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One Way

128 pages
Riding the wrong way up a one-way street, Kenzie takes his eyes off the road and hits a pedestrian. And not just any pedestrian. It’s his ex-girlfriend, Stassi. Was this a freak accident? Or was it something more sinister? When the police talk to him, it becomes clear that everyone thinks he had a reason to hurt her. Kenzie ends up in a fight to prove his innocence, even as he begins to question it himself.
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One Way
Norah McClintock
Copyright ©2012Norah McClintock
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
McClintock, Norah One way [electronic resource] / Norah McClintock. (Orca soundings)
Electronic monographs inpdfandepubformats. Issued also in print format. isbn 9781459801745(pdf).isbn 9781459801752(epub)
I. Title. II. Series: Orca soundings (Online) ps8575.c62o64 2012a jc813’.54 c2011907852x
First published in the United States,2012 Library of Congress Control Number:2011943729
Summary:When Kenzie critically injures his exgirlfriend, suspicion grows that it was not an accident, and his behavior seems to confirm it.
Orca Book Publishers is dedicated to preserving the environment and has printed ® this book on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council .
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover photography by Getty Images
orca book publishers po Box 5626,Stn. B Victoria, bcCanadav8r 6s4
orca book publishers po Box 468 Custerusa, wa 982400468
www.orcabook.com Printed and bound in Canada.
C h a p t e r O n e
I’m not going fast when I round the corner on my bike. In fact, it seems like I’m crawling along. But what happens next reminds me of the time my dad and I drove home in a rainstorm. The wind was vicious that night.It uprooted trees. The rain didn’t just fall, it hammered down at a forty-îve-degree angle. My dad should have pulled over
Norah McClintock
and waited for the storm to calm down. But we were ten minutes away fromthe house, and he was worried about theroof, which was in bad shape to begin with. Even if it had blown right off our house, there was nothing he could have done about it. Still, he was determined to get home as fast as possible. We came to the sharp turn in the road just around the corner from our house.I can still see my dad gripping the steering wheel like it was a life preserver and he was adrift on in the middle of the ocean. But it didn’t do any good, not with all that wind and rain and the deep puddles where the road surface was uneven. The next thing we knew, the car was skimming over the top of a huge puddle. The tires had no traction. My dad had no control. The car slid off the road, hit the ditch and rolled over. Altogether, the whole thing took ten seconds. But it felt like ten minutes.
One Way
Even now, if I close my eyes, I can see it as if it’s a movie. I see the car going sideways instead of forward. I see my dad’s head turn, îrst to look where we’re going and then to look at me. There’s a look of terror on his face, and it scares me. Then I feel his side of the car drop and my side rise. As I watch, everything turns upside down and then right-side up again. The car slams onto the Ormistons’ front yard. I sit there, staring out into the dark night and the hammering rain, which is no match for my hammering heart. I test my legs, my arms, my neck. I’m in one piece. Nothing even hurts. I look at my dad. He’s okay too, but he’s as shaken up as I am. Well, what happens to me after I round the corner on my bike is a lot like what happened in the car that night. It isn’t raining, and there’s no wind. But a few seconds after I make my turn, everything kicks into slow motion.
Norah McClintock
I make the corner, heading up on Brannigan so that I can park my bike and lock it up in front of the school. There’s no trafîc, but there is a white delivery van parked halfway up the street, just this side of the school. I’m going to have to pass it on my way to lock up my bike. It’s halfway through lunch period, but it’s a cool day for early May, so there aren’t as many kids on the street asthere would be if it was, say, a nice warm day. I see a knot of guys up the street on the other side of the school, their backs to me. I see Stoner across the street from school, holding his phone as far from his face as he can, doing one of his rants. I see a whole bunch of girls standing around talking about whatever girls talk about. I see Logan McCann coming down the school steps. He sees me and smirks. He always smirks when he sees me. A car passes me, headed south.The driver looks startled when he sees
One Way
me coming his way. He points back over his shoulder like he’s trying to jab someone in the backseat, but there’s no one there. I just shrug. He gives me the înger, so I îgure he’s one of those anti-bike maniacs who probably foams at the mouth whenever he’s stuck in trafîc and a cyclist breezes past him. I glance over my shoulder to return the favor, but he’s already turned the corner. I’m just straightening up again when it happens. I hit something. I have no idea what it is. All I know is that my bike slams to such a sudden stop that my butt comes off the seat and my feet leave the pedals. But I continue to grip the handlebars because I have the crazy idea that if I just hang on, every-thing will be okay. I realize I’m wrong about that at the same time I realize I’m upside down. In fact, before I know it, my feet are so
Norah McClintock
high up in the air that it looks like I’m standing on a cloud. Then I feel myself Lipping over. I let go of the handlebars, not that it makes any difference. My legs have arced over my head and are starting to come down again. A moment later, I’m stretched out straight, like I’m lying on an invisible bed. I see that that’s how I’m going to hit the pavement—Lat on my back. I think, Thank god I’m wearing a helmet, which, believe me, is something I never think. Mostly I think that helmets are for wusses. My legs continue to fall, and the top part of my body starts to right itself. For a moment I think I’m going to land on my feet—ta-DA! But I don’t. I splat onto the ground. Except it isn’t the ground that I land on. It’s something kind of lumpy. My bike falls on top of me. Maybe I’m out for a few seconds. Maybe I’m out longer. I don’t know.
One Way
But I’m deînitely out cold, because when I open my eyes, there are people crowded around me, and I can’t îgure out where they came from. I hear someone say,“Do you think she’s alive?” I think, What an idiot! In the îrst place, you could be Einstein’s half-witted brother and still tell at a glance that I’m a guy, not a girl.In the second place, when was the last time you saw a dead person open his eyes? I blink a couple of times. My head is pounding. I hurt everywhere—my back, my legs, my arms. Someone starts to lift the bike off me. Someone else says, “Maybe you should leave it where it is, you know, for the cops.” A third person says, “They’re sending an ambulance.” Another person, a girl, is crying. The first two people are arguing about whether or not to leave my bike on top of me when all of a sudden it’s