Today we have a sneak peek from the young adult novel by Heidi Nicole Bird: Ontario.
At the beginning of her senior year of high school, Ontario Stratton is abandoned by her mother, and left in the care of her older brother. In order to feel like less of a burden, Ontario gets a job at the local fifties-style diner. It is there that she meets her new “family.” Some things in Ontario’s life come together again, but others continue to fall apart. At the diner she is introduced to a kind of happiness she has never known before, but can she really learn to love and trust again?
Here is an excerpt from Ontario…
I snapped back to reality when Mom shouted back at Eddy.
“Hey, you’re old enough. You can play adult now.” She leaned over and checked her bright red lipstick in the Mustang’s rear-view mirror.
“Sign them or not, it’s up to you. Bon Voyage, kiddies!” She waved her hand flamboyantly and jumped into the car.
The last strand of hope that had been holding my breaking heart together snapped with the loud slam of the car door, and each rev of the engine was a prod at the lifeless pieces.
Sure, she was kind of eccentric, but living with her hadn’t been completely terrible, and she was my mother after all. When she wasn’t on one of her Canada kicks we were actually a lot alike. We even looked alike, except that her blonde hair was short and curly and mine was long and straight. Sure there had been times when I’d wished she would leave, just like any other teenager does with their parents, but I never thought she actually would.
Eddy and I watched as she pulled out of the driveway and raced away down our little street. Once the car was out of sight Eddy turned and put his arm around me.
“Come on,” he said.
I let him lead me back into the house, no longer able to hold back the tears that were now flooding my eyes and pouring down my face. I thought about what Mom had said when she’d handed the papers to Eddy. She had been working with the local judge and everything was ready for Eddy to be my new legal guardian. All he had to do was sign the papers and turn them in to the court house. I remembered Mom’s face, sneaky and triumphant, as she told us how Marylyn, her skanky gossip mate, had vouched for her, had told of how Mom simply wasn’t able to care for me, and of how she had convinced the judge to skip the hearings all together. I guess in a small town a judge can do whatever he wants. At least, that’s apparently what ours thought.
As we entered the house Eddy steered me towards one of the chairs in the living room and I weakly fell into it, silently staring ahead and letting my tears fall.
After a few minutes Eddy came and sat next to me, now holding the stack of papers. I flinched at the sight of them, but made no other move to escape. There was no going back now. We’d been abandoned and there was nothing we could do about it.
I watched Eddy as he sifted through the sheets of paper. He’d only turned twenty-one yesterday. He’d had so many plans, and so much potential. But now I was holding him back.