Cruel and Beautiful World
Release Date: November 16th, 2017
Upper YA | NA Contemporary Romance
Cami is a mess. Putting on the perfect student persona by day to please her controlling father. Losing herself at parties at night because it’s the only part of herself she can control. She doesn’t need anyone to save her.
Travis only wants to help the girl he began crushing on last semester. Watching her downward spiral creates an ache from his childhood. He wants to show her she deserves more than how she’s living.
Can Cami let down her guard and let love in?
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I hear the party raging around me. Red Dirt Rock blaring from the speakers in the living room. The haze of smoke hanging in the air. I can’t remember exactly where I am, except that I’m at some frat party. All I know is I’m in the bathroom trying to put myself back together.
I know better than to mix alcohol with my anxiety meds, but right now I don’t care. I need to throw this whole “Little Miss Perfect” persona out the window. That’s not who I am, not really. It’s what I let everyone else see. The only exception would be Tonya, and she’s not here to pick me back up again. Inside, I’m a mess. I’m filled with anxiety, insecurities, and an unbreakable need to self-destruct. I’m a ticking time bomb… just waiting to explode.
I remember when I was a child and had nothing expected of me. As long as I did well in school and stayed out of trouble, I could do whatever I wanted. I’m not sure when all that changed, but I wish I could go back to those carefree days more than anything.
I scan the bathroom trying to find something to dry my hands. There’s mold in the creases of the bathtub, dried toothpaste in the sink and splattered across the mirror. You can definitely tell these are guys that don’t care about appearances. I can only imagine what my perfect and pristine mother would say about the state of this space. Not to mention how the rest of the house looks, with cups and empty bottles scattered across it.
I feel another bout of sickness hit me and rush to lean my head over the toilet. I heave up everything that’s left in my stomach. This is the last time I’ll do this. I say that, but we all know this time next week, I’ll be back in the same position.
Someone’s banging on the door causing me to look up. I glance at the door, but another round of sickness hits me. They’re just going to have to wait. I’m not moving from this spot, and they can’t get through the door. That’s when I hear his voice, and assume he’s the one trying to get in.
“Cami,” Travis yells through the piece of wood separating us. “I know you’re in there. Open the damn door.”
I blink my eyes, trying to process what he just said. For some unknown reason, Travis thinks he has to look out for me. He found me in pretty much the same state a week ago. Since then, he’s shown up at almost every party I’ve attended. I don’t know why he won’t leave me alone. We aren’t even friends. We have a few classes together. That doesn’t make him my fucking keeper. Besides, he doesn’t have much room to treat me like I’m a kid. Any time I’ve seen him, he’s hanging out with the academic kids that dare to come to these parties.
I try to stand up…slowly. The bathroom isn’t that big and it shouldn’t take this much effort. Grabbing the sink for support, I turn to unlock the door. A wave of dizziness comes over me, and I stumble. I reach for anything that will help catch my fall, but my fingers slip off every object I attempt to grasp.
As the lights begin to fade around me, I hear Travis calling my name. “Cami… Cami.” It sounds like he’s out of breath. “Damn it, why do you keep doing this?”
And everything goes black.
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.