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Authors: Juliana Stone

Some Kind of Normal

BOOK: Some Kind of Normal
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Copyright © 2015 by Juliana Stone

Cover and internal design © 2015 by Sourcebooks, Inc.

Cover design by Nicole Komasinski/Sourcebooks, Inc.

Cover images © Esmahan Ozkan/Arcangel Images, Michael Blann/Thinkstock

Sourcebooks and the colophon are registered trademarks of Sourcebooks, Inc.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems—except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews—without permission in writing from its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

Published by Sourcebooks Fire, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc.

P.O. Box 4410, Naperville, Illinois 60567-4410

(630) 961-3900

Fax: (630) 961-2168

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Stone, Juliana.

Some kind of normal / Juliana Stone.

pages cm

Summary: Told from their separate viewpoints, popular Trevor, who suffered traumatic brain injury in a drunk driving accident, and his assigned tutor Everly, a pastor's beautiful daughter who is hiding a devastating family secret, not only begin to redefine themselves, they find common ground and even love.

(13 : alk. paper) [1. Tutors and tutoring—Fiction. 2. Brain—Wounds and injuries—Fiction. 3. Family problems—Fiction. 4. Secrets—Fiction. 5. Love—Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.S877875Som 2015




Front Cover

Title Page


Before: Trevor

Before: Everly

Chapter One: Trevor

Chapter Two: Everly

Chapter Three: Trevor

Chapter Four: Everly

Chapter Five: Trevor

Chapter Six: Everly

Chapter Seven: Trevor

Chapter Eight: Everly

Chapter Nine: Trevor

Chapter Ten: Everly

Chapter Eleven: Trevor

Chapter Twelve: Everly

Chapter Thirteen: Trevor

Chapter Fourteen: Everly

Chapter Fifteen: Trevor

Chapter Sixteen: Everly

Chapter Seventeen: Trevor

Chapter Eighteen: Everly

Chapter Nineteen: Trevor

Chapter Twenty: Everly

Chapter Twenty-one: Trevor

Chapter Twenty-two: Everly

Chapter Twenty-three: Trevor

Chapter Twenty-four: Everly

Chapter Twenty-five: Trevor

Chapter Twenty-six: Everly

Chapter Twenty-seven: Trevor

Chapter Twenty-eight: Everly

After: Trevor

After: Everly


About the Author

An excerpt from
Boys Like You

Chapter One: Monroe

Chapter Two: Nathan

Chapter Three: Monroe

Back Cover

For my mom and dad. I love you both. That is all.


I used to be the guy who had it all.

I had the girlfriend most guys drooled over—easy on the eyes, curves in all the right places, and always up for a good time. I played guitar in the hottest band around and made first string on the football team. My best friend was like a brother to me, and my family was relatively free of drama. Sure my dad worked a little too much and my mom bitched about it, and yeah, my little sister could be annoying as hell, but we were good.

I was invincible. I had goals and dreams, and I was damn close to getting them.

Until I wasn't.

Until a night went so wrong that I ended up in a coma, and by the time I came out of it, months had passed. By then I was already running to catch up to everyone else, and running to catch up wasn't something I was used to. I was the guy at the head of the line. I was the lucky one.
. And like everything else in this new life of mine, it totally sucked.

Thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach. I hate it. There are nights when I can't sleep. Nights when all I want to do is close my eyes and see nothing. Hear nothing. Smell nothing. I don't want to remember how I used to be, and I sure as hell don't want to remember that night.

Except that I can.

I can remember every single detail.

It was hot. The kind of hot that makes you sweat like crazy and leaves your lungs feeling heavy. The moon was out, and it never went away, kind of like perpetual twilight.

My girlfriend wore a tight black halter top and a white skirt that barely covered her ass. I gave her hell for it, but I liked how the other guys checked her out. I liked knowing that she was mine. And I really liked the fact that we'd get busy in some dark, quiet spot among the trees.

Of course, that didn't happen because I drank too much. I got wasted, like stupid wasted, and I puked. Even my girl, Bailey, was disgusted. So yeah, the “getting busy” thing never happened.

Then I got in a car with someone I knew was almost as wasted as me. And that is without a doubt the stupidest thing I've ever done. I remember thinking Nathan shouldn't drive, but he laughed me off and said he was fine.

