Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Description : Elsewhere
In the End

“The end came quickly, and there wasn’t any pain.” Sometimes, the father whispers it to the mother. Sometimes, the mother to the father. From the top of the stairs, Lucy hears it all and says nothing.

For Lizzie’s sake, Lucy wants to believe that the end was quick and painless: a quick end is a good end. But she can’t help wondering, How do they know? The moment of the crash certainly must have been painful, Lucy reasons. And what if that one moment hadn’t been quick at all?

She wanders into Lizzie’s room and surveys it despondently. A teenage girl’s whole life is a collection of odds and ends: a turquoise bra thrown over aputer monitor, an unmade bed, an aquarium filled with earthworms, a deflated Mylar balloon from last Valentine’s Day, a Do Not Enter sign on the doorknob, a pair of unused tickets for a Machine concert under the bed. In the end, what does it all mean anyway? And what does it matter? Is a person just a pile of junk?

The only thing to do when Lucy feels this way is to dig. Dig until she forgets everything and everyone. Dig right through the pink carpet. Dig until she reaches the ceiling of the floor below. Dig until she falls through. Dig and dig and dig and dig.

Lucy has finally worked up a good cleansing dig when Alvy (the seven-year-old brother) picks her up off the rug and sets her in his lap. “Don’t worry,” Alvy says. “Even though you belonged to Lizzie, someone will always feed you and wash you and take you to the park. You can even sleep in my room now.”

Sitting primly on Alvy’s too-small lap, Lucy imagines that Lizzie is just away at college. Lizzie was nearly sixteen, and it would have happened in about two years anyway. The glossy brochures had already begun piling up on Lizzie’s...
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