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Prologue:



Sarah felt herself go numb. This couldn’t be happening. She gripped the phone, her knuckles going white. The knot in her throat was unbearable.

“Sarah, are you still there?”

In an almost inaudible whimper Sarah answered, “Ah huh.”

“I know this is hard honey, but it’s not the end of the world. We talked about this already, and you knew it was a possibility. I tried, Sarah. I really did. But there’s no way around it. We’ve gone over all the other possibilities, but anything else is too much of a risk. It’s for the best.”

“But, senior year …” Sarah felt the anger building, and the tears burning in her eyes. She was ready to blow up, lash out. Then she heard her mom again. Her voice choked up as well.

“I know, honey. I’m so sorry. I really screwed things up this time.”

Her mom took a long, trembling deep breath and it broke Sarah’s heart. She wanted to be with her, to hug her, and comfort her.

“It’s okay, mom. I’ll be fine.”

Her mom cleared her throat and lowered her voice. Sounding very determined, she spoke again, “I am going to make this up to you. I promise, okay?”

“Okay.”

“I’ve already called Aunt Norma. She and Uncle William will be here this weekend. They wanna help us pack so you and I will have time to spend together. Then I’ll have to be in court on Monday.”

Sarah gasped. “Monday?”

“Yeah, babe, Monday.”

Sarah covered half her face with her free hand and shook her head. Not wanting to make her mom feel any worse, she choked back a sob.

“Alright, mom,” she whispered.

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