sons--Fiction. 4. Maturation (Psychology)--Fiction. 5. Domestic fiction.

I. Title.

PS3603.U84H43 2010

813’.6--dc22

2010019846



For Juliet and Trevor


Acknowledgments

I would like to thank the following for help, guidance, and friendship along the way: Joyce and Chuck Snyder, Valerie and Mike Hale, Roger and Gwen Hart, Barbara Hughes, Amy Rogers, Frye Gailliard, Judy Davis, Sonja Boles, Debra Coble, and Wendy Dingwall. And Juliet and Trevor, once again, I can’t say thank you enough.



1

The year I turned fifteen two things happened that took me by surprise: my mother moved out and my father decided to run a marathon. My mother left first. On February 8th, I came home from school and found Mom packing two suitcases: one with clothes, the other with her old typewriter and drafts of the novel she’d been working on for years. She told me she was going to Venice, Florida to help run her parents’ motel and to try and finish her novel.

Of course, I wanted to go with her, but she said she wouldn’t be gone too long, that she was only staying down there until her father hired a manager. Mom told me I should finish the school year here in North Carolina and if she was still living in Florida at the beginning of summer I could come spend time with her there. Part of me wanted to believe she moved down there because of the reasons she had said. But the other part of me, the part I tried not to listen to, knew this was a separation of sorts between my Mom and Dad. While I had never seen them fighting or yelling at each other, which is how I thought unhappily married people acted I rarely saw them do much together in the year or two before she left.

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