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An excerpt from Space


The music struck up again.

You’re the Best Thing That’s Ever Happened to Me drew Dan to his feet and he reached for my hand. It was one of our Gladys Knight favorites. He led me down the steps to the dance floor and pulled me into his strong arms. We danced as we loved, as one. We’d always had that inexplicable soul connection. Everywhere. Doing anything. It was simply there.


As we moved to the music, Dan whispered in my ear, scattering goosebumps all over me. “Just when I think it’s impossible to love you any more, you prove me wrong.”


I know what you mean,” I murmured.

A few moments later, he whispered, “How did I do it?”


“What?” I rubbed my cheek against his.


“How did I get you? The prettiest girl to come out of Brattsville, South Carolina?”

I looked into his eyes. “It was meant to be.”

“Destiny, huh?”


“Divine destiny.”


“You bet.”

He reached down and kissed me then. And a round of applause and whoops of delight rent the air.

That was when Dan’s cell phone vibrated against me as it jangled into Latin strains of Girl from Ipanema. “Yes?”


Dan held it to his ear, straining to hear.

I watched him turn pale, then ashen.


“What?” I leaned close, fear gripping me. “What is it?”


“She’s in the Greenville ICU. Let’s go.”

“We’ll be right there.” He snapped his phone shut. “It’s Faith.”

I felt the blood leave my head. “W-what? Has something happened to her?” Oh God, no! Please.

He saw my panic, took my hand and squeezed reassurance. His eyes conveyed, everything will be all right. But I’d glimpsed the flash of fear a second before he covered it.


Priss was there in a heartbeat. “It’s Faith,” I told her as we moved through the crowd, her trailing anxiously along. “I don’t know the details yet.”

“Keep me informed, sis,” Priss called after us as we rushed out the door, leaving behind more stunned faces.

I asked Dan, “What’s wrong with Faith?”

“I didn’t want to say anything with the whole world listening. She’s unconscious.” He looked at me then, his eyes tortured as he swept me along with his long strides.


“She’s ODed on drugs, honey. Our Faith is on drugs.”

“No,” I cried out, feeling my legs beneath me turn numb. I nearly stumbled.

Dan’s strong arm went around me and he propelled me to the car.

We didn’t know it in that moment. We glimpsed only through a cracked door into the immediate. But our perfect world, as we knew it, our togetherness-dream, was beginning to shatter into a million tiny pieces.

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