Authors: Judy Blume
FOR ADULT READERS
FOR YOUNG ADULTS
Letters to Judy: What Kids Wish They Could Tell You
Places I Never Meant to Be
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
Then Again, Maybe I Won't
It's Not the End of the World
Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself
Just as Long as We're Together
Here's to You, Rachel Robinson
FOR YOUNGER READERS, THE
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great
PAIN & THE GREAT ONE
Going, Going, Gone!
Friend or Fiend?
The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo
The Pain and the Great One
THIS IS A BORZOI BOOK
PUBLISHED BY ALFRED A. KNOPF
Copyright Â© 2015 by Judy Blume
All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York, and in Canada by Random House of Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Ltd., Toronto.
Knopf, Borzoi Books, and the colophon are registered trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC.
Grateful acknowledgment is made to Alfred Music for permission to reprint an excerpt from “How High the Moon,” lyrics by Nancy Hamilton and music by Morgan Lewis, copyright Â© 1940, copyright renewed, by Chappell & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Alfred Music.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Â Â Â In the unlikely event / Judy Blume. â First edition.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â pages ; cm
Â Â Â
Â Â Â
84315Â Â Â Â 2015
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, events and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author's use of names of historical figures, places, or events is not intended to change the entirely fictional character of the work. In all other respects, any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
Cover design by Kelly Blair
My Henry Ammerman
ven now she can't decide. She thinks about flipping a coin.
she stays. But isn't indecisiveness an early sign of mental illness? Didn't she cover a story about that a few years ago? Or is it that she's conflicted? Conflicted is better than indecisive. Why is she thinking this way? A voice inside her head says,
You know damn well why
She steps up to the bank of phones inside the departure lounge and dials her fifteen-year-old daughter, Eliza, at school, but gets her machine. She supposes it's good news that Eliza has gone to her early morning class. She'll try her again later when she gets there, if she goes. Otherwise she'll call from home.
She's still weighing the pros and cons an hour later when the flight to Newark is announced and the first-class passengers are invited to board. She feels the panic risingâthe dry mouth, the pounding heart, the urge to run. The moment of truth. Once she gets on the plane there will be no turning back. A hot flash washes over her body.
For god's sake, not now
, she tells herself, wriggling out of her coat, as sweat pools between her breasts. She takes a deep breath, grabs her carry-on bag and heads for the gate. She's going to do this. She's not backing down.
Once she's seated with her seat belt fastened, she thinks about taking a Valium to help her sleep on the long flight. But when has she ever slept on a plane? The guy next to her, in the window seat, is already loosening his tie, slipping a sleep mask over his eyes. No
chitchat for him, which is fine with her. She's about to pull out the book she's reading,
The Prince of Tides
, but instead grabs the classy leather-covered journal her friend Christina gave her for her birthday. Each of them has been asked to share something tomorrow, a few personal words, a poem, a memory. This is her only entry.
After enough time it fades and you're grateful.
Not that it's ever completely gone.
It's still there, buried deep, a part of you.
The stench is gone from your nostrils now
Unless someone leaves the kettle on to boil and forgets about it.
The nightmares have tapered out.
There are more pressing things to dream about, to worry over,
to keep you awake at night.
Aging parents, adolescent children, work, money,
the state of the world.
Life goes on, as our parents promised that winter.
Life goes on if you're one of the lucky ones.
But we're still part of a secret club,
One we'd never willingly join,
With members who have nothing in common
except a time and a place.
We'll always be connected by that winter.
Anyone who tells you different is lying.