Here is an excerpt from SPEED TRAP TOWN, my new novel that is out right now. Enjoy!
Heartbreak is a funny thing. It sneaks up on you. It leaves your body and soul pulled in two. It wrecks you and then pieces you back together until you’re someone completed new. You’re someone else in one life, and another person entirely. You’re not you. You’re lost. Somewhere else. Lonely seeps in. Confusion sneaks in. Everything feels like it’s at this intersection. Go one way, or go the other way. You’re always faced with this choice. You’re always confused. Over-thinking does the same thing, too. And it’s something Julian knew plenty about.
When things went bad, his mind took over. And his mind didn’t always look out for him like it should. Most of the time, it just kept staying in one place. Made him feel like he was stuck in cement. A foot on the gas and the other on the breaks. It wasn’t easy. He had to make a choice. He had to do something. He couldn’t spend his time locked away in this house. Rapunzel in her tower. This wasn’t moving forward. This wasn’t doing anything.
When did it become so hard? When did the dreams we had for our lives change so fast? What happens when the life we planned turns out to be the life we’ve always wanted to avoid? What do we do then? Candy had her life. And it was a good life. She tried new things. She left town. She never took much with her. She figured it out along the way. She found a job, a passion. Then, she went onto something new. She didn’t think about it. She didn’t ask for permission. She just did it. Julian thought back to one day when they were sitting on a park bench in the city, looking at the water. They were 25 at the time.
Candy said, without a single shred of doubt in her voice, “I’m going to do things. I am. I’m going to leave here. And I’m going to live. I don’t care what it is, or where it is. I don’t need to be known for that one thing. There’s nothing here for me anymore. I’m going to meet people, travel places, learn new things. And people will wonder where I went off to, and they’ll have their opinions, but I won’t care because I’ll have already forgotten them a long time ago. And I’ll be happy. Because I did it on my terms.”
She meant every word that she said. That was how Candy was. She made a decision and she went with it. She knew how to change her life for the better. Julian wasn’t that way. There was always not enough money, or it wasn’t the right time, or things weren’t in the place right where they needed to be. So, he didn’t move. Why did it always take someone else to give him permission to live his life? Why couldn’t he just do this on his own? He felt lost. Thinking about the things missed, the memories spent, the plans not set into place. He always waited for things to be perfect. Candy never did, though. She didn’t push for perfection. She just went with it.
As sleep slowly approached Tate, he made a decision. Somewhere between waking and sleeping, he decided what he would do next. He wouldn’t pass by life anymore. He would do something with his days. And even if it blew up in his face, he didn’t care. He was going to make something of himself. He was going to make Candy proud of him. Now, he would be a little reckless. And he loved it.