Title: A Changed Life
Author: Mary A. Wasowski
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Genre: New Adult
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Change is never easy. For seventeen year old Nicolette Vanelle, life is about to change... Relocating to California, Nicolette finds herself starting over. A new high school. New friends. New life. Attending her first Hollywood event, Nicolette meets bad boy Michael St. Clair, and unknowingly becomes the object of his obsession. Feeling overwhelmed by Michael’s attention, she escapes the party to go to the beach where she meets Simon Paulson. He takes her breath away, an inevitable connection leading to romance between the young couple. Nicolette and Simon’s happiness is short lived and their relationship is put to the ultimate test when tragedy befalls Nicolette. Can Nicolette find the strength and courage to emerge from the darkness she fell into? Will Simon's unconditional love be enough to bring her back into the light? Life can change in an instant, leaving you changed forever.
“Nicolette, I swear you are the most exasperating woman I have met in my life. I am so sick and tired of hearing you blame yourself. You are acting like you asked for this to happen to you. Why are you blaming yourself for the pain you seem to think you are responsible for causing? Nicolette, you have to stop this, it’s not your fault. I will admit, it is tearing me apart every time you behave this way. I love you so much, and I know you better than you think I do. Please don’t let him occupy any more space in that beautiful head of yours.”
I didn’t want to be angry with her, but she just frustrated me so much. Here she is in the hospital, again, and wanting to shut me out. I have spent weeks now trying to convince Nicolette that I will not leave her, no matter what. I have to calm down for her sake. She is in such a fragile state, and if I say the wrong thing, she could be shattered. I am not going to be the one to do that to her. “I’m sorry Simon,” she repeatedly kept telling me. I finally just slammed my mouth onto to her perfect lips, and kissed her until she was out of breath.
I didn’t mean to be so forceful with her, but I just didn’t know what else to do. I felt like I was going to explode from hearing her apologies. Doesn’t she know none of this is her fault?
“Nicolette, look at me. I didn’t know how she would react to me kissing her in that way. Nicolette didn’t look afraid, in fact, she looked almost relieved. Did I hurt you baby?” My girl still wasn’t talking. She just smiled, and shook her head no. I could breathe again.
She confessed she has been waiting for me to kiss her like that again. I had always been passionate in the way I kissed her and she always loved it.
It was easy to get carried away with Nicolette. We had so much fire between us, and we both felt it every time we touched each other. No matter what Nicolette said to me, it was my turn to say sorry. I never want her to feel like I was pressuring her to anything she’s not ready for, especially after everything she has been through. She didn’t care, and begged me to kiss her again.
I cupped her face and said. “I know what you are doing, Nicolette.” She smiled back at me. I swear that smile can take me down to my knees. “Baby, I feel my soul is connected with yours, and I love you. I’m telling you that I am not leaving you, not today, not tomorrow, and not ever.” She was silent as she was listening to every word I had just said to her. I didn’t need any verbal communication, just her touch and I would know. I pulled her to my chest, as her body instantly calmed. I held her and simply just loved her.
Her discharge papers had already been taken care of, so I left Nicolette to get dressed. Her parents and uncle were in the waiting room discussing Nicolette, and what to do about the baby. They stopped talking when I entered the room. I knew I should have been more respectful, but I couldn’t help myself. Here were the three of them again speaking for her, thinking up their own solutions to Nicolette’s problems without even asking her what she wanted.
I said, “Please don’t stop on my account.” Mason rose from his seat to put his hand on my shoulder. “Simon this doesn’t concern you. Please son, just stay out of it.”
“The hell it doesn’t, Mr. Vanelle. Your daughter is my whole world, and anything that involves her, involves me, Sir.” I wasn’t sure how they would react to my boldness, but it appeared that her uncle was actually agreeing with me.
Her mom asked me to sit down, and I reluctantly did so I could hear her out. “Simon, we know how much you care about Nicolette, believe me, I do. I just don’t think you actually have considered how this all affects you and your future. I have spoken to your parents, and I know about the full scholarship you have received to attend Northwestern University.”
“I’m not taking it Mrs. Vanelle. I never planned on attending Northwestern. I plan on attending school here in California. I’m staying with Nicolette, leaving her is not an option. It doesn’t matter where I attend school, as long as I’m with Nicolette. My father would like me to attend Northwestern, but I never agreed on going. California University has everything I need, and with mom at the helm of the school, it’s even better.
“Simon, all of your decisions that you make cannot revolve solely on Nicolette. You have worked incredibly hard in school; do you know what it is to be given the gift you have received? Not too many students are given the opportunity you have been given. It is an honor, and you should be very proud of yourself. Your mom tells me that you may even be valedictorian for this year’s graduating class.”
“Mrs. Vanelle, with all due respect, this is not your business, and I don’t need you to be concerned about my future academics. I will decide what is best for me and my future. It’s not just about me anymore, I have Nicolette to consider.”
“What about the baby? Are you prepared to raise this child on your own? Simon you and, Nicolette are very young. How can you be so certain of anything at this point?” Christina continued to question me. I was done with the Q&A segment of this conversation. I stood up and faced all three of them, and said with my most honest plea.
