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Big Girl Small - Rachel DeWoskin

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Published: 2nd May 2011
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Published: 2nd May 2011
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Big Girl Small is a novel for women of all ages; for every girl who is, or was, a teenager. Everybody needs a friend like Judy. She is whip-smart, hilarious, and her story is so real. She's a wonderful singer, full of big dreams for a big future—and she's a dwarf. But why is she hiding out in a seedy motel on the edge of town? Who are her friends? And why can't she face her family?

Big Girl Small is a gut-wrenching teen-tragedy told with laugh-out-loud humour. Every reader will recognise the anxiety of trying to be different, to be the same, to find out who you are and what your hormones are doing, and what you might want to do in the future. Most of us don't really know, and this brave novel shows us that's just fine.

From Rachel DeWoskin:

Reminiscent of Prep and Middlesex, the novel is told by Judy Lohden, a teenage girl with a big singing talent who is accepted to an elite high school of the dramatic arts—and who, as a dwarf, or little person, is keenly aware of how difficult it will be to have the same life as her new friends. As she observes, she’d probably make the cut for American Idol except for the fact that ‘Simon Cowell laughs at all the retards and deformed people.’ Soon she finds herself drawn into a scandal that will rock the school, her family, and their hometown.

So I wrote the book, and it turned out to be a story not so much about being a dwarf, but one about being a teenage girl. Because I think most teenagers feel small; Judy has an external manifestation of an internal feeling we all have.

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1.0

Maybe it is for young adults?...

By Irina K

from Melbourne, AU

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer

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    • Disappointing

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    • Younger Readers

    Comments about Big Girl Small:

    Yet another book describing a typical teenage school drama that involves tapped sex and scandal; but this time with the attempt to give it a new flavour by putting a young girl, living with dwarfism, in the middle of the scandal. Half way through it I started to skim through just to find out how it ended.

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    CHAPTER 4

    I've made a friend at the Motel Manor, a middle-aged guy named Bill, who has apparently been living here for more than a year. This is the kind of place that rents rooms by the week or month. Sometimes, late at night when there's no wall of sunshine between me and my terror, I think I'll be like Bill, just settle down and stay here for the rest of my life. It's only 6 a week; I could last a long time with the money I took.

    I wonder who's paying for Bill's room. Maybe he has some money saved up from when he used to go to Alaska every winter to catch fish. That's what he told me when we first met in the hallway. He seemed harmless in some hard-to-define but certain way, so I stopped to talk to him when he said hi, and he told me he used to go every winter and work on an Alaskan fishing boat and then he would come home and 'just live' the rest of the year on the money he'd made, once it wasn't fishing season anymore. I guess you can make a lot of money if you're willing to go to Alaska and work on a fishing boat. Although I don't really understand what it means to 'just live,' especially if you do it at the Motel Manor.

    Bill is a good friend for me here because he's too daft to realize that I'm a teenager and shouldn't be here on my own, or that my story about being between jobs and 'down on my luck' can't possibly be true, that there's probably a manhunt across the Midwest for a missing dwarf, or that I'm three feet tall. That's why I like him; in his worldview, I'm as normal as the next person. The truth is, there are so many freaks on this wretched strip of highway that I barely stand out. I like that aspect. And I bought enough cans of SpaghettiOs to live for at least another week before I have to emerge and walk down the street to the Kroger.

    The funny thing is, even though I started out by lying to Bill about the whole 'between jobs' thing, I decided almost right after that to tell him my whole story, the way the reporters, and maybe even my parents and brothers and friends, would have liked to hear it. Bill doesn't know how lucky he is to be the recipient of the epic dwarf download. Which is why he's perfect. At first, I wasn't sure how to tell him, even. I thought maybe I'd start with the hardest part, but then I rethought it, and decided I'd do it chronologically. I mean, I hinted that things turned out badly for me, and of course he knows—in whatever way it's possible for a guy like him to know anything—that I ended up here and that that's not good news. But I started with the beginning of my life at D'Arts.

    I've already told him up to the part about Chessie's party. Bill's a good audience for drama, probably not comedy. I don't think he'd get jokes. But he's kind, and he listens. And he nods a lot. Maybe he's on drugs and can't manage much information. That's basically why I decided I'd tell him—it's like practice in case I ever have to talk about it with my family, a rehearsal. During the whole nightmare, I managed to say impressively close to nothing for someone with such a big mouth. But I might have to explain it at some point, my perspective, I mean. Maybe to Sam. The thought of Sam makes me feel like my heart might bite its way out of my chest, fangs all over the place. He must be so grossed out and hurt and—I wonder if everyone at Tappan is making fun of him. I wonder if he's seen—I can't think about it.

