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Excerpt: THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE by Cynthia Hand - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. Read an excerpt. In the tradition of Thirteen Reasons Why and All the Bright Places, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a deeply affecting novel that will change the way you look. YOUNG ADULT FICTION> In the tradition of Thirteen Reasons Why and All the Bright Places, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a deeply affecting novel that will change the way you look at life and death. From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand comes a stunning, heart.

The Last Time We Say Goodbye Pdf

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Paperback: pages * Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (February 9, ) * Language: English * ISBN * ISBN . All the Rage by Courtney Summers The sheriff's son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a sppn.info she. Lex used to be happy. But that was before her brother, Tyler, killed himself. Now Lex just feels empty and isn't sure she can ever be happy again. Therapy.

Toggle navigation. See also Lex glycosphingolipids-mediated cell aggregation Lex glycosphingolipids-mediated cell aggregation Wasn't it a Party? Lex used to be happy. But that was before her brother, Tyler, killed himself. Ty sent her a text the night he died and if she had responded, Lex feels she could have saved him.

No matter how hard Lex tries to pull her life back together it keeps unraveling. Alternatively, you can download the file locally and open with any standalone PDF reader: However, it is not recommended for anyone to read this book without careful consideration.

The pain and she feels over losing her brother is almost palpable. The difficult topics discussed in the book particularly suicide and divorce make it an emotionally challenging read which could suffocate less mature readers. If a reader is mature enough to handle the content, however, they will come away with a greater understanding and empathy for those who have lost someone close to them.

This book also provides an opportunity for parents to have a discussion about suicide with their children: Miraculously, aside from the cracked screen, the phone seems fine. I scroll through the messages, back and back, through the hundreds of concerned texts that have piled up over the past six weeks, the so sorry to hears and Im praying for you and your familys and let us know ifs, to a text dated December The night Ty died. Its still there. My vision blurs so I cant see the words, but I dont need to see.

I dont know why, really, the idea of losing this text put me in such a panic. I will never lose this text. It will be stamped in my brain for the rest of my life. I let myself breathe. It takes me two or three good deep breaths before I can even attempt to get my head around what just happened.

The word is like a heartbeat. I stare at the spot where he was standing. Ty, I whisper. But the room is empty. My brothers not here. This is pointless. The last time I saw Ty No. It wasnt real. The last time I saw Ty happy Okay, so Ty never seemed that unhappy, really, not the kind of unhappy you need to be to He was getting better Hed been okay. Hed been Sure he was sad sometimes. Arent we all sad sometimes?

He had his reasons for what he did: Megan that girl Ashley his stupid shallow jock friends Mom me the way it must have felt like nobody was ever there for him the general suckiness of life But then again, life bites for most of us. And we dont all exit this world via a bullet to the chest. I should get this over with. The last time I saw Ty happy, really and truly happy, was the night of the homecoming dance.

The Last Time We Say Goodbye

October 11th. Hed asked a girl and shed said yes. He was picking her up at 8. The first part I remember with him being happy was probably around 7: He said I looked nice. I made a face at him, because I hate makeup. I hate wearing my contacts.

I hate the whole high school dance scene, really, the drama of it all, the uncomfortable dresses and the cheesy pictures and the lame punch everybody stands around sipping so they dont have to talk. I get claustrophobic around large groups of peopleits something about how stuffy the air becomes with so many bodies pressing in around you. I have to have my own space. I need to breathe. But Steven made the argument that dances are rites of passage, and even though they are kind of torture, they are a necessary evil.

We go so well have proof that we were once young, he said. Really I think he just wanted to see me in a dress. Anyway, Ty said I looked nice. What do you want? I asked, suspicious. I need your help, he said. Its important, Lex, and I cant do it without you. Our eyes met in the mirror. We had the same eyes Dads , hazel with a circle of gold around the pupil. We had the same nose Moms , with the same slight bump at the bridge. We had the same brown, curly hair that always looked good on Ty with the help of a lot of product, and wild on me, because I dont care to mess with it.

Whenever I looked at my brother, I was struck by how he was like a slightly improved copy of myself, in the looks department, anyway. His expression was so serious that I instantly caved.

