Read Every You, Every Me Online

Authors: David Levithan

Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #Love & Romance, #Social Themes, #Dating & Relationships, #Social Issues, #Dating & Sex

Every You, Every Me

BOOK: Every You, Every Me
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THIS IS A BORZOI BOOK PUBLISHED BY ALFRED A. KNOPF

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Text copyright © 2011 by David Levithan
Jacket and interior photographs copyright © 2011 by Jonathan Farmer

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

Knopf, Borzoi Books, and the colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

Visit us on the Web!
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Educators and librarians, for a variety of teaching tools, visit us at
randomhouse.com/teachers

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Levithan, David.
Every you, every me / by David Levithan ; photographs by Jonathan Farmer.
p.    cm.
Summary: Evan is haunted by the loss of his best friend, but when mysterious photographs start appearing, he begins to fall apart as he starts to wonder if she has returned, seeking vengeance.
ISBN 978-0-375-86098-0 (trade) — ISBN 978-0-375-96098-7 (lib. bdg.) — ISBN 978-0-375-89621-7 (ebook)
[1. Mental illness—Fiction. 2. Emotional problems—Fiction. 3. Interpersonal relations—Fiction. 4. Friendship—Fiction. 5. High schools—Fiction. 6. Schools—Fiction.] I. Farmer, Jonathan, ill. II. Title.
PZ7.L5798Ev 2011
[Fic]—dc22
2010048723

Random House Children’s Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.

v3.1

To Jake Hamilton
(for living photographically)
—DL

To Mom and Dad
—JF

Contents

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication


1A 
1B 

2A 
2B 
2C 

3A 
3B 
3C 
3D 
3E 
3F 

4A 
4B 
4C 

5A 
5B 
5C 
5D 

6A 
6B 
6C 
6D 
6E 
6F 
6G 
6H 
6I 

7A 
7B 

8A 
8B 
8C 

9A 
9B 
9C 
9D 
9E 
9F 
9G 
9H 
9I 
9J 
9K 
9L 
9M 
9N 
10 
10A 
11 
11A 
11B 
11C 
11D 
11E 
11F 
11G 
11H 
11I 
11J 
11K 
11L 
11M 
11N 
11O 
12 
12A 
12B 
12C 
12D 
12E 
12F 
12G 
12H 
12I 
12J 
12K 
13 
13A 
13B 
14 
14A 
15 
15A 
16 
16A 
16B 
16C 
16D 
16E 
17 
17A 
17B 
17C 
17D 
17E 
17F 
18 
18A 
18B 
18C 
18D 
18E 
18F 
19 
20 
20A 
20B 
20C 
20D 
20E 
20F 
20G 
20H 
20I 
20J 
21 
21A 
22 
22A 
22B 
22C 
23 
24 

Acknowledgments

About the Author and Photographer

1

It was your birthday. The first one after you
left vanished
were gone.

When I woke up, I
dreamed
thought about other birthdays. Ones where we’d been together.

Like two years ago. Freshman year.
When I had you all to myself.
I asked you what you wanted and you said roses, and then you said, “But not the flowers.” So I spent weeks gathering presents: a polished piece of rose quartz, White Rose tea, a ceramic tile I’d bought at the White House in fourth grade featuring the Rose Garden. A novel called
Rose Sees Red,
a biography of Gypsy Rose Lee, a mix of songs by bands called Blue Roses, the Stone Roses, White Rose Movement. Then I rigged your locker with pulleys, so when you opened it, all the objects
rose.
I’m not sure you got that part, not until I told you. But you were so happy then.
This was before happiness became so complicated. This was when you could ask me for something, I could give it to you, and the world would be right.

And then there was last year.
You went out with Jack at night, but I at least had you for the afternoon.
I asked you what you wanted and you said you didn’t want anything. And I told you I wasn’t planning on giving you anything; I was planning on giving you something. That whole week, we started to divide things into those two categories:
anything
or
something.
A piece of jewelry bought at a department store:
anything.
A piece of jewelry made by hand:
something.
A dollar:
anything.
A sand dollar:
something.
A gift certificate:
anything.
An IOU for two hours of starwatching:
something.
A drunk kiss at a party:
anything.
A sober kiss alone in a park:
something.
We ended up spending the afternoon walking around, pointing at things and labeling them
anything
or
something.
Should I have paid closer attention? Written them down? No, it was a good day. Wasn’t it?
At the end, you pointed to me and said
something.
And I pointed back and said
something.
I held on to that.

Now it was a year later. I wished you a happy birthday.
That word again.
Happy.
It’s a curse. The pursuit of happiness makes us deeply unhappy. It’s a trap.

Before anything else happened, there was me in bed, thinking of
who
you
used to be
.

I don’t want you to think I forgot.

1A

I see too many things at once. I notice shadows. Think about them. And while I do that, I miss other things. Important things. I can’t stop looking, even when I
want to
have to stop. I get lost in ifs. They are always there
if if if if
and I should only be able to tune in to them if I’m on the right frequency. But that’s the thing about me: The frequencies don’t divide.

That day was your birthday in my head, but it wasn’t really your birthday anywhere else.
I wanted to tell people at school that it was your birthday
but I didn’t want to get their reaction when I brought it up
. I started to think it was like a surprise party, only they weren’t telling either of us. They were going to surprise both of us.
I didn’t have this thought for long. It was really just there for a moment.
I pretended like it was a normal day
without you there
. And like all other normal days, I made it through to the other end.
It can be done, you see.

There are things you decide
and there are decisions you don’t even know you are making
. That afternoon, I decided to cut through the woods on my way home.
As I headed that way, I looked at the ground, not the branches or the sky. If I’d stopped to talk to someone after school instead of heading straight home—if I’d had someone to talk to—maybe someone else would have gotten there first. I didn’t decide to see the envelope.
I saw the envelope sitting there on the ground.
I should have left it alone. I should have been left alone. I was alone.
I stopped and picked it up. From the weight, I knew there was something inside. I decided to open it.

I wasn’t thinking of you.

It was so small. I had to focus. I couldn’t focus without telling myself to focus.
The eyes take in the colors and the shapes. The images go to the brain for translation.
First I saw the trees, then the sky. It didn’t look familiar.
The brain cross-checks the translation against the memories it’s stored.
I fixed on the four bare trees, standing like orphaned table legs. I knew those trees—I looked away from the photo and there they were in real life, no more than twenty feet away from me. I walked over to the nearest tree, but that didn’t tell me anything. I looked at the envelope, but it was completely blank.
No address, no name on the front. I looked.
I almost put it back. But the sky was getting gray, almost as gray as the sky in the photo. Leaving it on the ground didn’t seem right. It was going to rain.

I saw the other trees. I held the photo up against real life, figured out my place in it. But there was something I was missing.
Or maybe there was something extra. I was here. I was not in the photograph. Therefore the photograph was then, and I was now.
Where was the photo taken from?

I turned around and saw my school. Its windows. Watching me.

Revealing nothing.

Anything? Something?

I put the photograph back in the envelope.
I didn’t put the envelope back on the ground.
I kept it. And I might have forgotten about it. I might have just thrown it out, or let it stay in my backpack until it became crumpled and torn and wrecked on the bottom with all the pieces of unchewed gum slipped loose from their wrappers. I might have just shown it to Jack or someone else the next day at school.
In another time, I would have shown it to you first.
We would have shrugged and moved on to the next thing. It would have been a short, short story.

Random,
we would have said.

BOOK: Every You, Every Me
5.91Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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