Fallen takes the reader into the world of fallen angels and their desire for earthly women and forbidden love. Julie Anderson never wanted to leave her life and friends behind in Connecticut, but when her father gets a new job in Texas she discovers her destiny. When she meets the devilishly fallen angel, Nick Landers, her life begins to unravel. Julie finds that despite all her problems she can always count on her best friend Stephanie.They spend time talking about fashion, school gossip, and of course their crushes. Julie falls for the mysterious Nick Landers while Stephanie loves the cute new boy Tyler Garrett. Fallen is something you can get lost in but also relate to because above
all it’s about love.
Targeted Age Group:: Young Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Fallen is my novel and book one in The Fallen Saga. The idea for Fallen came to me on trips to the countryside and filled my head throughout the day. I started writing my ideas down and came up with an outline for the book and I let the words take over. Although already published in various poetry journals, I wanted to express myself through prose and Fallen gave me that opportunity. I look forward to writing even more in this series as Fallen has awakened a new found sense of creativity.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I had an idea of what I wanted with the main character Julie Anderson. She is the typical self loathing teen that struggles with teenage issues including peer pressure, body image, and communicating with her parents. I needed a best friend for her so Stephanie came to mind as someone that could be a kindred spirit for Julie. With the fallen angels, I needed a villain and Nick Landers fit the bill as a love interest for Julie. Of course Stephanie needed a crush in the handsome and well mannered Tyler Garrett. They all fit together and ideas came as I started writing the book.
Julie Anderson never wanted to move. She had the perfect life back in Connecticut and now that was about to change. When her father told her they were moving to Dallas because of his new job she locked herself in her bedroom and turned off the lights. She crept under the covers and pulled them over her head.
The thought of leaving her friends and school behind made her soul fill with melancholy and the tears began to stream down her face, here she was about to turn fifteen and yet she felt like a child. Then she felt a cold wind, she had forgotten to shut her bedroom window and being upstairs it could get quite chilly at night. Then she thought about the razor blade and cutting herself, it wasn’t something she did often but girls at school were doing it and after trying it, she found it made her feel something real.
Her parents didn’t know about it so she often wore long sleeved shirts to conceal her cuts. She lay there awhile, then the compulsion came and she got up and went to the bathroom. The razor was there and she took it out of the medicine cabinet. She used the light from her phone to see and then gently cut the inside of her arm. The blood came and she felt a sense of relief and she needed it with the impending move this weekend. The movers had already come and pretty much all her things were packed.
In the morning it would be her last day of school in Connecticut and the thought of leaving her friends behind made her cut one more time. She washed the razor and put it back in the cabinet grabbing some band aids to stop the bleeding. Then she crept back into bed and gently fell asleep as rain began to fall outside.
“Julie, wake up.” Susan Anderson put her hand on her daughter’s face and caressed it. “It’s your last day of school; don’t you want to go see all your friends?”
“I don’t want to move.”
“We’ve discussed this; but understand your father got a very good job in Texas.”
“I hate the thought of moving to Dallas. All my friends are here and I met a boy.” Julie slumped back into bed and pulled the covers up.
“A boy? What’s his name? I’m sure you can keep in touch and it’s not like we’re moving to Africa, we’ll be back to visit.” Susan rubbed Julie’s forehead and wiped a tear from her cheek.
“His name is Jason and we met in art class. He’s the first boy that really talked to me and understands me.” Julie sat up and realized maybe she was being overly dramatic.
“There will be other boys and you can visit this Jason when we come back for the holidays, now get moving, your breakfast is ready and on the table. Why are you wearing those long sleeves? Aren’t you hot?”
“I left the window open.” Julie sat up and watched her mother walk out of her bedroom. Maybe she was being a little brat, but her parents didn’t how much Jason meant to her. She wasn’t like the popular girls even though many of her friends were popular, she never felt pretty or accepted especially with the boys. In fact, she only had one boyfriend and that was three years ago in sixth grade.
His name was Tyson Wilson and the only thing they did was kiss one day after school. The crush soon came and went when Tyler started going out with her best friend Melissa. The thought of this reminded her of the break up and she soon realized how stupid the whole thing had been especially when Tyler dumped Melissa a few weeks later. This only made her and Melissa better friends, and of all her friends, Melissa would be the one she would miss the most. Not like they wouldn’t text every minute of the day but not having her really there would be different.
“About time you got down here.” Susan Anderson was rinsing out a bowl when her only daughter came trudging down the stairs.
“I made it.” Julie sat down at the table and began to stir her oatmeal. She usually ate healthy or sometimes not all. All the girls wanted to be skinny at school and the whole thing seemed like a dumb contest, some of the girls looked anorexic and said they drank water and ate celery only.
“Try and have a good day, I know this is difficult for you but enjoy today and seeing your friends. Your father will pick you up, and when you get back I need to you to finish packing your things, because we are leaving in the morning. The movers will be here.”
“Why is Daddy picking me up?” Julie couldn’t stand the thought of her father driving up in front of school, it embarrassed her in front of the other kids and definitely wasn’t cool.
“Alright mother, I’ll wait out front, but tell him to text me when he gets close, maybe I can hide.”
“Very funny.” Susan looked at her only daughter and wondered why she would be wearing a long sleeved black shirt on a mild day in October.
“It’s really your last day. I’m so sad.” Melissa Benton knew this day was coming, but now it was officially here. It wasn’t always easy being Julie Anderson’s bestie but they had stuck together since third grade.
“I know. It really hasn’t hit me yet.” Julie grabbed Melissa’s hand and they walked towards to Newton High.
Their freshman year was almost half way over, and it had been quite an interesting one so far, one thing Melissa noticed about her best friend was how much she changed from last year. For one thing, Julie started wearing black clothes including long sleeved tops and hoodies. This wasn’t unusual as many of the kids were into the ‘Goth’ look, but it was strange for Julie. Ever since Melissa met Julie, she always knew her friend to be outgoing and popular.
