This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Published in the United States of America. Queerteen Press is an imprint of JMS Books LLC.

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Dedication: For J.

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Bad Idea

By Erica Yang

Chapter 1: Boring Coward

Riva Corley chewed on the end of her pen, trying to figure out what to write on the blank piece of notebook paper in front of her. Madame Bellamy, the French teacher, stood at the front of the classroom reviewing forms of the past tense, but Riva didn’t need to listen to that. If she’d been working on her French exercises, she’d have known what to put.

Riva stole another glance at Emmy Barnes. Emmy was two years ahead, a senior, not far from graduation and her 18th birthday—in other words, not far from freedom. She looked free already, though. Emmy was the only out lesbian at Jason Reidman Senior High School. Not everyone was cool about that, but she didn’t let anything stop her from expressing her personality. She carried her stuff in a shimmery rainbow bag she’d made herself, wore Doc Martens below knee-length skirts with glitter woven into the fabric, and rocked a short, punky haircut that made the strands she’d dyed purple stand out.

If she’d dressed differently, her pink-cheeked good looks would have guaranteed her a spot alongside the popular girls who were cheerleaders or had made the dance team. Combined with her actual style, they gave her more edge than she could have achieved with clothes alone. Emmy could have placed herself in any clique she wanted, and her outfits said she’d chosen her role and was proud of it.

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