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What happens when two people who are meant to be together can’t seem to get it right?
Rosie and Alex are destined for each other, and everyone seems to know it but them. Best friends since childhood, they are separated as teenagers when Alex and his family relocate from Dublin to Boston.
Like two ships always passing in the night, Rosie and Alex stay friends, and though years pass, the two remain firmly attached via emails and letters. Heartbroken, they learn to live without each other. But destiny is a funny thing, and in this novel o f several missed opportunities, Rosie and Alex learn that fate isn’t quite done with them yet.
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You are invited to my 7th birthday party on Tuesday the 8th of April in my house. We are having a magician and you can come to my house at 2 o’clock. It is over at 5 o’clock. I hope you will come,
From your best friend Rosie
Yes I will come to your brithday party on Wensday.
My birthday party is on Tuesday not Wednesday. You can’t bring sandy to the party because mum says so. She is a smelly dog.
I do not care wot your stupid mum says sandy wants to come.
My mum is not stupid you are. You are not aloud to bring the dog. She will brust the baloons.
Then I am not going.
Dear Ms. Stewart
I just called by to have a word with you about my daughter Rosie’s birthday on the 8th of April. Sorry you weren’t in when I called, I’ll call around again later this afternoon and hopefully we can talk then.
I think there seems to be some sort of little problem with Alex and Rosie lately, I don’t quite think they’re on talking terms. Hopefully you can fill me in on the situation when we meet. Rosie would really love if he came to her birthday party.
I’m looking forward to meeting the mother of this charming young man!
See you then,
I would be happy to go to your brithday party next week. Thank you fro inviting me and sandy.
Form Alex your frend
Thanks for the great day at the party. I am sorry sandy brust the baloons and ate your cake. She was hungry because mum says dad eats all our leftovers. See you at skool tomorrow.
Thanks for the present. Its OK about what sandy did. Mum says she needed a new carpet anyway. Dad is a bit mad though. He said the old one was fine but mum thinks the house smells of poo now.
Look at Ms. Casey’s nose. It is the biggest nose I have ever seen.
I no and she has a big snot hanging down too. She is the ugliest alien I have ever seen. I think we should tell the police we have an alien as a teacher who has a really smelly breath and—
Dear Mr. and Ms. Stewart,
I would like to arrange a meeting with you to discuss how Alex is progressing at school. I would like to talk about the recent change in his behavior along with the problem of his note-writing during class. I would appreciate it if you called the school to arrange a suitable time to meet.
I hate that we dont sit together anymore in class. I’m stuck beside stinky Steven who picks his nose and eats it. It is gross. What did your mum and dad say about Ms. Big nose alien?
Mum did not say much because she kept laffing. I dont no why. I no it is reall boring up the front of the class. Smelly breath Ms. Casey keeps on lucking at me. Have to go. Alex
You always spell know wrong. It is KNOW not NO.
Sorry miss prefect. I no how to spell it.
Hello form Spain! The weather is really nice. It is hot and sunny. There is a swimming pool with a big slide. It is cool. Met a freind called John. He is nice. See you in 2 weeks. Oh I broke my arm coming down the slide. I went to the hopsital. I would like to work in a hopsital like the man that fixed my arm. My freind John signed my cast. You can too when I get home if you like.
To Alex, Hello from Lundin. My hotel is the one in the picture on the front. My room is the one that is 7 up from the ground but you cant see me in the postcard. I would like to work in a hotel when I grow up because you get free chocolates every day and people are so nice that they tidy your room for you. The buses are all red like your toys you got last Christmas. Everyone talks with that funny voice but are nice. Have met a frend called Jane. We go swimming together. Bye. Love from Rosie
Why amnt I invited to your birthday party this year? I know all the boys from the class are going. Are you fighting with me?
I’m sorry about Alex’s behavior this week. I know that Rosie is upset about not going to the party and she doesn’t understand why she hasn’t been invited. To be honest I can’t quite understand it myself; I have tried to talk to Alex but I’m afraid I can’t get inside the mind of a 10-year-old boy!
I think it’s just a case of his not being able to invite her because the other boys don’t want a girl to go. Unfortunately he seems to be at that age… Please give my love to Rosie, it seems so unfair and when I spoke to her last week I could see how hurt she was.
Perhaps myself and George can take the two of them out some other evening during the week.
The party was not very good. You did not miss anything. The boys are stupid. Brian threw his pizza in Jameses sleeping bag and when James woke up he had tomato and cheese stuck in his hair and everything and my mum tried to wash it and it would not go away and then Jameses mum gave out to Brians mum and my mum went real red and my dad said something I didn’t here and Jameses mum started to cry and then everyone went home. Do you want to go to the cimena on Friday and go to McDonald’s after? My mum and dad will bring us.
