Destiny is no matter of chance.
It is a matter of choice.
William Jennings Bryan
~ Book One ~
1. New Beginnings
IT IS SAID that our destiny is set, predetermined before conception. But I myself, have never been a believer…
Barefoot and wrapped in a towel, I padded my way to the closet, quickly deterred by the ring of my iPhone. I grabbed it from the nightstand and checked caller I.D. Perfect! Then slid my finger across the screen, unlocking it before I put it to my ear. “Good morning, Trista.”
“Good morning, Dani,” the familiar voice said on the other end. “How are you doing?” Her apprehension was easily heard.
“I’m good,” I lied, dressing into my favorite turquoise blue scoop neck and my ragged edged, white mini skirt. “I’m getting ready now. How about you?”
“I’m in the parking lot…” she paused, “I’m sorry, Dani.”
“It’s not your fault,” I lied to my friend a second time, softly cursing her in my head.
“Still, I’m real sorry I won’t be with you. I know how nervous you get.”
That’s an understatement! She’s humbly apologetic, and I know I should let her off the hook, because really it isn’t her fault. Trista Adams, my beautifully perfect, kind, and compassionate best friend, to which no one else could ever compare. Really, it’s her father’s fault; he’s where my curses should be directed. If he hadn’t taken that job transfer, they wouldn’t have moved five hundred miles away.
Ashamed of myself for letting Trista feel even a morsel of guilt, or that this is in any way her fault or choice, I reciprocated her apology. “Don’t be sorry. I’m the one who’s sorry, Trista. This has got to be harder on you.” I’m at least in familiar surroundings.
“I’m almost to my first class now.”
“Then I should hang up. I would hate for you to have your phone confiscated because of me.” I moved to my full-length mirror. Looking at my reflection it was hard to miss the resemblance to my mother; I share her pale blue eyes, fair skin, and long, dark curls. This has always pleased my mother, having me look like her—I guess I kind of like it too.
“Dani, before I go, there’s something I need to say.” She sounded serious. “I know how determined you are to stick to your plan…”
What’s wrong with my plan?! Study hard, play soccer even harder, slide through high school under the radar, and above all, avoid the distraction of boys. It’s a good plan, a solid plan, one that’s worked so far.
“This might be the year, Dani…”
I interrupted her. “Don’t! You’ve seen the boys at school.”
“I’m just saying, since we no longer have each other to lean on and are already pushed out of our comfort zone, why not open ourselves to new possibilities?”
“Ugh!” I groaned into the phone.
“Gotta go! Talk to you soon, Dani.” And the line fell silent.