by Elison Grace
Release date: Nov. 3, 2015
The only thing Cory took serious was his career as a firefighter. His relationships consisted of nothing more than one night stands.
Until he met her.
After Carrie’s heart has been shattered she changed her life. Forced herself to become a strong-willed, independent woman. She didn't need anyone to support her.
Especially a man.
Cory makes it his mission to win Carrie’s love and trust. Can he help rebuild her shattered heart or
will their hearts end up in a pile of ashes?
Unedited and subject to change
July 2013 Carrie There are those defining moments in life when your world as you have known it is ripped away from you. You have to decide if you are going to lie down and let it crush you or are you going to get up, strap on your big girl panties, and make a new life. I chose the latter. When my world and future were ripped away from me I chose to redefine myself and become an independent woman. I have been dependent on people my entire life and it has gotten me nothing, but heartache and pain. Time for a change. I could not believe that I was preparing to marry the man I have loved since I was sixteen years old. Standing in front of the mirror, I felt like a cake topper in my mother’s choice of dress. It was not me at all. You could barely see me or my figure amongst the mounds of tulle in the skirt. The top is long sleeved with lace resting along the collar bone and the back dipping wide, stopping just below my shoulder blades. My exposed shoulder blades were the only skin you could find in this dress. I wanted to take it off as soon as I put it on, but, for my mother’s sake, I came out to show the group. I don’t know why I bothered. There was not a dress in the universe that would make us both happy. This could be why my wedding dress was one of the last things I needed to pick for the wedding. If I was being honest, it was one of the only things I really got to pick. My mother was trying to hijack that too. When she heard that Toby and I had gotten engaged, she immediately got on the phone with Lois, Toby’s mom. Together the two of them have been planning their dream wedding for us. They came together to pick the location of the wedding, reception and over the top hotel ballroom. The colors, robin’s egg blue with ivory accents with ivory roses all around, are boring. I let them plan it all because they were paying and I didn’t care enough to fight. I just wanted to be married to Toby. He is my heart. We have been together since we were sixteen. Nobody knew me better than him. He is my constant and my strength and I couldn’t wait to have that in my life forever. That’s I all I care about. They can have the rest, except for the dress. I want to pick a dress that makes me feel beautiful and confidant, not like a cake topper. “Oh, you look like a bride!” Mother coos as Lois nods her agreement. Rolling my eyes, I decide I have to take a stand or I will be stuck in this monstrosity of a wedding dress for my wedding. “I hate this and I’m not going to wear it. I am going to go back in there, resist the urge to burn this dress, and come out in something I love. This is my day. I appreciate everything you two have done for me, but I need to pick this dress myself.” Gathering the mass of tulle I stormed off into the dressing room. The consultant followed me in. “From now on we are just focusing on my picks. Let’s start with that one please,” I said as I pointed to the dress that caught my eye as soon as I walked in. Sliding the dress over my head, she zipped it up and I turned to face the mirror. Goose bumps pricked my arms and my breath caught. This is the dress that I would marry Toby in. The dress was everything I never knew I wanted. It just felt right. The bodice was covered in intricate flower patterned lace with pearl straps. The skirt was light ivory tulle with a shear organza overlay. The same lace from the bodice adorned the bottom of the skirt. The piece that made it perfect was the silver belt that was intricately detailed like the lace and had pearl accents throughout. I had considered taking it off and having them ring it up. I really didn’t want the mothers to ruin this for me. There is no way that would be acceptable to the mothers so I went out there to let them know that this was the one and I am not changing my mind. Stepping onto the podium, I look at myself in the big mirror. This was it and I just had to make them see it. I called the bridal consultant over and asked her if she could get me a veil to put on with the dress. I need all the help I can get to get us all on the same page. Turning towards the group I wait for them to shoot the dress down so I can defend it. My mother’s hand flies to her mouth her eyes sparkle with unshed tears. She looks over at my future mother in law and they both nod. “This is it. You look gorgeous.” My mother in law says. Yes, I have found the one. Turning back to the mirror I inspect myself in the mirror. I look like a bride. I am going to walk down the aisle and marry the man of my dreams in this dress. He is going to love it. My phone chirped from my purse that I had left with my mother. I ignored it. That wasn’t the time for texts. It was time for my celebration. The phone chirped three more times consecutively so I decide that whoever it is must think that whatever they have to say is important. Stepping off the pedestal, I dig my phone from purse and slide my finger across the screen to see who it is. There were four texts from Toby. Opening the first one, I gasped. It was a close up picture of a girl with her lips wrapped around a dick. At first, I was like what the fuck is this? Upon closer inspection I saw the black tribal tattoo down his side that I knew so well. I sat beside Toby when he got it last year. My hands begin to shake. I know I shouldn’t open the rest, but, I can’t seem to stop myself. The next one is a picture of Toby and a bleach blond kissing. Tears stream down my face as everyone watches me. I have not said a word so they don’t know that my heart is shattering. Opening the third, my eyes land on a picture that looks like it was taken by Toby. It shows the entire front of the same girl, fully naked and exposed, as she is riding him. My knees buckle as I look at it and my future is ripped away from me. I switch to the final text. Toby: Heard you were getting married. Wanted to show you who you were committing your life to. Throwing the phone as if the words had burned me, I sat there on the floor in a pile of tulle and organza crying over my shattered heart and demolished future. They say that timing is everything and the timing of the job offer to be a teacher at Loveland Elementary in Colorado couldn’t have been better if I had planned it. I have graduated from Iowa State with a teaching degree. Originally the plan was to try to get a position around Ames, get married, have the two point five kids, and live happily ever after with my high school sweetheart. It was the fairytale everyone talks about. That fairy tale has been crushed and it’s time to create a new story featuring me alone as the heroine. I had not applied to schools out of state and I was surprised when they had called me asking if I would be interested in starting in the upcoming school year. I guess my professor had a friend there and called them to recommend me after she had heard that I may need a new start. I could kiss her for this because that is exactly what I need. I accepted the position without any hesitation and began arranging my new life in Loveland, Colorado. Through the internet I found a girl who was looking for a roommate. She is a nurse at the cancer center there and seems really nice. My parents have helped me with starting money because they really want me to move away. They don’t like the way my tainted marriage plans and decimated future make them look to their friends. Apparently, I am now an embarrassment because Toby was sticking his dick in other women behind my back. My car is packed to the brim with all of my possessions. If it didn’t fit in the car, it was staying here. Can you think of a better way to force a new start? I can’t. I don’t have the room to bring my past with me so I have to go and start anew in a new place. Starting with new stuff. Waking up early, I slide into my Grad Am SE. I don’t bother to say goodbye to mother or the rest of the family. What’s the point? They want me gone so I’m gone. They are not getting any teary, heartfelt goodbyes. They would just be a lie anyway. Backing from the driveway, I start the long drive to Colorado; to my new life.