Trust Me:Rivers Edge - Book 1By: Lacey Black
To my husband who fell asleep on the couch many nights while I sat at the computer writing. Thank you for supporting me, encouraging me, and believing in me during this journey. It’s because of your hard work and dedication to our family that I am able to follow my dream of writing this book.
Late. I glance at the watch on my wrist. Yep, I’m late again. But what’s new, right? Mom always likes to tease me saying I’m going to be late for my own funeral. I chuckle out loud at that one as I drive down the familiar country road heading to my family’s Sunday night dinner. Mom has playfully reminded me about my steady tardiness for as far back as I can remember. But hey, at least I’m consistent.
The first time I can recall her lighthearted teasing was when we were supposed to be heading to meet my grandparents for supper when I was about six years old. I can almost hear my brothers and my dad hollering up the stairs for me to hurry up like it was yesterday. We were already twenty minutes late and tension was starting to mount. Our family was heading into the city to go to dinner to celebrate my oldest brother, Jake, getting his license for his sixteenth birthday.
“Avery Elizabeth, you are going to be late for your own funeral,” my mom’s sing-song voice spoke over the group of males in my life as I descended the stairs. They all stopped pacing and grumbling and turned to look at me as I bounced down the stairs with blond pigtails and a big smile on my face. In all honesty, it was a smile that got me whatever I wanted; or out of whatever I wanted.
See, when you are the baby of the family with four older brothers, you learn real quick how to turn on the charm to get whatever you need. My oldest brother, Jake, has always been my biggest protector. He was ten years old when I was born and wasn’t exactly happy to see me come along. I battle him almost daily to let me fight my own fights and live my life on my own terms. His need to protect me is so fierce that it’s our biggest issue. Nate, just a year younger, was always Jake’s shadow. Growing up, Jake and Nate were as thick as thieves; where one went, the other was right behind. Stuck in the middle is Will, the smart one. Seven when I came along and always with a book in his hand, I am probably the closest to Will. With his adorable wire-rimmed glasses perched on his nose, he would read to me every night at bedtime and help me with my homework. Though there are seven years between us, he and I have the most in common and similar personalities. Finally, there’s Travis, the baby of the family for five years. Well, until my mom and dad enjoyed a late honeymoon for their twelfth anniversary which resulted in yours truly.
Mom and Dad met in high school and fell madly in love. When Mom tells the story, you can’t help but lay your head in your hands and sit starry eyed with a big love struck grin on your face. They were married when they were nineteen and both worked as much and as hard as possible. Dad was in the family construction business and Mom held a variety of odd jobs around town, but money had been tight in the beginning as it so often is with young love fresh out of high school. Instead they held off on a honeymoon, always saying they would take a big trip “someday”.
After each of the first three boys, Mom and Dad decided to try one more time for a daughter. When Travis came along, they decided to give up their quest for a daughter and keep content with raising their four energetic boys.
After twelve years of marriage the boys were all old enough to stay comfortably with our grandparents for a solid week, so Mom and Dad headed off on an Alaskan summer cruise. Six weeks after they returned, I announced my impending arrival into the family by making my mom sicker than she’s ever been…for five months straight!
I smile at the memory and take another peek into the rear view mirror at the smiling face of my mini-me. With long blond hair and the most beautiful light blue eyes you’ve ever seen, my three year old daughter, Brooklyn, is busy in the backseat having a conversation between herself and her newest stuffed animal, a kitten she named Miss Sparkles. I never tire of watching her. Watching her play. Watching her sleep. Watching the play of emotions cross her face as she watches cartoons on television. She is my greatest joy and the one good thing to come from my youthful indiscretion.