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I stayed upright as long as I could, but within minutes, the force of bodies pushing and hands pulling was too much for me to bear. When they maneuvered me to the ground, I knew I didn’t have much time left.


CHAPTER ONE


The sun was bright and warm on my face as we walked west toward home. In the distance, the mountains rose up in purple majesty, just like the song says, their jagged peaks cutting sharply into the horizon. Their craggy faces were painted with shadow and I knew their dark tips would soon be frosted with snow. The air held the unmistakable nip of the coming winter.

The red convertible raced past me, moving so fast my hair lifted a little on the wind. It screeched to a halt at the stop sign. I could hear the delighted squeals of the girls that had been thrown from their perch atop the back seat into the laps of the two boys in the front. A pang of longing resonated somewhere in the vicinity of my heart. As long as my dad had any say-so, I’d never be a part of a scene like that.

They’re going to get someone killed,” Leah said gravely. I looked down at her just as she was pushing her glasses up her nose. She shook her head in disapproval, setting her springy black curls to bouncing. She didn’t understand my fascination with “them”.

They say opposites attract and that certainly held true for me and Leah Kirby, physically and otherwise. She was a petite girl with alabaster skin and chocolate eyes a few shades lighter than her hair, while I was closer to six feet than five with mousy, light brown hair, a medium skin tone and the green eyes of a cat.

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