“Stop, Thief! What the bloody Hell are you doing? Give me back my racquet! Dammit,” Tall Guy yells, chasing me down the street, though he’s fallen a half-block behind. As much as I’d like to explain why I’m running down the street with his property, I can’t stop or the real thief will get away.
Okay, so technically, I did, er, borrow this guy’s racquet, but I’m not a thief. I’m actually being a Good Samaritan. I was waiting in line for my Venti latte, when this man, with a black hoodie pulled up over his face, runs in Starbucks, and grabs the barista’s overflowing Monday-morning tip jar. He takes off, full tilt, down H Street. The Sacramento morning commute slams to a halt, as he makes a run for it.
Yelling Guy? He was behind me in the coffee line. As I ran out, attempting to recover the barista’s tips, I spy a racquet handle, sticking out of his half-open duffle bag. I grabbed the racquet, to use as a weapon; then, I chased the thief out the door. Crossing the doorway, I yell over my shoulder, “Be right back,” so Racquet Guy would know I wasn’t stealing the dang thing! I don’t even play tennis, or whatever it is.
As I round the corner of 16th & J, I bemoan the fact that, this morning, I donned my new, six-inch Louboutins instead of flats. Au revoir, my $950.00 red soled lovelies. (That’s what I get for over-extending my Am-Ex…)
However, luck does shine – about 30 bicyclers swoop across 16th & J, blocking Tip-Taker, forcing him to slow from an Olympic-worthy sprint to a full stop. I gain about 5 yards. Now close enough to hit my target, I plant my feet, and lob the racquet as far and ferociously as I can.
YES! It hits him squarely between the shoulder blades – hard. He stumbles forward, tripping himself up on the racquet case’s handle; then his right knee crashes down, full weight, on the racquet; with a deafening roar – of pain and expletives – he hits the sidewalk, and the tip jar flies out of his hand, flinging quarters, dimes, and dollars everywhere. His feet are still entangled in the racquet bag, and arms flailing, he desperately struggles to right himself when his eye catches mine. His bloodied fists clench wrathfully, and that face of pure rage – oh no, he’s going to kick my ass! What was I playing at? I’m not the Charlie’s Angels type. Maybe this was a bad idea. Yes, very, very bad.
Before he’s upright, I yank out pepper spray and spray him in the face. As he’s screaming in pain and rage, I envision a whole lot of pain coming from those meaty fists. The image of my pulverized body swimming before me, I panic, so I grab the racquet, and smack him. Not too hard – I wasn’t trying to kill the guy — but he’s down and moaning. I go to call 911, but a traffic cop, who saw all the chasing and flinging of coin and racquet, pulled over and called in for back-up. She restrains the guy, as I pick up myriad tip coins lying across the intersection.
As I chase an errant $5 bill that’s blowing across J Street, Racquet Guy limps up, and he’s livid.
“Hey, Hooker Heels, what the BLOODY HELL? Where’s my racquet,” he barks, gasping for breath. He’s clutching a stitch in his side, though why he’s out of breath is a mystery, as I can see the outline of majorly defined abs under his white collared shirt. Yum. He must use this racquet — a lot…
My face grows hot, so I begin folding a handful of bills, one by one, into the tip jar to avoid staring at his gorgeous mouth. “Chill out,” I say to him, forcing my voice into a semblance of normal, “I told you I’d be right back.” I look up, and – mystery revealed – I see his jacket is ripped, and his left elbow is bleeding. “Oh! Your arm! Did you fall? Look, your tennis racquet’s right over there.” I point out the racquet case lying on the curbside, beside the thief, who is having his rights read, while face-planted against a squad car. “Stay still. Let me get it for you.”
I turn to get the racquet, but he blocks my path, strides over, picking it up himself, and unzips its case.
“Hey, your arm’s bleeding,” I call, “we need to get you some first-aid. Your racquet can wait.”
He doesn’t respond; he’s singularly focused on his racquet. He pulls it out, and several of the racquet’s strings are sticking up oddly – just like my bangs do most mornings. The racquet’s bumper has cracked clean through. Uh oh. He runs his hand over his face despairingly, then over the racquet, staring incredulously at the broken remains.
“Oops. I’m really sorry about your tennis racquet,” I say, biting my lip. “Hey, at least I hit the creep. Your racquet strings died for a good cause.” I offer him a small, semi-flirty smile, hoping to smooth things over. Alas, he’s not in a smoothing over mood.
