Hayden Panettiere as Naveah Olsin
Diego Barrueco as Mark Chase
Abigail Breslin as Lucy Kiser
Chace Crawford as Connor Gaines
Ashley Benson as Marissa Bradley
Elizabeth Gillies as Riley Davis
Alex Pettyfer as Dylan Spencer
Jessica Szohr as Jessica
“Mom! Dad! I’m back!” I smile as I rush through the door.
The temperature is slowly dropping outside. I suppose that means fall is soon approaching.
College starts in three weeks, and I haven’t even begun to start preparing.
“Mom? Dad?” I shout as I shut the front door behind me. I drop my bags onto the floor and look into the living room.
I wander over toward the kitchen and when I push the door open, I see my mother and father making out against the kitchen counter.
“Oh come on! Really?” I whine as they both jump away from each other.
“Naveah! Sweetie! You’re home early!” My mom exclaims with red cheeks. “Why didn’t you call?”
“Well, I was going to surprise you… but I guess I still managed to do just that.” I smirk.
“Naveah, come over here.” My dad laughs with open arms.
I rush over to my dad and give him a long overdue hug. It’s only been a couple months since I’ve been home, but I still feel like it’s been forever. Europe was really good to me, in fact, maybe a little too good.
“So, how was it? I know you must have thousands of pictures, tell me everything!” My mom gushes while pushing my dad out of the way to get a hug of her own.
“It was amazing! The girls and I had an awesome time. It was honestly exactly what I needed after a year of complete chaos.” I sigh with a smile. “I’ll show you everything after I get a shower. I’m surprisingly exhausted after the flights to get back home.”
“Oh of course sweetie, take a load off!” Mom smiles while grabbing some of my bags.
“You can put those in my room, but don’t unpack anything. I’ve got to finish packing up the rest of my bedroom before Riley, Lucy and I drive out to set up our apartment.” I explain to mom before she follows me up the stairs.
Fortunately, Riley, Lucy and I got into the same University. The three of us will be attending the University of California San Diego. Or, UCSD as the locals would call it.
I’m excited to start a new school, with new people, accompanied by two of my best friends.
I’m not sure who else will be attending that we may know from high school, but I’m excited to find out.
College is my chance to start over. My chance to start fresh after everything that’s happened last year.
I also love the fact that I’ll be living with Lucy and Riley. We decided we would live together during our summer trip, being that the three of us didn’t want to live in the dorms. We found a three-bedroom apartment not too far from campus, and the best part is we get to carpool.
As I step into my bathroom, my phone rings.
“Hey you!” I smile to myself.
“Get home okay?”
“Sure did, I miss you though.” I frown, though I know he can’t see.
“Not to worry Naveah, I’m only a billion miles away.” He teases with a chuckle.
I swoon at his British accent.
“Gosh, you make it sound so close.” I tease back, a slight smirk resting on my lips as I start the water for my shower.
“Close in your heart, I hope. I’ve gotta run though, meeting some mates at the pub.”
“Alright, I’ll text you later.”
“Goodbye Dylan.” I smile as the call ends.
I met Dylan and his friends during one of our many nights out. Lucy spotted him first, and practically forced me to talk to him. I thought he didn’t show that much interest in me at first, but when he showed up at our hotel room the next morning with coffee for everyone, I made it my mission to get to know him better before our trip was over.
We kept in touch for the entire remainder of our trip, meeting up numerous nights at different clubs and pubs. Riley insisted that we were soulmates, but I knew she was only teasing.
He was simply a summer fling, and nothing more. However, we did agree to keep in contact, just as friends.
I remind myself to call Callie tomorrow, since she’ll be leaving to set up her life in New York. She mentioned that John, aka Red her ex-boyfriend, was going to a college in his home state of Tennessee so I’m happy for him. I bet he’s thrilled to get to go back home.
I can’t believe Callie and I will be living on opposite ends of the country. It seems like only yesterday I was meeting her for the first time in 11th grade on our famous field trip to the holocaust museum. I still can’t believe the teacher thought that it would be a good idea for us to be partners, though, I sure am grateful that she did.
While we did go through very intense ups and downs this last year, I am happy that we were able to mend the broken fences of our friendship. I’m sad I won’t see her in college, but we will do our best to keep in touch. We did promise to all come back home for the holidays to see each other again, so Lucy and I have that to look forward to.
After my shower, I throw on some comfortable pajamas and make my way back down stairs.
My sleeping schedule is a little weird after being in Europe for two months, so I’m pretty sure I won’t get much sleep tonight.
