Chapter 1 : Prologue
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It was as soft as a whisper, as wild as a storm. I was fifteen. Love was as far from my mind as the icy cold of winter. Maybe I should have seen it coming. I should have known, should have seen it in his eyes. But I didn’t. I was caught up in the heat, in the romance of freedom.
I had never been in love before—not really. Sometimes I would catch a boy’s smile or toss out a laugh, but I never cared for long. Mum said she knew she loved Dad from the moment she saw him. I wished I had such certainty. Instead I was drifting, alone on a cloud of nothing. I tried not to care too much, and I succeeded. I reveled in my liberty—using it to do whatever I liked with my time. Some days I was at the beach, others I spent reading in a field of flowers. My nights were filled with stars.
My friends wrote me many times, asking me to hang out with them. I always responded—though sometimes I wanted to say no—saying that I would love to. They were good friends, if only they left me alone about my love life. They thought any girl who didn’t have a boyfriend or who wasn’t getting over a guy was mentally ill. I wished I could make them understand that I didn’t need a boyfriend.
“Lily,” they’d say, “you’re a pretty girl, you could have practically any boy you’d bother to chase after.”
Perhaps that was the problem, I didn’t want to chase anybody. I wanted someone to chase me.
But no one did.
At least I didn’t have to deal with James and Albus’ teasing. They were more often than not out of the house, James with his girlfriend and Albus with his friends. It was a relief to have my big brothers out of the house and out of my hair.
My brothers both had their fair share of romance. James had been going steady with his girlfriend since his sixth year and Albus never seemed to be without one. Although, at the moment he seemed to be ready to breakup with his current one. I wondered how it felt, a breakup. In most books I had read it was a heartbreaking, soul-shattering event. Of course most books I read were teenage romances so they may not have been the most factual stories.
It didn’t matter anyway—I hadn’t even had a boyfriend yet. I didn’t need to worry about breaking up. All I had to worry about was how hot it was, or how late Mum and Dad let me stay out alone.
That was my summer, simple and easy. Maybe I did want a boyfriend, maybe I didn’t. I convinced myself that the freedom of loneliness was worth it. There was nothing wrong with it. I was caught in a cage of freedom, waiting for someone to pull me out.
And then he came, chasing me into a storm.