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Young Annabelle (Y.A Series Book 1), Page 1

Sarah Tork

  Young Annabelle

  (Y.A Series Book 1)


  Sarah Tork

  Copyright ©2013 Sarah Tork

  This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, any place, events or occurrences, is purely coincidental. The characters and story lines are created from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

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  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Page

  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

  Sneak Peak: The Truth About James (Y.A Series Book 2)

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  About the Author


  Chapter 1


  Friday September 7, 2012

  Being Young didn’t count as an excuse anymore….

  Just breathe.

  “What’s wrong with me?” I sighed.

  Jenna, my best friend, sighed as she rested comfortably on her bed. “Oh you know… the usual things. Multiple personalities, homicidal daydreaming, cross-dressing as our evil History teacher… you know…. the normal everyday stuff.”

  I leaned my head onto her mattress and twisted it so she could see me. I narrowed my eyes at her as she gave me an innocent ‘What?’ look.

  I rolled my eyes. “Screw you! You’re worse than I am.”

  “Anna?” Her voice suddenly changed from humorous to concerned. We came to her house right after school and she was going to bring up what happened at school today, no matter what.

  I had no problem pretending it didn’t happen.

  Like she’d let that happen!

  “Yeah?” I responded quietly, looking away.

  “You okay?” she asked.

  Am I okay? I thought. There was a reason why I wasn’t crying like a blubbering idiot whose soul was just crushed right now.

  I was out of it on purpose

  “I’m not really feeling anything,” I replied, lifelessly.

  “You’re feeling numb, aren’t you? I’d be a total mess…. if that happened to me. I’d feel humiliated and disrespected__” As she rambled dramatically, I leaned my head back down onto her mattress and stared transfixed at the ceiling.

  It was beautiful.

  Last year her parents let her paint her room. The first thing she painted was a glow amidst a dark sky, with a million stars and comets scattered around. There had been a lot of sleepovers since then. Adding chill music to our peaceful minds, with the shadow of night, those were some good nights. I stared at the collection of stars and wished the sun away so that we could draw the blinds, shut the lights off, and allow our minds to wander…. carefree.

  “You ready to talk about it?” Jenna whispered, making me cringe.


  “What’s there to talk about? I was rejected, again. Simple!” My frustration exploded, her constant nagging to ‘talk about it’ finally pissing me off.

  I didn’t want to TALK ABOUT IT.

  I didn't want to REMEMBER IT.

  I wanted to forget it EVER HAPPENED.

  And I couldn't do that if she kept FREAKING bringing it up every two seconds.

  “It was not simple!” she snapped back, shuffling about on the bedspread, trying to contain her own anger about the whole situation. Her hostility, funnily enough, tugged at my heartstrings.

  That’s what good friends are for. You feel pain, they feel pain. I shook my head thinking about that. I didn’t want her to feel bad. It wasn’t her problem.

  “Just forget about today, okay?” I pleaded. “Please.”

  She jerked herself up into a sitting position, her leg hitting the side of my head.

  “Hey, watch it!” I yelped, grabbing the back of my head.

  “No! I will not forget anything. That douchebag could have done things in a more respectful way. He didn't have to humiliate you in front of everyone!” she yelled, slamming her fists on her bed.

  “Well it is what it is,” I sighed. “And technically the only person he humiliated me in front of was you.”

  This conversation was absorbing the last ounces of life I had left in me.

  “Oh my God, who the hell does James Lawson think he is? That ass douche. Just wait ’til school on Monday. I'm going to give him a piece of my mind in front of everyone!” she declared, loudly.

  “Calm down!” I ordered, hoping to God she wouldn’t do anything to make me feel even worse. “The feelings, the stupid situation, it’ll all be over by Monday. You don’t need to show anyone anything.”

  “Yeah, okay, we’ll see.” she said, a touch quieter.

  My stomach knotted.

  I knew this girl better than she knew herself.

  I looked at her and was gifted with another innocent ‘What?’ face. I shook my head, desperately trying to enforce some ground control in the matter, since it was about me. But she just shrugged and rested back down.

  Great, just great.

  With Jenna, “We'll see” meant, “That’s for damn sure”.

  Now, Monday would definitely be a day I wouldn’t be looking forward to……. AT ALL.

  What does poison ivy look like again? Perhaps getting infected by a sudden rash will be a good enough excuse to stay home on Monday.

  Here’s hoping.


  Monday appeared in a blink of an eye.

  I woke up with a freaking headache.

  I pulled back my blanket and swung my legs out of bed. A jolt surged through me as my feet hit the cold, wooden floor. It brought me back to Earth, reminding me that the day could go one of two ways, both of which were up to Jenna. I headed straight for the bathroom across the hall where my scale was patiently awaiting me.

