All About You, part 1 (Love & Hate Series #1) by Joanna Mazurkiewicz by Joanna Mazurkiewicz - Read Online

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All About You, part 1 (Love & Hate Series #1) - Joanna Mazurkiewicz

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seven

Chapter one

Him

Present

We are here, yells my friend Dora, slamming unexpectedly on the brake pedal. The baggage on the top of the back seat falls over, hitting me in the back of my head. I curse silently, hoping that Dora can’t hear me. She knows that I don’t use this kind of language anymore.

That’s great, I mutter, massaging my scull. Dora beams, looking at me from the driver’s side. I chose to sit in the back hoping to catch up with some sleep, but my plan failed because Dora blasted music on full when we left Gargle, our hometown.

Oh my God, India, this is so exciting. We are finally here, she flaps with her high-pitched voice. Look at these buildings. Can you imagine what—

We both get out of the car while she talks. I know that I should be listening, but I can’t seem to focus today, and her monologue about the wild parties is always the same. An odd sensation brushes over me and I start to wonder why I’m not excited like Dora. We both have been counting the days to come to Braxton, and now I feel like I need to turn back. Maybe I’m not meant to go anywhere else but Gargle.

I take a few deep breaths and stretch my neck. Braxton University is the place where I always wanted to study. My mother and grandmother went here. Dora always wanted to live alone; she has been talking about this ever since she was accepted.

Me, on the other hand, I just couldn’t wait to get away from my toxic past.

Dora is my best friend, but I’m not sure if I made the right decision to drag her here with me this time around. Her parents are wealthy, so she could go anywhere in England that she wanted to, but in the end she followed me.

Maybe she decided to come to Braxton because we always did everything together. We aren’t at all similar, but we have known each other for years and it’s just easy that way. Dora would be a distraction from all the important stuff that I planned to do this year. She wants to party and carry on with the life she had in Gargle. Me? I want to distance myself from the past and concentrate on things that matter.

I walk around the car and start taking my bags out of the boot. The sun is blazing in the sky, burning the nape of my neck. In a few weeks it will get cold; it’s surprising that the weather is still good in late September. But I feel an odd tension in the air as if this peaceful day is going to be ruined by a thunderstorm. I notice heavy dark clouds starting to gather in the south.

Come on, India, let’s move. I want to check out the campus before it gets dark, Dora says, pulling me back to reality.

All right, chill out. The bags are heavy, I snap.

Oh, sorry, Miss Sensitive, she says, frowning. Why are you in such a bad mood today?

I’m fine. Cut it out. Just tired, I reply through tightly pursed lips. She waves her hand and starts walking. I bite my lips, knowing exactly what she is talking about. I was up late last night thinking about Christian and the next day I’m never the same after doing that.

We left Gargle in the early afternoon. Mum insisted on packing tons of food for us. She still thinks that we won’t be able to cook a proper meal and we would be living on beans on toast. My little sister, Josephine, kept asking if she could come and visit me soon. She wants to see Braxton for herself. She is only fifteen, but she’s already heard stories about university life, and she can’t wait to taste the freedom for herself.

I take my bags and start following Dora. Her brown hair is flowing freely around her shoulders. She is walking towards the blocks of student apartments. I don’t know why but my stomach makes a funny jolt when I see the buildings that stretch in front of us.

We cross the path walking towards the entrance. I switch my bag, as my arm starts to ache, and drag my main suitcase behind me. We both notice the group of students throwing the rugby ball to each other outside on the grass. Dora is already playing with her hair, pretending that she is struggling with her luggage, probably hoping that any of those blokes would give her a hand. I roll my eyes, ignoring her moans, and move ahead. For a brief moment I feel someone’s eyes on me, so I stop and turn around.

One of the guys who was throwing the ball is staring directly at me. His eyes squeeze shut and a fire spreads over my spine. He seems familiar, but I shake my head, knowing that I don’t know anyone in Braxton and the sudden blaze of heat is just in my imagination. Dora manages to get the attention of one of the guys and they start chatting away. This is just so typical of her.

Pass the ball, Jacob, someone shouts behind me. But I ignore that voice, which sounds so familiar, heating up the blood that runs through my body. I think about back home. Mum asked me to call her when we reach Braxton just to make sure that we arrived safely.

Then something hits me hard in the back of the head and I let go a loud Owww! and turn swiftly around. I spot the rugby ball on the grass and reach out to massage my head. I narrow my eyes, spotting the same guy who was staring at me a few second ago. He is smirking.

What’s your problem? I ask, my jaw tense with anger.

He doesn’t look sorry at all that he hit me with the ball. He is tall and muscular. His dark hair is cut close to his scalp. For some reason the special forces haircut suits him. He is too far ahead so I can’t see the color of his eyes, but his gaze is pulling me to him like he is made of a magnet. Jeans hang low on his hips and his white