“I love Nicolette. Your daughter is my heart and soul. I knew from the first day my eyes met hers that she was the one for me. I can’t change what happened to her, and the pain Michael inflicted on her. I pray each day that she continues to heal in mind and body. As long as we are together, we can overcome anything. Whatever Nicolette decides to do about this child, I will stand by her, and give her my unconditional support. I say this because it’s simply how I feel, and I don’t expect you to believe me.”
“Hey I’m only nineteen years old, right? I have had my share of heart ache and pain. I know and understand what love is. I have found love with your daughter, and I plan on including her in my future. All I see when I look at her, not me alone, not her alone. I see a ‘we’. I am asking you to please respect our relationship and give us your blessing. It will make things easier for Nicolette to know she has her family’s support.”
I felt Nicolette before I even turned around. She was standing there with a shy smile on her face, and I turned from her parents, and greeted her with my waiting arms.
“Are you ready to go”? I asked her. She nodded in response, and we left. Her parents and Uncle Jack stood there in silence, and watched us walk away.
Bonus SceneIn an instant, life can change forever. How true this was for my beautiful girl, Nicolette. I watched her changed right before my very eyes. From a vibrant and self-assured seventeen year old, to a broken and shattered girl who had no light left in her caramel brown eyes. If I had only known sooner what she had been dealing with…I could have prevented the unforeseen act of brutality that awaited her. I allowed her to go to her mother and my brother while I lived my life in Chicago with no knowledge of him… the psychotic attacker, Michael St. Clair. My world had been shattered with one phone call. All I saw was red! I wanted revenge on the person who hurt my girl. My hand was forced and that is something that never happens. I made a promise to my brother to believe that justice would prevail and the animal that hurt Nicolette would suffer for his crime. After months of watching her, existing and not living, trying to gain back some semblance of her life… was excruciating for me. She left us…her family, to find the strength she needed to be whole again. He took something from her that can never be replaced. Nicolette, as young as she was, was strong and determined. Although it broke my heart to say good-bye to her, I knew we had to let her go. She was battling through days of darkness and nights of despair. On the outside to others she appeared to be getting better but, on the inside she was struggling through darkness and pain. She beguiled us all with her strength and courage. She found her light again, and returned home to us. She was not the same girl I said good-bye to months earlier. Nicolette was fearless, stronger, and determined to right the wrongs of what happened to her. I was too and I knew the promises I made to her father and my wife would have to be broken. I sat in the courtroom and listened to my girl re-live the events of that horrible night. She never cried, she just told her story all the while I clenched my jaw and tightened my fists. I wanted him dead, and that’s exactly what was going to happen…promise or not, he was going to die! The judge issued the sentencing. He was handcuffed and taken back into custody. He dared one more glance at Nicolette and then turned his head down and followed the guards. Did he think this was over? No way in hell! Nicolette was beaming with happiness. She did it. She faced her fears head on and was able to start to finally put this nightmare behind her. I watched her leave with Simon, the boy who captured her heart and loved her unconditionally. My brother and his wife were smiling for the first time in months. This was over for them, but just beginning for me. I excused myself and pulled out my cell phone. I knew once I set this in motion, there would be no turning back. I hit the speed dial on my phone, and gave my orders. “He’s on his way. He is not to be touched, and will remain under the protection that I have provided until all is in place. Do I make myself clear?” I heard him answer, “Yes” and then I shut my phone. I made sure he was unharmed in prison and never allowed him to be confident in knowing that he was untouchable. His first warning was waiting for him when he entered his cell for the first time.
Anticipation of death is worse than death itself.I had several of these delivered to him over a course of several months. I wanted him to look over his shoulder… be afraid like the coward I knew he was. Then they stopped, and I was ready to strike. I cashed in all my chips that were owed to me for this favor. I had only one chance to make this happen and today was the day. He was on laundry detail. The room was located on the lower floors of the prison, surrounded by loud sounds of the industrial machines. He was taken and bound to a chair with his mouth stuffed with a rag to silence his screams. Nestled out of sight in a dark corner of the room, I slowly crept in and approached him. His eyes were red from his cowardly tears that fell down his cheek and moaning for his life. I leaned in to his ear and whispered. “Do you remember me?” He shakily nodded his head. I took in several deep breaths and began what would be the last words Michael St. Clair would ever hear. “I could have ended your life that day in the hospital, but I didn’t. Every day Michael… I could have but, I didn’t. I watched you in the courtroom as you sat there, confidently thinking that you would get your sentence and still be able to live your life one day. Did you think that, Michael?” He sat there with no emotion, and just listened to me. I circled him round and round, he didn’t move. “You made my girl bleed, you PIG. Do you remember what I said to you? Hmm…Pigs get slaughtered! You preyed upon an innocent girl, infected her with your seed and caused her undeniable pain. You robbed her…YOU BROKE HER! I can’t let you live one more day knowing that life awaits you outside of these walls, because they don’t.” I removed his gag and I asked him one last question. “Do you have anything to say before fate comes for you?” He looked directly into my eyes, and said... “Do it! I can’t have her… I’m already in hell.” I plunged my blade into his heart with one strong thrust. He gasped, as his eyes slowly closed. I watched as he bled out, and I let out the breath that I was holding. I swore I would never return to this life again, but after what happened to Nicolette, I knew there was no way I could ever live with knowing that the animal that hurt her still had breath in his lungs.
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