TITLE: THE THINGS WE WISH TO KEEP
GENRE: YA Contemporary
A Native American legend says this forty mile stretch of river, from the far edge of Lake Ontario northeast to Quebec, has a current flowing through it that can heal a broken heart. I don’t know if it’s true, but I want to believe it. I’m willing to try anything to stop my world from falling apart. It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since Mom, Dad and I last made this boat ride, when I was just eleven. Back then, I happily went along with Dad’s old story that a dunk in the Silver Head River could wash away life’s messiness. But I’m sixteen now, practically a grown up. I should be too old to trust matters of the heart to fairy tales or folklore. Here’s the thing, though: It’s not my heart I’m trying to heal.
I didn’t wake up today intending to steal Gramps’ boat. From the tiny upstairs bedroom of my grandparents’ cottage, I was perfectly content to spend the afternoon drawing while Gran and Gramps went to some boring river development meeting in town. I only walked down to the dock for fresh air and to stretch my limbs. Gramps’ faded gray runabout was pointed away from the cottage. It was a straight shot off the dock, like the boat had been waiting to lead me somewhere.
The runabout charges forward, bobbing up and down. It takes me a good few seconds to get a feel for the jump on the throttle. I nearly choke on a wind gust.