“Leave Me” by Gayle Forman

Leave Me by Gayle Forman

In “Leave me,” the story begins with an exhausted, overworked mother. Her name is Maribeth and she is still maintaining a job for a magazine where her boss is her best friend that she can only call a stranger now, with an emotionally unavailable husband, while going through the stages of a heart attack she dismissed as heartburn for two days.

That led to her needing a double-by-pass surgery, which developed complications that caused her heart to stop functioning. Maribeth realized that meant she was gone for a split moment and for that split moment she could have left everything behind. The activities she always has to take the twins to, managing the twins by herself, her house chores, her job, her husband, all of it. 

She left a letter she didn’t remember writing and withdrew all of her savings and declared herself independent. Leaving behind all ways for anyone to contact her, as well.  Not knowing where she was going, or what she was going to do, but deciding she was not Maribeth anymore. She would be M.B, a woman pretending to be on a business trip, instead of a woman leaving her family behind. Once she figured out that her new location would be Pittsburgh, she got a cheap apartment and a burner phone and began to settle down, providing herself with the minimum bare necessities needed to get by day by day. 

She arrives at a conflict with herself when her new doctor tells her that the heart attack she endured at the young age of 44, could be an inherited trait and quite possibly be passed down to her children. This sends her into a deep dive of trying to find her biological mother since she was an adopted child, all while still maintaining her secrecy with the new companions she made in this new town. She builds special bonds and relationships and seems to really find herself again, but how is she going to remain feeling the way she’s been wanting to for ages, when she decides to return home?