Let Me Introduce You to Sara St. John
As promised, here is an excerpt from the very beginning of my novel, Out of Bounds. Let me know what you think in the comments section below!
My name is Sara St. John and my life ended seven years ago. It wasn’t a death of flesh and bone, but of the heart and spirit, and I think that might be worse. When I was born, my dad was playing softball in a men’s league. Legend has it that he hit a homerun the hour I arrived. I guess he’s always been that way, selfish and absent, but when you’re a kid you don’t see the world like that. You especially don’t see your father that way. At least I didn’t. I saw him as a superhero, a mystery. Something special and rare, like one of Santa’s leftover cookies on Christmas morning, and I ate it up. When he’d come home at night, I’d run to him before he had time to shut the door. I’d throw my arms around his legs and breathe in the smell of his courtroom. What a fool I was.
My eyes opened on my 9th birthday when he never showed up. My mom and I sat together at the kitchen table, silently watching the candle on my homemade cake as the flame danced to an unheard happy birthday song. The wax melted and ran to the chocolate quicker than we did. We simply watched as it pooled in a small white blob on the top layer.
“Well, he can suit himself,” my mom said. “If he doesn’t want any, that means more for us.” Then she sliced off the left third of the cake, avoiding the wax-ruined middle, and served it to me on a paper plate. She threw the rest in the garbage. To this day, I don’t like birthday cake.
When he finally came home, he smelled like perfume. It was in between night and morning, the time when the sun considers starting another day. My mom’s voice woke me up. She sounded like a wild animal, full of rage and hurt, and I crept from my room to hunt after her words. She had stopped him in the kitchen, fighting with accusations and pleas. It was obvious she had stayed up all night and, like a dog, waited at the door for him to come home. Pain poured down her cheeks as she flung “How could you?” and “Who is she?” and “Sara needs her father” into the abyss between them. In response, he waved her off with a limp flick of the wrist.
“I’m not going to do this right now,” he said.
Now, because divorce papers finally ripped my parents apart, my mom and I were in her dirty yellow Volkswagen Scirocco as we moved to Nowhere, Illinois in the middle of the night. We were already surrounded by nothing and we still had a few hundred miles to go.