Yeah, I'm sure. "Just hop on." She grabs my shoulders and I carry her to the next hole. "You suck at this game. The last one was a par three, and how you managed to get an eight on it is embarrassing. I think I need to give you private lessons, so next time we can kick a little frolf ass."

"Private lessons sound good," she says, then kisses the back of my neck.

"You guys are dorks," Kendra says when we finally arrive at the next hole. I kneel so Maggie can slide off my back without too much stress on her leg.

"Don't call my best friend a dork, Kendra," Brian says.

Kendra puts her hand on her hip and flips her hair back. Oh, no. That's not a good sign. "Don't defend him. And he's not just your friend, Brian. He's my ex."

"He was my best friend before either of us dated you."

"We slept together behind his back," Kendra spits back with venom. "Some best friend you turned out to be."

With those words, Brian takes something out of the waistband of his jeans. It's a flask.

"Man, what're you doing?" I ask.

"None of your business."

Oh, shit. This is not happening. Not in front of Lenny and Julio and my sister. And not in front of Maggie, who hates Kendra drama more than anything. I want her to forget my past, not be reminded of it.

Kendra tosses one of the discs, aiming directly at Brian's nuts. Brian barely dodges the disc, takes another swig of whatever he's got in the flask, and looks his fiance right in the eye. "Let's have a contest."

Lenny's eyes light up. The dude loves challenges more than anything.

Julio leans into me and says so nobody else can hear, "These are your friends? They're all fuckin' lunatics."

And this is coming from a guy who's been in jail for robbery and money laundering.

"Tell you what," Brian says, getting really pissed at Kendra now. I can tell because his face is getting all red and splotchy. That only happens right after he works out or when he's really pissed. "If I win the next hole, the wedding's back on. If you win, you're free to call it off and be with Caleb."

Urn, not happening. "Brian, don't be an idiot," I tell him, but he's not listening. I don't know if he's high on top of being drunk. He's definitely not himself.

"Agreed," Kendra says, ignoring me. "But it's not a fair matchup."

"Fine. You pick who throws for me, and I pick who throws for you."

Maggie attempts to hide behind me.

"I pick Maggie. She'll throw for you," Kendra says through clenched teeth.

"Then I pick Leah," Brian says.

"Can I opt out?" Maggie asks them.

A red-faced Brian and a raging Kendra both say "no" at the same time.

"Guys, just kiss and make up already," I tell them. "You're pregnant, Kendra. And it's not happening between us, so get over it."

"Shut up, Caleb," Kendra says, venom in her voice.

"I got this," Maggie says, a fierce and determined look on her face.

I get it.

Maggie's fighting for me. She wants to win me, fair and square. Doesn't she realize she already has me, and doesn't have to fight?

I watch in awe as my girl takes a disc in her hand and goes to the tee.

"Maggie..." I say. "Umm ... You grabbed a putter. That won't go too far."

I hold out another disc for her, which she takes with a murmured thanks.

Maggie takes a deep breath, then lets it rip with an impressive grunt. She winces when it veers to the right and almost lands in some bushes.

Her hand flies to her mouth in horror.

"Good goin', babe," I joke.

"It's not funny," she says, taking this competition way too seriously.

My sister is next. Julio tries to give her some pointers, but I'm not sure my twin sis wants Kendra to win. My sister whips the disc, but it also veers and lands in the bushes.

Oh, man, this is torture.

In the end, it's neck and neck. My sister holds her putter while Maggie holds hers.

"Wait," Maggie says before Leah aims for the metal basket.

Leah stills.

Maggie holds her disc at her side. "I can't do this."

"Me neither," Leah adds.

Maggie limps up to Kendra. "I don't play games with people's lives like you do."

'Atta girl!

Maggie drops the disc at Kendra's feet. "If you let him go and he doesn't come back to you, he wasn't yours to begin with. It's a lesson I learned in first grade."

Man, my girl is one tough chick when she wants to be. I wonder if it has something to do with those big, comfy granny panties she's got on.

Maggie limps away, my sister at her side. It reminds me of when we were kids and they were inseparable. I like that they're figuring out how to be friends again.

I watch until Maggie and Leah are out of sight.

"I'm out of here," Kendra says, storming off to her car.

"Me too," Brian says, turning to storm off to his.

I step in front of him. "I can't let you do that."

"Why not?"

"Because you're drunk. I can't let you drive while you're fucked up."

"Move out of my way, Caleb, and don't be such a dork."

"I'm a dork, too," Lenny says. "'Cause I won't let you drive, either."

"Give Caleb your keys," Trish orders Brian. "Now!"

Damon the Enforcer would be proud of us Re-START misfits. Too bad he's not here to see us all in action.



head toward home with Leah.

"Thanks for that," Leah says. "I was gonna miss on purpose. I never liked Kendra."

