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That same night, after Cora had announced she was going to bed, she texted Eva about how her date had gone with Beau

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That same night, after Cora had announced she was going to bed, she texted Eva about how her date had gone with Beau. Eva responded with way too many exclamations points and a blushing emoji.

Cora texted back: He kissed me.

Eva texted: Where?

Cora texted: On the cheek and he won me a pony.

She took a photo of Ernest and sent it to Eva.

Eva texted: He's definitely a keeper.

After a few more texts about Beau containing even more exclamations points, and Eva telling Cora she did love the book she'd brought her, they decided to meet up on Saturday at the local library. Firstly, to talk more about Beau and who Eva was going to prom with, and then to discuss their history project. That night, Cora fell asleep with Beau's book clutched to her chest, on a page where Beau had underlined most of the text with a yellow highlighter.


The library was filled with screaming toddlers. Cora heard them from where she and Eva sat in the teen section. For the toddlers, it was reading time.

"I thought reading meant you had to be quiet," Eva said. On the table in front of them were several books on their chosen subject, none of them had been opened yet and wouldn't be for a while. "So," Eva said, taking a slip of paper out of her pocket. "I've narrowed it down to three boys." She pushed the slip of paper to Cora's side of the table. "What do you think? I want the complete and honest truth."

Cora stared at the crinkled paper. "Max, Jake, Pryor." She slid the paper back to Eva. "No, no, and no."

"Come on. Why not?" she asked. She picked up her list of unsuitable suitors. "Max isn't so bad. He is a slacker but also kind of cute."

Cora leaned across the table and took the list from Eva. "Max is more than a slacker. The boy wouldn't know a pen and paper if they were dropped on his head. And Jake, he has that whole douchey jock thing going on, even though we don't have any teams. Don't get me started on Pryor."

Eva held up her hands in surrender. "Okay, you've got me." She looked around the room. "Maybe I should go boy shopping outside of school. We don't have that great of a selection."

Too bad the only boy in the room with them couldn't have been over fourteen. Cora took her water bottle out of her bag. Unscrewing the cap, she said, "What about Leo from history class."

Eva shook her head. "I think he's already taken." She slumped in her chair, which she only ever did when she was exasperated.

Cora, who'd downed almost half of her water, screwed the cap on. "I'm sure someone will ask you, E," she said.

"Easy for you to say," said Eva, though she sat up straighter. "You got lucky. How did you guys meet anyway?"

Cora pulled a book in front of her and flipped to the first page. It gave her time to come up with an answer. "He sat next to me on the bus," she said. "He was listening to a song I liked. We started talking and that was that."

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