Home > Space (Laws of Physics #2)

Space (Laws of Physics #2)
Author: Penny Reid

Prologue: Linear Momentum and Collisions


Lisa was there . . . here.

At the house.

In her room.

And so was I.

We were sitting on her bed and she was talking about the arrest, explaining what happened, how Tyler had known she was calling things off for good, so he set her up to make it look like she’d been selling drugs to kids, but that—though she’d been arrested—the charges were dropped when the witnesses changed their stories. She used expletives and insults to describe Tyler, her voice growing quieter and quieter with rage.

Now she was thanking me, and her eyes were wide and open, and she looked like a different version of herself, one I actually knew rather than the stranger she’d become. She was saying that she forgave me for what happened when we were younger, and that she’d been stupid to hold on to the grudge for so long, and that she missed me when she’d been sent away after I’d tattled on her and Gabby to our nanny, and that seeing media images of Leo and me with our parents at events and movie premieres and award shows while she was at boarding school alone made her feel like she was trash, unwanted, forgotten.

But she realized now that I had nothing to do with that, she realized I was just as trapped as she had been. And she was so sorry. So sorry. She’d expected Leo and me to protect her, but she knew we’d been powerless, and she was working on accepting being abandoned and wanted to move on.

Now she was saying it was all in the past, and I’d protected her now. I’d protected her and she would never forget it. I’d protected her and it meant the world to her. I’d protected her and now she felt like she had another chance at life and I was responsible for changing her life.

Now she was next to me on the bed, hugging me, apologizing for hugging me because she knew I didn’t like it, but saying she couldn’t help it, and thanking me, and telling me how much she owed me and saying that, if there was ever anything she could ever do to help me, I should ask. I should always ask. She promised that all the bad choices were at an end and that she was going back to school, she was done being selfish, she was done being destructive.

Now she was staring at me like she was confused, or she was worried, and then glancing at Gabby. Gabby shrugged, shaking her head quickly, wearing an identical frown to Lisa’s, her eyes coming back to me.

Now they were both looking at me like they expected me to say something.

But I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know what to do.

I didn’t know . . . I don’t know.


My name sounded faraway, as though it had been spoken through a tunnel, or underwater. I felt a small shake. Someone was shaking me. I heard a sudden snap, like the crack of a whip. I blinked, abruptly surfacing to the present, the last half hour and all of Lisa’s words rushing over me, flooding my brain.


“Hey, snap out of it.” My sister was here, kneeling in front of me, snapping her fingers in front of my face, sounding frightened. She turned over her shoulder. “What is wrong with her? Did something happen? Oh my God, he didn’t—did he hurt her?” Lisa appealed to Gabby, who shook her head.

“No, no, of course not. Not all guys are like Tyler, Lisa.” Gabby was sitting on the desk, watching me with a worry-rimmed stare. “They got along really well. When I went downstairs, they were—”

“I can’t do this.” My hoarse voice brought Lisa’s attention back to me. Her eyes darted between mine. I gripped her forearms. “Lisa, I can’t do this. I can’t leave.”

“What?” My sister whispered. “What are you talking about? Are you okay? Did something happen?”

I shook my head, my thoughts a mess. “Yes. I mean, no. Not like that, not something bad. But it’s-it’s terrible.”

Tightening my hold on my twin, I didn’t get a chance to explain further because Gabby gasped.

“Oh my God! Oh no. Mona! I swear to God, Mona DaVinci. Did you fall for him?” Gabby had straightened from the desk, her eyes now a little crazy, rimmed with panic and accusation.

I sighed helplessly.

She groaned and covered her face. “No! No, no, no, no! I told you to stay away if you liked him! Why didn’t you listen to me?”

“What is going on?” Lisa was glancing frantically between Gabby and I, looking completely perplexed.

Gabby abruptly dropped her hands from her face, setting them on her waist and shaking her head at me, her look one of intense frustration. “You are so smart, and yet so impossibly stupid. What are you thinking? That you’re going to tell him the truth? Tell him about Lisa? If you do, you’re insane. Insane!”

“What?” Now Lisa’s eyes returned to me and she looked completely lost. “What is going on? Will someone tell me what’s going on?”

I licked my lips, skootching forward on the bed, desperate to make her understand. “Listen, he won’t tell Mom and Dad, okay? I really think he and I—”

Gabby’s hard laugh interrupted me. “No, Mona. Abram will tell your parents. That’ll be the first thing he does. Then he’ll call his sister and give her a good scoop. Then he’ll tell you to get lost.”

