A Personal Drama of Shattered Dreams and Second Chances
A talented runner fully committed to Olympic dreams, Sabrina Rice's future was shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she has new goals and dreams that have nothing to do with running--something that's become far too painful to think on. Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the community college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world-class speed, and it's all the more painful that it belongs to a teenage graffiti artist. When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina becomes Brandy's best hope for staying out of juvenile hall. Soon, Sabrina begins to feel an uncomfortable nudge that her new life is just about to be toppled...that God may be calling her to minister to this talented but troubled girl.
They had shared a couple of classes freshman year. Although friends might be too strong of a word, they had studied together and run in a similar circle of friends. The sight of him now, wearing the colors that were so familiar . . .
Sabrina turned her attention to the window, its metal casing even grimier than the glass, and began to concentrate on her breathing. This was the one thing that had remained useful past her running years. Breath control could get you through seemingly unendurable pain.
The room erupted into cheers. “Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.”
Sabrina didn’t look back to the TV; it wasn’t necessary. She looked at some birds perched on the electrical wire just outside the window and started counting them. One, two, three, four, one flew away but another two landed, five, six, seven, eight, but wait, had she already counted that one?
“Oh man, did you see that?” Koen leaned toward the TV. “I can’t believe that, can you?”
Sabrina looked at him. “Huh? Oh, no, I sure can’t.”
“Miss Rice, are you daydreaming out the window? In the middle of the game?” Koen grinned at her, and it took every bit of her inner strength to smile back.
“Uh, guilty, I guess.”
“You better play closer attention, because there’ll be a quiz at halftime.” He put his arm on the couch behind her and turned his attention back to the game.
Somehow she managed to stare blankly at the TV, send her thoughts elsewhere, and mostly ignore what was happening in the game. She focused her attention on Koen sitting this close, on how right it felt to have him near. This worked pretty well until the band started playing “Rocky Top.” The sound of the fight song that was so much a part of her past broke through the last of her strength. She jumped up from the couch, mumbled something about coming right back, and bolted from the room to the backyard.
Author Kathryn Cushman
Author Kathryn "Katie" Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. She is the author of five novels, including Leaving Yesterday and A Promise to Remember, which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women's Fiction. She is also the co-author of Angel Song with Sheila Walsh. Kathryn and her family currently live in Santa Barbara, California.