EXCERPT “Your language skills are better than your French-braiding skills,” she teases as she shuts her iPad. I pretend to be insulted. “So not true. I can do French braids with my eyes closed.” She shakes her head. “Somehow, I doubt that.” “I’ll prove it to you.” She tilts her head, and her hand freezes on her purse. “Prove it?” she asks quietly. Somehow I’ve thrown a gauntlet I didn’t realize I was tossing. I do the only natural next thing—follow through. “Sure. Got one of those hair tie things?” She nods slowly. “Yes, but . . .” Her voice ….