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The Day I Killed Jamesby Catherine Ryan Hyde
Synopses & Reviews
I'm Sorry I Washed Your Car
Maybe I should have been nicer about it. But it was early. It was so damned early. It was daybreak, damn it to hell. And I didn't have to get up for school yet. And that's one of those things it just doesn't pay to rush.So I rolled out of bed and put on Randy's red pin-striped shirt. I love that shirt. If we-God forbid-ever break up, he'd better kiss it goodbye. And I went to the window. And there was James in the driveway, washing my car.He saw me then. Snapped off the hose. Smiled. When James smiled at me, it made me a little bit nervous. When he smiled at me, his face lit up with this look that always made me wonder why being loved is not the joy the poets claim.
James or Randy, either one. It's just not what they set us up to expect.
He called out good morning to me.
James, I said, trying to be half-assed quiet to keep my father out of it. My father was not so sure about the whole James phenomenon. Why are you washing my car?
It's really pathetic, what happened to that poor smile. It reminded me of a dog told to play dead.James had this way of making me feel bad. Life has this way of making me feel bad.
Don't you want me to? he asked. I'm sorry.
How do I answer a question like that?
So I just looked up at the sky, which seemed somewhat black and expectant, and I said, I think maybe it's going to rain.
If it does, James said, it will be all my fault. Because I washed your car. Do you want me to stop now? I'd at least have to rinse off this soap.Right, he said. Sorry. I mean . . . you know what I mean.Who are you talking to? my father asked. Why are you making so much noise? You woke me up. Why did you wake me?
You have to get up now anyway, I said, looking at the clock. You'll be late for work.
He reached for my alarm clock. Knocked it over onto its back. Aw, crap. Why didn't you wake me?See, it even extends to parents. What I said about love.
It rained. I can't entirely claim it's because James washed my car, because it rained days later. But it felt satisfying, somehow, to blame this and that on James.
When a night goes horribly wrong and her date rides his motorcycle off the cliff on purpose, Theresa is left riddled with inconsolable guilt, yet after changing everything about herself and keeping a distance from anyone wanting to get close, she comes to realize that the only way to come to terms with the pain is by dealing with it head on.
Seventeen-year-old Theresa tries to get past the guilt she feels over the death of a neighbor who loved her, first through a journal her therapist tells her to keep, then by transforming herself and starting a new life.
About the Author
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of Becoming Chloe, The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance, the national bestseller Pay It Forward, and Love in the Present Tense, among many other books. She lives in California
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