Authors: G.K. DeRosa
© 2015 G.K.
Rights Reserved. This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any
form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or by any information
storage and retrieval system known or hereafter invented, without written
permission from the publisher, G.K.
in 2015 by G.K.
To my husband, who encouraged me to follow my
dreams and my mother who taught me to always be young at heart.
G.K. De Rosa
Table of Contents
A violent clap of thunder burst through the night
sky, and Celeste shot up in her bed and screamed. The shrill cry echoed through
the quiet house. Her heart raced as she looked out the bay window as a brilliant
flash of lightning lit up the black sky. Movement at the foot of her bed turned
her attention away from the window, and she froze panicked. She heard a muffled
whimper and a sniffling cold nose tickle her feet. She giggled. Relieved, she
scooped up her new puppy and held him close to her thundering chest. Slowly,
her breathing returned to a more normal rate.
Suddenly, Celeste’s bedroom door swung open and her
mother raced in, her long brunette curls a tangled mess.
“Celeste, sweetie, are you alright? I heard you scream
and came as fast as I could.” Her warm caramel colored eyes were fraught with
concern for her young daughter.
Celeste nodded silently, not taking her eyes off the
storm that surged outside of her window. And that’s when the deafening sound of
an approaching police siren pierced the rainy night.
There was a loud banging at the door and Celeste’s
eyes shot to her mother’s nervous ones. “Stay here,” she told her and sped down
the stairs, grabbing her pink fleece bathrobe on the way down.
Celeste slipped out of bed and cradling her puppy
tiptoed to the top of the staircase.
“Are you Olivia Wilder?” asked the police officer,
his face grim and his tone professional.
“Yes I am,” she answered, a slight tremble in her
“I’m sorry to disturb you at this time of night
Ma’am, but I’m afraid there’s been an accident. It’s your husband…”
Celeste sighed. “Why aren’t boys in real life like the ones
in the movies, Rocky?” she asked her sleepy German
In response, the dog cocked his head quizzically to the side before flopping
down and letting out a prolonged sigh. All Celeste Wilder wanted was to find a
guy who would sweep her off her feet like she had so often seen in the movies.
Surely that would fill the empty void inside of her. She had just finished
watching one of her all-time favorite movies,
, for probably the millionth time and it left her completely
wrapped up in the fantasy world of endless love, romance, and adventure –
until, that is, she was snapped harshly back to reality by a squeal from her
cell phone. She saw it was a text message from her best friend Brian.
She glanced at her watch. She had completely forgotten that
they had agreed to go to the library to study for their American history final.
She grabbed her books and quickly stuffed them into her backpack.
As she headed down the hallway, Celeste paused outside the
closed door of her mom’s room, carefully turning the handle to peek inside. Her
mom was still sleeping, her short brown hair swept across her face – no doubt
recovering from another overnight shift. Celeste’s mom, Olivia, was the head
nurse at Oak Bluffs Hospital and often worked shifts that ran late into the
night. She took her job very seriously, which meant lots of lonely evenings for
Celeste ran back to her room and peered out the window at the
black, sporty Mustang sitting in the driveway. “Ugh. Back to reality, Rocky.”
Pulling her curly, golden-blonde hair into a hasty ponytail, she grabbed her
bag and headed outside to meet Brian.
It was a beautiful day, one she would have preferred not to
have to waste cooped up inside a library. At least with Brian there, it would
be somewhat bearable.
Brian hopped out of his Mustang with a beaming smile, his
sandy brown hair ruffled by the wind. Brian Kennedy embodied the typical boy
next-door good looks. Proudly sporting his letterman jacket with the St. Alice Crusaders’
emblem in royal blue and gold, he looked like he could have just stepped out of
a J. Crew magazine.
“Ready for a mind-numbing day of studying American history,
The Oak Bluffs Library was built at the turn of the century,
and stood as a historic landmark building. They walked through the atrium and
Celeste couldn’t help but stare at the imposing columns and vaulted ceilings
lined in mahogany. As beautiful as it was, to Celeste it had always seemed a
bit creepy. The never-ending rows of massive book shelves and dark recesses
seemed like the perfect setting for a horror movie.