Okay, sure, I said. What is it? He held up a pair of Moms tweezers. I need you to fix my unibrow. I pushed him away. No way! I am not responsible for anything hygiene-related.

Do it yourself! I tried.

I dont know how! They have salons for that kind of thing, dont they? Its too late for that. I have to pick her up in less than an hour. Come on, Lex. I look like Bert from Sesame Street. You have to help me. Then he turned on the puppy-dog eyes. I ended up heating the little. Ty sat on the bathroom counter while I spread the wax carefully between his eyes.

I pressed the cloth down and smoothed it in the direction of the hair growth. Ty gripped the edge of the counter, hard, and took a deep breath.

I trust you, I remember he said. Dont make me look like a freak. You already look like a freak, I said, but he knew I was joking. Okay, Im going to count to three But I didnt count. I just ripped off the strip. Ty fell backward off the counter, howling, clutching at his face.

You crazy bitch! I was shocked. Ty didnt swear. Neither of us did. When we were kids, Mom was always giving us a hard time for the way we instinctively dressed down swear words: If it means the same thing, Mom used to scold, why say it at all?

I guess that lecture affected us, because Ty and I couldnt seem to swear with the proper conviction. Coming from us, bad words sounded stilted and unnatural. So, wow. Crazy bitch. Id never been called a bitch before. I found I didnt like it. I shot back in a kind of knee-jerk reaction. Imbecilic butthead! Sadistic harpy shrew! Blubbering manchild!

I retorted. Gleeful hair snatcher! I yelled awkwardly. Then we were laughing. We laughed and laughed, the clutch-your-sides type of laughing where you end up almost crying. We laughed until it hurt. Then we both sighed, and Ty rubbed his face, and we went back to the mirror to inspect my work. Which didnt look good.

Because the hair was gonethat much was truebut now there was a hot pink stripe of angry skin between Tys eyebrows. It looked like hed been attacked by a neon highlighter. Uh-oh, I snickered. I told him it would be better tomorrow. He gave me a look. Then he told me how he really liked this girl he was taking to the danceAshley, he said her name wasand he wanted to impress her, and I had just basically ruined his life.

Hold on, dont get your undies in a wad. I got out a cotton ball to apply the soothing oil that comes with the wax. The soothing oil, unfortunately, did not live up to its name. We waited 10 minutes post-oil, and his face still looked like someone had branded him between the eyes with a hot iron. We tried icing it. We tried lotion. We tried hemorrhoid cream, which was one of my more ingenious ideas, but at the end of all that his face was, if anything, pinker.

Lex, he said. I think I have to strangle you now. He was only half kidding.

Theres only one thing left to do, I said gravely. I held up my bottle of foundation. He didnt fight it. It was a shade too light for his skin, but better than the pink. I also had to cover a large portion of his forehead, so it would blend in.

Well, now I feel totally emasculated, he said when I was finished. Shut up or Ill get out the lipstick, I teased, and then he ran away, downstairs to apply his cologne and finish getting ready. A few minutes later Mom came home from work, and before we left she made Ty and me stand together by the front door for a picture. Look at my two beautiful children, I remember she said.

Ty slung his arm around me, and I leaned my head into his shoulder, and we smiled. The camera flashed. Mom turned away to dig something out of her purse, and Ty suddenly kissed my cheek, the gross, slobbery razz sort of kiss, which made me pull away and punch him in the shoulder.

Get out of here, brat, I said, wiping at my cheek. Mom handed him her car keys. Midnight, she said. Aye, aye, Captain, he answered. She squinted up into his face. Are you wearing He shrugged like he had no idea what she was talking about. Well, you look nice, she said after a minute.

He did. His suit fit him perfectly, and he was dashing in it. Of course I didnt say that, because I was his sister and that would have. But he looked, I thought then, like he was finally comfortable in his own skin. Ready to be himself. Be a gentleman, Mom said. Yes, maam. He smiled and saluted her, and then he was gone. She turned to me with parental nostalgia written all over her face. My babies are growing up, she sighed.

I rolled my eyes, and then Steven was knocking at the door, come to whisk me off, to prove that yes, once upon a time, we were young. I cant recall a lot of the dance, but I do remember that when we arrived in the commons, which was set up with silver streamers and blue and white helium balloons and strobe lights, Steven took my hand and twirled me in a circle so that he could take in my dress.

