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 T-shirt is dirty, probably from rolling on the grass. I glance back at his friends who are staring at me, startled. Something isn’t right here—he obviously wanted to hit me on purpose.
“Well, who have we got here? Isn’t it the one and only, India Gretel?” he says loudly, like he wants to make sure that everyone hears him.
“Do I know you?” I ask with impatience, eyeing him from head to toe. A large whacky grin appears on his handsome face. Something in his eyes tells me that we already met. His eyes harden on me as he picks up the ball and closes the gap between us. He has a wide jaw and full beautiful lips.
“Don’t fucking tell me that you forgot about me already, Indi?” he asks, smirking. “Boys, let me introduce the biggest bitch that ever stepped in Braxton.”
I blink rapidly, staring at him, digging all my memories out or anything that could tell me if I’ve seen him before, but I get nothing.
“Oliver, who the hell is that?” asks one of the guys walking up towards him. Dora probably notices my little show because she approaches me, looking equally confused.
“India, who is that douchebag?” she asks, frowning.
Oliver. That name rolls in my head like a snooker ball. It curls my toes and increases my heartbeat. It’s like a poison that crawls into my pores and wrecks my body. His name brings on both good and bad within me. It’s the name that I have been trying to forget for the past two years.
Joanna Mazurkiewicz was born in Poland. She moved to United Kingdom when she was only nineteen and just finished high school. She had aspired to be a writer upon completion of the Harry Potter series but also enjoyed reading books like ‘Gone with the Wind’, ’Animal Farm’ and ‘The doll’. She graduated from Swansea University with a bachelor degree in American Studies. While studying in the UK she made a decision to start writing fiction in English.
The “Whispers of the Sprite” is her first debut novel and she is currently working on other projects. Joanna lives in Cowbridge, a small town in South Wales near Cardiff with her boyfriend Bruce. She enjoys cycling around Welsh countryside some of which has become the settings in her first series.