That Was Then, This Is Now


Chapter 7 to Chapter 9

Chapter 7 Summary

At the Carlson’s, Cathy breaks the news about M&M to her parents. Mrs. Carlson is very upset, but Mr. Carlson is confident that M&M will be back the next day. Cathy is upset with her father for not taking the situation seriously enough, and says he can’t dismiss what M&M is going through as “just a stage.” In the car, Mark is also unconcerned about M&M’s disappearance, saying that “Nothing bad happens to you when you’re a kid.” Bryon feels the distance growing even greater between himself and Mark.

For the next week Bryon and Cathy continue looking for M&M each night, but they never find him. Bryon gets a job bagging groceries at a grocery store, and Mark is also bringing home money. Mark doesn’t say how he gets the money, and Bryon and his mother don’t ask.

One evening, Bryon and Mark go out together. Driving up and down the Ribbon, they see Angela with a bunch of other girls and stop to talk to her. She is drunk, and tells them how miserable she is with her new husband and his family. She confesses that she only got married because she thought she was pregnant, and then it turned out that she wasn’t. Mark invites her to join them in the car, and the three drive around drinking rum. Angela gets more drunk and miserable about life as the night progresses, and eventually passes out. Bryon pulls the car over, and Mark pulls out a pair of scissors. He wants to get even with Angela for instigating the fight that landed him in the hospital, so he cuts off all of her hair. She doesn’t wake up, and they leave her in the front yard of her house.

On the way home, Bryon starts crying drunkenly. He is upset about M&M disappearing, and Mark tells him he know where M&M is. He promises Bryon that he will take him there the next day, but says that Bryon shouldn’t expect M&M to want to come home. Bryon asks Mark why his parents shot each other, and Mark explains that they were fighting over him. He heard his...

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