She and Brian found a quiet corner and settled in. “So what
do you think living in New York City will be like, Cel?” Brian whispered.
“I have no idea, but I know it’ll be amazing! I got my NYU
welcome package in the mail last week, and everything seems so unreal. I can’t
believe my dream of moving to New York City is actually happening. I got into
the dorms on campus, and I’m going to be in a double with a random roommate.
I’m kind of freaking out about that part though. What if she’s weird or doesn’t
“Calm down, I’m sure she’ll be totally cool and everything
will be great. I mean, she won’t be as cool as me, but then again not many
Celeste giggled, but then her expression grew serious.
“I really don’t know what I’m going to do without you, Brian.
I’ve had you right next door for fifteen years. You’ve been there for me
through it all. How am I going to get through college without you?”
“Don’t worry. You won’t be that far away. I’ll come visit on
weekends. It’s not like there’s going to be much going on here in Oak Bluffs
once you leave. I’m sure I’ll be bored out of my mind.”
Celeste threw him a grateful look.
“I think the more important question is, what am I going to
do without you, Cel? School has never been my thing. Whose homework am I going
to copy when I’m at community college?”
“Maybe it’s about time you start doing your own homework,
Brian. You need to figure out what you want to do with your life.”
Brian grunted. “You’re starting to sound like my dad.”
Her eyes dropped to the book in his hands and she made a
“Well, I guess we’d better actually start studying, because
if we don’t pass Mr. Wilson’s final, neither of us is going anywhere.”
They spent the rest of the afternoon delving into American
history, quizzing each other until they couldn’t memorize another date if their
lives depended on it.
Brian got to his feet and stretched.
“We should get going,” he reminded her, with a look at the
clock behind the main desk. Celeste’s mom was scheduled to work another night
shift, so Brian had invited her over for dinner.
As they drove home, the soft rumble of the engine lulled Celeste
into a semi-conscious state. Her mind began to drift and vivid memories came
“Olivia, Celeste, I’m home!”
“Daddy!” said Celeste as she came bounding down the stairs in
“It’s so late Kristof, I was getting worried,” said her mom
rushing out of the kitchen.
“Just some issues at work, nothing to be concerned about.
I’ve got some unruly clients in town that’s all.”
“Daddy, when I grow up I
a private investigator just like you.”
Out of the corner of her eye she saw her mother cast a
nervous glance at her father. He laughed and threw her over his shoulder. “It’s
way past your bedtime young lady.”
Celeste giggled as she hung upside down and her dad carried
her up the stairs back to bed.
“Hey Celeste, are you going to get out of the car?” asked
Brian, impatiently holding the door open.
“Oh sorry, I didn’t realize we were here already.”
“Yeah, I got that. What were you thinking about?”
just outside the Kennedy’s front steps.
she said, avoiding his scrutinizing eyes.
As Brian turned to walk inside, she interjected, “Hey, thanks
for always including me in your family dinners by the way. Sometimes I feel
like I spend more time with your family than I do with my own mom.”
“Yeah, of course, that’s what best friends are for right?” he
said. “And you should give your mom a break. It’s not her fault she has to work
all those long night shifts.”
“I know. I just wish we had spent more time together over the
past few years, you know, like we used to. In a couple of months, I’ll be
“I thought I heard you two out here,” said Mrs. Kennedy opening
Celeste put on a bright smile as she walked in and gave her a
Mrs. Kennedy was an elementary
school teacher, and the perfect mom in Celeste’s eyes. She was always home when
Brian and his sister came home from school and dinner was always on the table
promptly at 6:30pm. Little Maxi came running up, her unruly black curls
tumbling in abandon as she jumped into Celeste’s arms.
Maxi—Maxine—was Brian’s seven-year-old sister. She positively
worshipped her older brother and, by extension, Celeste as well.