Imagine having to do some of the things that Eddy faces just to survive now that he's alone, and see if you could do the same.
Eddy meets three boys on a basketball court of a school not far from where he started living on the street and sleeping in a laundry mat.. Those boys would prove to be the best thing to happen to him since he moved to Las Vegas. They help him to endure the suffering that was to come next in young Eddy's life.
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Read an Excerpt
By Linda M. Shrigley
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Linda M. Shrigley
All right reserved.
Chapter OneHis name is Eddy Tyler, and it was coming up to the end of June. He's a fifteen-year-old young man with jet-black hair that shone blue-black in the sun, which he got from his father, and deep blue eyes, and fair completion, which he got from his mother. At fifteen, he was already five feet, nine inches tall, and weighted one hundred and forty-five pounds, tall, and skinny. He was not sure where he got his long legs from because his parents were both around five foot five, and five foot six inches tall, and his grandparents were about the same. Eddy's nick name was "legs" and he knew that he still had a little more growing to do to add some additional height onto his already tall frame, and he was glad of that; it would enable him to jump even further when he was playing basketball; his favorite pastime, and hopeful career.
His mother was five foot, five inches tall, with sandy brown hair, and deep blue eyes that shone like diamonds when she was excited about something. She was 37 and took good care of herself, working out on their home gym in the basement of their home. She weighed a hundred and twenty pounds, but she was solid. She loved children, and had hoped to have more, but due to a difficult pregnancy with Eddy, she couldn't have any other children. She taught school at the high school that Eddy attended, and all her students loved her; she was strict, but fair.
His jet-black hair came from his father's side of the family. Eddy's father was also 37, five foot, six inches tall; had light brown eyes, with specks of green, which turned darker, when he got angry. He weighed a hundred and sixty-five pounds and he was in great shape.
His father also worked out daily in their home gym. He had married his high school sweat heart when they were both twenty, and two years later, Eddy was born. There is only three months between his parent's birthdays, his mothers being on March 20 and his father's being on June 20, leaving his mother three months older than his father. Eddy would tease his mother about marrying an old man, from time to time. Their life together has been a fairy tale of never ending love for each other, and not being afraid to show their feelings for each other, no matter where they were.
Anyone looking at his family would think they were just a typical middle classed family. Most families had more bills than they had money, and Eddy's parents were no different. They lived well with no thoughts of old age at this time of their lives. They thought they would live forever, just like any other family.
They were about to leave the only life they knew, to move to Las Vegas, Nevada. His father had just received a huge promotion from the State Farms Insurance Company in Bainbridge, Georgia, where he has worked for the past ten years as a broker, to become the new CEO of the State Farms Insurance Company, in Las Vegas, Nevada. His mother had already gotten another job at the Cedar Heights High School in Las Vegas where Eddy would transfer to, for the next school year. Everything was changing too fast. It didn't seem as if very much was going to change; only the familiarity of their old neighborhood, and lifelong friends, and everything else they knew so well, and that saddened Eddy to no end. He didn't want to move, but he had no other choice, he was too young to be on his own just yet, and he was still in high school, going into grade eleven this fall.
He was lying on his back, on the double bed in his room, with his beloved basketball player's posters all around him. His love for basketball meant everything to him. He was going to be a famous basketball player some day; and to play on one to the best basketball teams in the world; was his all time greatest dream, and he was going to make it come true, someday, there was no doubt about it. He had watched, and gone, to basketball games with his father ever since he was just a little boy; sitting on his father's shoulders to watch what was going on. His father had bought him posters of every great basketball player that ever played the game; his room was full of posters of all sizes, and shapes.
He spent many hours dreaming of the day when his dream would come true. He imagined the house he would have; the house he would buy for his parents; the gifts he would lavish his mother and father with; he'd dream of sitting beside his backyard pool with all his friends, and family around him. He'd have so much money he wouldn't know what to do with it. He had already vowed that he would never drink to excess, or do drugs of any kind; that would ruin his career, and he wouldn't allow anything to take his dream away from him.
He just laid there, his mind still in a daze from the news his father had brought home with him a couple of days ago. He never thought he would ever have to leave all his friends, his school, his basketball team; where he was doing so great; after all; he was their star shooter this year, and they had not lost a game all season. His only hope now, was to get on the team at his new school in the fall; because he didn't want to think about what it would be like if he couldn't play basketball anymore. He knew it would break his heart, and that thought was just too scary to even think about.
