There was a man. He had a knife. He attacked us down by the river.
It was just a harmless little lie.
Anna, Emma and Mariah concoct a story about why they're late getting home one night—a story that will replace their parents' anger with
concern. They just have to stand by it. No matter what. Suddenly the police are involved, and the town demands that someone be punished. And then there is the man who is arrested and accused of a crime that never happened.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Harmless|
|Release Date: 12-18-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Children's Books|
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This is what I know about the truth: the farther you get away from it, or it gets away from you, the harder it is to tell.
If only I had told the truth that night.
Life would have gone on. Life has gone on, but everything is different. I wish more than anything that I could go back to that night, walk in my front door, and undo everything we did.
This is the story of what really happened. This is the truth.
I knew Mariah was hanging out with a guy from the local high school. Everyone knew. That’s what it’s like when you go to a school as small as ours. I wasn’t one of the girls Mariah would peel down her turtleneck and show her hickeys to, but I’d heard about them. I’d heard they were the size of golf balls and as dark as overripe plums. I wished she would show them to me. I wished she would pull me into the bathroom and block the door with her black Converse high-top and say “Check this out” and I’d gasp and then we’d both be late to our next class. But Mariah never gave me the time of day.
It was Emma who first brought me into Mariah’s orbit. They were assigned a scene from Romeo and Juliet. They had to rehearse it and then perform it for their English class. Emma was playing Romeo because there’s a shortage of boys in our school. Maybe that’s why Mariah was hanging out with the guy from the public high school, although really, I think she was just trying to be different. To stand out. To be talked about. And probably to get away from all the boys in gray slacks and navy V-neck sweaters we’re trapped with day after day after day.