Nearly Gone

⛄ Free Format Kindle Download ⁀ Nearly Gone  ⛎ Author Elle Cosimano ⛸ ⛄ Free Format Kindle Download ⁀ Nearly Gone ⛎ Author Elle Cosimano ⛸ Most scientific laws can be boiled down to a simple mathematical if then equation If you follow the rules, then you get the desired result If you deviate, then there is a consequence The rules of law dont concern themselves with why.My mother really only had three rules A no bad grades, B no trouble, and C no touching A B C admission to a good college In her mind, this was an incontrovertible direct mathematical proof It wasnt a theory It was the only possible outcome.I used to believe that too But that was before I started to wonder why.Sometimes, the only way to find a solution is to break the rules.1Who can tell me the purpose of Dr Schrdingers experiment Mr Rankin paced between the rows on the other side of the classroom.I huddled over my open textbook, concealing the Missed Connections ad in the personals section, dissecting the words again for some hidden meaning Newton was wrong We clash with yellow Find me tonight under the bleachers. It read like a science riddle, and I couldnt seem to stop looking at it Stupid.Anyone Rankins chalk smudged slacks paused beside me I inched my arm over the ad Id never been so careless to read them during class Especially so close to the end of the semester, with finals only a few weeks away Stupid. No personal ad was worth losing a scholarship over.He passed on, and I tucked the folds of the Missed Connections tighter under my textbook.At the blackboard, Rankin underlined the words DEAD OR ALIVE Hed scrawled them there yesterday at the end of class, along with a reading assignment, a disturbing preview of todays lecture.Dead or alive This is the question quantum physicists havewrestled with since Erwin Schrdinger first devised his experiment in 1935 Mr Petrenko, do you care to enlighten us Every head turned to the back of the room, where Oleksander Petrenko reclined, his feet crossed at the ankles, fingers threaded behind his head The laces on his black high tops were red, which always seemed out of character to me Everything else about himhis buzz cut, the sharp angle of his jaw, his brusque Ukrainian accentwas clipped, stark, and ascetic.He shrugged beneath a dark hoodie What is the point The consonants rolled off his tongue, stopping abruptly against his square white teeth He blinked gray eyes, sharply outlined in dark lashes His lids were hooded, making him look bored when he finally answered Schrdinger was a physicist This is AP Chemistry.I suppressed a smile I didnt have one thing in common with Oleksa, but I couldnt agree Schrdingers experiment wasnt about chemistry or even physics It was a matter of philosophy, and philosophy had no place here Hard science follows rules Its assertions are quantifiable and concrete Clamp down the facts under a bright light and magnify them to the 10x power until the details are so clear, the truth isnt a matter of debate It justis.Rankin raised one eyebrow and approached Oleksas desk, drumming his fingers on the surface Oleksa regarded them coldly, as if he might enjoy breaking them.As usual, Mr Petrenko, you are smarter than you are industrious This is indeed Advanced Placement Chemistry I assume this to mean you have the capacity to appreciate the broader implications of Schrdingers experiment I am continually amazed that someone with such a large brain can be so small minded I cringed, feeling the sting of Rankins insult I wasnt small minded.Oleksa crossed his arms and slouched lower in his chair.Anh Bui, care to take a stab at it Rankin turned, and heads shifted to my side of the room Anhs throat cleared beside me.Its a thought experiment, said Anh Schrdinger presented a scenario in which a live cat is sealed in a box with a toxic substance to prove that you cant know for certain if the cat is dead or alive until the box is opened.Rankin waggled a finger in the air and surged to the blackboard Proof he exclaimed, making Anh and me jump in our seats as he scrawled frantic letters across the board Proof by contradiction An indirect proof by which a proposition is proved true by proving it is impossible to be false He slapped his chalky hands together Schrdinger places a cat in a steel chamber with a device containing a vial of hydrocyanic acid If a single atom of the substance decays during the test period, a relay mechanism will trip a hammer, which will in turn break the vial and kill the cat But how do we know for certain He paused, looking expectantly from face to face Schrdinger presents a paradox The cat cannot be both alive and dead at the same time, and yet to the universe outside the box, earlier theories of quantum mechanics suggest the cat would be bothdead and alive.The cats dead, muttered TJ behind me Rankins eyes swung in his direction, and the class turned collectively to look at him The brace on his outstretched leg bumped my chair as he shifted in his seat Five years ago, TJs mom had locked herself in her Saab inside their garage with the engine running As far as TJ was concerned, if you poisoned something and put it in a box, it was dead.Many would agree with you, Mr Wiles, Rankin said, brushing over the awkward pause and drawing heads back toward the front of the room All except TJ, who was staring a hole through his lab table Schrdinger himself knew this idea was absurd, and yet he argued that we cannot know the true state of the cat until the box is opened Until we can prove it.TJ grumbled something unintelligible Beside me, Anhs lips turned down Shed stayed home sick when wed dissected frogs in biology class, and done extra credit assignments for a week to make up for the grade Anh was a vegetarian whocaught spiders in cups and put them outside rather than killthem It didnt