Date Published: March 7, 2014
A few months after Christian’s passing, Oliver leaves town, and for the next two years, he is absent from my life. The demons claw their way back in, and I must learn to live with the secret that has destroyed me.
Now I’m starting a new life, away from Gargle and away from my past, but everything crashes when I see Oliver the first day at university. It’s clear that many things have changed since we’ve been apart. Now he is captain of the rugby team and the most popular bloke on campus.
Then he makes a bet and gives me an ultimatum: I leave Braxton forever and start somewhere else, or I stay and play his game… because he’s never forgotten that it was me who ruined his life two years ago.
One of the guys who was throwing the ball is staring directly at me. His eyes squeeze shut and a fire spreads over my spine. He seems familiar, but I shake my head, knowing that I don’t know anyone in Braxton and the sudden blaze of heat is just in my imagination. Dora manages to get the attention of one of the guys and they start chatting away. This is just so typical of her.
“Pass the ball, Jacob,” someone shouts behind me. But I ignore that voice, which sounds so familiar, heating up the blood that runs through my body. I think about back home. Mum asked me to call her when we reach Braxton just to make sure that we arrived safely.
Then something hits me hard in the back of the head and I let go a loud “Owww!” and turn swiftly around. I spot the rugby ball on the grass and reach out to massage my head. I narrow my eyes, spotting the same guy who was staring at me a few second ago. He is smirking.
“What’s your problem?” I ask, my jaw tense with anger.
He doesn’t look sorry at all that he hit me with the ball. He is tall and muscular. His dark hair is cut close to his scalp. For some reason the “special forces” haircut suits him. He is too far ahead so I can’t see the color of his eyes, but his gaze is pulling me to him like he is made of a magnet. Jeans hang low on his hips and his white T-shirt is dirty, probably from rolling on the grass. I glance back at his friends who are staring at me, startled. Something isn’t right here—he obviously wanted to hit me on purpose.
“Well, who have we got here? Isn’t it the one and only, India Gretel?” he says loudly, like he wants to make sure that everyone hears him.
“Do I know you?” I ask with impatience, eyeing him from head to toe. A large whacky grin appears on his handsome face. Something in his eyes tells me that we already met. His eyes harden on me as he picks up the ball and closes the gap between us. He has a wide jaw and full beautiful lips.
“Don’t fucking tell me that you forgot about me already, Indi?” he asks, smirking. “Boys, let me introduce the biggest bitch that ever stepped in Braxton.”
I blink rapidly, staring at him, digging all my memories out or anything that could tell me if I’ve seen him before, but I get nothing.
“Oliver, who the hell is that?” asks one of the guys walking up towards him. Dora probably notices my little show because she approaches me, looking equally confused.
“India, who is that douchebag?” she asks, frowning.
Oliver. That name rolls in my head like a snooker ball. It curls my toes and increases my heartbeat. It’s like a poison that crawls into my pores and wrecks my body. His name brings on both good and bad within me. It’s the name that I have been trying to forget for the past two years.
The “Whispers of the Sprite” is her first debut novel and she is currently working on other projects. Joanna lives in Cowbridge, a small town in South Wales near Cardiff with her boyfriend Bruce. She enjoys cycling around Welsh countryside some of which has become the settings in her first series.