For Forest, Jade, Haven and Jerry – and everyone else in the back of the truck
ELEANOR & PARK Rainbow Rowell
Cover Dedication Title Page August 1986 Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28 Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32 Chapter 33
Chapter 34 Chapter 35 Chapter 36 Chapter 37 Chapter 38 Chapter 39 Chapter 40 Chapter 41 Chapter 42 Chapter 43 Chapter 44 Chapter 45 Chapter 46 Chapter 47 Chapter 48 Chapter 49 Chapter 50 Chapter 51 Chapter 52 Chapter 53 Chapter 54
Chapter 55 Chapter 56 Chapter 57 Chapter 58 Acknowledgments About the Author Copyright
He’d stopped trying to bring her back. She only came back when she felt like it, in dreams and lies and broken-down déjà vu. Like, he’d be driving to work, and he’d see a girl with red hair standing on the corner – and he’d swear, for half a choking moment, that it was her. Then he’d see that the girl’s hair was more blond than red. And that she was holding a cigarette … And wearing a Sex Pistols T-shirt. Eleanor hated the Sex Pistols. Eleanor … Standing behind him until he turned his head. Lying next to him just before he woke up. Making everyone else seem drabber and
flatter and never good enough. Eleanor ruining everything. Eleanor, gone. He’d stopped trying to bring her back.
XTC was no good for drowning out the morons at the back of the bus. Park pressed his headphones into his ears. Tomorrow he was going to bring Skinny Puppy or the Misfits. Or maybe he’d make a special bus tape with as much screaming and wailing on it as possible. He could get back to New Wave in November, after he got his driver’s license. His parents had already said Park could have his mom’s Impala, and he’d been
saving up for a new tape deck. Once he started driving to school, he could listen to whatever he wanted or nothing at all, and he’d get to sleep in an extra twenty minutes. ‘That doesn’t exist,’ somebody shouted behind him. ‘It so fucking does,’ Steve shouted back. ‘Drunken-monkey style, man, it’s a real fucking thing. You can kill somebody with it …’ ‘You’re full of shit.’ ‘You’re full of shit,’ Steve said. ‘Park! Hey, Park.’ Park heard him, but didn’t answer. Sometimes, if you ignored Steve for a minute, he moved onto someone else. Knowing that was 80 percent of
surviving with Steve as your neighbor. The other 20 percent was just keeping your head down … Which Park had momentarily forgotten. A ball of paper hit him in the back of the head. ‘Those were my Human Growth and Development notes, dicklick,’ Tina said. ‘I’m sorry, baby,’ Steve said. ‘I’ll teach you all about human growth and development. What do you need to know?’ ‘Teach her drunken-monkey style,’ somebody said. ‘PARK!’ Steve shouted. Park pulled down his headphones and turned to the back of the bus. Steve was holding court in the last seat. Even
sitting, his head practically touched the roof. Steve always looked like he was surrounded by doll furniture. He’d looked like a grown man since the seventh grade, and that was before he grew a full beard. Slightly before. Sometimes Park wondered if Steve was with Tina because she made him look even more like a monster. Most of the girls from the Flats were small, but Tina couldn’t be five feet. Massive hair, included. Once, back in middle school, some guy had tried to give Steve shit about how he better not get Tina pregnant because if he did, his giant babies would kill her. ‘They’ll bust out of her stomach like in Aliens,’ the guy said. Steve
broke his little finger on the guy’s face. When Park’s dad heard, he said, ‘Somebody needs to teach that Murphy kid how to make a fist.’ But Park hoped nobody would. The guy Steve hit couldn’t...
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