Sorry about your party. Brian is a weirdo anyway. I hate him. Brian the whine is his name. I will ask my mum and dad about the cinema. Look at Ms. Casey’s skirt it looks like my grannys. Or it looks like sandy puked up all over it and then did a poo and the—
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Dunne,
I was hoping to arrange a meeting with you to discuss Rosie’s recent behavior in school and her note-writing during class. How does Thursday at 3 p.m. sound?
Alex I don’t think my mum and dad will let me go to the cinema tonight. I hate not sitting beside you. It’s so boring. Frizzy lizzys hair is blocking my view of the blackboard. Why does this happen to us all the time?
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
LOVE FROM YOUR SECRET ADMIRER
You wrote that card didn’t you?
I really don’t know what you’re talking about. Why would I send you a Valentine’s card?
Ha ha! How did you no it was a Valentine’s card! The only way you could no is if you sent it. You love me, you want to marry me.
Oh shut up, I sent it to you for a joke. Now leave me alone I’m listening to the teacher. If she catches us passing notes again we’re dead meat.
Oh. What happened to you? You’ve turned into such a swot.
Yes Alex and that’s why I’ll go places in life, like going to college and being a big successful business person with loads of money… unlike you…
Dear Ms. Quinn
Alex will be unable to attend school tomorrow, the 8th of April, as he has a dental appointment.
Dear Ms. Quinn,
Rosie will be unable to attend school tomorrow, the 8th of April, as she has a doctor’s appointment.
I’ll meet you around the corner at 8:30 a.m. Remember to bring a change of clothes. We’re not wandering around town in our uniforms. This is going to be the best birthday you ever had Rosie Dunne, trust me! I can’t believe we’re actually getting away with this!
PS: Sweet 16 my arse!
Mr. and Mrs. Dunne,
Enclosed is the medical bill for Rosie Dunne’s stomach pumping on the 8th of April.
Your mum is guarding the door like a vicious dog so I don’t think I’ll get to see you for the next 10 years or so. The kind big sis you love so much (not!) has agreed to pass this on to you. You owe her big time…
Sorry about the other day. Maybe you were right. Maybe that tequila wasn’t such a good idea. It seemed so wise at the time. The poor bar man will probably be closed down for serving us. Told you that fake ID my mate got would work, even though yours did say you were born on the 31st of February!!
Just wondering if you remember anything that happened the other day… write to me. You can trust your sister to pass it on. She’s mad at your mum for not letting her drop out of college. Phil and Margaret have just announced that they’re having another baby so it looks like I’ll be an uncle for the second time round. At least that’s taking the attention off me for a change. Phil just keeps laughing at what you and me did.
Get well soon you alco! Do you know I didn’t think it was possible for a human being to go so green in the face. I think you have finally found your talent Rosie, ha ha.
I FEEL AWFUL. My head is pounding, I have never had such a headache, I have never felt so ill before in my life. Mum and Dad are going ape shit, honestly you never get any sympathy in this house. I’m gonna be grounded for about 30 years and I’m being “prevented” from seeing you because you’re “such a bad influence.” Yeah right whatever.
Anyway it doesn’t really matter what they do because I’m gonna see you at school tomorrow, unless they “prevent” me from going there too which is absolutely fine by me.
Can’t believe we have double maths on a Monday morning. I would rather get my stomach pumped again. Five times over. See you on Monday then. Can’t wait to get out of this hell hole, its doing my head in.
Oh by the way in answer to your question, apart from my face smashing against that filthy pub floor, flashing lights, loud sirens, speeding cars, and puking I can’t remember anything else. But I bet that just about covers it. Anything else happen I should know about?
Glad to hear everything is as normal as usual. Mum and dad are driving me crazy too, I can’t believe I’m actually looking forward to going to school. At least no one will be able to nag us there.
Dear Mr. and Ms. Dunne,
Following the recent actions of your daughter Rosie we request a meeting with you at the school immediately. We need to discuss her behavior and come to an agreement on a reasonable punishment. I have no doubt you understand the necessity of this. Alex Stewart’s parents will also be in attendance.
The scheduled time is Monday morning at 9 a.m.
Holy shit! I didn’t think that old bogey would go ahead and suspend us! I’d swear we were axe murderers from the way that they were carrying on! Oh this is the best punishment ever, I get to stay in bed for a whole week nursing a hangover instead of going to school!
Thanks for taking me out, you’re a real friend!
