Made for You Page 17

I think about him while she repeats a lot of her usual complaints. I don’t think he’s “the one” for me, but he’s a good guy even though she can’t see it. Robert gets me. He’s a Baucom. It’s not quite the same as being a Cooper or Tilling, but if my grandfathers were selecting candidates for an appropriate match for me in Jessup, Robert would be on that very short list.

How do I explain Jessup traditions to Grace though?

When she takes a breath, I ask, “Who else is going to be willing to date me now, Gracie? Seriously, I can’t stand looking at me.”

“Oh, sweetie!” She grabs my hand, and I am gone.

I’m late. I know that Eva’s fine without me there, but she’s going to worry. I shove the rest of my books into my backpack. There are notes and photocopies, but I still don’t have an answer.

“Good night,” I tell the librarian as I walk past the reference desk.

She waves and smiles at me. I’ve been here a lot over the years, and the librarians are all sweet and very helpful. I wonder vaguely if there’s a librarians’ oath like doctors take. The thought makes me grin as I walk out the door.

“Eva? Eva!” Grace’s voices echoes in my hospital room.

I shake my head and yank away from her.

“Are you hurt? What’s going on? Let me get your—”

“No!” I can’t tell her about my hallucinations. I’m too embarrassed. It’s weird to hallucinate that I’m someone else.

“Shhh,” she soothes. “You’re freezing.”

She pulls my blanket up and sits next to me on my bed to hug me.

After a few moments of silence, I whisper, “I look like something stitched together in a mad scientist’s lab.”

Grace doesn’t miss a beat. “You’ll get better. Your leg will heal, and the cuts will heal, and—”

“I know, but that won’t fix how I look, not really.” Tears start falling again. I don’t have to ask for a tissue before she holds out the box of softer ones she brought for me. I dab at my tears because rubbing would hurt, and then continue, “I feel stupid for caring about this. I could’ve died. I get it. I’m lucky to be okay. I get that, too. But I hate that I look like this. I hate that even after these heal, I’ll always look like something slashed up my face.”

I take a deep breath, and then another one, and then a couple more.

Grace is quiet as I grab her hand and squeeze before saying, “I’m afraid to ask Robert why he hasn’t been here because I don’t want him to ditch me. We’re more convenience than anything, and I knew we’d break up eventually, but I like having a boyfriend.”

She holds my hand in silence for a few moments. Then she points out, “If he isn’t here anyhow, does it matter?”

“He texts.”

Grace holds my gaze. “If he were my boyfriend, what would you tell me?”

“He’s an asshat,” I say with a small smile.


“You deserve better than an asshat,” I add.

“And I’d listen because you’re smart,” Grace says. She taps her chin with one finger. “Wait? Who else is smart? Hmmm. I know this answer. Who is it?”

“Grace Yeung. Maybe I should listen if she offers me advice.”

Grace’s expression is serious, as if she’s considering the matter, and then she nods. “You’re right. I am pretty freaking awesome.” She grows slightly more serious as she adds, “And I don’t see any practical use for an asshat.”

My laugh is watery, but it’s there. Like so many other times in my life the past two years, Grace is the voice of reason in my life, the one who has my back.

“Eva, do the doctors know about what just—”

“Yes,” I interrupt her with a lie. “I told them the first time it happened.”



THE NEXT MORNING, I’M sitting in the common room reading. When I look up, I find Nate standing in front of me and let out a surprised squeak.

“You didn’t see me.” His voice lifts slightly as if this could be a question.


He pulls a rocking chair over toward me. It’s one of the chairs that I’ve only ever seen moms with babies use, but he doesn’t seem to care if it seems unusual for him to use a rocking chair. He leans back and rocks in silence for a moment, so I dog-ear the page and close my book.

“Good book?” He nods toward the book I’m holding with both hands now.

“I like it,” I say cautiously. It’s an older book called Story of a Girl that I found on one of the shelves here. I’ve never read anything else by Sara Zarr, but I’ll be looking to see if they have anything else of hers.

Nate folds his arms over his chest. “You used to read those Andrew Lost books and then the Warriors ones when we were in elementary school. I never got the cat ones.”

I frown. It’s hard to believe that Nate remembers my reading habits that clearly. It’s been a long time. “The Warriors were good books!”

“I don’t know about that. Andrew Lost was good though. I ended up borrowing some of those more than once.” He nods as if he’s said something profound. “So it’s chick books now?”

“This isn’t a ‘chick book.’”

He leans forward and pushes the book flat so he can look at the cover. On it, a girl is staring out of a window, and the title is written in what could be lipstick or crayon maybe. “Story of a girl,” he reads. “So it’s . . . a story about a girl with a girl on the cover. Looks like a chick book to me.”

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