I remember thinking that we should call my dad. He was always good for a pickup if one of us screwed up. And man, we were screwing up. But at the time it seemed like too much work to make it all happen, so I did nothing.

If I'd done that? Called my dad instead of getting in the car with Nathan at the wheel? Things would be so damn different. I'd still be the old me. Not some loser with shit for brains and a TBI (traumatic brain injury). Now there's a great handle.

But I don't like thinking about
because it depresses the hell out of me.
doesn't matter anymore because I have to deal with

And for me,
is crunch time. I gotta believe that
just might change my life. And the scariest truth of all?

is all I got.


Twelve months, two weeks, and three days is exactly three hundred and eighty-two days. I'm fairly certain it doesn't mean squat to anyone else, but to me, it's everything. To me, it's how I measure my life, because nothing that happened before then matters. Not now and maybe not ever.

I used to be that girl. You know the one. I had it all.

Until I didn't.

Three hundred and eighty-two days ago, my whole world imploded, and ever since then, I've been trying to figure out how to get it back to what it was. How to unsee and unhear everything that happened.

You see, those things, the things that could break me, I hold them close, buried so deep that sometimes I don't even think they're real.

But they are. They're as real as the blades of grass beneath my toes. Or the big fat cucumbers in the back garden. They live in between those three hundred and eighty-two days, like the sawdust that fills the cracks of the floorboards in my father's church. And it's the sawdust that chokes.

Every morning I wonder, is this the day that I can forgive
for what he did? Is this the day that I can forgive
for not knowing? I mean, how can she not know? That thought alone haunts me every single day, which leads to other questions. Is it my place to tell her? Is it my place to make him?

Is this the day I can break free from the silence that weighs me down?

Every morning as I sit across the table from my father and watch him eat his toasted bagel with chunky peanut butter, spread so thin I don't get the point of even putting it on his toast, I wait. I wait for something inside me to shift.

I wait for him to talk about it. To explain the lie that is his life.

I wait for something to change.

I wait for it, and I die a little when it doesn't happen because I want it so badly.

I watch my mom breeze into the kitchen and kiss him on the cheek, her hands lingering on his face because she loves to touch him. I watch her frown because the Nutella on my toast isn't a healthy choice, so she grabs her homemade strawberry jam and puts it in front of me.

I let her touch my shoulder, lean over, and kiss me before running her hands through my little brother's hair.

I watch her smile, and I wait for her eyes to light up the way they used to. Because for as long as I can remember, my mom's smile was the most beautiful thing in the world.

But her smile never quite reaches her eyes, and her penchant for humming hymns from church borders on crazy. She knows things have changed, but for the life of her, she can't figure out what those things are.

So I pop my toast in my mouth and force the dry crust down. I know that I'll have to put on a fake smile and head out into the world and pretend that my life is just as perfect as it was before. No one can know the secrets that hide behind our front door. The secrets that are slowly tearing my family apart.

To everyone in Twin Oaks, we're the Jenkinses—the perfect and loving Pastor Eric Jenkins; his beautiful wife Terry, who spends all her time volunteering for the less fortunate in the community; and their kids. Isaac, the free-spirited little guy who loves baseball, fishing, and above all else, his father.

And then there's me, Everly, the All-American girl, with a heart of gold and truckload of morals to go along with it.

That's how I was brought up. That's what he taught me.

Ironic isn't it?

So here I am, day three hundred and eighty-three. I'll push my feelings aside and pretend that everything is freaking A-OK. I'm a good daughter who's learned from the best, even though the best is flawed. Even though the best is beyond redemption.

Apparently, in my world, the best means being a hypocritical jerk. A liar.

I hate pretending. But most of all, I hate him for what he's done to my family. Him. My father.

I love my father.

I hate my father.

How screwed up is that?

Chapter One

The only thing worse than being stuck in Twin Oaks for the summer without my best buddy, Nathan, is being stuck in Twin Oaks for the summer and having to spend most of it with Everly Jenkins. She's the person my guidance counselor assigned as my tutor. Don't get me wrong, the girl is cute as hell, but I have zero in common with her. And from what I remember, her nose is stuck so far up in the air I'm pretty sure it's in a different time zone.

