Chapters 5–8

After suffering a trauma, high school student Annabelle Agnelli decides to run 2,700 miles from Seattle to Washington, DC.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. succumb
    give in or consent reluctantly
    “Stop,” she tries, but she’s weak today. Sometimes, you just need to give in. It’s like the pain of punishment, when it’s a craving you succumb to.
  2. lame
    pathetically lacking in force or effectiveness
    She ignores Will’s calls that night. She ignores his messages, even if he’s crying in one of them.
    Take that.
    As a power move, it is so lame—rejecting his rejection.
  3. marred
    blemished by injury or rough wear
    It’s just about feeling good and powerful again. In terms of power, though, beauty is like glass, isn’t it? Shining, but transparent and easily marred.
  4. phoenix
    a legendary bird that burned to death and emerged reborn
    “You survived. You are the Phoenix!” They’d been on the phone for hours the night before, Gina interrupting with feed-your-heartbreak homemade macaroni and cheese and bowls of ice cream.
  5. fateful
    having momentous consequences; of decisive importance
    Here is where the memory starts to hurt her. Will, Kat, her own rejected self—each fateful piece sears her.
  6. sear
    become superficially burned
    Here is where the memory starts to really hurt. Will, Kat, her own rejected self—each fateful piece sears her.
  7. foreshadowing
    the act of providing vague advance indications
    “Yum, ashy bone soup,” he says as he dunks the frame in. This is not some big foreshadowing moment. He’s just being funny.
  8. concede
    admit or acknowledge, often reluctantly
    “Mojo is sometimes about boys.”
    “Ugh!” Kat concedes.
  9. bleak
    providing no shelter or sustenance
    The factory is now a ghost town, with abandoned buildings and FOR LEASE signs. Her internal landscape is bleak. A dry wind whistles through.
  10. compassionate
    showing or having sympathy for another's suffering
    “Oh my God! Sweetheart.” The woman’s voice goes from compassionate to alarmed as she takes in the fallen girl with the chopped hair.
  11. emboss
    raise in a relief
    The towel is from Grandpa Ed’s trip to Niagara. There’s an embossed photo of the falls, meant to hang over the stove railing decoratively. She holds the wet cloth across her ankles as Grandpa Ed backs out of his spot and hits the accelerator.
  12. lurch
    move haltingly and unsteadily
    Well, hitting the accelerator is actually the RV lurching and climbing slowly to thirty-five.
  13. bestow
    present
    Dr. Ohari hands them a receipt and a pamphlet entitled Instructions for Wound Care. “Good luck to you,” he says, as if bestowing a dire prognosis.
  14. dire
    fraught with extreme danger; nearly hopeless
    Dr. Ohari hands them a receipt and a pamphlet entitled Instructions for Wound Care. “Good luck to you,” he says, as if bestowing a dire prognosis.
  15. prognosis
    a prediction of the course of a disease
    Dr. Ohari hands them a receipt and a pamphlet entitled Instructions for Wound Care. “Good luck to you,” he says, as if bestowing a dire prognosis.
  16. substantial
    fairly large
    “Nah. He doesn’t bother me.”
    But he does a little, Annabelle can tell. And it’s not just that Dr. Ohari poked at Grandpa Ed’s substantial pride. Dr. Ohari worries Grandpa Ed.
  17. singe
    become superficially burned
    That night, when trucks speed past, their headlights flash, and the RV trembles and shivers against their power. They are comets and meteors burning past her little capsule; they scorch up her very skin as she tries to sleep. They sear and singe images on her retinas: furious screams, wails of sorrow, the slow, mournful crawl of cars.
  18. tinge
    color lightly
    Her socks have been rinsed, but they are tinged pink as they hang to dry over the bathroom door.
  19. compel
    force somebody to do something
    She is compelled by a force that has no reason. Call it guilt, shame, a need for redemption. Call it terror or courage. Call it the human spirit, trying to rise.
  20. disown
    cast off
    If Grandpa Ed doesn’t disown her after her jailbreak, he’ll meet her at a state park on the Snoqualmie River on day one, at a bend in the Yakima River on day two, and just off of Cabin Creek Road outside the small town of Easton on day three, her eighteenth birthday.
  21. desolate
    providing no shelter or sustenance
    In its former life, this trail was a working railroad. Now, it’s home to some of the most desolate land in the state.
  22. unfurl
    unroll, unfold, or spread out
    This morning, past the Cedar Falls train stop, Annabelle runs on a friendly path of crushed rock bordered with trees, all bright green and yellow with baby leaves unfurling.
  23. jibe
    be compatible, similar, or consistent
    It only is because of messed-up reasons going back messed-up generations, old reasons, reasons that don’t jibe with this world today.
  24. literal
    limited to the explicit meaning of a word or text
    “I am coming for you, tunnel. You are not coming for me,” she says out loud. She gives the worst of the worst gestures she’s learned from Grandpa Ed—index fingers stuck aggressively out. Literal translation: I’ll kick you so hard, your buttocks will end up this far apart.
  25. wield
    have and exercise
    Her first thought when she sees that card coming toward her is that she has somehow misused the nice-and-beautiful power-not-power she has. She wielded it recklessly, unleashed it on the vulnerable without entirely meaning to.
  26. lope
    run easily
    He lopes toward the second bus, takes the stairs in one leap.
  27. ordeal
    a severe or trying experience
    The circle of light grows. It brightens as a new day does. In spite of the long ordeal she just endured, it feels like a sudden embrace.
  28. patron
    someone who supports or champions something
    Patron Saint of Gallarate: Saint Christopher, who watches over travelers, children, and bachelors, and protects against storms, holy death, and toothaches.
  29. ward off
    prevent the occurrence of
    But Annabelle has heard stories. How her grandmother had the love of fifteen mothers. How she could put Grandpa Ed in his place with one look. How she could ward off the malocchio, the evil eye, with a prayer and the dip of her pinkie into a bowl of water sprinkled with a few drops of olive oil.
  30. impound
    take temporary possession of by legal authority
    “Carl Walter drove me over to Dick’s and we picked up your car,” Gina says. “We’re lucky it didn’t get impounded. I called the manager, and he said ‘no problem,’ but Carl Walter was still in Boise until today..."
  31. underscore
    give extra weight to
    “She underscored the need for publicity, and Olivia’s all over it. Ashley Naches from Wenatchee High is only the first person Olivia contacted, and she jumped at the chance to talk to you.”
  32. industrious
    characterized by hard work and perseverance
    Malcolm is not only a genius; he has the industrious, plodding patience of a tortoise crossing a desert plane.
  33. plod
    walk heavily and firmly, as when weary, or through mud
    Malcolm is not only a genius; he has the industrious, plodding patience of a tortoise crossing a desert plane.
  34. petty
    preoccupied with unimportant matters in a spiteful way
    At least, that world has temporarily vanished, and she is in another one, one that feels real and old, one that has gone on and on, no matter what is happening in that other noisy place. Terrible stuff can happen there, petty stuff can, while here, beavers still drag around sticks.
  35. abrasion
    an area where the skin is torn or worn off
    Now, her skin has abrasions where any fabric rubbed and rubbed against her skin.
Created on February 26, 2020 (updated March 19, 2020)

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