  Five minutes later…


  I dropped my toothbrush back into its holder and went to the doorway, bypassing the mean machine, its numbered face glaring up at me from the floor.

  “I’m not ready, Mom!” I yelled down the hallway before returning to my room.

  “You’re going to be late! Hurry!” She yelled, bypassing my room.

  I stood in front of my floor-length mirror, checking how my pajamas looked on my body. They had a purple and red heart pattern across them. A little babyish if you asked me. They were also old and not my size. Mom had bought them over a year ago in the hopes that they’d fit one day. I wasn’t there yet, much to her disappointment.

  “Yeah, whatever. It is what it is,” I declared to my reflection.

  I opened up my closet. Determined to find an amazing outfit, I sorted through my selection and pulled multiple things out. I laid them out on my bed and took a step back to observe. I had to make the right decision. Today was definitely not the day to look like crap.

  I picked up my dark blue skinny jeans and tight black shirt that went passed my hips. I checked my reflection after changing clothes.

  Not bad.
  Feeling like mom was going to give me a hard time for how tight my shirt was, I slipped on a white zippered hoodie.

  She would have said something like…. “It’s a little tight…. it makes your breasts stand out more. Doesn’t that bother you?”

  I lived with my family in Orlando, Florida. We lived in the Royal Heights district. I walked to school every single day, rarely getting rides from my parents unless it rained. I enjoyed walking though. It gave me time to think while burning off the calories from breakfast. My best friend Jenna was model-skinny. She didn’t need to burn calories so her parents willingly drove her everywhere. If it wasn’t raining and I asked my parents for a ride, they’d just get annoyed with me.

  So I just didn’t ask. It wasn’t worth it.

  I was also on a diet and I had my very own 24/7 food monitor.

  My mom.

  For a few months now, she’d been controlling what I could and couldn’t eat.

  My hunger pains always got the better of me though, especially at night when everyone went to sleep. Maybe that was why I’d only managed to lose ten pounds so far. The disappointment my mom felt about my slow weight loss roamed freely in our household and was a topic we all discussed regularly.

  My mom yearned to take me shopping for new smaller-sized clothing, but I was still wearing a size ten. Unfortunately for her, the weight I’d managed to lose wasn’t enough to strip my wardrobe clean and refill with single-digit sizes. I needed to lose another ten pounds to do that.


  I wasn’t “fat”, but I wasn’t “small” either. At 5’7” and weighing 165 pounds, I carried most of the weight around my belly and thighs. Aside from these two unfortunate places, there was one other place where the weight gathered….. MY BOOBS!

  But the excess in that area wasn’t as much of a problem as the other areas, especially after my neck lost some flab and gained definition. My boobs became a more noticeable, desirable, part of my body instead of one giant blob.

  Mom’s silent look spoke volumes when I dared to wear something slightly tighter than usual. I knew she thought larger girls should stick with clothes that didn’t cling to their bodies. Nobody wanted to see all that skin jiggle back and forth.

  But my skin didn’t jiggle like crazy. I had a little extra in the belly department and some love handles that tipped over the edge of my skinny jeans. Mom thought skinny jeans didn’t look right on me.

  “If you want to wear the clothes teenagers wear, then you'd better lose the weight first.”

  “Do you want to look ridiculous?”

  “Do you want everyone to laugh at you?”

  “Nobody wants to see that!”

  In her eyes, the issue was simple: if you ever became fat you’d better make sure you lost the weight just as fast. Exercise more, eat half as much, and take responsibility for your actions. Continuing to embarrass yourself in public was inexcusable and an insult to the entire family. It was all so simple.

  Well, it wasn’t simple and as much as I wanted to lose all the weight, to make her happy and get her off my back once and for all, I couldn’t.

  I was hungry all the time.

  Fifteen minutes into the trek to school, I felt I was a safe enough distance from my house that I could finally pull out my emergency stash. I stopped walking and swung my backpack to my front, unzipping a hidden compartment in the bottom and pulling out a small plastic bag full of pretzels and chips.

  Aside from telling my mom how many calories I burned every day, today in particular I had to tell her my weight. She wasn’t happy with my number and decided that “Anna Banana” could only have half a bowl of flax seed-and-twigs cereal with a quarter cup of skim milk.

  The milk made her eyes practically bulge! I smiled to myself as I remembered Mom’s face when I began pouring the milk.

  I was starving.

  I needed fuel!

  My mouth was salivating before the first chip-pretzel combination emerged from the baggie. As it hit my tongue, my teeth crunched the salty goodness – it felt like a thousand fireworks ignited inside of me.

  It wasn’t healthy, nourishing food, but it hit the spot. I felt the salt rush in my bloodstream, sending a buzz through my entire body. The horrible mood my mom inflicted on me earlier slowly disappeared as each morsel of goodness made its way down to my belly.

  What could I say…. I liked to eat.

