The muscles in her neck tightened so that breathing became difficult. She looked at the large headline beneath the photo. Phelps family donates $45,000 to scholarship fund in son's honor.

The coffee burned inside Melanie's stomach. How dare they? That family had no right to glorify their son. He killed Jeff. Jeff was the one who should be honored with a scholarship named for him. He was the one who was paying his own way through school, working part time and taking out loans. The Phelps kid probably never did a hard day's work in his life.

The article praised the Phelps family's generosity. Generosity. Generous enough to give their son a brand new BMW, while Jeff had worked to pay for his old clunker. Generous enough to make certain their son's car came equipped with all the best safety equipment. Maybe if Jeff had had the benefit of such generosity he wouldn't have been crushed beyond recognition.

Melanie flung the paper against the wall. Things like this shouldn't be allowed to happen. People couldn't just act this way. Somebody should do something.

She would do something.

She walked back into Jeff's room. She dropped to her knees and fished through the trash until she found the taupe envelope. Her fingers trembled as she picked up the phone. She had a call to make.


Excerpted from:  A Promise to Remember by Kathryn Cushman. Copyright © 2007; ISBN 9780764203800. Published by Bethany House Publishers. Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.

Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. After practicing as a pharmacist, she left her career to marry and begin a family and has since pursued her dream of writing. A Promise to Remember is her first novel. Kathryn and her family currently live in Santa Barbara, California.