Stay calm. She ordered herself. Don’t panic. Don’t let it bother you. Mallory tried to shrug off the spite filling her chest. That expression was one she despised seeing. Because it meant without a doubt that her parents were indeed gone. She struggled accepting that every day, but especially when someone looked at her with such understanding and concern.
One day a few months after moving in with the Trumans Mallory exploded over a rule she’d broken. They tried handling the situation with kid gloves, but Mallory only became further upset, yelling at them and calling them names. She finished by bursting into tears and sobbing into her hands—covering her face.
A few minutes later, after having done their best to calm and quiet the distraught girl, Mr. and Mrs. Truman started gently reprimanding her for her reaction to their admonishment. Mallory wasn’t at all happy, and she argued some with them. The result took her by surprise, even though she knew they were fair. They grounded her for two days, and as a result she would miss the concert the school was hosting. She’d wanted to go for weeks, and had even bought some new clothes to wear.
Now, Mallory couldn’t go. Sneaking out of the house looked like her only option for getting there, but she’d never been one for subversive action. When her friend Jessica Trible called to confirm that they were going, she hesitantly told the other teenager about her punishment. Jessica tried to talk her into sneaking out of the house, but Mallory wouldn’t hear of it.