I’m on my way back…home? Where is home anyway? I thought I could find a home with Mama in Chicago, but nothing turned out the way I’d imagined. When I got a scholarship to art school in the same city my mother fled to after Pa died, how could I not call that fate? But Mama held me at a distance. So secretive at times I can’t help wonder if she’s hiding something. I never did fit in with that school crowd. Couldn’t relate.
So when the scholarship and the money ran out, where was I to go? Definitely not back to Reg. I’ve cut those ties for good. So I’m bound for Crawford County, for Java Joe’s. The last place that felt like home. I don’t even know what I’ll find there. I haven’t kept in touch. Do Rob, Patrick, and Eddie even work there still? Do they even remember me? Canvases of painted dreams shift around in my trunk. I know what’s behind me. What’s ahead?
I left for college floating on a cloud of bright aspirations. Janell Brodigm. Most Likely to Succeed. Of course, I’d make it. Why wouldn’t I? I’d never—never—gotten below and A in my life. I naturally get along well with people. Teachers, peers. I guess that’s why I didn’t see it coming, this tsunami of failure. What is it they say? Big fish in a small pond, small fish in a big pond? Whatever body of water I ended up in my Freshman year, I drowned in it. That brilliant future everyone swore was in front of me? I sulked home with its broken shards scraping my hands, my heart.
What’s next? I haven’t a clue. I’m working at Java Joe’s—the same coffee shop I worked at throughout high school. It’s not like it’s a bad job. Just far less than my parents wanted for me. Far less than I’d dreamed of. Now that their star daughter has lost her gleam, my parents are intent on setting me up with one successful bachelor or another. As if I can’t make it on my own and need someone to bail me into respectability by association. Humiliating. Maybe… maybe I just need someone to believe in me again. Or maybe I need someone to believe in.
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Our Story Title: Mercy\’s Song
Our Story Genre: Slip-Time Novel
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Sarah Hanks has spent the last decade delightfully merging her two main passions—writing and equipping children—by writing a variety of Sunday school curricula.
She wrote her first novel when she was seventeen and continued to write fiction “on the side” until deciding to pursue writing professionally.
Though Sarah dreams of a cabin by the beach, the family of ten lives jammed together in beautiful chaos in St. Charles, Missouri.