TITLE: All She Needs is Love
GENRE: Contemporary YA
Emma needs volunteer hours to get into college. Enter eight year old Gigi, who has no family aside from a deadbeat dad and is more than willing to be Emma’s charity case. What Emma doesn’t expect is for the wiggling, giggling, bouncy little girl to wrap herself around her heart. When Gigi’s father kills himself in a drunk driving accident, Emma must decide if she should completely alter her life plan and take Gigi in. Or leave her to the foster care system, which Emma herself is a product of.
“Happy birthday to me,” I mumble as I walk out the front door holding a garbage bag with all my possessions. Every last one fits in this bag. Pathetic, I know. But when you’re a foster kid, you do a lot of borrowing. You never really own anything. So I guess I’m lucky I even have something to put in my garbage bag.
I’ve been preparing for this day for a while though. When you turn eighteen the state gives you the fancy, new trash bag and ushers you out. My foster mom was nice. Let me stay an extra day. Didn’t want to kick me out on my actual birthday.
“Emma!” little Jimmy calls from the porch. I turn and look at the kid. I am gonna miss him, even if he did steal most of my socks.
“What’s up, little man?”
“Where ya goin’?” he asks as he runs down the steps. “I mean, can I come visit ya sometimes?”
I ruffle his hair and put on a smile. “Course you can little man. I’m not goin’ far. You know the diner where I work?” He gives me a big nod. “Ms. Shepherd is letting me live in the apartment above it. You can visit me anytime you want.”
He wraps his little arms around my leg. I can’t help but cringe. I don’t like affection, makes me feel awkward.
“Okay, okay,” I say as I pull him off. “You just make sure you tell Jan when you’re comin’ to see me so she doesn’t worry, alright?”