Click here to Download All Rhodes Lead Here PDF Book by Mariana Zapata Language English having PDF Size 2.5 MB and No of Pages 450.
I blew out a breath and shook my shoulders to wake myself up a little more, wincing at the ache that had taken them over, back when I’d gotten the rug pulled out from under me, and never left. Maybe I had no real idea of what I was going to do long term, but I was going to figure it out. I couldn’t find it in me to regret my decision to drive here.
All Rhodes Lead Here PDF Book by Mariana Zapata
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|No of Pages||450|
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There were plenty of things in my life I regretted, but I wouldn’t let this choice be one of them. Even if I didn’t end up staying in the area long term, the month I had reserved in Pagosa Springs was going to be nothing in the grand scheme of life. It was going to be a stepping stool for the future. Maybe a Band-Aid for the past. A boost to the present. It’s never too late to find a new road, as my friend Yuki sang.
I had driven all this way to Colorado for a reason, and nothing was going to be in vain—not my butt cheeks hurting, my shoulders aching, my sciatic nerve acting up, or even how much my eyes needed a light bulb and a nap. And if I could feel the start of a headache right above my eyebrows, then that was just part of the journey, a building block for the fucking future. No pain, no gain.
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And if I didn’t get into my car again for another month, that would be great too. The idea of being behind the wheel for another minute made me want to puke. Maybe I’d buy another car while I was at it now that I thought about it. I had the blood money for it. Might as well use it for something I would actually need and use since my existing one didn’t have four-wheel drive.
That seemed to be the story of my life: going to my aunt and uncle’s when my world fell apart. But as disastrous as splitting up with someone that I’d thought I’d be with for the rest of my life was, I’d known with my entire heart that nothing held a candle to losing my mom. That helped me keep things in perspective and reminded me of what was important.
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I was so lucky to have my aunt and uncle. They had taken me in and treated me like I was theirs. Better, honestly. They had protected me and loved me. And as if she had read my mind while we’d talked, she had griped, “Leo”—one of my cousins—“came over yesterday and helped me give that thief a one-star review for his new album. We set up your uncle an account and did the same.
There were a lot of them too. Heh, heh.” I loved them both so much. “I talked to Yuki a week ago, and she said it deserved for someone to give it a big shit emoji instead of any stars,” I had told her. In the background, my uncle, who wasn’t a big talker but was a big listener, called out, “I bet he and his momma are freaking out now that their golden goose is gone.” I’d smirked.
\Because I might know everything that happened had been for the best, but it didn’t mean I was a good person who wanted the best for her ex. He was going to pay for what he and his mom had done. Eventually. I knew it. He knew it. It was just a matter of time before everyone else did. All Rhodes Lead Here PDF Book
Kaden could find someone else to write his music for him… but he was going to spend an arm and a leg when, before, I’d done it out of love. For free. Well, not really, but it could have been. But whoever helped him wouldn’t let him take all the credit for their hard work. Not like I had. My aunt had sighed and seemed to hesitate before saying, “Ora, I heard through Betty—do you remember Betty?
The lady that does my hair?—Well, she said she saw a picture of him with that Tammy Lynn at an event recently.” Something had ticked at the back of my throat at the mental image of the man I’d been in a relationship with for nearly half my life with someone else. Opening up my eyes, I reminded myself that I was here. That I didn’t want to live in Nashville, Yuki or no Yuki.
I’d liked Florida, but it had never really felt like home because it seemed more of just a reminder of what I had lost, of a life I’d had to live because of the things that had happened. In a way, it was a bigger reminder of a tragedy than even Pagosa Springs. And I didn’t want to fucking move from Pagosa. Even if all I had were just a couple friends, but hey, some people had no friends. All Rhodes Lead Here PDF Book
Just earlier, when I hadn’t been feeling so pathetic, I’d thought that everything was working out. That I was getting somewhere. I was settling in. And now all it took was one little thing to go wrong and I wanted to quit? Who was I? Taking in a long, deep breath, I accepted that I was going to have to go back.
I had nothing for my hands, my knees ached like fucking hell, and my shoulder was hurting more and more by the second. I was pretty sure I’d be in unbelievable pain if I’d dislocated it, but I’d probably just hurt it a little. I had to take care of myself, and I had to do it now. I could always come back and do this hike again. I wasn’t quitting. I wasn’t.
Picking the hand that looked the worst, I set it palm up on top of my thigh, gritted my teeth, and started picking out the gravel that had decided to make a home in my skin, hissing and groaning and flinching and saying, “Oh my God, fuck you,” over and over again when a particular piece hurt like extra hell… which was every piece of gravel. All Rhodes Lead Here PDF Book
I cried. And when I finished that hand and even more blood pooled in the tiny wounds and my palm throbbed even worse, I started on the other. I was taking care of myself. There was a small first aid kit in my emergency roadside bag, I remembered when I was nearly done with my other hand. I’d bought it when I got my bear spray.