Despite Julie’s insecurities, everybody loved her at school and Julie even befriended the kids that were deemed outcasts among the ‘cool kids’. Melissa had always admired this quality in Julie, as she seemed to be a friend to everyone. When Julie told her that she was moving, there was a noticeable difference in Julie’s disposition, and for the last few months it seemed all Julie did was mope around and wear black. This was understandable but Melissa was going to worry about her friend even more when she moved.
It seemed that everybody knew Julie was moving, and everybody came up to her or mentioned how much they were going to miss her. By the time Julie made it to first period, even the teacher mentioned her leaving and honestly the whole thing was embarrassing.
The day seemed to fly, and the next thing Julie knew she was standing in front of the school waiting on her father. Melissa stood next to her holding her hand when she saw her father’s car pull up.
“Text me soon as you can. I’m going to miss you so much,” Melissa said.
“I will.” Julie hugged her best friend and then got in the car and shut the door.
“How was your last day?” Julie’s father knew this move would be difficult for his daughter but he thought with time she would warm up to their new home in Dallas.
“It was alright.” Julie turned away from her father and looked out the window as Newton High seemed to fade in the distance.
“I know this is difficult for you, but you’ll make new friends.” Julie’s father looked at his daughter and knew his words were falling empty on her.
“Thanks Joe.” Julie said her father’s first name knowing it was like twisting a knife in his side. It was her little way of getting back at him for this move to Texas.
“Joe? You sure have gotten sassy. Don’t forget how much your mother and I have done for you. We enrolled you in the best high school in Dallas, and believe me it isn’t cheap.” Joe Anderson knew his daughter had been going through a rebellious phase but lately it seemed all Julie wanted to do was argue and disagree with his suggestions. He knew this new move would be tough on her but didn’t understand how his daughter could be so rude to him and her mother; after all they had given her everything she wanted.
Julie didn’t say another word the rest of the way home, and her father remained quiet too creating a cold and distant feeling that seemed to depress her even more. One solace was that Julie had been keeping a diary for the last year and it was the perfect outlet to express her feelings and frustrations when she felt nobody else could understand her. The diary was a secret and it was something Julie didn’t even share with Melissa.
I’ve been so depressed lately. Daddy got a new job in Dallas, and now we are moving tomorrow and it feels that I am leaving my whole world behind. All my friends are here and I won’t know a soul at my new school, in a sense it will be like starting over and just when things were good with Jason. He is the first boy that really likes me for who I am and he could have any girl in school. I will think of him everyday and he asked for my number. I pray that he will keep in touch, but I am not expecting anything since we’re not together.
Julie finished writing in her diary, and got in bed. It was the last night in the only house she’d ever known and in the morning things would never be the same. She lay there a few minutes and then she felt that feeling and knew what it was although she tried to suppress it. The razor was in the medicine cabinet and she sat down on the bathroom’s tile floor. The cut felt good and a sense of relief rushed over her body. It seemed that her stress was dissipating temporarily and after stopping the bleeding she put everything way and walked to the nightstand by her bed.
She opened up the top drawer and grabbed the cigarettes. She hid smoking from her parents too, because they would kill her if they found out but all her friends were doing it. She didn’t like it at first but after awhile she craved them especially with coffee. She thought about the days that she and Melissa skipped class and went to Starbucks. They would sit on the patio and smoke discussing boys and all the school gossip. It would be things like that Julie would miss the most.
Julie grabbed a cigarette and opened up her bedroom window. It was dark outside but yet she could see in the back yard. She lit the cigarette and exhaled smoke into the cool night air. She wondered what Texas would be like and heard there was no winter and only heat year round. She didn’t know much about Dallas, except that it was big and that her new high school was in an exclusive neighborhood called Highland Park. Julie used her burning cigarette and lit another, it was eerily quiet and the shadows seemed to play in the trees and along the fence. After a few minutes, she put out the cigarette and shut her bedroom window. The thought of tomorrow made her want to die but she crept in bed and closed her eyes.
“Wake up.” Susan Anderson gently shook her daughter and went and stood at the foot of the bed.
“I’m up. Can you please leave?” Julie knew it was moving day but she wasn’t in a hurry to get out of bed.
“I’m afraid you’ll never get up if I leave. The movers are here and I’ll give you twenty minutes.” Susan winked at her daughter and went back downstairs.
Julie reluctantly got out of bed and then lifted up her top just above her navel. She could see her ribs but didn’t feel skinny and to make matters worse mother gave her twenty minutes to have everything packed. Most of everything was loaded but Julie had a small duffle bag to get the rest. There were just a few clothes and the band-aid box in the medicine cabinet. Julie had everything ready to go but then she remembered her diary and cigarettes in the top drawer of the nightstand. She grabbed both and put them in her purse. There was a knock on the door and one of the movers came in to get the remaining furniture then her phone vibrated. It was a text from Melissa.
Miss you already.
The moving van rolled out of the drive way and onto the street. Julie and her mother trailed behind it and they began to leave the neighborhood.
“Text your father and see if he made it to Dallas.”
“Mother, I don’t feel good. I know Daddy made it, he always does. His flight was supposed to get in last night, by now he’s probably already at the new house.” Julie grabbed her phone and began to text Melissa.
“See if he’s there, he’d love to hear from you. It might show him you’re kind of interested in this move.”
“I’m texting Melissa.” Julie turned away from her mother and glanced out the window.
“You’ll get use to it, in fact I think in a few months you’ll have a whole new group of friends, your new school is supposed to be the best in the city, not only that it’s close to our new house.”
“Why don’t you focus on driving and when you get time pull over at a gas station or something. I need to get something,” Julie said.
