Leave of Absence by Tanya J. Peterson
Oliver Graham is utterly bereft and laden with guilt in the aftermath of the deaths of his wife and son, and Penelope Baker wrestles with schizophrenia and the devastating impact it’s had on her once happy and successful life. Join them on their tumultuous journey through pain, struggle, and triumphs.
A taster montage: peek into the lives of a few of the characters of Leave of Absence
“I’m already in pieces, Dr. Willis. My heart, my life, everything. It’s like Humpty Dumpty in the nursery rhymes that Maggie and I used to read to our little boy.” His eyes began to swim. “The moment I saw them sprawled on the sidewalk, bleeding and dying, I fell off the wall and shattered, and nothing can put me back together again.” He choked on a sob but steadied himself and continued. “Not sitting here talking about it, not sitting around a table listening to music, not playing with clay or making puppets or gluing pictures on paper. None of that stuff is going to help me because none of that stuff will bring back my wife and son. Tell me how in the hell any of this will do any good at all.”
Penelope stared, wide-eyed, at the pile of crayons on the table. Mrs. Roosevelt must have sensed her apprehension, because she lowered her voice to a whisper and crooned, It’s okay. Please trust me. You know I’m magic. Eat the crayons, and they’ll plug up the hole that’s inside you, and I’ll make them grow brightly in all their dazzling colors. You’ll be dazzling then, Penelope. The whole world will be in awe of your radiance. They’ll admire you again. They’ll admire you as much as they admire me. You’ll see. Try it. Eat the crayons, now.
Penelope wanted to be better, to be comlete, to be attractive again, and if eating the crayons would transform her then eat them she would. One by one, she cracked them into pieces. Snap! Snap! Snap! She split the wax, slashed through the wrappers, slid her fingers into the stack, and shoveled smidgens of color into her mouth.
He opened the fridge and stood and stared into it, long after his eyes adjusted to the bright light that assaulted them. Specifically, he stared at the pot that held a small amount of leftover soup from the dinner he had shared with Penelope and Oliver less than twelve hours ago. It had been a nice evening, except for the fact that Penelope had said she had wanted to set him free. How could he convince her that he didn’t want to be set free? He felt cold and almost empty, like the pot that sat dumbly on the shelf. He slammed the fridge shut. Frustrated and discouraged and needing to rid himself of this negative energy, he stomped back to his bedroom and changed clothes. He threw extra clothes into a gym bag and headed for the indoor pool of his apartment building. He didn’t even wait for the elevator, preferring instead to expend some of his energy on the ten flights of stairs that led down to the pool.
Matt and Jennifer sat down beside Oliver. Matt spoke. “You’re absolutely right. We don’t understand. But that’s what we’re here for. We want to listen. We want to understand. And, most importantly, we want to help you understand. Why don’ tyou stay with us for a while. Just give it a little try.
Oliver had no energy left to argue. Without looking up, he simply shrugged in defeat.
“We’re going to take that as a ‘yes.’” Matt reached up and pushed a button. The elevator ascended.
There’s no teaser to introduce Tanya, but here are links where to find her – and Leave of Absence.
Links to all of the online purchase outlets for Leave of Absence: http://tanyajpeterson.com/purchase/