COVER REVEAL: Perfectly Parvin by Olivia Abtahi


For someone who had asked me to be his girlfriend a couple days ago, Wesley sure wasn’t acting like my boyfriend.

“Listen, Parvin,” Wesley started, finally making eye contact. “I’ve thought about it a lot and I think it’s better if we just stay friends. You’re just . . . a little . . .”

My heart stopped. I held my breath, waiting for Wesley to explain the punch line. This had to be a joke, right? Who dumped someone two days after asking them to be their girlfriend?

“Loud,” he said finally. He gestured to all of me, as if I could read his mind and understand what that meant.

I gasped. Loud? Moi? This had to be another one of Wesley’s jokes, like the time we covered the lifeguard chair in body glitter.

“Shiver me timbers, Wes,” I snorted, remembering how much he liked my pirate-speak earlier this week. “Good one, Captain!”

But Wesley just shook his head. “It was fine at the beach and all. But things are different now. You’re just really . . . um . . .”

He looked at the ceiling tiles, as if he’d find the right word up there. “Too much.”

This couldn’t be happening. This had to be a prank.

“What does that even mean?” I chuckled, but it was a strained, shaky sound.

He remained silent. I reached for his hand again, but he kept it in his pocket. “We’re still on for hanging out after orientation, right?” I pressed. I had already scoped out the school’s parking lot, and if I moved each assigned parking space over by one, Principal Saulk wouldn’t have a spot to slide his Prius into tomorrow. It was the perfect trick, and I needed Wesley’s help since Fabian and Ruth refused to help with my little schemes anymore.

“Ummm,” he said uncomfortably.

The laugh I’d been holding back for when he yelled “Just kidding!” died in my throat. Was this really happening? Wesley had never mentioned before that I was “too loud” or “too much” all summer. He had seemed happy enough listening to me explain why mint chocolate chip was the best ice cream flavor, or why I still wore bronzer, even though my skin was already pretty bronze.

Wesley just shook his head. “Sorry, Parvin. I don’t think you should be my girlfriend anymore.”

He walked away, back to his church friends.

And then I died.


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