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Copyright 2012 by Edie Claire

Smashwords Edition

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.

All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author.


This novel is dedicated to all my crazy, big-hearted, fun-loving friends in the Mayfield High School classes of the early 1980s, in loving memory of John Edward Elder (December 15, 1962–July 5, 2012), who epitomized the best in all of us.

Chapter One

The atmosphere in the emergency department waiting room hung thick with a volatile mixture of anxiety, boredom, and aggravation. A dozen people huddled in plastic chairs with their coats still on, warding off the icy gust that struck them with each opening of the automatic doors to the parking lot. A small boy ran unchecked from one end of the room to the other, strewing orange cracker crumbs like a jet trail and chortling each time his leaps onto the doormat brought another blast of snow swirling inside. The sound of a television no one was watching droned on like a persistent mosquito, punctuated by the occasional hooting cheer of a studio audience.

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