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Waiting for Sarah

176 pages
Mike's parents and sister are dead and his legs are gone. The horrific accident that shattered his life continues to haunt him. When he grudgingly returns to school and a life that he no longer understands, Mike is bitter and unwilling to participate in school life. To avoid one of his classes Mike agrees to put together a 50th Anniversary history of the school. Looking forward to time alone, he is annoyed when a young girl shows up in the archives on a regular basis. Sarah seems too young to be a student in the school, but her resemblance to Mike’s sister and her bubbly personality have him intrigued. She gradually draws him out of his shell and manages to interest him in the archives project, and more importantly, in life itself. As their relationship grows and changes, Mike slowly becomes convinced that Sarah is more than just another student. When he discovers the shocking secret she is carrying, he sets out to give Sarah the peace that she so desperately needs.
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Waiting for Sarah
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Waiting for SarahBruceMcBay&naHesghnemeJa
Copyright © 2003 Bruce McBay & James Heneghan
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
National Library of Canada Cataloguing in Publication DataMcBay, Bruce, 1946-
Waiting for Sarah / Bruce McBay, James Heneghan.
ISBN 1-55143-270-6
I. Heneghan, James, 1930- II. Title.
PS8575.B39W34 2003 jC813’.54 C2003-910089-8
PZ7.M1217Wa 2001
First published in the United States, 2003
Library of Congress Control Number:2002117768
Summary: After Mike loses his family and is severely injured in a car ac-cident, he withdraws until he meets the mysterious Sarah, a girl who is not who she seems.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP), the Canada Council for the Arts, and the British Columbia Arts Council.
Cover design by Christine Toller Cover photo: jellybeanimages & Robert Youds (top) Printed and bound in Canada
05 04 03 • 5 4 3 2 1
INCANADA:Orca Book Publishers1030 North Park Street Victoria, BC Canada V8T 1C6
IN THE UNITEDSTATES : Orca Book PublishersPO Box 468 Custer, WA USA 98240-0468
To my mother Christina with love. BM
For Rebecca. JH
Our thanks to Tim Sader for his valuable input.
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Waiting for Sarah฀ ฀
1 . . . last word she ever spoke
In the minute before the crash, the father was squint-ing into the harsh yellow glare of the late afternoon sun. The mother, seated beside him, was listening to opera music on the car radio. In the back seat, behind the mother, the little girl was singing in a high squeal, poking fun at the music. “Cut it out, Becky,” said the mother irritably. “I’m trying to listen. It’s the last time I’ll tell you.” “Take no notice, Joanne,” the driver said. “She’s over-excited.” He turned his head towards the boy seated behind him, “Calm your sister down, Mike, before she drives us all crazy.” But Mike, absorbed in his own thoughts, said nothing. Becky continued to sing, mimicking the soprano. Joanne’s patience ran out. “Becky!” she yelled. Her daughter’s name was the last word she ever spoke. A truck came at them from the opposite side of the freeway, charging over the grass median and ramming their Chevy head-on with the force of a bomb. In the explosion of metal, plastic and glass,
the four occupants were crushed like flies, three of them fatally. Their deaths were quick. The lone driver of the runaway truck had been drinking all afternoon. His skull shattered the wind-shield. His death was also quick.
Waiting for Sarah฀ ฀
2 . . . confused and scared
He was confused and scared. And there was pain. No amount of drugs could take away the pain. The nurses talked to him, but he understood noth-ing except he was in a hospital. He tried to ask about his parents and sister, but couldn’t understand their replies. He tried to hide in sleep, but always the pain held him, teetering on the edge of consciousness. After many days, when the pain was almost bear-able, the doctor came and explained to him that he was in the Vancouver General Hospital and that they had done their best but had failed to save his legs. Which made no sense because Mike could feel his legs and feet under the covers. They were confusing him with someone else. He asked about his mom and dad and Becky, but their replies made no sense to him. It took another week for him to realize that indeed he had no legs, only bandaged stumps that ended at his knees. Again he asked about his family, and they smiled and nodded. Later, much later, when he was off the painkillers, when they thought he was strong enough, a doctor