By the time Emily had turned fourteen years old, her life story was pretty much written out for her. She was the chubby girl with the “great personality” that everybody liked, but that no one wanted to date. She would have a lot of friends, but no boyfriends.
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Now that she is eighteen, and is in her last semester of high school, Emily is about to find out that the final chapter of her teenage years hasn’t been written yet. She meets a new boy who has moved to her school. He’s handsome, kind, and a perfect gentleman. With some help from a close friend, she’s hoping she can convince this new love interest to take her to the prom.
But things aren’t quite that simple. Emily’s new friend has a secret that he is afraid to share. If it gets out, he’s worried it could harm everyone he cares about. He knows that growing up is tough, that it involves too little happiness and too much disappointment. He cares about her so much that the last thing he wants to do is hurt her.
From young adult/new adult author Kelly Aimes this 35,000 word novella is a tale of high school romance, unlikely friendships, and the sudden realization that you really do want to go the prom more than anything.
“Ashland, why do you like me?”
“Huh?” he pretended not to know what she was talking about.
“I’m serious. You could have any girl in this school. You could probably date Denise if you wanted to, and everybody knows she’s going to be the prom queen. That means you’d be the king. Why wouldn’t you want that instead of…”
“You?” he interrupted.
“Yeah. I mean, it doesn’t really make any sense when you think about it. Come to think of it, it makes even less sense if you don’t think about it. Why me? Why not someone else?”
“Well…” his hesitation set her on edge. “Can you keep a secret.”
“Yes.” she reassured him. “Is there something about you that I need to know.”
“Well, I’m not like other boys.”
“No kidding!” she realized that she picked the exact wrong moment for sarcasm. She hoped that it hadn’t wounded him too much, if at all.
“That’s not what I mean. I’m…” he struggled to find the right words. “I’m not…from around here, OK?”
“Yeah,” she replied, “I know. You moved from Chicago, right?”
“That’s not what I mean. I…” he put his head in his hands and looked at her through the screen created by his fingers. “It’s complicated, OK?”