This is insane! In pretty much every episode, Buggy got himself into some ludicrous trouble that Floyd had to rescue him from. And Floyd was. I felt a smile start to spread across my lips. I have the DVDs at home. I groaned. I hated it when a perfectly awesome show from. Sometimes British humor did not translate and it would end up dumbed down. Both of us were surprised for a second before we started laughing. She turned toward Levi. Emily looked at us like were aliens.
Danielle seemed amused. We talked a little more about our summers, and when it was time to go, I made sure Levi knew where he was going next. Emily laughed as we put our trays on the conveyer belt.
People were most likely making comments about our overanimated conversation. It would be a welcome change from everything else people had whispered behind my back over the past year.
Uncle Adam was waiting for me after school to take me home. Levi was getting into an SUV with a woman I assumed was his mom. He said something to her and she started to walk over to us. With some reluctance, he followed. A knot began to form tightly in my stomach.
I always got defensive whenever anybody met Adam for the first time. Uncle Adam is an amazing person and everybody in town loves him. But he was born with a speech deformity, so when he talks, his speech sounds a little slurred. So I took it at face value.
My parents thought I already knew. But what did I know? He drives, has a job, and lives in his own house right across the street from ours. Thank you so much for being welcoming to Levi today. She had on yoga pants and a hoodie.
It looked like she was coming back from the gym. Even without makeup on, she was absolutely gorgeous. She turned toward Adam. I tried to find some hesitation on. He was probably more focused on getting his mom back to the car. I found myself nervously overexplaining. I stood there silently for a few seconds. I was used to. And she was doing it out of niceness, not because she knew about the accident.
He usually worked from seven in the morning until two, so he could pick me up from school. Except on Wednesdays, when he had the late shift. Last year, I either stayed in the library or got a ride with Emily or Danielle after their respective after-school activities.
Only if you want. I glanced over at Levi, who looked at me and mouthed the. Levi pointed to the button on his bag, his eyebrow arch- ing in a playful manner. I imagined us watching Buggy and Floyd together. I do , I mouthed back. The two adults exchanged phone numbers. The positive me said she was a nice person who wanted her son to have friends.
Or maybe she feels sorry for you , the negative me said. Uncle Adam and I got into his car. He always made sure I was buckled up properly before he turned on the ignition. Adam looked so sad. A tear started trickling down his face. I loved that I looked like my mother. I had her big hazel eyes, heart-shaped face, and wavy auburn hair that turned strawberry blond in the summer.
But I was also that mirror girl, the walking reminder of what we all had lost. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and promised myself:. In fifteen minutes, you can work on algebra homework. Do you really think my mom offered to give you a ride out of pity? Not anymore. Now I know your mom is the definition of incredible. Like mother, like son. Oh, please. But you admit you only invited me to sit with you at lunch out of pity.
So you want me to lie? Um, yeah. Friends lie to make each other feel better. I paused for a second, and in that second, I notic ed the look of gratitude on Levi s face.
He was expecting me to sit with him or at least invite him over. I hesitated, unsure what to do. I didn t want to play baby sitter, but I also knew what it was like to be alone. And scared. Guys, I feel bad. Can he sit with us? When nobody argued, I approached Levi. Hey there how was your morning? I asked, trying to smile and be welcoming for a ch ange. It was good.
The tone in his voice indicated that it was anything but good. Do you want to sit with us? I gestured to our table.
He exhaled deeply. Levi sat next to me and picked at his lunch uncomfortably. He put his backpack o n the table and I noticed a button pinned onto it.
That s not I stopped myself. What were the chances it was what I thought it was? It d be way too random. Oh, there s this totally rad BBC show he started to explain. I could barely contain my excitement. Buggy and Floyd. I love that show! His face lit up. No way nobody knows Buggy and Floyd. This is insane! It was insane. In pretty much every episode, Buggy got himself into some ludicrou s trouble that Floyd had to rescue him from.
And Floyd was always complaining ab out the situation, Buggy, and pretty much everything about society. I felt a smile start to spread across my lips. Yeah, my mom s family lives in Irela nd and I saw it when I visited them a couple summers ago.