matter that we were lab partners, or even that we were friends If Rankin made us do something horrible to a cat for our lab final, Id be on my own Which, as much as I hated to admit it, might not be such a bad thing Our cumulative scores for the year were a little too close for comfort.I doodled a dying frog on the upper corner of my newspaper, an exaggerated tongue hanging out of his mouth and eyes rolled back in his head, then tipped it toward Anh so she could see it She clapped a hand over her mouth to stifle a giggle, drawing Rankins attention toward our end of the room I slid my textbook to cover the exposed edge of the page.He frowned at us but didnt bother with reprimands Instead, he checked his watch and sighed Speaking of absurd, there is a pep rally for the soccer team in the gymnasium nextperiod Lab report scores will be posted on Monday as usual, and we will reconvene to discuss your upcoming practical exam, in which you will design a chemistry experiment that demonstrates your understanding of proof by contradiction That, Mr Petrenko, is the point.Slamming textbooks and shuffling papers muffled his final instructions Rankin raised his voice Mr Petrenko, please come prepared to participate next week And Leigh Boswell, please leave the personal classifieds in your locker, lest they become a distraction in my class The bell rang and Rankin reached for his mug Dismissed.My lungs collapsed as if the breath had been kicked out of them Id made it almost the entire year, and Rankin picked nowthe tail end of the fourth quarterto call me out in front of everyone.Anh glared at Rankin, hunched over his desk Dont worry about it, Leigh Im sure no one was paying attention But you really should consider leaving the love connections in your locker Youre going to get us both in trouble.I wiped my ink blackened fingers on the front of my pants Theyre not love connections.Whatever She rolled her eyes playfully, like she knew something I didnt I adored Anh Really, I did But the last few weeks, it had been hard not to resent her crisp white shirts, her hair cropped to perfection over each neat eyebrow, the way she never broke a sweat before a test.There was only one chemistry scholarship, and I was a fraction of a point behind her, which meant Anh stood between me and a chance for a new life Alphabetically fated as lab partners for the last three years, wed been setting the curve since Which meant that we needed to help each other as much as we needed to crush each other Most days, the thought of crushing Anh just hurt And yet, I wanted to out seat her so bad, I could taste it.I hated myself for the thoughts I hoped she couldnt read on my face I felt like Schrdingers damned cat It was stupid to think there was than one possible outcome To wish we could both come in first To think of our situation as anything but black and white.I jammed the Missed Connections into my backpack, scooped up my books, and then paused There was graffiti on my desk that hadnt been there yesterday Id been in such a hurry to check the paper, I hadnt noticed it earlier The letters were blue and bold, and exactly mirrored the words Rankin had written on the blackboard yesterday afternoon DEAD OR ALIVE I looked up, cradling my books The room was almost empty.I thought Id go to the library and study for our trig test Are you going to the pep rally with Jeremy Anh stood waiting beside me I paused, trailing a finger over the letters They felt creepy and intentional The blue ink didnt smudge, but I could still smell a hint of indelible marker fumes Probably the same blue markers we used during labs Someone must have been sitting in my seat before class and thought itd be funny to freak me out It wouldnt have been the first time a classmate pulled a practical joke at my expense This one seemed harmless enough.Anh was still waiting At this point, I wanted nothing than to be as far away as possible from Mr Rankin and the gossip worthy morsel hed just served up to my entire chem class As if they didnt already have enough to chew on Pep rally Sure See you at lunch.2Jeremy waited outside my class, leaning against the wall and fiddling with his camera case, his baby blond bangs falling limp over his eyes He paused his tinkering to push his wire rim glasses up his nose with a long, slender finger Someone bumped into him, and when he looked up, his pale gray eyes found mine He smiled.I wanted to smile back, but my mood was too dark when I walked out of Rankins class and I couldnt make myself return the greeting.Hello, sunshine He tossed me a pouch of Twinkies Jeremys smiles felt brighter lately Anh insisted he only smiled now when he was with me The simple fact that I felt responsible for them made those rare smiles feel like spotlights And Id already been under enough spotlights this morning.He looked past me, over my head, and frowned Is Anh coming Shes studying.I dropped the World News section of my paper into his waiting hands, and kept the rest for myself World news mattered to Jeremy His world was bigger than mine His parents owned time shares in Aruba and the Cayman Islands I, on the other hand, never saw much sense in concerning myself with global headlines when my entire world fit inside a tin can trailer and the front seat of Jeremys Civic.I handed him back a Twinkie and scarfed mine down in huge bites as I put distance between the lab and me His camera case bounced against his chest as he tried to keep up.Good morning, Jeremy, he mumbled through a mouthful of cake Great to see you How was your morning Fantastic,Nearly, thanks for asking Hey, thats great Mine too.I flinched at the sound of my given name Back in middle school, wed had a writing lesson about eliminating unnecessary adverbs, and the class had latched on to my name Nearly Boswell I became an adverb Expendable.Jeremy