Read Finding Me Online

Authors: Stephanie Rose

Finding Me

 

 

Finding Me

Copyright © 2016 by Stephanie Rose

All Rights Reserved.

 

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted on any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission of the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, Characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locals is entirely coincidental.

Except the original material written by the author, all songs, song titles, and lyrics contained in the book are the property of the respective songwriters and copyright holders.

 

Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs

www.najlaqamberdesigns.com

 

Interior Design and Formatting: Christine Borgford at Perfectly Publishable

www.perfectlypublishable.com

 

Editing: Brenda Letendre at Write Girl Editing Service

www.facebook.com/writegirlediting

Table of Contents

Finding Me

Dedication

Soundtrack

 

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Epilogue

 

Acknowledgments

About the Author

Books by Stephanie Rose

Excerpt from Always You

To Grandpa,

It’s been a decade since I’ve seen the love and pride I could only find in your eyes. I hope heaven is an awesome place where your horses always win and the Yankees never lose. Now, you can brag up there about having a great-grandson named after you
and
a book dedicated to you.

You were the best grandfather and father anyone could have asked for.

Thank you for being both to me.

Dreaming with a Broken Heart—John Mayer

Perfect—One Direction

A Sky Full of Stars—Coldplay

If You Leave—Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Animals—Maroon 5

Hands to Myself—Selena Gomez

Everlong—Boyce Avenue

I Won’t Give Up—Jason Mraz

Let Her Go (feat. Hannah Trigwell)—Boyce Avenue

Where are U Now—Pentatonix

Unbreakable—Jamie Scott

Waiting for Superman—Daughtry

Piece by Piece—Kelly Clarkson

 

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Bella

“ARE YOU SURE YOU HAVE
everything?” My mother pulled her long, dark hair into a ponytail as she once again tried to delay leaving my dorm room.

“Yes, Mom. We made a list, packed, and then checked off the list as we unpacked.” I took her hand and ran my thumb along her wrist. The honey-colored eyes that mirrored my own darted frantically around the tiny room. As her jaw trembled, I realized she was willing herself not to breakdown, a battle she seemed to be failing miserably.

“Yep, I think that’s everything.” Dad put a comforting hand on Mom’s shoulder and squeezed. She sniffled and nodded. Mom was a huge crier. Hallmark commercials, a sad book, and graduations all set her off. Dad was one hundred percent right when he nicknamed her his little mush ball.

I gazed up at Dad and he nodded with a sad smile. I could tell he didn’t want to leave me either. A wave of guilt rushed over me. I didn’t want to hurt my parents, but I was itching to start my new life. Yes, I really didn’t know anyone on campus, but that was a major plus to me when choosing schools. The drama of my senior year had drained the life out of me. I reveled in making a new start for myself far enough away from home—a place where I could have a true clean slate. I chose Culver University with certainty. Well, as much certainty as I was capable of at eighteen years old. But my sad parents—and soon to be weepy mother—made me wobble a bit. Seeing her sob would draw out my own tears, and I needed to be headstrong and determined today. That would be impossible if I started out my new adventure crying on my mother’s shoulder.

“Okay.” Mom sniffled as she clutched my shoulders. “I love you, and I’m proud of you, but please call us and let us know how you’re doing. I know you’re fine, but do it for your sappy mother who needs to hear her daughter’s voice. Can you do that for me?” I nodded as tears pricked my eyelids.

“I’ll try to call as much as I can, Mom. I promise. I love you, too.” I wrapped my arms around her as Dad rubbed her back.

Mom kissed my forehead and turned to Dad. “I’ll meet you downstairs, babe.” She sprinted out of the room. Poor Dad would have to deal with her weeping all the way down the Thruway and back to our house in Queens. We shared a sad laugh at her quick exit.

“She’ll be okay. We both will—eventually.” Dad shrugged and cradled my face in his hands.

“We better hear from you. Joey already misses you, and I need to hear my butterfly’s voice, to make sure she’s okay.” I chuckled at the nickname he gave me when I was five years old. “And if for any reason you aren’t, you call me. I don’t care what time it is. If I need to drive all the way up here to get you I will drop everything and do it. Understand?”

“I know, Dad.” I reached up and grabbed his hands. His eyes were getting glassy now, too. He was always larger than life to me, six foot four and the vice president of a financial firm in New York City, but when it came to his family, a much bigger mush ball than his wife.

“All right, I should go see if your mother is okay and that she doesn’t get dehydrated. I packed extra water bottles just in case.” I laughed as he cocked an eyebrow at me. “I love you. I’m proud of you, too. Don’t let the actions of one idiot make you doubt how amazing you are.”

A rogue tear escaped my eye and ran down my cheek as I giggled. “I love you too, Dad. And I think you’re a little prejudiced,” I choked out as he shook his head.

“The fact you’ve had me wrapped around your finger since you were five has nothing to do with it. You’re meant for great things. I don’t doubt that for a second, and neither should you.” Dad brushed my tears away with his thumbs but that only made them come down harder. I dropped my head to his chest and it rumbled against my cheek as he laughed.

“I need to go, and you have a new life to start. Talk to you soon, Butterfly.” Dad pushed me back by my arms and kissed my forehead. His eyes watered as he made his way out of my door. I wiped at my face with the back of my hand and shook off the sadness and sharp pain of homesickness, even though my parents hadn’t left the parking lot yet.

I strode to the desk in the corner and plopped into the chair. My leg bobbed up and down as the fact I was finally all alone sank in—like I thought I wanted. Starting over at a place where no one knew me, or whispered behind my back as I walked by, seemed like heaven when I decided to come to Culver.

“Hey, roomie! Nice to finally see your face!” I’d spoken to Laura a few times over the summer once we got our dorm assignments, but never met the petite blonde girl bursting into our small dorm room in person. The guitar hanging over her shoulder almost made her fall backwards as she sauntered further into the room. As she set her things down in front of the bare bed, a blue streak of hair fell across her forehead. Three seconds at college and I would already be known as the boring one to anyone who stopped in.

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