I have the DVDs at hom e. Me too! My buddy s dad is head of development for a production company and he was t hinking about adapting it for here. I groaned. I hated it when a perfectly awesome show from the UK got changed for the US. Sometimes British humor did not translate and it would end up dumbed dow n. They d totally ruin it, Levi and I said in unison. Both of us were surprised for a s econd before we started laughing. Favorite episode?
He was leaning forward, his shoulders no longer up toward his ea rs. Oh, there are so many. The one where Floyd s sister is about to give birth Blimey if I know where to get boiling water unless a cuppa tea counts.
Levi s cockne y accent was spot-on. I slammed my hand against the tabletop. What s going on over there? Emily looked inquisitively at both of us. You know that British show I ve tried to get you to watch? Emily shook her head at me like she always did when she found my little ecce ntricities amusing.
She turned toward Levi. You know about that? Yeah, it s so funny. Emily wrinkled her nose. It s adorable that you have that in common. Levi crowed. I know I ain t the queen o England, but I ain t common.
This was another line from the show. A common nuisance, you are! Emily looked at us like were aliens. Danielle seemed amused. We talked a little more about our summers, and when it was time to go, I made su re Levi knew where he was going next. This time when he said, See ya later, I foun d myself not dreading the idea. It was pretty cool to have someone around here w ho didn t like the same things as everybody else.
Emily laughed as we put our trays on the conveyer belt. So you and your new boyfr iend seem to have a lot to talk about. Stop it! You know he s not my boyfriend. I know that, but everybody else in the cafeteria seemed to notice your little lov efest. She was probably right. People were most likely making comments about our overan imated conversation. But I really didn t care. It would be a welcome change from e verything else people had whispered behind my back over the past year.
Uncle Adam was waiting for me after school to take me home. He was always excite d to see me, even if he d dropped me off only a few hours ago. How was your first day? I reassured him. All right. He grabbed my backpack and started walking me to his car. Levi was getting into an SUV with a woman I assumed was his mom. He said somethi ng to her and she started to walk over to us. With some reluctance, he followed.
A knot began to form tightly in my stomach. I always got defensive whenever any body met Adam for the first time. Uncle Adam is an amazing person and everybody in town loves him. He s friendly, ou tgoing, always willing to lend a hand. But he was born with a speech deformity, so when he talks, his speech sounds a little slurred.
I m not exactly sure what it s called, but the back of his throat doesn t close properly, so it can be difficult to understand him sometimes. When I was little and I asked what was wrong with Uncle Adam, Mom made it clear that there was nothing wrong with him, he spoke differently because of a birth def ect. So I took it at face value.
Then, two years ago, I was walking home from th e park when these boys started asking how my retard uncle was doing. I yelled, He s n ot retarded, he just talks funny. I came home in tears and told my dad what had h appened. That s when he informed me that Adam was developmentally disabled. But what did I know? He drives, has a job, and live s in his own house right across the street from ours. His life isn t really that different from ours.
I held my breath as she introduced herself to Adam and me, worried that, like so me other people, she d do something wrong. Hi, Macallan, I m Levi s mother. Thank you s o much for being welcoming to Levi today. It s hard to move halfway across the cou ntry and start fresh at a new school. She had the same long blond hair as Levi, b ut hers was pulled back into a high ponytail.
She had on yoga pants and a hoodie. It looked like she was coming back from the gym. Even without makeup on, she w as absolutely gorgeous. Mom, Levi groaned, no doubt trying to prevent her from telling his whole life stor y. She turned toward Adam. And you must be her father. Uncle Adam grabbed her hand, and I saw her flinch slightly at his grip.
This is my uncle Adam, I said. Very nice to meet you. She gave him a warm smile as he and Levi shook hands, too. I tried to find some hesitation on Levi s part, but it wasn t there. He was probably more focused on getting his mom back to the car. I found myself nervously overexplaining. Yeah, my dad sometimes has to work late even though he owns his own construction company, so sometimes Adam leaves the h ardware store to take me home.
Well, if you ever need us to take you home or stay with us until your dad or uncl e is done, we d be more than happy to have you. I stood there silently for a few seconds. I was used to Midwestern politeness, b ut here was a woman who d just moved to town and I d just met, and she was already o ffering her home to me. And she was doing it out of niceness, not because she kn ew about the accident. Wednesdays are always hard, Uncle Adam said before I could stop him.
