… he walked a tightrope five stories up just to hold my hand.
Gaze: I moved into the building next to Pixie when I was eleven. She blew bubbles through my window. I shot my Nerf gun through hers. We both had secrets, but one of us was fated to get hurt. I wanted it to be me.
Pixie: When I was afraid of the dark, he would shine a light in my window. We shared our popsicles and I taught him how to get a good swing on the playground. I never imagined I’d have to decide who got to live and who didn’t. I chose him –and he could never know.
She walked a tightrope five stories up just to save my life…
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Debra Anastasia’s writing is imaginary, dark, comedic, and the perfect sexy. Drowning in Stars is the perfect representation of her! — Tijan NYT Bestselling Author
Full of gut wrenching angst and poignant emotion, Drowning in Stars is a hauntingly beautiful must read. –Helena Hunting NYT Bestselling Author
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The ache in my chest hurt again. I didn’t know how to be me without her.
And then he came in for the kiss. It was him and I was so used to him, but in a totally different way. A new way. Changing everything and realizing that nothing really had to change. He was already mine. His kiss was just ours. Incredibly different from the accidental kiss when we were kids.
His lips tasted good. Slow and gentle, but my heart was racing so fast. He stopped and checked my eyes. I nodded slightly. I was good. This was good. He was making my mouth mine, letting me be the one that decided to be kissed. And then I wasn’t thinking anymore.
I was just a girl kissing a boy and free falling into the beauty of permission.
I wanted to go find Pixie
There was no hiding at my height now. In my next class, Ashlin sidled close. “Hey, you wanted to see Pixie? You’re going to see a lot of her soon.”
If she was superman she couldn’t have timed it better because the fire alarm went off. I followed the flow out the door, the teachers closing doors and flicking out lights. I didn’t like how Megan and Ashlin snickered with each other.
They gathered near a group of girls that all had their phones out. Their attention was pinned on a door like they were cats ready for a mouse to pop out.
It was cold outside. I stood near my last class, but it was more a loose cluster. When the door finally popped open, the fire alarm was starting to give me a headache.
The spoils of mean laughter made me grit my teeth. I’d been bullied enough to know that that particular noise was always accompanied by someone else’s pain.
Her hair was shorter than when we were kids, but her face was an instant balm to my raw heart. Pixie.
But I went from calm to confusion. My normally gutsy Pixie looked like she was trapped in her worst nightmare. She hung her head for a few beats of the alarm. Flashes went off. The crew of girls snapping pictures.
Pixie was hugging her body and I realized why with a gasp. She was only in a pair of underwear. She was topless and hugging her breasts as a way to cover herself.
I jumped through the kids in front of me, using their shoulders to hold myself up and swing my long legs through. I flat out sprinted to get to Pixie, peeling off my basketball jacket from my old school as I moved. I covered her from the front, pulling the arms behind her back.
She looked up in my eyes. Her confusion and relief collided.
I slipped my sweat pants off and held them out to her feet. She stuck them in one and at a time and then jumped so I could yank them up the rest of the way.
The world swirled around us, blurry and useless. I used the time to cuddle her to me, holding the jacket closed while she wiggled her arms inside. I leaned over her and snapped up the back. She was covered.
“Gaze?” She held up her hand, well it was her hand but it was dwarfed by the extra fabric of my long jacket on her. She almost touched my face before squinting. “You can’t be?”
I watched as her soul knew what her brain refused to come to terms with.
“I am. It’s me and I’m back.”
Teachers came into our orbit, asking questions. The snide assholes were there too, but the pictures and video continued, I saw it in my peripheral. I’m sure my boxer briefs were super exciting.
Pixie pushed on my chest. “Are you cold?”
“No.” It was her. I could still smell her strawberry shampoo and tsee the small dusting of freckles on the bridge of her nose. They were my own personal constellation that I’ve always wished on a million times.
About the Author
Debra creates pretend people in her head and paints them on the giant, beautiful canvas of your imagination. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and writes new adult angst and romantic comedies. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two amazing children.
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