The fourth anniversary of Olivia’s daddy and John Lennon’s death is approaching. Like the shot heard ’round the world, TV and radio stations keep the frenzy alive and recognize Lennon’s life, while Olivia’s mama remembers Daddy’s death. Instead of healing, Mama’s strange behavior keeps getting worse.
After viewing an afternoon talk show, Olivia discovers her mother might have more than a case of eccentricity – she may be mentally ill. When those fears are confirmed, Olivia is faced with more decisions than any sixteen-year-old should have to make. With no adult family members to turn to, she is forced to trust the only people who’ve offered help: one strange man and a friend her mother makes at the mental institution.
Facing the intricacies of her mother’s illness one minute and the decision to have sex with her new boyfriend the next, Olivia finds that through faith and determination, she can conquer it all in this poignant story of love, intuition, compassion, and hope.
I sprinted around the corner toward the car, slid behind the wheel, stuck the key in the ignition, and turned the radio to blasting levels. I stepped down on the gas. The Rolling Stones song Paint it Black played and the music fueled my anger. I sang along. . . . Black as night, black as coal, I wanna see the sun blotted out from the sky, I wanna see it painted, painted, painted black . . .
My mind kept replaying the last moments: Matt with no shirt, the girl’s hands wrapped around his waist. Her voice calling him from upstairs. Long legs. Dark eyes. Fuchsia lips.
In my rearview mirror, I saw them and snapped out of my pity party. I peered down at the speedometer, and it read eighty miles an hour. I slowed down and pulled to the side of the road. By the time the police officer appeared, my emotional levee broke, and tears rushed down my face. I cried. I cried until the salt from my tears gagged me.
The officer tapped my window with his stick. I rolled it down and glared up at him with my tearstained face. He reminded me of the police officer who came to our door the night Daddy died, the one who stared at his shoes while the older one told us the news. And this one was going to take me to jail because I was speeding, and I didn’t even have a license. It couldn’t get any worse than this. Did God hate me?
Wendy Lynn Decker has lived in thirteen different towns in the state of New Jersey. Now, she lives a bike ride away from the ocean and her favorite restaurant. She is the author of the middle-grade chapter book, THE BEDAZZLING BOWL, which is the first book intended for a series.
Find her here:
WendyDecker19 – http://www.twitter.com/wendydecker19