More important than getting Doni away from the house while Gram took care of serious business was introducing Doni to Angela, the owner of Divine's Emporium. If there was something "broken" inside her, Angela would sense it first and get to work, and give us some clues about what to do to help her.
Granddad always said Angela was the heart of the town. I was always ready for another excuse to go to Divine's and look for treasures. Introducing Doni to one of my favorite places in town was just one more thing I could do to help her settle in and feel welcome. We had a line of credit at Divine's. There was always something new and wonderful to find there, and Gram never got mad when I brought home something. Other girls liked shoes and clothes and makeup. I liked the odd treasures and books and just digging in the back rooms and dreaming. Mostly dreaming that one of these days, a sleek new computer like no one had ever seen outside an electronics show would mysteriously appear on one of the shelves, and I could bring it home for a song.
It also helped that I was best friends with Bethany Miller, Angela's goddaughter. Since Bethany almost grew up there, when she wasn't at her dad's diner, I nearly grew up there, too.
"You like books?" I said, about the hundredth question I had asked since we took off across town on Uncle Jinx's ancient mopeds. The motors were quiet enough we could talk, and there was hardly any traffic because everybody was either in school or at work.
About then, I realized I had missed the Yearbook party. Not good. But on the plus side, I had missed a lot of boring end-of-the-year activities in my other classes. Some of our teachers gave us quizzes that didn't affect our grades at all, and they thought we didn't know it.
"Love books." A little spark of interest lit Doni's eyes, and I nearly fell off my moped in shock.
"Great. Angela has a huge book room. You can take anything you want. But show me what you pick, because we might already have it at home. Most of the rooms on the third floor are library."
"Really?" Doni put both feet down and the moped stopped short, whirring a little before the engine shut off. Her eyes were wide and she had color in her cheeks for the first time since her hot bath faded.