18 Truths (My So-Called Afterlife Book 2)

By: Jamie Ayres
"A touching story that will make you cherish each day and the ones you love." ~Jaime Rush, New York Times bestselling author of the Hidden Series

"A haunting tale that had me smiling one moment and on the brink of tears the next." ~Heather Burch, critically acclaimed author of the Halflings Series

"An emotional journey readers won't soon forget--will have readers making their own bucket lists." ~Marisa Cleveland, Author of the South Beach Series

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Sample Chapter from 18 Thoughts (sequel to 18 Truths)

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For GG, the real Olga Worontzoff. You are one of a kind. I’m sorry I never learned to count in Russian, but I hope this makes up for it in some small way. xoxo





“For, after a certain distance, every step we take in life

we find the ice growing thinner below our feet,

and all around us and behind us

we see our contemporaries going through.”

—Robert Louis Stevenson

ruth: Every morning when I woke up, the biggest truth I’ve ever faced landed like a grenade in my heart. I never said this when I had the chance: I love Olga Gay Worontzoff with all my heart, soul, mind, and body.

Okay, maybe not body because we never touched outside of handholding and hugs, and usually because tears were involved on her behalf, not in an “I want you” kind of way at all. But I digress, which happened a lot lately since there wasn’t much to do here other than have silly conversations with myself.

Now, where was I?

Oh, false: It’s better to keep your feelings to yourself so you don’t ruin your friendship. What a bunch of crap. I couldn’t believe for twelve years I freakin’ ate a pile of that shi—

Um, I mean, crap. That was one of Olga’s favorite words, a word I used a lot these days as I worked on my language.

It was all I thought about in Juvie. No, not sh—crap. Although maybe if I had said a few less ‘bad’ words, then maybe I wouldn’t have ended up here. But I seriously didn’t think the Big Man Upstairs cared so much about that stuff as he did people. Otherwise, he would’ve sent me straight to Hell like I probably deserved.

But, like I was saying, every morning I woke up after another weird dream that usually involved me yelling at Olga to hurry, like I was the white rabbit and she was Alice, and then my truth hit me again like a ton of bricks. I was dead, and I never once told Olga I loved her, was in love with her.

And now? Too late.

I didn’t know if she survived the freak boating accident on Lake Michigan that involved lightning and hypothermia and took my life, but even if she didn’t, she was in Heaven. I knew this because she was an angel even on Earth. But me? I was stuck in Juvie, one of the four realms of the Underworld, reserved for teenagers like me who were undecided about the whole God thing at the time of their unfortunate demise.

I squeezed my eyes closed, trying to shut out my agony. Here was another truth: there were tears after death, at least where I resided. Sean and Kyle would probably revoke my Man Card for admitting I cried, but I figured I had nothing to lose at this point. Okay, that was only half-true. I could still lose my soul.

Even if this part of the Underworld was temporary until judgment or whatever, there was a terrifying finality to it. I tried to focus on Godly things to get me through, but Olga filled my thoughts instead. Not always the PG version either.

Truth number three: I regret dying a virgin.

Most people thought I wasn’t one. In a twisted turn of feminine power events, this girl Denise, who I had dated for three weeks during the beginning of junior year—an all-time record high for me—claimed we slept together after we broke up. I didn’t dispute the rumor because One, we did get about as close as you can get to sleeping with someone without actually doing the deed, and Two, why would anyone deny something like that?

I climbed off my cot in the darkness and stood. It was always dark here, with very little light. I paced around, going stir crazy once again.

I can’t take this anymore.

My roommate yawned luxuriously, and I was thankful for the sound of something real. I threw my pillow at him.

“Wake up, Sunshine!” His real name was Bo, a seventeen-year-old like me. He died in a car crash, so cliché.

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