Genre: YA Romance
Number of pages: 350
People never change; they only become more or less of who they really are…
Just as mysteriously as Alyssa appeared in Estella’s life she disappeared. Who was Alyssa, really? For all their years of friendship in college, Estella has no idea why Alyssa left without saying goodbye after graduation. Now, after all these years, Alyssa leaves a recording on Estella’s voicemail –an RSVP to their college reunion! Trembling with delight and dread, Estella has only one question: Why?
Alyssa has been searching for something all her life—her future. She believes in nothing but success and winning. Manipulative, willful, emotionally cold is the best way she can describe herself. To the world and her college mates, she’s glamorous, confident and has life on a silver platter—men dream of having her and women dream of being her! But Alyssa is blind to everything except success…
until she meets Kurt, a dreamy exchange student, who challenges everything she believes, while his touch runs through her body like the sweetest flame, making her want things she knows she shouldn’t have! Kurt wants her heart and that’s the one thing Alyssa can’t give him.
Through seven years of silence, Estella and Alyssa discover life is ever changing—just as their perception of themselves…yet, how could they ever know tragedy and joy are from the same tears of life?
This has to be my final and the most memorable trophy before the term at Stoke ends.” Alyssa looked at Estella with a smile, awaiting her response. Things somehow never seemed sure to Alyssa until Estella confirmed them. The answer to every question in Alyssa’s life, no matter how trivial it was, had to be assured by Estella.
Estella nodded yes and then dropped her head to attend to the afternoon meal. While Alyssa somehow never felt the need to eat, Estella was pretty disciplined when it came to her food. She had to eat three times a day, no matter what was going on around her. She never believed in skipping meals. She knew it only took a few minutes to eat, even if one was in a hurry. But Estella had almost given up in her efforts to make Alyssa eat, and she herself sometimes missed meals when she was with Alyssa. The girls had made it a routine to be in the café at least for an afternoon meal and at all the times between or after their lectures.
“Est, why don’t you?” Alyssa said, widening her eyes.
Estella looked straight at her, wondering why her friend left the question hanging in the air. “Why don’t I what, Aly?”
“Why didn’t you register your name in QS?”
“You’re kidding, right?” Estella shook her head.
“No, I’m not. You know that.”
“Come on, Aly. You know me better than anyone. I’ve not registered because I just didn’t feel like being in it. It’s not the first time.”
Alyssa knew Estella avoided the dance competitions, or fancy dress competitions, or most of the contests of a similar kind. She couldn’t recall if they’d participated in the same competition. But Alyssa always wished Estella would consider it—she had all the qualities to win. Estella was perhaps the best at color and style, and she was a great dancer. But she only danced for fun in senior farewell parties, birthday bashes, or at Alyssa’s shindigs at London. Estella had good overall grades. Alyssa thought Estella could be her closest contender if she somehow managed to convince her friend to be part of the competition. But before Alyssa could further her argument, Estella read her face and quickly responded, “I’d never ever take part in the competition you’re in.” She grinned and made it all sound like a joke.
What was that supposed to mean? Alyssa thought, looking at Estella who was again busy with her food.
What Alyssa didn’t notice was the gaze that was locked onto her face. It was Kurt’s. He was sitting alone at the extreme corner of the café, in a seat with a view outside and with a half-finished burger, fries, and a Coke. Kurt had decided he’d never become obsessed with a single thing, person, or motive in his life. That was something he inherited from Woody. But from the first time he’d seen Alyssa, he, like so many others, couldn’t think of anything else but her. He managed to find out everything about her, which turned out to be an easy thing to do. He’d already become a stalker, following the girl, not knowing why and confused about his feelings.
“How are you, captain?” Kurt saw Nick taking a seat beside him. He’d started calling Kurt the captain, which was the best thing Kurt had heard since joining the team. Kurt thought that Nick had also noticed him staring blatantly at Alyssa. Sensing Nick had seen the subject of his gaze, Kurt dropped his eyes, feeling embarrassed.
“It’s okay, mate… she’s the hottest property in here,” Nick said, looking at Alyssa and then at Kurt. “And she’s used to such inviting and flirtatious eyes,” Nick added, picking up fries from Kurt’s plate.
Alyssa was talking and smiling, speaking with her pink lips, flashing glimpses of the dimples in her cheeks. As she tucked loose strands of hair behind her ears, Kurt saw her pierced ears and shining earrings. There were two different rings—one dangling much like a wind chime on a breezy day and the other that appeared to be a bit more unconventional in design but still held a precious jewel. That’s what Kurt assumed, not that he had any experience in female adornments.
Then he saw a man put his arm around Alyssa’s shoulder, and taking a seat with the girls.
“That’s Adam, her boyfriend,” He heard Nick say, but Kurt neither responded to Nick nor looked at Adam. His sight was fixated on her. He felt his heart was reading, looking, feeling, tasting, and breathing her. The kittenish batting of her eyes, the shape of her mouth, the gleam of her teeth, and those loose hair—wild, black, and beautiful. And then that snowy face, which could light the darkness and ignite a flame of passion in the most pessimistic soul. There must be a catch, Kurt thought. He’d heard somewhere that a smile could cure little things, but a smile like hers could end half of the world’s problems: how could anyone who’d seen Alyssa ever forget her or remember himself or remember anything, for that matter.
As he watched her kissing her boyfriend, his eyes couldn’t see anything but those lips—he opened his lips to fit hers. There was a space between them—the space he couldn’t see or feel. He was already savoring what he thought was their first of many kisses.
About the Author:
Kshitij lives in New Delhi. He has written books in various genres. Classic literature novels, movies and culture have been his source of inspiration. Although he graduated with a business degree, the word ‘ART’ holds a special place his heart. When not writing, he can be found learning about history, food, and people for his new book.
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