#IABBAddict: Pucked by Rachel Walter
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Date published: February 8, 2015
Does life get in the way of love or does love get in the way of life?
Riley Silk, captain of the Warrior’s Ice Hockey team at Dalesburg High, doesn’t think life can be lived if love is present. If there’s two things in life he knows to be true, it’s that love causes pain and hockey is his ticket to a better life. He’s worked hard to maintain his Frozen Silk reputation in order to stay focused on his duties and goals.
Audrey Jacobs, the Warrior’s number one fan, believes life can’t be lived without love. She can find love and beauty in the muddiest of situations. Her best friend, Riley, is under a lot of stress at home, so she does her best to brighten his mood whenever she can.
When lines cross and blur, they struggle to keep control of the simplicity their friendship once held. With Audrey’s outlook on life usually surrounded by light, the growing darkness of her doubts and insecurities threaten to deflect her toward the wrong path.
Can she find her true self before her world burns around her? When truths become lies, can Riley find the strength to fight his way through his own personal darkness that clings to his mind and soul? Can he win this face-off that life has dropped in his zone, or will fate take him out of the game completely?
Who keeps the puck?
**Warning- Several abuse topics are discussed in this story, which includes parental alienation, physical abuse, alcohol abuse, and mild drug abuse.**
I growl and force my anger into my next swing. The puck completely misses the net, bouncing off the cement wall.
Audrey’s not leaving this town. Yeah, she’s trying to care for Hannah, but she’s leaving me.
My hopeful heart drops and I kick the bag again, using the blade of the plastic stick to set up the new line of victims. Each puck has a different face.
For leaving us the way he did for another woman.
He gets another.
He broke my mother’s heart to the point that she’s not even the same woman she was five years ago.
He started this domino effect of bullshit, and for that, he gets a third.
For letting a man break her down so badly that she can’t function properly.
She gets another.
She’s forgotten that she’s a mother. I’m not old enough to care for my baby sister properly, not in the parental way she deserves. I still need a mom, but at least I’m old enough to figure things out on my own.
My mother gets another puck just for hurting my baby sister by ignoring her like she does. It smashes into the wall.
Another puck with her face, because it’s her fault that Audrey wants to stay here. Audrey can see that Hannah needs a mother. So why can’t Mom see it?
I kick the bag again, lining up another row.
She gets one more, for bringing another man into our house, causing a whole different world of shit for us.
I tap a puck forward, glaring at it.
This one’s for Ted.
I purposefully miss the net this time. Smashing the puck into the wall so hard I hear it crack as it rattles across the floor.
One more for Ted.
His alcohol addiction nearly ended everything I know and love in one night with his drunken rage.
My mother gets another puck. This one’s for bringing the man that beat her, almost to death, in front of my baby sister last year back into our home. I purposefully crash it into the wall again.
I smash yet another into the cement wall.
For bringing the man who hit my baby sister because she wouldn’t stop crying, back into our lives.
For asking my Audrey out and kissing her.
My stick hooks around the last puck.
It gets my face.
For being a coward and not asking my girl to be my girl, for not telling her how I’ve felt for years, for lying, and for hurting her feelings. This puck gets my face for not being a stronger man and calling the police to press charges against Ted.
The puck glances off the post and flies my way.
On instinct, I drop to my knees so I don’t get hit, and hear a soft gasp followed by an echoing thud of a body hitting the floor.