Jesus. Everly Jenkins.

She goes to church every Sunday, and considering her father is the pastor, I get it. I've been to church exactly once in the last five years and have no plans on attending anytime soon. Not because I don't believe in a higher power or anything like that. I just don't think that I need to prove it every damn Sunday.

Her reputation is that she's straight as an arrow. Again, no judging. I just like a bit more of an edge to the people I hang with. Besides, during freshman year, Nathan and I “borrowed” my cousin's truck for the weekend and got caught. To our classmates the stunt elevated us to a weird sort of celebrity status, but that year in English class, Everly had done a speech on the perils of delinquency. Damn.
. At the time I'd thought I was nowhere near her radar, but I'd been wrong. That day she was talking to me. I knew it. Everyone knew it. And of course, I'd acted like it didn't matter. I mean, who the heck cares about delinquency when you're fifteen? But the truth of it was I didn't like being under her microscope. Didn't like the thought of her judging me.

And yet here I was again. About to be analyzed and probably found wanting.

I pulled Dad's old rusted Mustang to the curb and cut the engine. It ran on for a bit, chugging and jerking as if it still had somewhere to go, and I made a mental note to tell him the carburetor was screwed.

I snorted.
What a joke.

It was the second Monday of June, and the disaster that had been my senior year was almost behind me. I had one more hurdle to jump, and then I could finally call an end to the most craptastic year ever. All I had to do was pass my government test and I could finally end this all and move on. I hoped that, with Everly's help, I'd get it done.

I tapped the steering wheel, eyes on Everly's house, and tried to remember the last time I'd actually had a conversation with her but came up with nothing.

That didn't mean it didn't happen. Sometimes my memory was a little hazy, and as I stared across the lawn, I gave up trying. What was the point? It's not as if I was going to chat her up about the new Gibson Les Paul I'd seen online or the bush party everyone was talking about, the one in the woods behind the old drive-in.

I sighed and focused. Come on, Trev. Get your shit together.

Her house was white, and like everything else about Everly Jenkins, it was picture perfect. There was the picket fence. The expertly trimmed hedge and the greenest grass I'd seen all summer. A miracle in itself considering our spring had been the driest in years. Heck, even the hanging baskets on her porch looked good; I wouldn't be surprised if they were fake.

Everly Jenkins's place looked nothing like mine. Not that I lived in a dump or anything, but the grass had always been the least of my dad's worries, and my mom didn't exactly have a green thumb.

I smiled for the first time today. God, my mom. She'd even managed to kill a plastic planter because she'd put it too close to the oven. It had been a fake poinsettia, and we'd woken up Christmas morning to find the red leaves melted to the pot. My dad still kidded her about that one.

I groaned and closed my eyes, pushing back the long hair that fell over my brow. It was early yet. Not even noon, and already I was tired. That familiar throb was there, just behind my eyes, and I prayed like hell a headache wasn't on its way. They wiped me out, and it was exhausting trying to pretend that I was fine when all I wanted to do was close my eyes and block everything out.

I heard a door slam shut and spied Everly on the front porch.


I threw open the car door and winced. My right knee had been banged up but good in the accident, and when I sat for too long, it got stiff and sore. Grabbing my laptop, I walked around the car and pushed open the gate.

But Everly was already headed my way, ponytail swinging behind her, a laptop case slung across her shoulders. She wore a white T-shirt that fit her the way a T-shirt was meant to fit a girl. Tight in all the right places. (Hey, I'm a guy, so these are the things I notice. Sue me.)

I stopped walking for a few reasons.

One. I'd forgotten how damn beautiful she was with all that dark hair and blue eyes the color of a new pair of jeans.

Two. I had no idea why she was walking toward me as if we were supposed to be going somewhere.
we supposed to be going somewhere? Was that something I'd missed?

And three. Damn. The girl had great legs, so the fact that her cutoff denim shorts showed them off wasn't something I could ignore. And well, the T-shirt.

I took a moment and looked her over. Like I said, I'm a guy first.

I watched the blush creep up into her cheeks. Saw how she lifted her chin as if to say “F you.” Pretty much killed whatever she had going on.

