Available from Harmony Ink Press and on third-party retail sites.
Holly McCormack has secrets. She’s started a support group for sexual assault survivors at her high school, but she was never assaulted. She’s also dating a girl, but she’s not a lesbian—at least not to the outside world—and that’s how she hopes to keep it. To top everything off, her girlfriend, Chastaine Rollo, is the most gorgeous girl at their school, and Holly is eating as little as she can because she thinks she’s “too fat.”
When hearing the stories of survivors begins to take its toll, Holly’s eating becomes even more of a problem. And as she struggles to hide her relationship with Chastaine from her parents, the stress becomes too much. But when keeping secrets has become second nature, it leaves her with no one to confide in.
While Chastaine wrote down what we’d talked about in her big, loopy handwriting, I leaned against the wall and looked out the window over Chastaine’s desk. It was snowing a bit. Not enough to make walking or driving a problem. Just enough to look pretty.
I must have zoned out watching the snowflakes, because the next thing I knew, Chastaine was shaking my arm. “Holly, are you okay? What happened?”
“Huh?” I sat up and shook my head, which only made it hurt worse. “Nothing happened. I was just looking out the window.”
“I said your name about six times, and your eyes were closed.” She let go of my arm. “Did you eat this morning?”
“For crying out loud!” I took a deep breath so I wouldn’t completely go off on her. “Yes, I ate. My parents made me eat, because they got it in their heads that I’ve been starving myself or something. So yes. I had food. I didn’t pass out. I was looking at the snow.”
“Which doesn’t explain why it took you so long to answer me. I was kind of scared.” She sounded it, too.
I felt like crap. “I’m sorry you were scared. I don’t know. I didn’t sleep well last night, so maybe I dozed off. You said my eyes were closed.”
“You’re really pale too.” She got up and motioned for me to follow her. “Andy’s probably gone by now, and we have some juice and soda. Drink at least a little, please. It’ll help.”
“Yeah. Okay.” She was only asking me to have a bit of juice or soda. That wouldn’t completely mess with my calories for the day, and it might get her to back off about whether I’d eaten or not.
She took a bottle of apple juice and a can of soda out of the fridge and held them up. “Which one?”
“Juice.” I wasn’t sure whether the juice would have any fewer calories than the soda, but it at least sounded healthier.
She poured some juice into a glass and handed it to me. “There. Please drink all of it so I can stop thinking you’re going to pass out again.”
“I didn’t pass out in the first place.” I took a sip and grimaced. “This tastes way too sweet.”
“Do you want soda instead?”
I shook my head. “No. I’ll deal with this.”
We went into the living room and sat on the couch, and she watched me drink the entire glass of juice. Even though the stuff tasted horrible, I drank it fast so Chastaine would stop staring at me.
Jo Ramsey is a former special education teacher who now writes full time. She firmly believes that everyone has it in them to be a hero, whether to others or in their own lives, and she tries to write books that encourage teens to be themselves and make a difference. Jo has been writing since age five and has been writing young adult fiction since she was a teen herself; her first YA book was published in 2010. She lives in Massachusetts with her two daughters, her husband, and two cats, one of whom likes to read over her shoulder. Find out more about Jo and her books on her website.