Sketch #323

What Happened on April 6th


Girls like me do not buy pregnancy tests.

I drag my pencil down the paper, drawing tears rolling from her eyes.

Girls like me sing in the church choir. Every spring break, I go on mission trips to Honduras, where we renovate houses for the underprivileged. I do all my homework every night, and before I go to bed, I kiss Daddy’s cheek and tell him I wish he’d go to the doctor about his blood pressure and start getting more exercise than walking Fritz and scooping his poop.

I’ve only kissed one boy my entire life.

Emily called that day, crying. “Kate,” she said between sobs. “You can’t tell anyone. Not even your mom.”

I drove to Wal-Mart two towns away, over in Green Hills, so no one would see me buying the test. I trembled as I carried the box to the self-checkout lane. I scanned, bagged and paid, and bit back tears, because my best friend of fifteen years – since we were three years old – might have accidentally gotten pregnant by her long-time boyfriend.

I didn’t even know they had had sex. It’s not something they would tell. If anyone found out that Jacob, son of Brother Michael – our preacher at church – got a girl pregnant out of wedlock? Chaos.

It wouldn’t look good for Emily either. She’s like me. Always wears clean T-shirts and none of her jeans have holes or loose strings. She would never even think about smoking a cigarette. She doesn’t go over the speed limit. She plays the violin and has a scholarship lined up to attend Belmont University in Nashville.

But Emily made a mistake.

I use my black coloring pencil to shade her hair. My red pencil fills in her lips, turned upside down in a frown.

And then I made an even bigger mistake: I helped her.






You Were My First Kiss

Friday, June 1 ~ Week 1 of 7

I haven’t been to Cumberland Creek Camp since I was eleven, since I was a camper. Now I’m eighteen, a high school graduate. I’m someone who has no business being a camp counselor, that’s for sure. I can’t start fires. I can’t tell poison ivy and poison oak apart. And since I tipped over in the Cumberland River sophomore year, canoes and I have had a serious love-hate relationship.

But my friendship bracelet-making skills are first-rate, so my church – Forrest Sanctuary, nominated me to be the camp arts and crafts instructor. I never would’ve agreed if Emily hadn’t been nominated to be a counselor as well.

“It’ll be a great summer!” she’d said. “We’ll meet new people and get to hang out by the lake and make s’mores and go creek-stomping together. Like when we were eight!”

But now I’m here alone.

I need the money for college and it’s too late to find a job anywhere else in this economy and I figure if I do this for the church, maybe God will think about forgiving me for what I’ve done.

Back in the day, the Chickasaw Indian tribe believed that this land – these mountains in Tennessee – were where heaven meets the earth, and lots of locals say God often communicates to people here. Through signs. Through visions. Through just feeling closer to Him. When I was little, it was always the talk of camp. Would God speak to anyone this year? I remember hearing a rumor about how a counselor had this deep feeling she needed to go see her boyfriend. So she drove away from camp and made it to his house just in time to find he’d slipped and fallen down the stairs and was bleeding heavily from his head. He lived, thanks to the sign.

Everyone wants a sign at some point, and this summer I need one more than ever.

I park my car along the tree line beside the basketball court and make my way up the trail, past the cedar and oak trees, keeping a watch out for copperheads and black widow spiders. Last time I was here, a deer tick bit me and burrowed into my skin. Two weeks later, I had a rash the shape of a dartboard stretching across my pale stomach. Everybody wanted to see it. And I mean everybody. Even Will Whitfield. But when you’re eleven, you don’t pull your shirt up for anybody except your mom and the doctor.

Anyway, the whole reason I’m thinking about Will Whitfield is because I see him standing in front of the camp director’s cabin, along with the other counselors. The cabin’s name is Great Oak, because camp is divided into two lands: Birdland and Treeland, and all the cabins are named accordingly. Cardinal, Redwood, Wren. My favorite cabin is White Oak because it’s nestled up in the hills overlooking the lake and it’s closest to the Woodsong Chapel, my favorite place. Emily and I made a lot of good memories here, memories that I hoped would continue this summer. But this job doesn’t pay much – not enough for her to rent an apartment in Nashville.

Her parents kicked her out of the house after they found out about the abortion.

They said they’d pray for her soul.

I hope they’re praying for my soul too.


A guy wearing no shoes is staring at me.

Boys don’t usually stare. Except for Bruce Wilson, captain of my high-school math team, and he hardly counts because I never wanted to return his stares.

