I call it the vanishing summer. Everett, my best friend and the first boy I ever kissed, was kidnapped, taken from right beside me. Three months later my mom died. They were both just gone. The bright, fearless spark inside me was gone, too—blown clean out.
I learned that the worst could happen at any moment and with no warning. I didn’t want to go outside anymore. I avoided the woods where Everett and I had played. I hated to let my brother and my dad out of my sight. For four years, I lived with a pounding heart and shaking hands.
But I’m sixteen now, and ready to find my way back to myself, to move forward. Just as that begins to seem possible, Everett walks through the trees and back into my life.