Authors: Sara Daniell
Bad things didn’t happen in our small town, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t.
Anything could happen, and it was a Friday night: my own personal doomsday.
Seventeen-year-old Elena lived a vibrant life with a great boyfriend and great friends. Little did she know that turning in her pom-poms was the least of the changes she would experience in the upcoming year. Life-changing, heart-shattering circumstances would soon cause her happy life to crumble right in front of her.
The once fun-loving Elena retreated into herself, finding it easier to push people out than chance more heartache. Just when she figured out how to keep herself busy enough to ignore the imperfections of her life, Finn Kerr showed up with one mission: to prove that life could be more than disappointment and betrayal. Life could be fun and exciting. Life could be unexpected. Life could be forgiving.
ANYTHING GOES ON A FRIDAY NIGHT
Copyright © 2016 Sara Daniell
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior written permission of the publisher.
This book is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Library of Congress Control Number:
HOLLY NATHER SERIES
THE RIVERBEND SERIES
WITH J.L. HACKETT
To my husband…
my best friend…
my partner in crime.
I love you.
ONE DAY SHE FINALLY
grasped that unexpected things were always going to happen in life. And with that she realized the only control she had was how she chose to handle them. So she made the decision to survive using courage, humor, and grace. She was the queen of her own life and the choice was hers.
— Lupytha Hermin
HIS WAS MY YEAR.
I was grabbing it by the horns, wrestling it to the ground, and claiming victory. I was done hiding the real me behind trying to achieve the status quo. First thing to go were my pom-poms. I taped the box of cheer memorabilia shut and shoved it into the back of my closet.
I could never jump as high as the other girls. I couldn’t cheer as loudly, and I was as clumsy as a toddler after riding a merry-go-round. I thought being a cheerleader would help me fit into this crazy little world called high school, but it didn’t. It only made me realize how horrible it felt to try to be somebody I wasn’t. My senior year was full of plans to figure out exactly who Elena Johnson was. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
I shut my closet door and slipped on my black Toms. I gave myself one last look in the mirror to make sure my green eyeliner was smudged in the corners—just right—and left my room.
The smell of bacon filled the hallway, and my mouth watered. Breakfast for dinner was always the best.
“What time do you plan on being back tonight?” Mom flipped a pancake and smiled at me as I came through the kitchen door.
“I guess that depends on what time you want me home.” I opened the fridge and got out the orange juice.
She put her free hand on her hip and stacked the finished pancakes on a plate. “No later than 10:00.”
I put the orange juice on the counter next to the glasses Mom had already set out. “Alrighty.” I slipped my rubber band from my wrist and pulled my long blonde hair into a messy bun.
“Can you help me bring everything to the table?”
I grabbed the plate of bacon and followed Mom into the dining room. We filled our plates with eggs, bacon, and a pile of pancakes. I smothered my pancakes with syrup and then handed it to Mom who did the same.
“How do you feel about this being your first game in the bleachers instead of cheering?”
“I’m excited. I was never that good anyway. I’m doing everyone a favor by not being on that field!” I chuckled.
Mom laughed around a forkful of food. After chewing and taking a drink she looked at me. “You were great, Elena. Better than most of the girls out there.”
I rolled my eyes. “You have to say that because you’re my mom.”
“No, I say that because it’s true. You have always been hard on yourself. If you aren’t the best at something, you find something else you can do that you can be better at. You get that from your father.”
“Speaking of Dad, shouldn’t he have called by now?”
She looked at her watch and frowned. “Yeah. Maybe his meeting went longer than he had planned.”
“Probably. Tell him I’ll text him during the game if he calls.”
“I will. Are you driving tonight or is Channing?”
“I’m driving. Channing is meeting me there, because he’s going to be late. Katie will be there when I get there, though.”
Mom smiled knowingly. “You and Channing sure are getting serious.”
“Yeah, he’s great. We’re doing really good. But it’s kind of scary, ya know?”
She nodded. “I know. You become so vulnerable when you love someone.”
“How did you know you loved Dad?”
Her eyes turned dreamy, and her smile grew like it always did at the mention of Dad. “I just knew. You just know these things, Ellie. Deep down in your bones, you can feel it. It almost hurts.”
“And you think I love Channing?”
“I can’t answer that. Only you can. I know you tell him that you do.”
I took a bite of bacon and thought about what she said.
I tell him, and he tells me the same thing. I feel like what we have is love, but he’s the first guy I’ve felt this way for, so it’s hard to be sure.
I looked at the time and saw I needed to leave if I was going to meet Katie on time. I stood with my plate in my hands and kissed Mom on top of her head. “Love you. I’ll be home at 10:00.”
Mom looked at my plate. “Honey, you barely ate anything.”
“I’ll take it with me and finish it on my way there. I don’t want to be late.”
“Please, be careful, okay? And text me as soon as you get there!” She stood and hugged me tight.
“I will. See you later!”