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Here is a short sample from the book:
“Let’s take a walk,” he commands, again, but his soft tone conveys compassion. He takes hold of my hand, and we proceed to the wooden playground area off to the side of the library. A maze of playthings built from wood will serve as the background to, I suspect, a life-changing turn of events.
We ascend the wooden…plank, I think to myself, though it is really a wooden ramp. But “walkin’ the plank” seems so much more appropriate at this time. Since, unfortunately, I intuit a death sentence on the horizon.
“Honor,” Ethan starts, sitting down on one of the built-in benches. Of course, I follow. “I’ve been having this conversation with myself all afternoon,” he drops his head back against the seat’s wall and shuts his eyes. “Yet I still don’t know where to begin.” He opens his eyes and raises his head. Looking straight at me, right into my own violet eyes, he blurts out, “You’re adopted. You do know that, right?”
Now if I had not been aware of this fact already, I’d be quite traumatized right now. In fact, I’d have become just a bit unhinged at the moment. Come to think of it, I am anyway. “How do you know this?” I ask, astounded that he is aware of something so personal.
“Oh my God, Honor,” he puts his hand on my knee, “you didn’t know?” he asks, shocked.
Pulling my knee out from under his hand, I slide as far over as possible. But when I turn to face him, I swear…there’s a tear falling down his cheek. This tempers my anger…a little. “Yes,” I answer, hearing the sardonic tone in my voice. “I knew. I know…”
Ethan moves toward me.
“But…how do you know? We’ve kept this a secret. No one knows.” Tingly chills run up my spine. I am suddenly afraid.
“Your mother’s name was Hanna. Your father…Daniel. Your last name was Robinson.” Ethan ceases to talk, probably surmising, correctly, my need to absorb this new piece of intelligence about my own life.
Too dumb-stricken for words, I remain silently in awe.
“They gave you up for adoption…because they were dying,” Ethan resumes. “They were only in their early twenties.”
Hearing this makes me sadder than I’ve ever been. My body goes slack, and my eyes begin to burn. My mom, the one who raised me, had told me that my mother, the biological one, was dying when she gave me up. But I’d no idea she was so young. And no one had ever mentioned a father. There is a hollowness in my chest that I’d never known. A vacant home that had been hidden away, not knowing my true identity, now manifests into a cavernous canyon, because now I do know.
“You are from a special breed of people, Honor.” Unaware of the current turmoil taking place in my mind…and my heart, Ethan keeps on talking. “The violet eyes?” He pauses for a reaction from me, which he gets in the form of a blank stare. “They’re characteristic of your true nature.”
There is just no voice in me. All my thoughts are actually knotted into one mess of a ball in the pit of my stomach, where I can feel it trying to find its way up my esophagus. I want to vomit.
“Honor?” Ethan probes, as if I’m not listening. “All that pain you feel…day in and day out,” he pauses and is intent on looking me directly in the eyes, “and healing your mother. You know…you did do that. You know that, don’t you?”
I just shake my head slowly, hand over my mouth.
“Honor Nicole Robinson Stevens.”
My head moves back and forth quickly now, unable to grasp this. My hand is still covering my mouth.
Ethan will not stop.
“You feel people’s pain…Honor.” Ethan shakes his head now. “It is…a horrible existence, Honor, I’m not going to lie.” Tears roll down his face again. “But you are special.” He smiles through his tears.
“You…” His head drops in a slight bow. “You can heal people…you are an empath, Honor. You take on the hurt and the pain of others…and you can take them away.”
It’s out. Whatever was tangled up in my stomach is now spewed…in a muted mass of colors, all over the wooden ground…of a children’s playground.