Until We Begin

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Talia Hardy is waiting for her life to begin. The first day of high school feels like a fresh start, a reprieve from the horrors that take place in her foster home. Yet she has always been an outcast, a misfit with no friends. Everything changes when she meets a mysterious, handsome older boy whose past is also haunted by hardship and disappointment. Together, they take small joys wherever they can find them, becoming close friends, and maybe something more. Their journey will take them from high school to college and beyond. Drifting apart, then being drawn magnetically back into each others' orbit, they always seem to be able to find each other in the darkness.

Drama / Romance
Tawnee Calhoun
Age Rating:

Chapter One - Talia

The blade was very sharp; it cut smoothly through the delicate skin of her wrist as if it were nothing more than tissue paper. Blood immediately sprang from the wound, a bright, garish red underneath the harsh fluorescent light. As the blood trickled down her wrist, the pain came. Talia Hardy bit her lip, welcoming it. Self-harm. That was what this was called, but somehow it was one of the few things that made her feel in control.

Talia stuck her freshly wounded wrist underneath the tap and turned the knob. Cold water rushed over the split skin, exposing its vulgar mouth-like appearance. Dropping the used razor blade into the sink, she reached for the bottle of peroxide sitting on the counter. Gritting her teeth, she prepared for the sting of the solution, which was somehow even worse than the razor’s cut. Once the wound was cleansed, she covered it with a piece of gauze and medical tape from her first-aid kit. Finally, she rinsed and sanitized the razor, stuffing it back into her first aid kit.

Tugging her long-sleeved black shirt down to cover her wrists, Talia retreated to her bedroom, stashing the first aid kit back underneath the bed. No one knew about its existence, and she intended to keep it that way. Not that anyone would understand; her foster parents would only get angry with her, take it as a reason to try and foist her off on another family.

* * *

Seven. The alarm blared, and Talia knocked it off the bedside table in her haste to stop its annoying warble. Groaning, she swung her legs out of bed and kicked the alarm clock, stopping it. Just another day in paradise, and today was the first day of school. Sophomore year. Only three more years until she could escape the system.

Snoring emanated from her foster parents’ room, which was across the hall from hers. It was low, almost guttural in its intensity. Lane, her foster dad, didn’t need to be up for another hour. Talia tiptoed past the room, avoiding the creaky spot in the floor.

Linda, Talia’s foster mother, has already gone to work at the diner. Waitressing is the only job she’s ever known. In the bathroom, Talia stripped and entered the shower. Bright, flaring pain erupted on her arm. Gritting her teeth, she endured this pain, even savored it a bit, but when she dressed, she pulled another long-sleeved shirt down over the cut. Doesn’t matter how hot it is outside.

For breakfast, she grabbed a mostly brown banana from the counter. Then she was out the door, tossing the peel into the grass and stuffing the overripe fruit into her mouth. Linda thinks she should eat more, that she’s too skinny. Food isn’t what Talia’s hungry for though.

On the bus, her peers glanced sidelong at her shabby clothes and bare, pale face, but she ignored them as she always did. She slouched into a seat at the very back of the bus and wondered what new brand of misery the day had in store for her.

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Further Recommendations

Fredelyn Abreu: Esta novela tiene varias cosas que la hacen merecer esta valoración, entre ellas esa narración impecable, sin faltas ortográficas , un buen desarrollo de espacio, tiempo y personajes, felicito a Elena por darnos tanto y con esa calidad que la caracteriza. ❤️

Brittany: It’s pretty good I like it so far just wondering if it’s a bit going for me but I will definitely finish it and let you know my thoughts. Great plot!

sarahalexander7: Really enjoyed this book. At last a sassy, independent woman that wasn't an annoying character. Enjoy the book so much I read it in one sitting. Really like your style of writing. Look forward to reading more from you

kadzma15: I like the novel but don't like the way I have to wait for the other parts

Cristal Bollinger: It's a different twist to the mating scene for sure.

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Keshini: Good book, no stalling and awesome story line. Love the suspense and romance

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