She ate her first needle when she was seven. Now, at nineteen, she’s been kicked out of college for poisoning herself with laxatives. The shrinks call it Munchausen Syndrome. All Saylor knows is that when she’s ill, her normally distant mother pays attention and the doctors and nurses make her feel special.
Then she meets Drew Dean, the leader of a local support group for those with terminal diseases. When he mistakes her for a new member, Saylor knows she should correct him. But she can’t bring herself to, not after she’s welcomed into a new circle of friends. Friends who, like Drew, all have illnesses ready to claim their independence or their lives
For the first time, Saylor finds out what it feels like to be in love, to have friends who genuinely care about her. But secrets have a way of revealing themselves. What will happen when Saylor’s is out?
I decided to take a cab home because I could tell Zee was tired, even if she wouldn’t admit it.
Drew waited with me as I stood on the sidewalk outside, letting the snow dust my head and shoulders.
“You look good in snow,” he said.
I laughed, my cheeks heating up as I tipped my head back to look at him. “Are you drunk?”
He stepped in closer, blocking out the streetlight that glowed orange in my eyes. “Maybe just a little tipsy.” He smiled. “I really meant what I sang in there.”
“Which part?” My words were just a breath, curling into the air.
He brought his head down to mine, so our noses were almost touching. “I’ll tell you a secret, I’ll sell you a secret for a song,” he sang softly; the same song from the bar. “Someday I’ll tell you, and take you back home where you belong.”
I wasn’t one of those girls who cried at every emotional thing they saw or heard; I’d never been that way. That might’ve explained why, when the tears cascaded down onto my cheeks, I felt with my fingers to see what the hell was going on with my eyes.
“Hey,” Drew said, catching one of the tears with a fingertip. “Are you okay?”
I opened my mouth to say I was, but all that came out was a sort of sob-whine, and more tears. Drew responded by putting his free hand around my waist and covering my mouth with his.
I’d like to say that in that moment, I kept my head. That I remembered that I was lying to him, that my entire existence in his life was only because of a huge untruth, and that I intended to extricate myself from him and the rest of the group. I’d like to say that I stopped the kiss.
But in that instance, the only thing I felt, the only thing that mattered, was how hard I was falling for Andrew Dean.
I was falling for this scared, lonely, broken, brave man who sang songs about secrets, who lulled me into a whole new universe using nothing but his voice. I wanted him, all of him, and I pretended that I belonged. It was the biggest lie I’d told up to that point, and for someone whose entire life was carved out of lies of different colors and shades and shapes, that was saying a lot.
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A huge fan of spooky stuff and shoes, I enjoy alternately hitting up the outlet malls and historic graveyards in Charleston, SC where I live and imbibe coffee. My husband and two small children seem not to mind when I hastily scribble novel lines on stray limbs in the absence of notepads.
Since no writer’s biography is complete without mention of her menagerie of animals, you should know I have one dog that doubles as a footstool, a second that functions as a vacuum cleaner, and a cat that ensures I never forget that my hands are, first and foremost, for pouring cat food.