If Only
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Fifteen-year-old Pam is assaulted when she and her twin brother, Danny, are walking home through the woods. Danny is frozen with fear and does nothing; luckily, Pam is rescued by a woman out walking her dog. Pam deals with the trauma by isolating herself while Danny struggles with the shame of not protecting his sister. His shame is compounded by their father's contempt, and Danny decides to redeem himself by finding Pam's attacker. In the process, he discovers a family secret, and Pam connects with new friends who help her regain her confidence.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 octobre 2013
Nombre de lectures 3
EAN13 9781459802889
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0091€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


If Only
Becky Citra

Text copyright © 2013 Becky Citra
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
Citra, Becky
If only [electronic resource] / Becky Citra.
Electronic monograph.
Issued also in print format.
ISBN 978-1-4598-0287-2 (pdf).--ISBN 978-1-4598-0288-9 (epub)
I. Title.
ps8555.i87i46 2013 c813 54 c2013-901881-6
First published in the United States, 2013
Library of Congress Control Number: 2013935390
Summary: Fifteen-year-old twins, Pam and Danny, deal with the aftermath of a vicious assault.
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 design by Teresa Bubela
Cover artwork by Aaron Bihari
In Canada: Orca Book Publishers PO Box 5626, Station B Victoria, BC Canada V8R 6S4
In the United States: Orca Book Publishers PO Box 468 Custer, WA USA 98240-0468
16 15 14 13 • 4 3 2 1

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twenty-one
Chapter Twenty-two
Chapter Twenty-three
Chapter Twenty-four
Chapter Twenty-five
Chapter Twenty-six
Chapter Twenty-seven
Chapter Twenty-eight
Chapter Twenty-nine
Chapter Thirty
Chapter Thirty-one
Chapter Thirty-two
Chapter Thirty-three
Chapter Thirty-four
Chapter Thirty-five
Chapter Thirty-six
Chapter Thirty-seven
Chapter Thirty-eight
Chapter Thirty-nine
Chapter Forty
Chapter Forty-one
Chapter Forty-two
Chapter Forty-three