had decided a new name would make me feel stronger So he came up with Leigh.Not that it had mattered Id gone from being Nearly A Freak in grade school, to Nearly Has Boobs in middle school, and now Nearly Invisible to most of West River High.Jeremy never called me Nearly unless he wanted to make a point.He looked me over thoughtfully Dont let Rankin get to you Hes not going to mess with your grade just because you were reading the personal ads during lab.You heard that I glanced around to be sure no one was listening.Should I be jealous he chided Reading the personals used to be our thing Since when did you start reading them with Anh How long were you standing out there Why werent you in class He waved a pink slip Excused absence Friday morning therapy with Dr Matthews.I didnt break eye contact to double check his excuse Hed been seeing Dr Matthews since hed tried to OD on a bottle of cough syrup when he was twelve So why werent you in therapy, then Jeremy fanned his fingers and a second pink slip appeared behind the first Excused absence Illness.I gave him a quick head to toe He definitely wasnt sick But he was smiling the same wide eyed smile he wore the first day he picked me up for school, right after his father forbade him from driving his car anywhere near my neighborhood The same reckless twinkle in his eyes hed worn when I dragged him through the back window of my trailer on Friday nights while my mom was at work so our nosy neighbor wouldnt see.Normally just the thought of cutting class would have had him scrambling for a Xanax Hed spent his whole life doing exactly what his parents expected of himwell, except for the time he spent with me His father was wound way too tight for Jeremy to risk anything else And yet, he was smilinglike hed tasted his own free will, and he liked it.How many sessions have you skipped He ignored my question and started casually toward the gym.I trotted after him, taking two steps for each of his, growing anxious when the smile slid from his face Youre going to be in serious trouble if your mother discovers you bugged out on your shrink appointment.First shed have to care, he grumbled She didnt even notice that I paid your rent with my dads poker moneyHis Adams apple bobbed as he swallowed the rest, as if only just realizing hed said it out loud.My eyes flew open wide You did what Its no big deal, he said, tucking me under his arm as he walked Dad came home from his game last night drunk with a lot of cash Vinces dad lost big He arched a brow conspiratorially So I snuck a few hundred and gave it to my mom I told her it was your rent payment It should keep her off your moms back for a few days.You shouldnt have done that, J What if you get in trouble His parents were our landlords, and ever since my dad left, they hated us Probably because we always seemed to be late with the rent.Its no big deal.He pasted on a paper thin smile, but he was holding something back I didnt see any of the telltale signs that he and his dad might be fighting, but Jeremyd always been good at concealing the occasional bruise.My fingers fidgeted in my pockets, wanting to touch him but not wanting to pry If he wouldnt tell me, then touching him skin to skin was the only way to know for sure what he was feeling But it felt wrong, like sneaking around in someones room, or taking something away from them that wasnt mine to take Id feel his emotions, taste them like they were some tangible thing Id consumed.The first time I touched Jeremy, we were twelve It was an accident, our fingers grazing as we both reached for the last cookie on the silver tray in Jeremys kitchen during our dads poker game Up until that night, we hadnt really spoken on those Friday nights when my dad dragged me to Belle Green with him so he could play cards with Mr Fowler Id felt out of place in his house It was filled with delicate and breakable things Things I shouldnt want to touch, but did, because they were so different from my own But when Id touched Jeremy, we felt the same Alone He was in his own house, in his own neighborhood, and still didnt fit I recognized that kind of loneliness, because it was mine too.We split the last cookie that night, and everything else since Being together didnt get rid of the loneliness, but somehow, it made it sweeter, because we shared it.I pulled my hands out of my pockets, and gently took his, letting a painful lump of his emotions swell in my throat His depression tasted like a dry salt paste It would have been choking and hard to breathe through if it werent muted by the antidepressants Dr Matthews prescribed Still, my eyes burned like Id been crying, and I swallowed the knot until it was a clenched fist inside my chest Whats going on You can tell me.Jeremy shook his head Its nothing.But it wasnt It was strong, with a bitter after bite that I could feel trying to claw its way up He was angry, and burying it deep It seemed to burrow under my own skin.Its something.He shrugged it off and didnt look me in the eyes I got into it with my mom again this morning Thats all.I gave his hand a squeeze Whatever it was, he would tell me when he was ready Ill pay you back the rent money, I promise I dont want to get you in trouble.He squeezed back, and the brief pulse of affection was laced with doubt I let go of his hand, and pushed my glasses up my nose, bringing his tight smile back in focus, knowing Id seen him clearly a moment ago and wishing I hadnt.Its fine Dont worry about it, he said, as if he could see through me too.We neared the gym, and the hall erupted with clappinghands and the steady stomp of feet against the bleachers West River Highs varsity soccer team had made the championship playoffs The athletes gathered by the trophy cabinet to check their reflections in the glass and worship at their own altar