Authors: V.E. Avance
On the Edge
On the Edge
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. 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 express written permission from the author/publisher.
All persons and places described in this novel are fictitious. Any similarity to persons alive or dead is purely coincidental.
This book is dedicated in loving memory of my grandfather, Tom Avance, and my father, Steven Avance. I love and miss you both dearly. I will keep you in my heart until the day we meet again.
This book could not have been what it is without the love and support from the following people.
First, a big thank you and ‘I love you’ to the woman who raised me; my grandma. Without you, I would not be who I am today. You didn’t have to raise me but you did anyways. You have always been my biggest fan. I love you.
To my loving husband, Blake, who allowed me to write and listened to me rant and rave when the book was not flowing as I thought it should. I love you more today than I did the day I married you and I will love you more tomorrow than I do today.
To one of my dearest friends, Shannan “Garcia” Lucckesi, who helped me research and proof the chapters as they were completed. Thank you for the kind words that helped me finish the book. I love you from the bottom of my heart and I am glad to have a friend like you in my life.
To my longest friend, Nick Lucckesi, who was the biggest part of my support team when my life was flipped upside down and I felt that I couldn’t go through the court process. I love you more than you can imagine. You helped me survive a bad time in my life.
my newest friend, Stephanie Kennel for all your support and hard work on this book. We became friends by chance and I would never trade you for anything in the world.
To Pam McElrath for the final edit; you made the book perfect.
To my dearest friend, Katie Frank, you have always been an outlet for me since the moment I met you. Though we are far apart, you have a special place in my heart.
Warren and Joyce Webb; you have always been there for me, for both the good and bad times. Joyce, you’re the mother I always wanted. You always remind me how proud you are of me. Warren, you gave me fantastic ideas for this book’s ending. You allowed me to pick your brain for all the knowledge needed for this book. I love you two and will always consider you family.
Thank you to the police officers who saved my life that day. Without your persistence to make sure I was safe, I would not have left my abuser that day. Not only to those officers, but all officers that put their lives on the line to protect the citizens of their community, thank you for all you do and know that you are appreciated for it.
I feel the
liquid warmth of my own blood pooling around my body. I am exerting every bit of energy I have just to breathe. The only man who ever truly loved me is at my side. I hear his sobs and his pleas for help, but it’s too late.
His eyes are swimming with tears. His fear, love, and worry are
evident. I try to speak the words I need him to hear from me, but I don’t have the strength. I love you…
I stand staring at myself in the mirror. I’m head cheerleader for Placid High School but I cannot figure out what’s so special about me that I was able to land that title. As I stare at my reflection, all I see is my long blonde hair with no body and no style lying flat across my back to my waist. The deep blue eyes that stare back at me seem so plain. I’m too tall and too slender. At my last physical I was five feet six inches and only one hundred and thirty pounds. I have no curves and, for all intents and purposes, I am a Plain Jane.
“Abigail! Are you coming to practice?!” I hear Katherine shout across the locker room. Katherine Collins is my best friend. Standing only one inch shorter than me, Katherine has a beautiful figure with long black hair and blue eyes. Her olive colored skin makes her look as if she has a tan all year round. I, secretly, long to have the supple breasts and full body of Katherine. “Yes. I’m right behind you!” I holler back at her.
Cheer practice was the same as any other day. The squad gathered together to rehearse our routine for the upcoming rally before prom. After practice, Katherine and I head toward my car; a silver, 2010 Chevy Malibu that my parents bought for me last year. I start the car while Katherine fumbles wi
th the songs on my iPod. ‘Sail’ by Awolnation begins to play out of the speakers of the Malibu. I look at her in the passenger seat and a giggle escapes my throat. Katherine is dramatically singing the lyrics to the song.
“What are you laughing at?” Katherine yells over the music.
“Nothing, just you!” I reply.
“Well, good, my goal has been completed!”
“What do you mean by that?” I ask curiously.
“Well, you always seem to have such seriousness about you and it’s rather depressing. My goal is to make you relax more and I succeeded,” exclaimed Katherine.
After I drop Katherine off I head home. As I pull in the driveway, I notice that my brother, Michael, is home for dinner. This is rare since he moved out when he started playing football for the University of California at Bayford more than three years ago. I miss my brother and he does not visit as often as he could since Bayford is only a half hour drive north of here. I’m so glad that Katherine did not come over for dinner tonight. I’m sure I would never hear the end of how handsome my brother is. Yes, he is very handsome and the quarterback for the Bayford Stingrays. He’s just over six feet tall and his blue eyes shine in the sunlight. His short blonde hair adds to the beauty of his eyes.