    If I survive this, and leave the Motel Manor, even if I can't ever bring myself to talk about it with Sam or Chad, I might need to tell my kids. I mean, if I ever have kids and they're daughters or teenagers or something. I could make it like one of the 'morality tales' Ms. Doman liked to talk about.

    Ms. Doman had this whole thing about how we have to tell stories about whatever happens to us, and then we can use those stories to decide whether our lives are happy or not, whether events have redeeming aspects or are totally hopeless, that it's really all about how we choose to shape and name things. If we can just make a bearable story out of what happens to us, then whatever happened becomes bearable. Ms. Doman once said that that's how people rebound after losing their entire families in car crashes and stuff.

    But I can't do it, and my whole family isn't even dead; I'm just disgraced, so what's my problem? I mean, some nights I lie awake thinking about all the worse things that have happened to people in the world, and how can I feel this sorry for myself, etc. But none of it, no matter how gruesome, changes the fact that my life is ruined. So maybe suffering isn't relative. And I can't take Ms. Doman's advice, because every time I start to try to make a story out of it, let alone make one I 'can live with' or that makes me seem like a person who might be happy again in the end, I start chattering like a wind-up toy, clacking around the room. Literally. The first time I talked to Bill about what happened, I got so scared while telling him that I had to excuse myself and throw up.

    Sometimes, at night, when my mind wanders back to the video and what it looked like and how many people are probably watching it right now—this minute—my teeth actually start banging against each other like shutters in a storm. Every night, even if I sleep for a few sweaty hours, it's like I'm rewinding myself to start the anxiety again every time I wake up. So my new coping strategy is to watch Friends reruns all night, every night. It's not working. I'm not coping.

    My mom says I have a bad habit of tying all my anxieties together, which makes them seem 'systemic,' rather than sorting them out and dealing with each at a time. My mom went to nursing school before she and my dad opened the Grill. She thought she wanted to be a nurse, but then decided she hated it before she had graduated. But she likes to use words like systemic, maybe to make herself feel like the whole enterprise wasn't a waste. And it wasn't. I mean, when we got hurt as kids, she always knew exactly what to do, even the time Chad cut his leg open on some terrifying submerged rock when we were swimming on vacation and my mother made a tourniquet out of her shirt and stopped the bleeding while we waited for an ambulance to come. Chad still has a scar so giant it looks like he used to have another mouth on his leg and they sewed that one shut, but at least he didn't bleed to death. The paramedics said that my mom had saved his life. It took them forever to get there, but I can't remember why. My dad almost fainted, apparently, did nothing to help. Poor guy. I guess he watched Sam and me, which is something, considering that we could have drowned while my mom was putting pressure on Chad's leg. I was only five at the time. Sam was a toddler.

    In this case, who cares if my panics are systemic? There's only one giant one, and I don't see how its only being one thing makes it any better.

    To make matters more horrifying, someone knocked on my Motel Manor door this morning. I didn't answer it, and they didn't come in, so I know it wasn't housekeeping. It wasn't Bill, either, because he's the only person I know here and he never comes to my door. It's like an unspoken agreement we have that if I want to talk I stop by his room, 214, and knock twice quietly and once loud and he comes out. Or we peek into the hallway if we want to see each other. He's almost always outside 214, smoking. I was scared it might be people looking for me—I don't even know who, reporters, I guess. There's no one I can stand to face, so I hid. In the closet. Maybe I'm losing my mind. I mean, when I think that out loud, even say it, I hid in the closet, it reminds me of The Shining, of how if you stay in a hotel too long, you go crazy. Of course I've been here only a few days. What if I stayed a month? A year? Forever? I wonder if the police are looking for me, but it wasn't them, because I know from movies that when the police come to your door at the Motel Manor, they shout 'Police' really loud and bash the door open, and that didn't happen. Plus, I don't think this whole thing, my life that is, is a big enough deal for the police. Although maybe it is. Hard to say. But maybe it was just some jackass looking for someone else. Part of me thinks it might have been my mom, but wouldn't she have called my name? Or Sarah. It was gentle knocking, so I don't think it was, like, the media, coming to ferret me out. I don't know. The only certainty was it wasn't anyone I could tolerate seeing.