before rushing the gym floor I skirted around the clog of blue uniforms, trying not to touch them.Heads up I ducked and held my breath as a soccer ball soared low over Jeremy and smacked into the wall The rebound caught the side of his head.Relax, man Its just Fowler Vince DiMorello recovered his lost ball and dribbled it back through the crowd.Do you mind I hollered.Blow me, Boswell, Vince called back, following it up with the finger I bit back a mouthful of choice insults that would have been completely wasted on Vinces stunted vocabulary and pathetic IQ, and watched as a manicured hand smacked the back of Vinces head Hard To anyone else, it might have seemed like a casual flirtation, but I knew this particular cheerleader, and the look on Emily Reinnerts face wasnt romantic.Dont be such a dick, she muttered as she stepped out from behind him to head toward the gym.She didnt look at me when she passed Not directly Instead, the corner of her mouth turned up, curling the Wild Cats logo on her cheek The throng of people narrowed around us and pressed into the wide gym doors She discreetly slipped a note into my hand and I shuddered at the unexpected contact Awave of her complex emotions rippled through me A nauseating prickle I attributed to stage fright Then the cool wash of gratitude that followed.I crumpled the note and pulled my hands inside my sleeves while Jeremy watched the hem of her cheerleading skirt disappear into the gym Is it just me, or is it shorter than usual Jeremy I tugged on his camera strap Why dont you take a picture Itll last longer.I plan to take a few dozen, he said You know, for the school paper Think shed give me an interview I snorted Sure, if you can get past her boyfriend For your next reckless act of rebellion, you can ask TJs girlfriend out on a date Then we can see how long it takes him to beat you to death with his leg brace.You wouldnt let that happen.He said it quickly Easily Like he didnt have to think about it Jeremy was a pacifistthe opposite of his dadwhere I tended to react for both of us When we were fourteen, Id stood in his kitchen, holding his phone, waiting for social services to answer Jeremys hand was on mine, his wrist ringed in bruises, tasting remorseful and uncertain, like maybe hed deserved it Drowning out my own feelings and making me uncertain too I hung up the phone, and Jeremy let go, and I still hated myself for it.Are you coming he asked, shaking me from the memory Music and shouts blared behind him, a sea of blue and white jerseys and pom poms.No, its not my thing Anhs working the store for her brother after school I wish we could hang out Just the two of us, I said hopefully Maybe if it we hung out like we used to, then hed open up and tell me what was wrong.I cant Im covering the game at North Hampton He held up his camera case and waved an apologetic good bye People crested around him in blue and white waves, and his blond head bobbed over them like the sun I squeezed my hand where Id held his a moment ago, and hoped hed be okay without me for a while I waved back, walking backward as the gym swallowed him up.Emilys note crinkled against my palm I ducked into the nearest girls bathroom and opened it Everything about it bubbled, from her loopy letters to the obnoxious circles under multiple exclamation points. 79% on my algebra test I passed I sighed, crumpled her note, and tossed it in the trash.It was almost a thank you A passing grade meant she could keep her place on the squad, her seat in the social pyramid Unfortunately, her passing score would do nothing for mine, even though Ihad been the one to tutor her after school.Every week.For three months.Community service Five days a week One hour a day A mandatory requirement of all scholarship candidates Students with cars and bus money got to volunteer in labs, or hospitals, or at the Smithsonian Oleksas dad hooked him up cracking math codes for some government agency Meanwhile, we who were vehicularly challenged had to tutor students after school.Of course, it would all have been worth it if theyd paid me If I didnt have to slip money from my mothers tip jar for my newspaper and depend on Jeremys Twinkie donations for my junk food fixI closed my eyes and thunked my head against the wall, which didnt do anything for the tension headache blooming inside it Touching Jeremy had stressed me out The headaches, the nausea they were the reason Id stopped touching my mother after my father left five years ago Id tried, thinking that I could fill the void That holding tightly to her might ease her pain, and maybe ease my own But I wasnt enough, and shed turned so bitter that when we did touch, the pain stayed with me for days and the taste of her made me vomit I lost weight and missed school, withdrew under blankets and hid inside long sleeves Worried, my mother took me to neurologists who told her there was nothing physically wrong with me They suggested I was suffering from stress, that I was emotionally fragile because my father had left us Relief clung to the stench of my mothers griefmaybe, at least partly, because the doctors had given her one reason to blame him.But she was wrong They were all wrong What I was feeling wasnt my fathers fault It wasnt coming frominside me It was coming from anyone I got close enough to touch I wasnt exactly sure how it workedits not like they teachthis stuff in AP Physicsbut I had a theory Emotion is energy, and if energy is strong enough, it can travel between two points Maybe I was like a channel, someone other peoples energies could pass through I was somehow experiencing truths about people that others just couldnt Most of those truths left a sour taste on my tongue that made me wish Id never gotten close to them at all So I didnt I didnt do sports, I avoided parties and crowds, and