Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Passages" by Emily Ward (Short Stories)

Genre:  Young Adult

Short Story Type:  Short Story Collection

Summary:  A brother and a sister dealing with their uncertain circumstances. A girl deciding whether to confess about her involvement in her friend's death. A mother and daughter talking over pasta, both of them holding secrets. These are just some of the images from this short story collection. Centered around young adults from all different walks of life, Passages is about the struggles we all go through during one of the more important transitions of life.

This collection includes seven different short stories.

Moments like this, when his world revolves around him and not his brother, are rare. Mom is holding back tears, and Dad watches with pride. Friends and acquaintances he has known for years, most of them wearing matching blue gowns, gather around to give him hugs, phone numbers, and smiles. This is the last day they will step foot in this building as students.

Ethan scans the crowd for Mya, wondering if she’s seen Brian yet. He doesn’t want to see their reunion. His brother has been in Boston for his freshman year of college, and it’s been the best year of Ethan’s life. Brian’s been back two days, and Dad has already commented on Brian’s higher high school GPA and Ethan’s disappointing community college choice.

Mya finds them as Ethan is taking a picture with his Health teacher. She watches with a smile, and when Mr. Greer walks away, she hugs Ethan. Their large graduation robes separate them, and the scent of her perfume fills his nostrils. “You know what I was just thinking about?”

“That time Mr. Greer tried to make us run a mile for passing notes?”

“Yes!” Mya exclaims and laughs. “I can’t believe we made it.”

“It’s a great feeling,” Ethan says.

Mya turns to Brian. “Long time, no see, Brian.”

Brian gives her a smile, small but affectionate. “Congratulations.”

“How’s college in Boston?” Mya tucks her hair behind her ear, takes a step closer to Brian.

He shrugs. “It’s good. Good football. Probably a better team than Hartfield Community.” He glances at Ethan, who thinks he should have stayed in Boston, if it was so great. “No offense.”

Mom must notice the jibe because she steps in and beams at Mya. “Hey, Mya!” she says. “Get together, I’ll take a picture!”

They pause, glancing at each other. “Go on, you three, get together,” Mom persists.

Mya stand in between the two of them. She wraps her arm around their waists. Ethan puts his arms around her shoulders, smiling at his mom’s camera. After Mom snaps the picture, they pull away slowly. She shows them the picture. Mya, as usual, looks stunning, her dark curly hair falling over her shoulders. Mya and Brian have taken so many pictures together, they naturally gravitate towards each other, and Ethan looks like a strange growth attached to Mya’s arm.

“I’ll see you at the party tonight?” Mya asks, touching his arm.

Ethan meet her eyes for a moment, nodding, and she disappears into the crowd of people.

Buy this collection on Amazon.  You can also check out Emily Ward's work on Smashwords.

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