TITLE: The Bug Collector's Bucket List
GENRE: YA Contemporary
Cousins, K.J. and Becka, barely know each other thanks to a long-time disupte between their mothers. They're on a road trip, doing their late Grandpa's unfulfilled bucket list.
“So, uh . . . were you and your brother close?” K.J. asks.
I freeze, goosebumps arising on my arms. It’s like she knew I’d been thinking about him. “Not especially,” I say because it’s the truth.
“Oh. . .” Obviously my answer wasn’t what she was expecting.
“But if you mean, do I miss him, the answer is yes. I do. He annoyed the crap out of me sometimes, but I loved him.” More than I ever let on.
K.J. frowns. “I always wished I had a brother. I think we’d be close. You know, if I had one.”
“Yeah, well if I’d known my brother was gonna die, I would have made an effort to get to know him better. But that’s the problem, you don’t know these things.” My stomach clenches with this admission, and I swallow back the lump trying to form in my throat. I should have been a better sister.
K.J. nods thoughtfully. “True.” Another beat of silence. “So do you ever talk to your dad?” she asks.
What is this? A game of twenty personal questions? “Not much,” I admit. “I see him a few times a year—usually around holidays and stuff.”
“Does your mom talk to him?”
I tolerate my father, but I still think he’s a gigantic jerk for what he did to my mom. It’s funny because Mom seems to blame her sister more than him for the affair. My dad and I just never bring the topic up. It would be way too awkward with him.