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Authors: Laurie Gray

Maybe I Will

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MAYBE I WILL

L
AURIE
G
RAY

LUMINIS BOOKS
Published by Luminis Books
1950 East Greyhound Pass, #18, PMB 280,
Carmel, Indiana, 46033, U.S.A.
Copyright © Socratic Parenting LLC, 2013

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

Grateful acknowledgment is made to Hal Leonard Corporation for permission to quote from the songs “I've Gotta Crow” © 1954 (Renewed) Carolyn Leigh and Mark Charlap and “Ugg-AWugg” © 1954 (Renewed) Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Jule Styne from PETER PAN, All Rights Controlled by Edwin H. Morris and Company, a Division of MPL Music Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Chapter 9 reference:
Shakespeare: The Complete Works.
Ed. G. B. Harrison. New York: Harcourt, 1968.

The author is grateful to the American Taekwondo Association for its empowering programs and for granting permission to use the ATA pledge in this work.

Hardcover: 978-1-935462-71-2
Paperback: 978-1-935462-70-5

Printed in the United States of America

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Advance praise for
Maybe I Will:

In
Maybe I Will
, author Laurie Gray deals with a difficult topic in a thoughtful, nuanced, and realistic way. A pinch of humor and a dash of Shakespeare add flavor to what otherwise might be an overly heavy stew.

Maybe I Will
belongs on teens' reading lists and bookshelves alongside classics of its type such as Laurie Halse Anderson's
Speak
and Cheryl Rainfield's
Scars.

—Mike Mullin, award-winning author of
Ashfall
and
Ashen Winter

When a young person changes, suddenly and dramatically, there may be a reason that is not immediately apparent. In
Maybe I Will,
Laurie Gray insightfully explores such a situation. You will want to read this story twice.

—Helen Frost, Printz Honor Award-winning author of
Keesha's House

Maybe I Will
is an essential purchase for libraries with young adults requesting books like
13 Reasons Why
by Jay Asher,
The Rules of Survival
by Nancy Werlin, and
Speak
by Laurie Halse Anderson.

We never know for sure if the victim is a boy or a girl. Pulling that perspective off was a dramatic success. By having the character almost gender neutral, this title will be easier to put in both male and female reader's hands.

Maybe I Will
may be the title that helps a teen open up and tell someone, rather than continue to suffer in silence.

—Practically Paradise — Diane R. Kelly

This book is dedicated to Michelle Ditton
and all of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners
who helped me understand that
it's not about sex.

MAYBE I WILL

Prologue

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

—Romeo and Juliet
, Act II, Scene ii, Lines 43-44

M
Y PARENTS STARTED
calling me Sandy the night they conceived me. I've heard the story hundreds of times. It's their fifth anniversary, and they're on the beach under a billion stars. Mom just made partner at her law firm, and Dad just finished his doctoral thesis on Shakespeare.

Mom asks, “What would you like for our anniversary?”

So Dad says, “Let's make a baby.”

(Fast forward through the rolling in sand part.)

Mom sighs and says, “I think we did it.”

“A little sandy, don't you think?”

Mom nods. “Sanford or Sandra?”

And Dad says, “Yes.”

He pops the cork on a bottle of champagne, and they toast, “To Sandy Peareson.”

1

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They all have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts…

—As You Like It
, Act II, Scene vii, Lines 139-142

M
Y FOURTH BIRTHDAY
fell on a Friday during my sophomore year of high school. If I looked four, maybe I could have passed for a child prodigy. Only my birthday was February 29th, so really it took me 16 years to get to my fourth birthday. It used to make me crazy—how the whole world could just skip my birthday three years in a row. No one else I knew was born on Leap Year.

Since it would really, truly be my birthday that Friday, and I hadn't had an honest-to-god birthday since I was 12, I felt like all the gods were smiling on me, and I could have anything I really wanted. What I really wanted was to go to Juilliard, but it was still a little early for that. I'd have to settle for the lead in our school spring musical. Tryouts were scheduled for Friday, February 29. The musical was
Peter Pan,
so there were three major roles—Peter Pan, Wendy, and Captain Hook—and I'd been thinking that with
all the makeup and costumes and stuff, I could play any one of them.

That's why I called a “Meeting of the Minds” with Cassie and Troy when they picked me up for school that Thursday morning. I wanted them to give me the latest on who was trying out for what parts and all. The great thing about our friendship was that we each had our own things we did best. We hadn't competed for anything since we were potty trained. No kidding. Cassie's mom babysat me and Troy every day and ended up potty training all three of us. That's probably why Cassie won. Consistency, 24-7.

Cassie's mom used to put us in one of those strollers that hold three kids with Cassie in front (even then Cassie needed a little distance from her mom), me in the middle, and Troy in the back closest to her because Troy didn't have a mom and wanted to be close to any mom whenever he could.

So every day Cassie's mom would push us like that all over the university campus. It didn't matter how hot it was or how cold it was, as long as there wasn't some sort of blizzard or lightning storm or tornado, she pushed us around the dorms, through the student union and past the English department where my dad taught.

Cassie was the first one to ditch the stroller. Dad says he was teaching
The Tempest
, Act V, Scene i:

A devil, a born devil, on whose nature
Nurture can never stick, on whom my pains,
Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost.