I didnt date.And I never told anyone.I washed two aspirin down with a palm of tap water Then I leaned on the sink basin and looked hard in the mirror, the bits and pieces I remembered of my father staring back at me through cross sections of my mothers face Almost, but not entirely either one of them.I was still just nearly.3After school, I spread the newspaper out on my bedroom floor I wasnt interested in the whole paper, just the section of personal ads called Missed Connections Id only had time to skim them, sparing glances between labs and lectures, and I clung to the possibility that maybe Id missed something important.What do you think, Doc Will I find him this week I asked the poster on my wall It had been a birthday gift from Anh, who thought it was hilarious that Albert Einstein was the only guy whod ever been in my bedroom, until Id pointed out that this accounted for one than had ever been in hers.Id never told Anh about all the Friday nights Jeremy and Ihad spent sprawled across my bedroom floor, eating Twinkies and cackling over the personals when we were younger Thatwas before the two of us had become the three of us.Looking at the paper now, I saw that the few ads that had resonated with glimmers of hope that morning turned out to be nothing than empty pick up lines. I saw you on the Blue Line You got off at Van Dorn You have red hair and a great rack I think you might havenoticed me too If so, same time, same place tomorrow Ill save you a seat.I snorted into my hand, careful not to attract my mothers attention through the paper thin walls of our trailer. You dropped your stamps at the post office on Wythe I picked them up for you I was too nervous to think of something to say If youre out there, tell me what I was wearing so I know it was you.I fell backward on the threadbare carpet with an exasperated sigh Five years gone and still no sign of the man who spent every Saturday with me at Belle Green Park, pulling dandelions out of thin air and making quarters vanish with a wave of his hand.I reached one hand under my mattress until I grasped a small plastic bag containing a carefully folded personal ad dated five years ago, a worn brown wallet, a gold wedding band, and a train ticket The wallet and the ring were all that was left of my fathers personal effects My motherd found them in his car, abandoned in an airport parking garage.Id watched Mona cut up the IDs and credit cards and toss everything, even his ring, in the trash While she wept, locked in her bedroom, Id fished the remaining scraps of my father out of the wastebasket and tried to tape them back together There had been far too many pieces They fit together like a puzzle and when I was done, I had four drivers licenses, each with a different name, all of them similar in looks to my father, but only one of them was him Id had all these theories about why he had those phony IDs I imagined hed been swallowed up by the Witness Protection Program and thats why he had so many aliases We lived close to Langley and the Pentagon I told myself he could have worked covertly for the CIA My father wouldnt have just left He must have had a reason And I believed that one day, hed come back That it was all some necessary sleight of hand, and hed turn up like a card in a trick, right back where he was supposed to be.Id returned the broken pieces of the phony IDs to the garbage can and tucked everything else in a plastic bag.The personal ad was something Id found when I was in middle school Jeremy and I read the ads every Friday night while our dads played poker together Id always assumed we were drawn to the ads because of our common loneliness That maybe we were both searching for something But then one day, about a year after my father left, I found this particular ad that changed everything.Careful of the brittle paper, I eased it open I didnt actually need to read it Id memorized every word. NIm here and Im okay Ill always be near you.I love you, D.I had no proof it was my dad Jeremy insisted N could be anybody But I knew this ad was mine I knew it was from my father, without proof or probability, all the way through to my soul My father had known about our Friday ritual, and he must have thought it was the perfect way to contact me discreetly Hed even included the word near, a safe way to refer to my name without actually using it.After that, I didnt want to share the ads any I didnt find them funny, didnt laugh at the desperation I was searching for something I was desperate Jeremy didnt really believe my dad had sent me a message, and the only thing I cared about was finding another one Jeremy stopped bringing the Missed Connections, and I started buying my own It wasnt our ritual any It was mine.I spent every Friday looking for another ad Once, Id thought for sure Id found him. Its been nearly a year since my last ad Im in town and want to see you Meet me at our old hangout next Saturday.Id gone to Belle Green Park just after sunup Spent all day watching the parking lot and the trailheads, the neighborhood parents watching me suspiciously as they pushed their kids on the swings These are the kids you should be making friends with, my dad had said when Id asked him why we came to this park every Saturday instead of the one at the end of our street Their parents looked at me now the same way they had looked at me then Like I didnt belong there They were right At dusk, I walked home alone And a week later, I found the response to the ad, confirming it wasnt him.When I was younger, searching the Missed Connections had always been about finding my father But now Sometimes Id see an ad that so perfectly expressed my own loneliness that Id clip it out and save it Study it, searching for whatever it was that made one ad yield a reaction, and another go unanswered I wasnt