I walk in and hang my backpack on the wall hooks and head to the dining room. Not only did my brother make a surprise visit tonight but so did his friend, Jason Williamson. Jason is a very handsome man and, I must confess, I’ve had a crush on him since he and Michael became friends. He is slightly taller than Michael and, clearly, weighs more than him. His eyes are the most beautiful shade of hazel that I have ever laid my eyes on and they accent his wavy blonde hair.
“Hey, Abby!” my brother says excitedly.
“Hey, Mike, long time no see. Go away to college and just forget about your sister. I see how it is.” I reply with a forced pouty face.
“Aww, sis, you know me better than that. I’ve just been busy with classes and football.”
“And with the ladies too, I bet.”
Jason laughs while Michael turns a scarlet color. Girl talk makes my brother uncomfortable.
My mom made a delicious chicken Alfredo with a tossed green salad and garlic bread. We all eat in the middle of conversations about school, work, and our personal lives. Once the meal is finished, Michael, Jason, and I clear the table and load the dishwasher. We say our goodbyes and I grab my book bag to retire to my bedroom to start on some homework that is due at the start of next week.
I close my bedroom door and put my ear buds in my ears. I play with my iPod to find one of my favorite songs, ‘Grenade’ by Bruno Mars. Once the song starts to play, I grab my civics book and make a failed attempt at reading next week’s lesson. I just cannot focus on the judicial branch of government. I keep replaying the conversation with Jeremy this afternoon.
I’ve known Jeremy since I was in Kindergarten. He’s a sweet guy and I know he really likes me. He’s not bad looking either. He’s just about six feet tall and has a fit body. His wavy brown hair matches his light brown eyes and he is our school mascot, Ernie Eagle. He asked me to accompany him to prom next month. Thinking it was a joke, I giggled uncontrollably, until I saw the hurt and embarrassment sweep across his face. Is it really a bad thing to go to prom with Jeremy? It’s not like I have guys standing in line to take me. Could I go with Jeremy without him thinking it’s more than just two friends accompanying each other to a school function?
My cell phone interrupts my thinking. I look at the screen of my iPhone and realize it’s Katherine calling me.
“Hello?’ I say.
“Oh my God, Abigail, I am so excited about tomorrow!”
Oh boy, here we go. An hour long shriek about our upcoming shopping trip for prom dresses. “Really, Katherine? I had no idea that you were that excited about our shopping trip. You sure could have fooled me.” I didn’t attempt to hide the sarcasm in my voice.
“Hey now, just because you haven’t decided on a date for prom, do not go raining on my parade!” She raises her voice to me.
Ok, she’s right.
Maybe if I would figure out who I’m going to take to prom I may be just a little more excited about tomorrow. As of right now, I’m going stag and that thought is so unappealing. “Ok, I’m sorry, Katherine. What time do you want me to pick you up tomorrow?”
“That’s more like it. I’ll be ready by ten o’clock.
And Abby, no bitching or whining about how long it takes me or how many stores I go to. Keep all negativity to yourself, please.”
Really, Katherine. You think that I would complain about all the stores that you’re going to drag me to and all the bags that I’ll end up lugging around? My dear Katherine, you obviously don’t know me very well at all.”
Oh, I know you Abby and I’m telling you to behave yourself,” Katherine chuckles on the other end of the phone.
A laugh escapes my throat. Katherine does know me very well. She should considering we’ve been best friends since kindergarten. Who else is going to understand Katherine? “I’ll see you tomorrow, Kat. Bye.”
A small yawn escapes me. I look at the clock and see that it’s only nine o’clock. I’m just too tired to study and I do have all weekend to read the civics lesson, so I decide that it’s time for me to put on my pajamas and call it a night.
I wake up at nine o’clock the next morning. Boy, I must have been tired. I get up and make my way to the bathroom for a quick shower before getting ready to pick up Katherine. As I shower, I think about how long today is going to be. I’d rather have a root canal than go shopping with Katherine any day. She is so indecisive and loud while shopping. I get out of the shower and wrap a towel around my head and another around my body. I make my way back to my bedroom and over to my closet. I pick out a pair of my favorite denim jeans that I bought at Maurice’s last month. They actually hug my slender figure. I pull out a lavender tank top. After I get dressed, I blow dry my hair, throw it up into a pony tail, quickly throw on a little make up, put on my hooded sweat shirt, grab my purse and keys and head out of the house.
I pull up to Katherine’s house at five after ten. I realize, as soon as I see that she is not on the front porch waiting for me, that she is running “fashionably” late, as usual. No outing with Katherine ever starts on time. I honk my horn and pull out my phone to check my Facebook messages. Of course, it’s flooded with notifications and stupid pictures of the cheer squad making those hideous duck faces. What in the hell is so cool about looking like you just ate a lemon? I will never understand it.