“You hit the tip stealer? With my racquet? Seriously? And, it’s NOT a tennis racquet! This is a squash racquet, SQUASH!” He is growling at me through clenched, professionally gleaming white teeth, “This is a professional-grade Black Knight squash racquet!” He is waving the racquet, furiously, an inch from my face. “This is one of the best squash racquets in the world!” He blows out a sharp breath of exasperation, “And it’s not just the strings! You’ve bloody well killed it! I don’t care about expense; this racquet is one of a kind!”
He waves the racquet wildly under my nose again, and rants, “See here? It’s snapped clean through, right across Amanda Sobhy’s autograph!” He inspects the racquet more closely, and exclaims, “Damn! It’s all scuffed here, right across Ashour’s, and McKay’s signature’s ruined, too! Oh, damn, it’s buggered, is what it is! What were you thinking?”
HMmmmmmmm. . .right now I’m thinking, despite the ranting, he has the most sexy British accent, dreamy hazel eyes, and yummy mocha skin. I shake my head slightly, to clear it, and give myself a mental shout, “Focus, Anna! Jerk Alert!”
“Listen, Hooker Heels,” he’s still ranting, “I’m supposed to play squash in a few hours, and my lucky racquet is completely buggered!”
Hot Racquet Guy is all but foaming at the mouth, and I’m reaching the boiling over point myself. I shove the racquet out of my face, and snap right back at him, “Hell-ooo! It’s just a plank of wood! I was trying to stop a robbery! This jerk here,” I wave in the direction of the thief, now being shoved into the police car, “stole those barista’s tips! I did a good thing. I am sorry you fell and hurt your arm chasing after me, and I’m extremely sorry your racquet is broken, I truly am, but I can pay to have it restrung. The crack in the bumper can be fixed or replaced. And, I’m sure there’s another racquet for you to use for your match today – maybe not one with Amanda Bynes’ autograph on it, but still, you’ll live. What’s your name anyway? I’m Anna.”
I try that smile again, but he’s shaking his head in disgust. He takes a huffy breath, his hands still clenched into fists at his side, and barks, “It’s Sobhy! Amanda Sobhy – she’s only the top ranking junior squash player in the world – not some ditzy, Hollywood actress gone psycho! Amanda Bynes? Gimme a break! Look, Hooker Heels, apparently you never learned any manners, so let me clue you in — you cannot remove things out of people’s bags, and take off with them! That’s called theft!”
He breaks his rant only long enough to glance from the squad car to me. Then, with a sanctimonious smirk upon his face, he gloats, “I could press charges, I should, then you can join your friend over there. Maybe a day in lock-up will teach you some manners.” He motions for the officer to join us.
“You’re not freaking serious,” I shout, “I was HELPING! You didn’t lift a hand, not one finger to help! No, you were too busy crying over an autograph! God forbid, you skip your latte to stop a crime! And, stop calling me Hooker Heels! My name is Anna! Got it? A-N-N-A!” I end on a growl, instead of a scream, because the officer has locked Sticky-Fingers in the squad car, and saunters over for our statements. I’m flipping out inside. Is he seriously pressing charges? It’s a tennis racquet that had a few strings broken – oh, so sorry, a squash racquet. It’s not like I kidnapped the Queen or stole his car.
I tune back in from my internal flip-out, to hear this jerk tattle-telling, like some bratty five-year old, whining that I took his precious racquet away, and now it’s broken. Waaaah!
I compose myself, and rationally explain the situation. Luckily, the officer has the common sense that Racquet Man is apparently devoid of, and we both get a latte every morning, so he dissuades him from pressing charges. I write out a check for $250. Ripping it from the checkbook, I snap, “Here, buy a new tennis racquet.” I couldn’t resist saying “tennis,” knowing it will piss Jarrod (He told the officer his name is Jarrod Keller) off considerably.
“It’s a squash racquet! SQUASH! And I don’t want or need your money. Just keep your hands off other people’s property, you bloody menace!” Refusing the check, and backing away, he turns to leave.
Now, I’ve had more than enough of this British arse. I block his path, and shove the check into his torn jacket pocket, “Ya know, if you take that stick out of your ass, maybe you can use it to mend your racquet!”
