Mrs. Sharma slowed her pace when Jen mentioned the name Sarah, her head twitching almost imperceptibly as though she had wanted to whip around to face them and stopped herself.
Chelsea considered asking about Sarah, then decided against it. Mrs. Sharma had made it clear she didn’t want them to ask questions.
“Sarah?” Angelina’s eyes widened as she turned to Chelsea. “Falcon said Sarah was the one who took you.”
Mrs. Sharma’s head perked up in front of them.
“Yeah,” said Jen. “Sarah was the one who tricked me, Naomi, and Falcon. She had these cool freaky powers, and she trapped us here.”
This time, Mrs. Sharma didn’t resist the urge to whip her head around. She stopped walking so abruptly, Angelina narrowly avoided stumbling into her. Mrs. Sharma fixed Jen with an intense stare. Her expression was purposefully neutral, but with a fierce spark in her dark eyes that looked almost hopeful.
“Um, hi?” said Jen.
“What kind of cool freaky powers?” said Mrs. Sharma.
“Like… telekinesis powers,” said Jen. “Like she could use her hands to do stuff without touching anything, you know?”
Mrs. Sharma’s neutral, vaguely annoyed visage slipped away almost entirely, replaced with an expression that looked almost frantic.
“And you said this Sarah works for CPSI?”
“Hey,” said Angelina. “Why are you allowed to ask us questions?”
Mrs. Sharma shot Angelina a silencing glare.
“It’s her, isn’t it?” said Jen.
“What are you talking about?” said Mrs. Sharma.
“You said you had someone worth fighting for. I take it Sarah’s your someone, right? She has to be.”
“That’s none of your business.”
Mrs. Sharma’s voice was soft, but retained some of its intense edge.
“I don’t know what Jen’s talking about, but I think that probably means yes,” said Angelina.
The comment earned her another glare.
Mrs. Sharma stopped walking and turned to face them. Angelina didn’t stop walking in time. Chelsea grabbed her arm to stop her from colliding with Mrs. Sharma.
“Tell me where she is,” said Mrs. Sharma.
“I don’t really know,” said Chelsea.
“I don’t either,” said Jen. “She tricked us into coming here, but she didn’t come here herself.”
“Where was she when you last saw her?” said Mrs. Sharma.
“Well, I was at the CPSI headquarters,” said Jen. “In the engineering building.”
“Me too,” said Chelsea.
“I’ve never even seen this Sarah person before,” said Angelina.
“How is she? Is she safe? Is she alright?”
“I mean, like, I guess?” said Jen. “She was kinda…violent, but technically you could say she was safe and alright?”
“All this time,” said Mrs. Sharma. “All this time, I’ve been searching for her here, and they never sent her here.”
“Are you okay?” said Chelsea. “I’m… not really sure what’s going on, but you seem like you’re processing something big right now.”
“I think I am okay,” said Mrs. Sharma. Her voice was still soft, with none of its previous intensity. “I think I’m more okay than I’ve been in a long time, actually.”