Now that she knew the connection, Jenny was seeing the city with new eyes. “Do you realize,” she said, “that just about every building we’re passing has something about it that connects to the attic in my house?”
“Could you maybe give a fer-instance?” Sid asked.
“Well, look at that tree,” she said, pointing. “It’s the same tree that’s in the picture you see right when you walk up the stairs to the attic. And that old car right there — in that driveway — it’s exactly the same model as the toy car on the window sill.”
“Wait,” Josh said, “how can you remember so many details about what’s in your attic?”
“The attic has always been my get-away place”, Jenny explained, the words suddenly coming out all in a rush. “After Dad was gone, things were never the same, and I really just needed some place to hide. The attic was the one place in the world I knew I could go to be alone, especially when Mom was in one of her moods. She would never go up those stairs — ever. It’s like she was scared of something. So when I was little, and even after I wasn’t so little, I would spend whole days up there by myself, exploring, looking in all the drawers and on the closet shelves, finding stuff. There was always something new. It was kind of like a treasure hunt on my own private island. I always thought it was just the most completely unique place…”
All at once she stopped herself. She realized her companions were all staring at her.
“I mean,” she added, looking around, “until now.”