The Right to Smile (NaNoWriMo SYNOPSIS)

Alina Perry dated Colin Misham 15 years ago, and has thought little of him since their break-up. Until now. Now, she can’t get him out of her head. Alina tracks Colin down and begins to watch him from afar. She follows him. She learns everything about him, his family, his new life.

But why?

Alina’s world has fallen apart. She lost her husband of 11 years in a fatal car accident. She left her job, sold her house, packed away all reminders of the past. Many months later, she still cannot deal with the pain. The only memory that brings her comfort now is Colin. She blankets herself in thoughts of him, convinced that only he can save her.

In their early 20’s, Alina and Colin were connected. More than best friends, more than lovers, they shared a bond deeper than either of them could understand. They thought each other’s thoughts. They moved in sync, like birds in the sky. When they were together, they feared nothing.

Alina longs to feel that way again.

“I stared at the computer screen, unblinking. Staring back was a blue, two-story house, as unremarkable as could be. I could feel my heart racing, aching. I could not catch my breath.
I had found him.”

After their break-up, Colin immediately married a woman he barely knew and moved away. He cut ties with all his friends and slowly slipped off the grid. Alina believes Colin’s wife devised the plan to keep him from her. But a connection as powerful as theirs cannot be broken, cannot be forgotten. She knows Colin still thinks of her, still remembers everything.

Lloyd Deakin, veteran police detective, tries to warn Alina. He tells her not to go looking for a savior. He says that in his experience, people do not change.

That is precisely what she is counting on.

Alina is sure if she can lure Colin away from his angry, controlling wife, rescue him from his lonely, suburban life, things will be different. If she can just remind him of the man he was at 24, together they can retrieve what was lost.

Alina is thrown when she meets Jules Molan, small-time drug dealer and dead ringer for a younger Colin. Will Jules save Alina from her obsession, or will he only serve to further it?

Alina gradually crosses the line from online sleuth to stalker, from innocent to criminal, from fantasy to violence. She grows increasingly desperate to rediscover the person she was before loss tore her apart. She knows she can only find her old self in one place — the one man who still holds her in a secret corner of his mind, preserved at 24 forever.

After tragedy, we are told to grieve and move on. No one talks about the beauty of memory, the joy of holding on to the past, the power of never letting go. Alina must decide if the joy is worth the pain.

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