Patrick Kinney wasn’t a god. He was a parasite, and nobody worships a parasite.
Patrick Kinney was a glob of sticky, persistent peanut butter stuck to the roof of Kinsey McKenna’s mouth, and she craved him.
In fact, she had been craving him ever since he set foot in River Canyon, Connecticut, when they were just three years old. And she hated it ever step of the way. (Well, sort of.)
But Patrick has a plan to fix it, and set the wrong things right. Can he turn it all around with one night and a sweet, but painful, trip down memory lane?
Fall in love again in this novella of firsts, second chances, and a little town on the coast of Connecticut, where everything meant everything.
As my mother filled Mrs. Kinney in on our ages, my eyes had fallen upon a little boy, peeking through the long legs of his red-headed father. He was blonde, like his mother, and his skin was a stark white in the glow of the summer sun, just like his dad. After all this time, I have no idea how I can so distinctly remember a little boy, not to mention so fondly. But, in my mind, I can still see the way the light breeze tousled his bowl haircut. The way his little fingers clenched to the linen of his father’s pants. The tan and scuffed sandals that poked through the lively green of their front lawn, and the oceanic eyes that seemed to focus on mine with an old soul intensity. Too old for a little boy.
“Ah, she’s three, y’say? Like our Patrick here,” Mrs. Kinney seemed to sing in her melodic voice. “Come here, Paddy. Come say hi to your new friend.”
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Patrick Kinney.
Our fates were determined in that moment: your new friend. We didn’t have a choice, did we? We didn’t stand a chance.
Patrick was pulled from behind his father with an embarrassed chuckle over his boy’s reluctance, as the strong hand pushed him along faster than his little legs could move.
“Say hello to Kinsey, son,” Mr. Kinney commanded in his own special voice, wearing a friendly smile and mussing up the little kid’s hair.
I hadn’t expected a kid my age to also speak in that special voice, like his parents, but smaller and higher pitched. I also hadn’t expected his pudgy arms would wrap around my neck, pulling me into him for a hug. I remember wondering why he was hugging me, and then, God, why did I hug him?
Our parents laughed and fawned over us, as we stood there on their front lawn in a tight embrace. Neglected due to her age, because three was the age to be, Kate had run off to play with a ball that had come all the way from Ireland and the babies in Mrs. Kinney’s arms were there, but forgotten as they slept.
Nothing mattered, except for Patrick and me.
Kelsey Kingsley grew up in the great state of New York, and still lives there with her family and a cat named Ethel. When she isn’t writing her fingers to the bone, she enjoys a good (or bad) book, reruns of Frasier, ruining the lives of her Sims, and singing and dancing in the kitchen. She somehow survives off a diet of tea, doughnuts, and French fries. However, she hates cheese and listening to people chew. You’ve been warned.