He looked out the window and saw Cassie standing in the front seat of the stroller looking like Washington crossing the Delaware.
I guess Troy and I still hadn't figured out how to unbuckle the seatbelts. Anyway, Cassie's mom freaked out and ran around to the front of the stroller to hook Cassie back in. Only she forgot to set the brake on the stroller and when she ran forward, we rolled backward with Cassie's mom chasing after us, arms outstretched yelling, “Cassie! Stop! Cassie!” Cassie swore she never trusted her mom since and that her mom would forever blame Troy and me for pulling Cassie away from her. The lady doth protest too much. That's
Hamlet
, Act III, Scene ii.

So, back to that Thursday morning. When Cassie leaned her head out of the passenger side of Troy's white Monte Carlo and called to me on my front steps. “Hey, Sandy! What's Shakin'?” I replied, “When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning or in rain?” Those are the opening lines of
Macbeth
. Troy and Cassie always asked me “What's Shakin'?” They thought I was obsessed with all things related to the Bard. At first, they were just ribbing me, but now it's sort of our thing. I try to answer them with a quote from Shakespeare. “When shall we three meet again...” meant I was calling a Meeting of the Minds.

Nobody had called a Meeting of the Minds since Troy's birthday last summer. Cassie and Troy had this pact since sixth grade that Cassie would have sex with Troy on his 16th birthday if he was still a virgin. Troy always had this huge crush on Cassie. And Cassie… well, everybody but Troy knew that he just was not Cassie's type. But Troy saved himself for Cassie, and she kept her word.

Afterward Troy kept telling Cassie how much he loved her and begging her to go with him, which just totally freaked Cassie out. That wasn't part of the deal. And then when her pigskin prince went off to college and ditched her, Cassie had this thing about sex just being sex. So Troy was all depressed and kind of laid low
through the holidays, but he came back after Christmas with his driver's license and a new love: Monte. His Monte Carlo, that is.

Anyway, when I called the Meeting I was real clear that this was about the spring musical and NOT about sex. I wasn't saving myself for anyone in particular, but I wasn't planning on having sex just because I was turning 16 either. For one thing, if I ended up all depressed, I was pretty sure my parents weren't going to buy me a hot new car just to make me feel better. In fact, I already knew I wasn't getting a car until that summer.

Troy parked Monte in the back of the student parking lot. We all put on our hats and gloves and headed into school. “Any word on who's trying out for what parts?” I asked. I kicked a smooth gray stone up the sidewalk.

“You know Sarah Hensley will want the lead,” Troy said, scooting the stone back my way.

“And Dustin Fairbanks,” added Cassie. She intercepted the stone and kicked it 10 yards forward and off of a fire hydrant. CLANG! It disappeared in the dirty snow.

I nodded, scanning the sidewalk for another rock to kick. “Hamilton always gives seniors all the breaks.”

“Well, there's no way Sarah can play Peter Pan,” Troy said. “Her boobs'll get in the way.”

“Definitely,” Cassie agreed. “And Fairbanks' voice is too low. He looks like a grown man with a five-o'clock shadow. He's out.”

“Yeah,” I said. “You know he'll want to be the father and Captain Hook.”

“Sarah will be Wendy,” said Troy. “You can count on it.”

“I guess that means Sandy will have to be Peter Pan,” Cassie mused.

“What about Alex Parker?” I asked. “Hamilton might give the part to him since he's a junior. Or Katie Henry.”

“I heard Katie's running track this spring,” Troy offered.

“Alex's voice is changing,” said Cassie. “I'm pretty sure he'd rather play baseball than sing.”

I nodded. “I believe I've found my place. ‘Second star to the right and straight on till morning.'”

Cassie and Troy looked at each other and rolled their eyes.

“What?” I said. “That's Peter Pan, not Shakespeare.”

2

There was a star danced,
and under that was I born.

—Much Ado About Nothing
, Act II, Scene i, Lines 349-350

I
ALWAYS LOVED
my
real
birthday when it finally arrived. It was my day, and I never wanted anything to ruin it.

On my last real birthday when I was 12, my mom scheduled a dentist appointment for me to get a filling. My parents said I was being overly dramatic, but I said what kind of a mom schedules pain on her child's birthday on purpose? Then Mom ended up stuck in court, so Dad had to take me. “Really, Sandy,” he said, “don't you think you're over-reacting?”

“No thir,” I said. My tongue was still numb. “Thith totally thuckth! Birthdayth aren't thuppothed to be painful!”

Dad laughed. “This is nothing compared to the pain your mom had 12 years ago on your birthday! Trust me, the older you get, the more painful birthdays become.”

But my 16th birthday started out perfectly. Mom made my favorite “ABC” breakfast. “A” was for applesauce; “B” was for bacon; “C” was for cheese. She put a slice of American cheese on a
piece of toast, topped that with four slices of crispy bacon and then smothered the whole thing in hot applesauce so that the cheese got all melty. Delicious! It was one of the benefits of being an only child. If my mom wanted to make my favorite breakfast for my birthday, then who was I to argue?

BOOK: Maybe I Will
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