Excerpt from The Stars from Me to You
In Nicole Bea’s The Stars from Me to You, 13-year-old Rion is in a coma after being hit by a truck while riding his bike, and is stuck in Limbo—a vast and empty solar system of planets and stars somewhere between Heaven and the not so good Heaven. His twin sister Bellamie may be the only one who can rescue him, but to do that she has to learn the truth about The Accident. With the help of fellow schoolmate and psychic Adley, she also learns the truth about her own sexual identity. Give this intriguing excerpt a read:
I didn’t expect a lie to hurt so much.
Pretty much everything else feels like warm molasses, heated just right to room temperature, and trickled over some brown bread. To be fair, some other things feel like salt water taffy, kind of a stick-to-your-teeth sweet. But that lie, well, that’s a really hot pan I’ve just set my hand on. It’s not even my lie and it still burns white-hot in my stomach. Probably because it affects me. It affects her. It, in a way, affects everything so many times.
When I fell into a coma, I didn’t really believe a place like Limbo existed. A dark and long expanse of stars and moonlight and eternal space. It’s kind of beautiful in an overwhelming way; you can walk through darkness and pinpricks of ivory forever and not get tired, but you never really get anywhere either. Just farther and farther into nothingness as you wait for something to happen.
That lie is how I ended up here, I think. I can’t entirely be sure because I’m here alone in a forever solar system. Speech doesn’t exist except in my own head. There’s nobody to talk to anyway. It doesn’t stop me from trying.
“Hello,” I yell out, but there’s no sound. It gets sucked up in the vacuum of night and the stars shake with the force of my voice. Reaching out to stop the movement, I lean on one of the little white dots. It slips away from my hand and bumps into another bit of light before coming to a halt.
How weird—I can move the stars here.
The long dark wiggles as if there’s been a minor earthquake, little stars all jumbling together while the bigger, brighter ones hardly move at all. I stretch out my arm and push some of the tiny dots together to make five letters.
The stars stay in place for ten or fifteen seconds—do seconds exist here in Limbo?—and then slowly return back to their original positions in the night sky above my head.
I sit on a ground made of nothing, ready to think about the lie of The Accident all over again, when the familiar voice of my sister breaks through the twilight.
“Hello? Is anyone out there?”
Yelling her name as loudly as I can, the darkness shakes and shakes and shakes but nothing comes out. It doesn’t matter in the end because across the field of indigo and black runs Bellamie. She doesn’t look whole, more like a ghost, and not because she’s all windswept but more because she’s almost entirely see-through.
“Rion? Where are we?” she asks, coming to a skidding stop, her hands and feet flickering like candles that don’t belong to her body. Bellamie stares at me with wide, blue eyes and I open my mouth to speak before I remember that 3 she can’t hear me. I have no voice here. I take my sister’s see-through hand and lead her to a blob of tiny stars in the distance and spell out the word:
“Limbo?” she says, her body barely visible now. “What’s Limbo, Rion? Why aren’t you talking to me? Ooh, my head, my head, my head.”
–From The Stars from Me to You by Nicole Bea
Bellamie’s voice gets faster and faster until she’s only an outline with a hollow voice and curly hair. By the time I make a crooked question mark out of the same stars, my sister has disappeared into the black hole of whatever is outside of here.