Walking on Broken Glass by Christa Allan

TRADE Paperback
ISBN-10: 1426702272
ISBN-13: 978-1426702273
Abingdon Press/ $13.99
GENRE: Women’s Fiction
Copyright © 2009 by  Christa Allan

WALKING ON BROKEN GLASS
CHAPTER ONE

.Patient Discharge Statement
If I had known children break on the inside and the cracks don’t surface until years later, I would have been more careful with my words.
If I had known some parents don’t live to watch grandchildren grow, I would have taken more pictures and been more careful with my words.
If I had known couples can be fragile and want what they are unprepared to give or unwilling to take, I would have been more careful with my words.
If I had known teaching lasts a lifetime and students don’t speak of their tragic lives, I would have been more careful with my words.
If I had known my muscles and organs and bones and skin are not lifetime guarantees that when broken, snagged, unstitched, or unseemly, cannot be replaced, I would have been kinder to the shell that prevents my soul from leaking out.
If I had known I would live over half my life and have to look at photographs to remember my mother adjusting my birthday party hat so that my father could take the picture that sliced the moment out of time—if I had known, if I had known—I would have been more careful with my life.
Leah T.
August 4

1
Cruising the sparkling aisles of Catalano’s Supermarket, I lost my sanity buying frozen apple juice.
Okay, so maybe it started several aisles before the refrigerated cases. Somewhere between the canned vegetables and cleaning supplies. I needed to kill the taste of that soy milk in my iced vanilla latte. Darn my friend Molly, the dairy Nazi. I blamed her for my detour to the liquor aisle. Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. What to pour in my Starbucks cup? Amaretto? Kahlua? Vodka? And the winner was . . . Amaretto. Perfect for an afternoon grocery event.
Ramping up the coffee seemed like a reasonable idea at the time. I’d left the end-of-the- year faculty party and thought I’d be a considerate wife and pick up dinner for Carl on the way home. He told me before he left for work that morning that he’d meet me at the party. Probably he had one too many meetings, which, since I’d probably had one too many beers, made us just about even. Don’t know if we matched spin cycles in our brains, though. That was the point of the coffee. A rinse cycle of sorts.
I’d just avoided a game of bumper carts with the oncoming traffic in the organic food aisle, when I remembered that I needed juice. On the way to the freezer section, I maneuvered a difficult curve around the quilted toilet tissue display. My coffee sloshed in the cup in tempo with my stomach. I braked too swiftly by the refrigerator case, and a wave of latte splotched my linen shorts and newly pedicured toes. Ick.
Rows of orange juice. Apple juice was on the third shelf down. I reached in and, like a one-armed robot, I selected and returned can after can of juice, perplexed by the dilemma of cost versus quality. Okay, this one’s four cents an ounce cheaper than this one. But this one’s . . .
My face would have reflected my growing agitation, but the stale icy air swirling out of the freezer numbed it. I held the door open with one hand, tried to sip my coffee with the other, and wondered how long it would take before full body paralysis set in. I stared at apple juice cans. They stared back. Something shifted, and my body broke free from a part of itself, and there I was—or there we were. I watched me watch the cans. The rational me separated from the wing-nut me, who still pondered the perplexities of juice costs. Rational me said, “Let’s get her out of here before she topples head first into the freezer case and completely humiliates herself.”
I abandoned my cart, a lone testament to my struggle and defeat, near the freezer cases and walked away. If I could fill my brain with alcohol like I filled my car with gas, it wouldn’t have to run on empty. It wouldn’t leave me high and dry in the middle of a grocery store aisle.
No, not dry this time. High. My brain is either high or dry, and it doesn’t seem to function well either way.
So that was my epiphany for sobriety.
Apple juice. ❖
________________________________

Buy Christa Allen’s  WALKING ON BROKEN GLASS at:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
ChristianBook.com
Cokesbury
Indiebound.org
Powell’s
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A Louisiana author, Christa Allan is also a high school teacher, mother of five, grammy of three, and wife of one. Walking on Broken Glass is her debut novel.

Visit Christa’s  website
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About Vicki Hinze
USA Today Bestselling and Award-Winning Author of 40+ books, short stories/novellas and hundreds of articles. Published in as many as 63 countries. Featured Columnist for Social-IN Worldwide Network and Book Fun Magazine. Sponsor/Founder of ChristiansRead.com & CleanReadBooks.com. FMI visit www.vickihinze.com.

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