To my twin sister, Janet

D a nny
“Dad’s going to kill you if he finds out,” Danny says.
His twin sister, Pam, wiggles her arms out of her jacket and wads it into a ball. She stuffs it at the end of the seat in the booth and picks up a blue sports bag from the table. “Who cares? Besides, Danny, who’s going to tell him? You?”
Danny shrugs. He slides onto the opposite seat. Pam is just saying that to bug him. She knows he will never tell.
The whole idea is stupid. Pam looks perfectly fine in her jeans and sweater. He doesn’t understand what her problem is. But all he says is, “I’ll order for you while you’re changing. What do you want?”
“A chocolate milkshake,” Pam says.
Then she is gone, the door of the women’s washroom swinging shut behind her.
She takes ages. Danny orders fries and a Coke for himself and the chocolate milkshake for Pam. While he waits for the order, he peers through the steamy, rain-streaked window, watching for Hugh. You can count on Hugh to be late. He’ll come flying in with some excuse about all the chores he had to do.
Danny has saved up his allowance for weeks, and he isn’t going to miss Planet of the Apes . This is its last week. It’s Thursday, and school is closed for the day because of a problem with the plumbing.
He drains his Coke. They don’t have a lot of time, and Pam always takes forever to drink a milkshake, complaining that drinking it fast gives her an ice-cream headache. The bus that will take them downtown is the number fifty-two, and there is one due in ten minutes. That will get them to the movie theater fifteen minutes before the matinee begins. Danny frowns. Pam better hurry. And where is Hugh?
A minute later, Hugh bursts into the café, using a corner of his shirt to wipe raindrops off his round, wire-rimmed glasses. He plunks down opposite Danny and grabs a fry. “Sorry, Danny. Had to help my dad clean up the garage.”
He helps himself to another fry, and Danny grumbles, “Buy your own.”
What is Pam doing ? Danny’s eyes flicker to the washroom door. A woman with a toddler comes out, followed by Pam. Danny’s stomach drops.
Pam is wearing a lime-green miniskirt and a black blouse. Her jeans spill out of the top of the sports bag, which she is hugging to her chest. Even across the room, Danny can see that she has put on makeup—a wobbly line of pink lipstick, mascara and blue stuff around her eyes.
“Holy cow,” Hugh says.
Pam stumbles up to the table. She has changed her runners for a pair of white sandals with heels. “Ta-da!” she says. “What do you think?”
Danny thinks that she doesn’t look like his twin sister anymore. The real Pam, with her narrow freckled face that is a perfect match to his, has disappeared under the lipstick and blue eye shadow.
“Well?” Pam says.
“You’ll have to get your milkshake to go. The bus is going to be here any second.” Danny stands up. “Let’s go.”
Pam sits by herself on the bus, three rows ahead of Hugh and Danny. Her long brown hair, sparkling with raindrops, hangs over the back of the seat. Pam’s hair is almost long enough for her to sit on.
“Where did she get the clothes?” Hugh says.
“Stacey lent them to her,” Danny says. “The shoes are hers though. She bought them at a thrift store.”
He doesn’t want to talk about it. Stacey is the leader of a group of girls who mostly wear miniskirts and fishnet stockings and take up one whole table in the school cafeteria, talking in loud voices about all the parties they go to. Danny has watched Pam the last month—at the edge of the group, not really in and not really out. And then suddenly Stacey noticed her, saving a seat for her at lunch and now lending her these stupid clothes.
“Your dad will kill her,” Hugh says.
Hugh is afraid of Danny’s dad. Danny has told him a few things that Hugh said made the back of his neck prickle. Danny would have taken them back, but it was too late.
“He won’t find out,” Danny says.
The rain has stopped by the time the movie is over. Hugh’s mother picks Hugh up in front of the theater to take him to a dentist appointment. She waves through the car window and beeps the horn three times as she pulls away from the curb. Danny waves back and then peers up the street for the bus. Pam is shivering beside him, her bare arms and legs prickled with goose bumps.
“Why don’t you put your jacket on?” he says.
“I’m not cold,” Pam says.
Danny grins. “Yeah, right. You just want everyone to see your cool clothes.”
“So what if I do?” Pam glances down at the green miniskirt. “I’m tired of looking like a dork just because Dad’s got a problem. Just for once I want to look good.”
The bus is crowded, and Danny has to stand. When they get off in front of the café, Pam says, “I’m not going to change yet. I’m going to wait until we get home.”
Danny stares at his sister. “Are you crazy?”
“I have to give these clothes back to Stacey tomorrow,” Pam says. “I just want to wear them a bit longer. I’ll change in the Jolly Roger .”
The Jolly Roger is the name Pam gave to the tree fort at the bottom of their backyard. Danny discovered it last July, the first night they moved into the house. At first he thought it was a real boat perched in the branches of a huge leafy tree. It had a wooden deck and a cabin with portholes and a tattered flag with a skull and crossbones hanging from a mast.
Danny and Pam hung out in the fort for the rest of the summer, reading and playing Monopoly and even sleeping there a few times. Sometimes, when Danny lies on his back and looks out a porthole at the green leaves and blue sky, he imagines that he’s back on his grandparents’ farm in the Fraser Valley. They lived on the farm for five years, and it was the only place that ever felt like home. Before that, they lived in Sudbury, in Ontario, but that seems like a lifetime ago to Danny.
Danny thinks the Jolly Roger is the only good thing about moving away from the farm to a suburb closer to Vancouver. But since they started at the new high school in September, Pam has lost interest in the fort. She tried to explain why when Danny complained. “Get with it, Danny. We’re in grade ten. ”
Pam is prattling on now about how she can change in the fort and Dad will never know and how she wishes more than anything that she had her own miniskirt and how there is no point in trying to save her money for one because Dad will never let her wear it. It’s irritating. Danny was going to offer to carry her sports bag, but he changes his mind. He walks quickly, knowing Pam is having trouble keeping up in her wobbly, high-heeled sandals. He knows he’s being mean, but she is really bugging him.
They walk for four blocks, leaving the stores behind, and then turn between two houses onto an old railroad track. The actual track was pulled up years ago, leaving a wide trail that runs for twenty miles through a mix of neighborhoods, some shabby and some rich, and a few remaining patches of forest. Every once in a while, workers from the municipality pick up empty soda bottles, food wrappers and other bits of garbage. Mostly the trail is deserted except for weekend dog walkers and people t

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