Read an excerpt

An excerpt from Chapter two:

I sit up in bed, panting and gasping from the same dream that’s been waking me up most every night. Tears running down my cheeks, I can hear someone whispering “Cammie, wake up” in my ear. I reach for the pull-chain to snap on the light, but can’t find it. I keep swatting the air. “Cammie, are you okay?”

Slowly I come to my senses. Three weeks and you’d think I’d remember not to reach for the light, that I’m not back home in my old bedroom. Jennie’s warm hand traces the stream of tears to my chin.“I’m fine,” I say, pushing her hand away. I quickly wipe the water from my face. I can’t figure out how she
finds me in the dark. I guess when you’re totally blind, nighttime doesn’t stop you from getting around. If I were in her shoes, not able to see a thing, I’d never leave my bed — guaranteed.

I roll onto my side and try to go back to sleep. My chest makes two quick heaves and I snuff the snot back up my nose in the way that annoys the pants off Aunt Millie. Tears are building behind my eyes again, but I’m not about to let the dam burst open. Finally I sit up in bed, and I picture my bedroom back home in Tanner; the way the full moon comes up over the trees and shines across my bed. I think about the night Evelyn climbed in through my bedroom window. But then right away I remember it was the same night his pa got drunk and chased him out of the house with the shotgun. A gulp of air gets caught in my throat and I don’t know how to get it out. I can’t stop thinking about Evelyn, all those days he spent in the hospital out cold. He wouldn’t have blown up Hux’s moonshine still if it hadn’t been for me. Now I’m in the city living a new life while he’s stuck back in Tanner. I give a big sigh. What I wouldn’t give to spend a day at our secret camp by the river, just Evelyn and me.

Flopping back onto the bed, I stare up at the ceiling and try to put my mind on other things. Reaching under my mattress, I pull the envelope out and hold it up close. If it wasn’t for the letter she wrote Aunt Millie years ago, I wouldn’t have a clue about where to start my search for mother dearest. Too bad Aunt Millie burned the letter when I was a kid, like she didn’t think I’d be interested in hearing what my mother had to say. At least I have the envelope — not much, but something. Burnham Street,
Halifax, Nova Scotia, big as you please, written on the envelope I’ve been carrying around with me since forever, still with no plans of how I’m going to get there. It’s not like I can just up and walk there. Heck, I wouldn’t even make it out the front door. I’ve got time on my side, though. A whole school year if need be. And with nearly twelve years of biding my time, I’ll wait as long as I have to. Sooner or later, opportunity will come knocking at my door.

Putting the envelope back in its hiding place, I turn toward the wall and swallow the hard lump in my throat. I never in a million years thought I’d miss anything about my old life back in Tanner. You can dress your life up all you want, forget about who you used to be, but getting rid of the past isn’t as easy as taking off your dirty old underwear and kicking it under the bed.

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