Shoeless Boy is beautiful. His tan face is kind and maybe a bit mischievous. A red bandana keeps his dirty blond hair in check. His khaki shorts reach his knees and sunglasses hang off the collar of his black T-shirt. He’s carrying a guitar case and has a laundry basket full of clothes under the other arm.

He sets the guitar down and waves. I wave back. He grins, and my knees feel kinda wobbly.

He reminds me of someone…

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44 thoughts on “Excerpt from THINGS I CAN’T FORGET”

  • whoah! i wanna read this. I am not into religious books, but i guess since i have read catching Jordan and loved it, that i will give this a chance. it sounds really good, though. 🙂

  • I love this! Anything Miranda writes is awesome! I’ve read Catching Jordan three times! LOL! counting down the days for Stealing Parker! Now counting down the months for Things I Cant Forget!

  • @AmandaSoup – It’s actually a brand-new Matt. Matt Brown. He is an older frat guy who I think is pretty yummy. 🙂

  • @Amanda – Things I Can’t Forget is a very different type of book from Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker.

  • OMG! I can’t wait to read this. I loved stealing Parker and Catching Jordan so I’m excited to see how this turns out. 🙂

  • Taylor Swift new song, “I knew you were trouble” reminds me of Stealing Parker…just saying. And I can wait to read this, I want to know what happens to Jordan, Parker, Sam, Will, and the new girl!

  • I just read Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker… I must say that I am hooked. I cannot wait to read the upcoming novels.

  • and you let it hanging there??? OMG and what is Corndog doing there. shouldn’t he be with Parker? or is she there too? You got me hooked on these distressed teens 🙂 and I’m way over my teenage days 🙂

  • @mirandakenneally will Sam Henry and Jordan woods stay together? They’re the best couple in a book i’ve ever read!

  • You should write at least one book that’s not related to religion. But I do LOVE your books!!!! I have read Stealing Parker and Catching Jordan at least 5,000 times!! They are so good! I would love it if you could write second books to all of your books. Like keep it in the sporty atmosphere but tell us what happens with the romances! I love your books SOO much! I hope you keep writing a ton more!! Your an AMAZING author!!! Hope to see some movies come out of them! That would be the best thing! Books to Movies are my favorite!! Thanks again for writing!!!! I’m looking forward to this book it she be really good!!!

  • @Molly Catching Jordan doesn’t have any religion in it and RACING SAVANNAH doesn’t either. If I wrote sequels, I’d have to split my characters up, because you can’t have books without drama. I’d rather not split them up, so I’m going to keep writing companion novels so you can see what’s going on with my characters after.

  • Hey Miranda,
    I am obsessed with Catching Jordan! I read it so many times and I read Stealing Parker too. I was wondering because I love Jordan and Henry if you can just write about them. Like there own little series and how they are in college and there struggles. Also, what comes after college. Do you think you’ll be interested in that. I would LOVE to read about that! Please think about it.

  • I loved all these books! Absolutely amazing and very well written(: these books got me into reading more and I love me some romance(:

  • Oh my gosh! I love Miranda Kenneallys’ books! Especially Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker! They are amazing! 🙂

  • I really hope you keep making more books on sports and romance, maybe you can do one on basketball! 🙂 It’s always really sad when a author stops writing a series… 🙁 I LOVE YOUR BOOKS! XD Also, what in the world is Corndog doing in Things I Can’t Forgot?! 🙂

  • Since beginning Catching Jordan, I have greatly enjoyed this series. You have a great talent for writing engrossing storylines and strong characters. I really enjoyed this particular story because I was intrigued by Kate and her journey throughout the book and was smitten with the character of Matt. I also appreciated the more detailed glimpse into the relationship of the previous book’s characters of Parker and Will, and the brief glimpse of how Jordan and Sam were faring. And I cannot wait for Racing Savannah to be released so that I can catch up on what is happening in Hundred Oaks.

    I was curious if you had any plans to include Emily or Jacob in future novels. I was really intrigued by the flashbacks we had of Emily and her struggle with the choices that she made. I would really look forward to seeing how she continues to mature.

    I will definitely

  • Marlene McPherson

    I like this story. The main character seems real and the situation outline can be easily identified with. The author is highlighting that persons in the church has challenges that must be overcomed and this is so. Too often we think that church persons do not have problems. It is how it is resolved that is key.

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