    My second week at Darcy, I moved through the days on a cloud. It was 'placement week,' meaning we auditioned for voice and dance. Acting class was organized by grade: freshmen took freshman acting, sophomores took sophomore acting, and so on. Since I was a junior, I was automatically registered for junior acting. But for voice and dance, we had to try out. And even though in the school brochure, Darcy claimed that its 'artistic productions are collaborative and inclusive rather than competitive,' someone gets to play Juliet, if you know what I mean. So they auditioned us that second week of school for our classes and then a few weeks later for whatever the winter production would be in February. We all knew it would be some huge thing that cast everyone, what with the fall production starring only Jeff and Elizabeth and two other senior guys, who played the 'old man' by putting baby powder in their hair or the other guy part by wearing a fat suit. The official reason for doing such an unfair star vehicle of a show in the fall was that it went up four weeks into school, so they had to begin rehearsing before the year even started. There was no need for a party line about why Jeff and Elizabeth got the leads; they were both perfect in every way, a simple fact accepted by the rest of us, like gravity or the sun rising. But D'Arts would make it up to us with a huge winter show. We'd all get fabulous parts, they promised, and have to rehearse for a million hours, probably including over Christmas break. But we had signed up to make such sacrifices. The 'professional world' was so demanding, and everyone acted like even though we were in high school, if our families took a vacation that meant we weren't dedicated 'artists.' We used the word artist all the time there.

    My fall placement auditions happened the second Tuesday of school, the second day of my second week. I had told the dance teachers I'd just take the absolute beginning-level class and therefore there was no need to audition me, but they made me go in anyway. Before it even started, I was already blushing to the roots of my hair, wearing kid-sized yoga pants and a tank top instead of the leotard they required, and I made my way through the moves in the most half-assed way anyone has ever seen. The sad secret truth is that I love to dance, but only at home in my bedroom, on the bed with a fake microphone, or in front of the full-length mirror in my parents' bedroom with Sam break dancing. I do not like to dance in tights in front of Ms. McCourt, whose anorexic daughter Katie goes to the school, or in front of Ms. Smith, the seven-foot Amazon dance teacher who used to be a professional dancer and still wears her hair in a bun so tight her eyes bulge like they're going to explode out of her head. Her entire being is singed with disappointment that she ended up teaching. I barely made it through the audition, and when it was over Ms. Smith just said, 'We'll post the list later today,' so I knew I'd be in the beginning dance curriculum, which meant I had to learn basic ballet, tap, and jazz. I wondered if they regretted letting me into D'Arts at all. Maybe I'd be an embarrassment to the school.

    I promised myself that I would do better in the singing audition, but as soon as I had the thought, I felt sick because before I blew the dance audition I hadn't even had to think about the voice one because I'd been sure I would do great. Now my one song had so much riding on it. Why hadn't I just practiced the dance moves more? What if some weird thing happened and I did a bad job at the voice audition, too, and everyone thought they had let me in as a total pity move? Worse, what if they had?

    I tried to breathe deeply as I went into the auditorium, and visualized the sheet music, since that always helps focus me. I thought how unfair it was that they made us do our placements back to back. I mean, I was still nervous from the dance one. The director of the music department, a wiggly noodle of a guy named Mr. Gosford, was sitting with Ms. Vanderly and Mr. Stenson, the two voice teachers. I was thinking, 'Please, just let me get into Ms. Vanderly's section, so when I come out, I'll have good news.' I didn't even know what difference her section made, but I wanted to come out proud. And no one liked Mr. Stenson. He was new at the school, and had a bald head with some scabs on it. Mostly, he had no power to put you in senior voice halfway through the year, which was apparently the best thing that could happen to a person. Unless of course you got in right away, which was practically unheard of.

    The teachers were all in the front row of seats, right in the middle. It reminded me of that crappy movie Flashdance when the girl from The L Word has to audition for everyone even though she's a small-town girl who's never had professional training. They're all really skeptical until she runs up and down the walls, dancing all over them. Then they love her, of course. That's after the money scene, the one where she goes on a dinner date and sucks lobster out of the shell like an animal while fondling her boyfriend's crotch under the table with her foot. When I watched that movie with Chad and his high school girlfriend Kate, I thought that scene was, like, the sexiest thing I'd ever seen. And so did Kate, apparently, because after that whenever she stayed for dinner, she ate with her hands and played footsie with Chad under the table like they were in Flashdance. My parents found this cute, grinned at each other, probably remembering when they used to play footsie in high school. Gross. Sam was the only one who never noticed, of course. He just gobbled his spaghetti and talked about his day at school while Kate picked red peppers from the salad and licked her oily fingers between each bite.

