Review - "What Can Be" by Mary Calmes
Beautiful story of homecoming
Eli left California thirteen years ago with his mother for a summer vacation before school started back. His mother needed a break from the pressures of being a successful man's wife and mother, and Eli needed to be away from a crush gone wrong, and to watch out for his mother. They never came back.
Present day, Eli, driving through his home town after hightailing it away from his lover, Craig Zhou, is spotted by his younger brother as he stops for gas. "Funny the people you forgot till you remembered". And remembered he is - he is the image of their mother. He is there, after all, to tell the truth, so he follows his brother home to be reunited with his father and other brother. Who are equally as stunned, as joyful and as blown away to see him again after all this time.
All sorts of memories, good and bad, surge to the surface for Eli. Or, as he is known now, Jake. And when he finally, finally explains the story of what happened all those years ago to his family, will Eli be able to find peace of his own? And will he be able to forgive himself and stop running?
This story is just flat out amazing. Mary Calmes created, in such limited time and space, a beautifully realized, scared, troubled, hopeful and tragic young man. His past constantly at his heels, he has been on the run, from himself, from others, from his family and from tragedy for years, and thankfully, it is time for it to end.
This story is about how family can both hurt and redeem you, how love can damage and heal you, and how running from the past can bring you directly to your future. And Ms. Calmes gets this just right - the characters, the pacing, the quiet pain and desperation and loyalty that is Eli and the calm steady love that is Craig.
"When love trumped passion, you knew you were with the right guy".
And when talent rules, you know you have the right author.