Entry Nickname: A Thousand Miles Astray
Title: PERMANENTLY UNDECLARED
Word Count: 60,000
Genre: NA Contemporary
Eighteen-year-old Lotus Adams has no time for college. Classes are boring, the frat boys are too slobbery, and the beer is downright nasty. Lotus’s free spirited dad has been out of contact for years, so what mom says goes, and mom says college. Lotus has a plan to find her dad that includes Flora, her dad’s vintage RV. But Mom has the keys, and to get them, Lotus has to give college her all.
For eighteen-year-old Aaron Kim, the anonymity of college is a relief. After finding his girlfriend and a friend in bed together, he threw himself into homework, work, and working out. Afraid that having fun will lead to another broken heart, he’s all business. Aside from his family and his best friend, he’s cut himself off from everyone. But after meeting cynical Lotus, he wonders if he was wrong to drop out of life.
Only Lotus knows that their time together is limited. She will find her dad. Nothing will stand in her way, not even love, because she can’t look forward without answers from her past. When Lotus has to hit the road, Aaron will be left behind, and he may not recover from a second bout of heartache. And while Lotus thought she wanted the open road, her heart may lie on a different path. They may each lose everything if Lotus goes after the only thing she thought mattered.
The grassy quad stretched out in front of me, an endless sea of students adorned in Crandall State’s colors. I was too busy sweating my ass off to look for my new roommate, so I plopped down on the edge of the lawn.
“Like sheep,” I muttered. This was too much; I needed space and the open road. I needed to know where dad was, not waste another year at school.
“What’s that?” asked the guy next to me.
“We’re sheep,” I replied. “What’s the point of all this, anyway? Some form of torture?”
“I think they call it ‘freshman orientation,’ actually.” He sounded amused and I sneaked a peek at him, wondering why he was wasting his breath. He stared at me from under black Ray-Bans, while his white hat was turned backwards. Dumb. “I take it you aren’t a fan of higher learning?”
“It was my mom’s idea. You know, if that hat was on the right way, you wouldn’t need the sunglasses.”
He smiled broadly, his shiny perfect teeth flashing at me. “I always need the sunglasses. This way, the hat stays out of my way.”
Ridiculous. “Then why wear the hat at all?”
“Bad hair day,” he replied. Everything in me said turn away, kill this conversation now.
“What, out of mousse before the first day?”
Dammit. I chided myself for encouraging him.
“Maybe I misplaced my flat iron,” he replied. He yanked off the hat, and pulled his hand through glossy black hair.