Sometimes you fall so hard you can’t get back up. My closest companions now are shame and loss. But a sliver of hope lies in the only person I have left in this world – the one who’s growing inside me.
Survival becomes living again because of my child, and the town where I begin anew.
That’s where I meet the man who starts to melt the ice inside my heart.
As we get closer, reminders of my past become sharper. Clearer. To confront the pain, I have to discover what’s deep down inside me. Is there enough left there to become whole again, or am I too wounded to heal?
**Warning** This book has mature content that some readers may find troubling. It is intended for readers 18 and up.
It was the first day back from the winter break and I was wrapped up in the excitement that filled the hallways of Lexington High School. There was an unspoken energy circulating around those of us who were seniors.
Home stretch, baby. The last semester of high school is underway. Your future starts now.
And, for me, this new term couldn’t end soon enough. My mom’s death this past September had plunged me into a deep sadness I still hadn’t fully emerged from. Over the course of the past four months I’d gotten good at plastering on a phony smile to let everyone know I’d moved on. Putting this school year behind me would be more sweet than bitter. Sure, I had great friends I’d miss when I went off to college in the fall. And dance team…for sure I would miss that. Most of all, I would miss my boyfriend Levi, but somehow I knew that once high school was over I really would be able to move on.
A warm, familiar arm wrapping around my waist from behind made me break out in a genuine grin.
“How was your day, baby?” Levi asked, pulling me against his side as we walked down the hall.
He shrugged. “Everybody’s talking about graduation. It hasn’t seemed close until now.”
“Did you get those scholarship essays done?”
“Yep.” He pulled me a little closer, steering me away from a cluster of loud underclassmen who were about to run me over.
“Am I riding with you today? I can catch a ride home with Sami if you’re lifting weights after school.”
He leaned down and kissed my temple. “The only weight I’m interested in right now is yours on top of me.”
I held back a smile. Our after school make out sessions were one of Levi’s favorite things. But between the time off his parents and my dad had taken off over the holiday break, we hadn’t gotten much time alone.