Chapter 1

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Love is friendship set on fire.

'I did not come here for him.' I say to myself, my hands tightening around the steering wheel as I pull up at one of the parking lots of the university.

This is probably the millionth time I'm trying to convince myself that Leo Matthews had nothing to do my choice of college. This morning.

'I came here because they have an excellent art program and while it's far enough, it's not too far from home.' I say, chewing on my lower lip.

'Okay, so maybe the other two colleges I got accepted into also had great art programs but like I said the distance of this one is just right. Even if Leo featured in the decision, it wasn't more than 2%.'

The lie resounds loudly in the silent car.

'Fine. 10%' I acquiesce, letting my head rest against the wheel in my dejection.

'He's probably all that. He's a junior and I'm a freshman. I'm sure he has all the college girls after him.' I sigh.

Steeling my shoulders, I give myself a quick pep talk.

'I am not doing this anymore. I didn't come here to pine after my brother's best friend.  I am a single, beautiful and smart young lady who is going to get out of the car right now and go to her class. It's a big school. I probably won't see him anyway. He's studying business management and I'm doing art. There's no way our paths will cross. I'm safe.'

I wait a few more minutes, gathering as much courage as I can find before I get out of the car and step into the world that is college.

The hallway is teeming with students, chatting amongst themselves or rushing to their lectures and professors doing the same. There's a relaxed but academic air around them. Everyone belongs somewhere.

No one cares whether you're a nerd or a psychopath. Not too much anyway.

Though they probably should care about the latter a little more.

The scene immediately relaxes me and I grin foolishly.

So this is what college feels like.

Someone rams into me from behind, barely stopping to mutter an apology before rushing of.

Feeling emboldened by the collegiate atmosphere, I yell a curse or two after him and smile brightly when the girl next to me beams appreciatively.

College approves of my cursing skills.

'Hi. I'm Kelsey.'

'Brenda.' She replies, shaking my proffered hand.

Her gaze sweeps the hallway. 'I feel your struggle. I've been rammed into three times already and that's just on the walk from the parking lot. It's like they don't see you standing right there in front of them and you're lucky to even get an apology out of them.'

'Instead of sweatshirts, the school should distribute glasses to its students to help them see better.' I grin, already feeling a camaraderie with Brenda.

'I don't know.' She wrinkles her tiny nose. 'I really love those school issued sweatshirts but they should definitely add glasses to the package and for those of us who can see just fine, they can throw in some cool shades.'

I throw my head back slightly as laughter bubbles out of me.

'Though the one who bumped into you was kinda cute. They shouldn't give him glasses. I wouldn't mind him bumping into me everyday as long as I get his phone number.' She says with a conspiratorial smile.

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