thinks her new house far away from Tulsa is the perfect place to escape her
past—until she meets Jay, the boy who used to live there.After a series of mysterious break-ins at the house, Kelsey discovers the
culprit is Jay, but before she can confront him, Jay inadvertently sets in
motion a series of events that leave Kelsey and her family devastated and wind
Jay up in juvie.Desperate to fix things, Kelsey confronts him only to discover Jay’s not the
delinquent she expects, but a boy with a past more messed up than hers. Against
her better judgment, the two of them form an unlikely friendship she keeps
secret from everyone.
Then Jay asks for a favor she didn’t see coming – one that leaves Kelsey torn
between her growing loyalty to Jay and throwing away the new future she worked
so hard to build.
For the first time in almost a year, I feel safe. My sandals slap against the uneven sidewalk, and I wave back at the old man driving by in a green pick-up truck. His toothless grin should scare the crap out of me, but something about this place makes it okay. I’ll even forgive its lack of a real downtown. I went in search of one of those quaint main streets with specialty coffee shops and expensive clothing stores, and all I found were a bunch of empty buildings for lease and a no-name pizza place. So much for small town charm.
I turn the corner to my house and skid to a halt. The edge of my sandal catches in a crack, and I lurch forward, scraping my palms against the cement. There’s a leg dangling out my bedroom window as if it’s not attached to a body. It reminds me of a cricket I caught when I was eight. I’d accidentally ripped its leg off trying to make it dance. I shudder and pick myself up, my palms burning.
I glance at the driveway. Mom and Dad’s cars aren’t there.
The person in the window struggles to squeeze his way out. Blue jeans and a ratty running shoe. Painter, maybe? Repair person? But there’s no work van in sight.
The rest of the body lowers from the window. I suck in a breath and duck behind a parked car just as he jumps.
Five, four, three, two, one. I pop my head up just enough to see over the hood.
He’s crouched on the ground, so I creep up a little higher and let out a breath. He’s tying his shoe? What kind of thief would stop to tie his shoe, let alone come out empty handed?
Anger rises in my chest and I clench my fists. What does this guy think he’s doing? I pop up from behind the car without thinking. “You could have used the door, you know!”
My mouth snaps shut as soon as the words are out. What am I doing? For all I know this guy could have a gun or something. I almost duck behind the car again when he looks up, but he turns away again just as quickly as if I never said a thing. He just finishes tying his shoe and shakes his head to get the hair out of his eyes.
I finally catch a glimpse of his face. He’s young – my age maybe. Too young to be someone my parents hired. He heads toward the street, and I glance up at the open window again.
Something doesn’t seem right.
“Hey!” I yell. “Wait!” Against my better judgment, I start after him, but he still doesn’t turn around. My hand closes around the cell phone in my pocket. The police. I should call the police. I fumble with my phone, and it clatters onto the sidewalk.
The guy looks back.
husband. She graduated from Brock University with a Bachelor’s degree in
English and Professional Writing.
In her other life, she’s an instructional designer and a mother-to-be who likes ice cream, running, and losing herself in a good story.