Title: Insulin Junkies
Genre: YA contemporary
Contact: Nora Coon, nora.e.coon[AT]gmail[DOT]com
Pitch: Eva knows something’s wrong long before the doctor diagnoses her with diabetes - no seventeen-year-old wakes up having wet the bed for the fourth time in as many days and thinks, “Yep, this is totally normal.” When her parents send her to diabetes camp, though, she discovers that being an insulin junkie doesn't transform you into a saint - far from it.
2nd Line: The door doesn't lock, so I haul the big metal trash can in front of it, hoping it’ll keep some people from coming in, and stand there in nothing but my shirt, washing my underwear.
250 of Ch. 2: I make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich: two tablespoons of jam, two tablespoons of peanut butter, two slices of bread. I wonder if I’ll think of all food in terms of carbohydrates for the rest of my life. I draw up my lunchtime insulin injection - just short-acting insulin, this time - and my hands sweat, my palms prickling, as I try to decide if I can do it myself. I hold the syringe like a pencil, which feels wrong, and then like a joint, which feels even stranger. Just stab your arm, I tell myself. Just do it. It doesn't hurt that much. What's wrong with you, just do it!
I can't. I even touch the tip of the needle to my skin, like maybe it will jump out of my hand and just inject me on its own, but I can't go further. "Mom," I say at last.
She raises her head a little. "What is it?" She's hoarse - how has she gone hoarse since I've been sitting here?
"Can you...?" I gesture with the syringe, and I see her flinch before she collects herself and holds out one mute hand.
I give her the syringe, plunger end first, and slide my chair over next to her, chair legs screeching on the floor. Mom starts to cry when she slides the needle into my skin, and for the first time all morning, I can't help being a little annoyed with her too.