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Book Excerpt: Going Forward by K. M. Gavin

going forward

You may think you know me. The truth is I wasn’t always a good person. Truth is I played in the dark. I did a lot of things I’m not proud of. Did a lot of things that many people should hate me for, things that you may hate me for. But one thing I know for sure is that sometimes in order to go forward, we have to go back. And so…this is my story.

When Emily’s parents died in a car crash the night of her birthday she thought nothing could hurt worse. She was wrong. Choice. That’s the difference. They didn’t choose to abandon her, but her friends, brother, and the one person she loved more than life all chose to turn their backs. So Emily made the decision to shut off from life. She chose to find comfort in anyone who’d have her, anything she could drink, any drug that would give her just a moment of oblivion.

But all that changes with two pink lines.

Seventeen and pregnant? Not how she planned on finishing out her senior year. Jason and Declan both coming home? Not the reunion she was prepared for. But life doesn’t wait for you, and so you’re only option is to go forward.

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Book Excerpt

I lie in my bed and listen to the silence of my childhood home. It was the silence that drove Jase away; he couldn’t stand it. There was always noise, always music or laughter, arguing or clinking of dishes in the kitchen. I close my eyes and invite the ghosts. I can almost hear them downstairs. I can almost hear his guitar and her laughter. I turn on my side and face the window. It was dark in my room; the curtains blocked out almost all the light from the streetlights except a small sliver that peeped through the slit where the two curtains met in the middle. I don’t know how long I lay there, but I watch that line crawl across my room, climb onto my bed, and finally rest on my face. The heat of it feels like a hand on my face and I close my eyes and imagine it’s hers, comforting me. I imagine she is here and she knows about my pink lines.

She would understand, I think, having gotten pregnant with Jason so young. She would hold me and tell me everything would be ok and that I wouldn’t be alone. I would never be alone again.

But she isn’t here and alone is all I am now. I wonder if Jase and Declan would come. I both hope they would and wouldn’t. I’m scared and ashamed. This is my punishment… my wake up call. I’m done being stupid. My stomach growls and I try to remember the last time I put something other than drugs and alcohol into my body, but can’t. I’ve been treating my body like a dumpster for so long, hoping it would just give out, too chicken shit to just do it,
and the opposite happened.

Climbing out of bed, I make my way to the bathroom. First thing first, I need to scrub the fucking off of me. I avoid the mirror, not wanting to see this version of myself now that I’m awake. I turn the shower on as hot as I can possibly stand and strip. Stepping into the shower, I barely flinch as the water beats down on me. I grab my loofa and begin to wash
the filth of the last year off of me. I scrub until my skin is raw and red, my breath leaving mein angry huffs. I work furiously on my hair, scrubbing and yanking; trying to wash away the memory of all the fingers that have tunneled through it.

I stay in the shower for well over an hour and was probably the cleanest I’d ever been in my life, but I don’t think I’d ever get the filth off my soul, and the reality of it almost brought me to my knees. No amount of soap or scrubbing was ever going to wash away the memories of me willingly throwing away my innocence and dignity. Stepping out, I towel
off and wrap my hair up before finally facing myself as I would for the rest of my life. This was it. There was no going back. Only going forward.

I stare at my flat belly, almost shocked to see how skeletal I’ve become. I was going to have to start taking better care of my body immediately. Shit, what was I even supposed to eat? I look at my boobs. Were they bigger already? I cup them and wince. Ok, yeah they are kind of tender, but that’s probably because I just tried to scrub them off. Fuck, I
know nothing about kids. I needed to get that book. That book about expecting stuff. Chicken Soup for Expecting Kids?
No. That’s not it. Pretty sure they don’t have a Chicken Soup for teen moms.

Hurrying into my room, I fling my closet open and stare at my old clothes. Before the Slut Times, which is what I was now referring to the time that ended as of four hours ago, I had been pretty tame in the clothing department. I wasn’t that girl anymore and putting on those clothes would feel wrong. I grab a pair of skinny jeans that I have never worn, jeans Jase bought me for my last birthday, the birthday, and tug them on. Might as well enjoy them while it lasted since I am pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to wear these much longer.

An idea pops into my head and before I can argue against it, I find myself in their closet, staring at his shirts. He has hundreds of concert t-shirts. All really worn and all smelled of him. Before I could think too hard about it, I grab one and shrug it on.

It felt like he was hugging me.Wrapping my arms around myself, I make my way back to my bathroom to brush my
teeth and throw my wet hair up. Five minutes later I’m in my car and heading toward the bookstore. I would get some damn books on what to expect when you had a freaking alien inside of you and then I would go get some food. My stomach rumbles in response.

I hear you, buddy.


K.M. “Kelsie” Galvin grew up in the South with Yankee parents, which made for a very confusing accent. She loves music, books, blogging, Game of Thrones and coffee.

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