ABOUT THE BOOK (DERAILED):
When you're lost, sometimes the only place you can go is home.
Broken over the death of her fiancé, Molly leaves law school to return to her childhood home in North Carolina. Expecting to lay low until she can figure out what else to do with her life, she finds herself in the arms of her high school sweetheart, the boy who represents everything from the past she tried to leave behind.
Looking for an escape, she instead finds a way back to the girl she almost forgot existed and a future she never dreamed possible.
EXCERPT - DERAILED!
With his brown hair buzzed short as usual, and the constant tan with a hint of sunburn he always sported from working on his dad’s boats, my high school sweetheart stood at the counter.
“Molly?” His brown eyes widened. A barely visible smile played on the corner of his lips.
“Hi, Ben.” I smiled, giving a small wave. Inside, my stomach did somersaults. I wasn’t ready for this.
“Wow, what are you doing here? You work at Marney’s again?” He placed a hand on the counter. “Aren’t you supposed to be in Boston?”
“How so?” Ben was never one for mincing words.
“I quit law school.”
“Oh. How’d your fiancé take it?” He said the word ‘fiancé’ like it left a bad taste in his mouth.
“We’re not getting married.”
“Oh… I didn’t know.”
“Yeah, I didn’t exactly spread the word. Did your dad really not tell you I was back?”
“I ran into him this morning. I figured he would have mentioned it, or am I wrong and you don’t work with him anymore?” Ben’s plans, aside from his music, had always been to work in his father’s marina sales and rental company and to take over one day. It was hard to pull him away from the water.
“He didn’t mention it.” His face scrunched up the way it always did when he was thinking. “But wow, I definitely didn’t expect to see you.”
“I’ve been getting that a lot.”
“So since you’re working here, does that mean you plan to stay around?” I couldn’t tell what answer he wanted.
I leaned up against the back counter. “Maybe… I really don’t know. This was kind of a last minute decision.”
“How last minute?”
“Meaning I walked out of class, packed up what I wanted from my apartment, and left the city.”
“That’s… cool.” Ben put his hands in his pockets.
We stood in awkward silence for a while, just looking at each other. “So, can I get you something?”
“Oh sure, the special.”
“Okay, coming right up.” I grabbed one of the chicken salad sandwiches I had spent so much time making and wrapped it up. “So what have you been up to?” I called over my shoulder.
“You know, work mostly—I’ve started a side business taking out fishing tours. It keeps me pretty busy. I’m still playing with the guys, though.”
“Yeah, I heard that.” I fidgeted nervously while holding his sandwich in one hand. Making small talk with Ben wasn’t easy. There was way too much we needed to say to each other, but couldn’t.
“We’re playing tonight at Gill’s. You should come.”
“Oh, I don’t know, but thanks.”
“Come on, you should. I promise we’re better than in high school.” He smiled, and I knew I was lost. It was impossible to say no to that smile.
“Yeah? Okay, cool. Maybe we can catch up after? It’s been a long time.”
“Okay.” I filled a cup with Coke. I assumed he hadn’t changed his drink of choice.
He looked torn for a moment. “Oh, and Mol?”
“Yeah?” I placed his drink on the counter.
“For what it’s worth, I’m sorry things didn’t work out for you up in Boston.”
“Thanks. I appreciate it.”
“See you later.”
As soon as the door chime sounded announcing Ben’s exit, Gail came out to join me. “Now that’s the old Molly. All it took was five minutes with Ben Mathews. I think we found your solution.”