فصل 04

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فصل 04

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

VIOLET

153 days till graduation

Saturday night. Amanda Monk’s house.

I walk there because it’s only three blocks away. Amanda says it will just be us and Ashley Dunston and Shelby Padgett because Amanda’s not talking to Suze right now. Again. Amanda used to be one of my closest friends, but ever since April, I’ve drifted away from her. Since I quit cheering, we don’t have much in common. I wonder if we ever did.

I made the mistake of mentioning the whole sleepover thing to my parents, which is why I’m going. “Amanda is making an effort, and you should too, Violet. You can’t use your sister’s death as an excuse forever. You’ve got to get back to living.” I’m not ready doesn’t work on my mom and dad anymore.

As I cut across the Wyatts’ yard and turn the corner, I hear the party. Amanda’s house is lit up like Christmas. People are hanging out the windows. They are standing on the lawn. Amanda’s father owns a chain of liquor stores, which is one of the reasons she’s popular. That and the fact that she puts out.

I wait on the street, my bag across my shoulder, pillow under my arm. I feel like a sixth grader. Like a goody-good. Eleanor would laugh at me and push me up the walk. She’d already be inside. I get mad at her just picturing it.

I make myself go in. Joe Wyatt hands me something in a red plastic cup. “Beer’s in the basement,” he shouts. Roamer has taken over the kitchen with random other baseball players and football players.

“Did you score?” Roamer asks Troy Satterfield.

“No, man.”

“Did you even kiss her?”

“No.”

“Did you get any ass?”

“Yeah, but I think that was by mistake.”

They laugh, including Troy. Everyone is talking too loud.

I make my way to the basement. Amanda and Suze Haines, best friends again, are lounging on a couch. I don’t see Ashley or Shelby anywhere, but fifteen or twenty guys are sprawled on the floor playing a drinking game. Girls are dancing all around them, including the three Brianas and Brenda Shank-Kravitz, who is friends with Theodore Finch. Couples are making out.

Amanda waves her beer at me. “Oh my God, we need to fix your hair.” She is talking about the bangs I gave myself. “And why are you still wearing those glasses? I get wanting to remember your sister, but didn’t she have, like, a cute sweater you could wear instead?”

I set my cup down. I’m still carrying my pillow. I say, “My stomach’s bugging me. I think I’m going home.”

Suze turns her big blue eyes on me. “Is it true you pulled Theodore Finch off a ledge?” (She was “Suzie” until ninth grade, when she dropped the i. It’s now pronounced “Sooze.”)

“Yes.” Please, God, I want that whole day to just go away.

Amanda looks at Suze. “I told you it was true.” She looks at me and rolls her eyes. “That’s just the kind of thing he does. I’ve known him since, like, kindergarten, and he’s only gotten weirder.”

Suze takes a drink. “I know him even better than that.” Her voice goes slutty. Amanda slaps her arm and Suze slaps her back. When they’re done, Suze says to me, “We hooked up sophomore year. He may be weird, but I’ll say this for him, that’s one guy who knows what he’s doing.” Her voice goes sluttier. “Unlike most of these boring-ass boys around here.” A couple of those boring-ass boys yell from the floor: “Why don’t you come and try this on for size, bitch?” Amanda slaps Suze again. And on they go.

I shift my bag over my shoulder. “I’m just glad I was there.”

To be more accurate, I’m just glad he was there before I fell off the ledge and killed myself in front of everyone. I can’t even think about my parents, forced to deal with the death of their only remaining child. Not even an accidental death, but an intentional one. That’s one reason I came tonight without a fight. I feel ashamed of what I almost put them through.

“Glad you were where?” Roamer stumbles up with a bucket of beers. He slams it down, ice sloshing everywhere.

Suze looks at him through cat eyes. “The bell tower.”

Roamer stares at her chest. He forces himself to look at me. “Why were you up there, anyway?”

“I was on my way to Humanities and saw him go through the door at the end of the hall, the one that goes to the tower.”

Amanda says, “Humanities? I thought that was second period.”

“It is, but I had to talk to Mr. Feldman about something.”

Roamer says, “They keep that door locked and barricaded. That place is harder to get into than your pants, from what I hear.” He laughs and laughs.

“He must have picked the lock.” Or maybe that was me. One of the benefits of looking innocent is you’re able to get away with things. People almost never suspect you.