exactly sure who, or what, I was looking for any, but sometimes it felt like I was looking for a missing piece of myself.I read the clipping again and carefully folded it back into the bag, slipping it deep under my mattress Then I flipped to the ad that had haunted me all day, the one that got me busted in chem lab. Newton was wrong We clash with yellow Find me tonight under the bleachers.Nothing like the saccharine pleas Id come to associate with Friday mornings, this ad left an acrid taste in my mouth Something about it was justwrong Not dirty pervert at the bus station wrong Not even unrequited lovesick nerd wrong.This was something different Something Id never seen in the Missed Connections before.Nearly My mother banged on my door and I jumped I cursed under my breath and leaped to my feet.Nearly, open the door I scrubbed my hands against my shorts, leaving trails of dark smudges.Breathing deep, I flipped the lock and cracked the door, blocking the narrow opening Mona stood in the hall holding an empty coffee mug and a full pack of menthols A full pack meant she hadnt checked the cookie jar yet My shoulders relaxed, but only by a fraction My petty larceny of her tip jar was just a necessary reallocation of household fundsI needed my newspaper fix than she needed to smoke But even though my addiction wouldnt kill me, I still had no intention of getting caught.She raised a thinly tweezed eyebrow If I didnt look at her face, I could pretend her frayed robe concealed flannel pajamas with teddy bears and hearts If I ignored the rhinestones glued to her eyes, she could be anyones mother But she wasnt anyone elses mother She was mine.Mona lit up and exhaled a long ribbon of smoke Im going to work.I paused, torn between slamming the door in her face and locking us both safe inside.Jeremy says were late with the rent again.She was slow to answer, and for a moment I worried there really might not be enough money this time Jeremy had bought us a day with his dads poker money, but I knew I had to pay him back Where would we go if his parents evicted us I looked at her, the what ifs written all over my face Her brows drew together, scrunching up the rhinestones and deepening the lines around her eyes.Jim hired a new girl and my shifts got cut back, she said Ill have the money tonight You can take a check to school on Monday Mona looked past me to the personal ads spread across my floor Her laugh was derisive like she was coughing up bad memories The same cutting laughter that made me want to keep the loneliest parts of myself hidden I pulled the door tighter around me, blocking her view of my room.Theyre not worth it, she said I dont know what it is you think youll find in those papers, but theres not a man in this world you can count on to fix your life.I wanted to tell her the same thing That the money they threw at her wasnt worth it That taking her clothes off for strangers hadnt fixed anything But we both knew this argument wasnt about just any man It was about the one whod left us overextended on credit, without money for bills About how he was the reason their only car was repossessed and Mona would never be able to leave her job at Gentleman Jims, the only job she could walk to that paid enough to hold on to the lease on our trailer.We had the same argument every Fridayabout how men cant be trusted and if you depend on them, youll be left alone with problems than you started with It was the same argument that drove me to buy a train ticket to California two years ago, because Id started to believe her Even if he did come back, it would only make things worse, she said.Look around, Mona Could it really get any worse She sucked in a thoughtful drag Be careful who you put your faith in, she said in the sultry deep rasp that sounded ancient and sad, but had everyone else fooled Youre lucky Born with a head full of brains Dont make the same mistake I did She pointed her cigarette at me Your education is the only thing you can count on to get you out of this trailer If Id spent time on mine instead of chasing after a boy, neither of us would be here.Luckyshe thought I was lucky Of course she couldnt accept the possibility of my fathers genetic contribution to my intelligence He was dead to her And some days, her grief and anger hurt me than his absence.Ash balanced precariously from the tip of her cigarette She looked tired, and so much older than her thirty five years A diploma A college degree Thats the only thing thats going to get you out of here She shook her head and exhaled a long smoky sigh, the ash falling to my floor.I sighed and pointed at the sign Id tacked to my door Do you mind This is a non smoking room.Mona raised a brow, and amusement tugged at the corner of her mouth Her smile was painted on and clung outside the natural line of her lip, making it look fuller than it was But I knew better Beneath the gloss, she had forgotten how to smile when my father left.Dont you ever wonder where he is I asked, tossing my own hope at her as though it were a life raft If maybe hes thinking of us She leaned against the door Hes never coming home, Nearly That much I know She stubbed out her cigarette in her empty mug, the life raft abandoned and drifting in the murky waters between us Get your studying done.4I pushed open the door of my trailer, pausing to look up and down the street before dragging the full trash bag onto the front porch and down the rickety wooden steps Sunny View Mobile Home Village was shaped like a fish Or at least the decaying remains of one Run down trailers lay in parallel rows alongside short alleys protruding like ribs off Sunny View Drive The crooked backbone of my neighborhood began as a dead end street, a rutted narrow blacktop that hadnt been tar coated since the 1960s Almost as old was the playground, a