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Letting Go - A Short Story Preview
Celina Gayheart is a first year med student who has been in love with Caiden McCauley ever since he stepped foot into her 7th grade math class, more than 10 years ago.
In fact, "love" is not the exact word to describe Celina's feelings for Caiden, "obsession" is more accurate.
When she and Caiden "coincidentally" end up at the same small college, on the opposite side of the country from their Georgia hometown, Caiden feels stalked and trapped.
He eventually pulls away from Celina, and he spends most of his undergraduate years dating his newly found dream girl, Kristen Fellows.
Celina has never accepted losing Caiden to Kristen, and she will do anything to win his heart. She gets her chance with Caiden, but does he really want her, or is he simply giving in to her constant presence?
In one traumatic evening, everything comes to a head for Celina. In the midst of a treacherous personal crisis, she is forced to face the absolute truth.
Grave decisions are made that will shape the futures of everyone involved. Celina formulates a destructive plan to remedy her problems for once and for all...
Letting Go is a vignette that offers a glimpse into the events of the fateful evening. This short story is the precursor to a series that follows the tragically intertwined lives of Celina Gayheart, Caiden McCauley, and Kristen Fellows.
My Frozen Predicament
The blasts of frigid air engulfs me like the icy waters engulfs the beluga whale in the depths of the Arctic Ocean.
My legs can barely lift my feet, and they grow heavier with each step. I must try to force my inebriated brain to think about something other than the biting cold as I trudge forward against the frozen gusts of air.
As my legs continue to move me forward, I peer out into the thickened stands of trees that surround me, and I wonder how I ever got into this mess. My mind reached back into the past events of the evening, and I tried to piece it all together.
Getting Out Of My Funk
I stared into the mirror and applied the black kohl makeup to the lining of my eyes. I heard the radio playing, and I can vividly recall blowing off the weather advisory for later in the evening.
“Wow!” I thought, “We’re going to have a bad snowstorm in North Dakota in January, who would have ever imagined such a thing?” I can also remember thinking that I was not about to let a little snow spoil my evening. Tonight was the first night I was going to venture out since Caiden dumped me. I promised myself that I would have fun, and that was exactly what I planned to do. I really needed to get out and feel normal again.
A Grave Situation
Just as I was starting to get lost in my recollection, the shrill sound of a distant howl resonated through the forest, and jerked me back into the present. The eerie sound cracked through the frozen air and shook my nerves straight to the core.
The acrid taste of fear filled my mouth, and a gloriously warm trickle washed across the lower half of my freezing body and rushed down the insides of my thighs. Rum and cola came pouring out of me, I felt briefly ashamed, but I welcomed the tiny bit of warmth. The woods grew silent again, but my level of comfort began to plummet as the frigid wind assaulted my dampened lower body.
I continued to make my way through the densely wooded forest, but my nerves were jarred again - this time, there was an entire symphony of eerie and bewitching howls. It sounded like something straight out of The Howling, and I wasn’t altogether sure if it was natural lupine or Hollywood supernatural… either way, it scared the hell out of me, and it stopped me dead in my tracks.
The ominous sound grew louder, almost as if it was becoming stronger in voices, but it was still at a distance. I said to myself, “Celina Gayheart, if you do not get it together and keep on moving, this will be your last night on Earth!” I summoned every inch of my courage, I put one foot in front of the other, and I carried on though the gripping fear and the bitter cold.
After a while, the scary sounds completely died down. The lower half of my wet body was chilled through to my bones, and I was unbelievably cold. My body shook violently, equally from both cold and fear, but I kept going. I figured if I walked far enough, I would eventually reach civilization - It never occurred to me that I could be walking deeper into the woods; my mind was too foggy for any kind of rational thought. I drifted back into my recollections in order to escape the present moment.
I was sitting at the bar with Kendra and Julie. I already had more than a few drinks as I watched the people on the tiny dance floor. All at once, I felt a sadness wash over me as I noticed all of the happy couples in the room.
My mind pushed away the unhappy thoughts, and I resumed my determination to have a good time. I turned to steer my mind toward Kendra and Julie’s lively conversation about which guy in Statistics class had the cutest rear-end, but just as I looked over at Kendra... I saw them off in the distance. In that moment, everything and everyone else in the room seemed to melt away, and time stood still.
Caiden and Kristen sat at the bar, playfully enjoying each other’s company. I felt compelled to leave immediately, but I could not pull my eyes away from their joyous little scene. My heart began to swell, my palms began to sweat, and I felt anxious, nauseous and confused. He told me that he did not break up with me for her, and I believed him. He had obviously played me for a complete fool and I was his willing accomplice.
They looked so happy together, and they seemed to be oblivious to the world around them. He was playing with the scarf around her neck and they were laughing together, in the intimate way that couples laugh at private jokes.
I could not stand it any longer, I mumbled something about having to go home, and I bolted out of the bar and ran toward my car. I slipped on the frozen ground and whacked my head against the icy pavement. Some guys who were standing outside rushed over to help me, but I got up quickly and took off before they could reach me. Now, on top of being thoroughly humiliated by Caiden and Kristen, I was completely mortified in front of total strangers. . .
What Happens Next?
If you have enjoyed reading this preview to my short story, you can finish reading the entire 10 page short story for free via the ebooks page on Smashwords.
You can download the book via PDF, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, Stanza and many other eReaders, or you can simply read it online.
The author (that's me) knows that the book needs to be polished, so please feel free to let her rip with your most honest opinions.