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For a second I was confused, but then I remembered the lake that morning. Frank had been the guy on the WaveRunner. He had sprayed me on purpose. An entire year in the same small class as Frank Young was not going to be fun.

When I got home from school, I stopped by the kitchen, where Mom was stirring a pitcher of iced tea.

“Does Dad need me at the marina?” I asked.

“No, it slowed down this afternoon.”

My eyebrows popped up. “So does that mean there’s an extra WaveRunner I can take out?”

Mom laughed. “You are determined to spend all your earnings on gas, aren’t you?”

“Yes, you should just pay me in gas from now on.”

She opened the fridge and pulled out an apple. “How was school?”

“Not bad.”

“Your junior year might be your best one yet.”

“You say that every year.”

“I like to think positively.” She turned on the tap, washed the apple, and handed it to me.

“Thanks, Mom.” I left the kitchen just as Max entered, and Mom started asking him about his first day of freshman year.

As I headed down the hall to my room, my phone rang and I pulled it out of my bag.

“Hey, Alana. Miss me already?”

“We need to brainstorm more podcast topics,” she replied.

“Why? We just had class. And the assignment’s not due until Friday.”

“Topics will get picked fast. The longer we wait, the harder it will be. And by the way, have you listened to any of the podcasts I told you about?”

I opened my bedroom door and let my backpack slide down my arm and onto the floor. Then I plopped down onto the beanbag in the corner, biting off a chunk of apple. I looked across the room at my big poster of a wakeboarder creating an arc of spray. It reminded me that I wanted to be out on the lake. “I’ve been busy.”

“You know you can listen to podcasts while you go on your WaveRunner.”

“I know, I know. What’s your favorite? I’ll listen to it.”

“I like the funny movie review one, ooh, or the funny food review one. Or there’s this first dates one that is awesome.”

“So all of them?”

“Pretty much.”

My cousin came into my room then with a loud, “Ughhh.”

I gasped in surprise, nearly choking on chewed-up apple.

“What happened?” Alana asked.

Liza’s strong citrus scent followed her in. “It’s Liza. She seems happy.”

“I am not happy,” Liza said.

“Oh, you just smell happy, I was confused.”

“You need to get over this problem you have with my perfume.”

“Are you having a conversation with me or Liza?” Alana asked from the phone.

“Sorry, you,” I told Alana.

“I have a problem,” Liza said loudly.

“Did Liza say she has a problem?” Alana asked.


“Put me on speaker.”

I sighed but complied.

“Hey, Liza,” Alana said. “Tell us your problem.”

“My mom wants me to go to tutoring at that center by the grocery store in town,” Liza said with a frown.

“Okay …” Alana said.

“Once a week, after school. To ‘get ahead of the problem,’ she said.”

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