by David Bulitt
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Jess Porter spent her childhood bouncing from therapist to therapist and prescription to prescription. An outcast at school and a misfit at home, the only solace she ever found was in her relationship with her dad, Tom. Now he's dead. Feeling rejected by her adopted mom and her biological twin sister, Jess runs off to South Florida. But she can't outrun her old life. Watching the blood drip down her arm after her latest round of self-inflicted cutting, she decides her only choice is to find and face what frightens her most. Because I Had To takes the reader inside the worlds of adoption, teen therapy, family law, and the search for a biological family. With a cast of finely drawn, complicated characters, it asks us to consider: can the present ever heal the past?
It does feel good. The bathroom is the only place in this little shitbox that I really like, so maybe that’s why I spent my entire decorating allowance pretty much in here. “Decorating allowance?” That is funny. I sound a little bit like my mom when I say it just so, turning my nose a certain way and flittering my eyelids. My mom, who never thought I was good enough for – well, just about anything – she and I haven’t talked in almost a year. When I left, I took some of the money that my Dad left me after he died and saved the rest from work and that was all I needed for a security deposit and one month’s rent on this, my palace, a first floor apartment in Jones Beach, Florida, a good thousand miles away from where I grew up. After my Dad died, I thought about going west, to California or Arizona maybe, but instead I followed my friend Macy down here because she got me a job. When we were little, my Dad used to repeat the line from a movie we used to watch and tell both my sister and me “all girls are Princesses”. Well, it hasn’t exactly worked out that way, but once in awhile I still try to think of myself as a princess, so I call this place my palace. Just to myself, though.
The water in the tub is just the right temperature. Thankfully, tonight the pressure is high enough; some days, I barely can get any hot water much less enough of it to fill my tub. I have my legs hiked up on either side of the faucet, and I’ve slid down to just the right angle so the water is pounding right where it needs to go. The tub is a little small, like the one I had in my old house when I shared a bathroom with my sister. Instead of yellow, this one is a commercial greenie kind of color. Or maybe its blue. It’s hard to tell. Not that it matters at this particular moment.
The stopper on the tub broke after I moved in, so I had to buy a rubber one from Rite Aid. It fits in the drain pretty well, but sometimes pops out and unless I can jam it in real quick, all the water runs out and I have to start refilling again. That gets particularly annoying, especially if I am in the middle of the “bathtub trick” as I like to call it when I get off in here. The stopper is in there nice and tight right now, and with the level low and the water running hard, all systems look to be a go.
Family law specialist David Bulitt has been praised as the lawyer who “epitomizes stability and old fashioned common sense” by Bethesda Magazine and routinely makes every top Washington DC Metro lawyer list. His clients say that he is “the best non-shaving, motorcycle-riding, bourbon-drinking, non-lawyer, lawyer” they know.
The grandson of a New Jersey bartender, Bulitt was the first member of his family to get a professional degree. After years of raising kids and focusing on family responsibilities, Bulitt Bulitt now spends much of his spare time discussing world issues with his dogs and working on his novels. His first book, CARD GAME, was published in 2015 to a bevy of five star reviews. His new novel, BECAUSE I HAD TO, is available now on Roundfire Books.
Bulitt is the Assistant Managing Director of Joseph, Greenwald and Laake, PA, one of Maryland's largest and most prominent law firms. His practice focuses on all areas of family law, including cases that involve complex financial and property matters and property distribution, divorce, and child custody disputes. He is often appointed by local courts to serve in one of the most difficult and demanding legal roles, as a Best Interests Attorney for children whose parents are embroiled in high conflict custody disputes. He also has extensive expertise working with families that have children with special needs.
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