Goodbye, Rebel Blue Hardcover

BOOK: Goodbye, Rebel Blue Hardcover
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PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Coriell, Shelley.

Goodbye, Rebel Blue / by Shelley Coriell.

pages cm

Summary: Rebecca “Rebel” Blue, a loner rebel and budding artist, reluctantly completes the bucket list of Kennedy Green, an over-committed do-gooder classmate who dies in a car accident following a stint in detention where both girls were forced to consider their mortality and write bucket lists.

ISBN 978-1-4197-0930-2 (alk. paper) [1. Conduct of life—Fiction. 2. Self-perception—Fiction. 3. Fate and fatalism—Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.C8157Go 2013

[Fic]—dc23

2013010046

Text copyright © 2013 Shelley Coriell Title page type design by Christian Fuenfhausen Book design by Maria T. Middleton Published in 2013 by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS. All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher.

Amulet Books and Amulet Paperbacks are registered trademarks of Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Amulet Books are available at special discounts when purchased in quantity for premiums and promotions as well as fundraising or educational use. Special editions can also be created to specification. For details, contact [email protected] or the address below.

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To the three who died
bucket list
(
noun
)—A list of things you want to do before you die; comes from the phrase
kick
the bucket
(to die) CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINTEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

THE MAKERS OF INSPIRATIONAL KITTY POSTERS should be disemboweled.

The posters cover one wall of the detention room where I sit after school with Macey Kellingsworth and some girl with a perky blond ponytail. Ms. Lungren, one of the Del Rey School’s guidance counselors, stands in front of a poster of a fluffy white kitten sitting in a teacup under the words
Everyone needs a daily cup of cuteness
.

I need a puke bucket.

“Each of you received detention today for behavior that can be described as dangerous”— Lungren’s eyes bulge—“even deadly.”

This morning Lungren caught Macey and me smoking in the girls’ bathroom near the auto shop building. “Is that smoke I smell?” Lungren had asked as she burst through the bathroom door, her cat-eye glasses perched on the end of her twitching nose. She spent most mornings prowling about campus searching for bad people doing bad things.

Who was I to disappoint? I puffed out a smoke ring and, with the tip of my finger, slashed through the circle, creating a smoky heart shape. “Consider it a belated valentine.”

A ghost of a smile sickled Macey’s lips.

Lungren snatched the cigarette from my hand. “Both of you, detention!”

Smoking = Bad.
I get that. I took my first drag at age twelve and found the whole process as pleasant as licking soot from a chimney. I would have quit, but it bugged the hell out of Aunt Evelyn, and at age twelve, bugging the hell out of Aunt Evelyn was the only thing I did well.

Four years later, I still puff on the occasional cancer-emphysema-coronary-disease stick, not so much to piss off Aunt Evelyn, but to deal with her. The latest blow: This morning Aunt Evelyn took away my phone and computer privileges. My crime: I failed my Algebra II exam. Aunt Evelyn doesn’t get that some people just don’t
get
asymptotes.

“A good detention program doesn’t punish you,” Lungren continues. “Detention
helps
you, gives you the opportunity to examine bad choices and explore ways to improve your lives.”

I try to exchange eye rolls with Macey, but she’s tugging at the cuffs of her hoodie and staring into Maceyspace. Some brain trust nicknamed Macey the Grim Reaper our freshman year. With her black hoodie, skeletal frame, and pale hair, she looks like death. We met more than two years ago in detention, and while we’re hardly best friends, we both like dark places and uncrowded spaces. The other juvenile delinquent in detention today, Ms. Perky Ponytail, darts her gaze around the room as if terrified the kitty will lunge from the teacup and tear apart her flesh. Clearly a detention virgin.

“For the next two hours you will contemplate your inappropriate and potentially deadly behavior,” Lungren says.

Perky Ponytail rockets her hand into the air and does one of those
Pick me! Pick me!
waves. She doesn’t look like a smoker. I wonder what landed her in kitty hell.

“Yes, Kennedy?” Lungren asks.

“I appreciate what you’re doing for me, and I see the long-term value, but I have a 100 Club project this afternoon. Then I need to go to the prom-decorating committee meeting and a fundraiser for endangered leatherback turtles. It’s a crazy-busy day. Is it possible to make other arrangements?”

“Someone else will have to save the turtles today,” Lungren says, and the girl’s ponytail slumps.

“Each of you will spend the next two hours thinking about the types of experiences and activities you would choose when faced with the limited time you have on Earth.” She waltzes down the aisle and hands us each a cheap spiral notebook. “Here is a brand-new journal, and in here I want you to write things you want to do before you die.”

Kennedy raises her hand and waves. “Like a bucket list?”

“You can call it a bucket list or to-do list. The key is to make it thoughtful, make it meaningful, make it you.”

Kennedy’s hand bolts skyward.
Wave-wave
. “How long does it need to be?”

“As long as you want, but keep in mind, the more time you spend on your list, the deeper you get into your heart.”

Macey snorts.

Agreed. What’s in my heart is none of a school counselor’s business.

Kennedy does the hand thingy again. “Do we turn it in to you when we’re done?” Maybe this is her deadly behavior: sucking up to teachers and suffocating them.

“It would be more beneficial for you to keep the list—and the whole journal, for that matter. I’ve explained to your parents—”

“You talked to my parents?!”

Bad girl, Kennedy—bad, bad girl. You forgot to raise your hand.

“Yes, I talked to your parents and guardians.” Lungren looks at me on the last word. “They are aware of your choices and the redirection efforts of this assignment.”

Kennedy cradles her cheeks in her palms. “My parents are going to be so disappointed, and this will go on my school record, and …”

Ms. Perky Ponytail needs to reread the poster of the kitty hanging at the end of a rope. You know the one:
Hang in there!
Because Kennedy is lucky she won’t have to deal with Aunt Evelyn. As I glare at Lungren, Macey rises from her desk and walks to the door.

“Macey, where are you going?” Without a word, Macey glides into the hall, and Lungren hurries after her, calling over her shoulder, “I’ll be right back, girls. Please start your lists.”

I yank a pencil stub from my messenger bag. Kennedy sniffles. A drop of body fluid splats on the floor near my right flip-flop. I jerk away. Her shoulders heave. The sniffles grow into choky sobs, and more snorts and snot rush out. Her hands shake.

BOOK: Goodbye, Rebel Blue Hardcover
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