few days after I left her house and apologized for running out on the interview. I did some research and found a medium in Cambridge who was able to bind the entity and remove it from the house. I think Pam sold the valentine eventually, I know she got rid of it somehow anyway.”
“You bound the spirit of the little girl?” Lindsay demanded, disgusted.
“It wasn’t really a little girl,” I replied trying not to sound defensive.
Lindsay looked back out the window towards the playhouse.
“I don’t know what is happening to you but I’m happy to listen and if I can I’ll put you in touch with someone who will help. I promise I won’t just leave you hanging.”
Lindsay looked at me and swept her bangs to the side with a flick of her head. “It began at this auction, in Stowe. I’ve found unique trinkets there before and I really needed some small pieces for the built-ins in Cooper’s office.
“On that visit last Spring I found these beautiful antique rose quartz urns for the mantle at the beach house. They were a steal. I should have left it at that but this necklace caught my eye, a long strand of Tahitian multi-colored pearls. It was a piece I could only wear on island, of course, you know for cocktails.”
I could see Lindsay in my mind’s eye. On a perfectly weathered deck overlooking an expanse of beach plum bushes and scrub, the ocean not far off in the distance. The collar of her crisp white button down popped, white jeans, and rich leather sandals, one hand fingering the pearls the other holding a crisp glass of Frosé.
“It was a ridiculous impulse buy,” Lindsay interrupted my daydream with feigned embarrassment. “I even bought them with my secret stash so I wouldn’t have to explain the expense to Cooper. He can be so tedious about money. Though never if it has to do with sailing or golf, of course,” she said with a forced laugh.
“I didn’t wear them right away, you know. The season wasn’t right. I shoved them to the back of my necklace drawer and only found them when I was packing for an early summer weekend on Nantucket. My girlfriend held a three night fortieth birthday bash on the island. The necklace was perfect for the cocktail hour on the first night.
“It would be dishonest to say that I didn’t notice anything strange about the necklace at first,” Lindsay’s head gave another twitch, again knocking her sweepy bangs to the side. “For one thing I know that I packed them in a box towards the bottom of my suit case. The luggage was packed to the gills, there’s no way it could have shifted on the flight over. But that box was right on top when I unzipped my bag. Everything else was in place. And when I, well, this probably sounds like a stretch, but I took a shower and when I came back out to the bedroom the pearls were there. Laid out on the bed like they were waiting for me. I asked Coop if he’d put them out for me, he hadn’t. Of course he didn’t, that wouldn’t be like him at all.
“It was so strange, they were beautiful, stunning. Even more so than I had remembered. When I put them on I had a sort of hot flash. The hotel was frigid, Cooper is very particular about air conditioning, but I was so hot it felt like I was standing in front of an oven. The feeling was intense, but it passed quickly.
“Everything else was normal that night, though I had an incredibly vivid dream that someone was standing over me in my bed, watching me, sort of studying me. I know now that wasn’t a dream. It was there. And it was studying me. The first time I suspected something wasn’t right was the next morning. Cooper and I had slept in and when we went down to the hotel restaurant for brunch my friend, Ainsley, made a comment about how ‘wasted’ I’d been the night before. I’d had two glasses of wine, but I wasn’t drunk. I don’t get drunk, only idiots drink their calories.
“I asked what she was talking about and she said, ‘I never thought I’d ever see you at the Box.’ I’ve never been to the Chicken Box. Filthy dive bars aren’t my scene. I’d been in bed by ten o’clock.”
“That’s weird, could she have seen someone that just looked like you?” I asked.
“I tried to convince her of just that, but she wouldn’t hear it. I assumed she had been the one who was wasted that night but then one of my other friend’s husbands came over to our table and started chanting ‘Chug! Chug! Chug!’ It was so obnoxious. He said he’d seen me there too and that I had engaged in some sort of a drinking contest with a bachelorette party.”
“Oh man,” I laughed.
Lindsay wasn’t amused. “The idea is absurd, I didn’t know who they’d seen but it wasn’t me. The rest of that weekend on Nantucket was strange. There were a couple other instances of friends claiming they’d seen me laying out at the beach or waiting in line for ice cream. Again, things that I simply don’t do. We made a joke of it, that I had a look-alike on the island. ‘The trashy doppleganger,’ we called her.
“Everyone had a good laugh over that but then it began happening when we got back to town. I was at SoulCycle one morning, Back Bay not Chestnut Hill, and the woman who is always at bike fifteen asked to trade with the woman next to me. Then this woman, Jill, she’s an acquaintance at best, started going on and on about what a great time she’d had over brunch the day before.
“Frankly, I was dumbfounded. I don’t talk to people at SoulCycle. I’m there to work out for Christ’s sake, I’m not the work out buddy type.
“I tried to politely make it apparent that I was there to have a moment to myself when she said, ‘Let’s do it again. I can’t today because I have a parent teacher conference and I can’t go there smelling like booze.’