Roamer pops the top off a beer and chugs it down. “Asshole. You should have let him jump. Prick almost took my head off last year.” He’s referring to the chalkboard incident.

“Do you think he likes you?” Amanda makes a face at me.

“Of course not.”

“I hope not. I’d be careful around him if I were you.”

Ten months ago, I would have sat beside them, drinking beer and fitting in, and writing witty commentary in my head: She puts the words out there on purpose, like a lawyer trying to lead the jury. “Objection, Miss Monk.” “So sorry. Please disregard.” But it’s too late because the jury has heard the words and latched onto them—if he likes her, she must like him in return.…

But now I stand there, feeling dull and out of place and wondering how I was ever friends with Amanda to begin with. The air is too close. The music is too loud. The smell of beer is everywhere. I feel like I’m going to be sick. Then I see Leticia Lopez, the reporter from the school paper, on her way over to me.

“I’ve gotta go, Amanda. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

Before anyone can say anything, I walk upstairs and out of the house.

The last party I went to was April 4, the night Eleanor was killed. The music and the lights and the yelling bring it back. Just in time, I pull my hair out of my face, bend over, and throw up onto the curb. Tomorrow they’ll think it was just another drunk kid.

I search for my phone and text Amanda. Really sorry. Not feeling great. xx V.

I turn around toward home and slam right into Ryan Cross. He is damp and tousled. His eyes are large and beautiful and bloodshot. Like all hot guys, he has a crooked smile. When he does smile with more than one corner of his mouth, there are dimples. He is perfect and I have memorized him.

I am not perfect. I have secrets. I am messy. Not just my bedroom but me. No one likes messy. They like smiling Violet. I wonder what Ryan would do if he knew Finch was the one who talked me down and not the other way around. I wonder what any of them would do.

Ryan picks me up and twirls me, pillow, bag, and all. He tries to kiss me and I turn my head.

The first time he kissed me was in the snow. Snow in April. Welcome to the Midwest. Eleanor wore white, I wore black, a kind of Freaky Friday, switched-up bad sister–good sister thing that we did sometimes. Ryan’s older brother, Eli, threw the party. While Eleanor went upstairs with Eli, I danced. It was Amanda, Suze, Shelby, Ashley, and me. Ryan was at the window. He was the one who said, “It’s snowing!”

I danced over, through the crowd, and he looked at me. “Let’s go.” Just like that.

He took my hand and we ran outside. The flakes were as heavy as rain, large and white and glittering. We tried to catch them with our tongues, and then Ryan’s tongue found its way into my mouth, and I closed my eyes as the flakes landed on my cheeks.

From inside, there was the noise of shouting and something breaking. Party sounds. Ryan’s hands found their way under my shirt. I remember how warm they were, and even as I kissed him, I was thinking, I’m kissing Ryan Cross. Things like this didn’t happen to me before we moved to Indiana. I slipped my own hands under his sweatshirt, and the skin there was hot but smooth. It was exactly what I imagined it would feel like.

There was more shouting, more breaking. Ryan pulled away, and I looked up at him, at the smear of my lipstick on his mouth. I could only stand there and think, That’s my lipstick on Ryan Cross’s lips. Oh. My. God.

I wish I had a photograph of my face in that exact instant so I could remember myself the way I used to be. That instant was the last good moment before everything turned bad and changed forever.

Now Ryan holds me against him, my feet off the ground. “You’re headed in the wrong direction, V.” He starts to carry me toward the house.

“I’ve already been in there. I have to go home. I’m sick. Put me down.” I rap at him with my fists, and he sets me down because Ryan’s a nice boy who does what he’s told.

“What’s up?”

“I’m sick. I just threw up. I have to go.” I pat his arm like it’s a dog. I turn away from him and hurry across the lawn, down the street, around the corner to home. I hear him calling after me, but I don’t look back.

“You’re home early.” My mom is on the sofa, her nose deep in a book. My father is stretched out at the other end, eyes closed, headphones on.

“Not early enough.” I pause at the bottom of the stairs. “Just so you know, that was a bad idea. I knew it was a bad idea, but I went anyway so you could see I’m trying. But it wasn’t a sleepover. It was a party. A full-on let’s-get-wasted orgiastic free-for-all.” I say this at them, as if it’s their fault.

My mom nudges my dad, who pulls off the headphones. They both sit up. Mom says, “Do you want to talk about anything? I know that must have been hard, and surprising. Why don’t you hang out with us for a while?”

