Chapter One-- Erik

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After a very long hiatus from Wattpad, I'm returning to the site to post this new story. I'm excited to share "In the Hope of Memories" with my Wattpad readers—I have totally missed you guys, and I'm so glad to be back! This story is a Young Adult novel that's being published in 2016. For now, you can enjoy exclusive access to the story on Wattpad. I hope you all like it! 

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Chapter One 

Erik 

So here's the thing: I've always known Hope is a strange chick, but she's not the normal type of strange. Some girls act weird just to get a dude's attention, and it's annoying as hell. But Hope doesn't do any of that. She's just your typical juvenile-delinquent-foster-kid-graffiti-artist who also happens to be a straight-A-Harvard-bound-student who's really freaking hot.

So when Hope invited me to her birthday party, of course I said yes. Sure, it was weird that she wouldn't tell me when or where the party was, but that's just Hope. Dates and times only matter to her if they happen to tie into some celestial event or an ancient myth or the latest episode of The Bachelor.

I'd almost forgotten about her party until this morning. That was when I walked outside and tripped over one of my mom's flower pots, which had been moved to pin an envelope to the middle of our porch. (Official Reason Number Two it Sucks to be Going Blind: You're constantly tripping over and running into stuff. This comes only after Official Reason Number One: You can't freaking see.) Inside the envelope was an invite from Hope, this time with all those missing details about the party.

I have no idea why she decided to just ditch the invite on my porch instead of knocking on the door and handing it to me. It's been thirty-two whole days since she left on her trip to Italy, and summer vacation has never seemed so endless. I've spent practically every minute either at work waiting tables or at the gym with my teammates, but with Hope gone, I've somehow still managed to get restless.

This party should fix things. Correction—seeing Hope again should fix things. But any party Hope throws is bound to have some alcohol, and I could really use getting smashed, so that'll make things better, too.

Honestly, I'm not sure why Hope chose this place for the party. It was the first thought that popped into my head when I saw the house, and it's still hovering at the edge of my mind as I ring the doorbell. The house looks like it was built two centuries ago, and I'm pretty sure the roof is going to collapse next time a breeze picks up. Off near the sidewalk, there's a garbage bin and a pile of crumpled books leaning against it, but the front yard is completely empty aside from that. The dim morning light isn't making it look much more inviting. But, like I said, Hope is a strange chick, and it's really no surprise that she sent me a strange invite to party at a strange house during a strange time with strangely little warning.

I press the doorbell again. I know there are people home, because I can hear voices, so I figure Hope must be in there somewhere. Just as I press the button, the door swings open.

A scrawny dude stands in the doorway, his arms tightly clutching a leather-bound textbook to his chest. His eyes are wide open, but his face is completely blank, like someone took one of those Mr. Clean sponges and magically erased any expression from him. Even though it's almost ninety degrees out, he's wearing a dark grey hoodie, which is about the fortieth element of strange I've encountered today.

"Hey," I say.

The dude just clutches the textbook closer and stares at my shoulder. I glance down, wondering if I have a bug or something on me, but there's just my t-shirt with my school mascot on it. Yeah, the Beavers are a lame mascot, but I get the feeling that's not why the dude is staring. It's like he's trying to avoid looking me in the eye.

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