Az and Maddy apparently had been expecting them. In the
front room of the house, four antique cups were set out on
little saucers. Soon a kettle began to whistle softly on an
electric heater, and Az poured the boiling water into an
antique pot, releasing a floral scent into the room.
Tally looked around her. The house was unlike any
other in the Smoke. It was like a standard crumbly home,
filled with impractical objects. A marble statuette stood in
one corner, and rich rugs had been hung on the walls, lend-
ing their colors to the light in the room, softening the edges
of everything. Maddy and Az must have brought a lot of
things from the city when they ran away. And, unlike uglies,
who had only their dorm uniforms and other disposable
possessions, the two had actually spent half a lifetime col-
lecting things before escaping the city.
Tally remembered growing up surrounded by Sol’s
woodwork, abstract shapes fashioned from fallen branches
she would collect from parks as a littlie. Maybe David’s
childhood hadn’t been completely different from her own.
“This all looks so familiar,” she said.
“David hasn’t told you?” Maddy said. “Az and I come
from the same city as you. If we’d stayed, we might have
been the ones to turn you pretty.”
“Oh, I guess so,” Tally murmured. If they’d stayed in
the city, there would have been no Smoke, and Shay never
would have run away.