You look like Eulers equation, he murmured as he looked me up and down. Nerd translation: Eulers equation is said to be the most perfect formula ever written. Simple but elegant. Thank you, I said, blushing, and I tried to think of a similar compliment, maybe general relativity or Callan-Symanzik, but instead I went with, You look hot.

Steven smiled. Hes a good-looking guy, with brown eyes and golden-brown hair and straight, orthodontically enhanced white teeth, but the people around us dont usually see that. They see how excited he gets about physics class. They see the calculator in his. They see his glasses. He raised my hand to his lips and kissed it. Come, my lady, he said, let us dance. We bobbed awkwardly on the dance floor for a while, and soon Beaker and Eleanor came over with their dates, and we quietly poked fun at the girly girls with their poufy hair in their poufy dresses.

Then we hypocritically admired one anothers dresses, and got our pictures taken for the sake of posterity, and danced some more. And then theres this part I remember so clearly. I was dancing with Steven to a slow song, and I let my head drop onto his chest, where I could feel his heart beating. Wed laughed at how cheesy it was, how over-the-top sentimental, and made a couple of Twilight jokes, but then wed fallen right into dancing.

Its a good song for dancing. Steven had his hands at the small of my back, his face in the crook of my shoulder, his breath heating my skin, and I had this moment of sudden euphoria. Were right together, I thought. We fit.


It felt like Eulers equation. I lifted my head, and he lifted his. Our eyes met. Our legs brushed as we swayed slowly back and forth. Darling, dont be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years, crooned Christina Perri.

Ill love you for a thousand more. Wait, I thought. Hold on. I had this whole big life ahead of me, college and a career and adulthood, and this was no time to be falling in love with anyone. We were too young for that. Hormones, I could understand. Dating and messing around and finding out what it was to kiss and be kissed,.

But thisthe way I felt in Stevens arms right thenit felt like more than hormones. It felt like so much more. I tightened my arms around Stevens neck and lowered my head again. His heart, when I laid my cheek against his chest, was beating fast. So was mine. Randomly I glanced over and saw Ty about 10 feet away, dancing with a girlAshley, I assumed. I didnt see her face, just the back of her pale pink gown sweeping the floor and her golden hair tumbling in deliberate waves down her shoulders. But I saw Ty clearly.

His eyes were closed, his fingers spread against her hip as he moved with her. He wasnt smiling, but there was a quiet contentment on his face. A stillness. He looked as happy as Id ever seen him. Then, as if he could sense me watching, he opened his eyes, spotted me. Bitch, he mouthed. I grinned back, then pointed to the space between my eyebrows. Are you wearing makeup? I mouthed. He subtly gave me the finger. I laughed out loud, which made Steven pull back and ask, Whats so funny?

Nothing, I said, trying to contain my giggles. My brothers a goofball. Steven turned and gave Ty the whats-up-bro nod, which Ty returned. Guys and their codes. I like your brother, Steven said. He likes you. I smiled because it was trueTy thoroughly approved of Steven as my boyfriend.

That guys all right, he told me once. He gets you. And back then it was true.

Steven did get me. The violins swelled to their final crescendo and then faded. We stopped dancing and looked at each other. What now? Steven asked me. Now we drink the lame punch, I quipped, and away we went. I dont remember the rest of the dance. Its lost along with all the other insignificant passing seconds of my life. Ticking away. I didnt know to savor that moment on the dance floor, to understand how beautiful and rare it was, how fragile, how ephemeral, when Ty was happy. When we were all happy, and we were together, and we were safe.

I didnt know. That first time I went, about a month ago, I trudged into Daves office expecting the same gray walls and berber carpet from the hall, but then the door opened to this funky waiting area cluttered with fish tanks, an assortment of lava lamps, a coffee table collection of those wiggly dashboard hula dancers, a wall displaying Daves impressive collection of vintage Tabasco sauce bottles, and, best of all, the most massive accumulation of comics like the kind printed in the funnies section of the newspaper Ive ever come across.