“Aren’t you bossy today, I’ll stop once we get out on the highway. I’m going to let the movers get ahead of us, and we can spend some quality time together, make it a real road trip.” Susan had never seen her daughter act so rebellious and although it was frustrating, she figured it would pass with time.
“Where are we staying for the night?” Julie asked.
“Your father made reservations for us at a hotel, and then we’ll get up early and drive to Dallas.” Sarah finally heard her daughter ask a question instead of being stand offish.
“That sounds miserable.” Julie slumped down in the passenger seat and stared out the window. It was cloudy outside and looked like it might rain.
“Listen, your father and I know this is tough for you, but try to need improve your attitude. We’ve talked to you about this, and frankly we’re doing our best. We know it’s not easy being an only child and then moving away from your friends and school, but you’ll make new ones and find your place, just think you’ll be taking driver’s education soon.”
“That’ll be fun.” Julie sarcastically laughed and leaned her head on the pillow up against the passenger seat window. “And Mother, pull over when you get time.”
Susan exited the highway and stopped at a gas station. “I won’t be long, give me some money.” Julie held out her hand as if these things were expected. “How much?” Susan dug through her purse and found the envelope with the travel money. “Twenty. I’ll be right back. Do you want anything?” Julie turned away from her mother and started to open the passenger door. “I’m fine. Thanks.” Susan watched Julie walk towards the gas station and laughed to herself, her daughter was dressed like she was attending a funeral Those long sleeved black shirts and jeans, and she had even started wearing dark eyeliner. “Was she depressed or just going through a phase?” Susan thought.
Julie walked into the gas station and down the aisle where the razors were, she grabbed a pack of three and a few cotton balls. Then she went and got an iced coffee and went to the register. She noticed the cigarettes behind the cashier and then glanced out the station window to check on mother.
“I’ll take a pack of Cloves.”
“How old are you?” The cashier looked Julie over and then grabbed the cigarettes on the shelf behind him.
“I’m eighteen.” Julie handed the cashier the twenty and got the change. She put the razors, cotton balls, and cigarettes in her purse then walked outside.
Susan sat in the car checking her phone for messages. “What did you get?” Susan asked. “Just a coffee and some things.” Julie handed her mother the change and then grabbed her phone from the console. She dug through her purse and found the earbuds and plugged them in her phone. She leaned her head back and turned up the volume while her mother pulled the car back on the road.
“We’re at the hotel.” Susan parked the car and nudged her daughter. “You took a nice nap. I’m going to check in, do you want to go inside or stay here?”
“I’ll stay.” Julie grabbed her phone and saw she had about twenty text messages, most were from Melissa but one was from a number she didn’t recognize. She read it and her heart almost skipped a beat. It was from Jason and he said goodbye and to keep in touch. Julie saved his number and then felt tears building up in her eyes. She was excited to hear from him, but then thought what could have been if her asshole father hadn’t gotten this stupid job.
“We’re all set.” Susan got back to the car and handed her daughter a key card. “Grab your bag out of the trunk and follow me, we’re in room 205.”
Julie reluctantly got out of the car and felt the rain on her face; she grabbed her bag and followed her mother inside the hotel. The room was nice and after putting her things away she sat on the edge of the bed.
“Do you mind if I walk over to Starbucks?” Julie asked.
“By yourself? It’s kind of late don’t you think?”
“Mother, it’s like fifty yards away. I can handle it.” Julie rolled her eyes and then stood up.
“Coffee at night? I thought maybe we could order a movie, and stay in tonight, besides we need to get on the road early in the morning.”
“I’m going mother.” Julie grabbed her purse and walked towards the door.
“Alright, but don’t stay long. Text me when you get there, your father said everything is set at the new house and the movers are unloading in the morning.”
Julie didn’t say anything to her mother and walked out of the room. She went down the stairs and then outside. She walked across the parking lot to Starbucks and ordered a small latte. The patio outside was covered and she sat down at a table and grabbed her phone and cigarettes. She watched the rain gently fall and then she lit a cigarette and exhaled smoke into the night air. She thought about Jason but it made her sad and then she thought about the razors. She would resist the urge until she could be alone in her new bedroom and one nice thing was she had her own bathroom for privacy. She sat there until she finished her coffee and then put out her cigarette in the ashtray. She slowly walked back to the hotel room even though she didn’t want to.
Susan drove the car past the Dallas city limit sign and looked over at her daughter whom was asleep and clutching her phone like it was her only life line to escape this horrible change in her life. Susan took the exit off the highway that led to the exclusive neighborhood Highland Park. Susan called earlier and was assured by her husband that things were going smoothly at the house. The movers had gotten most of the furniture inside and there were just a few small things left before everything would be moved.
Susan gently tapped her daughter and woke her up and Julie found herself staring at her new house.
“This is it, we made good time. What do you think?”
“I’m not sure yet.” Julie yawned and then opened the car door.
Her new house was much bigger than her one old one and it had a picturesque white picket fence around a perfectly green manicured front yard. She saw her father standing on the front porch and he began to walk towards her. Julie was overwhelmed by the size of the house, it appeared to be three stories and she did know her room would be upstairs. She had to admit that the new house was beautiful and seemed to have everything she could want; maybe her new home wasn’t going to be so bad after all.
“Come look at the pool.” Joe Anderson walked over to his daughter and grabbed her hand.
Julie was hesitant at first but let her father lead her around to the back yard and saw the crystal clear blue water in the pool. It was huge and had a stone water fall and hot tub on the opposite end from the diving board.
“It’s really perfect,” Joe said.
“It’s very nice.” Julie almost didn’t believe the words coming from her mouth; she actually was beginning to like her new home. It all seemed like a dream, just a few days ago when she was saying goodbye to her friends and school and now here she was about start over in Dallas. The neighborhood looked perfect too, there were plenty of shade trees and all the houses were mansions with perfect landscaping like it was a competition.
