A Beautiful Forever - By Anderson, Lilliana
First and foremost I must thank all of the Beta readers and Advanced reviewers who agreed to look over this book.
Mary – who was my constant sounding board during my re-writes, Betchiva, Pati, Alyssa, Wendy, Isabel, Ginnie, Jenny, Crystal, April, Sara, ‘Brazillian Girl’, Anne, Liona, Kristy and the very enthusiastic Nancy (I loved your email and I’ll keep it always!!)
Whether, you loved it, hated it, or just couldn’t find the time to read it – I still greatly appreciate the support you gave me, no matter how small.
A big thank you also to my ‘Reader Valentine’ Celsey, who spend the month of February promoting my work to earn herself a cameo within this book. Love you!
I also want to thank my family, especially my husband for supporting me while I write. My husband listened to my ideas and gave me great story suggestions, and held my hand while I bit my fingernails nervously while I waited for reviews to come back.
The very last thank you is to you, the person reading right now – you are the whole entire reason that I have worked so hard to create this book. Enjoy.
Encouraging the sweaty, grunting man in front of me to tuck his knees closer to his chest as he does mountain climbers, I distractedly scan the people and the scenery in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, as I do every time I bring a client here.
That’s when I finally see her, her movement is unmistakable as she runs in a rhythmic pace along the path in front of me. The two years I spent trying to get over her just fell away like I didn’t even live them, and I’m taken right back to where I was, wanting her, wishing I could touch her.
Holding my breath, I watch her, her pony tail swinging from side to side as her feet hit the concrete. When she turns her head in my direction, a gripping pain creeps over my chest, constricting my airways when I see the recognition steal over her face.
I was kind of hoping she’d run past me, so I could convince myself I was seeing things, but no such luck. She’s stopped running and is smiling brightly at me. My stomach flips in response while my arm automatically waves at her. All of a sudden, I hear myself telling my client that I’ll be back in a minute, as my feet propel me toward her.
Katrina is standing with her hands on her hips grinning at me as I approach. I have so much I want to say to her, but mostly I just want to touch her again. My body is screaming at me to reach out. But I don’t.
“What’s this?” she asks me immediately, indicating the logo on my shirt. I smile to myself - she’s never been one to mince words. She seems exactly the same, like I only saw her yesterday.
Looking at my shirt, I chuckle uncomfortably. “I’m a personal trainer now,” I inform her.
Her eyebrows shoot up in surprise, “What? What about becoming a barrister?”
Still smiling I shake my head from side to side, “That was my father’s dream for me. After you left, I did a lot of soul-searching and decided to make my own path,” I answer, scanning her body, drinking in every little detail.
“Wow, that’s amazing Elliot. I'm really happy for you.”
My eyes land on her left hand, and my chest tightens as I see the ring she now wears. Swallowing the ball that has suddenly lodged itself firmly in my throat, I say, “Looks like congratulations is owed to you as well. Is that from David?”
She looks at her hand briefly, like she needs to confirm that we’re looking at the same thing and gives me a small nod. “Oh thank you, the wedding is a while off, but everything else is great.” Giving me a tight smile, she meets my eyes and places her hand back on her hip. “How about you? How are things with you?”
I look into her face, searching for some semblance of the way she used to look at me, but there's nothing there. I shift a little uneasily on my feet, suddenly feeling slightly sick in the guts.
Clearing my throat, I finally answer her, “Well, I don’t really speak to my dad anymore – which really is a good thing; and I’m seeing someone now. It took a while – and she’s not you... but things are ok. I’m certainly not ready for a commitment like