Finding chase, p.19
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       Finding Chase, p.19

           Lacey Weatherford
 
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  All of a sudden I was choked up. Moments of my life flashed before my eyes, times of feeling destitute and unworthy to continue—all the times I’d considered ending my life because the pain seemed too unbearable. Look at what I would’ve missed if I’d followed through, continuing in my downward spiral. I couldn’t believe the darkness had turned to such light—my broken heart had healed and now loved to capacity. I couldn’t believe how wonderful everything was . . . as if it had all been leading to this very moment when a family—my family—had been born from the most intense love.

  I felt a brief second of panic, realizing if I’d made the wrong choices, I’d never have gotten to this point. I was overwhelmed with what the love of two beautiful young ladies had done to transform me. I’d never been as happy as I was right now. I’d never felt more complete. Everything I’d gone through had been worth it—made perfect by this moment.

  “Do we have a name picked for the baby yet?” the nurse asked, interrupting my flash of revelation.

  I looked at Brittney, and she smiled, giving me a nod to go ahead and tell her.

  “Yes we do,” I replied. Tears welled in my eyes as I stared at my newborn child. “Her name is Nikki Lynn Walker.”

  My Story:

  I’ve had several readers ask me about this book, wanting to know what was real in the story, so I thought I’d share a few of those things.

  I lost my boyfriend, Mike, to a tragic accident when I was 18 and he was 19 years old. We hadn’t known each other as long as Chase and Nikki; in fact we had only known each other for a month or so when it happened.

  We met one night through mutual friends and hit it off instantly—visiting for hours, and even holding hands. The connection between us was that fast. He asked me to go out later that evening, but due to a misunderstanding on a meeting location, we failed to hook up. (This was in the prehistoric days before cell phone use, so we couldn’t call each other to correct that.) I was pretty bummed because he lived three hours away, and I knew we wouldn’t have the opportunity to see one another very often.

  He came by the next morning before he left town with his friend and asked if he could please have my phone number, so we could stay in touch. I excitedly said yes, and we visited as long as we could, holding hands until he had to go, and then he hugged me goodbye.

  He called me as soon as he got home, (this was also the days of no free long distance,) and we began our over-the-phone relationship. We racked up hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of calls, talking to each other for hours every single day. I think we covered every topic under the sun—from what kinds of food we liked, to eventual marriage. It was a strange relationship, because we hadn’t spent much time together physically, but we knew we were in love and had told each other so.

  I greatly enjoyed visiting with him, listening to his opinions and sharing his dreams and insights on life. I think my heart raced every second we were on the phone together, and when it would come time to hang up, neither of us wanted to be the one to end the call. We would laugh as each of us waited for the other to go first, but it never happened. When the calls actually ended, I’d lay on the floor with my hand over my chest and a stupid, silly grin on my face as I thought about everything we’d talked about.

  My roommate and I shared cars with her parents, but we didn’t have our own car, so it wasn’t convenient to take off and go somewhere. However, I was finally able to arrange a time to see him. A cousin of mine was getting married about an hour away from where Mike lived, and we made arrangements to meet and spend the weekend together. He wanted me to meet his family and get to know them while I was there, and I knew it would be a big turning point in our relationship. I was really excited.

  I talked to him the night before we left and told him I’d call him the next day when we reached our hotel. My best friend and I had a blast together on the way, singing and being silly, looking forward to hooking up with everyone. When we reached the hotel, I called Mike’s house. His sister answered the phone, and I asked for him. I’ll never forget her words:

  “I’m sorry. Michael died.”

  I hung up the phone and stared at it.

  My best friend immediately asked me what was wrong. I looked up at her and said I must’ve got the wrong number, because they told me Mike was dead. I started shaking.

  She grabbed the phone and called the number, asking to speak with Mike. She started yelling at the person saying this was not a funny joke, that it was really hurtful, and to put Mike on the phone. That’s when they asked if they were speaking to Lacey. My friend identified herself and said I was with her. They apologized and informed her they’d tried to reach us before we left home. They told her Mike had been pulling a flagpole out of the ground when it hit a power line above his head and killed him instantly. The family asked if we would please come to their house, because they wanted to meet me—the girl Mike loved so much and talked about constantly.

