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Willow and the Wind

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This coming-of-age novel narrates the story of a young girl named Willow who journeys through life's hardships and learns to embrace life with all its imperfections.

Other / Romance
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

The town of Hillsdale stayed green throughout the year. Seasons came and went; the hottest of summer days, the chilliest of winter nights, the wettest of April showers, and the driest of August heat waves. But not a speck of snow touched its lands. The little town never lost its luster. Surrounded by evergreen hills which occasionally bore yellow patches, Hillsdale secured a small population of like-minded people. It was diverse, ranging from businessmen’s mansions to low income five hundred square-foot rentals. But wherever people were, they were content with their lives. Most of them started and ended their days in the same way every single day. Most kids were fine with eating PB&J sandwiches for lunch every day. Most parents were glad to live in the same place and do the same job for the rest of their lives. Life at Hillsdale was simple.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Not everything was sunshine and rainbows. Some were always in a rush, as if somebody were chasing them and forcing them to work their way out of the town. They had no intention of settling for this monotonous life void of any adventure. They never gave themselves time to look around and breathe. Life was a race. And Hillsdale was definitely only the starting point.

In the lower-middle class neighborhood of Hillsdale stood a cozy suburban house at the very end of Rosemary Drive. The house itself looked humble, but it still kept itself distinct from the other houses. Grandma Sage attended to her charming little yard every morning. She grew almost every type of plant and flower there was and knew all about them. She named each and every one of them and talked to them like they were her own children. Every plant in the house had a history that she kept in her records.

A botanist, an avid reader, and a strict Buddhist, Grandma Sage was a knowledgeable, wise, and pleasant woman, who always kept her calm. Her granddaughter, on the other hand, was anything and everything but Grandma Sage.

“Willow!” Grandma called softly, putting her gardening gloves away, “Willow, honey,” she repeated as she entered the darkest bedroom in the house at the moment and hit the lights on. “It’s 8 o’ clock.”

Willow groaned as Grandma pushed the curtains open. God, she hated the morning light.

“Get dressed in ten minutes and have some breakfast. I don’t want you to go to school hungry again,” she said sternly.

Willow yawned and nodded in response, harshly rubbing her still closed eyes. She got a faint whiff of freshly brewed coffee which awakened her senses that’d rather be asleep.

“Now,” Grandma demanded and left her bedroom.

The smell of coffee meant the start of yet another uneventful day in this godforsaken town. She buried her head in her cold palms and let out a frustrated groan. She lifted her head, and as part of her morning routine, stared at the tiny cactus sitting on her window-sill for a whole minute, inwardly forcing to wake the rest of her body up. Right outside the window were a bunch of tiger lilies, beaming at her with their spotty orange petals. Taking a deep breath, she pushed herself down her bed and into the bathroom to start her day.

Her closet was pretty dull; jeans, shorts, shirts, and occasionally, a bright colored dress or a cute top that’d been tucked away without a single use for several months. She grabbed the first thing she could find and got dressed rather quickly, still unwilling to start the day.

She hastily dried her hair and took one look at her reflection in the mirror. Dark circles and a tight knot between her eyebrows. Her lips were pale and a thin trail of mustache had started to grow.

“Wow,” she deadpanned before looking away. She made a mental note to get more sleep and spend some time on her mental health, but at the back of her mind, knew that it wasn’t going to happen.

The smell of coffee grew stronger as she entered the dining room. Even though she hardly ever drank coffee, the smell would linger on her clothes every day, and every person who met her would point that out.

Grandma made her some soy scrambled “eggs” for breakfast. Her veganism stood in the way of Willow’s happiness.

“Grandma, I told you I just wanna have some real eggs for breakfast at least once a week,” she whined.

“We do not speak of any animal products in this house.”

She rolled her eyes and reluctantly cleared up her plate, and before Grandma could offer another serving, she grabbed her backpack and scrambled out the door, hastily shouting apologies and excuses that she was going to be late.

Willow Sage Blume was a restless girl. She was always in a hurry to do something or go somewhere. Relaxation was never an option for her. After all, she partially funded her own education with her hard-earned money. Every morning would begin the same way. She had to leave home at least an hour early so she could hit the library and finish up her assignments from the previous day. Today was the same. All she got was five hours of sleep before a painfully similar day began. As she biked her way to Hillsdale Community College, she racked up her brains and recollected the to-do list for the day and mentally planned every event. The August heat warmed up her partly dried hair and made her grimace at the warm wetness of her scalp. She was sweating profusely, wishing somebody could give her a ride every morning. Grandma believed that some exercise in the morning would do her good, but Willow could swear that it only made her feel worse.

As she peddled faster and harder, thinking about a million different things, she felt some pressure building up in her wheels. In the next few seconds, she snapped her chain, lost control of the handle, and fell to the ground.

“Ouch!” she yelped in pain, noticing fresh blood oozing through her bruised elbow and knees. Embarrassed, she looked around to check if someone saw her, but to her luck, nobody was around. Sighing in relief, she picked herself and her bike up.

To her right was the empty children’s playpark . Monday morning snatched all the children away and confined them to the hell-hole of a place they called school. Spotting a bench next to the Up themed slide, she limped her way towards it and took a seat, cursing under her breath and thinking what a great start it was to her most dreaded Monday. She took off her helmet and ruffled her sweaty and messy hair. Grandma always joked that her haircut made her look like a high school boy. She pulled out her water bottle and ran some water on her bruises. They were small, but somehow, extremely painful.

While she was gently blowing on her knee to soothe the pain, she caught a strong whiff of something citrusy. She sniffed harder to confirm. Yes, it smelled of clementines around her. She whipped her head around to find the source of the smell, just when the sound of footsteps approaching became louder with each clomp.

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Sharon: Great story haven’t put it down since started reading it

Anthonella: Me ha gustado todo de esta historia incluso podia leerla una y otra ves y no me cansa, la verdad se la reconmendaria amis amigos O primos O primas

michellecsnelling: I love this book. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. Jessie Tate is a fabulous writer and this book so far has been written so well it keeps the reader wanting more.

booksndogs: Good short story. Not a lot of details but that's ok it works. The characters are good and the plot is a welcome change from the typical rejection story.

Kaari: I love the little details that don't make logical sense but seem to bring the story together to complete a circle that can't be broken. Alot of writers don't grasp that books are a freedom of sorts you can literally take it anywhere you want to. It's a real gift when the author is able to break n...

Kaari: OMG the drama! Twists turn and plots seasoned with well written steamy scenes between multiple couples. I'm seriously obsessed

Kaari: Just finishing book 4 of this great series and will read 5 before the night is through

Kaari: I'm currently fighting a cold so laying in bed with all these characters to keep me company is perfection

Mancey: Je trouve l'histoire facile à lire. Agréable et romantique à souhait. J'aime beaucoup, hâte de pouvoir lire la suite.

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CROCNOIR: L'intrigue est on ne peut plus original et très bien rédigé, bien détaillé donc on se plonge dedans très facilement ! Perso j'aime beaucoup et j'ai hâte de voir la suite !! 😉

kharris370: Entertaining

Kaari: The return of vega is quite the unforeseen nuisance but I can't wait to find out how this family of misfits takes care of him just hope the baby makes it

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