Chapter 1

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Cara was clutching the latest edition of People as if it were the Holy Bible.

"If I didn't have you to bring me magazines," she said, "I'd go stir crazy locked up in this place."

"I had to fight off some soccer mom for the last copy," I told her. And I was serious. Fresh reading material was a hot commodity among inpatients and their families at the hospital.

Cara didn't hear me. She was already tearing through the magazine, eager to consume her daily dose of celebrity gossip. Beside her, Drew was camped out in the room's only armchair, staring down at his phone. From the scowl on his face, he was either reading about last night's baseball game or the spotty Wi-Fi was being particularly fussy.

Unlike a typical day at the hospital, today I actually had something to keep me occupied during visiting hours. After pulling a chair up to Cara's bed, I started scrolling through the pictures I had taken with my new Canon. My parents bought me the camera as an early birthday gift, and I tested it out at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden this morning.

"God, could he be any more perfect?"

I looked over, and Cara had the magazine open to an interview with one of the guys from the Heartbreakers, her favorite band. The headline read "BAD BOY STILL BREAKING HEARTS". Underneath it was an abstract with a quote: "I'm not looking for a girlfriend. Being single is too much fun." When I glanced back up, there was a look on Cara's face-eyes avid, mouth partially open-that made me wonder if she was about to lick the page. I waited a moment to see if she would, but all she did was heave a sigh, the kind that implied she wanted me to give her a reason to gush over her favorite celebrity.

"Owen something?" I asked to be polite, but my attention was already focused back on my camera.

"Oliver Perry," she said, correcting my mistake. I didn't need to look at Cara to know she was rolling her eyes at me even though I had made my dislike of the band clear on multiple occasions, like every time she blasted their music through the house. I didn't care enough about the Heartbreakers to learn their names; they were just another boy band whose popularity would sputter out as fast as it had shot up. "I swear you're like a forty-year-old stuck in a teenager's body or something."

"Why?" I asked. "Because I don't know the name of some boy band member?"

She crossed her arms and glared. Apparently I had crossed the line. "They're not a boy band. They're punk."

There were two reasons I didn't like the Heartbreakers. First and foremost, I thought their music sucked, which should be explanation enough, but I had another reason: the Heartbreakers tried so hard to be something they weren't, parading around as rockers when really, they were just a boy band. Sure, they played instruments, but no amount of vintage band tees and ripped jeans could mask the watered-down lyrics and catchy beats of songs that were undoubtedly pop. The fact that their fans had to constantly remind the world that the Heartbreakers were a "real" band only proved otherwise.

I pressed my lips together to keep myself from laughing. "Just because they site the Misfits and the Ramones as their inspiration doesn't make them punk."

Cara tilted her head to the side, eyebrows scrunched together. "The who?"

"See?" I reached over and grabbed the magazine. "You don't know what real punk is. And this," I said, gesturing down at the page, "is not it."

"Just because I don't listen to all your underground weird stuff doesn't make you more musically cultured than me," she responded.

"Cara," I said, pinching the bridge of my nose. "That's not what I meant at all."

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