As I near the kitchen, I hear hushed whispers between mom and dad.
“Do you think she knows?”
“How should I know Meredith? I don’t keep up with local teen gossip.” I hear dad sigh.
“We can’t tell her, it’ll make things so difficult for her.” Mom whispers sadly.
“Fine then, we won’t tell her. Problem solved.” Dad says happily.
“Steve, problem not solved. She will find out eventually when she steps foot onto that campus.”
“Well then I don’t know what else to say, let’s just leave it alone and let her find out on her own.”
What could they possibly be talking about?
I pretend that I wasn’t eavesdropping as I casually stroll into the kitchen.
“Hey guys, what’s up?”
“Naveah, sweetie, we aren’t your teenage friends.” Dad scolds playfully.
I smirk but roll my eyes, walking over to the fridge. I pull out a bottle of water and then go to the living room.
I decide not to ask them what they were whispering about. Dad is right, whatever it is, I’ll find out eventually.
Still, something in my gut tells me that I’m not going to like it.
“Holy shit! This place is fucking PERFECT!” Riley exclaims as we approach the front door to our apartment.
With the help of my dad, we were able to splurge a bit and get something a little fancier than what normal college kids could afford. I said I wanted to do this on my own, but honestly, this place is perfect. Riley is not wrong, though when is she ever wrong?
“Riley, language.” My mom playfully scolds while grabbing some bags from the back of my car.
She and dad offered to help us move some stuff in today. We still don’t start school for two more weeks, but we wanted to get settled into our place before classes begin.
“Sorry Mrs. Olsin.” Riley smirks followed by a sheepish smile. “I just can’t contain my excitement.”
“When have you ever?” Lucy playfully rolls her eyes while taking a box inside the apartment.
She didn’t want to move out of her mother’s house, but Riley and I convinced her that it would still be there when she returned home after college. The house is hers, and hers only.
The subject of her mother is still sensitive, but we have all come to the agreement of not bringing her up, unless the time allows for it. After the horrible accident that happened during Connor’s surprise birthday party last year, Lucy has finally started to put that tragic event behind her and move forward with her life.
I couldn’t be more proud of my best friend.
“Alright, it’s time to pick bedrooms!” I announce after everyone finishes bringing the remaining boxes inside.
“I say you get the master bedroom, since you paid for majority of the apartment.” Lucy says.
I watch Riley shoot her a glare, but when she notices that I’m watching her, she quickly turns it into a sweet smile.
“Of course, I agree.”
I give her a blank look before we all burst out laughing.
“Fine, I’ll take the master bedroom, but honestly all of the bedrooms look about the same size.” I shrug.
“I call the one with the view of the backyard!” Riley is quick to say.
“Why’s that?” My mom asks.
“Oh no reason, I just really enjoy backyards.” She says with a sly smirk.
“There’s probably hot guys that live in the apartment behind us.” Lucy deadpans with a shake of her head. “She doesn’t like backyards.”
“Alrighty then, enough boy talk.” My dad interrupts. “I’ll just go take a look to make sure nothing needs to be fixed or… pretend to see if anything needs to be fixed.”
I laugh as I bring some of my boxes into my bedroom. Luckily, I get my own bathroom while Lucy and Riley have to share the one in the hallway.
Perks of being in the master bedroom I suppose.
After hours of unpacking, we are just about finished setting up our apartment. I can’t believe we are going to live here for the next four years.
It’s going to be one wild ride, that’s for sure.
Mom and dad decided to drive home, being that their presence is no longer required. I told them I would drive home to see them once more before school starts, and they agreed.
The three of us, are now sitting on our couch, the TV showing the new episode of Game of Thrones.
“Okay, I have to ask…” Riley begins.
“Don’t.” Lucy sighs.
“What?” I ask, looking between the two of them.
“Have you heard from you know who?” Riley asks.
“Oh come on… you know who I’m talking about. Dark hair, even darker eyes. Broke your heart months ago when he kicked you out of his hospital room…” She trails off, jogging my memory.
Except I did know who she was talking about.
I just didn’t want to think about him.
I haven’t heard from him once all summer.
“Nope.” I shake my head simply.
“Really? Wow.” Riley says. “Sorry I asked then.”
“Yeah, thanks.” I reply sharply.
Lucy discreetly places her hand onto my knee for support.
I breathe in, and let it out slowly.
If there is one thing on this entire universe that I’m happy about, it’s that I never have to see Mark Chase ever again.