The Responsible Adult series follows bad boy Micky O?Neill as he attempts to better his life to bring up his disabled little brother. A past full of juvenile delinquency and living in a small town rife with idle gossip means Micky struggles to be seen as anything other than a no-hoper from the wrong side of the tracks… until he takes a job at the local supermarket and meets his boss, Dan, a university graduate and self-proclaimed shy, awkward bookworm.
Dan, older and burned from a past relationship, is the one person who sees through Micky?s tough-guy facade to the true heart underneath. With fear and mistrust on both sides, the two must steer their way through a complicated relationship where outside forces are determined to break them up at every turn.
Responsible Adult is a series about growing up and learning that falling in love always brings responsibility.
?You can join us if you like. Enough to go around.? Dan pointed at all the food and drink.
Micky looked down, licking his lips, but shook his head. He glanced at the play park and Dan followed his line of sight to see the blond bloke by the swings surrounded by a gaggle of girls, one of whom he picked up in a fireman?s carry and proceeded to slap her arse. Micky snorted and turned back to Dan.
?Thanks, but I got Flynn.? He scrunched up his legs, hugging his knees to his chest and hung the glass down over the top.
?Your parents not around then?? Dan asked, voice full of concern.
?Nah,? Micky said with a shrug. ?Mum passed away. A while back now. And Dad?s, well, Dad?s not round so much anymore.?
?Workaholic?? Dan asked, almost hopeful.
?Something aholic, yeah,? Micky said. He shuffled his feet on the blanket, bunching it up and flattening it back down. ?He?s just not good to be around Flynn.?
?So you take care of him by yourself?? Dan asked.
?Wow. That?s?? Dan searched for the word. Three years spent lovingly studying the English language hoping to come into good use this time. ?Commendable.?
?Not really,? Micky said, ducking his head. ?Any sibling would do it.?
?I don?t know about that, mate,? Dan said. ?My big sister can be a right cow. She would?ve left me on a doorstep somewhere.?
Micky chuckled. He didn?t pay Dan much attention, choosing to watch Flynn and Tamsin as she spun him on the seated roundabout. Dan watched them, too, for a bit, before turning back to Micky.
?He?s a character,? Dan acknowledged. ?There a reason he?s so small??
Micky finally turned his attention on Dan. ?Yeah,? he replied, voice tiny and tight. He scraped his teeth over his bottom lip several times, dragging away the congealed moisture forming over them. ?He?s got a condition. He?s a little behind in years, too.?
?Oh,? Dan said. He might have that etched onto his gravestone. ?What?s the condition??
?Williams syndrome?? Micky replied, then, with a shrug, shook his head. ?Don?t worry. No one?s ever heard of it. It?s pretty rare. One in twenty thousand or so.?
?Oh,? Dan said. Again. For fuck?s sake.
?So, yeah, I?m sorry about earlier. I probably snapped at you.? Micky twirled the glass in his hand. ?The friendly thing. One of the things he?s lacking is any stranger danger. They?re a bit overly social, if you know what I mean. Susceptible to being taken advantage of. Scares the crap out of me.?
Micky dipped his head, shaking it from side to side. He shuffled again and Dan sensed he was clamming up after having been so forthcoming. Dan didn?t want Micky to stop talking. He was strangely fascinated by him. It wasn?t just that the bloke was nice to look at, which he evidently was. But his voice had an undertone of something more and Dan desperately wanted to find out what that was.
?How else does it affect him?? Dan wondered aloud.
?Multitude of things.? Micky exhaled. He took a deep breath before responding any further. ?Medical stuff like a weak heart. Had two major heart surgeries as a baby. Will probably need another one in his lifetime. He has stomach troubles. Bowel issues. Weak muscles. The eyes. Teeth. Hyperthyroid. Plus he?s got learning difficulties.? Micky?s eyes glazed over as he swished the glass in his hand. ?He?s an eternal child. Sees the world like it should be in a fairy tale, minus the evil characters. Everything is bright and beautiful and everyone is his friend.? Micky paused. ?It?s a real shame that life isn?t like that. Because a world full of Flynns would be the one I wanna live in.?
Dan paused for a moment, trying to take it all in. What Micky said. Flynn. The condition. The ideal. And how Micky described it all.
?I?m sorry you?re dealing with all that by yourself,? Dan finally said. ?I had no idea.?
He?d just been lusting after his body all week. Now Dan knew the bloke had a soft, loving and caring side, what the hell was that going to do to him now?
Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail?leave.
Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly searches for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they?re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.
She eventually moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.
Having worked in Higher Education for most of her career, a life-altering experience brought pen back to paper after she?d written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Having embarked on this writing malarkey, C F White cannot stop. So strap in, it?s gonna be a bumpy ride…
In honour of Williams Syndrome Awareness Day, Pride Publishing are putting Misdemeanor, Hard Time and Reformed on a price promotion. You can get all three books at 99p/c each on Friday 18th May. Link here: https://www.pride-publishing.com/serial/responsible-adult, but you can also buy it at this price at most other retailers.
If you?d like to learn more about Williams Syndrome, then you can find out all the excellent work that the charities in both the UK and US do here:
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