When Lucca died, no one took it harder than his best friend, Gabe. It's exactly one year later, and Gabe has just died of a drug overdose. Tragedy striking yet again. Brooklyn, Lucca's girlfriend, has learned to wear a mask of strength and indifference after losing the boy she loved. But inside, her emotions are in turmoil. Now her dreams are being haunted by a ghost, gray and sinister. She knows it's Gabe chasing after her, but she doesn't know why. She's desperate to find a way to stop the nightmares, but she feels like she has no one to turn to. Nico, Lucca's brother, has learned to cope by shutting everyone out. So when he learns of Gabe's death, he's not too fazed by it. But soon he begins hearing voices in his sleep, seeing notes on his window, and getting general signs requesting him to do one thing: Save Brooklyn. Convinced it's Lucca, Nico reaches out to help Brooklyn as best he can. Together they discover a mutual desire to live again, as they also discover a growing desire for each other.
Tues., Jan. 10th—Brooklyn Daddy was raised in a house full of women. Women who did everything for him. Now I’m left to do those things others have done for him his whole life. Cook him dinner. Wash his boxers. Change his sheets. He needs me? I don’t think so. What he needs is a maid. Tonight he says, “Brooklyn, let’s get a dog.” I give him a look that says, Are you crazy? “What?” he says. “It’d be great. |You just don’t know it because you’ve never had one.” That was Mom’s fault. Neat freaks and dogs don’t mix. And really, I don’t see how busy girls with enough to take care of thank-you-very-much would mix with a dog either. A maid, a cook, and a dog trainer? I don’t think so. Tues., Jan. 10th—Nico Ma makes a big dish of ravioli for Gabe’s family along with some bread and her famous pineapple tiramisu. Tiramisu means “pick me up” in Italian. Ma always hopes it will do a little of that. She took them minestrone soup last week. When she doesn’t know what else to do, she cooks. She’s trying to teach me everything she knows. I’m the closest thing to the daughter she never had, I guess. She leaves some ravioli for me and Pop. We eat in silence. Too bad there’s no tiramisu. I think we could both use some of that too. Tues., Jan. 10th—Brooklyn I fall asleep hoping to dream of Lucca. Instead I’m standing in the hallway at school. In the dark. Alone. I turn around and around, wondering where everyone is. I want to turn on the lights, but where do you find the lights for a school hallway? There’s the faint sound of footsteps. Someone is far away. But coming closer. I listen. They get louder. I open my mouth. I try to speak. Nothing comes out. I walk forward, my arms in front of me, trying to see my way. There’s a faint light ahead. I think it’s the light to the office. If I can just make it there, it’ll be okay. The steps are coming faster. My pace increases. Just get to the office. |Nothing can hurt you there. They’ll help you. The light gets brighter. I start to run. Faster and faster I run, the beating of my heart almost as loud as the pounding of my steps. I reach the door and look behind me. I see someone. Someone’s coming. Right behind me. I turn the doorknob. Locked tight. My fist pounds on the window. I pound and pound and open my mouth to scream. Then, he’s there. In front of me. Gray skin with eyes black as the darkest night, and lips blood red. He lunges for me and I scream his name. “Gabe!” When I wake up with my sheets soaked and sticking to me like bandages, I can’t stop shaking. Even though I know it was a dream, something about it was so much more than a dream. A lot more. #281 Dear Lucca, I’ve read six comics. I still can’t go back to sleep. I had a horrible dream. I don’t even want to talk about it. Daddy told me after Mom moved out, I could wake him up if I ever needed anything. But then I’d have to tell him about the dream. He’d worry about me. Probably think this thing with Gabe is getting to me. And then who knows what he’d do. Anyway, what could he do for me, besides give me a hug and tell me to go back to sleep? He can’t do anything for me. Not really. So I guess I’ll read about Tom Strong some more. recently read a review online about him where someone said, “Tom Strong stands for goodness, purity of heart, tolerance, and family.” No wonder I like him so much. Love always, Brooklyn Wed., Jan. 11th—Nico Something happened last night and I am freaking out. It was almost morning. I was asleep. I heard a noise. A scraping noise. I sat straight up and noticed the window was open, just slightly. The room was freezing. I ran to the window and closed it. I was about to turn on the light, when I felt something. Like someone was right there. I lunged for the baseball bat under my bed and started swinging. I made my way to the light and turned it on. No one was there. Nothing was there. And yet, it was like someone or something was there. And then I heard a whisper. Not even a whisper. Something else. A silent message in my brain. Make sure Brooklyn is okay. The curtains fluttered. A slight shadow emerged on the wall. And then, he was gone. The room warmed up. My goose bumps disappeared. And I ran out of my room. Wed., Jan. 11th—Brooklyn Kyra tells me I look tired. I tell her I’m fine. Doing great, in fact. I don’t even tell her about the nightmare. That’s all it was. A stupid nightmare. Although, getting dressed this morning, I had this odd sense someone was watching me. But that’s ridiculous. Gabe is dead. Dead people don’t watch people. Do they? Wed., Jan. 11th—Nico I look for Brooklyn at school and see her at her locker talking to Kyra. She doesn’t see me and I don’t stop to talk. She’s fine. I’ve seen it for myself. She’s completely fine. Did I just imagine it? Whatever “it” was. I thought someone was there. I thought I heard the words. But now, I don’t know.
Lisa Schroeder is the author of the teen verse novels The Day Before; I Heart You, You Haunt Me and its companion novel, Chasing Brooklyn; Far from You; and the teen prose novel Falling for You. She is also the author of the middle grade prose novels It’s Raining Cupcakes, Sprinkles and Secrets, and Frosting and Friendship. She lives in Beaverton, Oregon. Find out more about Lisa and her books at LisaSchroederBooks.com or on Twitter at @Lisa_Schroeder.
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