Friday, January 12, 2018

Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

About Say You'll Remember Me:
"Doesn't matter who did it. Not anymore. I did the time. It's over."

When Drix was convicted of a crime--one he didn't commit--he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the Second Chance Program, the governor's newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.
Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor's daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn't may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.
When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle's parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix's messy life.
But sometimes love can breach all barriers.
Fighting against a society that can't imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves--Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence--and each other to finally get what they deserve.

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I’m smiling like a fool at my cell. Since this past spring, the last semester of my junior year, I’ve been competing for a final spot in the interview process for a four year college in­ternship with a computer software company. I found out an hour ago via email that I’m in the final round, and Henry’s the first person I’ve told. It feels good to finally share the joy.
Because I wasn’t sure that I would make it as far as I have in the application process, my parents are on the dark side of the moon with all of it. Mom and Dad have high expecta­tions of me, and lately, they’ve been disappointed that I haven’t truly shone in any area of my life. I’m good at things, and they know this, but they want me to be first place for once instead of third.
So now I need to tell them, and I need to tell them soon, since I’m required to have a signed permission slip for the next phase of the interview process. My parents might not be thrilled that I’ve omitted some critical on-goings of my life, but I’m hoping they can see past what I’ve been withholding and instead focus on my win.
“You really are beautiful,” a guy with a red baseball cap says from my right. He stinks of too much aftershave and a hint of alcohol.
Fantastic. They followed, and my texting didn’t tip them off to leave me alone.
I drop my cell into my purse, grab my bottle of Pepsi out of the side pocket and start walking again, praying that I’ll lose this jerk and his friend in the crowd. Yet they somehow have the uncanny ability to twist and weave through the fair’s packed midway to remain at my side. I try to ignore them.
Last week in an email, Henry challenged me to be happy, because lately a lot of the fund-raisers for Dad were making me miserable. Nothing makes me happier than thrill park rides, games and, because I’m feeling rebellious, a real Pepsi. My health nut of a mother abhors all things in cans.
Somewhere between exiting off the Himalayan and pur­chasing my drink, these two guys, Idiot One and Idiot Two, obtained the wrong idea that I wanted their company.
I’m a big girl and can take care of myself. Much to my mother’s dismay, Henry taught me how to throw a punch and knee a groin. But I’m not stupid enough to think that doing either of those things is going to impress my parents. In fact, it would infuriate them to the point of implosion.
The two annoying guys are a bit older, walk with that I’m-in-college swagger, and have that sharp-edged jaw of a frat boy with a money-to-burn-and-wallet-wielding daddy. I know the type as Henry was friends with many of them dur­ing high school and his two years of college.
“Hang out with us,” Idiot One says. “It’ll be fun.”
“I’m not interested,” I respond, “and I would appreciate it if you would leave me alone.”
Idiot Two, the non-baseball cap wearing one, steps into my path. “But you really are beautiful. Blond hair, blue eyes, kicking body beautiful.”
“I said no.”
“Have you considered you don’t know what you want? Come with us, and you won’t have to make a single deci­sion. We’ll show you a whole new world. Listen to me, and I’ll make sure you have a great night, beautiful.”
Won’t have to make a single decision. Beautiful. He must be­lieve there’s nothing in my skull beyond the beginnings of hair follicles.
My muscles tense, yet my perfectly practiced smile slips upon my face because Mom has told me to never let my anger leak out in public. I hate the word beautiful. Hate it. The word beautiful somehow gives the world permission to make wrongful assumptions about me, like that I don’t have a brain. Beautiful somehow gives men permission to say the phrase as a secret password in my direction, and I should therefore fall at their feet. Beautiful makes people believe they can say any­thing they want about or to me and that I shouldn’t be angry.
Nothing in the universe could be more wrong.
Disapproving of their existence, I force the smile higher and have a pretty good feeling that it’s starting to appear as nasty as my current thoughts. I then step out of the path of Idiot Two and over in the direction to my game of choice: Whack-A-Mole. There is a large snake calling my name, and I will be the victor.
Unfortunately, Idiot One and Idiot Two have never been taught kindergarten social cues, and they follow.
“You look familiar,” one of them says, and my internal warning system flares.
For most people, I’m a case of déjà vu. One of those big, white fancy furry cats that crosses their path more than once, and it causes their mind to glitch. I’m not nearly famous enough that people follow me on the streets, but I’m more of a mere shadow of a newspaper clipping memory: I’m the governor’s daughter.
Best course of action? Push them away. It would mortify my mother, but if, for some strange reason, she learns of this, I’ll claim it as an accident.
I glance over my shoulder as I loosen the cap on my Pepsi. “Really? Who do I remind you of?”
“I can’t remember. A movie star maybe?” Idiot One bright­ens like me responding means I agreed to strip naked in the backseat of his car and have sex. Me hooking up with them is somehow a reality in their pathetic lives. I’m half wonder­ing what their success rate is, and if it is high, there should be a mandated course on how girls are to avoid guys like them.
“Which movie star?” I spin on my toes, “accidentally” lose my footing, fall forward and my much-anticipated Pepsi be­comes a sacrificial lamb. Brown fluid drips down the shirts of both boys, because I’m just talented that way.
“Oh, my gosh.” Hand to my mouth, fake wide eyes. “I’m so sorry. You should go dry off. Get some napkins. There are a million sweat bees here, and if you don’t clean up, they’ll swarm.”
Death stare in my direction complete with splotched red face from Idiot Two. “You did that on purpose.”
Yes, I did, and it’s hard not to smile when the first sweat bee lands on his arm. Sting, buddy. Just do it. I’ll forever be grate­ful if you cause him pain.
“Come on.” Idiot One places a hand on Idiot Two. “Let’s go.”
My fingers flicker in a shoo motion, and I finally turn my back to them. They can either go clean themselves up or die of sweat bee stings. Either option works for me. Now, it’s time for me to be normal for a few minutes. Well, to be normal and win. I’m sure normal people are also highly competitive.

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