About The Book

Walking out into the school parking lot, I immediately see Riley. The glow of her pink hair is hard to miss. She leans on the hood of a car, presumably hers. Reid, Kerry, and Andy are there too. I walk up to them, my eyes constantly darting to Reid. He cleans his Ray-Bans using his shirt and doesn’t seem to notice me at first. But Andy sees me, cigarette in hand, and shouts out, surprised, “Look who took us up on our offer!”

The others look up and see me now. I can feel myself blush at the attention.

“Yeah,” I say. I nervously tug at the edge of my plain white tee shirt.

“Hop in, Viv,” Riley says, as she unlocks the car and gets inside. I climb in, and everyone else files in after me. Kerry sits in the front seat with Riley. His dark hand holding hers—well, the one that’s not on the steering wheel—as she pulls out of the parking spot. I’m sandwiched in between Andy and Reid. Andy passes the cigarette around the car, and everyone takes a drag. I try it and cough a little, choking on the smoke. Reid watches and laughs quietly. Andy takes it back, his acne-splattered face relaxed as he rolls down the window.

Reid’s short, dark hair is blowing around a bit from the wind through the open window. I watch until he catches my eye.

“So where exactly are we going?” I lean forward and ask Riley.

“I don’t know. Denny’s sound good?” Everyone agrees, and Riley turns at the stoplight. I sit quietly as they all discuss their class schedules. Riley’s still a sophomore, but Kerry, Andy, and Reid are juniors.

We pull into the parking lot and pour out of the car. I stick next to Reid as we walk inside and make sure I end up sitting by him when the waitress seats us. It’s quiet as we skim through the menu. Only after we order does the conversation start up again. This time I’m the target of their talk...


© 2015 Lauren Castleton