London FallingBy: T. A. Foster
As always, my family deserves so much credit for supporting me through all of my books. Thank you for everything that you do.
Thank you, Mary-Kathryn for the endless reading and feedback you gave me throughout the creation of London Falling. Beau and London wouldn’t be who they are without your help.
Thank you, Jessica for pointing me in this direction. London Falling wouldn’t even exist if you hadn’t encouraged me to try something new.
Even though my Carolina days aren’t that far behind me, I desperately needed your help, Kelly to submerge myself back into college life. Thanks for the inside scoop on all things Carolina and for letting me pretend for just one more day that I was a student.
I’m so lucky to have such a fantastic editor in H. Danielle Crabtree—you teach me something new with every book. Not many authors can say they have an emergency on-call editing consultant—Jennifer, thank you.
To all the bloggers and readers out there, thank you for reading!
For all of my Carolina Girls
I needed this. It was one grade. It was my graduation, my future, and my life—what choice did I have? He would forget this ever happened. We both would.
I tapped out the last sentence and pushed the enter button with limited certainty.
It was done. Now I just had to wait.
Three Months Earlier
I brushed my flyaway bangs from my eyes and settled into a seat in the middle of the lecture hall. The oversized room was drafty, but I shirked the heavy coat from my shoulders and rubbed my arms a few times. At least the layered scarf wrapped around my neck gave the illusion of warmth.
How was it possible that four years of my life came down to this last semester? If the class had been offered in the fall I would have already taken it, aced the class, and graduated in December. However, the-powers-that-be who create the labyrinth of class schedules only offer Communication 224 in the spring. And without the class, I couldn’t apply for graduation.
I guess the advantage of having such a light schedule this semester was the extra time I would have for theater group. Nina and Derek needed help. They always needed help when it came to the Encore Theater ensemble we joined as freshmen. The plays didn’t produce themselves.
Students filtered in a few at a time, filling in the gaps in the stadium-like seating. Backpacks littered the little space left in the aisles. In unison, we pulled out our laptops and began the pre-class ritual of checking in with our friends.
I logged on to Facebook, just to make sure Nina posted the announcement about open auditions for Spoiled Hearts. Maybe it was the cold weather or the spring semester blues, but we hadn’t received much interest in the play. This was Derek’s debut as a playwright, and Nina and I were doing our damnedest to make it a success. That boy could write—the rest of campus would know it soon. Other than paying people for tryouts, we were running out of ideas to fill up the cast. Before I could add my comments to the catchy post, the lights started flickering. Wait, was this curtain call?
“Welcome, everyone.” The woman at the front of the room cleared her throat and smiled at the students scattered in front of her. “I’m Professor Garcia and this is Communication 224: Current Issues in TV and Social Media.”
I closed out my screen and typed a new heading on a blank document.
“Before I move forward with my expectations for the semester, I want you to put those things away.” She shooed her hand in the direction of a line of computers dotting the front row. “Yes, I know what you’re thinking.” She rolled her eyes. “This might be a class on social media, but I don’t actually want you on social media while we’re in class. Understood?”
I didn’t see any heads nod, but Professor Garcia continued as if the entire class was on board with her rules.
“Most of you have heard that this class is a little unusual.” As she pulled the mic clipped to her lapel close to her lips, she smiled.
The class nervously chuckled in agreement. Communication 224 had a reputation for being the most unexpected class in the Communication Department. The waitlist to get in was always long and it didn’t help that it was only offered once a year. Maybe now that I was enrolled in the class I would actually find out what the buzz was about.