The Truth She Knew is now available on Amazon for pre-order! Just click here while it’s on sale. If you’re interested in reading the early reviews on Goodreads, click here. I have to admit the reviews have been overwhelming and humbling.
Since the book hasn’t been released yet, and a preview isn’t available, I wanted to share the first few pages. I know I always like to preview before ordering. I worked with an amazing editor from HarperCollins, and she will also be editing book 2 in the series which I just finished the rough draft yesterday.
This series is contemporary fiction and new adult. It’s 17+ due to language, sex, and some violence.
Copyright © 2016 by J.A. Owenby
Mama didn’t want me. In fact, she would’ve traded my soul back for someone different if God would’ve let her, but he didn’t, so she was stuck with me. She reminded me of this on a consistent basis, and as hard as I tried, I couldn’t change her mind. Finally, I had to make a choice: her or me.
My heels clicked against the cold tile floor of the hospital and my heart fluttered as I searched the room numbers.
I rubbed my clammy hands against my jeans as I saw the ladies’ restroom and hurried toward it. I needed a minute before I reached her room. I pushed the door open and scanned the bathroom for anyone else. It was empty.
My purse landed with a thud on the bathroom counter. I turned the cold water on, splashed it on my cheeks, and wiped my face with a paper towel.
“Breathe,” I muttered. “She can’t hurt you anymore. You’re grown.”
My pep talk wasn’t working. Fear was gnawing at my stomach.
I reached into my bag, grabbed my powder compact, and touched up my makeup. My green eyes shone brighter against the redness left from my tears. I ran a brush through my long, blond hair and dabbed a hint of gloss on my lips, more out of habit than need.
“Let’s do this, Lacey. Suck it up,” I said to my reflection. I released a slow, deep breath and headed out of the restroom and down the hall toward the ICU.
My hand trembled as I approached her room and reached for the door handle. I didn’t know what to expect. What would it be like, seeing her after all this time?
The door opened and closed behind me without a sound. I pulled the curtain aside and tried to comprehend what was in front of me.
The room was silent except for the rhythmic whoosh of the breathing machine. The ventilator had left its mark on Mama’s face, and her upper lip was swollen and bruised.
As I pulled the chair closer to her and sat down, I half-expected her eyes to flutter open and her lips to whisper what a bitch I was. But she lay still.
My goodbyes had been said years ago, but this was different; this was final. There were no more second chances, or third. None, ever again.
I stood up and paced around the tiny room. I should have been holding her hand and begging her to wake up so we could forgive each other, but I couldn’t. It didn’t matter how many years we’d been apart—every time I thought about her I remembered how she had cost me everything. And not once did she ever utter the words I’m sorry. In her mind, it had all been my fault.
I leaned against the wall and tucked a piece of hair behind my ear. In spite of my resistance, tears pooled in my eyes.
“Are you happy now?” My voice quivered and only the sound of the ventilator responded to my question.
It amazed me how I could love her and hate her at the same time. I knew I was supposed to love and honor my parents, but how could I when she had almost cost me my life?
My mind raced with dark memories and then I realized that for the first time in my life I was minutes away from being free. Relief washed over me as the tears flowed down my cheeks. I pushed the memories away. With freedom just around the corner, I needed to say what I felt even if it was locked away deep in my heart.
I approached Mama and brushed her thin, brown hair away from her forehead. I stared at her, her image burning into every part of my mind. Her eyes were closed with no movement and there was no response to my touch. She’d already left—her body only remained breathing due to the machines.
“I’ve missed you, Mama,” I whispered. “As much as I hate you, I love you more. I wish things had been different. I wanted you to love me so badly. Maybe now you finally will.”
I kissed her forehead and stepped back, wondering if death would finish the job quickly. Knowing Mama, she would hold on as long as she could to capture everyone’s attention for her grand finale. The doctor thought it wouldn’t take any longer than a few hours for her body to stop breathing on its own. I hoped it would happen sooner.
I left Mama’s room and walked down the hall to the ICU waiting room. My older sister Krissy, the golden child, was leaning against the wall as she stared out the window.
“Krissy,” I said as I approached her.
She turned toward me, her eyes rimmed with redness. We stared at each other for a few moments, and then I nodded.
“Lacey, are you sure? You don’t need any more time?” Krissy asked.
She pushed herself off the wall, wiped her eyes, and turned away to find the doctor. It was time to disconnect the machine.
With my goodbyes said, I walked toward the exit to the hospital. I burst through the sliding doors and came to a quick stop as the fragrance of the spring rain filled my nose. The walkway was lined with bright green grass and an abundance of red and pink tulips. The last drops of rain slid off the tree leaves as I breathed it all in. It was breathtaking.
I was finally free.
Thank you all for your support!
Until Next Time…
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