Chapter 1: Lizzie Drake


I lean back and stretch my arms. Another long day at the bookstore. A day filled with endless book shelving and stocking. It’s tiring, but I think it will benefit me in the end. At least its experience. Still, I have to say, I love my job. I love the feeling of getting up and the morning and being able to get my hands on books all day. Sometimes I try and snag a few copies of a new release for myself before the shelf runs out. No harm right? I would love to be a novelist someday. It is my dream. To have one of my penned novels sitting along the shelf with all those other authors…ugh what a dream come true that would be! Okay, Liz enough dreaming.

My name is Elizabeth Drake, but everyone calls me Lizzie for short. I live in the small town of Aberdale with my mom, dad, and little sister Judy. I have lived here my whole life, although mom says we did live in New York for a few years. I guess the city life was just not for them. My dad got offered a job at a top company in Aberdale and my mom was all too happy to move. My mom is a teacher at my old high school Aberdale High. Normally that would bother some people, but it never bothered me. It actually came in handy having my mom there. It was easier to get homework done because I could do it in my mom’s office and also I got my own private tutor. Not that I need it that much. School has always been my best achievement. I still can’t believe I’m done with that stage of my life. It seems like only yesterday I was just setting foot in those school doors. Now, here I am four years later, getting ready for my first year of college! I can’t believe it! In just a day, I will be on my way to the campus and with my best friend in the world, Abby!

Abby and I have been best friends since we were four. We meet in preschool and became instant friends after she punch the school bully Tom, for pulling on my pigtails. We still joke about it to this day.


After taking a shower and putting on my PJ’s, I head back into my room. Although I am done with all my packing, it does not hurt to check everything one last time. After all, we will be leaving tomorrow afternoon.

As I go through everything, I hear my phone ringing. Checking the caller ID, I smile. It’s Abby.


I click it on. “Hey Abby!”

“Hey Liz! How are you?” Abby loves her little nickname for me.

“I’m good, just tired from work. All that shelving…”

“Ugh, I told you that you would be better off working at the salon with me.”

I laugh. “Are you kidding? People would have been horrified with my nail painting skills. Remember Farley’s party?”


I can hear Abby laughing into the receiver. “Oh please, how can I forget! She was so mad with the way you painted them. She said even a dog could paint better than you.”

“Hey,” I say, a little defensively, “it’s not my fault! I was just bad with my small motor skills. I’m better now.”

Abby and I both laugh.

“So are you psyched about tomorrow?”



“Of course! How can I not be! We’re going to an amazing school that has amazing credentials and opportunities for learning and growth.”


Abby scoffs. “Boring. Liz come on, let’s get real. I’m talking about the parties, freedom, and of course, the hot college guys!”


I roll my eyes. That is one thing that Abby and I have always differed in. My priorities are in focusing on school and getting the best out of it that I can. Not that Abby doesn’t either, but she would totally skip out on studying for an important test, to go to a party. She use to do it all the time throughout high school, up until our graduation a couple months ago. Love her to death, but sometimes I wonder where her priorities are. Not that I don’t want to have fun too, it’s just for me, school will always come first.

 “Yah, I guess,” I say back to her, “but I’m really excited for classes. I heard my teacher Mr. Andrews, is an amazing professor. He was also rated highly on rate my “‘professor.’”


“He also is totally hot,” says Abby with a giggle.

My eyebrows shoot up. “Abby! That’s our professor!”

“What! I saw the hot chili pepper next to his name!”

I burst out laughing. “Someone might have done that for a joke.”

“You never know, he could be.”

“Well that doesn’t matter to me, because I am not going to date my professor.”


“Oh really?” I can sense a bit of doubt in Abby’s tone.

“No! Of course not!” I snap, and Abby bursts out laughing. It’s obvious that she’s messing with me. “Very funny,” I say to her.

“I’m just kidding. So are you all packed for tomorrow?”


I look around at my suitcases. “Yup, I am all officially packed. I am ready for the big day. You?”


“Yup, I’m all packed. I can’t believe we’re going to college tomorrow. It seems like yesterday we were just starting the ninth grade.”


“I know! I was just thinking that earlier today. I guess time really does go by.” We are both quiet for a minute, almost like we are both reflecting.


I close my eyes and think back to when we were back in ninth grade. I remember how we always used to go out to town and hang out at the arcade for hours. The Skeeball game was our favorite. We would play that game over and over trying to beat each other’s scores. Eventually, we just settled on a tie. Neither of us was ever going to win. I can’t believe how the years have gone by.


I then think back to use hanging after our graduation, laughing about the future and how just in two and a half months, we would be on our way to Araden State University. Now that time is here, and in just 14 hours we would be on our way to school.


“Hey Liz, you still there?” I hear Abby call into the phone. I did not even realize she had been saying my name. I guess I was gone for a few seconds there.


“Yah, I’m still here,” I say. “I was just thinking about the old times.”

“I hear yah,” says Abby, “but now its time to have new times. Right?”

I nod even though she can’t see me. “Right.”

“So what time should I be over tomorrow?”

“How about two in the afternoon? We can load everything into the car and chat for a few hours before everyone gets home. Would be nice for them all to see us off.”

“Sounds good to me. Well, I’m going to go get some beauty sleep. You should too. Sweet dreams Liz.”

I smile. “Sweet dreams Abby.”

“Don’t stay up all night going over that checklist,” I hear Abby add as I click off the phone. She knows me too well.


I finish with my checklist and then taking Abby’s advice, I put it away. As I pass by my shelf, I glance up at my poster of the Eiffel Tower in France. Someday, I hope to visit it. It would make such a wonderful story.


Feeling my eyelids drooping, I head over to my bed and sip underneath the covers. It’s funny, normally when I am anxious, I can’t sleep at all, but tonight, I can feel myself slipping into slumber with ease.





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