By the time Jonah was a senior in high school Derrick had long since dropped out. When Judy discovered methamphetamine she introduced the drug to Derrick and he had become lost in a world of ever intensifying criminality. The addition of paranoia to his already reckless behavior made it impossible for him to function in the non-high world. He and Judy would spend days at a time awake, locked in their little house, simultaneously destroying it and putting it back together.
If Jonah was afraid he never let on about it. He could always find a quiet place for himself. For Hailey though, he was frightened. She did not see the danger Derrick and Judy presented. She was too trusting. Jonah took pains to move her around the house to avoid them or leave with her if he could not.
It was Hailey’s naiveté that precipitated the great tragedy about to unfold. She thought Derrick was funny. He always talked fast and made faces. She knew him as Jonah’s brother and she trusted Jonah more than anyone. That doesn’t mean she always listened to him.