The Other Side of Normal. Excerpt 1 from Chapter 1

“Frida.”

I opened my eyes to find them standing in front of me. The chattering girls, who I thought had left, had grown silent, leaning on a car near the club’s entrance, surreptitiously watching Tom and Zeth.

“It’s time to go in,” Tom said. It came across as an order.

I smiled at Zeth, who I hadn’t seen in some time since we were both busy with school. “How’s it going, Zeth?” He mumbled some sort of affirmation and shyly looked up. For a smart guy, he sure was insecure. He gave Tom a look out of the corner of his eye, checking to see if he was watching this exchange. He wasn’t; he was looking toward the girls. Zeth smiled back at me. “And here we are in yet another club,” I said, pushing off from the wall. My jeans and sweater stuck to my body as I slowly walked toward the club. Tugging at both, I tried to get some air circulating between my skin and clothes to dry my sticky body. I didn’t care if they saw my discomfort, or if the under-age punk girls, who were more appropriately dressed in tank tops, saw me pulling at my clothes. Facing them as I walked by, I pushed at my damp bra with my thumbs. The girls were whispering: “Isn’t he in Crud?” They were trying to be cool, but they were still teenagers. I smiled at the girls, and in a whisper of a voice, I said: “They both are.”

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