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The Summer Before I Met You

The Summer Before I Met You



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Published by Random House Teens
Enjoy this e-original short story by Sarah Rees Brennan, The Summer Before I Met You, a companion story to Unspoken!
Enjoy this e-original short story by Sarah Rees Brennan, The Summer Before I Met You, a companion story to Unspoken!

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Published by: Random House Teens on Sep 06, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 A L 
e-original short story
 SummeBefore I Me You 
 Sarah Rees Brenna
I go to you ceaselessly along dream paths 
—Ono no Komachi 
he rst thing Liz thought when she saw them was: Those girls look like they stepped out o amovie.Liz had agreed to be the coach or the cricketcamp on a whim. She’dplayed cricket or years, inschool, through college,and she’d been a teachingassistant and a residentialassistant at college too.Now it was time to bedone with collegeand make a decisionabout her lie, andshe didn’t wantto go into Mum’sbusiness right away. TheFeatherstonehaughs were amily riends,albeit amily riendsnobody in the amilyactually liked.The news thatthey were lookingaround or a nice,responsible girl tocoach thirty kids incricket near a cute littletown in the Cotswoldsseemed like a sign romabove. Or at least like anexcellent opportunity toput o any decisions or one last long summer.Liz had been promised two local assistants; when she arrived and saw the Sorry-in-the-Vale woods, lush and green and going on or miles, with promise o hidden lakes and elds o lavendersomewhere, she made a private selsh resolution topush o as much responsibility as she could on thegirls and go hiking.This was beore Clarice Featherstonehaugh hadtold her that the girls were arriving that evening andshe would have to manage the kids alone all day.Sitting on the steps o one o the kids’ cabinsthat evening, listening like a rightened rabbit orone o the tiny horrors to make any noise, Liz now thought she knew what war elt like. When the cardrove up, she had to restrain hersel rom throwingher body on the hood and crying out “Saved! I’msaved! My deliverers!”The impulse to all on them with embracesaded as soon as the rst girl got out o the car.She was intimidatingly and unquestionablybeautiul, hair a shimmering black veil, scar ascarlet trail that streamed out and mingled with herfying jet-black locks. She was wearing sunglasses,and she leaned against the car as i she ound theprospect beore her atiguing.Liz had known the two girls were coming inthe same car, but she’d expected a mix o theiramilies; instead, ater a moment’s puzzlement, sherealized that the rst girl, the beautiul one, wasalone. The amily was all the second girl’s: an olderAsian woman with a deeply lined ace and a severeexpression; an Asian guy and a gorgeous woman with bronze-colored hair who Liz thought were theparents; and two little boys, one with black hair and
 Summer BeforI Met You 
one with bronze. Liz stiened at the sight o them;she’d had enough children or the day.The second girl had climbed out with therst but then proceeded to perorm an elaborategoodbye dance with every member o her amily.When the two girls stood together, they reallydid look like something rom a movie. The secondgirl looked like the gooy sidekick, short and alittle plump, more colorul and less dignied thanher riend. She was wearing a hat that looked likea daisy, yellow on top with a plastic white-petaledbrim, and a yellow skirt covered in daisies.Liz got up and introduced hersel as ElizabethWatson, shaking hands with the adults and tryingnot to look too young or overwhelmed.“I’m Jon Glass,” said the Asian guy, who lookedyoung to have a teenage daughter. “This is mymother, Megumi, and my wie, Claire.”“Thanks so much or bringing the girls,” saidLiz. “I can’t wait to get them settled in and tell themall about the camp and the kids here.”The beautiul girl pushed her sunglasses araction down her perect nose and gave Liza supremely unimpressed look. “I’m AngelaMontgomery,” she drawled, barely making theeort to part her impeccably glossed lips. “And I’mnot interested.”The second girl chased the boy with bronze hairlike his mother’s, a lovely light brown mingled withrusset and gold tones that looked better on ClaireGlass than on a skinny little kid. Once the girl hadcaught him, she kissed him soundly our times onhis ace until his glasses were lopsided.“Bye, brat,” she said, and then turned to Liz with a smile, sunshine that thawed Liz rom thedeep reeze o Angela’s regard. “I’m Kami Glass.”“I’m pleased to meet both o you,” Liz said, andKami took Liz’s hand and shook it rmly.“I have so many ideas or the camp,” she said.“Seriously. So many.”Under the daisy hat was a small, pretty ace,a pointed chin and dark eyes that were slightlystrange, dreamy and giving the impression o beingocused elsewhere. But over all o it she wore anexpression o enthusiasm and determination thatLiz ound almost as intimidating as Angela’s chillydemeanor.“She’s going to be a great help,” said ClaireGlass.“Plus it’s nice to be rid o one o them,” JonGlass added. “I was araid we’d have to put them alldown the Hope Well to get some peace and quiet.”Megumi, the older woman, shook Liz’s hand with the same rm grip as Kami’s.“I have no doubt Kami is going to be a greathelp,” she said. “But you should watch her everyminute.”“Obaasan!” Kami protested.“Every minute,” the grandmother insisted. “Shemeans well but she should not be let out alone.”“All right, everybody, go away, I have things todo and I’m tired o your aces,” Kami announced.She captured the other brother with more ease thanthe rst; he turned his ace up or a kiss with a grin.She saved the goodbye to her grandmother or last,holding on to both her hands. “You take care o yoursel until I get back,.”“Take care o your spirit, Kami,” said Megumi.“And don’t burn the place down.”The girls collected their suitcases, and Jon Glassgave Angela a arewell shoulder squeeze; Liz hadto admire his courage. Kami grabbed both thesuitcases and headed or the cabin she was sharing with Liz and Angela. Liz walked with her, and ontheir way Kami stopped.“My Sobo was exaggerating,” she said earnestly.“There have been very ew res.”*It was not an auspicious beginning, butseveral days passed and Kami did the work o three assistants, which was excellent becauseAngela declined to do any work at all.“This our-hour space or ‘activities’every second day,” Angela said. “I ndthe wording suspicious. Activities besidescricket, and nature walks, and play time?I suspect a conspiracy o activity.”She was lying down on a bank,regarding the summer eld ullo children with disdain. Shelooked deeply relaxed,and her clothes—moreexpensive than Liz’sclothes, and Liz hadalways thought

Activity (21)

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