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Wednesday, 23 January 2013  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

NAME: Meagan Rivers

MENTOR: Sharon Johnston


GENRE: YA Contemporary


PITCH: Suicidal Bianca settles on her exit strategy: a ledge at the Grand Canyon. Yessica wants in. In the final moment, only Yessica jumps. Someone finds out, and threatens to expose the pact.

If I had to listen to Bianca’s moping for another second, I would have shoved her out the passenger’s side door and watched her roll down the Scajaquada Expressway. Rather than having to explain my best friend being flattened by an oncoming Tim Horton’s truck, I turned up the radio. Bianca took the hint and went through her purse. Old wrappers and receipts spilled over the sides, landing on my floor. She left them.

“When did you start smoking?” I held up one of the plastic cigarette pack wrappers.

“It’s like a pack a month.” She pulled out a soft pack with two bent cigarettes in it. “I only smoke when I’m nervous.” Bianca looked for her lighter while I rolled down the window. Cool air seeped in, we shivered, and I turned the heat up a notch. Late fall in Buffalo, from one extreme to the other in a matter of hours. The only surprising thing would be seeing the first snowflakes of the season drifting to the ground.

“Is Harvey even working today?” Bianca found her lighter, a plain Zippo, and tried to light the cigarette and talk at the same time. “I call his latte if he’s not.”

“He said he is. I doubt he’d call in.” Even if all he did was sling thrifted clothes and books, my boyfriend’s job trumped whatever else I did in a day.

“What a nerd.” Bianca blew out the lighter’s flame. “Screw this. I don’t even want one.”

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