    At my audition, I had one of those anxiety visions where you do something totally crazy in your mind, just to torture yourself with the possibility, just to wonder what would happen if you actually did it. I used to feel that same unbearable urge at Chad's swim meets. I'd imagine running down from the risers, tearing my clothes off, and leaping into the pool during a race. I couldn't stop thinking about it, the terrifying question of what would they do so huge I was almost elated to consider it. I think the thrill of contemplating that kind of thing is related to an idea my dad once told me when I was crying on the ski lift at Mount Brighton—that vertigo isn't the fear of falling off a cliff, but the fear of jumping. His point was to comfort me, to be like, 'You know you're not going to jump, so why be scared?' But it only made me more scared because how do you know you're not going to jump? I mean, how can you know who you'll be twenty seconds from now? What evidence is there to prove that you'll know the upcoming you? What if the Judy I become in two minutes does a striptease for the voice coaches, shocking everyone in the room with her dwarf sexuality? What would they do?

    I wonder if they would have noticed my body. This is conceited, but I think I have a get-out-of-jail-free card, so I'll just say it straight out. It's not only my face that's cute—I also have a cute-looking shape—I mean, I may be too small and my arms and legs are a bit short, but I have a little waist and kind of big boobs for someone my size and a nice round butt. Sometimes, I can tell that boys look at me and think 'Wow,' before they think, 'Oh my god, did I think 'Wow' just now about that tiny person? And if she's such a kindergartner, then how come she has a great butt?' I can see the transition on their faces, because I've seen it so many times. Achons like me tend to have hourglass bodies; it's like a concession prize or something. That guy Josh at the Little People Conference told his friend Ian who told Meghan who told me that I was the closest thing he'd ever seen to a living doll, with my long eyelashes and hot body.

    So what would have happened if I had torn my clothes off and danced a wild flashdance at my Darcy Arts voice audition? I'll never know, because what I did was walk out on stage, stand as straight as I could, and open my mouth up to the lights like I might drink them. I had the feeling I always do when I'm singing, that the notes come from someplace other than my body—an underground current rising through my feet and up my legs, taking shape inside my lungs and diaphragm and then trumpeting out of my throat. Like, not to be too cheesy or anything, but my voice makes me nine feet tall. Because it's huge, and no one, including me, can believe this body contains it. My parents knew my singing was crazy from the time I was a toddler, so I was always in every chorus, had private lessons, and like I said, they splurged on the piano even though they couldn't afford it, so I could have more music in my life. Anyway, like this wasn't obvious anyway, I owe it all to them, because unless you study and practice there's no point in having talent, right? Someday I'll try to remember to thank them. Because I wasn't even that nervous during the voice audition, even though the dance one had gone badly; I mean, I knew they weren't going to be able to believe it when they heard me sing. Partly it's just an expectation thing—it's like when you see a book with a really stupid cover and then you're surprised it's deep or good or smart or whatever. When you see me, you're like, okay, there might be things she's good at, but having a huge, bellowing voice probably isn't one of them. But it is. It's just one of those things.

    So I sang the old jazz standard 'Four,' which I knew I could hit out of the place. It goes like this:

    Of the wonderful things that you get out of life there are four.

    And they may not be many, but nobody needs any more

    Of the many facts making the list of life,

    truth takes the lead,

    and to relax, knowing the gist of life, it's truth you need.

    Then the second is honor and happiness makes number three.

    When you put them together you'll know what the last one must be.

    Baby, so to truth, honor, and happiness, add one thing more:

    Meaning only wonderful, wonderful love that'll make it four!

    No one ever said the lyrics to that song were anything other than bad rhyme lunges, but the melody is achingly lovely and I nailed it. I could feel how well it was going; my voice soared through the auditorium. There was a stunned silence when I finished, like no one even knew what to say.

    Then Mr. Gosford, the director of the music department, said, 'Judith Lohden, that was incredible,' and Ms. Vanderly and Mr. Stenson said nothing, but just beamed at me like we shared some great secret. Then they nodded at each other, congratulated me, and told me right away without even talking it over privately that they were putting me in the senior voice class, even though 'such a decision requires a great commitment on my part.' Maybe it sounds trivial, but at Darcy, it was a huge deal. And everyone knew about it right away. By the time I walked out of the auditorium, people in the hallway waiting to go next were like, 'Holy shit—did you get into senior voice? Congratulations.'