“Come inside and see your room.” Joe walked to the back patio and opened the sliding glass door.
“This way. Your room is upstairs.”
“Daddy, this is beautiful.” Julie saw the biggest kitchen she’d ever seen complete with black marble counter tops, islands for cooking, and two sinks.
The kitchen led out to a big living room and stairs led down to the front door of the house.
“Go up the stairs and your room is at the very top,” Joe said.
“Alright.” Julie walked slowly upstairs trying to take everything in; the house seemed to open up to more rooms and hallways. This was much nicer than the old house and the wood floors kind of gave it a nostalgic look.
Julie climbed the first flight of stairs and immediately saw there was another flight that led to her bedroom. She went up those and walked through the door of her room. It was big and Julie could see it had a walk through closet that led to a bathroom. She went through the closet and saw a marble tub and a walk in shower and a mirror that seemed to cover the entire wall above the sink. This was more than she could have ever wanted and the best thing about her new room was the big window that looked down on the pool in the back yard. She pictured nights sitting there gathering her thoughts and writing them in her diary. When the weather got cooler she could open up the window and smoke cigarettes. It was almost like her room was hidden in its own world and that was the privacy she wanted. She began to feel better about the move and although she hated to admit it maybe her parents had been right about her new start here.
The next day was spent getting every thing settled in the house and Julie had about gotten her room how she wanted it. She got a new bed and she found there was so much room that part of the room was empty. She loved the bathroom, it was almost like she was staying in a four star hotel only it was her own space with no other guests.
Her father bought several flat screens and there was even one out by the pool. Julie even thought about throwing a pool party in the summer, of course she hadn’t even enrolled in school yet or met anyone but she had to admit things were off to a pretty good start.
I’ve gotten everything pretty much settled in my new room and the house is beautiful. It’s strange but I feel better about being here than a few days ago and although I’m scared about enrolling at school in the morning I have a peace about it. I haven’t even had the urge to cut since I’ve been here and what’s even weirder is I feel a sense of warmth in my new house especially in my bedroom. Like somebody is here with me or watching me or something. Jason texted me again last night and my heart about sank but I know we won’t be together.
Julie saw the sunlight peeking through the curtains in her bedroom and then heard the alarm go off on her phone. She usually woke up after the alarm on school days but today was different and her stomach seemed a bit queasy with anticipation. It was hard enough moving to a new school especially at mid- semester and the fact that she didn’t know a soul was even worse.
“You’re up early.” Susan stood over a pan cooking a spinach omelet with ham. She knew it was her daughter’s favorite and hoped it would help her get off to a good start.
“We’re leaving in about half an hour, your breakfast is ready.” Susan brought the plate over to Julie and then sat down at the kitchen table.
“How do you feel this morning?” Susan asked.
“Good, I’m kind of nervous though.” Julie drank some juice and then took a bite of the omelet.
“That’s to be expected, but you’ll adjust. Get the room all settled?”
“Yes, it’s really nice. The room is so big I may need some furniture.”
“You’ll need to ask your father about that and I wouldn’t press the issue.” Susan took a sip of coffee and thought that her daughter seemed to be in a better mood.
“Where is Daddy?”
“He’s already at the office; this new job is going to keep him busy. Finish up; we need to go.” Susan grabbed a few dishes and went to rinse them in the sink.
Julie remembered it was the first day of her new school, although she didn’t need a reminder in fact she’d thought about this day ever since she found out about the move. She finished up her breakfast and took her plate to the sink, she was about to find out all about this new journey in her life in just a few minutes and although she was scared overall she felt good about things.
Highland Park Academy resembled an Ivy League school, it wasn’t too big as not many students got accepted and it was expensive which limited the type of student that enrolled in the prestigious school. Most of the students excelled in academics or athletics and usually only the most talented and gifted got admission.
“This looks like a university. It’s beautiful.”
“Yes it does.” Julie barely uttered the words out of her mouth; her old school looked nothing like this.
Susan walked in front of Julie towards the front entrance of the school. There was a box with a button outside the front door and Susan pushed it. A man came walking to the door and opened it, he let them inside and then extended his hand.
“Welcome. I’m one of the vice principals, my name is John Bernal.”
“I’m Susan Anderson and this is my daughter Julie. We’re here to enroll her today.” Susan finished shaking the principal’s hand and motioned for Julie to do the same but Julie only smiled.
“Glad you are both here and I assume you got the information packet and student handbook in the mail,” John said.
“We got it a couple of weeks ago, thank you.” Susan nudged her daughter. “Didn’t we Julie?”
“Yes, mother.” Julie was already feeling a bit embarrassed not to mention nervous and it didn’t help that mother was trying to put on a show for the principal.
“Where did you move from?”
“We came from Connecticut just outside the Hartford area,” Susan said.
“The weather must be a little warmer here.” John laughed and started walking down a large hallway next to the front office. “Follow me and I’ll take you to our registrar.”
“Thank you.” Susan and Julie followed the principal until they came to another small office and walked to a counter that a lady stood behind.
“They’re here to register today. This is Jane Willard, our registrar. It was nice meeting you both; I’ll let Jane take care you.”
“Nice to meet you,” Susan said.
“Welcome to Highland Park Academy. Did you fill out everything online? Want to make sure you’re in our system.” Jane sat down in front of a computer and began typing.
“As far as I know,” Susan said.
“What’s your name?” Jane asked.
Jane typed and then looked up from her computer. “We’ve got you in the system, everything looks good. She handed Julie a few papers and then stood up. “This is just some information about the school and your schedule. It’s not too hard to find your way around here. Do you want someone to take you to your first class?”
