Home > The Certainty of Violet & Luke (The Coincidence #5)

The Certainty of Violet & Luke (The Coincidence #5)
Author: Jessica Sorensen

Chapter 1


Violet


Falling.

Falling.

Falling.

I’m falling into obliviousness, unsure where, when, and if I’ll ever land – for all I know there may be no bottom. But right now I don’t care. Because right now I’m completely and utterly losing my mind. Some might argue that happened quite a long time ago, back when I decided to run out in front of that car for the first time, just so I could calm down and focus on some emotions other than the ones connected to my parents’ deaths. Maybe that’s an accurate argument. That I did lose it a long time ago and now I’m just going off the deep end even more, falling, falling, falling, with no way of returning. I kind of don’t want to at the moment, either. Right now I’m feeling pretty good, which doesn’t happen that often, if ever. And lately … well, lately things have been crumbling around me.

Take school, something I used to be so good at, but not anymore. A few days ago, I got a call from the school advisor wanting to discuss my attendance, or lack of it. I’d known the call was coming, but it was still a kick in the stomach I still won’t acknowledge. ‘Violet Hayes, we’re concerned about you and you lack of attendance.’ The advisor had given me the look, the one everyone gives me when they’ve discovered my gory past and start to pity me. The look used to be rare, since I never told anyone about my past, but with the case being reopened, it’s being plastered all over the headlines and sometimes the news.

Then there are the calls from Detective Stephner, always loaded with bad news about my parents’ murder case and my stalker. It’s always the same: ‘We haven’t found Mira Price’. Mira Price is Luke Price’s (my boyfriend’s) mother and the woman who was allegedly at my house that night singing that fucked up song. ‘And there’s still no sign of Danny Huntersonly’, the detective always adds. Danny is the man I refer to as Preston, my once foster father who I used to think was the closest thing to a parent I’d ever had. But not only did he encourage me to sell drugs for him in exchange for food and a roof over my head, he also made me do sexual favors for him. I used to believe that I owed him, but now I can see more clearly. Although that clearly isn’t much better, it just makes me feel sick about myself and the stuff I did.

Sick.

Sick.

Sick.

Preston might also have had something to do with my parents’ murders, but that has yet to be determined. A ‘fifty-fifty chance’. Either Preston is a murderer, or some sick freak with an obsession and photos of me from when I was a child, who knew my mother back when she did drugs. However this plays out it’s sickening and makes me hate myself for doing the stuff I did with him, stuff I can’t erase no matter how much I hurt myself. Nothing can be erased in life. Life is permanent, from the breath we take to the decisions we make. And I’ve made some pretty shitty ones.

‘Are you sure you want to stay?’ Luke asks me for the umpteenth time, interrupting my disturbing, depressing thoughts and my drunken dance moves. Music is blaring around me, the bass vibrating the floor, and I have a cup in my hand full of some sort of alcohol, blurry vision, and a numbed soul.

I have to squint just to see Luke’s face, even though he’s standing right in front of me. Luke is probably the one decision in my life that didn’t turn out shitty, but that’s coming from my point of view not his. He’s the one who has been taking care of me for these last few weeks. Right now, he looks concerned, his worry lines setting in. Despite the permanent frown he’s been sporting, though, he still looks deliciously sexy. Short brown hair I could run my fingers through, a scruffy jawline, his lean muscles visible through a grey T-shirt that fits him just right and faded jeans that sit just low enough on his hips that if I lifted up the bottom of his shirt, I’d get an eye full. Hell, maybe I will if he’ll let me later. Scratch that. I know he will. Ever since the thing about Preston was revealed, Luke hasn’t said no to me, which I’m finding both good and bad. Sure, it’s great having a guy give you whatever you want, but at the same time I miss the bantering between us and the epic challenges that attracted me to him in the first place. It makes life interesting, gives it a little curve, sidetracks me from what’s really going on in my life, the things I have yet to accept. But we can’t seem to get it back, go back to that place again.

God, I wish I could go back in time.

‘Violet, are you listening to me?’ Luke asks, his worry increasing as he leans closer to examine my face. I shake my head and he sighs. ‘Are you sure you want to stay here?’

‘Yeah, I’m positive.’ I throw back the rest of my bee from the plastic orange cup with pumpkins on it. Halloween is a few weeks away and everything seems to be about orange, pumpkins, and scary at the moment. I’ve lost count of how many of these pumpkin decorated cups I’ve drunk. ‘I’m not ready to go home yet …’ I scan the living room that belongs to the guy hosting the party, looking for God knows what – something that will get me into trouble probably. It’s littered with beer bottles and trash, the air laced with cigarette smoke, music throbbing from the speakers, people dancing, flirting, making out in corners. A couple of months ago, I’d probably have been here dealing for Preston.

Fucking Preston.

Dammit, why can’t I just get over it and move on! Just let something go for once!

‘It’s just that we have class tomorrow,’ Luke reminds me, bringing my attention back to him, his brown eyes so full of concern as if he’s afraid I’m going to break apart right here in front of him. But I won’t. After the incident in his truck where I had a meltdown, and then again at his father’s house, I promised myself never again would I break apart again like that. ‘And we’re both still trying to get caught up from those two weeks we took off.’

We’ve been back at Laramie and the University of Wyoming for almost two weeks since we took off to Vegas then to his father’s house. The amount of schoolwork we returned to is overwhelming and I should be back at the apartment, studying hardcore for the Chemistry exam I have on Friday, which I should plan on attending, considering I’ve been warned about my attendance. But I can’t study right now, I’m too restless, my mind in overdrive as I keep thinking about the same sequence of things over and over again.

Preston.

My parents.

Luke’s mom.

Preston.

Who am I anymore?

This broken girl?

Confused.

Lost.

Seeking something she probably won’t find.

‘How about you head back,’ I tell Luke, crushing the empty cup and then tossing it onto a nearby coffee table. ‘And I’ll come home with Seth.’

His frown deepens. ‘Yeah, that sounds like a disaster in the making.’

I feign being offended. ‘Hey, we’ve been getting along better,’ I say, then start dancing again because sitting still is impossible. What I said is true, too. Ever since we’ve gotten back, Seth, one of my roommates who I’ve had a rocky history with – probably because he thought I was a hooker at one point – has been nicer to me. I think it’s more pity than anything else. Pity because my parents were murdered. Pity because Luke’s mother played a part in their deaths. Pity because the only true father figure I had turned out to be a creeper who has been stalking me since I was younger. Everyone seems to feel sorry for me, and in their own ways are trying to help me heal. But I’m healing in silence, at least that’s what I tell myself. During the rare times, though, that I admit the truth to myself, I know that I’m just shutting down and avoiding everything. But I can’t seem to do anything else, otherwise it feels like I’m going to break, and when I feel like I’m going to break I push myself dangerously to the edge and test potentially irreversible boundaries.

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