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A Little Each Day

By LesAnne All Rights Reserved ©

Drama / Romance

Blurb

Gabrielle was once a terror, a bully, but it was an accident that taught her a lesson. Determined to make up for her mistakes, she moves away to college with an intricate journal in hand and the intention of helping others and saying yes to any and all opportunities. This starts well with the forming of a deep friendship with Johanna but things get interesting, however, after meeting the scowling and reclusive Aidan. Although completely his opposite, Gabrielle finds herself under his admire, which causes unwanted attention. Soon, she becomes the victim of harassment from a local bully. With faith, not only in herself but in God also, Gabrielle’s journey is hard fought and heart-warming. This is a story of self-development and all the implying challenges—learning to forgive, trusting God and loving others more and more, a little each day.

One

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.

“Brie!”

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.

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