Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 3.6 MB
“Forever and to the end. That’s what they say instead of I love you.”
When Ruby King’s mother is found murdered in their home in Chicago’s South Side, the police dismiss it as another act of violence in a black neighborhood. But for Ruby, it’s a devastating loss that leaves her on her own with her violent father. While she receives many condolences, her best friend, Layla, is the only one who understands how this puts Ruby in jeopardy.
Their closeness is tested when Layla’s father, the pastor of their church, demands that Layla stay away. But what is the price for turning a blind eye? In a relentless quest to save Ruby, Layla uncovers the murky loyalties and dangerous secrets that have bound their families together for generations. Only by facing this legacy of trauma head-on will Ruby be able to break free.
An unforgettable debut novel, Saving Ruby King is a powerful testament that history doesn’t determine the present and the bonds of friendship can forever shape the future.
My hands are clinched into fists. They’re always sore when I wake up. It happens more and more now. It’s like when I sleep, I’m trying to grab hold of something I’m going to lose anyway, but it doesn’t stop me from trying. Or maybe my hands are sore because I’m trying to catch things like the past or flying bullets or ghosts. My hands reach out so impossibly far, and the pain comes when I fail, everything still slipping through my fingers.
Maybe my hands are sore because Lebanon slapped me, and I slapped him back and we fought.
Without Mom, we’ll batter each other because we don’t have her between us, to keep the peace, pray the prayers, take the hits and slaps and punches. What will happen to me without her?
How can there be a me without her?
Mom’s supposed to be nagging me right now about getting up for church. I’m supposed to give her money for the mortgage payment, because she can’t rely on Lebanon for money. Mom’s supposed to tell me the skirt I want to wear is too short. I’m twenty-four years old and should by now make my own decisions, but she needed us to look a certain way to not attract any attention.
There is a picture next to the light in a glass frame. Mom is holding me. I am crying, scared of the small flame atop the birthday candle on my cake. She’s telling me it’s going to be okay. I have a picture memorializing the one thing Mom probably will never be able to do again—protect me.
My cell phone rings. I have twelve missed calls, all of them from Layla. I don’t want to speak to her. I don’t have anything new to say about how I feel. I don’t want to explain to her that words won’t help or heal or comfort, but she’ll call again and again.
This is fine if you lose your purse or want to grab front row seats at the Rihanna concert, but I don’t want this kind of energy aimed at me now. Her fierce stubbornness results in endless calls, a panicked need to know if I’m okay, that I’m alive.
“Why haven’t you been answering, Rue?”
“I had a Mom and she’s gone. I don’t need you to take her place.”
“Rue I didn’t mean—”
There’s crackling on the end of Layla’s line. The sound of car horns and the manic rumble of her car’s engine make it hard for me to hear her. “You’re already on your way to church?”
“You know Reverend Jackson Potter expects me there before everyone else.”
“Well, you are his daughter.”
“Are you coming today? Is your…father bringing you?”