A Dream Away
Praise for Frank Drury's first novel, An Empty Sky:
"A fascinating and thought-provoking read."
— Midwest Book Review
"A perfect beach read!"
— Dagmar Cohen, Amazon reviewer
"A great read and quite a debut!"
— Amazon reviewer
Fifteen year old Allison has been in foster homes most of her life until she is finally adopted, along with a younger foster sister, into a loving home in Laguna Beach, California. But her birth mother, who had given her up at birth, has decided she now wants Allison back. Extremely unstable and tortured with bipolar disorder, her birth mother begins to try and convince Allison to come live with her, finally resorting to the attempted murder of Allison’s new mother. From Southern California to Washington State, Allison is introduced to a strange world she never knew existed. It is the world of her birth mother and her illness. Finally reunited with her adoptive family again, Allison understands why she was abandoned at birth, and why she is now such a very lucky girl.
Book Excerpt from A Dream Away:
After only a few hours sleep, Andrea jerked and bolted upright from her sleeping position. It happened so fast it startled Allison and she almost lost control of the vehicle. “What are you doing, Mom?”
“Oh,” Andrea began, “this always happens when I forget to take my meds. It just jerks me out of a deep sleep so fast. Scares me sometimes too. Sorry about that.”
“What medicines?” Allison asked.
“For my bi-polar disorder.”
“What’s that?” Allison had heard of it before but wanted to ask about it.
“It makes me go up and down all the time. God, I hope you don’t get it too. It really sucks. But, the meds do really help.” Andrea put the pills in her mouth and swallowed them down with a half empty water bottle that was in the cup holder. “If I don’t take these pills anything goes!”
“Well I’ll try to make sure you always take them,” Allison offered.
“But, sometimes, I still like to have a little fun. Say, what do you say we see if there’s a concert you might want to see in Portland tonight.”
“Maybe we should talk about it after your meds kick in,” Allison said, sounding like the mother.
“Maybe so. Heh, lets get off here and go to McDonalds for lunch.” The highway sign indicated it was one of several choices for them at the next exit. “I do think we might make Portland by tonight. It is a very cool place. It’s a real magnet for runaway teens so probably not a good place for us to live.”
The phrase ‘runaway teens’ raced through Allison’s mind as she wondered what that would be like. To be a teenager and to run away from your parents. She couldn’t understand it. Maybe if they were abused, she could see that. But just to run away because they didn’t agree with what their parents wanted them to do? Made no sense. They should spend some time in one of the agency homes she had been in and see how they liked those rules. “I don’t get the runaway thing,” she said out loud.
“Well lots of kids do it. I did it, you know. I only went away for a few days but it really scared my parents. I got picked up in San Francisco and they had to drive up and get me. And they were pissed”
“Oh well, I just don’t get it.” Allison put her turn signal on for the exit ramp. “If they have a home and parents who love them they ought to stay there. At least that’s how I see it.” Allison began to think of Dobs and Nikki. Although they weren’t her actual parents, she knew they loved her and it occurred to her that she was actually running away from them. Confusion swept through her mind as she looked at her mother, who was lacing up her shoe laces for lunch at McDonalds. Allison decided she would call Jamie from the restroom when they got there, maybe even say hello to Dobs.
Andrea ordered a salad, fries, and coffee while Allison ordered a Big Mac combo meal. They sat down at a small plastic table overlooking the parking area and a gas station.
“Got to get gas when we leave,” said Andrea with a mouthful of salad.
“Right.” Allison nodded her head in agreement.
After they had both quickly devoured their meals, Allison got up to use the restroom and picked up her purse to take with her. Andrea grabbed her hand. “No phone calls yet, sweetie. Wait until we get to where we’re going. Here, I’ll hold your purse.”
Allison quickly used the restroom and returned to the table. “Mom?”
“Yes?” Andrea had a huge smile on her face. She was looking at a Portland newspaper, the entertainment section, and she announced, “You like Black Eyed Peas, correct?”
“Yea, sure. But I don’t want to go to a concert tonight. Let’s just get to where we’re going.” Allison grabbed her purse and stood there waiting.
Andrea stood up and they both walked out. Andrea lit a cigarette as soon as they hit the fresh air and said, “My turn to drive.”
Allison handed her the keys and said, “Don’t forget to get gas.”
“Thanks sweetie, I just might have forgotten!” Andrea started the car and drove it over to the gas pumps across the parking lot.
Once back on the interstate, Allison asked a question she had wanted to ask for a while. “Mom, where is my father?”
“Oh dear, I suppose I should let you know a little more about what’s going on. You’ll be meeting your real father tomorrow when we get to Spokane. He lives there. I haven’t seen him in years but I called him and he said he can’t wait to see us.”
“What does he do? What is he like?” Allison asked. “Was he there when you gave me up?”
“No, he wasn’t around, or I might have kept you. He’s a writer. A science fiction writer.”
“Well, he used to be pretty successful at it. I haven’t seen him in long time.” Andrea had a dreamy look on her face.
“And he wants to see me, right?” Allison asked.
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