We'd never really clicked, she and I. Not since grade six when I'd kissed her in a closet at Jackson Breckman's house and told the entire class about it. I'd been pretty pumped. Heck, she was the girl all the boys liked, but she was also the girl who was hands off. Pastor's daughter and all.

Everly had been
. That was the word I think she'd used. She'd told me that she would never talk to me again. That she
I was the kind of boy who would spread dirty gossip and that the
reason she'd kissed me in the first place was because she'd been dared to.

Oh, the tragedies of being a twelve-year-old. So other than the delinquency lecture, we'd pretty much had zero contact.

“Hey,” I said.

She smoothed her hands down the front of her shorts and shifted her weight. “Hey, yourself.”

A pause.

“You're late,” she said, eyes narrowing a bit.

Huh. She wasn't going to make this easy.

“Well, shit, Everly. I didn't know we were punching a time clock or anything.”

“Ever,” she replied.

Confused, I opened my mouth and had to wait a moment for my brain to catch up. It did that from time to time, and I was always afraid the wrong words would come out. It made for awkward conversations sometimes, which sucked when trying to scrounge together some kind of attitude. Some hint of the guy I used to be.

“What?” Good one. When in doubt, only use one word.

“Ever,” she said again, this time a little softer. “I prefer Ever now.”

“Oh,” was all I managed to say.

For a few moments that was all we had. The sun. The sprinkler going crazy on either side of us (reason for the nice green grass). And silence.

“So I guess we're not studying here,” I said, eyeing the house.

“No,” she replied quickly, turning around as some young kid ran down the steps and shrieked when he hit the water. She shook her head and yelled. “Isaac! You better make sure you don't track mud into the house or Mom won't be happy. I'm—” She glanced back at me. “We're heading to the library.”

She didn't wait for her brother to answer.

Everly Jenkins blew past me and headed straight for the car. She yanked on the door, we both winced at the sound the dried-out hinges made, and then she disappeared inside.

Her brother was drenched and still watching us, so I gave the kid a wave—he looked like he was around ten years old or so—and headed back to the Mustang.

The library it was.

I slid into the driver seat and tossed my laptop into the back. I was about to turn the key and rev the engine when Everly—or rather, Ever—pushed a piece of gum in her mouth and inserted a pair of earbuds. I wasn't used to girls ignoring me.

That right there was my move. The best way to avoid conversation was always earbuds.

I started the car, my eyes still on her, when suddenly she whipped her head up. Her cheeks were still pink.

“What?” she asked, eyes narrowed. Her attitude was all wrong. She was prickly as hell and nothing like the girl I remembered.

I shrugged and said nothing as I pulled out into the road. She seemed different somehow. Couldn't put my finger on it, but it seemed to me like I wasn't the only one who'd changed over the last year or so.

We cruised a couple of blocks, and then I hung a right onto Main Street. The library was downtown just past the town square. I'd just turned left onto Chestnut Street when I caught sight of Bailey Evans and a dude I didn't recognize. The guy had his arm slung across her shoulders, and she was looking at him, offering her mouth up for a kiss.

Bailey is my ex-girlfriend, just one part of a shattered past that I'd failed to hold on to. I wasn't in love with her or anything—we'd never been about that—but I missed her. Or maybe I missed the idea of her. Of having someone to hold on to.

Or maybe I just missed getting some action. It had been a while.

Everly turned to follow my gaze, but she didn't say a word, and a few moments later I pulled into the library parking lot.

I cut the engine and cleared my throat as it ran on for a bit and then sputtered to a stop.

She nodded toward the hood as she took out her earbuds.

“That doesn't sound too good.”

“Don't worry. It's not going to explode or anything.”

For a second her eyes lightened, and I swear there was a hint of a smile hiding in their depths. “No, but I bet your mileage is crap. You might want to get that carburetor fixed.”

“That is probably the sexiest thing a girl has ever said to me.” I was teasing. It's what I did. But as soon as the words left my mouth I winced, because man, could I sound more stupid?

Her eyes widened slightly. “Well, then I feel sorry for you, Trevor Lewis.”

“Oh,” I said. “And why is that?”

“If that's the sexiest thing you've ever heard, then obviously your reputation is overrated.”


She stepped out of the car, and it took me a couple of seconds to catch up.

Well, that was unexpected.

BOOK: Some Kind of Normal
7.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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