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Authors: Beth Michele

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Love Love

BOOK: Love Love
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Copyright © 2013 by Beth Michele

Smashwords Edition 2013

***

Copyright © 2013 by Beth Michele

Smashwords Edition 2013

Cover Design by Richard
Luciano

Editing by Erin Roth, Wise Owl
Editing

Interior design by Angela McLaurin,
Fictional Formats

 

All rights reserved. No part of this
book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by
any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in
writing.

This is a work of fiction. Names,
characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s
imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any
actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely
coincidental.

The author acknowledges the trademarked
status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this
work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The
publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated
with, or sponsored by the trademark owner.

All rights reserved.

***

Prologue

Chapter
One

Chapter
Two

Chapter
Three

Chapter
Four

Chapter
Five

Chapter
Six

Chapter
Seven

Chapter
Eight

Chapter
Nine

Chapter
Ten

Chapter
Eleven

Chapter
Twelve

Chapter
Thirteen

Chapter
Fourteen

Chapter
Fifteen

Chapter
Sixteen

Chapter
Seventeen

Chapter
Eighteen

Chapter
Nineteen

Chapter
Twenty

Chapter
Twenty-One

Chapter
Twenty-Two

Chapter
Twenty-Three

Chapter
Twenty-Four

Chapter
Twenty-Five

Chapter
Twenty-Six

Chapter
Twenty-Seven

Chapter
Twenty-Eight

Chapter
Twenty-Nine

Chapter
Thirty

Chapter
Thirty-One

Chapter
Thirty-Two

Chapter
Thirty-Three

Chapter
Thirty-Four

Chapter
Thirty-Five

Chapter
Thirty-Six

Chapter
Thirty-Seven

Epilogue

Acknowledgements

About the
Author

 

 

For Clara.

Your spirit wraps around
my heart,

but I miss your smile
every day.

***

 

 

This
was the moment I’d waited for my entire life, or so I thought.
That’s if you consider twenty-two years an entire life. It started
out as a perfect day, but perfection can be an illusion.

Our blue gowns were fanning the breeze
as we made our way up to the podium. The wind blowing through my
hair made me feel alive and free. I was inches away from my long
awaited independence. All those days I sat on the bleachers,
watching UC Berkeley football games and daydreaming about life
after college, and it was finally here. My feet were making their
way up the stairs quickly. They had a mind of their own and I had
difficulty keeping up with them. They obviously knew something I
didn’t.

Mr. Shorley shook my hand
firmly as he happily handed me my degree. The sun’s rays bouncing
off the paper gave it a rare glow.
This
was my golden ticket. Even
better than a lifetime supply of Wonka bars.

As I walked across the stage, I caught
a glimpse of Clark and Fran. Clark gave me a wink that made my
insides melt, and Fran mooned me. Her heart-shaped ass catching the
summer wind was her unusual way of congratulating me. It made me
smile. My parents however, didn’t have the same reaction; I caught
their grimaces, the warm air surrounding me suddenly stale and
cold.

 

 

The graduation party at my house was
rip-roaring. The music was blaring, the alcohol flowing, and the
hips grinding. The party was a lot more than my parents bargained
for when they agreed to it. The adults were outside on the moonlit
patio, tossing down hard liquor and blowing smoke rings, while the
graduates were inside bringing down the house. I was with my two
favorite people. Clark Thompson, my boyfriend since high school,
and Fran Heller, my best friend of fifteen years.

Fran and I met in fourth grade. Her
mom moved her from the Bronx to California to get away from her
physically abusive asshole dad. She’s had a tough life, but given
the hand she was dealt, she always manages to remain optimistic. I
admire that about her. She comes across like she’s hard when
really, she’s anything but. Thinking about Fran always makes me
smile. We had an instant connection. They used to call me “Candy
Girl” in elementary school because I was always either eating candy
or giving it away. From the moment Fran slipped a Hershey’s Bar
under my desk in fourth grade, she had me, and we had each
other.

Clark and I met our
sophomore year of high school. I was standing at my locker in
between classes and the hallway was packed. My head was buried in
books when something crashed hard against my back. Turned out it
was Gavin Boone, quarterback of our crappy football team. He wasn’t
looking where the hell he was going, lucky for me. I was knocked to
the ground, and when I looked up, I was met by baby blues and a
forehead crinkle.
Clark
.


You okay?” he
asked.


Never better,” I said,
rolling my eyes, trickles of pain shooting up my spine.

In the midst of the run in, my bag
spilled with all of my personal belongings. I watched in horror as
the evidence of my adolescence covered the ground. Clark bent down
to help me, and without batting an eye, proceeded to scoop up the
Playtex tampons and put them back in the box. He made a beeline
right for them. Who does that? When he was done, he bumped my
shoulder and shrugged his. “It’s just life, right?”

BOOK: Love Love
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