If I Should Die: A Kimber S. Dawn MC Novel

Table of Contents



























Before I Wake by Kimber S. Dawn

About Kimber



If I Should Die Copyright © 2016 Kimber S. Dawn

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, including electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.

This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return it to the seller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author’s work.

Published: Kimber S. Dawn: 2016

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Cover Designed by Raising Kane Photo Co.

Edited by Karen Sanders

Interior Design by
Masque of the Red Pen


It’s cold again. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but I’m not. I’ve lived in Chicago since I was in the third grade, you know? Yep, almost a whole year. I’ll be nine in April. But I’ve made it. Somehow, someway, I made it another year living in foster homes, waiting for my mom to get settled in her new house and start her new job. And thankfully, after so long in this cold, cold place, I finally get to go home today.

“Hon, do you have all your bags ready? Your mom will be waiting for us if you don’t hurry,” the old prune-faced-librarian-looking woman asks.

After I hop from the stool I was sitting on, I grab my lonesome bag and smile brightly at the social worker. “Yes, ma’am. I’m all kinds of ready.” Once my bag is looped over my shoulder I walk closer to her, and without even attempting to look like she likes her job, even a little bit, she holds open the door for me and I scurry past.

Once we’re in the car and buckled up, I wait, and when she doesn’t say anything for a little while, I decide to go ahead and introduce myself. Mainly for one reason, but I’ll share both with you. The first reason, which could probably go without mention, is I’m not certain how long this is going to take. Do you know how many times I’ve gone on rides with different adults and had no idea how long it would take? Sometimes it’s fifteen minutes, sometimes it’s hours. And I learned when I was old enough that it’s better to just go ahead and ask. Especially if the adult driving won’t give up the info freely. And the second reason, remember, this is the important one, is because I can’t stay in this car for much longer if this old, crabby woman doesn’t turn on the heat.

“I’m Eve O’Malley, by the way. I don’t think Donna told me your name. Then again, she never really spoke to me, so…hey, do you think you could turn up the heat?” I rub my hands together in the back seat and smile when she glances over her shoulder at me, still looking like she just sucked a lemon.

Nope, she’s definitely NOT one of those social workers…the ones who are all bright-eyed and bushy tailed, ready to change the world. No, this one knows. She knows there isn’t going to be any happy ever afters for any of us, no matter what she does Monday through Friday from eight to five.

“My name is Mildred, hon. And sure, I’ll turn up the heat. I forget this cold bothers you kids from the south. Fifty is warm for here.” I’m a little surprised when she smirks and winks at me in the rearview mirror. “But not too warm. My bones are old; that makes me a bit colder.”

“Yes, ma’am. It is cold. And I could imagine.” I agree with her but then get back on track. “So, about how long is the ride? I didn’t sleep very well ‘cause I was so excited about today.” I yawn and look longingly at the bench seat I’m sitting on. “And I know most kids wouldn’t ask, but I’m not like most. And I could sure use a nap.” After fluffing my bag like a makeshift pillow on the other side of the back seat, I glance back up to her in the rearview mirror and await her answer.

“About forty-five minutes, depending on traffic. A good amount of time for a nap, for sure.” She nods after she finishes speaking.

I nod in return. “Yep. A darn good one at that. Well, Miss Mildred, keep the heat running. And I’ll be back here. Let me know when we get close please, ma’am.” I smile and awkwardly wave before lying down and facing the back seat.

If my momma taught me anything, it was to respect your elders. And always be polite. It’s one of those things I learned so early on in life that when I learned it I didn’t even require an explanation for it—I just learned it, knew it as a rule. And it stuck as one. Kinda like wearing socks, or flossing. It doesn’t make sense but you do it anyway—‘cause you’re supposed to.

“Yes, ma’am. Please. And thank you, Eve. Remember, always be polite. No matter what.”
My mom told me those exact same words, every time, right before she told me goodbye. Either she’d leave my sister and I at my grandmother’s, a boyfriend’s house,
her boss’s
house. She always made sure we knew to mind our manners, though—before we could even get out of the car she’d remind us. Every time.

And as soon as the car door would shut behind us, I’d hear my sister, Eden, mimicking her words before giggling.

“Yes ma’am. Please. And thank you, Eve. Eden—remember, always be polite.”

Eden and I are best friends. She’s usually with me, too, by the way. Hopefully when Mildred and I get to the park, and all the paperwork is signed and I’m back with my momma again, I can figure out why Eden isn’t with me this time. I haven’t really felt like bringing it up on the phone. And besides, Mom says we can only talk for like five minutes when she calls, so…I never wanted to bring up any negative stuff. I know my mom is trying, and I know it’s hard for her since me and Eden didn’t come with a daddy.

Or daddies.

The last time CPS showed up, it was late. It was so late Eden and I had already gone to bed. Which was late, ‘cause Mom worked ‘til midnight most nights. And Eden and I had already had our bath and were asleep. I don’t think I was really even awake until I got to the Child Services office and realized Eden wasn’t with me, or in a following car. Now, I’ve never had a heart attack, but I’ve always imagined them being painful, especially in the general chest area. So, for days I screamed that I was having a heart attack. Days. But all the adults stopped paying me any attention after the good old doctor came by and checked me out. He never did explain the pain, though. Just shook his head and frowned a bit. Then told the adults I was fine.

I shiver in Mildred’s back seat, hugging myself before waiting to see if the pain is still there. Yep. Still there—I feel it.

It ebbed. When days turned into weeks, and then weeks into months, the excruciating pain I felt when the social worker confirmed my worst nightmares did ebb. It just took a good bit of time to.

I remember feeling completely numb when she explained that her files were right, and Eden was not my twin. Completely and utterly numb. Then she went on to further clarify, telling me that Eden’s father was not my father. So he wouldn’t be coming to pick me up like he did Eden at the house after I was taken away. And after flipping through some files, she pulled out something that looked like an honors award certificate and pointed. “Eve, this is your birthday. Okay?” She then pointed to another certificate. “And this is Eden’s. See?” She looked at me so expectantly and I just shrugged.

“So?” I asked, scared out of mind. “I’m sorry, I don’t see anything, ma’am. What does this have to do with her not being here? She’s my sister!” I remember choking on the tears and getting angry at them. “She’s my sister!” My eyes begged hers.

But Mrs. Brown, the social worker, didn’t answer my pleas. Instead she broke my heart with her words. “Half-sister. Y’all were born eleven months apart. And her father is fostering-to-adopt. Yours is nowhere to be found.”

It never fails, ya know? No matter what they say. You can do your best. You can make good grades, eat all your vegetables, remember to brush your teeth, and always be polite and respectful. You can do all of this, and still be the kid who gets taken away. That’s a hard pill to swallow, even for a nine-year-old, but it’s a fact of my life.

The only good thing I have going for me is that my mom is still alive. Unlike a lot of the kids Eden and I’ve met from the time we were three. Most of their parents either don’t want them, or they got sick, or died. At least mine still wants me. It’s hard, and we struggle, but at least we keep coming back together.

I just pray we always do.

Right after my bedtime prayer whispers through my head.

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

If I should die before I wake…

I didn’t even get to ride on a bike, thanks to my dad’s bitch. Excuse my French, but I’m a little more than upset. This ride with the guys wasn’t even supposed to involve her, much less revolve around her and her kids. I sneer in her direction then at her bratty little girl, Eden, before looking back out of the passenger side window and huffing out in aggravation. “Gahh…” I start complaining, but my father’s loud, booming voice cuts off any other smart remark I was thinking.

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