“You don’t know that!” I whisper-yelled.

“I do know it!” Gabby yell-yelled. She took a few rushing steps forward, causing me to lean back. “You think he has feelings for you? Well, guess what? That doesn’t make you special. I tried to warn you, this is what he does! Everyone is in love with him. He doesn’t care about you. You’re just another one to him. But, I can guarantee you, he’ll definitely care about being lied to. He’ll be super pissed about that. And if you think he’ll ever forgive you, you’re out of your mind. He’ll hate you forever.”

My heart was beating out of my chest, each thump enormously painful, and I was breathing like I’d just run a race. It was on the tip of my tongue to reject her words, because I knew Abram. He wasn’t like that. He’d forgive me. He’d keep—

“And for what? To clear your conscience?” Gabby asked shrilly, laughing again. “Typical Mona Mary Sue bullshit. You think you’re doing the right thing? Well, you’re not. You’re doing what you think is the right thing for you. You couldn’t care less about what will happen to Lisa, but it’s going to blow up in your face. You’ve known him for six days. Six days! And you’re choosing him over your twin sister? You’re the one who is selfish. You’re the reason Lisa was sent to boarding school when we were kids, and you’ll be the reason she’s banished now!”

“Okay, enough!” Lisa had stood at some point and she paired this proclamation with a double hand swipe, cutting her arms through the air and sending Gabby a fierce look. “That’s enough, Gabby. I know you’re trying to help, but you’re not.”

I blinked against hot tears, berating myself for all this confounded crying. I’d cried—or wanted to cry—more in the last twenty-four hours than I had in the previous ten years.

Something is wrong with me. I don’t know who I am, but I’m not myself.

“Just . . .” I heard Lisa sigh and I looked at her, she was shaking her head tiredly. “Be quiet for a minute and let me talk to Mona, okay?”

Gabby nodded stiffly, and then sent me a cutting look, turning and pacing to the other side of the room. Meanwhile, Lisa sat next to me on the bed and pinched the bridge of her nose. I took a moment to look at my sister, to really look at her.

Her hair was dull, lifeless. She wore eye makeup, but more concealer than liner. Even with all the concealer, I could still make out the dark circles under her eyes. Her lips were thinned, pale. She looked exhausted, overwhelmed, and my thumping heart twinged painfully.

Was Gabby right? Was I being selfish? And why was I so sure of Abram? You’ve known him for six days, and you’re choosing him over your sister.

I couldn’t think. Everything was a mess. This is why I hate messes!

Lisa was taking deep breaths, frowning at whatever internal thoughts she was having.

“Lisa,” I said unthinkingly, wanting to explain before she made up her mind about anything. But when she lifted her eyes, all I could think to say was, “I’m sorry.”

Her shoulders sagged and the side of her mouth tugged upward in a sad smile. “Don’t apologize, Mona. God, don’t ever apologize to me. I—” She sighed, a full body sigh, her eyes glassy. “Listen, I don’t know what happened, or what’s going on with you. I’m tired. I’m so tired, I’m trying to think. But I do know one thing: I hate the person I’ve become.”

She blurred in my vision until I blinked, two fat tears rolling down my face.

She shook her head at me. “Don’t be sad, and please don’t be sorry. I’m sorry I put you in this position, and I’m sorry you’re upset now. This is my fault, not yours.”


“No, listen. If you want to tell him—Abram—the truth, that’s up to you. I’ve done a lot of thinking over the last week and I can’t keep living like this, being like this. I trust your judgment a hell of a lot more than I trust my own. I just want you to know, I won’t be upset. I won’t blame you, no matter what happens. This is my fault, these were my choices, and you shouldn’t have to pay for them.”

I heard Gabby make a scoffing noise, like a growl, and Lisa turned to frown at her friend. “Gabby!” Her voice held a warning. “You need to let it go too.”

Gabby crossed her arms and shook her head in a quick, jerky movement. “No. This is bullshit, and you know it!” And then she turned to me. “I don’t trust your judgment. Your judgment is why the three of us were separated and Lisa was sent away.” Her tone wavered, had turned quiet and earnest, her eyes were watery with unshed tears and her nose had turned red, her skin splotchy. “You think Lisa is the only one who lost her family after that? What do you think happened to me? I lost you both. I lost everything. Just . . . don’t. Please don’t do this again.”

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