I stop and turn to her. "What would you think about Caleb and me as a couple?"

She doesn't answer. Her non-answer is my answer.

"I'm leaving for Spain in less than two weeks, so you won't have to see us together for much longer." My words come out quick and I know she can tell I'm upset. "Leah, something's gotta give."

I limp away from her now, but I hear Caleb calling after me.

"Where's everyone else?" I ask.

"Lenny ended up driving Brian home-he was pretty wasted-and Julio and Trish went with them," Caleb says. "Listen Maggie. About the game ... I'm sorry." He moves in front of me. "I shouldn't have forced that situation on you. I just thought we could be a normal couple and-"

"We'll never be a normal couple, Caleb. We have so much baggage it's ridiculous." I hold a hand up when I see he's about to protest. "I'm living in reality. Reality is that Kendra still wants you in her life and your sister still wants me out of your life-it's easier on her that way."

Just thinking about Kendra and Leah is overwhelming right now. "I need to get away from here," I tell him.

"Where are you going?"

I take out the keys to my car. "Where I always go to think."

"If it's any consolation," he says, "I don't give a shit what anyone else thinks about us being together."

"I know. I wish I didn't care, but I do."

When I get to my car, I immediately head over to Mrs. Reynolds' house. Lou isn't there, and neither is the For Sale sign. A sinking feeling forms the pit of my stomach when I think about someone else living in this house.

As I finger the white-painted wood of the gazebo, I think about what I said to Caleb. I know he's still struggling being at home where he doesn't feel like he belongs. I saw where he's been sleeping-on the couch in his living room.

Lenny can't stay in the Beckers' house forever. I don't know why he doesn't have a home or family to go back to after our Re-START trip, but he's obviously sleeping at the Beckers' because he has nowhere else to go.

And Julio was practically begging for a place to stay.

Even though I don't want to, I need to brace myself for the inevitable. Caleb is in my life temporarily. When I leave for Spain, we'll be going our separate ways. Should I make the most out of what we have now? Reality is, Caleb will soon be out of my life for good.



wo days after the frolf game, I'm standing in front of my sister's bedroom door. Lenny and Julio went out, and my dad is at work. It's the perfect time to have it out with Leah.

I knock on the door and wait. She cracks it, but doesn't let me in.

"Do you need something?"

"Yeah," I say. "We need to talk."

She opens her door wide and sits on the edge of her bed. Her room used to have posters of guys in boy bands, but now she's got pictures of skulls and crossbones and posters that remind me of death.

It's too fucked up for words.

"You've got to come clean to Mom and Dad." There, I said it. "I'm done taking the fall. It wasn't just telling the cops I was the one driving. It wasn't just pleading guilty and being locked up in jail for almost a year. Our lie is like a fucking cancer that's spread to every single area of our lives." I point to the posters on her wall. "You do realize this is your cry for help. It's sick shit, Leah."

The more I look at those skull pictures staring at me with their empty-holed eyes, the more I want to rebel against it. I'm not dead. I don't want to be dead. I don't want my sister to be dead. And I sure as hell don't want to be haunted by the past anymore.

"You promised," she says in an eerily calm voice. "When I told you about the accident, you said youd take care of it."

"I was drunk, Leah. I hardly knew what I was doing, and by the time I realized I shouldn't have lied to the police, it was too late."

"I was scared."

"And I wasn't?" I snap. But maybe she didn't know how I was feeling, because I masked every emotion I had after I got arrested. I take a deep breath and try again. "It's time to tell Mom and Dad."

I look up and see a picture of a skeleton with its teeth sunk into a heart and I can't take it anymore ... I rake my fingers across the wall and rip them all down. "I'm done with you looking like death warmed over. I hate what you did to Maggie. I hate it, and I hate you for making me promise to take our secret to the grave and then paying me back by being a fucking recluse."

"Caleb, lay off her."

I turn to see Julio standing in the doorway.

"Stay out of this, Julio," I growl.

Instead of listening to me, Julio walks into the room and stands next to my sister. "I said lay off."

Is he kidding me? "This doesn't have anything to do with you."

"Yes, it does," Leah murmurs. She looks up at me with tear-filled eyes. "Because last night Julio and I stayed up all night and talked. He convinced me to turn myself in."


I didn't expect that. I expected a lot of things to come out of my sister's mouth, but not that.

Relief floods all my senses, followed by worry and fear. What will happen when she turns herself in? Will she have to serve time? Those questions have been running through my head every time I thought about what would happen if Leah confessed.

How was it Julio who convinced her to come clean?

"Leah's tougher than she thinks," Julio says as he puts his arm around her shoulder. "She can do this." He squeezes her shoulders and looks into her eyes. "You can do this."

"You've known my sister all of three days, Julio."