This excerpt comes from my latest novel, that to be honest I feel as though I have shared before, but going through my posts of the past several months, I don’t see it, so I must be crazy, right? It’s called On Our Way Home, at least for the moment. Let me know what you think of the opening and if you have any suggestions as to what the cover should be. And, Enjoy!
I haven’t been back in the states for almost three years, and up until last night I had no intention of going back anytime soon. Matt and I have carved out a very nice life for ourselves, living about an hour outside of London, in a small renovated cottage that belonged to his dad up until his passing two years ago. The cottage, as well as the two acres it rests upon, was left to Matt and his sister Charlotte to do with whatever they saw fit.
Happily married and living in London, Charlotte suggested Matt and I take the cottage for ourselves. After all, it was paid for, and with minimal repairs would save us a fortune in rent, while providing a serene and tranquil spot for us to be creative. Matt is a playwright on the cusp of hitting it big, while I’m a novelist who has so far had only mediocre success. Moving out to the country has taken away all of the stress we were under, struggling to make ends meet in the city. We are perfectly happy living the life of recluses. At least we were until Matt climbed into bed and sighing, told me we had to return to San Francisco.
“That was Barb on the phone,” he informed me.
I ignored him.
At forty two, Barb is my oldest sister and generally a bossy pain in the ass. There are five of us girls, of which I am the second youngest, and although I love my family, I don’t really have much in common with any of them. Our parents are both highly successful surgeons, my mother in orthopedics, and my father specializing in cardiology. Barb is a shrink, Carolyn, two years younger than Barb, is a pediatrician, and Katherine, three years younger than Carolyn, is a biochemist. Then comes me, and then my younger sister, Lisa.
I am two years younger than Katherine, and Lisa is three years younger than me. Lisa is a lawyer, or at least she was until the birth of her son Dylan, five years ago. She and her husband Eldon, a psychologist, have since adopted a baby girl, Sunny, from his wayward cousin, a heroin addict unable to care for herself, let alone a child. Lisa, like me, is considered a bit of a black sheep in the family. You see, she was sailing through law school, the apple of my father’s eye, right up until she met Eldon. That’s where things changed. Eldon is black, and although my father insists he has nothing against anyone of color, he doesn’t believe in interracial relationships. He feels they are unrealistic, and only serve to cause pain and suffering to all involved,. He spent three years doing everything in his power to sabotage their relationship, and although he adores his grandchildren, last I heard, he still disapproves of Lisa and Eldon as a couple.
“Allie, did you hear me?” Matt asked, shutting out the light and pulling me into spooning position.
“You most certainly are not.”
“I could be if you’d let me.”
“Be that as it may, your father has taken ill and we have been summoned.”
“Shit,” I said, my heart sinking involuntarily. “What kind of ill?”
“Somewhat ironically, it would appear he’s had a heart attack,” he said, in his most British of ways.
“Don’t make me laugh,” I said, fighting back a combination of tears and a chuckle. “Is it serious?”
“Well, as I said, we have been asked to get on a plane first thing tomorrow morning, so I can only assume it is, although Barb did say it was your father himself who has requested we fly over.”
“We? He requested you come, too?”
“So she said.”
“No offense, but that doesn’t sound like my dad.”
“None taken, as I found that to be rather odd myself. I even double checked to be sure I had heard correctly. However, Barb insists she has bought us both tickets as per his request.”
“That’s so weird.”
“Was Barb upset?” I asked.
“Can Barb show emotion?” he inquired.
“Annoyance, disapproval, ” I said, considering.
“Well, she was neither of those. Just very stern and seemingly in a hurry. She says it’s all been arranged and left no room for any objections. I offered to get you up but she was in too much of a rush. We fly out at eight tomorrow morning. I’ve set the alarm on my phone,” he informed me.
“It’s so weird,” I repeated.
“Get some sleep,” he advised.
“Right, like that’s going to happen,” I said, sarcastically.
Needless to say, I tossed and turned all night, until Matt’s alarm woke me from the five minutes rest I had managed to get. Now we are on this full and uncomfortably cramped plane, heading towards a reunion I am kind of dreading.