GENRE: YA Sci-Fi/Romance
“Grey, wait up,” Ellie calls to me as I step onto the flagstone path at the front of the school. She rushes toward me with her arms full of books and a messy stack of bright red flyers. The wind shifts as she approaches and I adjust my stance so the gust blows the dark curtain of my hair securely onto the side of my neck. A windy day used to be my nemesis, but I’ve been concealing my scars for years and consider myself an expert at it.
“You can make it, right?” Her beaming smile falters only slightly when she trips over her own feet. Luckily, I’m able to catch both her and her teetering pile before they hit the ground.
“Of course,” I say squinting into the light of the afternoon sun as Ellie closes her eyes and lifts her chin toward the sky. “I wouldn’t miss your birthday party for anything. Turning seventeen the day after we graduate could not be more perfect.”
She’s still absorbing the rays when she answers, “In just a few weeks you’ll catch up. Besides, nothing beats having a birthday on the planet tour. Maybe you’ll have a new admirer to get you a present.” My face flashes hot but she doesn’t notice as she rushes on, “Whoever came up with the idea of letting graduating students tour the planet for three months before choosing a life path is a genius. Seriously, I would kiss him if I could.”
“I believe you’ve mentioned that before.”