Then, I stride off, heel blisters be damned, carrying the tip jar back to Starbucks, without a backwards glance. I hope his plane crashes en route to Heathrow, I think, but my mind and body betray me. Damn, my fingertips are burning, imagining the feel of his rock solid chest, as I shoved that check into his pocket; oh, and standing so close, when we were yelling at each other — oh my God, he smelled so rugged, so sexy…
“ANNA! Did you hand-pick and roast the effing coffee beans yourself,” Jerry Purvis, my boss, AKA, “The Pervert,” shouts, as I run into the office, with his latte and bagel.
I start explaining about the thief, but he cuts me off, “Stop,” Purvis holds up a hand, “I don’t have time for your girlie drama! Just get to the conference room. NOW! Mr. Pain In My Ass from the U.K. office arrived early, and somebody must’ve pee’d in his Cheerios, because he’s in one crappy mood. Let’s get this presentation over quickly. I have a court reserved in 90 minutes. Maybe banging a ball around will chill him out. Oh, and grab the First-Aid kit, will ya? He’s effed up his arm or something.”
Crap! I don’t even have time to put a Band-Aid on my own heel blisters! I grab the First-Aid kit, and my prepared copies of our quarterly report — the report that’s been consuming my every waking hour for the past 3 weeks. Then throw my I-Pad, containing my presentation notes, under my arm, and click-clack down the laminate hallway towards Conference Room B.
As I’m turning the knob of the conference room door, my brain starts spinning – Pervert-Purvis has a court reserved? That couldn’t possibly be a squash court? No, don’t be ridiculous, Anna. But, bring a first-aid kit? The elbow! It can’t be! My heartbeat pounds in my ears. Several reports slide out from under my elbow, and as I bend down to grab them beads of sweat break above my brow. Suddenly, the conference room door slams open, smacking me in the forehead full-force.
Everything goes black, as I stagger backwards. My I-Pad flings through the air, like I’m some pro Frisbee player. My vision, though blurry, clears, and I watch the I-Pad smack our visiting boss in the jaw. Then, as if in slow-motion, the man rears backwards, colliding into one of the wheeled office chairs. I cringe, as he squeezes his paper Starbucks cup, as he falls, and it spits blazing coffee in every direction, dousing the both of us. He lands directly atop a gym bag, that’s settled alongside a black leather briefcase. CRUNCH.
Crunch? Why does that gym bag look familiar? My head is spinning, and my heart is trying to squeeze itself out my throat. My denial is fading fast, and I’m too petrified to look up at him. That bag, the Starbucks, those glossy Prada shoes.
Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, OH SHIT! The guy covered in coffee? It’s Hot Racquet Guy! Of course it’s Jarrod Keller, and that crunch? Yep. It’s his cursed squash racquet. He’s landed, knee first, right on it, and is now bleeding profusely, not only from the earlier elbow fiasco, but now his knee has a gash the size of a squash ball. Oh, I’m such a dead person.
Both incredulous, we cry out in stereo, “Aw, C’mon!” This is un-flipping-believable! What are the freaking odds?
“I knew it! You truly are a complete menace in heels” he yells, getting up, uselessly attempting to wipe French Roast and blood off his Hugo Boss suit.
I’m fuming, hurt, panicked, and the adrenaline makes me scream like a banshee, “Oh yea? Well, you’re not exactly a gallant Knight, like that Black Knight you carry! Who barrels through a door like that? A maniac! Imagining you were on the court with Amanda BYNES, eh?!” And, of course, that is the precise moment my boss walks through the door.
“What the Hell is going on here? Mr. Keller, I’m terribly sorry,” he says to Jarrod, sounding horrified. Then, Pervert runs back out, screaming at the closest employee in a cubby, “Get some damp rags and towel from the kitchen! And there’s an extra shirt and jacket in my office! Go! Run, dammit, run like the effing wind,” he barks at him.
Then, he barges back in, making effusive, simpering apologies, while I scramble to mop up coffee, and try to salvage my soaked I-Pad.
However, Jarrod is not listening to any obsequious apologies from my sycophantic boss. No, he is solely focused on his bag, unzipping the racquet case, uttering a curse and a moan, with a face now so grief-stricken, that I actually feel a little sorry for him. However, that feeling does not last.
