Authors: Lisa Greenwald
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Greenwald, Lisa.
Dog Beach unleashed / Lisa Greenwald.
pages cm. â (The Seagate summers ; book 2)
Summary: Seagate Island's centennial summer should be a huge celebration of beach traditions, but it is the rainiest summer on record. Remy, Micayla, Bennett, and the C Twins find that tempers are short, dogs are bored, and summer magic is hard to find.
ISBN 978-1-4197-1481-8 (hardback) â ISBN 978-1-61312-765-0 (ebook) [1. SummerâFiction. 2. VacationsâFiction. 3. BeachesâFiction. 4. Friendshipâ Fiction. 5. DogsâFiction. 6. Dog walkingâFiction.] I. Title.
Copyright Â© 2015 Lisa Greenwald
Title page spot art copyright Â© 2015 Vivienne To
Book design by Jessie Gang
Published in 2015 by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS. All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher.
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115 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
For Maggie Lehrman, superstar editor
This is it. This moment. My favorite moment of
the entire year.
I'm sitting in one of the movie-theater-like seats on the ferry. On the top level, of course. I watch the mainland disappear behind me, and then all I see is ocean. Ocean and ocean and ocean. And it feels like forever until I'll get there.
, I think. But then I change my mind. Don't hurry up. Let me enjoy this. Enjoy the almost there.
But then, little by little, I start to see itâbits and pieces of Seagate Island. I see the lighthouse and then the bright orange cottage that sits right on the shoreline. And I get closer. Closer and closer. And I see more things take shape.
My heart is flopping with excitement, like a caught fish that's about to get back into the water.
My mom is on one side of me, my dad on the other. Marilyn
Monroe is on my lap. The whole summer is spread out in front of me like a big picnic blanket on the sand.
And this summer isn't like any other summer. This is Seagate's centennial summer. One hundred years since the first person came to Seagate. One hundred years of pink sunsets and Sundae Best's overflowing ice cream cups. One hundred years of flip-flops click-clacking on the boardwalk. One hundred years of Ping-Pong tournaments and summertime friendsâsome of the best friends in the world.
There's going to be a huge partyâSeagate Island's birthday partyâfor everyone to celebrate together. Carnival rides. A photo booth. A talent show. Mrs. Pursuit volunteered to be in charge of the celebration committee. They've been planning it since last summer.
“I just got a text from Vivian.” My mom taps my knee. “They took the earlier ferry.”
I nod. “Oh. Okay.”
Vivian Newhouse is Bennett's mom and one of my mom's best friends. They've known each other since Bennett and I were newborn babies. That's when Bennett and I met, too, although, obviously, I can't remember that meeting. He's one of those people who's always been there. There's never been a time when I didn't know Bennett Newhouse.
Bennett had texted me that they were taking the noon ferry, just like us. I looked for him everywhere but couldn't find him. Now I know why.
I wonder if Bennett will be waiting when we get there,
standing at the ferry terminal, looking for us as we come off the boat.
I haven't seen him in a whole year, and when I think about him, all I can picture is what he looked like at the end of last summerâshaggy hair, cargo shorts with holes in them, pizza-stained T-shirts. I'm sure he's gotten taller. Maybe he'll even be wearing new summer clothes. They won't be torn or stained. They'll look crisp, the tags just cut off. Everything fresh for a new summer.
I thought about Bennett this whole year. We e-mailed a lot and talked on the phone. But none of that's the same as being with him in person.
I flip-flopped back and forth all year long. Did I like him as more than a friend? Sometimes I thought I did. And sometimes I thought I didn't. I kept telling myself that I'd figure it out on Seagate. Things always seem clearer there. Everything makes more sense when you're near the ocean.
But there's one conversation we had that lingers in the back of my mind.
We were on the phone one Saturday night. It was February, the month when the past summer feels like a million years ago, and the next summer feels like a million years away.
It was after ten at night, and I'm never supposed to be on the phone that late. But my parents were out, and I'd told the babysitter I was going to bed. Which I was. But then Bennett called. And we were talking. Mostly about stupid
stuff, like this crazy new burrito he'd tried, and the fact that people camp outside certain stores so they can be the first ones to get the new sneakers. But then he brought up first kisses. Something about this girl Mara who keeps a list of who in the grade has kissed someone and who hasn't.
“You haven't kissed anyone yet, right?” he asked me.
I stayed quiet, but then I said that no, I hadn't.
And he said he hadn't, either.
“Oh,” I said.
“We could be each other's first kiss,” he said, as if it were no big deal. As if he were saying we could play Ping-Pong or we could share a chocolate croissant or we could sit on his dock and throw pebbles into the ocean.
My heart thumped in my chest. And I said, “Sure.”
But even as I was saying it, I was thinking that I wasn't sure I wanted that to happen. I told myself that even if it did happen, summer was so far away that I didn't need to worry about it or even think about it.
It was something I could deal with later.
I pushed the thought away. As far away as possible.
But that later is now quickly approaching. That far away is getting so much closer.
We'll be together for a whole summer. And I know I said
, but now I don't know if I want to.
I look out the ferry window. We're almost there.
I keep thinking the same thing: Will I see him as Bennett, the same old Bennett I've always known? Or will I see him
as something more? The way I saw him at the end of last summer.
A whole year has passed. Are we different now?
As much as I don't want to be different, I think I am. As much as I want everything to always stay the same, I know that things change. And I know that change can be okay, that I can handle it.
But the one thing I can't handle is the not knowing. I always want to know how things are going to work out.
When I start a book, I skip ahead and read the last page first. Always. I don't read mysteries. I hate surprise parties.
Marilyn Monroe smiles her gentle Yorkie smile. She looks up at me and licks my chin, as if she senses I can use some reassuring. I wonder if she knows where we're going. I've told her a million times. I even showed her the countdown calendar I had on my computer and the real, paper calendar I had hanging above my desk, with all the days that had been X-ed off in red marker.
“We're almost there, Mari,” I whisper. Her ears perk up, and she shuffles on my lap. “Sit, sit. A little while longer.”
“So, all your clients know you're coming back?” my dad asks me. “Do you need to have an orientation for the dogs? Get them ready for camp or anything?”