Title: ONE MORE SUMMER
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 50,000
Getting piercings is seventeen-year-old Devyn Babb’s way of dealing with pain. And when she’s sent back to Florida after witnessing her best friend getting killed, she´s got plenty of it. Now all she wants is to keep her dark secrets where they belong.
She slips back into her old job at the Chatterbox, a small diner, like no time has passed. As easy as that has proven to be, she thinks hiding out will be a breeze. That is, until she runs into her childhood nemesis, Tyler Reed. Tyler isn't the boy who used to pick on her growing up, he’s changed...and in more ways than one. And that’s a problem for Devyn because the closer she gets to him, the more vulnerable her secret. And her heart.
But the past comes back like a bad chorus line: A newspaper reveals who murdered her best friend. Her ex-boyfriend has finally been arrested. Unable to deal with the fallout, Devyn turns to what she knows best—piercings. She hopes that as the external wounds heal, so will the internal. Now she must choose between one more piercing to bury the pain or setting the truth free.
When the door opens, I reach up and check my hair’s in place over my ears, covering my piercings—wouldn’t want to send the old folks into cardiac arrest. “Be right with you. Take a seat anywhere,” I say to the first customer of the day without turning away from my task. I wipe away the old special—two eggs cooked to order, pancakes, bacon or sausage and a biscuit has been on the board at The Chatterbox since I wrote it three summers ago. The only thing that’s different is the two in 2.99 has an extra loop at the bottom to make it a three. Time for a change.
It feels surreal to erase my fourteen-year-old handwriting. But really? That sign has to go. How this place makes any money with a 3.99 special like that is beyond me. I draw up a new special, careful not to smudge any of the words. “Perfect.” I take a step back and admire my work. Two waffles or pancakes, eggs cooked to order and your choice of bacon or sausage. No biscuit. Price varies depending on the number of eggs. It’s not a big difference, but in a place like this the slightest change will be talk for days. My guess is that’s the reason the walls are still the same shade of pale pink with a sage green wall paper border.
“Your hair’s purple,” says the seventyish-year-old man two booths down from the one I’m using.