I remember the day almost a month and a half ago, when I'd been standing on the sidelines of the football field after the big game with Stephanie who is head cheerleader. The game had been a success. Our team had trounced the opposition forty-two, fourteen. Everyone had been in high spirits and though I knew very little about football, I too had been caught up in the euphoria that was in the air, and was enjoying the festive mood. Steph had been waiting anxiously to get her hands on the team's wide receiver Kevin, her boyfriend of a year and a half, and had dragged me along to the field with her after getting me from the stands.
Amidst all the revelry and congratulations floating around me I’d felt a prickling sensation, like a target caught in the crosshairs. I followed the sensation across the field with my eyes until they connected with the most startling green eyes I'd ever seen.
My heart lurched somewhere south and I had to blink rapidly to keep my focus from blurring. He stared at me in a way that made me feel like there was no one else in the world. I could feel an invisible string drawing me across the field and only the sudden lead in my legs kept me rooted to the spot. It was the strangest experience of my life, almost like one of those out of body things you hear so much about.
In my peripheral I saw Steph and Kevin locked in one of their embarrassingly passionate clinches, but this time I didn't feel the need to make a snide comment about their public display. All my energy was too caught up in the force field of the man standing across from me. I couldn’t break the connection and was more than a little surprised to realize I didn’t want to. That was so not like me, to stare at a total stranger with what I was sure was longing.
My view was rudely interrupted by the appearance of a stunning blonde who threw herself into his arms exuberantly, wrapping herself around him. I blinked away the sudden moisture from my eyes as I rubbed my hand across my chest where my heart laid, as if to wipe away the sudden pain that lodged there.
I forced myself to look away not understanding the sudden feeling of grief that was almost crippling.
I had a fairly good notion of who the guy with the fallen angel looks was. Talon Avery star quarterback and all round lady's man. I had heard the stories of course, having just transferred here two weeks before in the middle of the semester. It seems like he was the main topic on everyone’s lips. When I wasn’t being warned about his philandering ways I was being bombarded by what seemed like every female within a hundred mile radius gushing over him.
I had no interest in his type, not after what I’d just been through, the reason I’d transferred here in the first place. I wanted nothing to do with the Adonis everyone described no matter how amazing some seemed to think he was. I had gone through too much to get here to let myself be caught up in the whirlwind of disaster that was Talon Avery. All I wanted was to get my life back on track and move on from the dark hole I’d just escaped.
It hadn't been easy but with my grades and transferable scholarship, my counselor had made it happen by the skin of her teeth. And now here I am in this little college town in New York, a long way from Rhode Island where I'd grown up, where I had always believed I would spend my whole existence.
I'd loved my home, the big old farmhouse where generations of Abbotts had lived since the eighteen hundreds. I'd loved the woods around our acreage where Steph and I had spent countless hours weaving tales of happily ever after.
My happily ever after had come crashing down around me after my first year at the local University when I found my boyfriend in bed with my cousin. An experience that had sent my life spiraling out of control, burying me under a pain I thought I’d never escape from. Until I landed here and felt like I’d finally left that all behind. A new start, a new beginning, maybe I could salvage some happiness for me after all.