Download Full Free From Where I Watch You Epub Ebook – Android Books by Shannon Grogan
Sixteen-year-old Kara is about to realize her dream of becoming a professional baker. Beautifully designed and piped, her cookies are masterpieces, but also her ticket out of rainy Seattle—if she wins the upcoming national baking competition and its scholarship prize to culinary school in California.
Kara can no longer stand the home where her family lived, laughed, and ultimately imploded after her mean-spirited big sister Kellen died in a drowning accident. Kara’s dad has since fled, and her mom has turned from a high-powered attorney into a nutty holy-rolling Christian fundamentalist peddling “Soul Soup” in the family café.
All Kara has left are memories of better times.But the past holds many secrets, and they come to light as Kara faces an anonymous terror: Someone is leaving her handwritten notes. Someone who knows exactly where she is and what she’s doing. As the notes lead her to piece together the events that preceded Kellen’s terrible, life-changing betrayal years before, she starts to catch glimpses of her dead sister: an unwelcome ghost in filthy Ugg boots.
If Kara doesn’t figure out who her stalker is, and soon, she could lose everything. Her chance of escape. The boy she’s beginning to love and trust. Even her life.
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An Excerpt from From Where I Watch You
We can all smell when someone’s getting an F. Right now that F smells like burnt sugar, and there’s a lot of noise coming from the other side of the room where someone is actually failing home ec.
I try to ignore it and keep stirring, but my sister Kellen’s knee bobs up and down, up and down, threatening to knock my mixing bowl to the floor. I wonder if she can tell it’s ticking me off. Once upon a time, I would’ve tried to smack her. Maybe.
“Kara.” The teacher spooks me from behind, oblivious to the panic across the room and to my sister sitting there, now kicking her legs back and forth.
Mr. King balances a stack of catalogs and paper, topped off with a half-eaten apple fritter. He pulls out a shiny postcard and waves it in the air. Kellen keeps kicking.
“Read this after class. And, I have something else for you in here,” he says, rummaging through his stack, “I know it’s here somewhere . . .”
While Mr. King keeps digging, I drop the postcard into my backpack without looking at it. But my stomach knots because I locate the “something else” before he does.
He swears under his breath, which is usually funny to me, but not now, not when I see a familiar blue-gray envelope with bloody red fibers poking out of his pile.
“Here it is!” he exclaims. He smiles as he hands it to me. “Found this on my desk this morning. I—” His smile sags into a frown. “Kara?”
Different sounds spin through the air: the creak of an oven door, the hum of mixers, and the throbbing in my head. My teacher’s voice registers somewhere in the midst of it all. I stare at the envelope he offers while I point to the counter, hoping he’ll stick it there because I don’t want to touch it.
“Kara? Are you feeling okay?” He sets the envelope down. “You look pale.”
“Okay. Hey, make sure you don’t read that postcard in class.”
I nod. My hand shakes. I hope he doesn’t notice as I pull the sealed envelope through the flour spill on the counter. The tracks remind me of when Kellen and I were kids, and she would pull the sled, running with it just ahead of me so I couldn’t get on.
“Go on, dumbshit, get in!” she’d say.
I’d put my hands down to climb on and off she’d go—pulling it away, unable to contain her laughter as I fell on my face, eating snow.
My hand is still shaking when I stuff the unopened envelope into my backpack, as if hiding it from my sight will make me forget about it.
MR. KING THINKS I’VE come down with the flu so when he sends me to the office, I sneak out early. I don’t usually cut class, but I needed distraction from that thing in my backpack. Now I’m hiding, sitting on an old root at the bottom of my favorite tree, at my old house. I’m pretty sure no one can see me. I pinch a joint tight between two fingers—because I tend to drop lit joints—while I doodle a cookie design in my notebook.
I suck in a long drag, trying hard not to cough this time. The weed is probably expensive so I don’t want to waste it. As if I would know the going rate. Kellen would know. But she’s not here anymore. She’s not here to teach me how to be a girl who cuts class to smoke weed.
The third-story attic used to be my room. Kellen had the room below mine. I stare at my sister’s old window and try blowing a big puff of smoke toward it, but I end up coughing.
This is the third time I’ve tried to properly smoke one of her buried treasures. I found her stash rolled up in a kitchen towel decorated with cherries, stuffed into a Playtex tampon box, inside one of the boxes her roommate packed up. Before I found it I’d never smoked even a cigarette. I’m doing it all wrong, I’m sure.
November wind carries the faint horn of a ferryboat. On my old front porch, a pile of U-Haul boxes sag from the damp Seattle weather. The boxes haven’t budged since the new family moved into my house, so there’s no room on the porch for a nine-year-old to sit and paint her toenails while her Barbies watch. No room to pretend to do homework while wishing for her crush to ride by on his bike, or to watch a summer thunderstorm and wonder if she should tell her best friends about that terrible secret she’s keeping.
On second thought, there is no wondering. She’ll never tell.