  I was devastated. I sobbed uncontrollably for hours and hours. Then I would sit for hours in shock. That evening, some of Mike’s friends came and took us to his house. Although we met under such awful circumstances, I loved his family instantly; they were so warm and friendly, hugging me as we cried together. I remember sitting in his bedroom looking at a picture of me he had on his wall and letters I’d written him. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it.

  The funeral services were a short time later. I stood by his casket, placing my hand on his and saw my picture in there with him. He had this leather bracelet he always wore, and his family gave it to me. I couldn’t believe he was dead—even seeing him with my own eyes. I kept willing him to wake up, but he never did.

  Afterward, I went home and listened to his voice on the answering machine about a billion times. My heart was broken. I didn’t want to live anymore. I was in constant mourning for the boy I loved and the life I hoped we’d share together and couldn’t stop crying. His family kept inviting me to do things with them, which was difficult as well, because I knew I’d never be part of them, and I loved them too. I thought my life was over, and I was destined to be this sad, pitiful individual for the rest of forever. I didn’t want to love anyone else—I didn’t want to move on—I only wanted him. Every day became bleaker and bleaker until I felt like I was going out of my mind.

  One day I decided I’d had enough and needed to get away. I called my widowed grandma in another town and asked if I could come live with her and get a job there. My job transferred me to another store in her town, and my cousin and her father came and got me. I moved in with my grandma whom I loved dearly. And while I was happy to be surrounded by family I adored, I couldn’t seem to get over my broken heart. I’d go to work, come home, and lie in bed crying for hours until I felt like I was going to be sick. I wished I could die too, just to escape the trauma going on inside me.

  My cousin tried to help by setting me up on a date with another guy. By this time I was desperate for some kind of connection with anyone, so I agreed to go on a date with him, hoping it would help. He was a wonderful guy, and he really liked me . . . I liked him too, for that matter. There was definitely some chemistry between us, but every time I looked at him, I kept wishing he were Mike. I finally broke it off with him, feeling it was unfair to treat him the way I was. I’ve always regretted that relationship, because he really was wonderful. I guess I wasn’t ready to let anyone in yet.

  I continued on as I had been, working and crying, until one day another cousin, who was best friends with my mom, came and picked me up and took me out of the house for the day. She told me my grandma was worried about me, and it was time to let things go and move on with my life. I cried again, telling her I wasn’t sure what to do. My heart hurt so badly. I agreed to enroll in some college classes and pursue my degree in music, which had been my original plan before I met Mike.

  She took me home, and as I got out of the car, a couple of college guys drove by and honked the horn at me. I recognized them as a couple of boys who had dated frie
nds of mine, and we’d become friends as well. My cousin asked me who they were, and I laughed and jokingly said, “Two guys I know, either of which I wouldn’t mind dating.” She smiled and said, “Maybe you should.”

  A couple of weeks later, while washing windows at work, a voice behind me said, “Well, hello there.” I turned and saw James Weatherford, one of the two handsome guys who had honked at me. I smiled and gave him a hug. He told me he was there going to school and asked if I was too. I told him I planned on taking some music classes.

  As luck would have it, my boss came and asked if I would like to go home early since things were slow. This surprised me because it never happened before. I agreed to leave but realized I’d carpooled and didn’t have a way home. James offered me a ride and I ended up grocery shopping with him before he asked if I’d like to come watch a movie. I said I’d like that if he’d let me change my clothes first. I think my grandma was shocked when I told her I was going to hang out with a bunch of college guys.

  And thus began the healing of my heart, as my once friend became my boyfriend. I loved the closeness we shared. He listened to me and held me through my tears over Mike—let me vent about it and get it out. He once said he felt like he’d won me by default. I told him that wasn’t true because I’d been attracted to him before I met Mike and had wanted to date him, but it hadn’t worked for us at the time.

