Darcy Quinn doesn’t do sloppy seconds—even if they are her own. She has reinvented herself just in time for college and is determined show the world she is stronger than ever so no one can hurt her again…especially Derrick Rhodes.
For as long as he can remember, Derrick’s only wanted two things: to play college ball and to be Darcy’s man. This all came to a crashing halt a year ago. He lost his future and his girl. Now he’ll stop at nothing to make the team and win Darcy back for good.
Can the two of them find a way to overcome the past and become the people they have always wanted to be? Will Darcy take a chance on loving again?
The mirror in the bathroom is foggy from the shower. The towel leaving streaks across the glass as I wipe it to see my reflection. Blonde hair in stringy wet tendrils, eyes wide with nerves and excitement.
The Fall semester starts in a week, and this is the last time I will be able to see him. I wasn’t looking for a relationship over the summer. But he charmed me and made me laugh. I thought it was going to be just a fling. One last hoorah before I started over in a new town. Not that I had any sort of relationship prior to him. Nobody goes for the geeky, quiet girl.
I blow dry my hair, trying to decide what I’m going to wear tonight. A pink sundress hangs over my door, but I don’t think I want to wear it anymore. I want tonight to be special…for both of us.
As soon as I shut the blow dryer off, I walk into my room and head straight for the walk-in closet. It’s not huge, but it’s a decent size. I don’t have enough clothes to fill it. On the right side, my fandom t-shirts hang in all their glory. Everything from Harry Potter to the Walking Dead. Jeans line the shelves below them. On the left, and the emptiest area of my closet, hang the very few dresses I own. Aside from the dress hanging on my bathroom door.
I slide the hangers to the side, searching for the perfect dress. Too plain. Too blah. Pushing over three more dresses, I find the perfect one. It’s the one thing all girls have in their closets. The little black dress. The last time I wore mine was during my induction into the honor society.
The floor is littered with sneakers, Vans, and Converse. I know there are a few pairs of heels in here somewhere. I shuffle through the shoes, throwing them aside. It looks like a minefield in here. Finally, I find the black heels I’m looking for. Inspecting them, I’m not that crazy about wearing them. But, they are the only pair I have so they will have to work.
Shoes in one hand, I use the other to pull the dress off the hanger and place them on my bed. My curling iron is plugged in and heating up. I open my makeup case and study the few contents in there. Mascara, lip gloss, and eyeshadows in neutral colors.
I don’t bother with the eyeshadow or lip gloss. Instead I sweep the mascara onto my lashes, then go to Mom’s bathroom. She has so much makeup. I don’t even know what half of it is, but I spot a tube of lipstick and grab it before heading back to my room.
The curling iron slides to the bottom of my hair easily. Forming small waves at the ends, just enough to give my hair a little bit of bounce. I open the tube of lipstick. It’s bright red. I’ve never worn this color before, and I’m not sure I can pull it off, but I put it on anyway.
The girl looking back at me in the mirror is not the one I was before getting ready. The bright lipstick makes me feel more mature and confident. Like I can conquer the world.
Rushing down the hall, I call out, “Mom, Dad. I’m going out, I’ll be back later.”
“Okay, honey,” Mom says from the kitchen. “Be careful.”
“I will.” That’s the thing about being the good, nerdy girl. Your parents don’t even bother asking where you’re going. They just assume it’s to meet up with friends from various school clubs. I’ve never even had a curfew.
Grabbing my keys, I walk out the door, and practically sprint to my car. Ready to see the guy that’s stolen my heart.
It’s ten ‘til seven when I pull up to the restaurant. This place is packed. How are we even going to get a seat?
After parking the car, I take one last look in the visor mirror, making sure my lipstick hasn’t smudged. There’s a bench right outside the restaurant and I take a seat to wait.
Twenty minutes later I still haven’t gotten a response. Maybe he’s stuck in traffic or can’t find his keys. I text him, hoping he’ll answer.
Darcy: Are you almost here?
Another ten minutes go by, then thirty, and still no response. Tears are welling up in my eyes, but I refuse to let them fall. I can’t believe he stood me up. He’s always been early. I don’t understand. Was he just playing me?
Barely containing my sadness, I march to my car, unlock the door, and slide into my seat. The second the door is closed, I let my sobs free. Let all the emotion welling up inside me find their way out through the hot, salty tears streaming down my face.
Another half hour has passed before the tears begin to slow, and anger takes control. I was so stupid to think someone like him would ever want someone like me. He’s attractive, athletic, and the complete opposite of who I am. The shy, meek girl. The one nobody truly sees.
With a new resolve, I put the key in the ignition and start my car. I leave for Hilltown University next weekend. It’s time for a change. I will not be the girl everyone sees through. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to be a party animal either. But, it’s time for my nerdy ways to hit the road.
Never again will I let someone make me feel the way I feel tonight. He may have broken my naïve heart by not showing up, but he is also the catalyst to a new and improved version of me.
Katrina Marie lives in the Dallas area with her husband, two children, and fur baby. She is a lover of all things geeky and Gryffindor for life. When she’s not writing you can find her at her children’s sporting events, or curled up reading a book.