Title There's So Much I Need to Say to You
Author Sutton Tell
Genre Lgbtqia+; Lesbian Fiction; Coming of Age
Publisher Friesen Press
Taryn Taylor knows the only thing worse than growing up in the shadow of a rock star is gaining your own spotlight—then losing it. She’s powerless as she watches the lead singer of their indie band destroy everything they’ve worked so hard for, right on the cusp of super-stardom.
Grieving her famous dad at the age of four was heart-breaking, but this is soul-crushing.
Barely out of high school, Taryn struggles to hold onto her dreams and navigate the complicated, secret relationship she has with her bassist, Shay. But Taryn never wanted to fall in love and after spending so much energy seeking the limelight, she might be blinded by it.
It’s time to grow up and face the music. But betrayal hovers close by, and the hurts of Taryn’s past are far from over.
Raw, funny, and unforgettable, There’s So Much I Need to Say to You is an #OwnStories LGBTQIA2S+ novel about losing your way and finding your truth.
“There’s a time and a place to die, Taryn. This is not yours.” Shay’s calmness is both reassuring and terrifying. She’s sitting in the chair next to my bed, holding my hand despite the IV that’s affixed to it.
I glance around my grand hospital room. I’ll bet many a celebrity has recovered from a face-altering surgery in a room this spacious. I make a sorry attempt to sit up, but my chest, heavy as an ocean current, violently forces me back onto the bed. The high-pitched pulsing of my heart monitor is so predictable that it could be used in a techno remix. The room is spiraling out of control. It’s worse than any hangover.
“Parker?” I mumble under my breath.
Mom is across the room but somehow hears me. She takes a deep breath. It’s similar to the one she took when I was seven and she had to explain why my goldfish was floating on its side. “He’s not back yet.”
“Taryn, how are you doing?” Gwen asks with an impatience that suggests she’s asked me more than once. When I don’t respond, she settles into an oversized blue hospital chair and reapplies her lipstick.
Shay gently moves my hair to the side and kisses me on the forehead.
“Are we in heaven?” I ask.
“No, sweetie, we’re at Weill Cornell.” She squeezes my hand.
“She’s becoming more lucid at least.” Gwen furrows her brow. “Her painkillers must be on point.”
Through half-closed eyelids, I watch Gwen smile at her own reflection in the large window.
Mom searches frantically through her bag for money. “I don’t have cash to tip the nurses!” she announces as if she’s shouting out an answer on Family Feud. Turning up empty, she sifts, in a last-ditch effort, through the pockets of her jeans.
“Mom, they aren’t delivering pizza. You don’t tip them.” Gwen pulls an old receipt from her bag. After unfolding it and exploring its mysteries, she flips it over and presses her ruby-rose lipstick to it. Then she crumples it up and throws it on my abandoned tray table. It lands on the plastic serving dish between the unopened applesauce and the untouched bread.
Mom thinks it’s customary to tip the nurses. How I wish I could muster up the energy to laugh at her, but I am half-asleep, somewhere between the stars and the ocean. If not for my unfortunate state, I would be carrying on with them in my own unique and ridiculous way. Being on the receiving end of their dysfunctional coping methods is much less fun. I am the one lying in a hospital bed, staring at stark white walls that stretch to infinity—and when Mom tells me she just went to the pharmacy, I ask her if that’s a new nightclub. My mind digs up non-sequitur memories of Shay’s exhibition. In flashes, I remember the portraits I saw, so gorgeous. The pillow crackles as I slowly lift my head.
“I can have lunch delivered to them,” Mom says as she taps her foot apprehensively.
“Mom, that is totally unnecessary.” Gwen is really good at assuaging other people’s guilt, especially if it helps her avoid doing work she doesn’t want to do.
“I can call Nelson and have him pick up lunch on the way.” Shay offers.
“Abso-fucking-lutely not, Shay!” Gwen snaps her compact shut and throws it into her bag.
“What’s this I hear about soddy lunch?” Nelson calls out as he slinks through the door.
“Bloody bollocks.” Gwen mimics Nelson’s accent under her breath.
Ignoring their squabbles, Shay moves up to me and offers me a concerned frown. “Hey,” she whispers softly.
“Why does everyone keep kissing me on the forehead?” I whisper back.
“Darling, you fell from a loft.” Shay is kind and even-keeled but Gwen barrels in to interrupt her.
“You’re on so many painkillers, you probably can’t even feel the pain you’re in.”
Nelson takes a moment to contemplate where to sit. Eventually, he chooses the edge of my bed. I look around and notice the different machines beeping around me.
My vision swirls. Shay’s face blurs. The last thing I see before falling asleep is a drop of liquid making its way down the waterslide of my IV.
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Sutton Tell is more than a little fond of music. She spent the early years of her music career at the iconic Go-Kart Records in NYC, zigzagged across America on a tour bus, and danced with Madonna at Webster Hall. When not writing she's planning adventures with her wife Sonia and their son, Bash Bowie. A nerd by day, novelist by night, you can check out awesome pics of her cat Marley and pug Nico on her social feeds @precariouspress.
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Twitter and Instagram: @precariouspress