Wrecked - By Shiloh Walker

Inspired by the wonderfully fun

Wreck This Journal

by Keri Smith.

My Life by Thirty

1. Own my own catering business (goal met age 26)

2. Buy my own house—no fucking condos, damn it (goal met age 28)

3. Get a boyfriend—a serious one (goal met age 28)

4. Get married (June 4!!!!)

5. Sever all ties with female parental unit and never go back (goal met age 18)

Chapter One

Standing in front of the neat little writing desk, Abigale Applegate stared at the journal. Back when she’d made out the list, she hadn’t had much of an idea of what a business plan was. Oh, she’d heard the term. Her agent had tossed it around during brainstorming sessions with her mother. Her mother would then loftily discuss it with people in whatever social circle she’d decided to torment with her presence.

After all, a business plan, a life plan . . . some sort of plan was necessary for a child star. Because a child star wasn’t going to be a real star once she grew up without having some sort of plan, her mother had liked to point out.

Yeah, she’d heard the phrase before. Over and over, ad nauseum.

But Abigale hadn’t understood it.

There had been times when she’d heard the damn phrase so much, she’d just wanted to scream. But then she’d come to realize, it wasn’t the planning that bothered her.

It was the fact that somebody else was doing the planning.

Somebody else was in control.

Right up until she turned seventeen and seized control herself. Wrested it away from her mother in an ugly court battle and made her life her own. She’d left the house only hours after her father’s funeral, but it had taken months to finalize everything in court, and her mother had fought it every step of the way. Of course she’d fought it; if Abigale was on her own, then her dearest mother couldn’t spend all the money Abigale had made. It was during those long, endless months of fighting everything out in court that Abigale had come up with her own plan. She would plan out her own life. Get away from her mother, the life her mother had mapped out, and all those manipulative plans to control her life and force her back into a world where she no longer belonged.

Abigale Applegate had grown up and at seventeen she was no longer cute little Kate from a show that had once made millions of people laugh.

Back when she was a kid, she’d been “discovered,” landing a starring role in a sitcom, Kate + Nate, but those two cute kids no longer existed. Kate had grown up. Nate had joined the army and died a heroic death.

Her co-star Zach Barnes had done some bit acting for a while and then decided to call it quits and go to school.

Abigale had called it quits and run as far away from Hollywood as she could get. She didn’t want to be an actress.

She just wanted a normal life. A normal job. A home. A husband. Kids.

And up until two hours ago, she’d thought it was all within her reach. That final goal, only two months away: get married. A knot the size of the Grand Canyon seemed to have settled in her throat and she couldn’t breathe around it.

Her fiancé had just dumped her, the son of a bitch. That egotistical, stupid, blind son of a bitch.

I’m sorry, Abigale, but you’re not being true to yourself. How can I marry a woman who won’t be true to herself? How can I trust you to be true to me? Roger had watched her with sad, compassionate eyes and the entire time she’d wanted to hit him.

She’d kept the wild impulse under control, just like she kept all her wild impulses under control. She didn’t give in to crazy urges and she didn’t dance in the rain; she’d never had a torrid affair and she hated chaos. That didn’t mean she wasn’t being true to herself.

Abigale knew what she wanted, damn it.

Tears burned her eyes and she blinked them away.

You are an actress . . . a star. Why do you pretend otherwise?

“Conceited ass.” She dashed the back of one hand across her eyes. A star? She tried not to think about how often he’d thrown in lines like Abigale is an actress and the little jokes he’d liked to make about how they wouldn’t always be in Arizona—bigger and better things ahead for Abigale!

She’d told him more than once that she was done with that life.