It was warm outside, and getting warmer every day as he counted the days until July got here. By then, they would already be living in Las Vegas, and he didn't want to move there. He wanted to stay right here, where all his friends were, and where he had hoped to start his basketball career, with all his friends cheering him on.
He slowly looked around his familiar surroundings, setting his dreams aside for the time being. He had to start packing his things for the move. His room had light blue walls. His dresser, bed frame, nightstands, and his desk sitting in the corner with his computer on it, were all made of knotty pine, and had a highly polished shine when he cleaned it with furniture polish, which was about every week, or so. Even his bookshelf was made of knotty pine, and that's where he displayed all his basketball trophies that he had received over the years. He could still remember when his father had transferred the nursery, into this big boy bedroom when he was only four years old. At first there was no TV, or computer in the room, not even the bookshelf; that stuff came a few years later as Eddy got old enough to use them, and care for them properly. Eddy had been taught to respect everything that he was given, as if they were not replaceable. Eddy's parents were not the types of parent's to just go out and buy him things, just for the sake of giving them to him. They believed that Eddy should learn how to take care of the things he had, and why he should respect everything he owned, as well as the things that his parents, or other people owned.
He was now wondering if his new room was going to be big enough to hold the huge array of all the wonderful posters he had to put back up on the walls? They were all framed, and displayed perfectly around his room so that no matter which way he turned his head, he would see one player or another. The walls of his room would have to be repainted before the move because the paint was cracking in places, and simply worn off, in others, from the many washing it had endured over the past couple of years since they had painted it. They were going to paint the entire inside of the house so they could get a better price when they sold it. His parents had bought this house right after they were married, seventeen years ago.
His parents had planted small lilac trees in the back yard when they first moved in, and now they were huge, and all in blooms of beautiful colors, and they smelled so wonderful throughout the house when the windows were open. His mother loved flowers; she loved working in the garden, and she planted a new garden each year. Some were new flowers, and the others had been there for years, but she gave all the older flowers tender loving care each spring, as soon as the snow was off the ground. Eddy, and his father, knew that as soon as the snow disappeared from the ground, they had better be hauling the gardening equipment from the garage, and building knew boxes, or repairing any of the older ones that had gotten damaged during the winter. He wondered what the new house's yard would look like, and how much work they would have to do to get it up to par to his mother's liking, and insistence. Things had to be just so in her garden, or she did not rest until they were the way she liked them, no matter how much work needed to be done; her flowers were her pride and joy. It was a lot of work sometimes, but Eddy would not have missed the opportunity of working with his father on those projects, for anything.
Another thing that Eddy wondered about, were the black squirrels that were always running around his house in the summer. He loved to just lie on his bed in the mornings, and watch them scurrying around, looking for food, or just chasing each other around in the branches of the oak tree that was in the corner of the fenced in back yard. He would lie there, and laugh at the way their tails were held straight up in the air when they were hurrying in every direction at once, at least that's what it looked like to him at times. There was nothing better to do on an early Saturday, or Sunday morning, than watching those silly black squirrels, and listening to the many types of birds chirping, and trying to outsmart the others to get the worms in the early morning dew that covered the ground in the back, and front yard.
As Eddy getting up off the bed to start taking his beloved posters off the wall, his father poked his head around the corner of the bedroom door, and said, "Hey legs, are you going to do something today, or just lay in bed and daydream?" His father had that crinkle around his eyes which told Eddy that he was kidding around, but it also meant that Eddy should be doing something more important with his time, other than laying on the bed; but Eddy didn't mind; his parents weren't too strict with him; he usually didn't have to be asked twice to do something. He was pretty good at helping around the house whenever they needed him. Wanting to kid around with his father though, he started to lie back down on the bed.
He said to his father, "I think I'll just stay in bed for a couple more hours, I have a lot to think about you know." His father just smiled at him as he walked away.
He took the first poster off the wall, wrapped it in bubble wrap to protect it, and then placed it in the wooden crates his father had found for him. By placing them in the wooden crates they wouldn't be able to move around and obtain any damage in the move. He noticed that there was a prominent color change on the wall where the poster had hung. The walls were darker than the spot where the picture had been hanging. With each take down of a poster, another lighter space could be seen beneath it, he was sure glad that they were going to paint the room before they left. It took him about three hours to finally finish packing his posters, and trophies in their protective crates. Eddy noticed how bare his room seemed all of a sudden, there was nothing left on the walls, or the dressers, to show that anyone actually used this room of the house. He still had to pack the books off the bookshelf, but he needed another box. The only things that would actually show that it had been inhabited was the many lighter colored shapes of every size you could imagine, on each wall.
