Underneath the Sycamore Tree by B. Celeste
It happened in stages.
My father left.
My twin sister died of an incurable autoimmune disease.
My mother started breaking down.
Then I was diagnosed with the very thing that took my other half from me.
That was when I realized Mama’s eyes turned gold when she cried.
So I moved in with my father and his new family—new wife, new son, new stepbrother.
Kaiden Monroe made me feel normal.
Hated. Cared for. Loathed. And … loved.
Somewhere along the way, I’d found solace in the boy with dark eyes.
But everything happens in stages.
And nothing good ever lasts.
Release Date: November 1, 2019
Excerpt Underneath the Sycamore Tree by B. Celeste
Mama’s eyes are golden when she cries. Not like mine, which are a murky shade of dirty pool water—not fully green or brown, but a mixture of the two. Though when I was just shy of ten years old and saying goodbye to my sister, Mama told me that my glassy gaze was speckled with emeralds just like Daddy’s.
But Daddy wasn’t at Lo’s funeral. Not when the pastor spoke the eulogy to the half-empty church, or when the slow toll of cars paced the streets to the cemetery, or even when they lowered the kid-sized white coffin into the ground. Mama and I watched every step of the way. Her eyes trained on the half of her heart sinking into the dark soil, never to be seen again, while mine stared off into the distance waiting for Daddy’s familiar face to appear.
Looking back now, Lo had suspected the end of our parent’s marriage long before Daddy packed his things and left. She always knew it’d end that way.
I wondered what else she knew.
Mama wipes a stray tear from her eye, hoping I won’t notice how they glisten in the fluorescent lighting of the drab white room. I want to tell her I’m all right, that everything will be fine. But the weak attempts of comfort would roll off her tense shoulders in disbelief.
When Lo was diagnosed with lupus it was too late to save her. The disease had eaten away at every piece of her—body, skin, and organs. Nobody knew what would happen if it’d gone untreated for too long. No matter how hard Mama tried controlling the disease, it couldn’t be fought.
Logan died in her sleep.