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I’m sorry I missed last week. It was my niece’s birthday. :) :)
Today I’ll be sharing an excerpt from my upcoming novella, Saying Goodbye. This novella is finally back from editing. I’ve incorporated all my editor’s notes and have begun my last read-through of the novel. Once I finish this read-through, I’ll be contacting my betas. I’m thinking the release date for this will be January 9th, 2016. I still don’t have a synopsis, but hope to have one ready for you soon. Since this one is back from editing and the release date is so soon, I’ll probably stick with this novel until I get tired of it or until Outcast get a little closer to its final draft. J
The following snippet comes right after the last snippet I posted. I thought about dragging this one out, but since I had left you hanging with my last one, I figured I should go ahead and give you the rest of this chapter.
Just as she was about to get up to go find out, two cars pulled up and her parents disappeared into Stacy’s office. When her customer had pulled away, Erica felt a hand on her shoulder. She froze. She was in trouble. She hadn’t been that late for work, but since she had come in looking like crap on top of that, Stacy wasn’t pleased. Her firm grip told Erica that she was right, one of the other managers or employees had tattled. The vultures. Some people accused her of getting special treatment because her mother was best friends with the manager. Erica didn’t think she did, but she might. The problem really was that they couldn’t stand the fact that she was actually good at the job.
“Erica, would you come with me, please?” Stacy asked.
She only nodded and stood.
“Katie, if you need help, call Catherine over,” Stacy said, as she and Erica turned to go to her office.
“Yes ma’am,” Katie said, watching them slowly walk away.
Erica followed the woman into her office where she saw her parents standing there waiting on them. Erica’s mother was holding Erica’s purse and jacket. If Stacey was firing me, she didn’t have to bring them in, Erica thought. I’m a big girl. I can take it. She started to say this when her mother stepped up and handed Erica her jacket.
“Put this on, sweetie. It’s a bit cool outside,” her mom said, looking at her as if she were about to burst into tears.
Erica took the jacket from her, and as she was putting one arm through a sleeve, she asked, “What’s going on?”
“Your father and I are here to take you home,” her mother said.
“Why? Mrs. Green, if you’re firing me, can I ask why?” Erica turned to her boss because the look of sadness, pity, fear, and exhaustion on her parents’ faces scared her.
“I’m not firing you, honey. Your parents are just here to take you home, and I’m giving you the week off.”
Okay not fired, just suspended. Great, Erica thought.
“Off?” she asked, wanting to hear from the woman what she had done. “Why? Did I do something wrong?”
“No, you didn’t do anything.”
“Come on, Erica. Let’s get you home, and we’ll explain everything there,” her father said, putting his arm around her and turning her to the door.
“Explain? Explain what?” she asked, resisting him.
“Not here,” he said, trying to usher her further out of the room and building.
Something serious was going on here, and she was scared. His actions and the way Stacy wouldn’t meet her eye, told her much more was going on than her simply coming in late looking like the walking dead. She needed to know what was wrong, and she needed to know right then. She jerked out of her father’s grip and said, “You guys are really starting to freak me out. Why can’t you tell me here? What’s happened? What’ve I done?”
“Sweetie,” her mother said, “you haven’t done anything, but your father’s right, this isn’t the place for this.”
In a flash, Erica was back to her sixteen-year-old defiant self. She crossed her arms, glared at them, and said, “I’m not going anywhere until you tell me. If I’m not in trouble or fired, then why are you here? Why are you picking me up from work when I have a perfectly good car out in the parking lot?” A short pause followed. “Mom, please…” she begged when no one looked as if they were going to speak.
Her dad sighed. Stacey slumped in her seat, and her mom started crying, which threw her completely off balance because her mom didn’t cry unless she was so mad she couldn’t speak or someone died. Erica’s eyes widen as she watched her mother’s face. That was it. Someone was dead. Her first thought was of her grandmother. She’d been sick for a while.
Erica dropped her purse to the floor, stepped back from her parents, and asked, “Who?”
Her mother cried harder. Stacey left her seat to go to her friend and pull her to a chair, and her father moved toward Erica.
“Honey, come sit down,” her father said, reaching for her.
“No, tell me. Was it Grandma Rose?”
“No, it wasn’t your grandma. It was…”
“Daddy?” Erica pleaded. Her words brought a tear to his eyes, and again, she knew it was someone close to them, someone very close. Someone Erica loved more than anyone in this world. Someone… She started shaking her head and saying, no, no, no, over and over again.
“Oh, baby, I’m so sorry. It happened early this morning. It was an accident,” her father said and reached for her.
She couldn’t hear his words. She didn’t want to hear them. She wanted him to stop talking so that none of it would be real, could be true. If no one told her, if she didn’t know, then it didn’t happen.
“He was walking home from that party. The driver said he came out of nowhere. That he didn’t see him until it was too late. The driver had been going too fast to miss him.” Her dad continued to talk. To tell her how he lived for about an hour after he got to the hospital, but his injuries were just too bad. He never woke though. Probably didn’t feel any pain. Didn’t know what had happened to him.
Erica stopped listening to her father. She kept seeing him the way he had looked the night before in his pirate costume. She kept seeing the way he had looked at her in hers. She thought about how much that look had said he would much rather stay home. If they had… If she had begged him to the way she had wanted. Sure, he would have been upset with her. They would have argued, maybe even fought, but they would have stayed home. They would have made up, and he wouldn’t have…
Her sorrow exploded from her in an ear-bursting scream, and she hit the floor before her dad could catch her.
That’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed it.
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