19. KEEP YOUR EYES ON ME – Young Adult Contemporary

Assorted_Uzi_Water_Guns_lgMentor Name: Diana Gallagher

Mentee Name: J.A. Ward


Category: Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 70,000


Desperate to atone for the life he ended in a car accident, seventeen-year-old Roland stakes out on a bridge infamous for suicide in hopes he can save a life and find closure. When he meets a troubled girl named Cassie, he believes he’s finally found someone to save – and love. But the secret source of her pain could lead them both back to the bridge – and over the edge.


Three months ago I watched a stranger die, so I know what death looks like. In fact, I remember what it sounds like, what it feels like, too. That’s how I know the disheveled guy sprawled across the back aisle of Greenbrook’s Gas Mart is, most certainly, not dead.

There’s no blood on his clothes, just a film of dirty paint spackle on his jeans and a yellowing stain on the back of his wrinkled white T-shirt. He reeks of stale beer and sweat. Nothing like the smell of singed rubber or sunbaked asphalt that tends to rise up in my nightmares of The Accident.

“Dude, you okay?” I nudge his shoulder with my foot. One of his hands stutters in response, fat-knuckled and callused. It triggers the memory of a certain twelve-year-old’s tiny fingers twitching in the fading afternoon light, and I have to look away.

I thought the hardest thing about tonight was going to be avoiding practice with The History of Envy, the garage band I was in that still didn’t seem to grasp the meaning of the word “break.” Little did I know a drunk guy passed out at the mini-mart would be what gets my nerves twitching with guilt. I don’t have time to mess with adults who can’t handle their booze when I’ve got places to be.


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