Saving Beck By Courtney Cole
A Terrible Accident
This night was just like the one when she had lost Matt.
Pacing the small hospital waiting room where Natalie had stood a year before, now waiting on news of her son that she found on her front step overdosing from heroin, Nat makes sure to step over the crack in the floor. She thinks that because she stepped on it over and over again, this could be why she lost her husband Matt in the terrible car accident.
In Courtney Cole's Saving Beck, the narrative is shared between mother, Natalie, and flashbacks while her son, Beckitt is in a drug induced coma after he suffered a stroke while overdosing on heroin.
Relationships in the household have been falling apart in the last year. Nat blames herself for Matt's death and is unable to cope, shrinking from her responsibility to take care of her three children. Also in the car at the time of the accident, Beck is secretly suffering but outwardly blames his mother for her inability to cope with the loss and solider on.
Picking up the slack for the first few months as a babysitter and then surrogate parent to his younger siblings, Beck soon begins to drift away into drug culture with one of his friends.
Soon all relationships in Beck's life are suffering as he pulls away from school, his girlfriend, and his family.
There is something that Beck feels guilt about most and he can't say.
Blaming Natalie for her inability to move on from the loss of her husband, Beckitt blames his mother for leaving him to care for his younger siblings and she falls into a deep depression and begins to take antidepressants. He feels that he is shouldering too much of the burden of the family and it leads to his drug addiction.
In The Car
Beckitt had given false testimony to the police the night of the accident.
He was the lone survivor, no one thought otherwise to question it. He was a teenage kid after all that had just witnessed losing his father and the death of another driver involved.
Beck just let them believe it was his father at the wheel and that the airbag and seat belt both seemed to malfunction in a two year old car and when his father was ejected from the vehicle, and Beck woke up still strapped in with the car upside down, he could never admit that he was using his phone at the time of the crash or that he was the one at the wheel.
Matt and Beck had traded off driving, and with Matt asleep during his son's shift at the wheel he had never seen the car swerve into the other lane. Beck hadn't either as he was reaching for his phone that had fallen between the seats, anxious to see the reply to his attempt to break up with his girlfriend but she was refusing to give up on him.
If only she really knew that he was doing more than smoking pot when he was pulling away from her.
She wouldn't understand living the life that he used to know involved with high school sports and the popular crowd. Beck deserved to become a loser.
Now he was a loser that had secretly killed two people and no one was none the wiser.
Beck hadn't meant to cause the accident but after finding his father flung from the car, he couldn't admit that he was the one at fault. His guilt gnawed at him until there was little left inside him and he couldn't stomach the thought of going on. Now buying drugs from a dealer recommended by a friend, Beck was in too deep but he wasn't looking for a way back, just release.
Out on the streets, Beck was anxious for his next fix and found himself doing anything to sustain. He took some on credit, then found himself stealing from a woman's purse left in a grocery cart at the store.
When he was high, he melted inside himself and though he could still feel the hurt of the loss of his father and the other woman that had died that night, the stress of having to take over his family, the anger at Natalie for not being around when he needed her the most- it numbed the pain.
At least for a short period of time.
Cutting off all communication from his family, except for the occasional check to his cell phone, Beck was living in the streets now and sometimes staying on a park bench or with a community of drug addicts that were staying in an abandoned building.
It was one night sleeping on a bench that he first caught sight of the short haired woman staring at him. She was another addict, some street scum with a tale that she refused to tell him- along with her name; over time though she thawed to tell him to call her Angel and admitted she was tossed from her home when her mother favored a boyfriend over the well being of her own daughter.
Becoming a team, the friends had each others backs during life on the street and helped each other steal and score. They stole more money sneaking into a YMCA to take a shower.
The pair entered a home of a family friend and robbed him and ate up some of his food before he returned home.
Finding a small dog on the street that was as down on his luck as the town, they became a trio.
One night, Angel was overdosing and Beck ran scared back to his mother's home for help only to overdose himself.
He was brought to the hospital calling for Angel.
Only on his awaken there wasn't any Angel to be seen.
Beck awoke from his coma, still concerned about the well being of his friend, Angel. Only no girl was to be found.
All That Was Found
Sneaking the little black dog that the duo had called Winston, Beck couldn't believe that there was no girl in the place where he had informed everyone. Had Angel gotten better and walked away? There was no way that she would have left Winston behind after all that had happened.
So where was she?
Getting out of the hospital, Beck had promised everyone that he would turn his life around and after attending rehab and a half way house program that he still intended to go to college.
With the support of everyone behind him, they believed that maybe he could stay clean and beat the odds.
For the first time, Beck was going to his father's grave again to ask for forgiveness. He needed to get the guilt out.
He remembered a random thing when talking to Angel, she had told him her real name just before her overdose began.
It was at the cemetery that Beck found her.
Carved In Stone
Here on a stone matching the same date that Matt had died, was the name of Sarah Greene.
Everything had come together.
He saw Angel's face in his mind again and made the connection that she was Sarah and that he had either imagined his companion Angel out of the guilt of taking Sarah's life, or perhaps she was really there looking out for him as her way of showing that she forgave him for the accident.
Either interruption can be taken from the book.
Saving Beck is a great read when it comes to tugging at your heart strings on the relationship between a mother and child, although some parts seem a bit impractical like being able to pass off that Matt was driving as would have been evident from the injuries and Sarah being buried just feet from the man that had also died in the same car accident in the same cemetery.
With its few flaws, this is a great, fast paced read.