CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

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ACE OF HEARTS
CHAPTER ONE: THIS IS GOING TO BE
THE BEST SUMMER YET

     ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS Cassie Harrington remembers about Will Byers is that he was the kid who sat at the front of the classroom, always sitting up straight at his desk with his pens and pencils aligned in straight rows

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     ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS Cassie Harrington remembers about Will Byers is that he was the kid who sat at the front of the classroom, always sitting up straight at his desk with his pens and pencils aligned in straight rows. Whenever Cassie passed him he'd just give the biggest smile and flash his dimples at her; that was how she first noticed him in her class.

She'd always admired his ability to be a good kid, unproblematic without a single evil bone in his body. Cassie never thought that, in time, he would become one of her best friends.

Gazing down at the pavement speeding beneath her, she watched her wheels spin ferociously, taking her back to that dark autumn night, to the last conversation the two had before Will disappeared. Like a strong rush of water, the memory of that night flooded back to her.

"I hope you don't mind that I join you," said Will, shyly looking up at the girl. "Dustin wants to race home, but I would prefer not to."

"That's alright," said Cassie, peddling her wheels with her arms crossed in front of her. "You can hangout here with me."

Will glanced up at her in shock, "You can ride your bicycle with no hands?"

Cassie chuckled, "It's not that hard, really,"

Will hesitated, looking back up at the girl as the soft wind blew through her brown hair. He then asked, "Could you teach me how?"

Cassie looked down at the boy, "Maybe soon,"

Up ahead was the corner to which the two separated ways. Just before Cassie turned, she gazed back at Will, "You know, you're a cool guy, Byers."

Will's eyes brightened, "Really? Thank you, Cassie."

"Hey," said Cassie, pointing a finger to him. "Don't get too soft on me. I hate when people do that."

"Right, sorry," said Will, his smile dropping. "I'll see you tomorrow. Goodnight, Cassie."

Cassie smiled, this time genuinely, "Night, Byers."

Looking beside her, Cassie Harrington couldn't help but smile. After three years, the young girl was finally able to teach Will Byers how to ride a bicycle with no hands.

"Alright, now sit up straight and keep your grip firm on the bike," Cassie Harrington spoke to the boy as she carefully rode beside him. "Then, let one hand go."

"So I just..." Will Byers took one hand off his bike, causing him to abruptly jerk to the right. "Shoot!"

"It's okay, Will," Cassie soothed. "You gotta have a little faith in yourself."

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