Why did I choose The Decisions We Make?
“Decisions” is one of my first written stories, and certainly one of the first from my own publisher Love Lane Books. I love the story so much. Daniel is the young orphan who is taken in by a beautiful family. When I look back at this book I see it as my idealistic book, along side The Christmas Throwaway. With images of how I wish things could be but so often aren’t. This book was originally written as a story for adults but seems to have found its niche in the YA section.
Daniel Keyes is an orphan, fostered by the Walker’s. The product of a lonely childhood, he is thrown into the chaos of the Walker family and into the life of his new foster brother Jamie.
This story is the journey of Daniel and Jamie finding their place in the world. Through Jamie being a victim of hate crime to coming out to family and friends, there are many decisions the boys have to make before they become men.
“….RJ Scott delivers the goods one more time in this quietly stunning beauty. She grabbed my attention on page one and my heart on page two. And never let either one go….”
“….If The Decisions We Make has done anything, it’s proven to me that RJ Scott has definitely found her place in the YA LGBT genre…”
Six feet of sweating, laughing Jamie dove into Daniel’s room, shutting the door behind him and flicking the lock. An irate Mark pounded up the stairs and banged on Daniel’s door seconds behind him.
“Jamie, get your ass out here now so I can kill you.”
His eyes full of laughter, Jamie snorted, flopping down on Daniel’s bed. “I made it in here, dude; you can’t touch me.” It was an unwritten rule between brothers that, in the years he had been with them, Daniel’s room was “home”. There was muttering outside the door, veiled threats and then more banging before Mark stomped down the stairs.
“Hey, Dan.” Jamie finally acknowledged him.
Glowering, Daniel sat at his desk, which was littered with books. He fixed his gaze firmly on his foster brother and the sweat rubbing off of him and onto Daniel’s clean quilt.
“Get your skinny ass off my bed.”
“Two hours practice and a run home; I am fucked, can’t move.”
“You might as well go now and get the beating over and done with ’cause he’s going to get you when you leave, you idiot.”
“Nah, I’ve got you to back me up.”
“Uh huh, calculus and geography. Some of us need to work to get to college.”
“On your jump.”
“I have a good average.”
“Without trying. Imagine what would happen if you actually tried.”
“I try.” Jamie looked a bit hurt. School was an easy journey for him and Daniel both, but Jamie chose to let it ride, sailing close to the wind sometimes but always scraping through. Daniel, on the other hand, worked hard and had an impressive average, one guaranteed to get him into a good school.
“You’re an idiot, Walker.”
“Says the guy studying on a summer day when the hoops are calling.”
“And exactly what did you do to Mark now to make him wanna kill ya?”
“Changed the ringtone on his cell to the Muppets.”
“And then phoned him in the middle of a lecture.”
“Jeez, Jamie, not the English lecture with that girl?”
“You are a complete ass.”
“Yeah, but can you imagine Mark I’m-so-popular Walker and his unrequited love in the same room as a Muppets ring tone?” Jamie snorted, and Daniel couldn’t help but laugh. Yeah, that would have been kind of funny. “Anyway, like I said, you got my back, and he’s scared of you.”
“Dude, he’s like half a foot taller than me and built.”
“Nah, it’s the woobly eyes and lips of doom and misery that get him.”
“The woobly eyes and lips of doom.”
“You so just made that up.”
“Yeah, but it kind of fits. One look at your woobly gray eyes and Mark is scared.”
“You are kind of an idiot, Jamie.”
“It has been said, it has been said.” Jamie smirked “Little bit of one-on-one?”
“Like being beaten thirty to two is something I enjoy.”
“Hey, you got two. Trust me, Shorty; that is good.”
“We can’t all be long-armed Gigantors.”
“So?” Jamie sounded hopeful.
“Calculus, dude.” Daniel sighed. He hated calculus, couldn’t see the point of it, and didn’t have Jamie’s instinctive enjoyment of numbers.
Jamie huffed and leaned over his shoulder. “5%, 3.14, xy, there, done.”
“Thanks, but I need the proofs that go with it.”
“I’ll do it with ya later.” Jamie’s voice changed to a whine. “C’mon, dude, let’s go and work off all the crap we eat.”
“The crap you eat.”
Somehow Daniel got talked into it, got pulled and pushed and finally stood facing a loose-limbed confident Jamie. He bounced the ball, visualizing shooting the hoop… one, feign to the left, two, actually go right, snaking past Jamie’s defenses, three aim and shoot, score a net, taking the score to a glorious fourteen-one. Problem was he missed and Jamie grabbed the ball getting the shot and whooping with glee. Daniel sprawled on his back huffing and sweating and grimacing, even getting to one point was so not working.
Jamie sprawled next to him, grinning. “Fifteen to zero, a new Walker record.”
Daniel couldn’t even string two words together for a comeback, let alone anything remotely witty.
“Jamie, you little freak!”
Jamie jumped to his feet, laughing as Mark launched himself round the corner and the two fell into an impromptu wrestling match on the grass. Mark definitely had the upper hand, finally pinning his giggling brother by his arms to the ground.
“Uncle, uncle.” Jamie couldn’t breathe for the laughing.
“Say you’re sorry,” Mark pushed, a serious expression on his face.
Daniel wished Jamie would stop with the laughing. He was sure it wasn’t going down too well with his brother.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Jamie finally croaked out.
Mark rolled off him, lying sprawled next to him, a superior smirk on his face. “Turns out, little brother, Sarah loves the Muppets.”
And then the two just lay back, looking up at blue sky, laughing like loons.
Neither noticed when Daniel left.
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