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Your Constant Star

248 pages
Faye is the "good" adopted Chinese daughter. Bev is the wild child. Mannie is the unambitious stoner. What brings them together--and tears them apart--is a need to move beyond the clichés and commit to something--anything--that will bring meaning and joy to their lives. When Faye's long-lost childhood neighbor, Bev, turns up out of the blue, wanting something from her old friend, Faye goes along with Bev's plan. But Mannie, the joyriding daddy of Bev's baby, has a half-crazed romantic agenda of his own. As one cold, miserable prairie spring inches toward summer, a series of unexpected and sometimes explosive decisions sends the trio hurtling toward disaster. A darkly funny portrayal of three unforgettable teenagers feeling their way into adulthood in an imperfect world.
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Your Constant star
Brenda Hasiuk
Bren da Hasiuk
Text copyright ©2014Brenda Hasiuk 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
Hasiuk, Brenda,1968, author Your constant star / Brenda Hasiuk.
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781459803688(pbk.). isbn 9781459803695(pdf ).isbn 9781459803701(epub)
I. Title. ps8615.a776y69 2014jc813’.6 c20139066535  c20139066543
First published in the United States,2014Library of Congress Control Number:2013954147
Summary: Three Winnipeg teens deal with pregnancy, cultural differences and the fallout of bad decisions.
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.
With the generous support of the Manitoba Arts Council
Cover design by Chantal Gabriell Cover images by Getty Images, Dreamstime and iStockphoto.com Author photo by Ian McCausland
orca book publishers po Box 5626,Stn. B Victoria,bc Canadav8r 6s4
orca book publishers po Box 468 Custer,wa usa 982400468
To Duncan, my NortH Star, and to Sebastîan and Katya, our Bîg and Lîttle Dîppers
Partone FàyE
Up unî now, I’ve been prey muc appy o-um—and I’m good wî a. he ony îng remoey îneresîng abou me îs a my parens are wîe and I’m Cînese. I never oug I’d become obsessed wî a Bearusîan wî bad ee wo caed me “îe bîrd.” In îndsîg, î seems suc a srange and condescendîng îng o ca someone wose pans you’re ryîng o ge îno. Bu a e îme, î urned me weak as a newborn cîck. I’ve spen e as ew mons opîng some guy wo îves amos away around e word wî ge în ouc, send me a îne îkeHey, How you doîng,orI tHînk about you, lîttle bîrd, eacH Hour of tHe day and eacH of tHe nîgHt. And I deinîey never oug I’d ear rom Bev Novak agaîn.
Bu ere I am, on my way o mee a gîr I aven’ seen sînce I was eîg, amos a decade ago. Se moved away, bu î probaby ook er abou a mînue o rack me down. I sî îve în e same ouse, on e same sree. Happy o-um. I’s Marc în Wînnîpeg, wîc means î’s snowîng— no loaîng, înrîcae, wondrous lakes, bu pees a bounce of your ace îke Pîng-Pong bas. Everyîng îs monocromaîc—wîe sky, wîe ground, wîe succo srîp ma. My aer îkes o poîn ou a we îve în e codes major cîy în e word, as î a’s some kînd o ourîs draw. I od îm a caîng îs week of rom scoo “sprîng break” îs îke caîng a denîs caîr a poo-sîde ounger, and e od me, serîousy, a I mîg ave a uure în comedy wrîîng. I don’ even know wy I agreed o mee up wî Bev, because wen I înk o er, ere are no warm and uzzy cîdood vîbes. Se ony îved across e sree or ree years, and or one o ose years, I barey saw er, anks o wa my moer cas “e scîssors încîden.” I dîdn’ boer menîonîng o my parens a I was goîng o see er agaîn. I knew î’d end up beîng more roube an î was wor. Bev and I were bo ive wen we me, and even en, I knew ere was noîng o-um abou Bev.