    All I could think of was the certain fact that Jeff would hear about it. I mean, his best friends, Alan and Jason, were seniors, so they'd definitely know. They'd be in the class with me. Maybe Jeff would even get in! I wondered how good a singer he was.

    I woke up Wednesday morning giddy with it, wondering if he would say something in American lit, or better yet, while passing in the hallway or at lunch. And he did. He walked by with Ginger, actually, and they both stopped and were like, 'That is so cool about you getting into senior voice; it's been like five years since that happened.' I even told my mom about it on the ride home, that's how excited I was.

    Speaking of my mom driving me home, my parents promised me a used car of some sort once I've had my license for a while, but if I'd held my breath about it, I'd be dead. I mean, even to run away, I had to take the AATA bus. The truth is, I feel guilty about the expense of them doctoring the car so I can drive it—raising the pedals or buying extenders. I bet they were planning on doing it for my birthday. My parents work really hard and they have to pay for U of M for Chad, which is still expensive even though it's in-state and everything, and they made a huge thing about not making him live at home, even though it would have saved them money. He got into Cornell, too, but he didn't go. And I think maybe it was because he didn't want my mom and dad to have to pay that much more. He never said that, he just acted like it was too far away and all his friends were going to Michigan anyway, but I think he would have liked it in Ithaca. After he did a college visit there, he told me there were tons of cliffs. And that sometimes kids there paint bull's-eyes on the rocks below, because apparently lots of Cornell students kill themselves. But I think the suicide thing was a generous kind of sour grapes by proxy, Chad's way of saying to my parents that he didn't want to go there anyway, so it was okay if they couldn't really pay that much money and he ended up here instead.

    Anyway, it's possible that my parents are still working on the car thing in secret, actually, that they plan to have it ready by my seventeenth birthday, which is in two and a half weeks, incidentally. It seems very sad now, if they are. If you'd told me I was going to spend my seventeenth birthday at the Motel Manor, with no chance of finishing high school or showing my face in Ann Arbor again, I wouldn't have believed you.

    Sometimes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I swam at school in the mornings. Mrs. O'Henry and Mr. Grames had okayed this unusual arrangement, and I loved those mornings of getting to school before anyone else (except Jeff and Elizabeth, who were already there rehearsing). I would eat breakfast in the car, a Power Bar and a Naked cherry-pomegranate juice, and then my mom would leave me at the back door, which the custodians knew to leave open for Jeff and Elizabeth and me. I would go upstairs to the second floor to drop my books in my locker, which I had begun to decorate with ribbon and lanyard. I wove six-foot strands into friendship bracelet patterns at home, beaded the ends, and then borrowed a ladder from the custodian, Mr. Nicks, so I could climb up and Krazy Glue the beaded parts to the top of my locker. So far I had finished only one strand, because it was long enough to reach from the top of my locker to the bottom, and it took forever. I can imagine exactly the sound of the metal door locking shut, beads clicking against it.

    Then I'd head down to the pool, on the level below the practice rooms, with my swimsuit and towel and goggles in a bag. When I walked around the school those swimming mornings, all the hallway drama was still potential, the school itself somewhere between asleep and awake. It felt conquerable to me when I was alone there during the quiet, felt like I belonged and like maybe even D'Arts belonged to me.

    Sometimes, if I was early enough, I would walk by the auditorium and peek into the doorway where no one could see me from the stage. I could watch a few seconds of the beginning of Jeff and Elizabeth's Fool for Love rehearsals that way, before slipping down to the pool. I must have seen them in it at least a dozen mornings before the show went up, so when it did, for its skinny week of performances, I felt like his girlfriend even though everyone was talking about whether he and Elizabeth Wood were having sex for real. They almost had to have sex to do the play, so it wouldn't have been a big leap. I couldn't even entertain the thought, just stuck to the fantasy where I was her, in the play with him, leaning on his arm, kissing him, screaming at him, even. And offstage they flirted, sure, but I never saw him kiss her or hold her hand in the halls in a boyfriend-girlfriend way. He was nice to everyone. Especially me.

    This might sound boring, but I loved those days, loved that I knew exactly where I'd be each morning, that my time was neatly stacked like unit blocks. That the hours couldn't surprise me, except with emotional drama. I dislike logistical surprises, because it's already complicated for me to do normal things, like find the right place to sit, or make my way through a crowd, or reach the Naked juices without taking my grabber out of my backpack. It's fine when I have to use it, I just like to know when I'm going to have to do those kinds of things.