“I’ll be fine.” Julie glanced at her schedule and saw that her first class was Texas History. She sighed but was glad she would get it over early in the day.
“We’re about half way through first period, if you want go ahead and go to your class. I gave you a map in case you get turned around, and Mrs. Anderson if you go back up to the front office, somebody will escort you out.”
Julie turned around and faced her mother and then they both walked out together to the hallway.
“I guess this is it, have a great first day. Text me if you get time.” Susan hugged her daughter and started walking towards the front office. Julie looked at her schedule and saw first period classroom was just down the hallway and one thing that struck her was that the school wasn’t that big. There were only about three hundred students in the entire school, so she assumed everybody knew each other and hoped the whole thing wasn’t some clique.
Julie walked down the hallway until the she found her first period class. She thought about knocking on the door but then thought how stupid that would be so then she took a deep breath and opened the door slowly. She felt her heart beating out of her chest and saw the teacher get up from his desk and walk towards the door.
“Can I help you?”
“I’m new and think this is my first class.” Julie nervously pushed her hair behind her right ear and stood helplessly in front of the teacher and it seemed like a thousand pairs of eyes were staring right at her.
“You’re in the right place. I’m Mr. Simpson, welcome to my class.” The teacher motioned Julie into the classroom. He checked Julie’s schedule and told her to have a seat at an open desk. “We have a new student. This is Julie Anderson.”
Julie spotted an open desk in the back and sat down. She felt overwhelmed and the first thing she noticed was that most of the other students were on their laptops or phones. Nobody even looked at her or even acknowledged her presence. She also noticed that the other students were dressed ‘preppy’ with the boys wearing polo style shirts and khakis and the girls in pastel skirts or designer jeans and there she was in black jeans with a long sleeved black t-shirt. This only made her feel worse and the sense of nervous quickly faded to feeling down on herself. She waited until almost all the other students had left the classroom and then started to head to the door when Mr. Simpson stood up from his desk.
“I need to give you a syllabus, it can be difficult coming almost half way through the year, but if you have questions don’t hesitate to ask.”
“Thanks.” Julie grabbed the paper and barely acknowledged her first period teacher. All she wanted to do was go home and then she thought about the razor. She looked at her schedule and saw that she had art next. She slowly walked out the classroom and into the hall.
They were everywhere. Highland Park Academy enrolled nothing but clones and Julie knew right away she wasn’t going to fit in with them. They all looked exactly the same and dressed the same. They had perfect hair and wore the same thing and everybody seemed to be smiling and laughing as if it was all rehearsed before they set foot on campus in the morning.
Julie stood in one place in the hall for awhile and waited for the other students to move onto class. She checked her schedule and then walked until she saw a sign that pointed in the direction of her art class. A bell rang and Julie assumed that it was a tardy bell but she had no concern about being punctual on her first day. She found the classroom and then entered slowly with her schedule in her hand, she saw a young lady that Julie figured was the teacher with black hair and she wore it in a pony tail that hung over the front of her left shoulder. Julie walked a few steps and then handed her schedule to the lady.
“I’m new.” Julie barely muttered above a whisper.
“Welcome, my name is Amy White and I’m your art teacher. Class this Julie Anderson and this is her first day, make her feel at home. Julie you may have a seat anywhere.”
Julie glanced around the room and saw that there only about eight other students and she sensed it would be her favorite class not only because she loved art but she already felt more comfortable. She had barely sat down when the teacher spoke to her.
“Where are you from Julie?”
“I moved from Connecticut.”
“Connecticut, that’s a pretty good way from Dallas. Glad you’re here today, we’ve been doing pencil sketches with an emphasis on shading, if you have a sketch pad you can start drawing something you like.”
Julie reached into her backpack and found her sketch book and opened it up. She looked around the room saw a few students dressed similar to her and it gave her a relaxed feeling and she thought that maybe she would be able to let her guard down in this class plus the teacher seemed nice. Julie started drawing a heart when she heard a voice it was coming behind her and she turned around to see who was talking to her.
“I’m Stephanie, Glad you’re here, welcome to utopia.” Stephanie laughed. “Come sit by me, I can show the ropes around here.”
“Alright.” Julie got up and moved seats. She had just gotten settled when she heard some music come on.
“This is the best class, everybody loves Ms. White. We listen to music in here and most of the time she lets us eat or drink, we also go on field trips and at the end of the year she takes a group to London.”
“Wow, good to hear. I’m kind of overwhelmed by it all today,” Julie said.
“Relax, this place is too uptight most of the time anyways, half the kids here are willing to sell their soul to get into Harvard.” Stephanie smiled and looked at what Julie was sketching.
“Hey, that’s not bad. So what is it like up in Connecticut?”
“Cold mostly, it’s nice though and I didn’t really want to move except my dad got this new job and everything.”
“I know what you mean; we lived in Austin until my mom got a job up here two years ago. I didn’t want to leave, but it’s not so bad here, you’ll get use to it. Most of the kids are into sports and clubs; you know the typical jocks and cheerleader shit. Anyways, that isn’t me so I kind do my own thing. I like your shirt, you know black is like my favorite color.” Stephanie laughed and grabbed her cell phone. “Give me your number and if you need anything text. Let me see your schedule too.”
Julie reached into her purse and got her phone. “I’ll text you my number.”
“Got it, you’re probably on your phone all day like everybody.”
“Pretty much addicted.” Julie laughed and then thought she hadn’t done that in awhile. It felt good to meet somebody and talk to them like a peer and not her parents.
“It’s our generation. My mother threatens to take it up every month when see gets the bill,” Stephanie said.
“I know what you mean, my dad freaks out too but never has taken it up, because they don’t want to deal with my drama.” Julie laughed. The bell rang and Julie got up and followed her new friend.
