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Amelia cards in his sticky hands. His sweaty blond bangs stuck to his forehead like frosting dripping down the side of a cake. “What you doin’?” Mom called Kyle a hurricane in motion. I called him a spoiled brat. Even though Mom had taken my pencils, I hid behind my notebook, scared and ner vous, but not wanting to admit it to my kid brother. “Drawing.” “With what? You don’t have anything to draw with.” “I’m thinking of what to draw.” “Wanna play cards?” “I’m busy.” “Aunt Sophie’s going to take me to a ninja movie tomorrow, and we’re going to order pizza too.” “That’s nice.” “Mom said I gotta wait two or three days after you get your new heart to come visit.” His voice was light. Mom and Dad hadn’t told him how serious the surgery was. They said seven was too young to understand, so they sugarcoated it like they used to do for me, telling me I was going to get a pinch in the arm when it turned out to be a needle. “I know,” I replied. “Only Mom and Dad can visit me at first, and they’ll have to wear special masks.” “Will I get to wear one too?” “Maybe.” “All right!” How dumb and selfish he was, just wanting to wear a stupid mask. “You have to wear a mask so I don’t catch any germs from you and die.” 17

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10/14/09 2:27 PM

In A Heartbeat, by Loretta Ellsworth  

For fans of Gabrielle Zevin and Lurlene McDaniel, In a Heartbeat explores the ties of family and the weight of regret when a mistake costs E...

In A Heartbeat, by Loretta Ellsworth  

For fans of Gabrielle Zevin and Lurlene McDaniel, In a Heartbeat explores the ties of family and the weight of regret when a mistake costs E...

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