Are you ready for a preview of chapter one in Drew: Book One of the Perfectly Independent Series? Keep reading to get your peek.
Before we get to that though, I want to make sure you are aware of a few things.
First, DREW IS LIVE EVERYWHERE September, 29, 2020.
Second, if you read on Apple or are looking for the Paperback on Amazon – Both are live right now!
So you don’t miss release day – preorder Drew now from your favorite vendor now!
Oh, one last thing before I forget – Friday, September 25 @ 8PM EST, I will be live in the Literary Lounge. Please click on the link to join the broadast or call the number listed to have your questions answered. I’ve never done a radio interview, so I’m excited to see how it works out!
Now for what you’ve been waiting for… Chapter 1 of Drew.
Copyright © 2020 by Amanda Shelley
All rights reserved
Dammit, I’m late.
I hate being late.
Glancing at my watch, I know class hasn’t started yet, and I still have some time, but it’s been ingrained into me since I can remember—always show up early. Being on time is late—and today of all days, I need to be early.
I inwardly growl and readjust my backpack to pick up my pace.
From the moment I’ve walked into this building, I’ve been bombarded with fans. Sure, this is a D-1 school. I’m the captain of the basketball team and the lead scorer, so it’s to be expected. But enough is enough. Of course, I’m noticed. It’s not like I can help it. Being nearly six foot five is something I’m using to my advantage. I need to keep this scholarship and graduate with honors to get into med school. I know playing ball will only get me so far, and my dreams are bigger than that.
I like basketball, and I happen to be great at it. But ever since my sister died of Hodgkin’s when she was twelve, I’ve had my heart set on becoming a doctor. I want to treat kids like her, with hopes of different outcomes. With her illness, my parents were up to their ears in debt. I’ve had to use my height and athleticism to get me where I am today—And I’m not taking any chances.
I’ve heard to choose my seat wisely on the first day of class. I need to get there to scout out the room. Not wanting another person to stop and discuss my last game, I keep my eyes trained on the floor, until I make it to the door.
Once inside, I’m relieved there are plenty of vacant seats still available. As I stop to look it over, I immediately notice a guy’s face light with recognition, and I quickly dart my eyes away.
Nope. Not a chance.
Unfortunately, I’ve learned the hard way some fans can’t get past my stats when I’m off the court. I need a partner who’s focused. So, without a second’s hesitation, I continue to survey the room for the person least likely to be a distraction.
Then I spot her.
From behind, she’s non-descript. Her brown hair is tied into a ponytail, and she wears a plain white t-shirt, jeans, and Chuck Taylors. She isn’t socializing with anyone, and with her large-framed glasses, she fits the bill for being the stereotype of studious.
As I approach, I find her focus unyielding. With her eyes locked onto the textbook in front of her, I can’t help but smile. I need someone like her. When I pull out my stool and sit beside her, she doesn’t even glance my way. It isn’t until I greet her with, “Hey,” she looks in my direction for the first time.
I smile and nod in greeting.
But her eyes lock with mine, and we stare at one another for a long moment.
Great. Maybe she does recognize me.
Should I look for somewhere else to sit? I glance around and find the tables around us are filling up.
But she grabs my attention when she finally mumbles, “Hey, I’m Abby.”
I nod and grin in her direction. She clearly already knows my name.
A flicker of annoyance crosses her features before her expression turns blank, and she quickly returns her focus on her book. The corner of my lips pull up without my consent, but the moment I recognize it, I quickly school my features. She’s just what I need her to be.
While we sit here, a guy I don’t recognize stops by our table and high-fives me as he gushes, “Great game, man. You had me on the edge of my seat.”
Not wanting to be rude, I shrug and accept the compliment. “Thanks. We were on fire last night. That’s for sure.” Then I make an exaggerated effort to pull out my notebook from my backpack.
I exhale heavily as he takes the hint and says, “You sure were. I’ll see ya around.” He looks in the direction of a vacant seat a few tables down, then returns a smile back at me. “Good luck next week.”
Abby continues reading her book in silence. But when a string of people stop and congratulate me on our latest win, I notice when she balls her hands into fists a few times. I try to keep my conversations short, but as soon as a person leaves, I’m greeted by another. It’s not like I can help it. I’m not about to be rude to fans, and it’s not like class has started yet.
When another person approaches, I hear a loud huff from my side. But I do my best to ignore it. She’s obviously annoyed and just as focused as I need her to be. I grin in amusement. My gut has never steered me wrong.
As this new guy greets me, the professor walks into the room, and relief washes through me. At least with class in session, people will leave me alone, and I can focus on why I’m here.
The professor stands in the center of the room for just a moment before clearing his throat. Everyone scatters to their seats as the aging man in the tweed jacket gathers some papers to put onto a podium. Once everyone’s settled, the professor stands in front of the room and announces, “Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Look to the person next to you. This is your permanent lab partner. There’s no switching unless you want a ten percent reduction of your grade.”
Gasps are heard around the room, and a light chuckle escapes from me as I glance to the girl next to me. Her jaw practically lands on the table, and it’s all I can do to contain my amusement.
I manage to mumble, “It’s a good thing I chose you for a partner then, isn’t it?” as the professor launches into discussing the syllabus as well as his expectations for the semester.
Somehow, Abby manages to regain her composure, and the two of us spend the remainder of class taking copious notes. Abby’s diligent, and that’s just what I need with the season getting started and my full course load to stay on track for graduation.
Typically, athletes take fewer credits during the season, but if I’m to graduate on time and get into the school of my dreams, I can’t afford to slow my pace. As it is, I’m already busting my butt and have had to take summer classes to get the extra classes necessary for admissions.
When class ends, Abby quickly gathers her things and abruptly stands. She won’t even look in my direction as she makes her way out of the room. I can’t help but stare after her and wonder what our next class will bring.
So…. what did you think?
Stay tuned next week for Chapter 2.
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Until Next time,