“It looks like we have Math together, see you sixth period.” Stephanie hugged Julie and then starting walking down the hallway. The embrace surprised Julie but she liked it and she was already looking forward to sixth period. She glanced at her phone and had ten new messages from Melissa. She smiled to herself and then walked in the direction of her next class.
The rest of the day was uneventful except for sixth period when Julie saw Stephanie again then school seemed tolerable. Julie sat by her friend and they texted each other pretty much the whole time, at first Julie felt bad about being on her phone in class but Stephanie told her it was allowed because Highland Park Academy was a “device friendly’ school.
That seemed unusal to Julie because back at Newton High if a teacher caught you on your phone in class it usually meant a detention. The final bell rang and Julie’s first day at her new school was over. She liked having two classes with Stephanie and that was really only her only solace for the first day because while a few of the other kids were friendly most didn’t even acknowledge her.
“You like coffee?” Stephanie led her new friend outside in front of the school.
“I need it for survival,” Julie laughed.
“Let me take you to my favorite place, it’s kind of my secret. I am practically there everyday,” Stephanie said.
“I told my mom that I would walk home, our house is pretty close.” Julie felt pretty excited about going to get coffee with her new friend and on the first day of school.
“Where is your house?” Stephanie asked.
“Over on Mockingbird, I think it’s by some country club or something.”
“You live in the rich area, how cool.” Stephanie laughed.
“We aren’t that rich but my dad has a pretty good job. I think he got some kind of big raise, that’s why we moved here, anyways I’ll text my mother from the coffee place.”
“Do you have any brothers or sisters?” Stephanie wanted to gleam as much information from the new girl from Connecticut, because even though she just met Julie there was ‘bestie’ potential.
“No, I’m an only child.”
“You must be spoiled, being a girl and the only child,” Stephanie laughed.
“We can walk, it’s not that far.”
Stephanie started walking and Julie followed they walked a few blocks north of the school and then made a left on a busy street called Inwood.
“It’s over here by this shopping center,” Stephanie said. Julie noticed they were no longer in the ritzy Highland Park but in an urban area with congested traffic.
Stephanie grabbed Julie’s hand and led her through the shopping mall’s parking lot and down a small alley that led between a hair salon and a craft store. Then Julie saw it there was a metal sign hanging that said ‘Java House’ and Stephanie had been right the place seemed to be hidden like a secret club in the middle of a bland shopping area.
“We’re here, this is the place.” Stephanie held the door open for Julie and they were soon inside. “My treat, since you made it through the first day of the prestigious Highland Park Academy,” Stephanie said in a fake British accent. Julie laughed and then let her friend go to the counter and order two lattes.
Julie stood back while Stephanie ordered and glanced at her new friend. They did look alike except Stephanie had strawberry blonde hair and she wore it short with a hair clip in the back. They both were dressed similar in black and Stephanie even had on black nail polish which had become Julie’s trademark back at Newton High.
“Let’s sit outside.” Stephanie handed Julie her coffee and led her down a hallway by the restrooms and then opened up a small patio that sat behind the coffee shop.
“This is perfect,” Julie said. “How did you find this place?” Julie took a sip of her coffee and stared across at Stephanie, it almost felt they had found there only little secret place to get to know one another.
“I stumbled upon it one day when I was over at the thrift store. I went out for a cigarette and starting walking around, the next thing you knew I found this alley and saw the sign. Do you smoke?”
Julie smiled and opened her purse then she grabbed the pack of cigarettes.
“Finally somebody that smokes, all the kids at Highland Park are health freaks and it’s like they are trying to be perfect or something in fact I wouldn’t say health freaks just freaks,” Stephanie laughed. Julie grabbed a cigarette and handed it to Stephanie and then put one in her mouth and then handed Stephanie the lighter.
“Thanks.” Stephanie exhaled smoke into the air and set the cigarette in the ashtray on the table. “I better text me mom, she’s probably got orange slices waiting on me at home.” Julie laughed then got her phone and sent her mother message. “I told her I was grabbing coffee with a friend and would be home later.”
“Perfect. So what did you think of your first day?”
“It was alright, like you said most of the kids are perfect or at least they look like they are and most of my classes seem boring,” Julie said.
“I know what you mean, most of the teachers just lecture and shit. I think they try too hard to make Highland Park like a university and all the parents lick that shit up. I hope you don’t mind if I fucking cuss.”
“I don’t mind, no big deal and the fact that you smoke makes you alright in my book,” Julie said.
“Good, so did you have a boyfriend back in Connecticut?” Stephanie asked.
“Not really, there was one boy named Jason but not like we were together or anything.” Julie set her cigarette in the ashtray, took a sip of her coffee, she was kind of surprised that Stephanie was asking personal questions since they just met, but it didn’t really bother her because it felt like she had met a good friend and on the first day of school which had been more than she expected.
“Tell me about Jason? What does he look like?” Stephanie laughed and then quickly glanced at her phone.
“He is tall with blond hair, nice body and super sweet.” Julie blushed and then laughed she felt awkward talking about Jason because it was something she usually reserved for her for her diary.
“Sounds like you’re in love. Was he your only crush?”
“There was one boy in middle school, but you know how things are that rarely work out.” Julie had forgotten how much time had passed since her and Stephanie arrived at the coffee shop and when she glanced at her phone it had been over an hour.
“Do you need to go or something?” Stephanie asked.
“Not really, I didn’t tell my mother when I’d get home. You?”
“I never tell my mom anything, she’s too busy to worry about me. She pretty much works all the time anyways,” Stephanie said.
“Do you have brothers or sisters?” Julie thought she was about to hear something more personal about her new friend but wasn’t sure how much Stephanie would reveal.
