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Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin

Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin

Author:Alexa Martin
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fiction - Young Adult
Publisher: Disney Publishing Worldwide


Neal sat next to me on the bus ride to the Whitman tournanment. He was reading a book about quantum mechanics for his physics class and kept setting it down to talk about string theory and other complicated scientific matters. Every time we went over a bump, his arm jostled against mine, sending shivers up and down my spine. Too twitter-pated to talk, I kept nodding enthusiastically to keep the conversation going. Guys liked girls who were good listeners, right? I could practically hear Amanda scoffing at this. At present, she was asleep in the seat in front of us. I gazed absently out the window. Our bus had gotten off at the wrong Interstate exit, and we were passing through an area of defunct warehouses. Most of the windows were broken. I stared at the star-shaped holes, trying to picture the decaying interiors.

Neal waved his hand in front of me. “Earth to Charlotte. What’s going on?”

Which is exactly what I was wondering but not at all what he meant.

“Oh. Um…what did you say?”

“I was asking how your parents get along. Was it weird for your mom to read Lily at Dusk? The book has some feminist critics up in arms—which I’m sure you probably know.”

“I think my dad’s having an affair,” I blurted before I could stop myself.

Neal nodded, taking my outburst in stride. “I’m so sorry. Affairs aren’t that uncommon, though. We place such a huge cultural taboo on them in America, but in other countries, like France, affairs are a way of life. In fact, I read an article once that said that affairs can actually help keep marriages fresh as long as both parties are honest.”

“I might just be imagining things,” I said, wanting to take back not only the confession, but the actual thought as well. I felt—disloyal. To change the subject, I asked Neal, “Where do you want to go to college?”

“I’m waiting to hear if I got into Stanford early admission,” he said, adjusting his expensive-looking watch. His arm was tan, which baffled me. As far as I could tell, there was hardly any sun to be had in the Northwest. “How about you?”

Shit. He wasn’t supposed to ask me this.

“I’m still narrowing down my choices,” I said, picking at a hangnail. The truth was I’d been too busy with debate and my new life to give college a second thought. “I’m looking at some of the smaller liberal arts schools. Middlebury. William and Mary. Maybe Reed.”

It was true that I’d looked at pictures of these schools online. But they weren’t places I had a chance in hell of getting admitted to.

“Those are great schools,” Neal said. “Reed is supposed to be very alternative, and Portland is a really hip town. Do you know what you want to study?”

No. I felt a squeezing pressure in my chest. I didn’t know what I wanted to study. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t even know how to act without embarrassing myself most of the time.



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