Tate sat next to Violet on the first day of fourth grade. She was the only person who wasn’t asking about his crazy mom. Last year, Constance was accused of killing his dad and she was still being investigated. Everyone bothered him about it, but Violet didn’t. He knew her from next door, but he never had the guts to introduce himself. So Tate would sit next to her during reading time, and math class, and even at lunch.
She never said anything back to him when he tried to talk to her, but he appreciated that she stayed there with him. Everyone else made fun of him and they made fun of her too. She dressed in layers even though it was over eighty degrees outside, and she wore weird looking hats that the teachers made her take off. Violet Harmon was weird, but Tate wouldn’t have it any other way.
Abruptly, Tate woke up. He opened his eyes and looked around. He was in Violet’s room, curled on the floor in a sleeping bag and she was behind him quite the same. He smiled, thinking of the dream he’d just had. Violet was still asleep, and from the way her eyes fluttered behind the lids he could tell she was dreaming too.
Violet had been Tate’s closest friend since that day. He knew things other people didn’t know about her, and she knew things he never wanted anyone to know about him. She was the only person he could really count on, and that mattered for something to him. Tate always stood up for Violet, but that didn’t stop people bullying her at school. He couldn’t always be there to protect her, but he could damn well try.