Ten minutes have elapsed before Katherine makes her overdue appearance. I put my phone back in my purse and put my purse in the backseat. She has this huge grin on her face, the type of grin that you would see on the Cheshire cat in
Alice in Wonderland
. I realize that I am afraid to ask why the silly grin, but decide that it is my job as her friend to ask such a question. “So, what’s up with that huge smile on your face?”
“Oh, is it that obvious?”
I refrain from being sarcastic at this point. “Uh, yea, it’s that obvious, Katherine. Spill the beans!”
“Well, if you must know, I just got asked out by the quarterback!”
“Oh my goodness, you have yet another suitor? What does that make, number five? I thought you were going with Chris Tamblay?” I question as I roll my eyes in disbelief.
“Oh, I’m going with Tamblay, but I just get so giddy with all the guys asking me to be their prom date.”
I put the car in reverse and back out of her driveway and point the car in the direction of the Placid Mall. Katherine and I do not say another word to each other on the way, but she still has that stupid grin and then starts screaming the lyrics of ‘Bad Romance’ by Lady Gaga. I roll my eyes to her screeching, but she’s too lost in the music and her own rendition of the song to notice.
We’ve been at the mall for two hours and I am getting tired. I already picked out my prom dress. Katherine, on the other hand, is another story. I swear, that girl has tried on more than fifty dresses and has been in more than five different stores. We go
to JC Penny, the very first store we went to, so Katherine can purchase the very first dress she tried on. I swear, this girl is absolutely impossible.
After Katherine makes her purchase, we head to the food court in the mall for a quick bite to eat. It is well after lunchtime and my stomach is not very forgiving at this point. We stop for a sandwich and a bottle of water. We sit at a table in the center of the court and begin to eat our lunch while making mindless chit chat about anything from the prom, to school, to graduation, and my upcoming eighteenth birthday.
Just as we are finishing our lunch, I see Katherine’s jaw drop ever so slightly and she’s got her “come hither” look. I glance over my shoulder and it’s then that my heart skips a beat. He is tall, dark, fit, and has a touch of bad boy in his appearance. I have never seen a man as gorgeous as him. He shoots us a perfectly white smile and I melt instantly.
This gorgeous hunk of a man begins to walk over to our table. Oh my, his black jeans, white shirt and leather jacket make him look like James Dean. He has to be coming over to talk to Katherine, right? No way would someone that hot and sexy want anything to do with someone as plain an
d unattractive as myself. When he’s at our table he places his left hand on the back of my chair and looks at me and says in a raspy, sexy voice, “Hi, I’m Thomas Jackson, but everyone calls me Tommy.”
Oh my god! He is into me! He barely even acknowledges Katherine. This has
to be a first for me. Play it cool, Wilkinson. You don’t want him thinking you’ve never had a guy into you before. Who the hell am I kidding? A guy has never been into me before. I am fairly certain that I am the only senior at Placid High that is still a virgin. For Christ sakes, I’ve never made it past second base before.
“H-hi,” I stammer, “I’m Abigail Wilkinson and this is my friend, Katherine Collins.” I manage to say without sounding too nervous and giddy. Oh, what the hell is wrong with me? How can this man, of all the men in the world, get me flustered like this?
“A beautiful name for a beautiful girl,” he says as he looks me up and down.
I feel a blush of crimson creep across my face. Oh, what this guy does to me!
“Do you have plans for tonight?” he asks very calm, cool, and collected.
Why is he asking? He better not be asking me to babysit some kid in his family.
“Um, no, I have no plans for tonight.”
Oh, now I seem like a girl with no life. What teenager does not have plans for a Saturday night? A desperate and unattractive girl, I answer my own question.
“Well, would you like to have plans for tonight?”
I blush, again, and slightly nod my head.
“Well, then, would you like to go to dinner and a movie with me?”
“Sure,” I respond as casually and nonchalantly as I can.
I give Tommy my address, and he tells me he will be there at seven o’clock to pick me up. As Tommy walks out of the mall, I look back at Katherine and I begin to giggle like I have never giggled before. However, my giggling is cut short when I see the seriousness in her face. Oh no, here it comes. We are going shopping
“We have to go to Forever 21 and get you a new outfit for your date tonight!” Katherine shrieks.
Oh, was I correct! Nothing is ever simple with this woman.
“Why must we go shopping? I have plenty of clothes in my closet to wear.”
She shoots me a disgusted look. “Your wardrobe is not worthy of a first date. Come, let’s get a new outfit and I will go home with you and help you get ready. By the time I’m done with you, he won’t be able to resist you!”