This may be the most personal blog post I've made to date. I want to tell you a story, one I hope will inspire you to whatever aspirations await you. Please do not glean the same conclusions I have, because your experience will be different, but it will be beautiful all the same.
Like most little people, I had enough dreams to last several lifetimes. I wanted to be a dancer, a writer, a doctor, a mother, a wife, a meteorologist, a singer. As I got older, some of these dreams grew weaker while others grew stronger, and no matter what emotions I had, I could always dance. Dance. Dance. When I was happy, I'd dance. when I was sad, I'd dance. When I was frustrated, I'd dance. I could express myself that way.
I'd also sing. Pour my heart out in my bedroom, all by myself. I'd feel better.
And I'd read. And I'd write. Strings of words were constantly flowing through my head. Sometimes there was a bigger story behind them, sometimes not. Sometimes I'd write them in a journal, sometimes I wouldn't.
And then there was science and math, where in school I excelled. It was logic and reasoning. There was always a solid answer. One correct formula, no gray area.
Then sometime around the age of 15, something happened. It was like the world opened up for me and got bigger than I ever imagined. I was at church, signing in the choir, and the notes and words in the hymnal jumped out at me. Honestly, I don't remember the message that day, but I do remember sitting down and studying the hymnal. Then, with permission, I took it home. I realized how the notes worked with the lyrics. I understood meter, syllables, and yes, even math. I started to realize how all of these things I loved so much were weaved together. Art and language. Math and music. Meter and timing. How all of things helped each other as they intertwined to make something more powerful than just a sentence. Just a solution. Just a song.
And so I wrote a poem. It was June 21, 1998, and I was 15 years old.
Her world went black,
Without a sound,
She turned her back,
And hit the ground.
An envelope was laid,
On the desk in the hall,
Surrounded by the shade,
Of the lamp standing tall.
It sat on the wood untouched, alone,
Until the morning sunlight through the window shone.
He picked up an envelope in his hand,
Why it was there he didn't understand.
No writing graced the cover of white,
And so he opened it in morning's light.
A letter was placed neatly inside,
He unfolded the paper, read it, and cried.
Nothing now could undo the pain,
The morning's sunlight now turned to rain.
She'd taken her life, now his love was gone,
He knew in his heart he'd have to go on.
He descended the stairs to where his love lay,
Knelt beside her, closed his eyes, and prayed.
He kissed her cheek and lay down by her side,
And he knew then that his heart had lied.
He took her small hand into his,
And gave her one last, final kiss.
In his hand he held a knife,
And by her side, he took his life.
I'm going to start by saying what you already know: you are awesome! I swear, I have the best readers. You guys have been so patient, waiting for the release of the final book in the Spirit Trilogy. And I'm happy to announce your wait will soon be coming to an end. I'm working on The Soul now and am hoping for a March/April 2016 release.
So to wet your taste buds, here's what you can expect in this sure-to-be epic finale to Lucas and Carrie's story.
“I look like Godzilla’s wife,” I said to myself, looking into the full-length mirror behind my bedroom door. I pick at the blue graduation gown that’s big enough for me and my Siamese twin.
Seriously, these robes needed to be redesigned a hundred years ago. I mean, I got the whole school spirit thing, but why couldn’t I wear one of the fifteen Villisca Blue Jays t-shirts I’d inherited over the course of my one year? That’s more school pride than this atrocity.
Besides, graduating today was not my idea. I had no intention of walking across a stage to receive my diploma. Rumor had it, if you didn’t show up they’d mail it to you, so I didn’t see why the fanfare was necessary. The hell that was last month was still fresh on my mind, and this whole graduation celebration didn’t seem worth the mental effort.
Especially when tomorrow I’d be leaving.
I slipped my feet into white flip flops. “That’s more like it.”
I took one last look at myself, groaned, and swung the door open. Lucas, with his hand raised to knock, stood on the other side. His glowing green eyes ran the length of my body and back up before he lowered his hand.
“Now that is damn sexy.” He nodded his approval.
I glared at him. “Oh shut up.”
“No, I’m serious. Very hot.”
I went to slug him, but he disappeared and my fist hit at air. From behind me, strong, cool arms circled my waist and pulled me against him. His head lowered to my neck, and his lips brushed over my skin.
“I love you, Carrie,” he said out loud. Then, in my head, he added, “You don’t have to come with me tomorrow. You can go home with your mom if you want.”
Since we’d gotten back from Jessica’s funeral, Lucas hasn’t let an opportunity to convince me to stay behind while he goes to North Carolina slide away from him. He wanted to protect me, and I knew that. Still, I proved time and time again that I could take care of myself—with a little help.
Plus, Lucas soul-search wouldn’t only affect him. Half of his soul now resided in me.
“Not a chance. I’m coming with you,” I said, like I have every single time. “I meant it when I said we’d do this together.”
I spun around in his arms to face him. Lifted myself up on my tip toes and kissed him. “I love you, Lucas Reynolds, and I’m not giving up on this. We’ll find your soul and we’ll find a way to be together.”
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