Tommorrow everything had to be placed in the moving trucks for their journey to Las Vegas, Nevada. Once everything was out of the house, the painters would come in, and re-paint the whole house, including patching any small holes that needed filling in. His father had hired people to come in, and clean everything inside, and outside, of the house, instead of taking the extra time to do it themselves, so they would be able to put the FOR SALE sign in the front yard, and on the realtors list. Tommorrow was going to be hard on everyone. His parent's have lived in this house since they were married seventeen years ago, and Eddy had lived here all his life. It felt eerily empty all of a sudden, and when he spoke you could hear an echo bouncing off of the walls. They were loosing their best friends, in a sense, they were leaving them all behind. He would not be able to shout to Allen, from his bedroom window anymore. Their bedroom windows faced each other, so if they wanted to talk to each other, they would just shout through the open windows instead of using the phone.
Eddy's mind wandered back over the years. He visualized his coming home from school every day. He would walk up their tree-lined street, past all the houses of his closest friends, and turn into their cobblestone walkway which lead to the front door; his mother's beloved flowers were along both sides of the walkway. The front porch was white, with red trim, with beautiful flower boxes along the whole length of the porch. The flower boxes had been built by his father, with some help from Eddy, and was painted with designs on the front of each one. His mother painted on the designs because neither Eddy nor his father could draw very well. There was an oak swing on the front porch where his parents would cuddle up on when the weather was nice enough outside. He could still remember sitting between them when he was very young. They would tell him stories about when they were youngsters, and some of the crazy things they had done. There was a rubber runner with ridges through it going up the three steps to the porch so nobody would fall in those slippery days of the winter. The front door was made of oak, with a frosted window, and a big brass doorknocker right in the middle of the door, just under the window. The frame around the front door was painted red, just like the border of the windows, and the front porch.
As he entered his home, he would be standing in the living room where their western style furniture framed a huge fireplace in the center of the longest wall of the living room. There were quite a few pictures of him playing basketball sitting on the mantel, and on the walls, while a large family picture of his parent's, him, and both sets of his grandparent's hung; he was only five years old in that picture. There was a flat screen TV a little further on the same wall so they could watch TV, and still enjoy the fireplace at the same time. There was a sofa, and a love seat, in a semi-circle in front of the fireplace where his parents sometimes entertained their friends at their small dinner parties, and the outer walls of the living room held two large bookcases filled with books of every imaginable subject to hold any reader's interest. One shelf held the many copies of the How-to books his father used to fix almost anything around the house. There was a curio cabinet in the corner where his mother displayed her elephant collection. They were elephants in every mode of stance, and many different variety's of material. Right in front of the big screen TV, there were two brown leather lazy boy chairs, with a small table between them where he, and his father would watch the sports games, or a movie together. What was the living room of the new house going to be like, he wondered? Would there be enough room to set everything up like it was now? He hoped so, he was used to this setup, and he hated change.
To the left of the living room, there was a set of swinging doors opening into a spacious kitchen with everything, anyone, would ever want to create a meal fit for a king. His mother was a great cook and there had been millions of delicious meals come out of this kitchen. Eddy had even learned how to cook in this kitchen when he was too young to remember what it was like to help his mother with the dishes she was creating. All Eddy could remember of that time, was that he was too short to see what his mother was doing, so he had had to stand on a kitchen chair to see over the table.
The walls were a light green with slightly darker green curtains covering the window above the sink. The room was spotless, just as the rest of the house was. His mother believed in things being spotless no matter where she was. All the appliances were in copper tone, and, there was every modern appliance, and gadget, you could imagine, and everything had its place. If Eddy, or his father left a mess for his mother, she would let them know that she would not allow such things to happen. If they wanted something to eat, that was fine, they could help themselves, but when they were done, they had better clean up their messes. His mother had better things to do besides clean up after them. Eddy would laugh at her sometimes, when one of them had left something on the counter; she would strut around like a chicken, bobbing her head at them, shaking her finger, and telling whoever had done the unthinkable, to put things back where they belonged.
Excerpted from DESTINY by Linda M. Shrigley Copyright © 2010 by Linda M. Shrigley. Excerpted by permission.
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