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It's been five years since I clicked Send.
Four years since I got out of juvie.
Three months since I changed my name.
Two minutes since I met Julie.
A second to change my life.
All Dan wants for his senior year is to be invisible. This is his last chance at a semi–normal life. Nobody here knows who he is. Or what he's done. But on his first day at school, instead of turning away like everyone else, Dan breaks up a fight. Because Dan knows what it's like to be terrorized by a bully―he used to be one.
Now the whole school thinks he's some kind of hero―except Julie. She looks at him like she knows he has a secret. Like she knows his name isn't really Daniel...
lies and crap other kids are saying about him. Yesterday, I watched him bait the guy who’s been hassling him. He wasn’t happy I stepped in.” My dad’s eyebrows shot up. “Why not?” “I think he was planning to get even.” He was shaking his head before I finished speaking. “Danny, no. This is too much. You can’t get involved.” “Dad! I am involved. I can’t ignore this, not when I know what I know.” I pulled out of his reach, grabbed my books. “Dan.” Frowning, I turned
from my hand. “Hey, Dad. Didn’t know you were home.” “Wasn’t until five minutes ago. What’s with all the shouting?” “Pop finally decided to talk to me. It, uh, didn’t go so well.” Dad took off his coat, tossed it on the kitchen table, and opened the cabinet where Mom kept the first-aid kit. He ran my hand under the faucet for a minute and squinted. “Doesn’t need stitches. Let me just tape it up.” Sure. Why not? What’s one more scar? “So you guys talked, huh? What about?”
“Julie, I’m so sorry. I hope you can forgive me for making you feel so bad.” Again, she shook her head. “No, you were right. I should have done something. I had the power to help,” she said and held up a hand, palm up. “But I just wasted it.” She turned her palm, as if to spill whatever it held. She squared her shoulders and returned to the sofa. “Anyway, my dad doesn’t know any of this. He already hates me for…uh, surviving, I guess. He’d probably kill me himself if he knew.”
ignored him. “I was never going to tell you.” My jaw dropped. “How—” “I know! It was dumb. As soon as I knew the kind of person you really are, I swore I would never tell you. All I had to do was keep my dad away from you, and I could have pulled it off. I hardly ever see him.” She sobbed out loud, hiding her face in her hands. “But then he figured out something was up and just wouldn’t stay away.” A surge of bitterness speared through me, and I started a slow round of
Brandon? Yeah. That had to be it.” I took off walking again. Back the hell off, man. Kenny warned me with a light love tap to my head that made me stumble a step. Julie caught up to me. “We dated for like a month back in freshman year. Now he’s with my friend, Colleen. He drives me to school once in a while because he lives around the block. So, uh, where the hell did you come from? When Jeff stopped me, I looked around for help and didn’t see a soul.” That stopped me in