Like Ryan, my parents are perfect. They are strong and brave and caring, and even though I know they must cry and get angry and maybe even throw things when they’re alone, they rarely show it to me. Instead, they encourage me to get out of the house and into the car and back on the road, so to speak. They listen and ask and worry, and they’re there for me. If anything, they’re a little too there for me now. They need to know where I’m going, what I’m doing, who I’m seeing, and when I’ll be back. Text us on the way there, text us on your way home.

I almost sit down with them now, just to give them something, after all they’ve been through—after what I almost put them through yesterday. But I can’t.

“I’m just tired. I think I’ll go to bed.”

Ten thirty p.m. My bedroom. I am wearing my Freud slippers, the fuzzy ones made to look like his face, and Target pajamas, the ones with the purple monkeys. This is the clothing equivalent of my happy place. I cross off this day with a black “X” on the calendar that covers my closet door, and then I curl up on my bed, propped against my pillows, books spread across the comforter. Since I stopped writing, I read more than ever. Other people’s words, not my own—my words are gone. Right now, I’m into the Brontë sisters.

I love the world that is my room. It’s nicer in here than out there, because in here I’m whatever I want to be. I am a brilliant writer. I can write fifty pages a day and I never run out of words. I am an accepted future student of the NYU creative writing program. I am the creator of a popular Web magazine—not the one I did with Eleanor, but a new one. I am fearless. I am free. I am safe.

I can’t decide which of the Brontë sisters I like best. Not Charlotte, because she looks like my fifth-grade teacher. Emily is fierce and reckless, but Anne is the one who gets ignored. I root for Anne. I read, and then I lie for a long time on top of my comforter and stare at the ceiling. I have this feeling, ever since April, like I’m waiting for something. But I have no idea what.

At some point, I get up. A little over two hours ago, at 7:58 p.m., Theodore Finch posted a video on his Facebook wall. It’s him with a guitar, sitting in what I guess is his room. His voice is good but raw, like he’s smoked too many cigarettes. He’s bent over the guitar, black hair falling in his eyes. He looks blurry, like he filmed this on his phone. The words of the song are about a guy who jumps off his school roof.

When he’s done, he says into the camera, “Violet Markey, if you’re watching this, you must still be alive. Please confirm.”

I click the video off like he can see me. I want yesterday and Theodore Finch and the bell tower to go away. As far as I’m concerned, the whole thing was a bad dream. The worst dream. The worst nightmare EVER.

I write him a private message: Please take that off your wall or edit out what you say at the end so no one else sees/hears it.

He writes back immediately: Congratulations! I deduce by your message that you’re alive! With that out of the way, I was thinking we should probably talk about what happened, especially now that we’re partners on this project. (No one will see the video but us.)

Me: I’m fine. I’d really like to drop it and forget the whole thing ever happened. (How do you know that?)

Finch: (Because I only started this page as an excuse to talk to you. Besides, now that you’ve seen it, the video will self-destruct in five seconds. Five, four, three, two …)

Finch: Please refresh the page.

The video is gone.

Finch: If you don’t want to talk on Facebook, I can just come over.

Me: Now?

Finch: Well, technically in, like, five or ten minutes. I should get dressed first, unless you prefer me naked, and we have to allow for driving time.

Me: It’s late.

Finch: That depends on who you ask. See, I don’t necessarily think it’s late. I think it’s early. Early in our lives. Early in the night. Early in the new year. If you’re counting, you’ll notice the earlys outnumber the lates. It’s just to talk. Nothing more. It’s not like I’m hitting on you.

Finch: Unless you want me to. Hit on you, I mean.

Me: No.

Finch: “No” you don’t want me to come over? Or “no” you don’t want me hitting on you?

Me: Both. Either. All of the above.

Finch: Okay. We can just talk at school. Maybe across the room during geography, or I can find you at lunch. You eat with Amanda and Roamer, am I right?

Oh my God. Make it stop. Make him go away.

Me: If you come over tonight, do you promise to drop it once and for all?

Finch: Scout’s honor.

Me: Just to talk. Nothing more. And you don’t stay long.

As soon as I write it, I want to take it back. Amanda and her party are just around the corner. Anyone might come by and see him here.

Me: Are you still there?

He doesn’t answer.

Me: Finch?

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