How to Say Goodbye in Robot Booktalk
Bea's mother calls her a robot who doesn't have any feelings, and Bea's about ready to agree with her, when she meets Ghost Boy.
The folded note landed on my turkey sandwich. In red calligraphy, it said:
"From: Future Beatrice"
Inside were eleven cryptic words: "1120 AM. MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. BEATRICE OF THE FUTURE WILL THANK YOU."
There wasn't any doubt about who'd written it. Jonah Tate sat alone at the next cafeteria table. His nickname was Ghost Boy, and it suited his pale hair and flour-white skin and pale gray eyes. I sat between him and Anne Sweeny at Assembly, and my locker was between theirs as well. It was my first day of school. Jonah didn't know me — why the note and its strange request?
Just before midnight, I tuned the radio on my bedside table to 1120 AM. A mellow voice spoke, inviting listeners to call in to the Night Light Show with Herb Horvath. They did, lonely people, looking for company. There were a few calls before a voice I recognized. "Hello Herb. This is Ghost Boy." He didn't say much, but I knew he'd meant me to hear it. Not just his call, but also the others who called in as well. They were citizens of the secret world on the airwaves, a world Jonah had given me a key to, even though he barely knew me. I had to prove myself worthy of his trust. I picked up the phone and began to dial the number.