Cover Reveal + Exclusive Excerpt: Broken Dreams by Callie Anderson
Photography: Franggy Yanez
Release Date: April 27, 2017
The tapping on my bedroom window woke me from a deep sleep. This was the fourth time this week that Ethan was seeking escape from his father and my heart was breaking for him. It had been a two years since the first time he climbed into my room.My fingers held the white wood frame and slid it up the track. “You okay?” I mumbled when he was inside. Things had gotten worse since I witnessed the whole garage incident, and my heart constantly raced, wondering if he was alright.
“Yeah.” He spoke softly, and I knew from the sadness in his eyes that he was lying. But at least he was safe.
Tossing him my extra pillow and the quilt that rested at the bottom of my bed, I crawled back under the blankets. “Do you think it will ever stop?” I asked, looking up at the glowing stars my dad and I had stuck to my ceiling on my eighth birthday.
“Probably not.” He exhaled, briefly I closed my eyes praying that I could take away his pain. The pain I assumed was rooted deep in his chest.
“Why don’t you call the cops?”
“We’ve been over this, Les. What are they gonna do?” I heard him shuffling on the floor.
Rolling toward him, I tucked my hands under my cheek. “You can tell them the truth. We can tell them what we saw; we can make them look for Joey.”
“My dad is a bad man, Leslie. Even if they did believe us, he would buy his way out of trouble and then me, my mom, and my brother would pay for betraying him.” Ethan lifted his hands and tucked them under his head.
“I’m sorry, Ethan.”
He didn’t respond. The hatred he felt for Jerry didn’t allow him to say it was okay anymore. We all knew it wasn’t okay.
At an age when you need your old man to show you the ropes, his father opened Ethan’s eyes to abuse. Each night Jerry laid a finger on Joyce was another nail slammed into Ethan’s coffin.
“It will be okay,” I still whispered in the darkness of the room.
“Yeah.” He paused. “When I get the hell out of this town.”
Ethan and I had the same discussion for two consecutive years.