SUBJECT: I’m in hell
Glad life is going so wonderfully for you these days. I’m e-mailing you from the worst place in the world. An office. I have to work here with dad for the entire week filing shit and licking stamps. I swear to god I am NEVER EVER going to work in an office in my life.
The bastards aren’t even paying me.
A very pissed off Alex
SUBJECT: To a very pissed off Alex
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha em… I’ve forgotten what I was going to write… oh yeah… ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Lots of love from an extremely comfy, snuggy, warm, and happy Rosie typing from her bedroom
SUBJECT: To the lazy bitch
I don’t care. There is an absolute babe working in this office. I am going to marry her. Now who’s laughing?
SUBJECT: Don Juan
Who is she?
From a non-lesbian so am therefore NOT jealous.
SUBJECT: To non-lesbian
I will for the time being humor you by calling you that although I have yet to see any evidence to suggest otherwise. When is the last time you had a boyfriend?
Her name is Bethany Williams and she is 17 (older woman), blonde, has a massive pair of boobs, and the longest legs I have ever seen.
From the sex god.
SUBJECT: Mr. Sex god (puke puke gag vomit)
She sounds like a giraffe. I’m sure she is a really nice person (Not!). Have you even said hello to her or has your future wife yet to acknowledge your existence? (Apart from handing you memos to photocopy of course.)
One minute you’re a virgin and the next minute you’re a sex god. Are you sure you would even know what to do?
You have an instant message from: ALEX
Alex: Hey there Rosie got some news for you.
Rosie: Leave me alone please I’m trying to concentrate on what Mr. Simpson is saying.
Alex: Hmmm wonder why… could it be those beautiful big blue eyes all you girls are always going on about?
Rosie: Nope, I have a great and growing interest in excel. It’s so exciting I find. I could just sit in and do it all weekend.
Alex: Oh you’re turning into such a bore
Rosie: I WAS JOKING YOU IDIOT! I bloody hate this crap my brain is turning to mush from listening to him. But go away anyway.
Alex: Do you not wanna hear my news?
Alex: Well I’m telling you anyway
Rosie: La la ala la la la la la la la
Alex: Shut up and read Rosie
Rosie: OK what’s the big exciting news?
Alex: Well you can eat your words my friend, because virgin boy is no longer
Rosie: Is no longer than a what? Baby sweetcorn?
Alex: Ha ha is no longer a virgin boy
Alex: Hello? You still there?
Alex: Rosie c’mon stop messing!
Rosie: Sorry I seem to have fallen off my chair and knocked myself out. I had an awful dream you said you are no longer a virgin boy. I suppose that means you won’t be wearing your underwear over those tights anymore.
Alex: I have no need for underwear at all now.
Rosie: Uuuugh! So who’s the unlucky girl? Please don’t say Bethany please don’t say Bethany.
Alex: Tough shit it’s Bethany. Well?
Rosie: Well what?
Alex: Well say something.
Rosie: People will stare.
Alex: Ha ha OK then type something.
Rosie: Well I really don’t know what you want me to say Alex. I think you need to get yourself some male friends because I’m not gonna slap you on the back and look for gory details.
Alex: Just tell me what you think.
Rosie: Well to be honest, from what I hear about her, I think she’s a slut.
Alex: Oh come on you don’t even no the girl, you’ve never even met her. You call anyone who sleeps with anyone a slut.
Rosie: Eh SLIGHT exaggeration there Alex. I call people who sleep with different people every day of the week sluts.
Alex: You no that’s not true.
Rosie: You keep spelling KNOW wrong. It’s KNOW not NO.
Alex: Shut up with the “know” thing, you’ve been going on about that since we were about 5!
Rosie: Yeah exactly so you think you would listen to me by now.
Alex: Oh forget I said anything.
Rosie: Oh Alex I’m just worried about you. I know you really like her and all I’m saying is that she’s not a one man kind of girl.
Alex: Well she is now.
Rosie: Are you two going out with each other?
Alex: You sound surprised.
Rosie: I just didn’t think Bethany went out with people, I thought she just slept with them.
Rosie: OK OK I’m sorry.
Alex: Rosie you need to stop doing that.
Rosie: I no I do.
Alex: Ha ha
Mr. Simpson: You two get down to the principal’s office now.
Rosie: WHAT??? OH SIR PLEASE, I WAS LISTENING TO YOU!
Mr. Simpson: Rosie I haven’t spoken for the last 15 minutes. You are supposed to be working on an assignment now.
Rosie: Oh. Well it’s not my fault. Alex is an awful influence on me. He just never lets me concentrate on my school work
Alex: I just had something really important to tell Rosie and it just couldn’t wait.
