Teen-Age Spider-Girl Part 2

Part 2 of the Teen-Age Spider-Girl book!
" 'Is that real?'
It sounds like a silly question, but at the same time, the most logical. Maybe I'm dreaming, perhaps hallucinating. Anything makes more sense than the possibility that whatever it is that's standing before me can even exist.
And the person standing next to me can be alive."

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5. Deciding What to Do

One thing you have to understand about my group of friends is that there's no secrets.  We tell each other everything.  It's kind of an unspoken rule that we have with each other.  But, for some reason, I leave John Conway out when I talk about the plane crash.

We're all sitting at our usual lunch table, looking at the newspaper--the pictures I didn't take, the story I had no part in telling.  All evidence points to "freak accident", but something inside of me is screaming that it's part of something more.

"Am I being paranoid?" I ask my friends.

"Yes," Colleen responds, almost immediately.  "But that doesn't mean you have no reason to be."

So. Not. Helping.  Apparently the look on my face is enough because she then says, "But it could totally be nothing."

"Yeah, Jo.  It's probably nothing," Tyler agrees.  Tyler.  Colleen.  Agreeing?  Could Tyler be trying to impress her?

"It's probably nothing."  I repeat the words just under my breath, but for an entirely different reason than my friends surely think.

Then Kyle's voice breaks through saying, "Either way, I'm not any closer to figuring out that equation.  I need the other part--or parts."

"But, we don't even know where to look," comes someone else's voice.

But my thoughts are racing--running towards something I've known all along.  "But we know someone who does."  No one hears me.

"Yeah, and it's not like we can just start robbing banks to find them."

"But we know someone who did," I whisper again.

"So, I guess we're stuck."  Tyler glances at me.  "No pun intended."

"But we're not stuck," I say, louder this time.  "We know someone who can help."

I've known since Wednesday that we'd have to do it... eventually.  But Sammi's eyes get wide as she warns, "Jo, no."

"But he's the only--"

"He doesn't deserve it!"

"Sammi, we need him."

The table goes quiet for a while as Sammi and I stare into each other's faces.  Finally, she dares to ask me, "We need him?  Or you need him?"

It's a rhetorical question, I know.  It's meant to invoke thought.  And it does.  Sure, I'm still mad at Pete for being fake--lying about who he is.  And for leading me on last month.  But maybe there's something inside of me that wants to believe that the fake Pete is the one behind bars, and that he really is the person I thought he was for two years.  That he's really that nice, smart charming boy who doesn't even try--he just is.

"I'm confused," Tyler says, throwing his hands in the air--the universal sign for I give up.

Kyle starts, "Could you two be talking about--?"

"Pete," Sammi, Trish, and Colleen say together.

Then Kyle just looks at me.  "Jo?"

I nod my head.  "Pete.  I'm breaking him out."

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