Title: Waiting on Justin by Lucy H. Delaney
Genre: New Adult
Can everlasting love grow amidst never-ending despair? Best friends Justin and Haylee learn early on that the answer is yes. Their parents would rather spend time drinking and partying than raising children, so the two rely on each other for the care and emotional support they need. Over time, Justin and Haylee become lovers despite the age difference between them.
Theirs is a forbidden romance that would destroy them both if discovered.
The older of the two, Justin is more than a little rough around the edges. He does everything he can to protect Haylee from as much abuse as possible, but when tragedy strikes there is nothing he can to do keep her from being taken into the foster system.
The system meant to save kids threatens to pull the two of them apart.
Haylee begs Justin to run away with her, but the powers-that-be force him into an inescapable corner.
Blaming Justin for the distance that separates them, Haylee shuts out everything and everyone from her past – including Justin. She tries to forget him. She tries to replace him. But he is always there. So is her own addiction. When it finally gets the best of her, she finds herself utterly alone.
She soon discovers what Justin has always known: Their love was worth waiting for.
I FELL IN LOVE with Justin when I was seven years old, and I have loved him ever since. I knew him forever, but before that night he was nothing more than a really cool big kid. He was eleven, and when you’re seven an eleven-year-old is pretty much an adult. I suppose he was in my life even before I knew how to make a memory because as far back as I can go in my mind, he’s always been there, protecting me, loving me silently.
Justin was the most amazing boy I had ever known, even before I decided I loved him. Some people said he was worthless and good for nothing, a loser and a punk. Clayton, Justin’s dad, even said he wasn’t worth the oxygen he breathed.
His hair was dirty blond and usually a little long. I remember once my mom cut it into a raggedy mohawk and then never kept up with it. Eventually the sides grew out, and the top and back were so long I almost couldn’t tell he ever had a mohawk until he turned his head really fast; then the top hair would fly up and the shorter sides were obvious. Honestly, it looked ridiculous, but he liked it and kept it that way for a real long time.
When I look back at his fifth grade picture I can see how young he was. His chubby cheeks, his uncombed hair, and his favorite Power Rangers shirt all showcase his youth. But I swear, when I was a kid I couldn’t see anything but a grown-up when I looked in his green eyes. He was a man, and he watched out for me.
We knew each other before we fell in love because our parents ran in the same social circle. By that, I mean that they partied and drank with the same people, and occasionally got high. I know now that it was more than occasionally, but when you’re young, hours, days, and weeks are stretched out, and it feels like forever is between them.