“It wasn’t enough to crack it? You had to bugger it completely? You really are a walking disaster,” he groans, clenching his capped teeth so hard, they are squeaking.
I’d just opened my mouth to apologize for my part in this fiasco, but ooh, those comments, that superior, little smirk – no way! Now I’m pissed.
“I’m the walking disaster? ME? You lazy, superior jerk! You didn’t do one damn thing to help catch that thief earlier! You almost killed me here, but you’re too busy pissing and moaning about your precious racquet to inquire if I’m okay! That racquet is replaceable! You ram the door into my head, give me a concussion, and then have the gall to blame this on me? Seriously? Well, kiss my arse!” I half splutter half scream.
I’ve never told someone to kiss my ass (or arse for that matter). I loathe confrontation; I’m always the peace-maker, but this time, the adrenaline running through my body makes me feel crazy, a person I don’t even recognize. This guy, this Neanderthal, he brings out the absolute worst in me. I want to wrap my hands around his neck and squeeze. So, why is a really hot image of pressing my body to his keep popping into my head? What is wrong with me? That image is erased, one second later, as my boss drags me out into the hall. . .
One hour later, I am carrying my cardboard box of shame to the Light Rail. I guess there’s no recovering from cursing out the guy who turns out to be your company’s CFO. Unbelievable! I’ve been questioned in a squad car, killed my I-Pad, and lost my job – in one freaking day! All because of that “Black Knight” jerk! I need a latte! No, I need a Martini! Ooh, uppity Racquet Boy better never run into me again, or I just might wrap that Black Knight right around his neck. Gorgeous neck be damned…
I’m on my second Martini, after bolting down a double Vodka shot. I’m waiting for my BFF, Lexie, to arrive, so I can bemoan my existence, and tell her all about Hot Squash Guy — the guy who squashed my I-Pad, my head, and my job – basically, my whole, pathetic life.
Suddenly, my phone flashes, a text:
OMG! Met a HOTTIE @ Lt. Rail. Asked him 2 join us 2 cheer U Up. B there in 10.
You might have to pull out your inner slut 2nite!!
Seriously, Lexie? I needed your commiserating ear tonight, not a drunken BFF pushing me all night long, into snogging some all-beauty-no-brains, boy-in-a-man’s-body. I force myself to take a deep breath; okay, calm down and forget talking it all through just for now. Go with the flow – drinking and dancing the night away in denial it is. Lexie and I can figure out my life plan tomorrow, hung-over, with Bloody Mary cure-alls.
I toss back the last dregs of my drink, and accidentally catch the eye of the guy sitting three barstools down. He saunters over, and waves down the bartender, when Lexie waltzes in the door with — NO! NO EFFING WAY!
The Boy-toy Lexie found at the light rail? It’s Hot Squash Jerk! He’s even carrying the cursed gym bag with the blasted racquet! What is the deal? I am a decent person! I give the homeless guys change every morning! I chased down that freaking tip-taker this morning! So, why, WHY is my Karma in the toilet?
I ditch my new shots buddy, and desperately attempt a sneaky get-away before Lexie and Jarrod Keller can reach the bar. I half run, half crawl across the jam-packed floor, hiding behind a few hundred dancers. I have a hand on the bathroom door handle, wondering: Is my size 8 butt small enough to squeeze out the window? I shouldn’t have had that extra caramel Frappuccino yesterday. I turn the knob, when –
“AANNNNN-AAA!” It’s Lexie, full volume, furiously waving at me. Damn.
Jarrod looks in the direction of Lexie’s furious waving, and suddenly, his eyes widen in recognition, and he starts LAUGHING! The Jerk.
More than a bit too buzzed from my downed shots and Martinis, I make the oh-so-brilliant decision that I’ll be hot, flirty, and make Jarrod Keller wish he’d never been such a jerk. My performance of a confidant, party girl, without a care in the world is Oscar-worthy, especially considering my life is now in the toilet; I strut my way across the dance floor, boobs first, swishing my hips. Okay, Squash Boy, I may have annihilated your racquet, and left you bleeding from arm and leg, but this dress, it’s designer and shows off all my curves in all the right places, so eat your heart out. I smile, lick my lips, earning several lascivious stares from several guys, and a girl or two, from the dance floor. I look over at Jarrod, while I undulate my hips through the crowd, keeping my eyes focused exclusively on him. I flip my hair, and give my most seductive smile. SPLAT!
