Haven't done a teaser in a while, and this one is really a teaser. So to orient you, in Chapter 1, Nikki has witnessed a boy fall from the observation deck of the Foshay Tower (posted in SYW if you're interested, under Nikki's Wish chapter 1). After a few moments of shock and disbelief, she gets another, greater shock when a boy who looks exactly the same as the one who just fell arrives on the scene. She faints, and this is where the teaser picks up. One more thing, the dialogue in italics is Nikki's deceased twin sister, who Nikki hears in her head throughout the book.
It wasn’t the cold that brought me out of unconsciousness. It was the warmth. I opened my eyes to find a heavy blanket draped over me and a soft pillow under my head. For a brief, hopeful moment I thought I was at home resting on the couch. But the hard concrete under my butt confirmed otherwise. In fact, I was still on the observation deck of the Foshay Tower.
“Not a dream,” I whispered as I sat up.
“Whoa, take it easy. You bumped your head.”
My eyes pivoted to the boy crouched in front of me, taking in every detail at a glance and then playing it back in slow motion.
Faded jeans. Black t-shirt. Leather jacket. My fingers brushed the outside of the identical jacket I still wore. A chill slithered down my back.
Dark hair, bushy eyebrows, hazel eyes. I hoped for some indication of recognition from him. There was none.
Stubble across his cheek, speed bump over his nose, soft pink crease down the center of his… I licked my own lips.
“I am dreaming.”
I reached out my hand to touch him but was rudely interrupted when he thrust a cold icepack toward me.
“Here. It’s not much, but it’s the best I can do for now.”
“Um… th-thanks,” I said, and with a shaky hand I set it against the bump on the back of my head. Now that he had reminded me of it, I realized just how much my head hurt. Still, this didn’t stop me from examining every inch of him once more. My Sam had a small blemish above his eyebrow. So did this one. My Sam had a little cut on the left side of his chin. So did this one. They were the same down to every last detail.
How was this possible?
Because it’s not, you idiot.
But…but he looks exactly the same. Look at that cut!
Oh, for crying out loud, Nikki. How often does a guy cut himself shaving? They look the same because they were born the same. They’re twins!
Twins? Twins! Of course! How could I have not figured this out sooner? Me, Dreyer twin number 2. How could I have been so clueless?
Can anyone say den-i-al? Come on girl, get with the program. Sam’s dead. Gone. Ka-put.
I shivered as the entire episode came back in one blinding flash. Shani was right. Sam was dead. This boy’s brother was dead. What was I doing, sitting here, mooning over Sam when he was… dead?
The boy chuckled as if reading my mind. And even this, his humor in the midst of chaos felt familiar.
“Don’t worry,” he said. “You won’t remember any of it.”
“I…” I wanted to tell him that would be nice, like real nice, but another part of me didn’t want to forget. I couldn’t forget. I was the last one to see Sam alive, and that meant I had to tell his brother about it. “I’m… sorry,” I finished, feeling weak and pathetic. When had those two words ever helped me? Never. I had to do better than that.
“No need to be sorry,” he replied. “You haven’t done anything wrong, and like I said, in a short while, you won’t even remember it.”
If only it were that easy.