Hate List

Hate List by Jennifer Brown Read Free Book Online

Book: Hate List by Jennifer Brown Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jennifer Brown
Tags: JUV039230
school because he hated to ride the bus while I rode the bus because I hated the excruciating car
     ride with Mom. But some days I wished I’d gone ahead and braved Mom’s morning critiques because the bus was just such crap.
    Usually I could crawl into a seat somewhere in the middle, sink down into a C-shape, my knees propped against the seat in
     front of me, listen to my MP3 player, and completely disappear.
    But lately Christy Bruter had been a real pain. It’s not like that was news, since I couldn’t stand Christy anyway. Never
     could.
    Christy was one of those girls who was popular because most everyone was afraid not to be her friend. She was big and bulky
     and had a gut that stood out belligerently in front of her and thighs that were enormous and could crack a skull. Which was
     weird because she was the captain of the softball team. I never could figure that one out. I just couldn’t imagine Christy
     Bruter outrunning anyone to first base. But she must have done it at least once or twice, I guess. Or maybe the coach was
     too afraid to cut her. Who knows?
    I’d known Christy since at least kindergarten and never once had I thought I might like her. And vice versa. Every Back to
     School Night, my mom would pull the teacher aside and advise her that Christy and I should never sit at the same table group
     together. “We all have that one person…” Mom would say to the teacher with an apologetic smile. Christy Bruter was my one
     person.
    In elementary school Christy called me Bucky Beaver. In sixth grade she started a rumor that I wore a thong, which, in middle
     school, was a huge deal. And in high school she decided she didn’t like my makeup and clothes and so started the nickname
     Sister Death that everyone thought was hilarious.
    She got on two stops after me, which could work in my favor on most days because I had time to get invisible before she got
     on the bus. Not that I was afraid of her or anything; I just got sick of dealing with her.
    I sank into my seat, slid down where my head was barely peeking over the top of the backrest, and stuffed my earbuds into
     my ears, turning up the volume on my MP3 player with my thumb. I peered out the window, thinking that it would feel good to
     hold Nick’s hand today. I could hardly wait to get to school and see him. I couldn’t wait to smell the cinnamon gum on his
     breath and fold my head into the curl of his arm during lunch, sit shielded by him, all the rest of the world shut out. Christy
     Bruter. Jeremy. Mom and Dad and their “discussions” that always, always, always turned into screaming matches and ended with
     Dad slithering out of the house into a pocket of darkness, Mom sniffling pathetically in her room.
    The bus slid to a stop, and then to another. I kept my eyes glued to the window, looking out at a terrier nosing through a
     trash bag in front of a house. The terrier’s tail was beating the wind and his head was all but completely covered by trash
     bag. I wondered how he could breathe and tried to think of the things he might have found in there that would get him so excited.
    The bus got going again and I turned up my MP3 player as the noise ratcheted up exponentially with the number of kids that
     got on. I leaned my head back against the seat and closed my eyes.
    I felt a bump against my arm. I figured it was somebody walking past and ignored it. Then I felt a harder one and someone
     used the cord to snatch the earbud out of my right ear. It dangled in midair, tinny music spilling out of it.
    “What the hell?” I said, pulling the bud out of my left ear and rewinding the cord around the MP3 player. I looked to my right
     and there was Christy Bruter’s face grinning on the other side of the aisle. “Go away, Christy.”
    Her ugly friend Ellen (the equally Amazonian, red-haired, man-faced Garvin varsity softball team catcher) laughed, but Christy
     just stared at me with this fake innocent bat of her eyes.
    “I don’t

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