email: author.jacquelinegardner (at) gmail (dot) com
Dedication: To Joe – a dedicated husband and best friend. And to my supportive critique partner, Steffi. Thanks for all the pep talks.
"What's your problem today, Bridget?" Emma wore an enormous grin and a wrinkle-free cheerleading uniform. "Look at me so I know you're listening. This is Brian, my date for homecoming." Brian stood next to Emma, eyeing her uniform. He glared at me. I forced a half smile but tried to avoid eye contact. Emma was obviously thrilled that Brian had picked her out of the crowd. But that was because he had already tried his luck with half the cheerleading squad. Emma was his backup plan.