I was beginning to get a bigger picture—bigger than just the problems caused by a failing restaurant. But I still didn't know, for sure, what had made Julie cry the night I was going to leave. Teenagers cry. It's not always a big deal, and quite possibly what I had seen was no more than a kid at the end of a bad day.
But I didn't think so.
I talked to Julie the next morning. We were standing on either side of the front door, polishing the glass. She'd used her conch shell to prop the door open. She was quizzing me about dolphins.
"What if one of them—the ones that got trapped on land—used a shell like mine. Do you think they could learn to hear the sea again?"
"I thought it was just your own pulse."
"I know. I was just wondering."
"Well, it might be a start."
She polished the window thoughtfully.
But her question had struck a chord with me. I began to form the germ of a plan.
"You know what I'd like?" I said.
"I'd like to see your private art collection."
"What do you mean?"
"All those pictures you do just for yourself, that you don't show to anyone else…?"
"I don't have any like that."
I raised my eyebrows. It made me feel like Kels.
She picked at a speck of paint on the glass.
"I don't really have a lot of time to draw, except for the lessons… and when I do have time—I don't know, I just never think of it, I guess."
"Really?" I said, again.
This was getting interesting.