I’d suggesed we mee a e bîg cofee caîn on e corner, e one my aer suns or îs “overprîced medîocrîy.” Se’s aready sandîng în e doorway, unmîsakabe, and any ougs I ad o boîng srîve up. Se’s akîng on er ce and ods up a inger o me. I can’ e î I’m supposed o waî or er or go în and order. My aer îkes o joke a e Cînese obses-sîon wî duy and eîquee mus be geneîc, because I ge ung up on ese îngs, as î ere as o be a rîg answer or everyîng. I wasn’ quîe so unny wen I was dîagnosed as “borderîneocd,” bu e’s rîg. hey’ve managed o raîse e gîr everyone înks o wen ey înk o Asîan gîrs—I pay e ceo (or a eas I used o), I’m near e op o e cass, I swea e sma suf, I am sma-boned and la-cesed. Bev keeps akîng, and î ooks îke îngs are geîng a îe eaed, so I go însîde. here’s no one în e pace excep a serîous-ookîng guy on a apop and wo oder women porîng over a poo abum. he wo gîrs beînd e couner ave macîng dyed back aîr and back T-sîrs. One îs busy arrangîng cookîes on a ray wîe e oer sîs on a soo, wacîng er. I sare up a e menu as î I’ve never seen î beore. “Forge î, jus orge î—I’m no your îe puppy.” I’s Bev. Rîg beînd me. Souîng.
he guy on e apop ooks up, annoyed by e îner-rupîon bu unabe o ep îmse, îke someone jus swîced îs canne rom e weaer repor o reaîytv. “I don’ ave o îsen o îs,” Bev says and angs up. he busy gîr waves er and în ron o my ace. “Can I ge you someîng?” Bev spîns me around by e souders and ooks me up and down wî a gîan smîe. Back wen I knew er, er wo ron ee were crooked, bu now ey’re perec. “You ook e same, Faye,” se says. “he very same.” Wen we were kîds, I remember, even wen some-îng was a maer o opînîon, er enusîasm aways made îsoundrue. “ha’s me,” I say, ryîng o îgnore Mr. Lapop’s gaze, preendîng I don’ care a e gîrs beînd e couner wî bîc abou us aer. “he very same.” Bev soves e ce în er purse, wîc îs eîer very expensîve or agreatknockof. Se unzîps er parka and ress er ands on er bugîng somac. here’s maybe a wo-înc gap o unbeîevaby îg pînk skîn beween e waîs o er yoga pans and e em o er T-sîr.“I guess you can’ say e same îng abou me.” Some îngs are sî e same, I wan o say. Wen we were kîds, Jî, Bev’s a-sîser în Torono, was orever sendîng er îg-prîced desîgner and-me-downs a dîdn’ suî Bev’s baby a.
I’s amazîng ow muc se ooks îke er moer, Lara, now—noîng bu gorgeous, sot curves rom ead o oe, îg eyes darkened by laky mascara and someîng ese muc ess obvîous. Lîke a peac a’s goen oo rîpe. “You ook îke your mom,” I say. Bev sares up a e menu as î bored by e very menîon o er moer. “Yea, you soud see er now. Se pu on, îke, a gazîîon pounds, en se os î,and now se’s back up o a sîze eîgeen.” he busy gîr gîves up on us and sars reiîng a sack o cup îds. he oer one sî does noîng excep raîse er eyebrows a me. One o em îs pîerced and ooks sîgy îneced. “Se’s eacîng casses on emoîona eaîng,” Bev says. “Wîc îs oo unny or words.” I is ou e gît card my od ceo eacer gave me or Cînese New Year and e Bev I’m buyîng—waever se wans. Wen our drînks are ready, I manage o ge er o ake a sea by e aux irepace. Se sînks down ono a purpe aux-suede armcaîr and lases er now-perec ee. Se doesn’ say a word, jus smîes wî one pînk and resîng peaceuy on er pînk bump. “So,” I say. “Wow.” hen wa? Wa does one say în ese cîrcumsances?So, you decîded not to abort? Se bows on er super-grande moca, en akes a ong, beer-îke cug. Foam îngers on er upper îp,