Everything I Have Is Yours

Thirteen-year-old Haylee stumbles on her father's affair with her mother's friend, who has come to stay after her home was burglarized.

Based on my award-winning short story recently republished in Shark Reef Magazine

Thirteen-year-old HAYLEE is having a hard time finding her place in life. School is a preadolescent jungle; she is failing algebra, can’t dance—and her best friend, BRYNN, is rocketing to popularity while Haylee wilts in her shadow. Haylee also has a secret crush on her older brother’s friend BRADLEY—brainy, nerdy and shy. Haylee is obsessed with the 1920s and daydreams of living in Paris with Ernest Hemingway.

To further complicate her life, Haylee is being folllowed around by KAREN ARP—a special needs girl who is the ultimate target for vicious bullies Billy and Steve—reaches out to Haylee as a much-needed friend. So Haylee is torn between her social ambitions and shallow friend Brynn, and her own conscience.

In the midst of all this, a strange woman, MYRA LEAM, a divorced friend of her mother, arrives to stay, claiming her home was broken into and burglarized. Myra, shy and reclusive, huddles in the basement and overstays her welcome. But Haylee’s good-natured, oblivious mom takes pity on her for being divorced and lonely.

When Haylee comes home early from school one day, she overhears voices downstairs and realizes that her father and Myra are in longstanding, passionate affair. Haylee discovers that the burglary was only Myra’s excuse to move in and pressure her father to leave her mother—as he has promised.

At school, Haylee’s star continues to fall as Brynn is asked to join the cheerleaders and invited to Teen Board fashion shows. Haylee sinks into total despair.

Meanwhile, Karen, mercilessly bullied for her slow learning and odd looks, continues to hero-worship Haylee, who is too miserable herself to respond.

A school dance is a comic disaster.

Unexpectedly, Haylee is comforted by the unhappy Myra Leam. Flawed as she is, Myra has the compassion and insight that Haylee needs even as her loyalty to her mother is torn.

When Haylee is caught reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover ikn the dressing room by the tyrannical sewing teacher, MRS. GRADY, she is publicly humiliated and receives an F on her skirt. Karen is praised for her hard work on her own skirt --- the one thing that Karen can take pride in.

When they watch a documentary in Social Studies. the kids are “invited” to sit through the lunch bell if they “care enough" by the weasley teacher, MR. DEVLIN.

Karen, who misunderstands, rises eagerly to go to lunch at the bell. Mr. Devlin uses this as a "gotcha." He turns off the movie and unloads on her: “You have the lowest grade in the class—and you’re the first out the door!“ When Karen, in panic, drops her sewing project and steps on the precious skirt, Haylee is forced into a moral crisis. This whole year shapes the person Haylee grows up to be. She comes to understand loyalty; friendship; and integrity.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Starring Roles For:
A young Tippy Walker
Tilda Swinton
A young Zac Efron
In the Vein Of:
Stand By Me
The World of Henry Orient
Igby Goes Down
Author Bio:
Author website: Amazon Page:

Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in fiction in 2021 and 2016

I wrote the feature film, Murder in Fashion, about the shooting of designer Gianni Versace by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. The film played at theatres and festivals and was reviewed in the NY Times:

My short story, published in Cornell University's literary magazine, Epoch, is currently under option to Sony and Road Less Traveled Productions.

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Contest Results:
Writers Place (First Place) [2004]