It didn’t have a whole lot, but it had something. BandAids to help me survive the entire two-and-a-half-hour drive home, on top of the time it would take to hike back out. Oh my God, I was going to cry again. But I could do it while I dug out rocks from my elbows, I figured, and that was what I did.
And before I could tell myself not to butt in, I did. “I don’t know about that, Am. I like all the silver in your dad’s hair. It’s really nice.” Which I did. Even though I shouldn’t have said it, so I backtracked to cover my steps by throwing out. “And I don’t know about anybody else, but I think it’s beautiful what your parents did. There’s nothing ugly about selflessness and love.” All Rhodes Lead Here PDF Book Download
He took my bait even though he still didn’t believe me. “Where’s your dad?” the teenager suddenly asked, trying to change the subject, I guess. “You never talk about him.” He got me. “I see him every few years. We talk every few months. He lives in Puerto Rico. He and my mom weren’t together for long, and he wasn’t ready to settle down when they had me.
They barely knew each other actually. He loves me, I think, but not like your dads love you.” Amos still scrunched up his nose. “Why didn’t you go live with him after your mom…?” “He’s not on my birth certificate, and I was already with my uncle and aunt when he found out what had happened. It was better for me to stay with them.” “That’s messed up.”
“I’ve had so many other sad things happen, that it isn’t even in the top ten, Am,” I told him with a shrug. And I knew I’d made it awkward when imaginary crickets chirped afterward. So I was beyond surprised when a hand reached over and patted my forearm. It was Amos. I smiled at him and happened to glance over into the kitchen to see another pair of eyes looking in our direction. All Rhodes Lead Here PDF Book Download
The faintest smile was on Rhodes’s face. Someone was really in a mood. “I would’ve invited Clara and Jackie, but I know they had plans with her brothers, and I asked Amos, but he said no, and I don’t really have any customers from the store that I know well enough yet to invite,” I explained. “I think we’re getting there, but not yet.” Rhodes’s “Hmph” had me biting back another smile.
Maybe he was coming because he didn’t have anything else to do now—which I doubted— but I had a feeling he’d come to make sure I didn’t do anything stupid. I waited until I knew we were getting close to the campground before offering, “You know, if you want to talk about whatever is bothering you, I’m a pretty good listener. I don’t always run my mouth off.”
His arms were crossed over his chest, and his knees were spread as wide as they could get in my passenger seat. I could still feel the tension coming off his body, so I wasn’t totally surprised when he grunted, “I think coming might have been a bad idea.” “Maybe, but I’m not taking you back home now, so try your best if you want. Or don’t,” I told him. All Rhodes Lead Here PDF Book Download
I didn’t miss the look he sent me, part surprised at the message and maybe even a little annoyed. It wasn’t even a little surprising when he kept quiet the rest of the way, me humming a Yuki song under my breath until I’d parked the car, and we both got out. There was a big truck with an even bigger trailer parked at the start of the UTV trail.
And I waved at the customer I’d met who had told me all about his UTV business. “Hi, Ora,” the man called out, already holding a clipboard with the papers he’d warned me would need to be signed. “Hi, Andy,” I greeted him, shaking his hand when he extended it. Rhodes stopped right beside me, the side of his arm brushing mine.
“This is Rhodes. Rhodes, this is Andy.” It was Andy who extended his hand out first. “You’re the game warden in the area, aren’t you?” My landlord nodded, giving him a solid shake. “I’ve worked with your partner before,” he told him, his tone still pretty pissy. Andy made a funny face, I wasn’t sure what it might have meant before focusing back on me and saying. All Rhodes Lead Here PDF Book Free
“Let’s get this paperwork done so you can get started, what do you say?” “I say let’s do it,” I told him with a smile I stood up straight and kept on going just as she opened her mouth to tell me I was a useless bitch, like she had once before when she’d been drunk after an awards show I hadn’t been allowed to go to.
“I wish that I could tell you that I hope you’ll both find peace and happiness in your lives, but I’m not that good of a person. What I hope for is that you’ll leave me alone. That’s what I hope. Those ten million you transferred into my account was enough to get me to shut up, and I’m going to take advantage of them.
I’m going to put my kids through college with them, kids I’m going to have with someone that isn’t your son and will never be your son. You don’t have to worry about me running after Kaden begging for scraps, ma’am. Find someone else who doesn’t mind being in eleventh place, because it sure as hell isn’t going to be me.” All Rhodes Lead Here PDF Book Free
There were two last things left that needed to be said, and I knew my time was up, so I told her the words carefully, looking right into her soulless eyes as I did. “I can’t write anymore. I haven’t in over a year. Maybe one day the words will come back to me, but they’re not here now, and part of me hopes they don’t return.
But even without my notebooks and without my songs, I was worth a lot. Worth more than all that money you paid me. So, please, leave me alone. All of you. If I see you or Kaden again, I’ll make sure you regret it.” I leaned forward so she wouldn’t mistake how dead serious I was. “If any of you contact me, and I mean any of you, I will tell everyone about that lie we were all part of. I know people, and you know that.