Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Because I Had To by David Bulitt

I Had To
David Bulitt

Contemporary Fiction

Porter spent her childhood bouncing from therapist to therapist and
prescription to prescription. An outcast at school and a misfit at
home, the only solace she ever found was in her relationship with her
dad, Tom. Now he's dead. Feeling rejected by her adopted mom and her
biological twin sister, Jess runs off to South Florida. But she can't
outrun her old life. Watching the blood drip down her arm after her
latest round of self-inflicted cutting, she decides her only choice
is to find and face what frightens her most. Because I Had To takes
the reader inside the worlds of adoption, teen therapy, family law,
and the search for a biological family. With a cast of finely drawn,
complicated characters, it asks us to consider: can the present ever
heal the past?

* B&N

Excerpt 2:

My dad is dead. It's been almost a year now. He was pretty young, only 52. When I think back on all I have done since I last saw him, I'm not sure how I should feel. Embarrassed? Some, yes. But also proud of myself, in a strange sort of way. At 23, I've probably done more than a lot of people have. Or should have, anyway.
I made it at home for just a little while after he died. Me, my mom and my sister. And that's exactly how it was. Me. My mom and my sister.
Kasey and I are twins. We were born in Pittsburgh and adopted right away. My parents did not use an agency but got us through what they always told us was an independent adoption. They found us literally by running some sort of "baby wanted" ads in local papers and those penny saver things that people look at in grocery stores. Ever since I can remember, Kasey and I were different. As twins, one would think that we would have a connection, a natural bond of some kind, permanent “womb-mates”. For whatever reason, though, I never felt it. More than that, I never even liked Kasey. I know it's crazy to say, but as far back as when I was about six or so, I can remember wishing that something bad would happen to her. Of course, for a little kid, "something bad" usually meant like her hair falling out or hoping she threw up all over herself. Once when we were little and on the couch exploring the depths of our prepubescent vaginas while watching Sponge Bob and playing that stupid “Pretty Pretty Princess” game my sister loved so much, I handed Kasey a clip on earring and told her to put it on that little bump thing just above her vagina.
“It will tickle.”
I lied.
Like the mindless sheep she was, Kasey immediately snapped it right onto her clitoris. She went screaming through the house and it wasn’t until my dad could catch her and was able to pry her legs apart long enough to unhook the thing that she finally quieted down. I didn’t exactly know what a clitoris was at the time, but it sure looked like it hurt. I stayed on the couch and laughed my ass off.
As we got older, I stopped wishing for Kasey to take a fall somewhere along the manicured little path that my mother paved for her. Like old bathroom wallpaper that no one notices, I just stopped thinking about her altogether.
Same as my mom, Kasey always seemed perfect. When we were kids, her hair was long and light brown and curly. She had this creamy translucent white skin and I don’t think has ever, even now, gotten a pimple. She reminded me of one of those irritating American Girl dolls. When we would brush our teeth together in the banana yellow double sink bathroom that we shared, I always looked over at her in one of her little pink Lanz nightgowns, buttoned up all the way to the top. When she finished, Kasey would rinse out the toothbrush and put it right back into the holder, exactly where it belonged. I looked at her, and then straight ahead into the mirror at myself, toothpaste running down my chin.
My hair was a bit darker and much straighter than my sister. I had this awful freckle on the tip of my nose that to me looked like a little licorice jellybean. I picked it off over and over again, must have been a hundred times, only to have it always grow right back. The summer before I went to high school, my Dad took me to a plastic surgeon that lasered it right off.
I did everything I could to get my hair to curl like Kasey’s. I tried my mom’s curling iron, burning my fingers more times than I care to remember. A few times, I tried tying my dad’s socks into it overnight hoping to wake up and see one of those unrealistically cute Disney channel characters in the mirror. One time, I had my dad drive me to a dollar store and bought me my own set of 1950’s style curlers. I put them in and one got so tangled that the next morning my dad had to cut it out, leaving a short, jagged patch. Nothing worked. When I got a little older, I just gave up, and instead, just let my bangs grow and brushed them over the side and across my forehead, often low enough to cover my left eye. My hair-never-out-of-place mother didn’t approve. More than once she told me that I looked like one of the Beach Boys. I didn’t know who they were back then, but I knew she did not mean it to be a compliment. I asked my dad to play me some of their music and thought it was pretty good. After that, I didn’t really mind the comparison.
Like everything else we owned, my mom bought us the same nightgowns. I hated those things, all frilly and soft. Kasey kept hers folded tightly in her “nightgown drawer”. I just never felt comfortable in them and stuffed them into little balls underneath my bed. Instead, I would rummage through my dad’s old t-shirt drawer and steal one of his particularly big and baggy ones. It drove my mother crazy, but Dad kind of liked it. Even now, at 23, I still wear his old t-shirts. Except for his Asbury Jukes music collection, what’s left in my bank account and some great fucking memories, those old t-shirts are pretty much all I have left of him.

law specialist David Bulitt has been praised as the lawyer who
“epitomizes stability and old fashioned common sense” by Bethesda
Magazine and routinely makes every top Washington DC Metro lawyer
list. His clients say that he is “the best non-shaving,
motorcycle-riding, bourbon-drinking, non-lawyer, lawyer” they

grandson of a New Jersey bartender, Bulitt was the first member of
his family to get a professional degree. After years of raising kids
and focusing on family responsibilities, Bulitt Bulitt now spends
much of his spare time discussing world issues with his dogs and
working on his novels. His first book, CARD GAME, was published in
2015 to a bevy of five star reviews. His new novel, BECAUSE I HAD TO,
is available now on Roundfire Books.

is the Assistant Managing Director of Joseph, Greenwald and Laake,
PA, one of Maryland's largest and most prominent law firms. His
practice focuses on all areas of family law, including cases that
involve complex financial and property matters and property
distribution, divorce, and child custody disputes. He is often
appointed by local courts to serve in one of the most difficult and
demanding legal roles, as a Best Interests Attorney for children
whose parents are embroiled in high conflict custody disputes. He
also has extensive expertise working with families that have children
with special needs.

the tour HERE
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