“I have one step-brother, but he’s in college and we aren’t close. My real dad is an asshole, he left me and my mom when I was seven and then my mom re-married this guy named Ron, he is an asshole and my mom divorced him like three years ago. I guess now you know how fucked up I am.” Stephanie laughed but Julie could tell there was pain behind her friend’s cheerful façade.
“I’m sorry; I guess I’m pretty lucky to have both my parents even though they can be a pain in the ass sometimes.” Julie sipped her coffee and lit another cigarette she was starting to let her guard down with somebody else besides Melissa and it felt good.
“You’re lucky if you have the same parents, my mom busts her ass to pay my tuition and sometimes I feel like I don’t appreciate her enough. Anyways, I don’t want to bum you out too much the first day,” Stephanie said.
“Its fine, so changing the subject you have a boyfriend?” Julie asked.
“Me? Are you kidding? I’m practically an outcast with exception of a few friends in art class but there is one boy you might say I have a crush on.”
“Do tell, who is he? Does he go to Highland Park?”
“He does and his name is Nick Landers. He’s so dreamy and like you he’s new to school, anyways he’s been here a month or so and we have English together.”
“What’s his last name? What does he look like?” Julie asked.
“He’s tall, blonde, and kind of pale. He’s different from the other boys and I like that. I usually spend most of English staring at him and one time he busted me but then after class he came up and introduced himself, I stood there like a dork and couldn’t say anything. I felt so embarrassed that I went home and cried. I know it sounds pathetic.”
“I totally know how you feel, that’s how I feel around Jason but you know moving here things are kind of like a fresh start,” Julie said.
“Thanks, I think we’ll be coming back here quite a bit and tomorrow if you want to meet me outside school, I’ll be there around eight. I better get going so mom doesn’t freak out. This has been fun, see you tomorrow.” Stephanie stood up from the table and Julie did the same.
“See you in the morning then,” Julie said.
“Follow me back to school and that should get you headed in the right direction.” Stephanie hugged her new friend and they both walked back out in the alley in front of the coffee shop and then back to Highland Park.
“How was the first day?” Susan Anderson saw her daughter walk through the front door of their new house.
“It was alright, I survived.” Julie went and sat at the counter in front of the kitchen and slung her backpack on the counter top. She grabbed bottled water and then sat up in her chair.
“It sounds like you met a friend; tell me about the coffee shop.”
“Her name is Stephanie and we hit it off right away, it’s nice to meet somebody friendly the first day. She took me to a place that’s kind of hidden in this shopping area, it’s tucked down an alley and really cool, we just talked and hung out.”
“I’m glad you made a friend the first day, what was the rest of the school like?”
“The school isn’t that big, not as many students as I thought, it’s pretty easy to find your way around.”
“That’s good, you meet any other kids?”
“Not really, most of them look perfect, all dressed the same and happy.” Julie laughed and then took a sip of water. “My classes are kind of boring except for art, which is definitely going to be my favorite.”
“I knew it would be, but remember you need to keep your grades up in all of your classes. Your father is working late so dinner will be ready in about an hour.”
“I know about my grades mother, it was just the first day.” The last thing Julie needed was her mother giving the ‘academic speech’ because it had only been one day. It made her angry but she kept it inside, she finished her water and then stood up from the counter.
“I’m going up to my room. I’m not really hungry so go ahead and eat without me.”
“I’ll fix you a plate and leave it in the fridge if you get hungry. I’m going to run to the grocery store, so you’ll have to fend for yourself.” Susan was glad her daughter had a good first day but knew there would be some rough days ahead for her only daughter.
“I’ll be fine.” Julie said walking up the stairs to her room.
Julie sat on her bed with her earbuds in and thought about her first day at school and how much it meant to meet someone like Stephanie. She thought about Jason but that quickly passed and then she thought about Stephanie mentioning her crush Nick.
The way Stephanie described him fascinated Julie and she hoped to meet Nick Landers soon and even better if it was on her own. Although Stephanie seemed nice and definitely had ‘bestie’ potential, Julie was slow about opening up to anybody especially after just meeting them. With time perhaps she and Stephanie would become good friends but it was far too early to know what would happen. The thought of Nick Landers intrigued Julie and she hadn’t even met him yet but there was something inside Julie that felt drawn to Nick and she couldn’t explain it. In fact ever since moving in the new house she had felt this sense of warmth particularly in her bedroom as if someone or something was watching over her.
Julie lay silent in bed listening to music when she noticed it was getting dark outside and she didn’t know how much time had passed since she left mother in the kitchen. She had lost her appetite and decided to not go back downstairs instead a warm bath and getting ready for bed sounded perfect. She didn’t want to see her father and ask him about his job tonight was for getting lost in her own thoughts.
After cleaning up she grabbed her diary and went to sit by the window that looked down at the swimming pool in the backyard. She got a chair and then opened the window letting in the cool night air, one thing she wouldn’t have to worry about in Dallas was frigid winter weather and that would be something else she would miss about Connecticut. She grabbed a pen and then glanced at her phone, it was already eleven thirty and her parents were probably already in bed. It was eerily quiet outside but she could visibly see the moonlight reflecting on the water in the pool and then she started writing down her thoughts as they came to her.
I couldn’t have asked for a better start so far things are going pretty good here the house is beautiful and I love having my privacy and own bathroom. I was excited to meet Stephanie on the first day of school and it seems like we have known each other for years and making a friend so soon made things much easier as far as Highland Park it seems like the typical rich kid school and I know I won’t fit in with most of them but my art class will be great at least I think it will there seem to more kids like me there. Jason texted me like three times already and all I can think is where has this been? Honestly I don’t care that much and something else.. Stephanie told me about her crush Nick today and the way she described him really has me interested……in him….It’s hard to explain but I guess I’ll see what happens….also this house might be haunted..ha..I get this strange feeling when I’m in my room like somebody is watching over me or something…will tell more later…..
