This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Journal Entry No. 42/2016
I can’t say that I’ve already experienced everything. I can’t say that I understand what a person is going through, but I can say that each of us has a unique journey. Keep an open mind, look past every offense, because that person might be fighting a battle you don’t know. And he probably can’t win it on his own.
He pressed his lips into a thin line as he glared at the man, with a salt and pepper hair, in front of him. Though he appeared like he wanted to strangle him, he kept his clenched fists on the table. When it was his turn to say something, he ran his hand through his brown hair as he furrowed his brows. He managed to speak through the heavy rise and fall of his chest.
I watched him. My eyes focused on the intensity of his gray ones. I should turn away, but something about him drew me in, keeping my gaze locked on him. Three tables separated me from them, but no matter how fierce he looked while he spoke, I couldn’t hear a single word.
The coffee shop located on the outskirts of Stanford University looked quirky, with its wooden floor, leather booths and exposed walls decorated with black and white photo frames of different sizes. Despite how impressive the interior of the shop looked, my eyes would always find its way back to the guy.
Taking a deep breath, I forced myself to turn away. I wrapped both of my hand around the cup, marveling at the heat of the liquid inside. Connie had been running late—fifteen minutes to be exact. If it weren’t for the aroma of the coffee sticking in my clothes and calming me down, I might have lashed out on my best friend on the phone. I didn’t mind going straight to our apartment, but she thought it was best to meet first at the coffee shop since she still had to haul her things out of her dorm.
Connie and I had planned to move in the apartment complex in Palo Alto two weeks before the start of the semester to get the feel of things. The move seemed like a dream come true, though my mother protested at first. After I had explained to them that I needed the change, they finally relented in letting me go.
They also agreed on one condition—convince Connie to live with me. As if that was hard to do.
I opened my purse and pulled out the novel I started reading three days ago. I tuned out the sound of the conversations around me and the constant sound of the coffee grinder. Images from the book filled my mind like I was watching a movie in my head. A few pages later, I took a sip of the coffee but to my surprise, I found nothing but an empty cup. I looked up at the menu board above the cashier, to check what to order next before making my way to the counter.
The barista greeted me with a smile on his face, just like he did earlier. I tossed my hair over my shoulders.
“Medium sized, dark mocha, hot and one chocolate chip cookie,” I said as I fished a bill out of my pocket.
After paying for my order, I glanced at my watch just to check how long I had been waiting. I let out a deep breath when I realized that thirty minutes had already passed. When my order came up, I grabbed the tray from the counter and marched back to my table.
I only made a couple of steps when I heard a familiar voice. Turning around, I placed the tray on the nearest vacant table. Just before I could face Connie, I heard a crash behind me. I spun on my heel and spotted the guy with the piercing gray eyes, wiping the dark liquid off his shirt while cursing the lady in front of him. In one swift movement, she slapped him before bolting out of the shop.
Without second thoughts, I grabbed a handful of tissue from my tray and headed to his direction. I navigated through the shards of ceramic on the floor and the crumbs of what looked like a cereal cookie.
“Here,” I said, patting his shirt with tissues.
I stopped moving after I felt the goosebumps crawl up my arms. It was only then the implication of my actions crashed into me.
As an attempt to cover my gasp, I covered my mouth with my hand. I could feel the man’s eyes boring into me, but I ignored it. I turned around and rushed back to the table where I left my tray.
“Watch where you’re going,” a deep, baritone voice said to my left.
I froze. His voice had me reeling, knocking out any coherent thoughts in my head and rendering me speechless. Though his tone had an edge, like he was blaming me for his accident, I purged any feeling of irritation towards him. I took a deep breath before walking away with the warm drink in my hand.
Slumping on the chair, I struggled to keep my head high. I felt the blood rush to my cheeks and the way Connie stifled her laugh confirmed it. He passed by our table, his hand brushing up my bare right arm. I gritted my teeth at the contact.
With his back to me, I noticed that people stepped aside to give him space. Some of them waved at him, and he only nodded his head once in response. As soon as he out of my sight, I glanced at the table he occupied a while ago and saw it vacant.
“Come on, Brie, snap out of it. I’m sorry for being late,” Connie said as she dragged me back to the counter.
“Do you know who that person is?”
Connie glanced at me over her shoulder and scrunched her nose. “It’s Aidan. He’s one of the basketball players on the campus. Quite attractive, may I add.”
I arched an eyebrow before turning away, committing his name to memory.
After I had finished my drink, Connie and I headed to the apartment complex. By the time we arrived, I had memorized every line and curve of his face that no amount of bleach could remove it from my mind.
CurlyRed: I read this entire book in just under 4 hours I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! i found myself emotionally attached to the characters and making personal connections that i had never experienced before while reading a book! I was constantly wanting to read more, every chapter left me on a cliff hanger tha...
jessiealexandrap: Truly loving the novel, each chapter presents itself greater than the one beforehand. I truly love the novel and give definate question to why it's not published of yet. The novel truly deserves great attention and all should read the beautiful story.
Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...
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...
LouiseJ2: I enjoyed the detail you went into with regards to the case. It made the UNSUB appear believable. The crisis in the middle of the story was my favorite part, very dramatic but not over the top. I feel like sometimes pairings can be overdone but I liked that some of the relationships were a little...
Lora Georgieva: Alpha Kaden is definitely one of the best stories I've ever read. Once you start reading it you just can't get away from the amazing characters and their exciting story. I love the whole series and recommend it to everyone who is fan of fantasy and romance
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...
salma elsamy: it's really awesome , and I really like the whole idea of the story . I also love how simple the vocabularies because English is my second language and the simplicity of the story is great for me . And I will definitely buy it if it's published.
KC_Ward: Black Mark was one of the most interesting romance novels I have read. I really enjoyed the fact that Mora has such a strong character and held her ground. Each character had a background story that gave clues as to what shaped their personalities. This novel was almost like two books rolled into...
263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...
Mourn8220House: When first reading "Avarice," I thought it would be another fairytale but I was taken back the author's approach and choice of ending. There is little to be said for the story and overall plot besides the sudden twists and speculation, other than that I do not want to ruin a fantastic tale, you m...
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!