Manuscript Status: 2 week delivery
Mentor Name: Jeanmarie Anaya
Mentee Name: Jessica Fonseca
Title: SOMETHING LIKE GRAVITY
Word Count: 82,000
Texting her boyfriend’s best friend Lucas is okay. Sexting him late at night, not so much. As seventeen-year-old Allie’s family life crumbles, she can’t imagine surviving without her perfect-on-paper boyfriend, River. But as the texts keep heating up her heart, a force like Lucas isn’t easy to ignore.
Nine days before the start of school
Mom packs the car for a trip.
California to Kentucky and back in zoom time.
(Unless you count Mom saying,
Aunt Zelma won’t be around forever.)
No time to tell Caden and Petra
No room in the car
Come on, Emma, Mom says.
Get in. Time to go.
Zoë huddles in the back
clutching her old baby blanket…
thumb straining like
it wants to plant itself
in her mouth.
Aren’t we going to wait
until Dad gets home? I ask.
Hoping Dad got my message.
I want to say goodbye.
Mom shakes her head.
Gotta get on the road.
There’s a lot of ground to cover
before we stop for the night.
I think about saying no.
But this last year
I’ve been walking around Mom
like she’s a Jenga tower
ready to collapse with any false move.
I slouch toward the car.
Wait a minute!
I dash into the house
run to Grandma’s room
right over to her window ledge.
A forest of tiny animal figures looks up at me.
I tuck one little critter into my hand
before I head out again.
Dad’s truck slams to a stop by the curb
as I’m getting in Mom’s car.
Darla? he calls. What’s going on?
I told you I needed to get to Kentucky,
She starts the engine
while Dad stands with his mouth open.