My Louboutins, after all the chasing and office drama, have had enough stress. One heel snaps, and with a shriek, worthy of an opera singer, my butt meets the dance floor.
Of course, it’s his hand that reaches down to assist me. My hand is dwarfed by his, and he pulls me up effortlessly, like I weigh next to nothing, and oomph, I smack my chest against his. He’s staring me straight in the eye, our faces, our lips are mere inches apart. He leans in – Oh My God, he’s going to kiss me! I slide my hand up his arm, utterly intoxicated by his skin, his smell, his hot breath on my face. Then, he wraps his hands around my waist, steadying my stance, and my breath catches. Then, he smiles at me, leans into my body, then reaches past me, and retrieves my shoe.
“You shouldn’t stand shoeless in this place; you could catch a disease,” he smirks. He knows exactly what I thought.
“Oh, er, uh, thanks,” I splutter. I can feel my cheeks burning, surely a flaming shade of magenta, “I really should call it a night. It’s been a, uh, long day.” I glance up and down his body, and see his left leg and right arm are heavily bandaged. “Are you gonna live,” I ask.
Lexie, not knowing our history, but recognizing an Uber Hot, single guy, right here in front of me, thinks I must be insane for even considering going home, interrupts us, “No, Anna! You can’t go home! We just got here! Have a drink. I’ll work on your shoe. I’ve got nail glue in my bag. And you’ve got to hear what an incredibly horrific day Jarrod’s had. This psychotic girl practically killed him! Twice!”
I can tell by her pout, that she will put up an absolute tantrum, if I even hint at leaving. Besides, she’s stolen my shoe, holding it, and me, hostage.
“Fine. One quickie, then I’m gone.” I say, giving her a warning look, then turn to Jarod, and say, “So, some “crazy girl” tried to kill you, eh?” I arch my eyebrow at him, hand on hip, awaiting his reply. At least he has the decency to look embarrassed.
Lexie interrupts our exchange by insisting we grab drinks, while she grabs a table. So, Jarrod and I walk/hobble over to the bar. I order two Mojitos for Lexie and me, and then ask, “What’s your pleasure?”
At that, Jarrod grins seductively, “Well, I’d say you, but I’m afraid you’d grab my racquet again and maim another of my appendages,” he chuckles.
I flush, angry and embarrassed, “Look, if you’re going to start it about your precious Squash racquet again, I just may rip off another, far more important, appendage!”
He grabs a white handkerchief out of his pocket (A hankie? Who is this guy, Lord Grantham?) and waves it in the air. “Okay! I surrender! Peace! Look,” he runs a hand through his hair, “I apologize. I am truly sorry I was such a wanker this morning, and later, at the office. I usually am a wonderful guy, but you seem to bring out, er, something in me.”
“I bring out something? Something like your latent psychotic gene?” I try to sound pissed off, but I can’t help but grin, as he looks so remorseful, and so sexy. “Well,” I continue, “I did smash up your tennis racquet. But, hey, we’re more than even, since you annihilated my career.”
“Very funny, Heels, very funny. You know it’s a squash racquet, and I’m sure Purvis will get over it in a few days.”
“Who’s laughing,” I quip, “You don’t think Purvis kept me on, after yelling at our CFO this morning, do you? And, what the heck is squash anyway? A snooty word for tennis?”
He looks flabbergasted, “Purvis fired you? I told him it was my fault. I didn’t think I had to spell it out not to fire you over some spilled coffee, a bloody knee, and a broken squash racquet.”
“Well, apparently, an Executive Assistant like me can get her head bashed in, and is just supposed to take it without complaint, especially if it’s the all-mighty CFO doing the bashing.” I snap, furious all over again.
“Look, Anna,” he begins, “it is Anna, right? I will speak with Purvis. You’ll have your job back. Let me just –”
I interrupt him, “No, no, really, that guy always hated me, and anyway, he’s a walking sexual harassment case in the making. If you spoke with him, he’d take me back, but who knows what he’d ask me to do because he was magnanimous enough to re-hire me. It’s not worth it.”
“I knew it,” he slaps his hand on the bar top, “I knew that guy was a douche. Look, Anna, I’ll make sure you get a new position. Give me a few days, and I’ll figure something out. You won’t have to work under Purvis anymore.”
