Reality Boy, p.24A. S. King
“Gerald!” Hannah hasn’t let me go yet, and I don’t let her go, either. “Look at you,” Hockey Lady says.
“Is it the end of second period yet?” I ask.
“Nah. We’re just losing so bad I came out before the rush.”
She lights up a cigarette.
“I’m Hannah,” Hannah says.
I nod and say, “My girlfriend,” as if this isn’t obvious.
“That’s great,” Hockey Lady says.
There’s an awkward moment between the three of us. Hannah giggles.
“I wanted to thank you for talking to me that first night,” I say.
“You’re welcome,” Hockey Lady says.
“It really helped me,” I say, remembering all the sobbing I did on her shoulder.
“Glad I could help.”
Then Hannah says, “We’d better get back in.”
“The rush is coming,” I explain.
Hockey Lady nods and then winks at me on my way through the door.
“Who’s that?” Hannah asks as we walk back to stand five.
“Just some viewer I met once.”
“Oh,” she says.
I hear myself say this and I like it. Just some viewer I met once.
Just some viewer.
As I sell sixty more chicken-fingers-and-fries orders and tap ten more beers and sell two little kids some hot chocolate, I see them all that way.
Viewers who will never know the truth. Viewers who don’t really matter. Viewers who just didn’t have anything better to do on Friday nights a decade ago.
I look at Hannah over on register #6. She is more beautiful than anything I’ve ever seen. When she looks at me she is the opposite of a viewer. She can see inside me. She makes me see into the future. I can see myself graduating next year—war paint and all, pushing Deirdre up that ramp they’ll have to build. I can see myself in ten years, married to Hannah, maybe a baby or two if she wants some. I’ll have a job that isn’t counting hot dogs. I won’t have to see Tasha or my mother again if I don’t want to.
It’s like Gersday, but better.
I’ll eat real strawberry ice cream.
I’ll be somewhere else. My own Morocco or India. My own Scotland.
I’ll be just another human on a planet full of humans, but better equipped because I have demands.
For my family.
For my life.
For the world.
What acceptable behay-vyah.
What acceptable behay-vyah.
Huge thanks to the usual suspects: my supportive family and friends, the fantastic Michael Bourret, the genius Andrea Spooner, Deirdre Jones, Megan Tingley, Victoria Stapleton, and the entire team at Little, Brown for making me feel like a superhero.
Special thanks to Heather Brewer, Andrew Smith, Sara J. Henry, Beth Kephart, and Ellen Hopkins, who write beautiful books and who are beautiful friends.
To every fan, librarian, teacher, bookseller, and blogger who has supported my work: Your support means the world to me and my gratitude is galaxy-sized.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A.S. King is the author of the highly acclaimed Ask the Passengers, which was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner, received six starred reviews, appeared on ten end-of-year “best” lists, and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her previous book, Everybody Sees the Ants, received six starred reviews, was an Andre Norton Award finalist, and was a 2012 YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults book. She is also the author of the Edgar Award—nominated, Michael L. Printz Honor Book Please Ignore Vera Dietz and The Dust of 100 Dogs, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. When asked about her writing, King says, “Some people don’t know if my characters are crazy or if they are experiencing something magical. I think that’s an accurate description of how I feel every day.” She lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband and children. Her website is www.as-king.com.
I am Reality Boy
Chapter 3: Episode 1, Scene 1, Take 3
Chapter 7: Episode 1, Scene 12, Take 2
Chapter 11: Episode 1, Scenes 20–29
Chapter 16: Episode 1, Scene 36, Take 1
Chapter 19: Episode 2, Preshow Meeting
Chapter 27: Episode 2, Scenes 7–15
Chapter 32: Episode 2, Scene 15, Take 2
Chapter 35: Episode 2, Scene 0, Take 0
Chapter 43: Episode 2, Scenes 23–35
Chapter 46: Episode 3, Scene 2, Take 2
Chapter 51: Episode 3, Scene 12, Take 17
About the Author
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by A.S. King
Cover design by Liz Casal
Cover art © Henrik Sorensen/Getty Images
Cover © 2013 Hachette Book Group, Inc.
All rights reserved. In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher is unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at [email protected] Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.
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First ebook edition: October 2013
For more about this book and author, visit Bookish.com.
A. S. King, Reality Boy
Reality Boy by A. S. King / Young Adult / History & Fiction / Romance & Love have rating 3.6 out of 5 / Based on25 votes