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Authors: Lorena Angell

Tags: #Fantasy, #Young Adult

A Diamond in My Pocket

BOOK: A Diamond in My Pocket
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A Diamond in my Pocket

Book
one of The Unaltered Series

 

by Lorena
Angell

 

Copyright
2012 Lorena Angell

3nd
Edition 10/18/2012

Amazon
Edition

 

License
Notes

This
book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing
without written permission from the publisher, Lorena Angell.

 

This
ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be
re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book
with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If
you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for
your use only, then please return to amazon.com and purchase your own copy. Thank
you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

Warning:
Any unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is
illegal. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded or distributed via the
internet or any other means, electronic or print, without the publisher’s
permission.

 

This
book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or
places, events or locales is entirely coincidental. The names, characters,
places and incidents are productions of the author’s imagination and used
fictitiously.

 

 

For
more titles by Lorena Angell visit her blog:

http://lorenaangell.blogspot.com

 

Special
thanks to:

My
family and personal friends for unending support and encouragement; and for
pretending to be interested. To my twitter friends @LorenaAngell1 who’ve spread
the word through social media. And to Larry, for believing in me; thanks honey.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

Olympic Dreams

 

I don’t understand what’s happening
to me. Something strange and unexplainable is going on inside my body and there
isn’t anyone I can tell; I wouldn’t even know where to start. Moments ago, my
track coach informed me my time for the 100m broke the school record and then he
asked me what I ate for breakfast.

I haven’t changed anything in my
lifestyle. No additional training, no special dietary alterations and certainly
no performance enhancing drugs, but my instincts tell me that will be the next
question someone will ask. At least my name can be cleared from illegal drug
use, but I don’t think this deep molecular change within my bones and muscles
is something peeing in a cup can explain. The race was only a few minutes ago
and normally I would still be cooling down with an elevated heart rate and
sweat beads running down my neck, instead, I am rested, relaxed and ready to
run again. Weird.

I’m not a track star or spectacular
in any sense of the word. I joined the team last season in my sophomore year
from the encouragement of Coach Simms, my algebra teacher. I didn’t do it
because of extraordinary skill or to bring attention to myself. Instead, I
joined because an extracurricular sport was better than being home alone after
school.

My father is a brain surgeon and my
mother is a psychiatrist. One could say both of them work on head cases. I like
to think of it as one dealing with the thought processes and the other with the
functionality. Even though they are in high demand in their respective medical
fields, they both made time for me over the years, especially for the short
time when I lost my hearing in middle school.

I became the victim of a prank. Someone
rigged a bathroom stall with a firecracker and I was the unlucky one to find
it. The small, all tile area amplified the percussion and decibels so much my
ear drums ruptured. I still remember the intense pain as if someone was pounding
an ice pick in my eardrum. My ears didn’t work for a couple of days and, as
anticipated, infection set in. My parents were on top of my situation every
step of the way. But even with all their combined knowledge on the matter only
so much could be done. I endured months of pain, injections, surgeries, speech
therapy and was taught how to read lips in order to communicate.

I healed over time but never lost
my lip reading ability. Over the years, my mother advised me against letting my
classmates know I understood their whispers lest my ability be taken advantage
of.  She was right. As soon as I returned to school, I picked up on
conversations in the lunch room typical of the age range and the cafeteria
became even noisier than before.
Did you hear what she said?
Do you
know what I heard about him?—
I got so sick of all the gossip and backbiting
on the lips of others, I had no choice but to bury my face in books. That’s
where my fascination for science and the medical field came about. Once I began
reading and learning about how the human body works, I couldn’t get enough. I’m
pretty sure I’ve read every book in the library on the subject.

It’s never been my desire to be the
center of attention; which explains why I didn’t try out for cheerleading or
drill team. I’m fine with being plain ol’ Calli Courtnae void of the limelight
and undiscovered by the boys. I help the ‘lack of boys’ attention’ thing along
though. I’m not one to wear the current fashions or sport the latest hair
styles, and wearing excessive jewelry is pointless to me. It’s not in my nature
to do these things. In my opinion, these mundane teenage popularity contests
are a waste of energy and I can do better things with my time than stress
myself out about what others think of me. Besides, there aren’t any good
looking boys in my whole school worthy of getting dolled up over. I suppose
Brand Safferson is the most sought after guy because he’s quarterback; but he’s
not all that good looking in my opinion.

Sometimes my mother gets a little
uptight about my lack of friends and interested boys in my life, and who can
blame her, but I do have one friend; Suzanne James. She became my friend in
middle school and stayed by my side ever since the accident. She supported me
through my medical troubles and understands me better than anyone. I’m not
bothered with her spending more time with her other friends, but I am amused
when she comes to me after she’s had enough estrogen-packed gossiping,
backbiting, two faced-ism. Suz tells me all the time I’m ‘ubber-mature’ for my
age. I don’t think she’s right. I think I’m level headed and I don’t get
involved in the drama, that’s all.

Our favorite thing to do is go to
the mall and observe the behavior of people. We refer to it as ‘Human Nature
101’. Sitting in front of the Toyland store is the best because we get a front
row seat to all the bratty screaming kids being dragged out by their humiliated
mothers. Suz and I are positive we will never be overrun by our children. We’ll
be better.