  At times I felt guilty for finding happiness again, I felt like I was betraying Mike’s memory. It took a long time for me to realize that he loved me and would want me to be happy too. I married James six months later, and I knew with every breath I took, he was the love of my life.

  It was many, many years later when the story for Chasing Nikki began to evolve in my mind. My mom had passed away suddenly from a massive pulmonary embolism after a fall. She was my best friend, and I found myself devastated by heartbreak once again. I wasn’t sure how I’d ever live without her. Our family learned a lot about blood clots the hard way, and I began to hear numerous stories of people whose lives had been affected by similar tragedies. I was determined to draw attention to this silent killer and make people aware of the dangers, hoping to prevent this horror in the lives of others.

  I met Chase Walden a short time later and was very impressed by him. I asked him if he would be a part of this project—a retelling of bits and pieces of my story, but wrapped around pieces of him as the main character. He readily agreed, and I was thrilled. I carefully wove real parts of him throughout the story, sometimes mirroring events in his life without even knowing. That was an interesting experience, but since those things are personal to him I won’t share them, but suffice it to say he was a huge inspiration to me.

  It has been a very tearful journey to get to this point, but I think writing these books has been very therapeutic as well. Who knows why things happen the way they do, but I honestly believe I was meant to share this story. I hope, on some level, it resonated well with you.

  Love Conquers All,

  Lacey

  Fun Facts About The Real Chase:

  He is an honest-to-goodness, freaking ridiculously amazing quarterback. Remember the name, people. You will hear it in the NFL someday!

  He wears the number 23 jersey.

  He drives a white Dodge truck.

  White is actually his favorite color.

  He loves beta fish and likes to sing to them. And yes, he now has one named Turk.

  He works with horses (and a huge ole scary bull with ginormous horns) in a big red barn on his stepdad’s ranch.

  He likes to camp and fish.

  Little kids love him.

  He loves his mom.

  Yes, he’s got the muscles going on too (though he likes to tell me how fat he is at times, which usually gets him a well deserved eye roll).

  While he’s known for his sexy swagger and broody good looks, he can be very funny with a quick humor that hits you unexpectedly and makes you laugh out loud.

  He came up with the ideas for the cover photo shoot, and I think he did an amazing job.

  About the Author

  Lacey Weatherford is the bestselling author of many young adult books such as the Of Witches and Warlocks series, and Crush. She has always loved books and wanted to become a writer since reading her first Nancy Drew novel at the age of eight.

  Lacey resides in the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona. She lives with her wonderful husband, children, and their family pets. When she’s not out supporting one of her kids at their sporting/music events, she spends her time reading, writing, blogging, and socializing with her readers on her social media accounts.

  Visit Lacey’s Official Website:

  http://www.laceyweatherfordbooks.com

  Follow on Twitter:

  LMWeatherford

  Or Facebook:

  Lacey Jackson Weatherford

  Other Books by Lacey Weatherford:

  Of Witches and Warlocks series

  The Trouble with Spells

  The Demon Kiss

  Blood of the White Witch

  The Dark Rising

  Possession of Souls

  Chasing Nikki series

  Chasing Nikki

  Multi-author Anthology

  A Midsummer Night’s Fling

  Smashwords Author Page:

  https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=lacey+weatherford

  Check out these great bestselling authors from Moonstruck Media too!

  Belinda Boring

  The Mystic Wolves series

  A Midsummer Night’s Fling Anthology

  Broken Promises

  Smashwords Author Link:

  https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=belinda+boring

  Deena Remiel

  The Brethren Series

  Picture Perfect

  Ghost of a Chance

  The Books Waitress series

  Smashwords Author Link:

  https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Deena+Remiel

  Kamery Solomon

  A Midsummer Night’s Fling

  The God Chronicles (Coming soon)

  Smashwords Author Link:

  https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=kamery+solomon

 


 

  Lacey Weatherford, Finding Chase

 


 

 
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