Dead Is Just a Rumor

Dead Is Just a Rumor by Marlene Perez

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Authors: Marlene Perez
that."
    "Then what's the problem?"
    "I don't think he's a good influence on you."
    The conversation was going nowhere. "Look, Dad, I'm not going to break up with Ryan."
    "You'll do what you're told," he said sternly. "I am your father."
    "My father, who has been gone for the last six years," I said. "You can't expect to come home and find everything the same as when you left."
    "I don't," he said. "But I do expect you to listen to me."
    "Listening isn't agreeing," I replied.
    "Promise me you'll think about it," he said. "That's all I ask."
    "I promise, if you'll promise to give Ryan a chance."
    But he wouldn't even consider it. He squared his shoulders. "You are grounded," he said.
    "What? That's not fair," I said. The plates in the cupboard rattled and I forced myself to calm down.
    "You are not allowed to go out with that boy until further notice," he said, his voice rising.
    Poppy poked her head into the kitchen. "What's all the shouting about?" she said, looking from Dad to me in bewilderment.
    "He's trying to ruin my life, that's all," I said.
    I ran from the room before I started to cry. I stomped up the stairs and into my bedroom, slamming the door behind me.
    What had gotten in to my father? How was Igoing to convince him that Ryan could be trusted? Or more important, that I could be trusted?

CHAPTER ELEVEN
    Getting to see Ryan again was the only good part of going back to school on Monday.
    I vented to Sam about my problem. She was an expert on relationships. Practically every guy in school wanted to date her, but she and Sean were as steady as ever.
    "What should I do?" I asked her. We were in the library during study hall.
    Sam pushed her history book in front of me when the librarian looked over at us.
    "My father is completely unreasonable about Ryan," I said, ignoring both the librarian's glare and the history book.
    "Do you think it's because of, you know, the grrr thing?" Sam said.
    "You mean because Ryan's"—I lowered my voice—"a werewolf? Of course not."
    Dad had adjustments to deal with, but I knew it wouldn't bother him that two of his daughters were dating werewolves. Or that his other daughter was pining over a ghost.
    "Maybe he's trying to make up for lost time," Sam suggested.
    "But there's no way he can really do that," I pointed out. "I'm not a little kid anymore, no matter how much he wishes I were."
    "I don't know, Daisy," Sam admitted. "I figured he would loosen up as time went on, but that doesn't seem to be the case."
    "No kidding," I said. "Ever since he talked to that guidance counselor—"
    " Mis guidance counselor is more like it," Sam said. "She must have told him something pretty bad."
    Suddenly I spotted Penny, lurking in the stacks nearby. If anyone knew what Ms. Tray said, it was her.
    I followed Penny down a deserted aisle. "Tell me what Ms. Tray said to my father at the fundraiser," I demanded.
    "Your father?"
    "Don't play stupid, Penny. I saw you listening in on their conversation."
    "So?"
    "So, what were they talking about?"
    "What is your problem, Giordano?" she said.
    "What's your problem?" I could feel the tension ratchet up a notch, but I couldn't help myself. The beads on the necklace she was wearing cascaded to the floor.
    "That was my favorite necklace," she said.
    "What were they talking about?" I demanded again.
    "Nothing," she said as she picked beads up off the tile.
    I didn't believe her.
    "That was a pretty long conversation about nothing," I said.
    Penny just glared at me. "The world doesn't revolve around you, you know. You think everyone is talking about you? Just wait until you find out what it's really like to have everyone whispering."
    "Is that a threat?"
    "It's a promise," she said, before stomping off.
    "Real original, Penny," I hissed.
    But Penny topped me. "Just you wait, Daisy. Just you wait."
    The librarian approached, clearly miffed about the noise Pennyand I were making. I think she was about to write me up, but luckily the bell rang at that very

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