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It Could Always Be Worse

A novella by Ian Rose Castro


It Could Always Be Worse by Ian Rose Castro

After a traumatic experience in her hometown of Miami, Elena Flores moves away to live with the father she’s never met. It’s not easy starting a new school in the middle of October, so when her half sister invites her to a party, she thinks “what’s the worst that could happen?” Elena must learn to navigate her new life in the wealthy suburbs of Long Island and try to build relationships, but that’s hard to do when she doesn’t know who to trust and she can’t let go of her anger and sadness.

     We turn onto my block and I say, “well this is my street” and he gives me a funny look. 

     “We live on the same block. Small world.”

     “Small town,” I reply.

     He laughs, although I don’t think I’ve actually said anything funny. This is a small town.

     “Woodview is a perfectly average-sized town, thank you very much. Are you from the city?”


     “Damn, why would you come here?”

     “Oh, I just decided that one month into my sophomore year was the best time to completely uproot my life and move to another state where I don’t know anybody.”

     “Yikes,” he says.

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