I sat for ten minutes flipping through an. Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. Lucy yanking it out from under him. Charlies rage. And I laughed at poor Charlie, and it felt weird to laugh, because Ty had been dead for two weeks then.

Thats when Dave came out of his office. I expected, after the waiting area, for him to be a hippie or some kind of eccentric weirdo, but there he was in his plaid shirt and wrinkle-free khakis, his perfectly groomed beard and graying blond hair cut short and combed carefully into position using a little too much gel.

He stuck out his hand to me. Lexie, I assume, he said. Im Dave.

I must have looked surprised, because then he said, Sorry. Do you prefer to be called Alexis? When I met with your mother she called you Lexie. You talked to my mom? In person? Yes, briefly, he answered. She wanted to fill me in on the situation. I couldnt imagine my mom in this place, sitting there with her legs crossed next to the hula dancers and the wall of hot sauce, waiting to go in and tell this man about her dead son and her sad daughter.

Well, Dave said, gesturing inside his office where the big plaid couch and the box of tissues waited. Come on in. I hesitated. Look, maybe this isnt such a good Im basically here to listen, Alexis, he said then.

If you want to talk. Give it a try. Daves a nice enough guy. I havent figured out yet what hes. Like life is not going to absolutely suck right now no matter what.

But whatever. My brothers dead. Im not talking much, and not hanging out with my friends, and not being the normal chipper Lex they all expect. So clearly I should go to therapy. This afternoon I sit in Daves office for a full thirty minutes before I can think of anything productive to say. So far hes been okay with thatletting me talk when Im readybut today I can tell that theres something on his mind, some little walnut of my psyche he is eager to crack. Theres something on my mind, too, but I dont tell him.

I want to. The past few days have been pretty hard-core inside my head. I keep thinking that I must be crazy. Something inside this fragile brain of mine must have snapped under all the emotional strain. Ive officially lost my grip on reality. Because Ty is dead.

Hes never coming back. What I saw the other night had to have been a hallucination or part of a mental breakdown or a waking dream.

It felt real. But it couldnt have been real. Anyway, the smart thing to do would be to tell Dave about it. After all, hes paid to listen to me. Rationally speaking hes the perfect person to talk toimpartial, unemotional, practical. This is what therapy is supposed to be good for: To get better. To deal. But what can I say? Um, yes, I saw the ghost of my dead brother in my basement four nights ago. To which Dave will say: Oh, thats very interesting, Alexis; lets get you some nice pills.

So Dave asks me how I am and I say Im fine.

Which I am not. He asks me how my week was and I say it was okay. Which it, very definitely, was not. Then its quiet while Dave pins me with those kind blue eyes of his and I use the toe of my sneaker to fiddle with the edge of the rug.

Dave finally says: I hope youre not still upset about last week. I stare at him blankly for a few seconds before I remember. Last week. We had a bit of a disagreement last week. Because I told him about the hole in my chest. About how I feel like Im going to die while its happening. How Im terrified that these moments will come more and more often, and theyll last longer and longer, until all I feel is the hole, and then maybe it will swallow me up for good. I thought that was brave of me to confess.

I was attempting to open up to him. I was trying to do what youre supposed to do. What I wanted Dave to tell me was that the hole is horrible, yes, absolutely, but that its normal, and that it will get better, not worse, and that Im not going to die, at least not for a long, long time. It will hurt for a while, but Im going to live. And then I would try to believe him. But what he said was, Theres a medication we can get you for that.

Then he went on about SSRIs and the wonders of Xanax or maybe starting with Valium, which is nicely non-habit-forming, and I stared at him mutely until he was finished waxing poetically about drugs. Then he said, What do you think? I said, You want to put me on antidepressants? He said that antidepressants with traditional therapy made a very effective combination. I said, Do you think Im depressed? He coughed. I think youve been through something really hard, and medication might make it a little easier.

I see. Have you ever read the book Brave New World? He blinked a few times. I dont think so. Its about this society in the future where they have a drug called soma that makes everybody feel happy, I explained. Its supposed to fix everything. Youre not content at work? No problem. You take soma, and nothing bothers you. Your mom dies? Take some soma, and everything will feel hunky-dory.

