Someday: Read an excerpt from David Levithan's Every Day sequel
Someday, written by David Levithan, won’t hit shelves until the fall, but it’s already generating buzz as the follow-up to the wildly successful Every Day. The new book takes readers further into the lives of A, Rhiannon, Nathan, and the person they may think they know as Reverend Poole, exploring more deeply the questions at the core of Every Day: What is a soul? And what makes us human?
Every Day was originally released back in 2012, making Someday a long-anticipated sequel. At long last, fans can get a taste of what’s to come: EW has an exclusive excerpt of the upcoming book, which can be read below. Check it out, along with Someday‘s official cover, and pre-order the book here.
Excerpt from “Someday,” by David Levithan
Life is harder when you have someone to miss.
I wake up in a suburb of Denver and feel like I am living in a suburb of my real life. The alarm goes off and I want to go back to sleep.
But I have a responsibility. An obligation. So I get out of bed. I figure out I am in the body and the life of a girl named Danielle. I get dressed. I try not to imagine what Rhiannon is doing. Two hours time difference. Two hours and a world away.
I have proven myself right, but in the wrong way. I always knew that connection was dangerous, that connection would drag me down. Because connection is impossible for me in a lasting way. Yes, a line can be drawn between any two points . . . but not if one of the points disappears every day.
My only consolation is that it would have been worse if the connection had been given more time to take hold. It would have hurt more. I have to hope she’s happy, because if she’s happy then my own unhappiness will be worth it.
I never wanted to have these kinds of thoughts. I never wanted to look back in this way. Before, I was able to move on. Before, I did not feel that any part of me was left behind. Before, I did not think of my life as being anywhere other than where I was.
I try to focus on the lives I am in, the lives I am borrowing for a day. I try to lose myself in their tasks, their to-do lists, their homework assignments, their squabbles.
It doesn’t work anymore.
In my heart, I know I have lost myself in a different way.
Danielle is taciturn today. She barely responds when her mother asks her questions on the way to school. She nods along to her friends, but if they stopped and asked her what they just said, she’d be in trouble. Her best friend giggles when a certain boy passes, but Danielle (I) doesn’t (don’t) even bother to recall his name.
I walk through the halls. I try not to pay too much attention, try not to read all of the stories unfolding on the faces of the people around me, read the poems in their gestures or the ballads of those who walk alone. It is not that I find them boring. No, it’s the opposite — everyone is too interesting to me now, because I know more about how they feel, what it’s like to care about the life you’re in and the other people in that life.
Two days ago I stayed home and played a video game for most of the day. After about six hours, I had gotten to the top level. Once I reached the end of the game, I felt a momentary exhilaration. Then . . . a sadness. Because it was done now. I could go back to the start and try again. I could find things I’d missed the first time around. But it would still come to an end. I would still reach the point where I couldn’t go any further.
That is my life now. Replaying a game I felt I’d already won, without any sense that it means anything anymore to get to the next levels. Killing time, so all I’m left with is time that’s dead.
I know Danielle does not deserve this. I am constantly apologizing to her as she stumbles through school, as she barely pays attention to what the teachers are saying. I rally in English class, when there’s a quiz on chapters seven through ten of Jane Eyre. I don’t want her to fail.
It’s hardest when I’m near a computer. Such a brutal portal. I know, if I wanted to, I could see Rhiannon at any time. I could reach Rhiannon at any time. Maybe not instantly, but eventually. I know the comfort I would take from her. But I also know that after a certain point, after I took and took and took, she wouldn’t have any comfort left. To draw her back into the realm of the impossible — that wouldn’t be love; that would be cruelty. Any promise I made to her would be worthless, no matter how much of my own worth I put into it. Any attention she gave me would be a distraction from the reality of her life, not a reality in itself.
I can’t do that to her. I can’t string her along with hope. Because I will always change. I will always be impossible to love, except from afar.
It’s not like there’s anyone I can talk to about this. It’s not like I can pull aside Danielle’s best friend — Hy, short for Hyacinth — and say, “I’m not myself today . . . and this is why.” I cannot pull back the curtain, because in terms of Danielle’s life, I am the curtain.
I never used to wonder if I was the only one who lived like this. I never thought to look for others. Now I know there is at least one person — Reverend Poole — who knows something about me. I am just like you, he intimated. But I knew that even if he also moved from body to body, life to life, the things he did within those bodies was not like what I would do. He wanted to draw me close, to tell me secrets. But I didn’t want to hear them, not if they led to dereliction and damage.
That’s why I ran.
I have been running ever since. Not in a geographical sense — I have stayed near Denver for almost a month. But I am always seeing myself in relation to the place I’m getting away from, not in relation to anywhere I’m going toward.
I am not going toward anything.
I just live.
After school, Danielle and her friends go downtown to shop. They’re not looking for anything particular. It’s something to do.
I follow along. If I’m asked my opinion, I give it, but in as noncommittal a way as possible. I tell Hy I’m sleepy. She says we should go to City of Saints, the local coffee shop. I have no way to tell her that I don’t particularly want to wake up right now.
When Rhiannon was in my life, everything was a rush. I think about driving to get coffee with her, driving to see her again, how scared I was that each day would be the last day she’d like me, and how excited I was when this didn’t prove to be true.
I hear the scream as a hand grabs onto my shoulder, as I am violently pulled back. I realize that the scream was Danielle’s name, and the hand belongs to Hy, and the truck that I was about to step in front of is honking as it pushes past. Hy is saying “Oh my God” over and over and one of Danielle’s other friends is saying “That was close” and another friend is saying “Wow, I guess you really do need that coffee” — making a joke that nobody’s finding funny. Danielle’s heart is now, after the fact, pounding with fear.
“I’m so sorry,” I say. “I am so, so sorry.”
Hy tells me it’s all right, because she thinks I’m apologizing to her. But I’m not. I’m apologizing to Danielle once again.
I wasn’t paying attention.
I must always pay attention.
The other friends are calling Hy a hero. The light changes, and we cross the street. I am still a little shaky. Hy puts her arm around me, tells me it’s okay. Everything’s fine.
“I’m buying your coffee,” I tell her.
She doesn’t argue with that.
The rest of the day, I stay present.
This is enough. Danielle’s friends and family don’t mind if she’s quiet, as long as they can feel she’s there. I listen to what they have to say. I try to store it away, and hope that I am storing it where Danielle will be able to find it. Hy thinks her crush on someone named France is getting out of control. Chaundra is inclined to agree. Holly is worried about her brother. Danielle’s mother is worried that her boss is on the way out. Danielle’s father is worried that the Broncos are going to screw up their season. Danielle’s sister is working on a project about lizards.
I am part of these conversations, but I am not a part of these conversations. These people think Danielle is here. They think she is the one who is listening. I used to feel like this was enough. Like an actor, I’d get satisfaction from playing my part well. Like an actor, I was never meant to show that I was an actor. It didn’t occur to me that anyone would ever see me inside, would ever see me as a me. Nobody did. Nobody until Rhiannon. Nobody since Rhiannon.
I am lost in here.
I am lost, and I can’t ignore the most dangerous question of all:
What if I want to be found?