He usu ally worked from seven in the morning until two, so he could pick me up from sch ool. Except on Wednesdays, when he had the late shift. Last year, I either staye d in the library or got a ride with Emily or Danielle after their respective aft er-school activities.
Levi s mom didn t hesitate. Why don t you come over on Wednesday? Only if you want. I glanced over at Levi, who looked at me and mouthed the words she d just said onl y if you want. Uncle Adam agreed. I ll give you my number, and Macallan s father can call me if he has any concerns, ok ay? Levi pointed to the button on his bag, his eyebrow arching in a playful manner. I imagined us watching Buggy and Floyd together. I do, I mouthed back.
The two adults exchanged phone numbers. The negative me said Levi s mom was doing this because she thought my uncle was unfit to look after me. Or maybe she feels sorry for you, the negative me said. She doesn t know, the positive me spoke up. This wasn t the same thing as a non-frie nd suddenly paying attention to you or offering a shoulder to cry on, or bringin g over a casserole that was nothing your mother would have ever, ever cooked for you.
Uncle Adam and I got into his car. He always made sure I was buckled up properly before he turned on the ignition. Everything okay? He looked at me intently. Yeah, I said, even though I had no idea how to feel about what had just happened. I didn t really like unexpected turns. I d had more than my share by that point. Adam looked so sad. Your mother loved picking you up from school.
I nodded, which was pretty much the only response I had whenever anybody brought her up. A tear started trickling down his face. You look so much like her. I d been getting used to this. I loved that I looked like my mother. I had her big hazel eyes, heart-shaped face, and wavy auburn hair that turned strawberry blon d in the summer. But I was also that mirror girl, the walking reminder of what we all had lost. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and promised myself: In fifteen minutes, y ou can work on algebra homework.
In fifteen minutes, you ll have a reprieve. Get t hrough these next fifteen minutes and you ll be fine. Do you really think my mom offered to give you a ride out of pity? Not anymore. Now I know your mom is the definition of incredible. Like mother, like son. Oh, please. But you admit you only invited me to sit with you at lunch out of pity.
See, you re supposed to lie and say you wanted to hang out with me because you tho ught I was beyond cool. So you want me to lie? Um, yeah. Friends lie to make each other feel better. You didn t know that? Have I told you that you look really cute today? Thanks, I Wait a second.
Why couldn t we have stayed in Santa Monica, where the weather was sweet an d the waves were sick? But then I realized I could have a fresh start. I always used to be jealous when a new guy came to our school. He d get all this attention. He was a mystery. He c ould be anybody. So maybe moving would be good. I d be the stranger from a strange land. What girl could resist that? Then I arrived. First I was excited and nervous when the principal introduced me to Macallan, be cause she was pretty.
Then she made it known within, like, 2. You could ve seriously given her a glass of milk and it would ve been frozen in less than a minute.
She was that cold. So I figured we d never talk again and I concentrated on the guys at school. Guys are always way more chill than girls anyway. Right before lunch on my first day, I went up to this group of guys, introduced myself, tried to be calm, cool, and collected. But I m pretty sure I stank of desp eration. I was able to tell right away that Keith, this beast of a guy, was the alpha in our grade. He always had a group of three or four other guys around him , and they were all wearing some sort of Wisconsin team T-shirt.
Keith had on a Badgers hoodie and jean shorts. He was close to five foot ten and he towered ove r everybody, including most of the teachers. He wasn t skinny and he wasn t fat; he was just big. He studied me as I approached him, and said, What s your deal? I made some small talk and felt like I was on a job interv iew.
Then I made a fatal error. I should ve known better. I admitted to being a Chicago Bears fan. I m pretty sure I heard actual hissing. I figured whatever, they d tease me, like guys do. These cookies allow us to monitor OverDrive's performance and reliability. They alert us when OverDrive services are not working as expected. Without these cookies, we won't know if you have any performance-related issues that we may be able to address. These cookies help us understand user behavior within our services.
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Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Better off friends. Macallan and Levi are best friends from the first day they meet in seventh grade, but over the years their close friendship keeps interfering with their dating life because everyone else regards them as a couple.