Mr. Simpson: So I see Alex, congratulations.
Alex: Eh… how do you know what it was…
Mr. Simpson: I think you two would find it interesting sometimes if you listen to me every now and again. You can really learn some useful tips like how to keep an instant message private so everyone else on the other computers can’t see.
Alex: Are you telling me other people in the class can read this?
Mr. Simpson: Yes I am.
Alex: Oh my god
Rosie: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Mr. Simpson: Rosie!
Rosie: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Mr. Simpson: ROSIE!!!
Rosie: Yes sir.
Mr. Simpson: Get out of the class now.
Alex: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Mr. Simpson: You too Alex.
SUBJECT: Julie’s house party
Hiya, long time no see… I hope they’re not working you to death down there in “the office.” I’ve hardly seen you at all this summer. There’s a party at Julie’s house tonight so was just wondering if you wanted to go. I don’t really want to go on my own… anyway I’m sure you’re busy in that office doing whatever it is you do so just ring me when you get a chance or e-mail me back.
SUBJECT: Re: Julie’s house party
Rosie, this is just quick e-mail real busy. Can’t go out tonight, promised Bethany would go to cinema. Sorry! You go and have fun, Alex
Hello from Portugal! Weather here really hot. Dad got sunstroke and all mum does is lie by the pool which is really boring. Not much people here my age. Hotel quiet (on front of postcard) and it’s right on the beach as you can see. You would love to work here! I’m bringing home a collection of those little shampoos and shower caps and stuff that you love. The bathrobe is too big to fit into my bag. See you when I get back, Alex
SUBJECT: Catching up?
Heard you got back from your holidays last week, haven’t heard much from you lately… fancy going out tonight to catch up?
SUBJECT: Re: Catching up?
Sorry have been so busy since I got back. Got you pressie. Can’t go out tonight but will drop your pressie by before I head out.
SUBJECT: Re: Catching up?
Didn’t see you last night, I want little shampoos ha ha.
SUBJECT: Re: Catching up?
Heading to Donegal for the weekend, Beth’s parents have a little “hideaway” there. (That’s what they call it.) Will drop your pressie by when I get back.
To the most inconsiderate asshole of a friend,
I’m writing you this letter because I know that if I say what I have to say to your face I will probably punch you.
I don’t know you anymore.
I don’t see you anymore.
All I get is a quick text or a rushed e-mail from you every few days. I know you are busy and I know you have Bethany, but hello? I’m supposed to be your best friend.
You have no idea what this summer has been like. Ever since we were kids we pushed away every single person that could possibly have been our friend. We blocked people until there was only me and you. You probably haven’t noticed, because you have never been in the position I am in now. You have always had someone. You always had me. I always had you. Now you have Bethany and I have no one.
Now I feel like those other people that used to try to become our friend, that tried to push their way into our circle but were met by turned backs. I know you’re probably not doing it deliberately just as we never did it deliberately. It’s not that we didn’t want anyone else, it’s just that we didn’t need them. Sadly now it looks like you don’t need me anymore.
Anyway I’m not moaning on about how much I hate her, I’m just trying to tell you that I miss you. And that well… I’m lonely.
Whenever you cancel nights out I end up staying home with Mum and Dad watching TV. It’s so depressing. This was supposed to be our summer of fun. What happened? Can’t you be friends with two people at once?
I know you have found someone who is extra special, and I know you both have a special “bond,” or whatever, that you and I will never have. But we have another bond, we’re best friends. Or does the best friend bond disappear as soon as you meet somebody else? Maybe it does, maybe I just don’t understand that because I haven’t met that “somebody special.” I’m not in any hurry to, either. I liked things the way they were.
So maybe Bethany is now your best friend and I have been relegated to just being your “friend.” At least be that to me, Alex. In a few years time if my name ever comes up you will probably say, “Rosie, now there’s a name I haven’t heard in years. We used to be best friends. I wonder what she’s doing now; I haven’t seen or thought of her in years!” You will sound like my mum and dad when they have dinner parties with friends and talk about old times. They always mention people I’ve never even heard of when they’re talking about some of the most important days of their lives. Yet where are those people now? How could someone who was your bridesmaid 20 years ago not even be someone who you are on talking terms with now? Or in Dad’s case, how could he not know where his own best friend from college lives? He studied with the man for five years!
- "Charming; witty, romantic fare."—Tampa Tribune
- "Addictively page-turning."—Irish Herald
- On Sale
- Jan 1, 2006
- Page Count
- 464 pages
- Hachette Books