Alexis, Dave said. Im trying to help you. What youre talking about with this hole sounds like a classic description of a panic attack But heres the thing, I pushed on. That futuristic society where everybody is drugged to be happy, all the time, no matter what happens, its horriblemonstrous, evenits like the end of humanity. Because we are supposed to feel things, Dave. My brother. I stopped myself, suddenly out of breath. I wanted to say more. I wanted to scream about how Ty had taken antidepressants too, had been taking them for more than two years up until his death, and a fat lot of good it did him.

I wanted to tell Dave my ironic little secret: Outside of those moments with the hole, I dont feel anything at all. I dont need drugs to numb the pain. I understand, Dave said. God, when did therapists become pushers? I said, still worked up. Dave smiled, like he thought my insult was humorous, and then went straight to placating me. All right, Alexis, all right. No drugs. And thats when he suggested the diary thing.

Writing as an alternative to Xanax. I wrote in the journal this week, I report to him now. He looks uncharacteristically surprised. What did you write about? I shrug. He waits for me to say more, and when I dont, he just comes out and says, Okay. This week Id like to talk about your friends. I dont have friends right now is what slips out. He raises his eyebrows.

You dont have friends? I mean, yes, I have friends, but Have they stopped being your friends? No, theyre great. Its just that I think I stopped being theirs. Dave makes a thoughtful little noise like this is a therapists gold mine. I take a minute to think about it. Well, in Jills case its because she was suffocating me with sympathy. When Ty first died, she was there every time I turned around, her eyes worried and bloodshot with crying.

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No, moron, Id think. I am not okay. But Id suck it up and say, Yeah, Im okay, which after a few days gave way to a weak nod, and then shed say something like Let me know if you need anything or Im here if you want to talk.

Which, after a while, I figured out was what she really wanted me to do. She wanted me to talk about Ty. About his death. About my feelings about his death. And suddenly I got the distinct feeling that she wanted me to cry, so that she could be my shoulder to cry on. She wanted me to break down so that she could build me back up, so she could be my stellar bestie who got me through the worst.

I know Im probably being unfair. I love Beaker. Ive known her since sixth grade, when we were the nerdiest nerds in the gifted and talented class. Weve had a hundred sleepovers and many a long, serious conversation into the wee hours of the morning about the meaning of life and the likelihood of aliens on other planets and the stupidity of boys. But this thing with Ty isnt just. Its my whole wrecked, messed-up life. Its me. She cant fix me. I was getting sick of watching her try.

So I just, like, backed away slowly. I say all of this to Dave, and he nods. What about your other friends? Your boyfriend? We broke up a few weeks ago, I say.

New topic: I also have this friend Eleanor, but its simpler with her, in a way. Shes been avoiding me, while trying to seem like shes not avoiding me, of course. I dont think shes looked me in the eye since it happened.

But thats okay. I get it. Like you said, some people dont know how to respond. So you dont have any friends right now? Well, I see my old friends at school, eat lunch with them, and we have classes together. But I dont really feel like doing anything extracurricular, and I need to be home for my mom. So I guess, no.

Not at the moment. Thats sad, Lex, he says. Thats my middle name these days. Alexis Sad Riggs. You dont have to go through this by yourself, Dave says.

Try to let people in. Thats the only way they can help you. I cant be helped, I think. There is no magic spell that will bring Ty back. Theres nothing anybody can do. Ill work on that, I say, and go back to fiddling with the rug. Its quiet again. I can literally hear the clock in his office ticking. Four minutes of therapy left to go. Three minutes. So do you have anything else you want to talk about? Dave asks. Last chance, I think.

Tell him about seeing Ty. No, I say. Im good. Which has to be like Lie 17 in this session alone. Then I stand up, even though I still have ninety-six seconds left, and walk away from therapy as fast as I can go. I have dinner with Dad at Olive Garden. We normally have dinner together on Tuesday nights, after my regular Tuesday session with Dave.

Because Megan has yoga on Tuesdays. Dinner with Dad is always a quiet affair because he has even less to say than I do. He doesnt have the most exciting job in the worldhes an accountantand he knows I dont want to hear about Megan or the house he lives in with her or how they pass their time, so theres not much left to discuss.

