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Something More Than This

By´╝ÜBarbie Bohrman

PROLOGUE

At thirteen, a very close friendship blossomed into love, although unrequited.

It seems impossible to be in love at that age. That the mind of a thirteen-year-old could not come close to comprehending the intense, almost blinding emotions that arrest your heart and stutter your breathing until somehow, rational thought is nothing but a temporary reprieve from the constant buzzing in your head.

But for me, it was true.

And it was also true that he would go on to break my heart into a million pieces a few years later.

I can look back now and cherish the friendship we had, but the nagging question remains . . . what if?

Years later I would be faced with this same question, but this time the tables would be turned and the blurred lines of friendship would make it impossible to see what was right in front of me all along.





CHAPTER ONE

There! That’s what was missing. Now it’s perfect.

I read over the article for what seems like the millionth time before e-mailing it to my editor with six minutes to spare. Phew! That one was close. Not that I haven’t grazed a deadline before. Sometimes I’ve come within a minute or two, which always gets me a stern talking to or a look that’s supposed to terrify me into submission by said editor. But coming from Dylan Sterling, editor in chief of the Florida Observer and my boss, the lectures and looks don’t terrify me at all.

That’s probably because Dylan couldn’t scare me even if he was dressed as the grim reaper, hiding in one of the closets in my apartment waiting to jump out at me. That megawatt smile of his will always give him away. We’ve known each other since we met at our college newspaper. After he had skimmed through a handful of my clippings from my high school newspaper by way of an interview, he immediately said to me, “Katy, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

And it definitely has been.

He was a senior and took this newbie freshman under his experienced wing and became my mentor. Dylan taught me all I needed to know to survive this business and then some. And when I was fresh out of college, he took a gamble on me yet again and gave me my very first job as a journalist at my hometown newspaper.

It’s a midsized daily newspaper based in Fort Lauderdale that has a circulation of just over seventy thousand subscribers. I cover the local high school sports beat, focusing on high school football, which is a pretty big deal around here. Especially since one of the teams went to the state championship last season. Unfortunately, they lost. But this season I think they have a much better shot at winning the whole enchilada.

I’ve been at the Observer for the last four years, and at least once a week I’m precariously close to missing my deadline. It’s not from a lack of trying. It’s more that I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

Actually, I’m a huge perfectionist.

But that’s what makes me good at my job. Actually, that’s what makes me great at my job. It also helps that I love what I do with every fiber of my being.

My older brothers, Jonathan and Simon, instilled in me a lot of love, respect, and admiration for the game of football. Unfortunately, being a girl—well, now a woman—I can’t play the actual game anymore without it being ridiculously painful. But instead of fighting the good fight that some girls do—and it is a damn good fight—I decided to take my love of the game and turn it into a career in sports journalism. Eventually, I hope to make it to the big time: covering the NFL for the larger newspaper in circulation in South Florida and then accomplishing my goal of working in any way, shape, or form at Sports Illustrated.

So here I am at twenty-five years old, doing what I love to do on a daily basis and enjoying every minute of it. The bustling of the newsroom around me never ceases to pump the blood in my veins. It reminds me why I have to work harder than most people here.

It takes thick skin to be a woman sports reporter. There are folks who assume that there is no possible way I could know what I’m writing or talking about, so I get a curious amount of hate mail every week. And I do read it . . . can’t really help myself. But those letters fuel the fire to prove the naysayers wrong and show them that a woman can do this job just as well as any man could, if not better.

I’d like to think that I do.

My phone starts to vibrate then, looking like it’s trying its hardest to skip across my desk and escape. I don’t even have to look to see who it is before I swipe the screen and start talking.

“You’re losing your touch,” I say. “You usually call me within a minute after I send you my final copy. What’s it been? Like, two or three minutes?”

“What can I say? I was in awe of your prose for a minute more than usual,” Dylan says.

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