Dear Diary, Leukemia’s been my life since I was eleven. Now, six years later, I want my life back. Only I’m not sure what that is.
The test results came back today. 22,000. Which means I’m officially out of remission—again.
I have three options:
1. Another round of chemo.
2. A super-new experimental drug.
3. Dump it all— forget the meds and treatments and enjoy the time I have left.I think I know what I want.
Then, in walks Damian, changing everything.
I mean, everything. He’s got his own set of issues. It binds us together, you know? We understand what it’s like to lose what matters most in seconds. Still, the last thing I need is to have someone else to crush if I can’t fight hard enough. And the last thing he needs is someone else to grieve.
Never mind. I’m down to two options now.Somehow I know that whichever one I choose, the result will be the same. With the sand in my hourglass seeping to the bottom, I hope there’s enough left to show Damian that life’s worth living. Worth fighting for.
Worth dying for.
Damian sighed and adjusted his nametag. “I’m the son of Jackson Lowell, Doctor Extraordinaire. That means I have a lot of time to myself. I play the guitar. Write music. I’ve beaten every Assassin’s Creed game. And I don’t live up to my father’s expectations. Hell, I don’t know if I live up to anyone’s expectations.”
“I’m sure your dad just wants you to be happy.”
Damian grunted. “Whose definition of happy? His? Mine?” His eyebrows rose. “Yours?”
I shrugged. “Doesn’t happy only have one definition?”
“Does it? Are you happy?”
I thought about it for a few moments. I had beaten my disease twice before, and I was determined to do it again. More than anything, I was happy just to be alive. “Yeah, I am.”
His eyes narrowed. “Having a tube sticking out of your chest, being hooked up to toxic drugs, getting sick—that makes you happy?”
“Oh, well, no. But…”
“Not that easy, is it?” The edge in his voice pricked at me. I couldn’t tell if he was talking about me or himself.
“The outcome of—”
“You don’t know the outcome.” He sounded angry, his eyes blazing. “You only hope it will make you happy. When it might kill you. That’s reality.”
I pulled my lips tight. “True, but it makes my parents happy to see me fight.”
“Bullshit. They’re not happy having a daughter who has to battle cancer. And if you die, well, how can they be happy about that?”
Damian cut me off. “Yeah. If. So much is based on that word, and there are no fucking guarantees attached to it. What makes you happy now may be what destroys you later. Or those you love. Then what? Sometimes, being happy isn’t worth the risk.”
“And sometimes it is,” I said quietly.
Damian brightened again, offering a slight smile. “See what I mean? Nothing in this shithole life is easy.”
“Just because it’s not easy, doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.”
“So tell me then, is it worth it?” His blue eyes searched mine. “Worth all the time in this place?”
Since I was born and raised in Iowa, I like to create stories where my home state is the setting. There’s nothing like small-town Midwest scenery to create the perfect backdrop for an amazing tale!
I’ve always loved to read and write. I’ll read anything: Classics, fantasy, contemporary, mystery, horror. It doesn’t matter as long as it draws me in. As a kid, I was raised on authors such as Lurlene McDaniel, R.L. Stine, Danielle Steele, Mary Higgins Clark, Stephen King, and Shakespeare.
Writing-wise, my fondness lies in the YA/NA genre, though I do have a couple of women’s fiction stories swimming around in my head. When not writing, I’m usually curled up with a book, scrapbooking, or doing yet another load of laundry.
Along with her incredible husband, I live in small-town Iowa with my four adorable (yet ornery) children and their dog, Peaches.
The Spirit is the first book of The Spirit Trilogy, and is my debut novel.