Title: The Long Walk by June Hardison
Genre: Inspirational Fiction
Donovan Evans, high school baseball standout, has everything going for him, including his ego. Trying to escape the pressures of parents and prospective college coaches, Donovan finds himself arrested and headed towards community service, where he makes an unlikely friend who reminds him of the person he was intended to be. This is a story about an athlete and a multi-disabled young man, and how two people from very different backgrounds can change each other’s life.
About the Author
June grew up in southeastern New Mexico playing sports and reading books. Married with two boys, she is having a blast watching those two boys grow up into men. Her time is mainly spent with family and helping others through her job with working with special education students. She feels blessed to be able to share stories that entertain and inspire.
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“Hey, do you mind if he sits with me today?”
As carefully as he could, Josh grabbed a milk. His hands shook as he placed it on his tray next to his sandwich. The kids behind him, visibly perturbed, let out sighs and rolled their eyes at how long it was taking Josh to get his food.
“Uh…sure,” Kate slowly said. Her eyes narrowed with curiosity seeping around the edges.
Donovan whispered a “thanks” and quickly walked over to Josh to help him out.
“You know, the food isn’t good enough for you to be thinking so long and hard about what you’re going to get,” Donovan said when he reached Josh.
Josh looked up with a startled expression on his face. “D? What you doin’ here!”
“Just here to help a dude out. That’s all.”
“Man! No, I dot it,” he said as Donovan reached for his tray.
“Are you sure, because I can carry your tray, man.”
“No, D. I do it,” he said with a smile.
“Ok, well come on and sit with me today.”
“You serious?” His eyes wide, he picked up his pace with his walker.
“Of course. I already told your sister that you would be sitting with me. Its tons better than having to listen to all their girl talk, right?” Donovan nudged him with his elbow.
“Oh, yeah,” Josh laughed.
They made their way across the cafeteria to Donovan’s table. It was a long walk by Josh standards. He would lift and place his walker down carefully so he didn’t spill his food, take two steps, and then repeat the process. Donovan stayed with him the whole way. 10, Krysta, and the others at the table stared with mixed expressions. Steve smiled, Matt looked confused, and Krysta narrowed her eyes. Donovan’s heart beat quickened and for a moment he wondered if he had made the right decision by bringing Josh over. The last thing he wanted was for Josh to become a target on Krysta’s gossip page. Donovan took a deep breath and then looked at the group with a smirk. Time for them to broaden their horizons, he thought to himself with a laugh. He would protect Josh from Krysta.