    The first time I walked into senior voice, I had to count my breaths to make sure I was still breathing. Jason, Jeff's big, handsome senior friend, was standing right in the doorway doing some kind of comedy routine for Carrie Shultz. Then Alan walked up, looking slippery, like he'd just gotten out of the pool. It's funny how we become the things we do, even start to resemble the places we do them. I mean, it's not like Alan swam all day, every day, and even I had been swimming that day, but he just looked like a pool. He had big blue eyes and the summer hair on his arms and legs and a green, chlorinated tint about him. He stalked over, his equilateral torso balanced on skinny legs, and Amanda Fulton came up from behind and put her arms around his pointy waist. I took a long time walking up to the door, because I was hoping the four of them would disperse, but even though I moved as slowly as I could, they were all still standing there when I arrived, so they had to kind of move over to let me by. I had the unsavory thought that I could probably have just squeezed right through their legs. Alan and Jason were enormously tall, even if you weren't me. Alan was wearing a short-sleeved white T-shirt with a picture of a pigeon that said, 'Ceci n'est pas un pigeon,' and gesturing with his arms, so that muscles rippled up and down them. It's funny. I never wondered what it would be like to be Alan's girlfriend, but I sometimes found myself wondering what it would feel like to be Alan himself, or in a body like Alan's. To be a boy, I guess, a lanky, wiry boy. Did his body just snap along as he walked? Or glide through the world? Did it feel good to be as athletic as Alan? Or as handsome as Jason? There was an effortlessness about Jeff, though, that neither of the two of them seemed to have. They were always thinking about being themselves. I know, because I'm that type too.

    I wedged in between them, closing my eyes until I was safely inside the auditorium, where I climbed onto the stage and took a seat in the back row of risers. I felt faint. When the bell rang, Ms. Vanderly shushed us all and then made an impassioned speech about what a big deal senior voice is and how the fall concert is one of the greatest prides of the school, as important as the shows, and how that's why we get to have class in the auditorium even though freshman and sophomore and junior voice use a regular classroom. When she said 'junior,' she looked over at me. 'I think most of you are aware that we have a junior in senior voice this year. Judy Lohden will join us because, as some of you may already know and all of you will find out, she is a huge talent.' I think she flushed slightly when she realized she'd said 'huge,' but I was busy trying to tell whether Jason and Alan were paying close-enough attention to my glory that they could remember it and tell Jeff later. But when I looked over, Jason was throwing something—a wadded-up piece of paper?—at Amanda Fulton, and she and Carrie Shultz were giggling. I tried to smile graciously at Ms. Vanderly without looking like an ass-kisser. But she wasn't watching me anymore. She had sat down at the piano and begun playing scales. She turned to us and we sang up a scale with her notes, and then back down. I started to relax, worked on not looking at anyone else, and finally heard us singing. It sounded glorious to me, even though we were only doing warm-ups.

    Getting to SV and leaving always sucked, and whenever Ms. Vanderly made me sing alone, I had near-death, pulse-racing moments. But when we were all singing together, I forgot about everyone—even Jason and Alan and Amanda and Carrie—and just listened to us, sounding like one big person.

    My love of routine is part of why the Motel Manor life is not suitable for me. There are too many variables and too few systems. This morning, just like every morning now, someone knocked gently on my door again, and again I didn't answer. But later, when I woke up from a tortured nap with the TV on, there was an unmarked envelope under my door. I could barely bring myself to touch it. I looked at it for a long time, as if it were something alive and dangerous, a mail bomb or monster. Eventually I went over and picked it up carefully, using my index finger and thumb as if they were sterile tweezers. I felt unequivocal, didn't even smell it or look at it up close. I knew, whatever it was, I couldn't handle it yet, so I put it, unopened, into my diary, which I was keeping on the nightstand for when I felt like writing an entry. When that day comes, maybe I'll also feel like I can open the envelope. Right now, I can't imagine ever doing either.

    Tonight I have no plans, except to eat SpaghettiOs, watch TV, and cry. Maybe I'll order pizza and ask Bill to hang out in the hallway and listen to me whine. The sound of my own whining makes me miss my mom. And Ms. Doman. Come to think of it, I really miss Goth Sarah, too. Maybe even Jeff. It's funny how when someone betrays you, it ruins your idea of the person, but doesn't make you stop loving him right away. Or ever, maybe.

    ISBN: 9781921758249
    ISBN-10: 1921758244
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Published: 2nd May 2011
    Dimensions (cm): 23.2 x 15.2  x 1.9
    Weight (kg): 23.2