skeletal collection of rusted metal wrapped in remnants of yellow police tape where the fishs tail would have been On the other end, Sunny View Drive spit into an intersection of a six lane highway, and beyond that, the parking lot of a run down strip mall Anhs parents store, a coin Laundromat, Ink Angst Tattoos, Gentleman Jims, and a video store that would have been obsolete had it not been for the red curtain room at the back A half dozen small businesses feeding the addictions of the chewed up residents of Sunny View.Our trailer sat on a corner lot, right in the middle of Sunny View Drive The trailers across the alley were staggered, set back from the street, and from my front porch, I could see all the way to the traffic light at Route 1 Mona had almost reached the end of the street, the sashes of her long coat dangling beside her heels I slung the trash bag a little too hard and the dented metal cans rattled together before toppling over The echo bounced off wall after wall of rusting aluminum My neighbors window blinds were drawn shut, her cautious hands prying them back to check the noise.Mona turned her head, wary eyes checking over her shoulder, heels purposeful over the ruts and loose gravel I watched until she reached the brighter streetlights at the intersection.Shed worked nights at Gentleman Jims as long as I could remember When I was younger, Id slept on Jims couch in the back while she waited tables Now Jims phone number was on a yellow sticky note, taped to the phone in the kitchen Id called her once when wed run out of peanut butter for sandwiches Jim said hed leave a note in her dressing room, that she was on stagenot waiting tablesand hed have her call me back between sets He never gave her the message And I never called again.A car turned onto Sunny View Drive, the blue white halogen beams blinding me I shielded my eyes until the lights swung back onto the road, and when I looked up, Mona was gone The car continued its approach, a lean black older model Mercedes with diplomatic tags that was obviously lost It drifted down the street, and I waited for it to make a clumsy three point turn in the alley beside our trailer It didnt I stared at the drivers window, surprised to see Oleksa Petrenko slouched coolly behind the wheel Our eyes met for a brief second as the Mercedes ghosted by, barely crunching the gravel as it eased into a parking space a few doors down beside Lonny Johnsons Lexus.Lonny was a second year senior, not that he cared He was a businessman, not a student, home again after consecutive stints in juvie Hed been gone longer than usual this time and when we passed each other at the mailbox earlier that week, he was taller Thinner Eyes deep set and dark He had new tattoos that climbed up his neck and met the shadow of a beard that hadnt been there before A silver bullring hung beneath his nostrils It matched the barbell under his lip.A screen door slammed and a security bulb snapped on, illuminating him in a wide halo.Lonny raked his bleached hair back with tattooed fingers and scanned the street to both sides His eyes skipped over me like I wasnt there But when he leaned over Oleksas window, he angled his back to me, blocking my view of the exchange between them I could see the glint of metal tucked inside his waistband, a reminder to mind my own business.I turned around and stooped to pick up the overturned cans, crinkling my nose at the scattered debris A few feet from the cans, tucked just under the lowest porch step, was a small cardboard box I picked it up, expecting it to be empty, but something shifted inside It had been loosely taped shut, and a soft scratching sound rasped against the inner walls of the box when I shook it I held it under the dim porch light, a strange feeling twisting in my gut. FOR NEARLY, it said in bold blue letters that felt oddly familiar.I glanced over my shoulder No one was there except Lonny and Oleksa, still deep in hushed conversation Pulling at a loose corner of tape, I slowly opened the top.I dropped the box and clapped a hand over my mouth The small mound of rotting flesh was stiff with rigor mortis Her white throat was crusted with blood.A dead cat.The words DEAD OR ALIVE were written in blood inside the lid The letters had dried and crackled like finger paint, but the blocky handwriting was the same as the blue letters on my lab table.Id seen the feral calico coming and going from a hole under Mrs Moatess trailer I looked down the street at her window but her lights were already off and I didnt see any sense in waking her The poor thing had probably been a stray anyway.I held my breath and used the box to scoop up the tiny body, dropping her inside the closest trash can and lowering the lid I breathed through my sleeve and backed away, eyes blurring and throat working from the smell, and stumbled over the other can The lid crashed to the pavement and wobbled, reverberating through the alley Oleksa and Lonny stared with narrow eyes My neighbor peeled back her curtain again when her security light flashed on, her dog barking and scratching through the window I untangled myself and raced up my front steps, throwing the dead bolt behind me.Reaching for the metal bat my mother kept propped behind our front door, I slid to the floor, crouching in the dark until the Mercedess lights passed over the frayed sofa and peeling walls, tossing the room in one quick pass, then dropping it into darkness I listened for feet on gravel or a rustle against the window It was silent except for the cars on Route 1.Leaving the lights off, I crawled into bed with my clothes on and pulled the blankets to my chin I lay there, unable to get the smell out of my head Unable to shake the image of the letters written in blood.I reached down between the mattress and the box spring for my