Grace Adams paced the length of the small office of the bookstore. She closed her eyes and drew in a long, slow breath, trying without success to steady her nerves. She could still change her mind, she knew, but she was determined not to. She needed to do this. Needed to put the past behind her, once and for all. And just maybe, in the process, her words would help someone else who grew up lost and afraid to know that they are not alone. To know that their secrets do not define them.
No, she would not run from this moment. This was her moment. A defining moment. One that would make her who she’d always wanted to be. A survivor. All she had to do was walk through the door and embrace it. But something held her back.
Being a survivor carried with it certain expectations. Being a survivor meant that she could no longer cling to the past for protection. The walls she’d built to protect herself from all that had happened had served her. But she didn’t need them anymore. Writing the book had changed her. Had lessened the emotional scars. Had, in a way, healed her. At least as much as was possible without ever having known the love of her mother.
She took a sip of water, then held her hands out before her. Thank God she wasn’t performing brain surgery today. Not that she ever performed brain surgery. But still. She stared at the door—just a few short steps away—and wondered how she was going to muster strength enough to get there.
As she took one step forward and then another, she realized that by writing her story she hadn’t just broken down the walls, she had transcended them. She gathered a bolstering breath, pulled open the door, and strode purposefully to the podium. She took a moment to gather her thoughts, then gazed up at the eager audience, pleased to see that so many had come. “Good afternoon,” she began. “My name is Grace Elizabeth Adams, and I’m here to share the real story behind my book, The Many Lives of June Crandall.”
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