It was easier when Ty was with us although Ty hated the Dad dinners and was always finding last-minute excuses not to show , because at least then we could talk about sports. Now were down to one safe topic of conversation. Hows school? Dad asks. I got a seventy-one on my calculus midterm, I blurt out. I dont know why I tell him. Its embarrassing, especially with my dad, whos obviously a bit of a numbers guy himself. I cant look. Im sure my face is bright red, but I keep picking at the salad like everything is fine.

Dad puts down his breadstick. That sounds serious. It is serious, I agree. My grades down to at least an A-minus. Which means Im not going to be valedictorian. Can you retake it? Lie He clears his throat, then goes back to eating the breadstick.

Im sorry, Dad, I say after a minute.

And I am. I hate disappointing him, even after everything.

The Last Time We Say Goodbye

I care what he thinks. Its not important, he says, but he doesnt mean it. Dads always going on about how hard you have to work to be the best, to excel at everything, to reach for the very topthe best grades, the best education, the best jobso that you can live up to your potential, he always says, which is where I read so that you dont end up an accountant in Nebraska with a divorce and two wait, make that one now kids when you could have been so much more.

We eat. Dad drinks two glasses of red wine, even though he hates wine. Then he pressures me into ordering dessert. Hows your mother? I could tell him about the crying thing. But he doesnt want to hear that. He doesnt want to know that she cries all the time and that she doesnt get out of bed unless she has to be at work or church and that she sleeps with Tys old stuffed monkey clutched to her chest.

He doesnt want to hear that she thinks Ty is still in the. He wants me to say that Moms okay.

So I say, Shes all rightLie 19and Dad pays the check. We put on our coats and wander out into the cold night air, and he hugs me stiffly, and then, as usual, we go our separate ways. Mom must have already gone to bed, which isnt so unusual, even at eight oclock at night. She sleeps so she doesnt have to be awake, so she will be conscious of whats happened as little as possible. I wish I could sleep like that. I spend an hour doing homework. Then I reach that time when normally I would go downstairs to watch TV.

This is a dilemma. I havent ventured into the basement in four days, not even to do laundry. I havent watched TV. I havent brought it up with Mom that maybe the cologne thing wasnt so ridiculous after all. Yes, Im aware that Im a total coward. I take out the journal Dave gave me. For a few seconds I actually consider writing in it again, scribbling down a long confession about everything I havent said out loud.

About the ghost. About Steven.

About Ty. About me. But I cant make myself do it. So I stick the moleskin notebook under my mattress as a tribute to clichs and curl up on my bed for a while, reading A Beautiful Mind, which I cant get into. Then I try Contact by Carl Sagan, which is my favorite novel ever, but my eyes move across the page without finding meaning in the words. I keep thinking about the look on Tys face when I threw the phone at him: Id never thrown anything at him before.

We werent like that. We always got along. Suddenly Im furious. I think, So what, Im never going to go into the basement again? Im going to tiptoe around my own house until I leave for college? Im going to be scared of what, a figment of my imagination?

What am I, like ten years old? Afraid of the dark? Get over yourself, Lex, I tell myself. Grow a pair. So I jump up. I march straight down into the basement and stand for a few minutes glaring at that spot where Ty appeared the other night, at the small dent in the wall that is of course still there from where I chucked my phone at him.

I make myself stand there for a full five minutes. I dont see anything weird. I dont smell anything weird. I just feel stupid. His bedroom door is open. I go to the doorway. The moon is shining through the window. I havent been in Tys room since we went in to get the clothes he was buried in, but it looks the same as I remember.

His desk is. Clothes on the floor. A partially deflated basketball. A dusty old model airplane dangling from the ceiling that he and Dad built together when he was eleven. Pictures of his friends taped to the walls. Posters of bands and movies he liked and NBA players. As I step inside, his scent envelops menot just his cologne but that slightly goatlike aroma he had, and his deodorant, which smells faintly minty.We tried icing it.

He shakes his head. I lifted my head, and he lifted his. No way! I will always read your 5 star picks Maida, even if they make me cry and eat a pound of chocolate. My fingers have just brushed the edge of the paper when I see Ty in the reflection of the mirror. Do you know the feeling you get while and after you hold your breath for long?