If Only We
by Jessica Sankiewicz
Publication Date: October 27, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
About If Only We
They say all it takes is one wrong move and you lose the game. One false step and you’re trapped. One slip-up in your choice of words and you ruin a friendship forever. That is what they say. They say I lost.
I do not believe them.
At the end of the summer after graduation, Adrienne wonders what happened to cause her life to be in ruins. She isn’t getting along with her mom, her stepsister isn’t talking to her, and, to top it off, the boy she’s been in love with doesn’t want anything to do with her. She believes the turning point was a choice she made at graduation. When she wakes up the next day, she has been transported back three months to that moment, the one where everything started to fall apart.
Adrienne realizes she has been given a second chance—and this time she doesn’t want to mess anything up. Reliving the entire summer, though, turns out to be a lot harder than she thought. As the same days and weeks go by, she starts to see how simple decisions can make a huge impact on the world around her. Despite knowing some of what lies ahead, there are some things she didn’t anticipate. She thought she knew what mistake led her to where she ended up the first time. She was wrong.
And by the time summer is over, she discovers what was really at stake.
I never imagined a day when I wouldn’t want the sun to shine. One of the best things about summer is the sunshine; its warmth and the light it casts late into the evenings. It beats the chill and shorter days of the winter. Today is different. Today isn’t just another summer day.
Today I am heading to the cemetery.
I flip the dial on my car radio to find something to listen to on the way. I hate driving without something playing. Nothing comes on that is appropriate. No music sounds good right now, so I just turn it off. I wish something would feel good and distract me from the already awful day I’m having.
Since I got in late last night, I didn't speak to my mom until this morning. I should have just skipped breakfast and avoided the kitchen entirely.
When I sat down, she said, “Based on what Lyndsay has told me, River's Bend would be a great place to work.”
I tried to not openly flinch but it was impossible. Not only impossible to not do, but also impossible for my mom to not notice.
“What was that for? It's not my fault you missed out on that opportunity because you ran off to your father's.”
“I'll be going to school on Monday. I'm still going to be a nurse. You should be happy.”
“I am happy that you will be a nurse.”
I sighed. “Then why is it such a big deal that I didn't volunteer this summer? It's not like that one thing makes a difference in the long run.”
“It shows how dedicated you are in carrying out family tradition.”
Instead of rehashing the same conversations I had with her all summer, I stood up and left the house without another word.
I pull into the drive for the cemetery and park under the shade of a maple tree. I sit there with one hand on the wheel and the other on the key in the ignition. It’s time. Time to get out of the car.
It's time for me to face him.
One print copy of If Only We (INT)