Oh wow, he looks like a snake that’s been poked with a stick. The smoldering rage is visible, and his wheels are turning; Purvis just might, deservedly, be toast, I think gleefully.
“Jarrod, I mean, Mr. Keller, I wasn’t exactly blameless in this whole mess,” I begin. I don’t know what to say. I know he’d done some crappy things this morning, but I did destroy his squash racquet, and I know if he destroyed my pink Les Paul, the one signed by Bono and Kathy Valentine, I’d go berserk.
We both are laughing, and he says, “Buy you a drink?”
“Only if you promise to explain how squash is a sport,” I quip, with a chuckle, as we walk leisurely towards Lexie and the table. He laughs, and like a true Squash-phile, starts right in.
“Squash is a real sport! It’s played on a court, with a racquet, obviously,” I arch my eyebrow at him, and then we both laugh again, as he continues, “I think you have to be more physically fit to play squash than tennis, not that tennis isn’t a serious workout; but you see, most clubs, they only give you 40 minutes for squash, so you really get in some serious cardio. It can be a bit brutal on the knees. The racquets and balls are different, too; squash balls are hard, they won’t even bounce much until they are warmed up, and,”
“Seriously,” I interject, “you’re going to give me an opening like that, over drinks, to razz you about your balls?”
He suddenly leans in, and kisses me, long and deep. I look him in the eyes, and wrap my arms around his neck, “Conduct Stroke, kissing without permission, isn’t that out of bounds,” I murmur, “My point.”
He leans his head back, jaw dropped, “I thought you didn’t know anything about squash, High Heels!”
I feel my cheeks redden. Damn! I gave myself away. I finally say, “Okay, fine. My Ex at university played squash, and I used to go to the court with him sometimes, just the occasional weekend. I haven’t picked up a racquet in years.”
“Uh, so basically, you’re a liar,” he chuckles, interrupting me.
“Shut up,” I giggle, and continue, “I’ve kept up online, and that frustrating situation with the Olympics-”
His lips on mine prevent me from finishing. The rest of my squash confession will have to wait.
Six Months Later. . .
“And do you, Jarrod, take Anna?”
“Of course, I do…” I am laughing because Jarrod’s not finishing his vows, but lifting my veil to kiss me.
“I haven’t declared you and Anna husband and wife yet,” cries our squash coach/Marriage Officiant, “It’s not time to kiss yet!”
We both chuckle, and I say to Coach, “Sorry, but we’ve got a court reserved in an hour. We’ve got to keep this moving.”
The past six months have sped by, with me moving to London, Jarrod maneuvering a job transfer for me, becoming a new-found squash fanatic, a whirlwind courtship, and surviving planning a wedding.
Jarrod and I look into each other’s eyes, and laugh. Then, he leans down, and whispers, “This is the best match of my life, Mrs. Keller, the forever kind.” I kiss him back.
“That’s some lovely sweet talk, Mr. Keller, but I’m still going to kick your butt on the court today, and if I win, you’re going to buy me those new Louboutins,” I smile up at him, my hands caressing his muscular back.
“HA! Never gonna happen! You will lose, and buy me my new racquet,” Jarrod laughs.
“Always obsessed with a racquet,” I quip, chuckling.
Jarrod takes my hand, “Whatever happens on the court today, Anna, I’ve already won it all.”
Then, together, we jump over our mangled, crushed, autographed squash racquet, just how some couples jump the ceremonial broom, and run down the aisle, together.
“By the way,” I whisper, “maybe later, we can look in the pro-shop for a junior racquet,” as my eyes twinkle.
“Huh?” Jarrod’s brow wrinkles in confusion; then, slowly, realization hits and he swings me around jubilantly. Then, frightened he’s hurt me, and sets me down, like I’m made of glass, leans into me and whispers, “I really have won it all. Forget Ashour, Khan, any of ‘em, I’m the luckiest man in the world. I have found a family, my perfect match.”
About The Author:
Kathryn P. Abernathy knew absolutely zilch about squash before being challenged to write this short story. She had a blast researching the sport, and is a new fan. Kathryn is an educator to youth, and is currently working on a series of Young Adult novels, centering on the topic of bullying.
A life-long Northern California girl, Kathryn lives with her family near the beach. Interested in sharing a story regarding bullying? Kathryn would love to hear your story, as part of her research, for her YA series. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The above story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.