Just Like You Said it Would Be
C.K. Kelly Martin
Publication date: February 15th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Did you ever want something so much that it felt like a kind of sickness, one you didn’t want to be cured of? On New Year’s Eve the feeling compels seventeen-year-old Amira to text the Irish ex-boyfriend she’s been missing desperately since they broke up at the end of summer, when she returned to Canada.
They agreed they wouldn’t be friends, that it would never be enough. But that was then— back when Amira’s separated parents had shipped her off to relatives in Dublin for the summer so they could test-drive the idea of getting back together on a long haul cruise. Back when Amira was torn away from a friend in need in Toronto only to fall in love with a Dublin screenwriting class and take a step closer to her dream career. And only to fall for cousin Zoey’s bandmate, Darragh, the guy who is first her friend, then her enemy and later something much more complicated—the guy she can say anything to, the guy who makes every inch of her feel wide awake in a way she hadn’t known was possible. The guy she might never see again. Or is there, despite the distance, somehow still a chance for them?
Darragh’s smile was even wider by then, making me wonder what wild remark was about to spring from his mouth and whether I could keep up or if I should even bother to try. If we got too cozy now we’d blow the safe-crush thing just as soon as it’d gotten started.
“I’m only messing,” he said, knocking his arm against mine again. It was such a purely friendly gesture that I instantly relaxed. He wasn’t interested in me. There was zero possibility of ruining anything. “What about the battle of the bands gig on Saturday? Will you be able to make it?”
“I’m not sure yet.” My parents were supposed to call later; I needed to put together a plan of action for the contest.
We’d reached the game store and I trailed Darragh through the crowds, examining his selection of homicidal war games. “You know you’re making your brothers look like psychopaths,” I kidded.
“Spot on,” Darragh said. “But this is the shite they want. You know kids today, obsessed with violence.”
“And sex,” I added, not missing a beat.
“Maybe in Canada.” He tilted his head, gazing at me like he was innocence personified. “But this is Ireland, Amira.” He broke into a smile and nudged my arm. “Come on, let’s get in the queue.”
We strode over to the cash register and joined the endless line. “Jaysus,” he groaned. “We’ll never get out of here at this rate.”
I glanced up and down the line—at the trio of girls in front of us, the lanky guy with multiple piercings in front of them and so on and so on—and for no good reason I started to feel disproportionally happy about standing next to Darragh in an overcrowded video game store I wouldn’t have bothered going into without him.
“You know, you’re the only person I’ve told about that night in the kitchen,” I began, surprising myself by bringing it up again.
Darragh glanced down at the Xbox games in his right hand, and then he said something that made my head pop. “Everyone here is someone you’ve just met at this point, aren’t they? You have to have someone to say these things to.” He shrugged lightly, shooting his ultra-blue gaze over to me. “And you’ve already interviewed me. It’s only right that I should know something about you.”
I slid my hands into my back pockets, the corners of my lips peeking up. “So how many songs are you guys doing on Saturday?”
“Three or four, but I know a couple of the other bands on and they’re pretty good.” He glanced at his watch. “This is taking ages. You’d probably have been home faster on the bus.”
But it wouldn’t have been as interesting. Since our conversation on Saturday night I’d been fairly sure Darragh and I could be casual friends. With Zoey in common we were bound to run into each other all summer. The thing was, casual didn’t seem good enough anymore. I wanted to know him better. Really know him. That was possible, wasn’t it? For us to be genuine friends? I didn’t have any close guy friends, but I believed in the concept.
Long before I was an author I was a fan of books about Winnie the Pooh, Babar, Madeline, Anne Shirley and anything by Judy Blume. Throughout high school my favourite class was English. No surprise, then, that most of my time spent at York University in Toronto was as an English major--not the traditional way to graduate with a B.A. in Film Studies but a fine way to get a general arts education.
After getting my film studies degree I headed for Dublin, Ireland and spent the majority of the nineties there in forgettable jobs meeting unforgettable people and enjoying the buzz. I always thoughts I'd get around to writing in earnest eventually and I began writing my first novel in a flat in Dublin and finished it in a Toronto suburb. By then I'd discovered that writing about young characters felt the freshest and most exciting to me. You have most of your life to be an adult but you only grow up once.
Currently residing near Toronto with my Dub husband, I became an Irish citizen in 2001 and continue to visit Dublin as often as I can. My first young adult book, I Know It's Over, came out with Random House in September 2008 and was followed by One Lonely Degree, The Lighter Side of Life and Death, My Beating Teenage Heart and Yesterday. I released Yesterday's sequel, Tomorrow, in 2013 and put out my first adult novel, Come See About Me, as an ebook in June 2012. My most recent YA book, The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing, was published by Cormorant Books' Dancing Cat Books imprint in 2014 and I'm pleased to announce they'll be releasing my upcoming contemporary young adult novel, Delicate, on September 16th. Watch my website for more details!
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