Julie closed her diary and opened the window a little more she grabbed the cigarettes from her purse and lit one it would be her first smoke in her new room. She loved having her room on the top floor but it would make sneaking out more difficult at night she had done it a few times with Melissa back in Connecticut but here it would be a real challenge. The thought of sneaking out with Stephanie to the coffee shop after curfew on school nights seemed exciting and hopefully would be something they could do soon. Julie lit another cigarette and exhaled smoke into the night air she noticed how peaceful everything seemed as if the neighborhood shut down at night or something. Highland Park seemed too good to be true like everybody lived in a bubble with perfect lives and fake smiles. She put out the cigarette and then grabbed the perfume on the nightstand hopefully it would cover the scent of the cigarettes and she even left the window open. Julie crawled into bed and shut her eyes but her thoughts raced and after laying there awhile sleep finally came.
“I missed you this morning. Figured you were running late or something.” Stephanie spotted her new friend walking toward their second period art class and went up to her. “Mom was running late, it was stupid. I was tardy to first period and Mr. Simpson just rolled his eyes at me,” Julie said. “I told mother that I could walk but she insists on driving me the first week. That’s why I didn’t meet you out front this morning.”
“Don’t worry about it, my mom freaked out when I got home late yesterday.” Stephanie laughed and then followed Julie into class, they both went and sat in the back.
“Did you go somewhere else after coffee?” Julie asked.
“Just grabbed a burger at Peggy Sues.”
“What is Peggy Sues?”
“It’s this old fifties style burger place over on Inwood. I’ll take you there sometime. So anyways, did your parents ask you about your first day?”
“I told my mom but my dad was still at his office. I didn’t say much.”
“I never tell my mom much either and believe me she asks questions all the time. Anyways, what are you doing for lunch?”
“What do you mean?”
“On Tuesday they let us go off campus for lunch, it’s kind of a Highland Park tradition. We can go grab something if you want,” Stephanie said.
“Really? That sounds good, this school might not be so bad after all.”
“Don’t get your hopes up too much.” Stephanie laughed and then grabbed a sketchbook out of her backpack. “Then meet me out front right after the lunch bell, and by the way I think Nick might be where we’re going.”
“Are you excited?” Julie asked.
“More nervous than anything, I clam up around him like he’s got this power over me or something,” Stephanie laughed.
“I know what you mean, I was that way with Jason back in Connecticut.” Julie then glanced at the heart she started drawing yesterday and soon tore the page out and wadded it up. “You don’t like it? I thought it was pretty good.” Stephanie looked at her new friend and saw the long sleeved black t-shirt and skinny black jeans complete with black eye liner and nail polish, Julie stood out from the other kids at Highland Park and Stephanie liked that right away.
The music from the stereo played some British rock band and soon the bell to end second period rang, it seemed that time flew by when Julie was with Stephanie and the possibility of meeting Nick Landers at lunch made Julie excited with anticipation.
“See you out front in about an hour, sound good?” Stephanie asked.
“Perfect. Where are we going to eat?”
“There’s a Tex-Mex place a few blocks away.”
“What is Tex-Mex?”
“You’re really a Yankee, it’s like a combo of Texas and Mexican food.” Stephanie smiled and then got up from her desk and walked out of class to the hallway and Julie trailed behind. “See you in a few, you may have to hold my hand if Nick is there,” Stephanie said. “I’ll be your wing-woman, I got this.” They both laughed and then both went to their respective classes.
“This is the place, it’s pretty much always crowded, just have to get in line.” Stephanie pushed Julie in front of her like she was afraid of something or more specifically someone and then she saw him, Nick Landers was in line a few spaces in front of her and Julie. “What are you doing? Why don’t you get in front of me?” Julie seemed alarmed that her new friend was pushing her forward but then realized Stephanie seemed distracted all of the sudden.
“That’s him, you see? He’s in front of us, hold my hand, I’m getting nervous,” Stephanie said.
“That’s him?” Julie looked and saw a tall boy with blond hair and Stephanie nodded and then smiled. “That’s him alright.” Stephanie stood a little closer to Julie and they moved up in the line, “Go talk to him once he sits down, maybe we can sit as his table,” Julie said.
“I can’t eat in front of him, what if I get something stuck in my teeth?” Stephanie nervously laughed. “Calm down, let’s order and see where he sits then go from there.”
Julie couldn’t believe how nervous her new friend was acting but the more she looked at Nick Landers she began to understand. He was dreamy and had this fragile look with a sense of mystery about him and Julie liked how he was dressed in black jeans and a black denim jacket. “He is beautiful,” Julie thought to herself and for some reason she felt an instant attraction to him. She didn’t dare tell Stephanie but there was something about Nick Landers she couldn’t explain. “You’re staring right at him, I think he saw you,” Stephanie said. “You’re right he is different, he doesn’t look like the other boys.” Julie said the first thing that popped in her mind but yet she didn’t want to tell Stephanie she might have a crush on Nick Landers.
“He is sitting by himself over in there.” Julie pointed to a corner booth in the restaurant where Nick Landers had just sat down and then she got the tray with her and Stephanie’s food and started walking towards him. “What are you doing? Are you crazy?” Stephanie couldn’t believe her new friend was actually going up to Nick Landers but she reluctantly followed hoping for the best.
Links to Purchase eBooks – Click links for book samples and reviews
Buy Fallen (The Fallen Saga, Book 1) On Amazon
Buy Fallen (The Fallen Saga, Book 1) on Barnes and Noble/Nook
Buy Fallen (The Fallen Saga, Book 1) on Smashwords
Buy Fallen (The Fallen Saga, Book 1) on iBooks
Buy Fallen (The Fallen Saga, Book 1) on Google Play
Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought! All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.