It's all about Katrina and David before A Beautiful Struggle and is told from David's POV.
Here's the very rough draft of Chapter One, when they first meet.
Tentative release date is July 30 - so add it to your TBR
Chapter One I remember the first time I ever saw Katrina, I was probably ten years old at the time and she was the new kid at the school, I noticed her because she was so much taller than all of the other girls and she had two long plaits that sat over her shoulders and were tied with blue ribbons.
Something inside me, made me really want to either pull on her plaits or undo the ribbons. But I restrained myself – experience had told me that girls didn’t really like that, even though it was all in good fun.
We both lived out in Cranebrook which was the last stop on the bus route travelling from Penrith Primary School and it took me a couple of weeks of watching her to finally decided that I was going to sit next to her.
She just looked too lonely to me and I figured that we may as well be friends since the bus was completely boring once everyone else got off.
“Can I sit next to you?” I asked her. She had her bag sitting on the seat next to her, it meant that she didn’t want anyone to sit there, but I was going to try anyway.
“I guess,” she said, bouncing her shoulders and pulling her bag onto her lap, hugging it close to her chest.
“I think you get off at the same stop as me,” I told her, even though I knew this for sure.
“Yeah, I see you get off the bus before me every day.”
“Oh. Where to you live?”
“Etchell Place, what about you?”
“We’re only a couple of streets away from each other” I informed her. “How come you don’t catch the bus in the morning?”
“My dad drives me.”
“Lucky you…” I commented, thinking for a moment before I came up with, what I thought, was a brilliant plan. “Hey, if we become friends. Do you think he could drive me too?”
“I don’t know…maybe.”
“That settles it then. Besides, you look like you could do with a friend.”
“Yeah. I’ve seen you around school. You don’t really talk to anyone much.”
“I don’t have much to say.”
I shrugged and looked at her, she’d turned her head and was watching the world go by through the bus window.
“So how do you like catching the bus?” I asked, just trying to get her to talk a bit. I remember thinking it would be really cool to know someone from my school who lived near me. Not many kid’s parents were happy to make them travel so far for school when there was a local one within walking distance to our house.
“I hate it,” she says, turning to look at me. “I hate that my parents moved so far away from my school. I hate that I have to catch the bus. It stinks. It smells like armpits and buttholes and rotten fruit. The fabric on the seats prickles the backs of my legs. It sucks!”
I was a bit shocked when this tirade of words spilled from her mouth, but when she finished, I started laughing.
“What so funny?!” she demanded.
“You’re right,” I laughed even harder. “It does smell like armpits, buttholes and rotten fruit!”
She looked at me for a moment, I guess she was trying to decide if she was angry with me or whether she thought it was funny too.
Thankfully she chose to laugh, because it was that moment our friendship started.