I’m ready for another puff when the bushes next to me move.
Branches snap and leaves pull back and fly in the opposite direction like arrows. In a panic I try to get to my feet but my toe catches the underside of a root. My notebook lies in the dirt. I drop the joint and fall backward on my ass, landing in the cove of moss and muck between tree roots.
Tiny wisps of smoke swirl and tuck, swirl and tuck, over and over as the joint rolls down the slope. I stare at it, keeping still and holding my breath, which is really hard because leftover weed smoke tickles my throat, just daring me to cough. But I have to keep quiet because the noise in the bushes might be him—the one who sent the note Mr. King gave me. The note that prompted me to cut class and sit here like the idiot that I am.
The new family’s dog appears out of the bushes. He sniffs through the dead grass and dandelions infesting Mom’s flowerbeds. I puff out my cheeks, meaning to exhale slowly, but I cough yet again. The stone angel I gave Mom when I was ten reaches above the tops of the weeds, begging to be saved. The dog lifts his leg and pisses on her wing.
Edges curl inward on the leaves covering the ground, and my little joint sits on top of one, still smoldering like a trooper after all that rolling downhill. I grab it and snuff it out.
I would absolutely kill for a Twinkie right now.
The damn dog finds me, poking its head through the bushes. When he growls, I grab my backpack and haul ass before he tries to pee on me, too.
MY BEST AND ONLY friend, Noelle, is sitting at our table when I push through the door to my mom’s café. She glares as if I’m the biggest bitch on the Hill, probably because I’m so late.
“Kar-a!” Mom sings. She skips around from behind the counter. The woman does this every day, like she totally forgot she saw me that morning. “Was your day blessed, sweetheart? Did you make good with the breath God gave you today? Why are you so late? Is everything okay?”
My face is in her hands, my cheeks squishing against my eyeballs so everything is a blur. It’s fine because I can’t see the people in the café watch Mom embarrass herself.
“Mom, I have homework,” I mumble into her neck, hoping she doesn’t smell weed. She kisses my forehead and whirls off to handle a customer. Emergency gum-chewing worked, I guess.
“Kar-a,” Noelle sings, mimicking my mother. “Did you make good with the mouth God gave you? Did you make Hayden’s dream come true? Bet he’d leave his girlfriend!”
I ignore this as I scoot into the booth and drop my bag. Noelle must not smell me, either; otherwise she’d be clawing her way into my backpack for my joint. I frown at her. She has new highlights. So this is the reason I was alone at lunch. Sometimes Noelle forgets that her Mini has two seats and that I have no friends. But I don’t mention it.
“You’re late, and—” Noelle cracks her gum, pointing her head and thumb in the same direction. “Hayden’s here, by the way.”
I already know that, but I act cool when I turn toward a group of college kids in a booth, all hunched around laptops and laughing like dorks. Except for Hayden; he catches me looking and smiles. I blush.
Hayden’s a college junior, so kind of too old for me. Noelle disagrees. She hopes I’m lucky enough to lose my virginity to a college guy soon, and she agrees that Hayden’s hot, but she also thinks he’s disturbed and a dork because he plays trombone in the marching band. I don’t think that’s so dorky when you’re out of high school. At least he doesn’t wear eyeliner, like her boyfriend.
They’re laughing at something on Hayden’s computer. On the rare occasion he’s by himself, he’ll usually try to get me to watch something funny on YouTube.
Noelle twists a freshly colored lock of hair around her finger. “You really should give up on that trom-bone player, Kar. You know he’s a boner, right? Yeah, he likes to play the bone, you do realize that, don’t you?”
“You’re gross. Hayden’s nice to me.”
Hayden’s disgusting girlfriend, Babe, sucks on his neck. I’m pretty sure her real name isn’t “Babe.” but that’s what Hayden always calls her. And I don’t really give a crap what her real name is because by next week there will be a new “Babe” and it won’t be me.
There’s no way in hell Hayden will ever be into me, which is probably the reason I can actually talk to him without throwing up. But still, I often fantasize about delivering my cookies to him, all bundled in a white box and tied with a red ribbon. He would smile while Babe shot me eye-daggers, and after he finished a cookie he’d sweep across the room, pull me out of the booth and kiss me—right there in the middle of Mom’s holy café.
I smile when Hayden unleeches Babe from his neck. Maybe he’s also remembering last time Mom kicked them out:
“The Lord and I are not amused by your lewd behavior in this establishment, where miracles occur daily. When you’re ready to check your Godless groping at the door and prepared to order food instead of nursing Cokes all day, then you have my blessing to come back!”
It was a glimpse of my old, badass Mom. The Mom I had before Kellen died, before she vanished inside herself and twirled back into the world six months later with Jesus on her arm. My mom thinks she had a near-death experience and that when she was dead, she saw Kellen, who told her to sell our house, open a café, and heal everyone on the Hill with her pea soup.
My mom is crazy, and it’s Kellen’s fault.