Title: Bullies like Me
Author: Lindy Zart
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If you can make it out of Enid High School alive, you can make it through anything.
Alexis is the new girl at school, and she’s ruthlessly bullied. Hopeless, and drowning in her present reality, she takes pills—lots of pills. She’s sent to a mental health facility, where she meets a boy. Only the boy can’t save her, and no one can save her from herself.
Nick has secrets. He wants to open up to Alexis, but there’s the dead boy who haunts him. In his dreams. While he’s awake. He wants to be brave, but he can’t tell her about his past, and he can’t leave the facility.
Melanie rules over the school, until a nobody named Lexie tries to disrupt her reign. She won’t allow that. She also can’t stop it. She plummets into notoriety, but she’s determined to take them all with her. The girl, the boy, and their secrets.
Nick’s arm brushes against mine as we cross the street, and he flinches.
I grit my teeth, holding in my irritation until we reach the beginning of the path. Then I slam my hands on my hips and glare at him. “Okay, what is your deal? If you really didn’t want to be with me today, why didn’t you just say it?”
He opens his mouth.
My glower deepens.
“I don’t like being out in public. I don’t…like being around people,” he says after a pause. “I like to be alone.”
I throw my arms up in frustration. “Then why did you agree to this?”
Nick steps closer. “But I like to be with you more than I like to be alone, and even though I don’t like to be around people, I like to be around you—probably more than I should. How could I say no to being with you, even if it’s in a setting I despise?”
“That’s messed up,” I say, shaking my head, even as a warm glow fills my insides.
“I’m messed up.”
“You’re not, not really.”
He lowers his head, taking my hands in his. Examining them. It feels like fire and ice when we touch. Sparks and frost. “You have no idea, Alexis.” Nick threads our fingers together, lifting our hands between us, and looks at me.
“Tell me,” I whisper, feeling like I can’t breathe. My air is caught somewhere within the magnetic pull of blue-green seas. Who needs to breathe anyway?
“Someday,” he promises, and then, with our hands still entwined, he leans forward and kisses me.
His lips are soft, firm. Magic. Tasting of dreams and hope. And grief too. I’m kissing not only Nick, but his soul as well. I feel his heartbeat with my lips. I taste the feelings he has for me, and they are overwhelming. Catastrophically beautiful. The kiss lasts long enough to rearrange everything inside me, to steal my breath, to give it back. To let me know Nick has the power to ruin me. To let me know I’d probably let him.
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USA Today bestselling author Lindy Zart writes in a multitude of fictional genres because, well, her brain requires it so she stays somewhat sane. She has been writing since she was a child, but luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then.
She lives in Wisconsin with her family. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work. She also has a completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, pizza, peanut butter, and bloody marys.