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An Unconditional Love [MultiFormat]
eBook by Cassyashton Porter

eBook Category: Young Adult
eBook Description: Thirteen year old Jami Caldwell couldn't remember what true love was. After being shuffled from more foster homes than she cared to remember, she was now moving in with her aunt and uncle. Her younger sister, Tami, had already been adopted, and Jami is carrying around a dark secret, afraid of being kicked out if her aunt and uncle learn the truth.

eBook Publisher: Writers Exchange E-Publishing, Published: Writers Exchange E-Publishing, 2001
Fictionwise Release Date: June 2002

3 Reader Ratings:
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"An Unconditional Love by Cassyashton Porter took me on a personal roller coaster ride, challenging my own ability to trust, and love, when faced with one life challenge after another. I found myself scared, frustrated, and as angry as Jami, crying with her and laughing with her, as she faced all that life had to throw at her."--Mrs Mouse, Children's Book Author

Chapter One

Jami Caldwell paused beside the four-door station wagon and looked around at her strange surroundings. How could it be, she thought, that two years ago I was living in a large home with my parents and younger sister, Tami, and now I 'm an orphan and Tami was adopted by the same people who didn't want me. Jami was thirteen and Tami was six so naturally, thought Jami, a couple would want to adopt a younger child instead of an almost grown one.

"Don't be afraid, Jami. The Peterson's won't bite." Diane Carmichael, Jami's social worker said. She stooped and picked up Jami's duffel bag containing her meager belongings. Jami sighed as she followed Mrs. Carmichael up the cobblestone walk and brick stairs to the Peterson's front door. Mrs. Carmichael pressed the doorbell, and a gleeful song echoed throughout the quaint house.

"I don't know these people," Jami said. She leaned against the porch railing and crossed her arms. "What if they don't like me? My other foster families kicked me out almost immediately because they didn't like me."

"They'll like you just fine," Mrs. Carmichael assured her. "But I want you to remember what we discussed on the way over here."

"That they're my parent's twins?" Jami scoffed. "I'll believe it when I see it." Jami impatiently tapped her foot. "And I suppose they have two daughters named Jami and Tami."

"They have one daughter, and her name's Matilda. She's your cousin."

Mrs. Carmichael pressed the button again. "Are you sure you don't remember them? Lily Peterson said that you and Matilda used to play together when you were younger."

"No, I don't remember," Jami released an exasperated sigh. "What's taking so long?" Her question was answered a moment later as the door opened, and a bubbling teenager stuck her head into the cool afternoon air.

"Hi," the girl said. "Oh my gosh! Jami?" She flung herself at Jami and wrapped her arms around her. Jami didn't respond, letting her arms droop loosely by her sides. The girl backed away and smiled.

"You don't remember me, do you?" She said. "I'm your cousin, Matilda. We used to play together when we were kids."

Jami looked at Mrs. Carmichael. "Yeah, that's what I heard," Jami replied. "Well, come on in." Matilda stepped aside. "Hey Mom! Jami's here!"

"I'll be right there," Lily Peterson answered from down the hallway.

Jami had walked into the living room and was about to sit down, when Lily's voice stopped her cold. She turned around and saw a slender, middle-aged woman, with long brown hair that swung below her hips, enter the living room, and Jami's face turned ghostly pale.

"I'm so glad you're here," Lily said. She wrapped her arms around Jami and gently hugged her. Jami returned the embrace, but began shaking.

"What's wrong, Jami?" Lily asked.

"I never thought I'd see you again," Jami sobbed. "You and Daddy were killed in the fire. I even went to your funeral."

"Jami, I'm..."

"Why did they tell us you were dead?"

"Jami, I'm not your mother. I'm your mother's identical twin sister, Lily. Didn't Mrs. Carmichael tell you?"

"Yes, but I didn't believe her." Jami backed away as if her aunt had just bitten her. Then she looked over at Mrs. Carmichael, or rather past her, as the front door opened.

"This can't be happening," Jami whispered, and she found herself staring at a man who looked just like her father. He was tall, like her father, and had dark hair, as well. When he smiled, his lips parted to show his white teeth, just as her father's used to.

August set his briefcase on the deacon bench in the hallway and stepped through the living room archway. He kissed Lily and gave Matilda a hug, then looked at Jami.

"August," Lily said. "This is Jami Caldwell. Our niece."

"I remembered. Hello, Jami, it's nice to see you again after all these years. It's been a long time." He held out his hand. "You've grown into a beautiful young woman."

Jami didn't reply. She only stared, wide eyed, at the man who was her father's identical twin. "You probably don't remember me. I'm August Peterson, your uncle."

Jami gasped and turned away, shielding her eyes from the heart-wrenching sight. The room began to spin, as it always did when she was nervous or frightened. Then her head began throbbing, and the room became a blur. August placed a gentle hand on her shoulder, but Jami recalled little else as the room went dark, as if the sun had just suddenly burned out. She fell into unconsciousness, her limp body collapsing into a heap in her uncle's outstretched arms.

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