Phoenix Harper’s childhood was stolen at the age of ten. He was in fourth grade. He raced home to watch cartoons after school. He was sexually molested. No one believed him.
And then he blinked.
After college graduation, he is forced to return to his hometown. And his family. It’s like some higher being pressed pause on the remote control of his life. He’d spent so many years trying to forget what had happened, but the heat of the Alabama summer is slowly engulfing him.
Stuck in small town suburbia, he meets a cast of characters who alter his outlook on life. Each new encounter brings to light a part of himself he didn’t know he was missing. With the help of the cashier and the bag boy at the local grocery store, an elderly neighbor who sips sweet tea on the front porch, and his kid sister who acts like a crazed baboon, Phoenix will finally confront his past.
It’s time to discover what life is truly about.
From the beginning, Aidan Sawyer is disturbed. His warped perception is the product of being bullied and teased. He lives in an apartment with Callie and Mia Burke—the typical, bickering sisters. Callie is the perfect daughter. She's smart and beautiful, and she can do no wrong. Mia is jealous of her sister and the attention she receives from their parents. She’s willing to go out of her way to cast off the shadow she’s been living in, even going to the extreme of performing at a strip club. Meanwhile, Tom Harris gives into his sexual urges. He revels in living a double life of being a nice guy and one of promiscuity.
A series of events is set into motion when Tom manipulates his way into Aidan's life. Aidan spirals into madness as his dreams pull him into a Wonderland-esque world of his own imagining. Inner demons manifest themselves in the mirror, haunting him and taking control of his body. He attempts to exorcise them by self-infliction and succumbs to temporary highs as he rejects everything he’s feeling. Unable to trust anyone, Aidan finds himself alone. He grows desperate, looking for an escape route. His life has become a rip current, and it’s pulling him under.
He’s drowning. He can’t keep holding on. He wants to let go.
With his last breath, he only has one decision to make: sink or swim?