  I was a senior at Royal Heights High School. In eight months I’d be graduating and moving out. Technically I could move out on April 3rd, when I turned eighteen, but I thought I would give my parents this one last thing before I evaporated from their lives completely. They won’t even know I’ve left until they come home to my empty room. My younger siblings, Charles and Katherine, thirteen and eleven respectively, were also being kept in the dark about my plans. They had big mouths and were child versions of my parents – who loved and adored them – they shared the “fat is bad” mentality.

  Not much longer.

  My walk was coming to an end. The mountainous school was within sight.

  Last Friday, Jenna promised to serve James a can of whoop-ass in front of the entire school. I hoped she forgot all about it. I wanted no drama today.

  I stopped in front of a long set of stairs that led to my schools front entrance. I stared up to the landing at the top and noticed a guy sitting alone.

  Well look who came to talk!

  I skipped the first two steps and ran the rest of the way up. I never understood why the city decided to build a school on top of a hill. I crossed the last step and hit the flat concrete terrace. Sitting on the edge of the planter by the door was supposed to be someone that cared about me.

  But that wasn’t the case at all.

  The odd thing was, he was waiting for me.

  Fifteen minutes early.

  “Fireball,” he said, smiling down at me as I approached.

  And as cocky as ever!

  He thought he could smile and I’d come running back like the girl I was last summer….

  No thank you.

  That wasn’t going to happen.

  “James,” I replied, emotionless.

  The smile quickly evaporated into a scowl. He grabbed his backpack and gracefully pushed himself off the ledge on to the terrace.

  “Where’s my morning kiss, Fireball?” James demanded, taking long strides and coming to a stop right in front of me.

  I stood still. This guy was going to get nothing from me.

  How about NO!

  Before I had a chance to say anything, his arms wrapped around my waist and I was lifted off the terrace. His warm, plump lips crashed down onto mine, kissing me passionately with an open mouth. His strong fingers dug into my waist, pulling me tighter into his heated embrace.

  I couldn’t breathe.

  I couldn’t think.

  How the hell was I going to get myself out of this?

  Chapter 2


  Wednesday August 1, 2012

  6 weeks earlier….

  “ANNABELLE!” Mom screamed from the kitchen as I opened the front door to leave.

  “What?” I yelled, facing the kitchen.

  Mom came running out with a purple lunch box I last remembered using when I was eight.

  UGH! Great…

  “You forgot your lunch, sweetie,” she told me breathlessly.


  “Yeah okay, thanks Mom,” I muttered, glancing at the floor to hide my disappointment. I didn’t forget my lunch, but I’d hoped Mom would have. I wanted to buy food from work today.

  “Don’t forget to eat the snacks I packed during each of your fifteen-minute breaks, okay? We have to follow the plan properly, just like the nutritionist said, or else we’re not going to get those amazing results.” She pressed annoyingly after pushing the lunchbox into my bag.

  I took a moment to suppress my volatile emotions. Mom and her “amazing results” could shove it.

  “No worries,
snacks during mini breaks got it,” I assured, stepping outside.

  “And the meal,” she continued, “you have to eat all of it, or else your body will go into shock from being so hungry__”

  “Mom, I got it.” I interrupted.

  God she was annoying. I quickly slammed the door shut before she had a chance to snap back at me for being rude.

  “Annabelle!” I heard her yell through the door as I dashed to the wooden gate that led to our backyard, grabbing my green and black bike from behind it.

  I always rode my bike to work. The feeling I’d get while riding down to work was exhilarating. It felt as if I was flying. If only that feeling could become a reality and I could be like E.T. and fly away on my bike to a place where I felt safe and at home. I wanted to go to a place where I wouldn’t be reminded every second of every day that I needed to lose weight.

  “Yo, Anna!” a familiar voice called out.

  I pushed down on my brakes and dropped my feet from the pedals, stopping the bike completely. I gazed at the bottom of the hill I was about to soar down and saw Jenna waving her arm next to the bike docks at Royal Heights Country Club. We both worked there. I spent my days outside in the blazing heat, manning the lemonade stand next to the golf course, and she worked in air-conditioned bliss doing administration work at the reception desk. When we applied for positions here we’d hoped to get placed together, working at one of the stands they had outside.

  That didn’t happen.

  We were split up immediately. Not surprisingly, they put her on front desk reception. Jenna was beautiful and had a great body from swimming competitively all her life. I, on the other hand, was decent looking (totally cute according to Jenna) but my body was not slim, so they stuck me outside at the lemonade stand where I squeezed lemons all day, making thirst-quenching lemonade for rich people.

  Speaking of rich people, I’d better move it before I became late.

  I pedaled forward, but as I hit the curve where I’d fly down, a shiny black SUV rolled beside me. I stalled for a few seconds to let it go down the hill first.

  I liked space when I was on my hill.