“Stop looking at me like that,” he said with a sigh as he reached down and squeezed my hand. “I told you, I’m fine. The breakup was mutual. It made no sense to do the long distance thing. I mean, it’s not like I planned on marrying her.”
“I know, but still…”
“Still nothing, Bright. I’m not upset. Actually, I’m really good.”
“Good? Matt, you and Devan have been together for almost a year.”
“Yeah, but we’ve been growing apart for a while. I guess she just figured it was time…I wanted…never mind.”
“What do you mean it was time?”
He placed his hands on my shoulders and slouched so that he was at my eye level and smiled. “Not now, Bright. Okay? But I promise you, I’m fine.”
I pushed off the lockers and slipped my arm into the crook of his, pulling him down the hallway as we searched for our lockers. We planned to share if we were on opposite sides of the school, to make it easier for storage. Granted, the principal frowned upon that sort of thing, but it was harmless.
“I’ve missed you, Matty,” I said, resting my head on his shoulder as we walked.
Matthew Larkin was easy to like as both a crush and a friend. He was reliable, sweet, and easy on the eyes, despite Leah’s claims that he was nothing more than a geek.
“I missed you, too Whitman,” he said.
Without a second thought, I rushed over to where she was and grabbed the strangers, hoping to save her from whatever fate the creeps had in store. One of the guys stumbled as I moved him out of the way, and turned like he was about to hit me. I wrapped an arm around her waist and her head rolled to the side, resting on my shoulder as her hair covered her face. The two guys glared at me for my intrusion, but I only glared back.
“I’ve got her,” I said.
“We got it, go enjoy the music,” one said with a smirk that made my skin crawl.
“This is my friend,” I lied.
The guys looked at each other and then back to me. I felt the girl’s body pull away from me slightly and I tightened my grip.
“My boyfriend is right over there,” I said, pointing at the stage at a bouncer near the door. He had that bald-tough-guy-look that intimidated most people and guys tried to avoid. “Let’s not make a scene.”
Finally the other guy let her go, and it took all my strength to hold her upright as she started to slip from my grasp. She made some gurgling noise, and it was clear that she was completely out of it. I was terrified for her.
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The Upside of Regret by T.K. Rapp
Publication Date: May 17, 2017
Brighton and Leah have been the best of friends since seventh grade. Where Brighton is the quiet one who is focused on school, Leah is the bold and daring one who craves the adoration of an audience. It’s always worked for them, until now.
Heading into their senior year, Brighton is challenged with an opportunity that can change the course of her future. The only problem? She just might have to step out of her best friend’s shadow.
But when Leah doesn’t support the choices she makes, Brighton is forced to reevaluate what true friendship is.
Brighton is changing and exciting doors are opening. A new world of music, friends, and even love are falling at her feet. But it’s hard to enjoy it when Leah’s life is spiraling out of control.
Now Brighton must try to not only save her friendship, but also her friend, before it’s too late.
TK Rapp is an author living in Houston, Texas with her husband and two daughters.
Prior to writing, she spent over ten years as a photographer and photo editor, specializing in wedding album design. She left photography to pursue her dream of writing a story and it was in 2013, she self-published her first novel, Being There. It was a standalone story about long-lost friends finding each other. She has since written both contemporary and young adult novels.
Rapp grew up in Texas, but has lived in California, South Carolina, and Virginia, all of which serve as inspiration for her writing. With several more works in queue, she doesn’t anticipate stepping away from the computer anytime soon, especially since she makes friends with all of her characters.