“‘I’m sorry, you must have me confused with someone else,’ I told her. She laughed out loud, I mean she threw her head back hysterically, drawing looks from the other women in class,” Lindsay’s eyes were wide, as though she couldn’t believe the woman’s gall to actually laugh out loud. “The instructor came in so we couldn’t speak any further though the woman leaned over and said, ‘You’re a riot, Lindz.’
“No one calls me that,” Lindsay said, and I could tell that she meant it. She twitched her bangs out of the way again. “I rushed out of class before the last five minutes. I couldn’t deal with talking to that loud woman again.”
“What did you think was happening?” I interrupted. “A look-a-like on Nantucket is one thing, but this woman knew your name.”
Lindsay considered for a moment, and crossed her legs in the opposite direction. She attempted to push her bangs behind her ear but they were just a touch too short. She closed her eyes, obviously agitated. “I don’t know what she, I mean what I thought. I was just annoyed. I am a bit of a home body and when I go out to do something I want to do it, I don’t understand why everything has become social hour,” she took a deep breath.
“These coincidences began happening more often. People who I’d only known in passing became increasingly familiar with me. It was very uncomfortable. The barista called out my order as I walked in the door. I only drink green tea but she insisted that I’d raved over the salted caramel mocha,” Lindsay shivered then bang twitched.
“I was more upset by the intrusion of it all. My life is simple,” she waved a hand around the room as if indicating the subdued elegance was a reflection of minimalist living. “I keep a very small inner circle, now everyone and their cousin was approaching me with inside jokes and proposals of playdates or cocktails.
“After about two weeks of this nightmare I visited my psychiatrist. I want you to understand that I was given a clean bill of health. She suggested that I’d been under a great deal of stress, the children had been home all summer. I needed time to decompress and regain my space.
“I took a weekend at the Whiteface Lodge, by myself. No Cooper, no children. Just me, yoga and silence. That was the weekend that it took over my life.”
“The mimic. I slept at the Lodge, in a way that I simply hadn’t slept in forever. I came back refreshed and ready to put my life back in order. I’d done some research and decided to drop SoulCycle and apply for a membership at an exclusive yoga community in Wayland. I’d had an epiphany on that trip, I needed less busyness in my life, more stillness.”
I had no idea what this woman was talking about, it seemed all she had was restrictive stillness but I nodded my head pretending to understand.
“I returned from my retreat last Monday morning. The kids were already off to school and Cooper was at work, of course. Rebecca was nowhere to be found. I checked my planner but found nothing about a day off for her. So it was just me at the house. I set my bags at the basement stairs for Rebecca to take care of the next morning, then I texted her and she said she’d requested the day off on Friday and that I had approved the absence. I had no recollection of that, but let it slide. I went to the workout room in the basement to do some meditation, re-center myself. We have a sliding glass door that overlooks the backyard in that room. I pulled out my yoga mat and began my meditation and a noise outside caught my attention. It sounded as though someone had thrown a rock at the glass doors.
“I stood to look and see what it could have been. Movement by the playhouse, back towards the woods caught my eye. I watched for a moment, unsure of what I had seen. I was about to sit back down when I saw her, it, open the playhouse door wave to me and then slam it shut. It was me. It was me in that little house. I can’t even describe the way it felt. It was like I was having a waking dream.”
“Oh my God,” I said, unable to think of a better response. Honestly, I didn’t know how to take Lindsay’s story. To me she seemed like a complicated bundle of narcissism and agoraphobia. It was almost too perfect that the monster haunting her was herself. “Did you go out to the shed?” I asked.
“Of course not. I ran upstairs and pressed the panic button on our alarm system and went to our safe room.”
“There’s a safe room in this house? Can I see it?” I asked without thinking.
Lindsay looked at me as though I’d just asked to sit next to her in spin class. “Sorry,” I said quickly. “I just haven’t ever seen one before, I thought they were an urban legend.”
Lindsay ignored my apology, and with a bang twitch continued, “The police came immediately and searched the grounds. They found no one. But they did retrieve the strand of pearls from the play house. That’s when I knew the mimic was tied to them somehow. Perhaps they were cursed by some native, I don’t know how it all works with those people.”
“What people?” I challenged her.
“You know, those religious types.”
“Oh, sure, I know exactly what you mean,” I said, my patience completely worn thin by this uppity bitch. “So you saw your doppelganger in the perfect little duplicate of your house. What happened next? She attended a PTO meeting? Or signed you up to volunteer somewhere?”
Lindsay slowly tilted her head to the side and gave a little smile. Then she regained resting bitch face and said, “The weekend when I was away she threw a party at my house, invited everyone we know, my husband’s colleagues, all of our neighbors, the kid’s friend’s parents. Apparently it was quite the bash. And I am almost completely certain that it was with my husband that night and then again on Sunday morning.”
