Back at the dolls’ house, the dolls had just met with the police and had filled them in with all the details. There was nothing they could do but wait for the police to take action. Isabelle had suggested they all watch a little TV to distract them.
It didn’t seem to be doing much.
Most of the dolls had gathered in the living room, sprawled out on the couch, fold out chair, and the floor. Lea’s absence felt more noticeable than ever. There was a feeling of dread and unease in the air.
“I should be out looking for her myself,” Sarah blurted out when an advertisement about American Girl’s new doll, Lea Clark, flashed across the screen. She threw a pillow from the couch she was sitting on onto the floor in frustration. Then she burst into tears.
Isabelle quickly switched off the TV, and reached over to gave Sarah a hug. “We need you here. The police need to do their job. I’m sure they’re working as hard as they can,” she said, convincing no one.
Sarah sniffed and rubbed her eyes. “But it’s my fault,” she explained. Several tears rolled off her cheeks onto her skirt.
“No it’s not.” Kanani insisted, “It’s nobody’s fault. She decided, on her own, to go.”
Sarah cried harder into Isabelle’s shoulder and Isabelle just hugged her. The dolls were there for each other in times of trouble, and right then, they needed each other.
Grace sat on the fold-out-chair, looking extremely comfortable and calm.
Inside she was a nervous wreck.
Her secret felt as if it were a monster, clawing around in her stomach. It had been hurting since yesterday morning. Grace knew she should tell Sarah the truth, but she kept reminding herself that she had promised to Lea not to tell anyone.
Grace was shaking, unable to concentrate on the screen before her. Finally, in a unsteady voice, she said, “Um, Sarah, can I talk to you?”
Sarah wiped her eyes and pulled away from Isabelle’s embrace to stand up. “Sure. Come on.” She exited the room with Grace right behind her.
They both walked to the bedroom. Kaya was there playing with Tutu on the daybed.
“Hey Kaya,” Sarah said, “Why don’t you go give Tutu some treats or something?”
“Sure,” Kaya answered bluntly. She hopped off the daybed and left the room to go get Tutu’s bag of treats. Tutu meowed and tiptoed daintily, leading her into the kitchen.
Sarah plopped down onto the empty mattress, another indicator of Lea’s absence. Grace took the upper bed.
“What is it?” Sarah asked. She laid on her back, staring up at the ceiling. Grace noticed her eyes were red and swollen from crying.
“Um..” Grace’s heart was pounding. “Lea told me why she left.”
Sarah snapped her head up, fully attentive now. “Why?”
“She’s a Jedi.” Grace explained. Her stomach immediately relaxed. The secret was no longer just her own.
“Oh.” Sarah said, pondering the information she was just given.
“You believe me?” Grace asked. She had half-expected Sarah to laugh.
Sarah said, “Why wouldn’t I? You’ve never lied to me before.”
Grace couldn’t think of any other good reasons.
“So, why did she leave?” Sarah asked, “Did she feel out of place?”
Grace shook her head. “She was getting threats in the mail. I found one when I went through her bedroom. Somebody wants her lightsaber.”
“But why didn’t she tell me? Why didn’t she tell us?” Sarah asked, feeling more hurt than angry, “We could have helped her. She doesn’t have to deal with this herself.”
Grace shrugged. “I don’t know. She ran away to protect us. Someone is after her lightsaber and the note said they would come after us too. So she left.”
“That’s not going to change anything.” Sarah said. She looked up at Grace. “Have you told anyone else?”
“No, you’re the first one I told. Lea made me promise not to tell anyone, but I didn’t think it was a good idea this time.” Grace explained.
“Well, I’m glad you told me. Maybe this can help us figure out where she went.” Sarah suggested.
They sat on the bed in silence.
Finally, Sarah said, “Well, we’d better go tell the others. Plus, I have something else to say.”
Sarah and Grace slowly made their way back into the living room. The other dolls were still soberly watching TV. Sarah cleared her throat, and the dolls looked up at her, ready to hear what she had to say.
“Guys,” Sarah said, “We’re finally going to move.”