Last Day for Free E-Book!
November 19, 2014 16 Comments
Today is the last day to get my e-book, I Am the Lion, for free on your Kindle. I’ve pasted a new excerpt below. Enjoy!
Download your free copy here, a great read to usher in the holidays! And please don’t forget to write your review on Amazon and share it with friends!
From Chapter 2:
“I’m sorry to call you in again, sir,” said Norman Hill, flipping his long brown hair out of his eyes. How a man in his mid-thirties who had taught the fourth grade for ten years could still sport such thick hair was beyond Henry, who, in contrast had been balding since he was twenty-five, and the trauma of the last few months certainly did nothing to make him look any younger at thirty-six.
“Not a problem. Always a pleasure to see you, Norman,” said Henry somewhat sardonically, planting himself on one of the student’s desks. “What’s the, uh, update?”
Norman inhaled and said, “I know how hard it was for Lydia when her mom died”—he studied Henry’s face for permission to proceed—“and for you, as well. But by this point, the shock ought to be wearing off. Not the sadness, but you know, the shock. We ought to be seeing her engage once again by now. We’ve all tried coaxing her and bribing her and none of that’s working. I need to hear it from you sir, without any counselors or administrative staff around. What can I do to help?”
“Wait a minute. So what’s the difference between sadness and shock?” asked Henry, looking as though he were working really hard at showing interest in what Norman was saying.
The exaggeration didn’t seem to be lost on Norman, but he remained glued to his agenda nonetheless. “Well, you know, the sadness will always be there—that’s normal. But it’s like she’s still acting like she just heard the news yesterday.”
Henry nodded as though he were following along closely and taking him very seriously. “I see. And the sadness—you say that’s always going to be there?” He was leaning forward now, his hands folded between his jutted knees, purposefully acting like a small child who was extremely caught up in some all-important life lesson. “So, will I always be sad, too?”
Norman could not hide that he was growing more and more uncomfortable with Henry’s playacting. He shifted in his seat, trying to dismiss the awkwardness by giving a little laugh, but it only ended up making it worse. He was visibly struggling with an angle to keep up with Henry’s sarcasm. “Well, in time, it’ll lessen, but yes, I expect you’ll always be upset.”
Henry eagerly nodded some more as though this information was hitting home and it was a revolution to him. Then he said, “Now back to Lydia being shocked. What’s that look like again?”
Norman looked at Henry for a long time with his chin in his hand, studying his face as though trying to decipher what Henry was trying to get across. “You think she’s hopeless, don’t you?” he said. It was a bold question.
“Yeah, Norman, I do,” Henry snapped with sarcasm. “There’s nothing that can help my daughter, so there’s no point in trying. She’s a psycho now. An absolute freaking nut-case because she doesn’t talk to the kids in her class. We should just lock her up before she goes on a shooting rampage.”
“I don’t think she’s a lost cause, sir. I just don’t think that what we’ve been doing is working,” Norman said as he looked at Henry, studying his face. Then he asked another very bold question, one he hoped he’d never have to ask a parent in his entire teaching career. “What’s it like at home?”
Henry sighed in frustration, leaning back on the desk and casting his gaze up toward the ceiling. “I don’t abuse her,” said Henry bluntly.
“I never suggested that,” assured Norman. “I just want to know what your daily routine’s like. Do you enjoy any activities together? Do you share the same interests? Do you help her with her homework?”
Henry laughed out of agitation as though he couldn’t believe he had been called in to be grilled by this hotshot. “What is this, a counseling session? How much am I being billed for this?”
Norman smiled uncomfortably, in spite of himself. “I’m sorry. I just want to help Lydia.”
“Yeah, I get that,” Henry spat. “I also understood it when every other counselor the school threw at her said the same thing. But, like you alluded to, nothing came of it.”
“Why did you end her sessions with Mrs. Dreggs?” asked Norman, leaning forward. “I’ve heard she’s very good.”
“She wasn’t making any more progress than the others,” said Henry, straightening up, suddenly seeming to warm up to the challenge of this battle of wills.
“These things take time,” informed Norman, assuredly. “You can’t just keep switching counselors on her; it’s not healthy. Lydia’s world has been shaken and what she needs now is some stability. Requesting a new counselor every other week is counter-productive.” He seemed uncomfortable about having to inform Henry of this, as though he had been working up to tell him this the whole time and now he was in the thick of it.
But the worst part actually was the silence that followed. Henry just stared at Norman, almost with contempt in his eyes. For a long moment, neither was willing to break the silence. Then, “You’re right,” came from Henry’s lips. He said this with great effort, but then the next words came out more freely. “I came to that conclusion myself. That’s why she’s not going to receive any more counseling. She’s just got to have to figure this out on her own. I’m gonna let her find her own way.”