“Well, I mean, wasn’t he at the party?” I asked dumbly.
She looked up at the ceiling in exasperation, “Yes, he was at the party. But I think it was with him. Do you understand what I mean?”
“Oh, shit,” I said, getting her point. “That is disgusting. I’m sorry.”
“It is humiliating. He was all, affectionate when he came home Monday night,” she shook her head quickly as if to shake off the memory.
“So she, I mean it, is just running around interacting with everyone as though it is you?”
“Yes, so what do you think Biddy would try to do if she were to try and get rid of it?”
“I don’t know I would have to ask her,” I said, surprised at hearing my friend’s name. I hadn’t mentioned her, though I guess Lindsay had read the blog.
“Well, think. Take a guess,” Lindsay pressed.
“It’s not a spirit or a demon, at least I don’t think so,” I said. “It seems like a kind of monster, or a strange being you know? And if it is the result of some sort of curse then I guess she’ll have to reach out to someone who can counteract it.”
“She is able to commune with witches?” Lindsay asked in an amused tone.
I paused, looking at her. Lindsay wore the same small smile she had moments before.
“Biddy knows a lot of people from her ghost hunting days,” I said cautiously. “Um, I know this is silly but how do I know that I’m talking to the real Lindsay right now?”
Lindsay tilted her head again and her smile widened. “Good girl.”
I laughed nervously.
Lindsay lifted her hands and scruffed her perfect bangs up and off her forehead. “I was beginning to think you were a complete idiot. Ugh,” she said, annoyed, “I don’t know why she wears her hair like this. It is incredibly impractical.”
“What?” I said, quietly.
“Our Lindsay is such control freak. But we both know that an expensive keratin treatment does not guarantee a cute fringe, now does it?”
Lindsay’s face had transformed. Where there had been tightness around her eyes and a pinched sense about her lips, there was a softening. A calm amusement.
The mimic watched me watch it.
“How’d I do?” It asked watching me intently. “From that dumb look on your face I’d say I was pretty convincing. I thought you’d figure it out sooner, though. Do you honestly think Lindz would ever tell anyone that this is happening to her? No. She’d go to her grave first. I expect she soon will, actually. A few more little nudge nudges from me and then I’ll be rid of her. She’s got a good gig going here but she won’t let herself enjoy it. She’s so fucking repressed.”
The thing tucked it’s legs beneath itself on the couch, then shook a finger at me, “No shoes on the sofa!” It giggled then said, “It didn’t take you very long to hate her did it? Oh, this one is as elitist as they come. You want to know what she thinks about you? It’s quite incredible really, I know exactly what she knows. I have all her memories in here,” the thing tapped it’s head gently, “I can form her opinions as though they are my own.”
I stared at her. At it.
It watched me, “You know, Miss Liz, I’ve been wanting to meet you. You’re pretty much what I expected. Gullible, a smidge vague, though that’s probably from that bad case of insomnia.” It winked at me, again. “I don’t know why they’re so worried about you, you’re not much to be worried about.”
I grabbed the recorder off the coffee table and held it out in front of me like a weapon as I stood up and backed away from the thing. My mind swirled with far fetched ideas, trying to convince myself that I was speaking with a mentally unstable woman, not a monster. But I wasn’t sure which scenario was more terrifying.
“Quit messing around,” I said, like a complete and total idiot.
“Oh, no.” It said in a low voice. “I am not messing around. I am as serious as a knife through your eye.” It stood up causing me to back up so quickly that I knocked over a side table, and watched as it’s lamp fell and smashed on the hardwood floor.
The mimic tsked and exclaimed, “Oh boy, Lindsay is not going to be happy about that!” Then it began to laugh hysterically. One hand over it’s mouth, the other on it’s stomach.
I bent down without taking my eyes off the monster and grabbed my bag, then I began to back towards the exit.
“Leaving so soon? Well, I must say this was fun. A word of advice, if I may? Stop these ridiculous little interviews. I might not think you’re a threat but I’m not the one you need to be worried about. They don’t want you connecting any more dots my dear.”
I’d backed into the French doors at that point and was feeling around for one of the knobs. I found one, turned it, pulled and bolted for the front door. The mimic called, “Sweet dreams!” before snorting with laughter.
I jumped out the door and slammed it behind me making a run for the car. Once safely locked inside I was shaking so badly I could barely get the key in the ignition. I gunned it out of the driveway, spraying broken sea shells behind me. Maddeningly, traffic kept me from turning immediately onto Cliff Road off Bristol.
I waited in an impatient panic for a break in traffic, trying to convince myself that it had all been a mean prank. I’d almost sold myself on the idea when Lindsay, the real Lindsay, turned off Cliff Road and onto her street. She drove past me without looking, in a blinged out Mercedes wagon headed towards her house.