Saving Jason by EJ Hanagan
Jason Barnes is a free spirit. Underneath that fun-loving surface lurks a severe case of PTSD, his personal souvenir from the war on terror.
After his young marriage breaks up, he bounces from girlfriend to girlfriend, never allowing himself to get too close, all while maintaining a friendship with his ex-wife, Samantha Colton.
Everything changes when he meets Abby Jacobsen, a smart and sassy artist – but with love comes jealousy, and Abby doesn’t stand for Jason’s cozy friendship with Samantha. Two hours after a heated argument causes Jason to storm out of their apartment, Abby receives a phone call from the intensive care unit of a New Hampshire hospital. The hospital walls close in on Abby and Samantha as they are forced to make tough decisions while trying hard not to kill each other. The two form a rare bond when Emma Jane, Jason’s mom, arrives on the scene.
Three weeks after Jason’s accident, Abby is left alone and hovering over a handful of positive pregnancy tests. During her pregnancy, Abby works with Samantha to dig up clues of Jason’s past. As the truth is discovered, their worlds are irreversibly changed.
An emotionally-moving look at PTSD and the intersection of three lives, Saving Jason is a riveting glimpse into unexpected friendships and the ripples we leave without our knowledge.
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Samantha is nice. I don’t know why I ever worried about the two of them. If they were the last two strangers on earth, I couldn’t picture them together. She is so conservative and soft-spoken, where Jason is loud and uninhibited. I suppose I could see them young together, before life got real. Maybe they fit together like two puzzle pieces—where she had spaces and indents, he extended himself to fit into them smoothly, if only for a few years before their shapes grew and formed into different configurations.
“Good morning.” I look up as Samantha folds herself into the booth in the hospital café, our official meeting spot.
“I snuck in some good coffee from my dad’s house. Godiva, my favorite.” She slides a plastic to-go mug over to me, suspicious eyes darting around the cafeteria as if she’s committing a crime. “Cream and two Splenda, just the way you like it.”
“This is a tiny slice of heaven.” I take a sip of the smoldering rich coffee, robust flavors of hazelnut dominating my taste buds. “You’ve spoiled me; I’ll never be able to drink this hospital mud again.”
“Alex calls me a coffee snob. And I certainly cannot deny it.”
For a moment the two of us are just friends exchanging trinkets of our lives and we forget why we are here. Jason is our common bond. She has his past, and I am hanging on to what he may or may not have of a future.
EJ Hanagan is a fitness fanatic, obsessive reader and animal lover. She currently lives in a sleepy little beach town just outside of Boston with her husband, their new aughter, and the family’s two giant Newfoundland dogs. After spending four years in the Air Force, she put her fire for fitness to good use and worked as a personal trainer while attending college. EJ credits the amazing, brave people she met in the military for giving her the passion and focus to raise awareness for veterans with PTSD. Her hope is to bring the invisible scars of war to the surface through her writing and community involvement.
You can learn more about EJ, her books, and her charity work at www.ejhanagan.com.
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