Grace needs to be saved—from herself and the self-loathing that coats her. When a family tragedy sends her spiraling, it takes a new friend and a laugh-filled road trip to show her life’s potential.
I’ve stumbled into this porta potty that smells of sewage death in the baking summer heat of Tennessee for one express purpose: to take pill after pill after pill. To wait for my sight to fade and the world to go black. To let my breathing slow, slow, slow, stop.
To die, in short. To erase all mention and memory of myself from this earth. To leave behind the pain and the gaping hole he left in my life.
Crouched in the smelly box, not really trying to avoid the puddles of surely urine and poop, I rifle through the duffel bag, past my phone, lit up with messages from Mason — my heart clenches at the thought of him — and my fingers close around one of Michael’s pill bottles.
This will do.
I pull the bottle out and unscrew the cap, shake some pills into my hand.
They are pink and peach and purple. They are chalky and shaped like dinosaurs. They’re a flashback to my childhood — to early mornings crunching on them and wrinkling my nose at their slightly bitter taste.
A laugh, disbelieving and loud, bursts from my lips. It fills and ricochets in the tiny porta potty space and the sound of it, the ridiculousness of it all, overcomes me and I laugh harder. I bend over and clutch my knees with white knuckles as hysterical laughter envelopes me, the reverberations of sound chasing away the darkness.
When I can breathe again, I look at the bottle in my hand. The label tells me it’s a bottle of dinosaur vitamins.
I came here to overdose and was going to kill myself with vitamins for kids, shaped like dinosaurs. Freaking heck.
The hilarity overtakes me again and I’m cracking up some more, sliding down so my butt hovers over the dirty floor and my back is wedged against the side of the box.
And when I’m done laughing, I feel…better. Lighter, as though somehow laughter is a brand of magic that releases all the sorrow and the hurt and suddenly, I think will be better.
I mean, obviously there’s a reason the pill bottle I pulled out was full of vitamins and not real drugs.
Maybe the universe is saying it’s not my time to die yet.
Maybe it’s saying I do get a second chance.
Someone knocks on the door. “Hello?” a female voice calls, and I push myself to my feet.
“Just a second,” I respond. I stuff everything back in the duffel bag, run my fingers through my hair to try and make it semi-presentable, and turn to leave.
It’s time for Grace Hamrit’s life to start over.
I step out of the bathroom and am temporarily blinded by the amount of bedazzle on the shirt in front of me."Crap, you're sparkling!" I say, then clamp my mouth shut.