Part one: the girl, the library, the galaxy and the church.
I suppose that I should give you a beginning; something to sink your teeth into. But I'm not sure that there is an exact beginning, so maybe I should give you an end, instead.
One of us is going to die.
If you go to the back staircase of the church on 13th street, you'll come to a door with a broken lock and if you go through that door, you'll end up in my library. It's not really mine. And I guess it's not really a library, either, because there's no librarian and the books stand without the aid of a shelf, and nobody is allowed up there. That's just because the floor is covered in splinters and the pastor doesn't want me getting my feet cut up.
But this not-library is the most beautiful place in the entire world. It's not because it's modern or edgy, or whatever everyone thinks beautiful is nowadays. It's beautiful because it has memories soaked into the cracking plaster, and the books line the floor like snow, and because this was the room where I fell in love for the very first time.
I know that now you're probably groaning because you've heard everything there was to hear about a 14 year old falling in love; so if you put the book down now, I won't blame you. After all, there are thousands of hungry-hearted girls with copper hair and bark eyes in the world.
But here's the thing: there was only one Ellie. There will only ever be one Ellie. There are thousands of girls who looked like Ellie, and who took half of their name away, but there was only one 16 year old who I found standing in my library in May.
Before I really, truly begin, I'd like it to be known that I'm a good Catholic girl from a good home, and before I met her, I hardly did a bad thing in my life. My name is Joanne Jones, and this is the story of how one person changed me forever.