TITLE: IN AUDIBLE
GENRE: Women’s / book club fiction with potential young adult crossover
Colin's interpreter flanked him all day, an extra appendage, but between school and practice he navigated the waves of Broadview blue alone as if he'd dived into the wrong ocean. T-shirts, hoodies, drawstring backpacks -- they competed and they flowed together.
He took his time. Spaced out and had to spin his locker combination twice. He hit the last number, lifted the latch. Bingo. He twisted around for his backpack and saw her.
Raven Harding. Coach’s daughter, cheer captain and self-appointed Queen of the Cool. In pre-cal, she eyed him, sidelong sweeps, as if measuring his potential or considering his eligibility to join her fan club. It kind of made him laugh. By default, he wasn't a joiner.
She waved a pen, and he pulled his notepad from his pocket. She pressed it against the wall, but her pen wouldn’t write. He grabbed his pre-cal book, held it flat, hands beneath, like a butler bearing a tray of hors d'oeuvres. She grinned. Moved so close he caught the scent of hair conditioner.
Any good at this? She tapped his book.
Show me? She jutted her chin up at him.
He tilted his head, weighing her question. Nobody at school asked him for help. Not with anything. In football, he was essentially one of the team now, but in class, the other students still skirted him, still studied him as if he were an exchange student from another universe.
I'm desperate, she wrote. She leaned her head the same direction, at the same angle, and gazed into his eyes until he broke.