fathers wedding band, one ear alert for Mona coming home But I knew I wouldnt tell her about the cat I couldnt let some jerk from school freak her out enough to miss her weekend shifts just to stay home with me We couldnt afford it Besides, it didnt matter what Schrdinger thought Id opened the box and the cat was dead, and there was nothing Mona or I could do for it now.Cosimano weaves together math riddles, science based clues, an edgy romance, and psychological terror to create an unpredictable page turner.A good choice for fans of savant procedurals and dramas like Bones, Elementary, or Numbers Publishers Weekly Eloquently written and packed full of suspense, debut author Cosimano strikes gold with this page turning thriller that will have teens chomping at the bit to get to the end Give this to fans of Kimberly Derting s The Body Finder HarperCollins, 2010 or anyone else who is looking for a captivating murder mystery School Library Journal starred review The plot moves at a breakneck pace, picking up along the way a first rate romanceAnd STEM enthusiasts can rejoice the killer s riddles including the puzzle of what the victims numbers mean involve algebra, geometry, chemistry, physics, even astronomy This is an addictive and multilayered debut Cosimano has established herself as a thriller writer to watch The Horn BookPraise for Nearly Gone The story s single supernatural element is woven deftly into the story, the romance plot is compelling Tense and engaging well worth the effort of suspending one s disbelief Kirkus Reviews A suspenseful page turner that will leave teens on the edge of their seats Cosimano s character development makes almost everyone a suspect Voice of Youth Advocates Cosimano weaves together math riddles, science based clues, an edgy romance, and psychological terror to create an unpredictable page turner.A good choice for fans of savant procedurals and dramas like Bones, Elementary, or Numbers Publishers Weekly Eloquently written and packed full of suspense, debut author Cosimano strikes gold with this page turning thriller that will have teens chomping at the bit to get to the end Give this to fans of Kimberly Derting s The Body Finder HarperCollins, 2010 or anyone else who is looking for a captivating murder mystery School Library Journal, starred review The plot moves at a breakneck pace, picking up along the way a first rate romanceAnd STEM enthusiasts can rejoice the killer s riddlesincluding the puzzle of what the victims numbers meaninvolve algebra, geometry, chemistry, physics, even astronomy This is an addictive and multilayered debut Cosimano has established herself as a thriller writer to watch The Horn Book Fast paced, smart, and keeps you guessing till the end Start this book with a clear schedule because you won t be able to put it down Kim Harrington, author of THE DEAD AND BURIED and FORGET ME Smart, scary, and beautifully written An amazing debut that kept me on the edge of my seat to the very last page Megan Miranda, author of FRACTURE and HYSTERIA A hell of a ride Cosimano s twisted characters and breakneck pacing had me tearing through the pages to discover the killer Just be prepared to stay up past your bedtime Jill Hathaway, author of SLIDE Nearly Gone Nearly Gone, by Elle Cosimano has , ratings and reviews Khanh, first of her name, mother bunnies said If I d spent time studying instead chasing aft YouTube From album No One Lives Soundtrack Download bol ebook Adobe ePub, Elle Ebook Bones meets Fringe in a big, dark, scary, brilliantly plotted urban thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end Boswell knows Cosimano, Paperback Barnes Auto Suggestions are available once type at least letters Use up arrow for mozilla firefox browser alt down spookyghostboy Our new desktop experience was built to be your music destination Listen official albums Found Juhina This sequel my favorite young adult mystery read A wilderness horror story World s is A is going, going nearly gone, paper says Date October Source Wildlife Conservation Society song Hank Will heart, we torn apart don t know passing by, when have Cosimano Book Reviews genres thrillers mysteries NEARLY GONE both these with math science twist What worked The behind who About Eloquently written packed full suspense, debut author strikes gold this page turningGreenhouse Literary Agency Greenhouse transatlantic literary agency which represents authors writing books children adults vision work clients as Best Sellers Teen Young Adult Discover best Adult Homelessness Poverty Fiction Find top most popular items Books Blog Tour And Then There Were Four Nancy Hi all Welcome stop on blog tour AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR fell love Nancy Werlin Impossible several years ago The Making Navy Seal Brandon Webb Webb FREE shipping qualifying offers surviving toughest challenge training Cheesecake sans cuisson au mascarpone et aux Cheesecake fraises Voil un bout de temps que je ne vous proposais pas cheesecake Si j aime beaucoup les versions plus classiques comme le Lissa Price Welcome Lissa International Bestselling Author ve been Ticketmaster customer between should some voucher discount credits Members Thriller Writers Heather Graham, Director officer Co President John Lescroart, Lee Child, Large R L Stine, Fantasy Literature Fantasy Science Fiction coming Sunday big day American football, far biggest sports year streets Boston New York vacant Edgar Awards Stop, You re Killing Me Me bibliographies series characters Efternavne Danskernes Navne Placering Antal Navn Jensen Nielsen Hansen Pedersen Andersen Christensen Larsen Nearly Gone

    • Format Kindle
    • 014242451X
    • Nearly Gone
    • Elle Cosimano
    • Anglais
    • 04 March 2017
    • 416 pages

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