Fine by Susan Downham by Susan Downham - Read Online

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Summary

Hanna is a torn and lonely, slightly awkward teenager finding her place in the world. The truth of her new friend forces Hanna to make some big choices. Hanna knows a secret and when she shares it everything changes. She learns what it means to be a good person and a good friend.
Published: Whiskey Creek Press on
ISBN: 9781611608137
List price: $3.99
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Fine - Susan Downham

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17

Fine

by

Susan Downham

WHISKEY CREEK PRESS

www.whiskeycreekpress.com

Published by

WHISKEY CREEK PRESS

Whiskey Creek Press

PO Box 51052

Casper, WY 82605-1052

www.whiskeycreekpress.com

Copyright Ó 2014 by Susan Downham

Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 (five) years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

Names, characters and incidents depicted in this book are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of the author or the publisher.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

ISBN:

Cover Artist: Molly Courtright

Editor: Melanie Billings

Printed in the United States of America

Dedication

For a girl I used to know.

Chapter 1

Last month I hid in the library at lunchtime. When I say I hid, I mean it literally. I was in the back where nobody goes, near the history section. There is this little space between the end of the bookshelf and the wall, and I managed to sandwich myself in there. And then I waited. I was as quiet as a mouse, as my mother would often say.

I could hear the girls running up and down the aisles calling out my name. I knew they were close, but I prayed and prayed that the librarian would notice the girls. But she was busy in the other section, the one farthest from where I was hiding.

I counted to ten. First time really quickly, the second time a bit slower and by the third time, I was leaving a whole space between the numbers. I heard Jessica laughing and telling the others that I was probably off in the corner playing with myself.

I held onto number nine. Then I heard Sara laugh at Jessica and tell her that she had seen me trying to pick up a girl at the shopping centre near our house. I got to ten.

The girl in question was my cousin. She was three years younger than me and loved to go clothes shopping with me. And for some stupid reason my mother and my aunt had decided that the Saturday before, while everyone was off doing school sports I should spend the morning with Stacey shopping. They sat in a little café in the middle of the shopping centre so they could watch us go from one shop to another.

Stacey hated me. She never used to, but now she does. I don’t blame her. I hate me too. But maybe not as much as Stacey does. She didn’t want to go into the change room with me. We used to do that, but now she wanted to go in on her own so I stayed outside waiting for her. She came out in a new dress, and I told her she looked pretty.

And that was that.

I didn’t know that Sara and Jessica were in the change rooms as well. They were there with Jessica’s mother. I heard them laugh before I saw them.

They came out in their new jeans, laughing and then stopped dead in front of me, and turned to Stacey and asked her why she would be out with a girl like me. She tried to explain that she was my cousin. Something she had once been proud of. But that made Sara shriek with laughter.

Oh, wait until you are a bit older. I know what you will be doing, she said glaring at Stacey.

Now Stacey didn’t know what had happened. At least I was fairly sure she didn’t. She knew I had to leave my old school; she knew I had to catch a bus now to my new school. She knew my mother talked in whispers with her mother about me. But she didn’t know why.

Stacey blushed. Then she ran into the change room and came out looking so embarrassed.

She came out five minutes later, and stormed off leaving me behind to follow her back to our mothers and then demanded that she wanted to go home.

I began to count to ten again, wondering what I would do if they found me. I wasn’t sure I could take much more of them, but I knew I couldn’t just keep wishing them dead.

Six, seven, eight, then I heard a voice singing out from across the library.

Girls what do you think you are doing inside on a lovely day like this. If you aren’t checking books out, I think you should leave. I heard the clip-clap of her high heels coming towards the bookshelves. I knew that Jessica was very close to me, although she didn’t know it.

Sorry, Miss Kaposi, we were— Jessica began to say but Miss Kaposi didn’t listen.

Whatever it was you were about to do, I suggest you do it outside. Now, skittle, she barked at them.

I heard Sara tell Jessica what a bitch Miss Kaposi was, but not in Miss Kaposi’s earshot.

I grinned. All I needed now was for the bell to go.

I waited and counted, but the bell just didn’t seem to want to ring for me. So I wedged myself back out of my hiding spot and pulled a book from the nearby shelf. I didn’t bother reading its title, I didn’t care. I took it to a chair and sat down and thumbed my way through the book, not taking in any of it.

When the bell was finally ringing, I ran straight to my locker, so I could get my science book out.

That was on the first Monday of April. I knew it was going to be a long year.

I was okay really until the Thursday, on the Thursday I thought it had all blown over. That everyone would forget about little old me being in the school, that the horrible girls would notice someone else and forget about me.

But that was wishful thinking.

I was all right in first period which was French. I found French really easy, which was a relief because I found other stuff so hard. But I always enjoyed French, and Jessica and Sara—to name but two of my enemies—didn’t do French, and Jason did.

After class, feeling good about the A I had gotten in the flash test, I headed to the bathroom before History class.

Mistake number one.

I was in the cubicle with the door shut; there was no one else in there. I had only just gotten my pants down when I heard the outer door reopen and giggling voices filled the room. I tried to pee quickly, but it splashed out onto the floor not into the bowl like it was supposed to.

I sighed. I decided I would leave it for the cleaners to clean up.

Then I flushed. I took a deep breath and opened the door.

I looked out at five faces staring at me.

They had followed me.

They always followed me.

I knew I was already shaking. I was scared. The bell went. I should have been in History.

I went to walk to the sink, keeping my eyes down and ignoring the girls who were staring at me. I washed my hands; they were behind me when I looked into the mirror.

I felt so panicked I wanted to call out, to run, but I couldn’t.

Hello you little slut, what do you think you are doing? Jessica demanded. Her hands on her hips.

I have to get to History, I blurted out.

They all laughed, and then in unison,I have to get to History. They said it like a baby wailing.

I tried to ignore them.

We don’t want you here, Sara said