We also like to sit near the food
courtyard and critique the other teenagers’ behavior. One thing never ceases to
amaze me; jocks are jerks.

It’s one thing to be an athlete who
cares about their grades and tries hard to achieve in their sport, but the
arrogant, cocky, strutting, ‘can’t get better than a C’ jock is a true degradation
of the human species … only one step up from primates. The last thing I wanted
to become was one of those conceited jocks Suz and I loved to criticize.

I sat on the bleachers in a daze as
the rest of the track meet completed. The stares and whisperings of my
teammates and spectators didn’t go unnoticed. I’m glad my parents weren’t here
to witness my unnatural feat. What would they have to say about it? My mother
would demand to know what I took to run like that, even though she knows I’m
clean.

On the way back to the locker room
a couple of senior boys walked past me and patted my shoulder. “Hey Courtnae,
want to share some of your ‘speed’ with the rest of us?” One teased and the
rest of them laughed and went on ahead.

Typical. They think I’m on drugs. Idiotic
troglodytes.

“Calli, hold up.”

I turned and saw Coach Simms coming
toward me with a well dressed woman at his side. “Would you come into my office
after you change?”

I nodded and entered the locker
room. The hum of conversation from within came to a sudden halt as I made my
way to my place. I glanced around the room as the other girls averted their
eyes, so, I answered what I could only guess they must be thinking, “No, I’m
not on steroids!” The girls all looked away as if I’d read their minds. Their
opinions of me didn’t matter; the impending meeting with the coach did however.

“Calli, come in. Sit, please.” Coach
Simms sat in his tattered office chair behind his messy desk with a giant smile
beaming from ear to ear. I did as he asked, sitting on a metal folding chair
and glanced over at the gorgeous woman to my right. “Calli, this is Mrs. Clara
Winter. She is with the Athletic Training Association and is a personal trainer
to athletes competing in the Olympics. She would like to talk to you.”

Mrs. Winter was the most elegant
woman I’ve met in person. She had a kind of soap opera appearance, the sort
where everything coordinates right down to her manicured and polished nails,
and not one hair on her head was where it shouldn’t be. I wondered if she had a
stylist who followed her around primping her to look exquisite. In all honesty
though, I was painfully aware of how substandard I must appear to her. Wait a minute;
did Coach just use the word ‘Olympics’ in a sentence?

She spoke with a beautiful fluid
voice, “Ms. Courtnae, you were amazingly fast out there today. Are you taking any—?”

I cut her off, “No, I’m not on
steroids!” I thrust out my arm. “Take my blood or test my pee if you don’t
believe me!” Beautiful or not, no one was going to accuse me of cheating.

“Calm down, Ms. Courtnae. You
understand I had to ask, not to worry, I believe you. Your coach tells me this
is your first time to win the 100m. Pardon me for sounding rude, but your
fastest time to date was only fourteen-point-five seconds which occurred only
last weekend. Today you have broken the record. Tell me Ms. Courtnae, how does
something like that happen?”

“I don’t know; you tell me. Maybe
the clock was off and I didn’t actually break our school’s record.”

Coach Simms leaned forward in his
squeaky chair, “Calli, you broke the world record.
The Men’s World Record!
It’s unofficial, of course, but all the same amazing.”

“Ms. Courtnae, the reason I’m here
is to invite you to come to my training facility in Montana and train for the
Olympics.”

“The O-Olympics?” I tried not to
stammer, but my cognitive function was impaired.

“Yes. I would like to meet with
your parents as soon as possible. The deadline for qualifications is right
around the corner so we must act now.”

“I, uh, can call my Mom about
meeting tonight.”

“Perfect.”

 

****

“Oh, Calli, I’ve known something
like this would happen to you. It’s your moment to shine,” my mother said as
she gave me a big hug. I pulled her close not wanting to let go. Our flight was
announced over the intercom as now boarding and I released my grasp from my
mother and flung my arms around my father.

“I’m proud of you Calli.” The
sincerity in his gentle voice almost brought tears to my eyes. “Now, go show them
how well Ohio girls run.”

“We’ll take care of her. There is
no reason to worry.” Mrs. Winter comforted my parents.

We left and proceeded through
security and to our waiting airplane. In the company of the world’s most
beautiful woman I couldn’t help but notice how many heads turned our way. I
knew no one gave me a second glance but I was used to that; probably the same
way Mrs. Winter was used to all the attention.

The two of us found our seats and
settled in for a long flight which would take us to Denver, Colorado, where we
would catch a connecting flight to Bozeman, Montana. From Bozeman we would be
driving to our destination, arriving by evening.

“Mrs. Winter, what can I expect
when we arrive?” I asked once we were in the air.

“The training facility is a large building
set high in the Rocky Mountains. As of now, there are close to two hundred
residents living and working at the compound. You’ll be tutored with your
school work in between training sessions so you do not fall behind your age
level.”

“Any other girls close to my age?” I
tried to picture the athletes who competed in the Olympics. The only images
coming into my mind were those of older, well-developed women.

“Calli, why don’t you rest? You
have a big day ahead of you tomorrow.” Mrs. Winter wasn’t asking, but more
telling me to quiet down.

BOOK: A Diamond in My Pocket
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