The Girl Who Could Not Dream

The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst Read Free Book Online

Book: The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sarah Beth Durst
In minutes, she was safely back in the middle school. She stowed the used dreamcatcher inside her locker with Madison’s and went to class.
    A close call, but a success. Now, if she could only talk Ethan into taking a dreamcatcher, it would be an excellent birthday. Or at least a very good ordinary day.

    E THAN WAS IN HER LAST-PERIOD CLASS . S HE’D BEEN watching him since the start of the year, and he had all the hallmarks of a kid with nightmares—circles under the eyes, unusual quietness in the mornings, discreet checking-out of shadowy corners when he thought no one was watching. She was betting on classic monster dreams, and she couldn’t wait to dump them into the somnium.
    Ethan was new this year. His family had moved here from Iowa or Idaho or India. He’d found a batch of friends immediately, due to sports, and seemed to be one of those well-adjusted kids who are never called to the counselor’s office . . . except he was. Once a week, after last period, he slipped away from his friends and trotted down the hall to the counselor’s office. Sophie knew because she’d followed him, as she intended to today.
    Waiting until the teacher’s back was turned, Sophie twisted in her seat to check the clock. Ms. Sherman hated it when students paid more attention to the clock than to her. Class ended with the bell, and they were to give Ms. Sherman their full attention until then. Otherwise, she threatened to break into song and interpretive dance, and no one wanted to see that . . . at least not after the first week, when at least half the class had tested the threat. Ms. Sherman was tone deaf, and she loved show tunes.
    When the bell rang, Sophie left the classroom slowly, lagging behind Ethan. His friends circled around him, but he waved them off. She couldn’t hear what he said, but she imagined he was making some excuse, most likely not involving an appointment with the school counselor. One of his friends laughed, and Ethan flashed a brilliant grin.
    Sophie knew that kind of grin. It was a midday grin . . . hours from waking from a nightmare and hours from plunging back into one. He definitely had nightmares. Bad ones. He needed a dreamcatcher.
    She trailed behind him, bypassing her own locker. She’d pick up her backpack and the used dreamcatchers later. Keeping her eye on Ethan’s blond head, she wove through the crowd in the hallway. The conversations melded into a buzz.
    Closer to the offices, the hall emptied out. All the students were back, clustered by the lockers. Ethan paused to drink from a water fountain, and Sophie slowed, pretending to look at the announcements pinned on a bulletin board. She started forward when he finished. Up ahead, he turned a corner into the next hall. She hurried.
    Rounding the corner, she skidded to a stop.
    He was waiting for her.
    â€œYou wouldn’t make a very good secret agent,” he told her.
    She felt her face flush red.
    â€œUnless you have secret spy gadgets in your pocket, as well as grappling hooks that extend from your belt,” he said. “
would impress me.”
    â€œI just . . .”
    â€œYou’re Sophie, aren’t you?” he said. “From the bookstore.”
    She didn’t remember him ever coming into the bookstore. If he had, it would have been a lot easier to talk to him then. Plus he would have had a dreamcatcher already, simply from being a customer. “I have something to give you.” She pulled out a dreamcatcher with dark blue feathers. She’d planned to lead up to this more, but it threw her that he knew her name. She’d always considered herself somewhat invisible and liked it that way. She wanted this conversation to end as quickly as possible so she could return to her anonymity. “Bring it back next week and I’ll give you a new one.” She held it out to him.
    â€œUm . . . thanks?” Gingerly, he took it by

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