By Kristi M Turner
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Nicole is an 18-year-old, juvenile delinquent who desperately wants to take control of her life but must find a way to overcome her own self-sabotage and a judge who will not easily let her escape her past. She keeps food on her plate and clothes on her back by stealing. It is far from the life she wants, but she has known little kindness in her life and, therefore, gives little back. When Judge Newton charges her for the first time as an adult, Nicole recognizes a separating path. She can stay on her path to destruction or she can accept the unexpected generosity of the Kutcher family, whose house she is charged with burglarizing.
Child psychologist, Cynthia Kutcher, believes she can help Nicole confront her anger and build back the self-worth she lost when her father abandoned her to a drunken uncle after her mother’s death.
Along the way to building a more valuable life, Nicole meets Keagan, an affluent young man with whom she begins an often overwhelming love affair despite the conflicts their disparate pasts bring.
Rock-bottom. That’s all that I can think of as I’m handcuffed and roughly shoved into the back seat of a police car; saturated with the stench of urine and sweat. The cushioned seat is wet with God only knows what already.
I glance out the window, and look at the family whose most valuable possessions I was trying to take and I remember my mother saying to me one time, “Baby girl, people have gotta hit rock bottom before they’ll ever willingly turn their life around.” At the time she was talking about my cracked-out father. Little did she realize her daughter would be at the bottom of that rock several years later.
The family stands as still as the columns that hold up their two story house while Burkley, the policeman, that I’ve come to know, fills out the report. They weren’t supposed to be home. Why are they not at work? It’s morning. A young boy with light brown curls poking out from underneath his gray, flat bill cap and a girl who looks to be a couple of years younger, with her scattering freckles and deep auburn hair pulled back in a neat bun, stare back at me; their faces scrunched up in disgust.
If you only knew, kids, I think to myself. I do what I have to do to survive. Not everyone gets to live in a big fancy house with parents that will fulfill their every want and need. I bet neither one of those two has ever had to steal anything they needed just to survive.
The father of the family, looking a little worse for wear with his slightly mussed comb over and wrinkled navy khakis, steps away from his wife and Burkley. Pulling hard at the knot in his tie, he walks toward the kids. He says something as he puts a hand on the young man’s shoulder and points toward the house. Both kids start making their way towards the front door, the girl, turns to look back over her shoulder with mock curiosity. Once his kids are inside, the man walks back over to his wife and leans down to whisper in her ear. They both
turn to look at me, pity highlighting their face.
Kristi M. Turner grew up in a quaint little southern town in central Alabama. After high school, she went on to further her education at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. She never dreamed that one day she would become an author, however, sometimes, life throws you curve balls. After her precious daughter was born, she suffered from post-partum and all the self-help books tell you to write your feelings down. For her, that didn’t work. Instead, she wrote Gybe. Kristi M. Turner currently lives in Curry, Alabama with her husband and daughter, along with their Shih-tzu, Bingo. She enjoys reading, writing, Hulu, Netflix, music of all kinds, the beach, and bantering with her husband on a fall Saturday over football. For their house is divided. Her husband is a hard-core Bama fan, while she roots for the Auburn tigers.
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