Tabby Dubanowksi wants to forget about everything, the hospitalization, the judgment, the whispers behind her back. As a camp counselor, she will be admired, looked up to, and able to help people who don’t know anything about her old life. Tabby wants a fresh start and a chance to re-ignite her passion for film-making, if only for one summer.
After running away from their pasts, Van and Tabby collide in a storm cloud of attraction laced with self-doubt, insecurity, shame, and blame. Now, with Van feeling like he might have to quit his job, and Tabby struggling to quell the urge to cut, they will struggle to find themselves in a world designed to keep them apart.
(A Van scene)
My campers stood in a random pattern in the grass behind me as I held tight to the clipboard in my hand. Belinda told us we were to keep it with us at all times. I lost everything, so keeping the clipboard in my possession was a big challenge for me, even though the task was quite simple.
I decided to give my campers a quick rundown on Van Sato since they had some questions for me.
“Okay, gather around and take a seat.”
It took them a couple of minutes, but they all sat around me as I squatted down and sat back on my feet. I put my clipboard on the ground in front of me and kept my hand on it to keep myself balanced. The grass and I didn’t get along.
“Is it deadly?” Carlos asked. And I’m quite sure he also wiped a booger on his shorts.
“Nope, not at all.”
“Are we all going to catch it and die?” Lucy asked. I’m pretty sure that’s what she asked. Due to missing her top teeth, she was rocking a pretty good lisp.
“No. It’s not catching.”
“How did you get it?” Carlos asked. Little dude was full of questions.
“I was born with it.”
“You were like that when you were a baby?” Russell asked as he shot me with his finger gun.
“No weapons,” I said, pointing at him. “Not really. I didn’t start ticcing until I was around your age.”
“You have a bug in you?” Phoebe asked. She was an adorable, short little thing.
“No, there are bugs called ticks, but there are also movements and sounds you can’t control called tics. And they all just kinda happen on their own.”
“Yeah. Well, I’m just a big weirdo.”
“Why don’t you just stop?” Carlos asked.
“I can’t. My brain is kinda different, and it makes me do it.”
“That’s cool,” Russell said with a smile. All the others (question-asking and not) nodded their heads in agreement.
“If you say so.” I knew then that my campers and I were meant for each other. “And I have a request.”
“What?” they all asked.
“Try not to touch me. If you need me, tug on my shorts or the bottom of my shirt.”
“What if we want to hug you?” Lucy asked.
“If you really, really need to, do it tight, like you’re trying to squeeze me so hard my head might pop off.”
“Can we practice?” Carlos asked.
“Yeah,” Carlos said. And then everybody else said yeah.
“Please.” Lucy blinked her big old eyes at me.
“Okay, one at a time.”
She’s originally from Chicago, so she says things like pop, gym shoes, and front room. Her favorite food group is sugar, and she loves writing young adult novels.
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads