Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
xXxhurting-insidexXx would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

A Concrete Goal

By xXxhurting-insidexXx

Humor / Romance

Chapter 1

Part 1

He had it all figured out. He knew where he was headed, knew what he would never have, and now he knew how he would spend his last year of high school.

He skims through the middle school yearbook until he finds her. Natalie Anderson. The girl he'd thought of for as long as he could remember. Before he got sick, she'd been his fantasy. He had thought about asking her out a couple times, but when he finally got the courage to do it, he started changing.

At first it was just night sweats and headaches. Then, his muscles starting aching as well, and he started losing his breakfast. That's when he found the first lump under his arm. Scared, he'd told his dad. He'd been taken to the doctor, where his father's worst fears were confirmed: he had cancer. He sat there, not moving or speaking, just sitting, all his dreams going out the window.

After the first round of chemo, he became angry at everything. He started watching her, seeing how perfect she was and how oblivious to everything she was. He started to hate her, too.

His dad tried to distract him as best as he could, coming up with a plan to rebuild an old yellow truck. He though the truck was hopeless. The thing was falling apart and it looked like it'd never run. But, the more he and his father worked on it, the more he came to love the truck. And still, he watched Natalie Anderson's rise in popularity.

Night and day, he worked on the truck. He went to school, went to chemo, and started going to therapy after his father caught him holding a razor blade in his hand. He hadn't been trying to kill himself, only to try and forget.

Al was alright, he supposed, if a little too caring. The summer before senior year, he'd talked to Al, opening up only as much as was needed. And when he went home to his empty and cold room, he thought about how to make his last year of high school one that he wouldn't mind remembering.

When he woke up this morning, he had no idea that he was going to end seeing Al, only that he now knew what he was going to do.

Smiling to himself in the mirror, he sees her face in his mindset. Yes, by the end of this year, he would make her see the truth of her ignorance. It didn't matter how smart or beautiful she was... She didn't know that she'd become his concrete goal.


He walked into chemistry, seeing her sitting down at the lab station. With a small smile to himself, he walks over to her.

"Well, if it isn't Natalie Anderson, Miss Debate queen," he says, with a smirk. She places the beakers on the table.

"Zetterstrom?" She asks and he gives a nod.

"Haven't lied to ya this far, I'm not gonna start now." He notices how she smells of vanilla and flowers and closes his eyes for a second, taking it in. In six years, this is the closest he'd been to her, and it was staggering. He knew from pictures that she'd aged into a pretty girl, but in person? Oh man.

"You gonna help?" She asks him and he smiles and goes to turn on the Bunsen burner. She blows out the match he'd just lit and turns it off. "We don't need that for this," she continues.

He sighs.

"Look, you're not gonna be disagreeable, are you?" The look she gives him could have frozen water.

She turns back to the lab and he smiles to himself, even though his body aches. Gritting his teeth, he counts to thirty before releasing a breath.

The bell is almost like a relief, until he realizes he'd made no progress. With a sigh, he goes home. Thankfully his dad isn't there and so he goes into his room and picks up his pill bottles, taking them into the bathroom with him. He fills up a glass of water and opens up the bottles, taking one out of each and setting them down on the counter.

Standing there, he looks at the different colors and sizes of the pills, wondering once again, what would happen if he didn't take them and flushed them down the toilet. He sighs and shakes his head, grabbing one at a time and knocking them down with a sip of water. When the last one goes down, his eyes squeeze shut as a flash of pain goes through him. Taking deep breaths, he wills the pain away. By the time it passes, his hands have a faint tremor in them.

When he looks out the window, he sees it's gotten dark outside. He decides to go the cliff, hoping he might see her at The Brick. A foolish hope, but one he couldn't suppress.


The drive to the cliff seems so short, and yet so long. As he sits on the rock, his legs dangling off the edge, he watches the happy party-goers and a rush of envy fills him. Those goddamn kids had no idea how perfect their lives were. Especially her. He catches a flash of her blond hair in the firelight and is drawn to it.

She is the most selfish of them all, cocky and coy. He watches as she flirts with the transfer student, Rick Marquez, and jealousy aches his heart. He had no reason to be jealous over her, none. But it hurt all the same. Watching her smiling made him hate her all the more.

When the rain started, he still sat in his truck, wondering why he cared if it rained. A little rain wasn't what was going to kill him. Staring up at the sky, he allows a single tear to slide down his cheek, swallowing down the aching of his heart. Gripping the steering wheel, he can't help but remember his mom, wishing she were here so he could talk to her. He missed her.

He sighs once more before backing away and driving back home. When he gets there, his father is cooking something on the stove, but, unsurprisingly, he has no appetite.

"Keith," his father calls.

"Yea, Dad?" He asks.

"You hungry?" He catches the glimmer of hope in his father's eyes, and hates it.

"Yea, sure. But unless you wanna stick around for the aftershow, I suggest I don't," and with that he turns and walks away, ignoring his father calling his name. He slams his door closed and kicks out of his shoes, shrugging off his jacket before lying on the bed. The clock to his left says 9:54pm and he lets out a sigh. Grabbing his MP3 player from the nightstand, he plugs in his earphones and plays music, staring up at his ceiling.


2 weeks later

It'd been two weeks, two fucking weeks, and he was in no better mood than before. Except when he saw her. She brought out a light inside his darkness and it scared him. They talked during class occasionally, but still she refused to hang out with him after school.

"Come on, I'll pick you up at 5." She laughs and shakes her head.

"I can't, I'm busy."

"It's not a date, partner." She turns to look at him and he steels his heart. Her eyes seemed greener in this lighting, making her face brighten. He had to get a hold of himself.

"Maybe." She says, and with a smile, turns and walks away.

Sighing, he heads to his next class. When school ends, he gets in his truck and drives over to where she and her new boyfriend, Marquez, usually hang out. He holds up a sign and watches as she talks to him about something. He drives away, unsure of his decision.

When 5:00 rolls around, he has his truck parked across the street from her house. He wonders if she'll make an appearance. When she does, he can't tell if he's happy or angry that she did. But then she gets in the truck and he is relieved that she did. He had six months until graduation. Six months until he'd never see her again. He was going to make the most of it...Or die trying.

Unbeknownst to his thoughts, Natalie was having some pressing thoughts of her own. Who was Keith? Why was he not like other people? She had a boyfriend, so why did seeing Keith send butterflies through her stomach? She didn't know and, glancing over at the smile on his face, at the moment she didn't care. She was going to try something new. What was wrong with hanging out with Keith?

He was refreshing. He made her forget all her worries throughout the day, which should have warned her, but she ignored it, determined to figure him out.

"So, partner, where to?" His answering smile was dazzling.

"The sky's the limit."


Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

ayesha wali: This is the BEST novel i have read after a long while. Absolutely in love with this novel and seriously why is it not PUBLISHED YET?!?! THIS NOVEL IS AMAZING,BEAUTIFUL,MAGNIFICENT, I have no words to explain how truly precious this novel is im totally in love with the book and its characters! Goo...

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

A.O. Chika: I loved the storyline. The characters, the settings, and the overall plot was great. I love how it started sweet in the beginning and then the angst set in. I did feel like the author writing style could use a bit of change as the book reads more like a YA novel than an Adult novel (I.e grown up ...

Natalie Summers: This book has its twists and turns to keep you invested. I loved the characters and was rooting for them. Their is so much heart in the story that it makes it difficult to put down. I haven't read a lot of books with LGBTQ characters, but I love it when I do. It makes it so much easier for me ...

mullikin902: Do not start reading this book unless you have enough time to finish it in one sitting, because you will not be able to put it down! Superlative! Addictive! Deliciously wicked characters you can't get enough of. Impatiently waiting for the sequel!

Atractivo Sumit: The story is an amazing blend of what we call natural, plain romance along with subtle emotions and interesting twists. The plot is so beautifully interwoven.

Books17: This is my first book review.I found the story to be very intriguing.The beginning of the story starts and you are immediately thrown into wanting to know what will happen next, The action, or intrigue is established early, so there isn't the feeling of the story dragging on, or thinking about wh...

Abbie: i couldn't stop crying at the end. The end leaves you wondering if there is a sequel. So the question is "Is there a Sequel?

catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.

More Recommendations

Alex Rushmer: Chapter One: Not much is happening in this chapter, but I was absolutely fascinated by the depth of your character development. I love how you just sat there with the reader and explored Eddward. Usually, that sort of thing gets boring very fast, but this was actually really cool! He's so unique ...

bhodges11: I like the concept of the story, but there were things that I felt could use more detail. I like the back stories created, but was left wanting more from parts of the story. I like the cadence of the author's writing style - it was a very easy, enjoyable read. I felt like it ended on, not a cliff...

sanbyra: This story is very well written and flows beautifully. I became engrossed in the romance element as well as the impending war. The action scenes are also depicted very well. I can't wait to read what happens next!

Giuliana Cassetta: My face is full of tears, I never cried like now with a book or even a movie. I loved every single chapter. I truly don't know what to say, I'm out of words and my eyes hurt from crying. Such an bittersweet story, it's so wonderful. One of my favorites for sure. Keep it up!

Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...

diabolka: This book is a fascinating twist on mythology, fantasy and romance genre. The author has done a fantastic job combining Greek mythology with a modern day twist, tying in a plot that offers twists and turns that are both expected and unexpected. The hero, Ross, and heroine, Antara, are complex, ...