Ripple Effect: A Novel

Free Ripple Effect: A Novel by Adalynn Rafe

Book: Ripple Effect: A Novel by Adalynn Rafe Read Free Book Online
Authors: Adalynn Rafe
this, so heartbroken and contrite, yet wanting to go the thing that made her miserable. But why? Hazel placed a bookmark in her book and shut it. “Only this one time will I go with you to a royal party. After that . . .” She slid her finger across her neck.
    A forced smile lifted on Cecily’s tired face. “We won’t stay long.” She glanced toward the psychologist’s office and quickly looked down at her twiddling hands.
    Hazel’s head tilted and her green eyes held sympathy. “If you open up to ‘them’ you’ll feel better. After my gerbil died, my mom made me see a therapist because all I could do was cry.”
    “This has nothing to do with a dying hamster, Haze,” Cecily said calmly.
    “I’m talking about getting that emotion out of your system.” Obviously, Hazel had learned something from the AP Psychology class she was taking. “It’s blocking your positive energy.”
    “Whatevs.” The bell rang. “Look, I’m going home. Come over when school is out, okay.” Cecily stood up and stretched her arms into the air. She was exhausted.
    “No World Civ again?” Hazel watched her best friends face closely. “You’ve been skipping a lot of school––”
    “Shut your mouth,” Cecily ordered—her tone suddenly deadly. With a breath, she calmed down again. “I procrastinated my homework. Leison––” her jaw clenched slightly when she said his name “—is a beast when it comes to late work.”
    “Glad I never had him,” Hazel commented, not seeing the sudden change in Cecily. “Whatevs. I’ll get your English homework.”
    Cecily’s shoulders relaxed and she let out a long breath. “Thanks.”
    “What about your mom?” she asked suddenly.
    “She’s gone until five. So come over and pick me up after school and we’ll sleep at your house tonight.”
    Hazel gave her a hesitant look, but nodded. “Yeah. Loves.”
    “Loves.”
    Then they split up and went their separate ways.
    On the way out, Cecily bumped into Darien, this kid who annoyed her for reasons that no one knew. He smelled like cheap incense and body odor and always wore the same Martin the Martian t-shirt that he got in eighth grade from his dead grandmother. Long tendrils of dirty blond hair were tucked behind his ears and his brown eyes were bloodshot from who knew what.
    “Is he the one from the party?” Kelly asked me. “The one trying to rescue Hazel?”
    I nodded, tense with anticipation. He was going to talk to me.
    “Watch it,” Cecily snarled.
    “Royalty coming through,” Darien snidely commented. “Madame Cecily.”
    Tears filled Cecily’s eyes as she glared at Darien. “Shut up,” she demanded, her pride wounded from being called a royal. “You don’t know me.”
    “I might not know you now, but I knew you then. Remember in elementary school when we would hang out and throw rocks into the river?” Darian questioned. Cecily felt embarrassed and her face turned red. “What are you doing talking to the duchess Sabrina anyway? Are you one of them now, a royal? ” Darien looked disappointed. “You are going to go to that party, aren’t you?”
    “I don’t have to explain myself to you!” Cecily barked. “And I’m not a royal, okay!”
    He started counting on his fingers. “You treat me like a bottom feeder, you seduce teachers, and you’re caught in the middle of the cafeteria talking to the duchess. You are acting like a royal.”
    Seducing a teacher? My mouth gaped open and Cecily’s heart jumped. No one knew about that, not even Hazel. Tears suddenly filled her eyes and she covered her mouth, gasping.
    “You don’t know me, Darien, not anymore! And I did not seduce that disgusting pig,” her voice cracked. “He touched me!”
    “I said that wrong, I’m sorry—” Darien reached for her. “I know what Mr. Leison did to you, Cecily. I’m sorry!”
    Cecily started bawling hysterically and had to cover her mouth to stifle it.
    My hands covered my mouth too, but in shock, and tears

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