Running Wide Open by Lisa Nowak


Running Wide Open by Lisa Nowak

Author:Lisa Nowak
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: coming of age, family drama, humor, 80s, young adult, teens, karate, teen, mechanics, troubled teens, ya, dysfunctional family, oregon, racing, nascar, sports fiction, mentor, inspirational fiction, sports stories, fiction for boys, stock car racing, race car drivers, car race, juvenile delinquent, role models, race car, fiction middle grade, fiction childrens, auto mechanics, women mechanics, eugene or, portland or, crossover fiction, 1980s fiction, funny tshirt slogans, first in a series, abusive family relationships, full throttle series
Publisher: Webfoot Publishing


Chapter 18

The underside of the car—the part that’s never supposed to see daylight—rolled momentarily into view, then the Dart crashed down on all four wheels. Jim’s Camaro hurtled toward the yellow number 8 on the door.

“No!”

“Cody, it’s just a dream. Cody!”

My eyes jolted open to the harsh light of the ICU waiting room. Kasey’s arm curled around my shoulders and my head rested in her lap.

“Race. . . ?” I said, blinking up at her. The skin around her red-rimmed eyes was swollen. It looked like she hadn’t slept at all.

“He’s still holding his own.”

Relief washed over me, but it was only temporary. Twenty-four hours, the doctor had said. It had been only—what—maybe four? The clock on the wall read a quarter to six.

The residue of the stuff they’d given me for my hand still clouded my head, but the pain had come back full-force. I felt groggy and at the same time like I hadn’t slept in a year. A weird sort of numbness clawed at my stomach. Suddenly, my eyes filled with tears.

“Big boys don’t cry,” I whispered as Mom’s old mantra popped into my head.

“What?”

“Mom used to say it. ‘Big boys don’t cry.’”

“That’s horrible,” Kasey said, stroking my hair. “What a cruel thing to tell a child.”

“But it’s true.” I was shaking now, fighting hard to hold back the tears. Quick as they always were to spring to the surface, I hadn’t let myself give in to them since I was a little kid.

“Oh, Cody. No wonder you’re so angry. It’s not a crime to have feelings.”

“My mom thinks it is.”

“Well, she’s wrong.”

I shuddered in Kasey’s arms. One whimper escaped, then sobs wracked my body. Once they started, I couldn’t make them stop. What if I never got to see Race again? What if he died?

Kasey held me tight. “It’s okay, Cody. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Someone you love is hurt, and you’re allowed to cry.”

* * *

Kasey went to check on Race again before getting herself a cup of coffee and me a hot chocolate from the vending machine.

“We should go down to the cafeteria and have some breakfast,” she said, sitting down beside me.

My stomach cinched up at the idea. “I don’t think I could eat anything.” Who’d have thought those words would ever come out of my mouth?

“I know. I feel the same way.”

We ended up staying in the waiting area because we were superstitious about leaving together, and neither of us wanted to go to the cafeteria on our own.

Kasey tracked down the ICU doctor after his morning rounds and got an update. Nothing had changed. She used the opportunity to ask questions, though. Lots of questions. It was almost like Kasey thought she could help Race get better just by understanding what was wrong with him. I heard more than I wanted to know about possible complications. The surgery put Race at risk of infection. Being on the ventilator made him susceptible to pneumonia. But the biggest concern was still brain swelling.



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