GENRE: YA Romance, (mature)
He’s the boy who wants to disappear.
One mistake and seventeen-year-old Shake LeCasse lost everything. Now there’s no going back and no way to move forward. The once-popular Varsity hockey captain is living in the basement of a grandmother he barely knows, ditching school, avoiding friends and working hard on self-destruction.
She’s the girl nobody sees.
Cleo Lee survives however she can. Lie, cheat, steal, whatever it takes, and saving Mr. Popular isn’t part of the plan. Telling him the truth about the night that destroyed his life is downright dangerous. She needs to keep quiet, be smart and let the guy she’s been half in love with since middle school throw away a future she’d do anything to have. Too bad she sucks at playing it safe.
Maybe write this down:
Cleo polishes off the chickpeas and goes back after the marshmallows.
“Open,” she says.
I open my mouth. She tosses. I catch. The marshmallows have fossilized into something less edible than styrofoam. I hold one up. She opens and I throw. It bounces off her nose.
“You gotta aim,” she says,
“You need a bigger mouth.”
“No one’s ever told me that before. Other than marshmallow catching, why would I want a bigger mouth?”
I tilt my head, touch my tongue to my upper lip and wait.
She gets a little pink and snorts. “Somebody thinks a lot of himself.”
“You did want my autograph. For being such a giant dick.”
“I stand by my opinion. Throw another one.”
She catches my second attempt. I set the ice pack on the table.
“Hey, Sasquatch, put that back on your face.”
Sasquatch? WTF? I wince as the cold touches my ragged skin. And then, for no other reason than maybe my brain’s mission is to sabotage my chances of every getting laid, I blurt, “You stole the Oreos out of my lunchbox in fourth grade.”
Pay attention. Maybe write this down. If you’re desperate to get in a chick’s panties, accusing her of stealing should be avoided. And probably, since she’s the only other person in the room, don’t point at her like a total tool.
Cleo, strange creature that she is, smiles back at me and her little nose crinkles. “I also stole your Ninja Turtle action figure.”
“Donatello? No way!” I sit up straighter. This is huge. That Donatello came with a removable shell, glow-in-the-dark vial of ooze and … OK, OK, back on track. “You know I blamed Thad Bates for that, right? I got in all sorts of trouble for punching him in the face. I gave him a bloody nose after gym class.”
She nods. “Yup, and he deserved it. Thad told everyone I stole his little sister’s shirt off the clothesline in their backyard.”
“Well yeah.” Her inflection calls me an idiot for asking. “But that’s not the point.”
I wonder what the point is.
“Thanks a bunch, Cleo. I got sent to the office. Got my XBox taken away for a week. My parents drove me to Thad’s house, made me apologize and … ” I trail off because I can’t catch my breath. Because my lungs have suddenly deflated like a pair of leaky pool toys. Because I know better than to travel down memory lane, where nothing but nightmares live.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Emily Award Finalist and Melody Of Love Award Finalist, Charisse M Moritz divides her life between upstate NY and northern Florida. When not barricaded inside her writing cave or enjoying every possible minute with her husband and three kids, you’ll find her listening to 60’s music, singing offkey and looking for new reads.
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