"Absolutely," I say. "Lunch would be great."
Again, I read her: What I've said is too enthusiastic. Justin is never enthusiastic.
"No big deal," I add.
She's relieved. Or, at least, as relieved as she'll allow herself to be, which is a very guarded form of relief. By accessing, I know she and Justin have been together for over a year. That's as specific as it gets. Justin doesn't remember the exact date.
She reaches out and takes my hand. I am surprised by how good this feels.
"I'm glad you're not mad at me," she says. "I just want everything to be okay."
I nod. If there's one thing I've learned, it's this: We all want everything to be okay. We don't even wish so much for fantastic or marvelous or outstanding. We will happily settle for okay, because most of the time, okay is enough.
The first bell rings.
"I'll see you later," I say.
Such a basic promise. But to Rhiannon, it means the world.
Excerpted from Every Day by David Levithan. Copyright © 2012 by David Levithan. Excerpted by permission of Knopf Books for Young Readers, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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