Romance: Teen Romance: Follow Your Dreams (A Nerd and a Bad Boy Romance) (New Adult High School Sports Romance)

Copyright 2015 by Stella White - All rights reserved.

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Respective authors own all copyrights not held by the publisher.



Follow Your Dreams


A Young Adult Romance



By: Stella White



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YOUNG ADULT Romance – Follow Your Dreams


Chapter One


Joanna stepped out onto the porch, looking down the street toward the church on the corner. There were people all around it. She took a drink from her soda bottle and narrowed her eyes to focus a little better. It was a wedding. She could tell by the long limousine and the black tuxedos. Somebody had done it all fancy. She watched for a little longer, enjoying the Georgia sun on her face.

“You feeling okay, Joanna?” She heard from behind her. She turned to see her mother, Naomi, coming out from the entrance to the house. Joanna turned back to look down the street at the wedding again, nodding.

Just watching that wedding down there.
Wonder who got married?”

Her mother came out and stood next to her, gazing down the street. “I have no idea. Haven’t been to that church the entire time we’ve lived here.”

Joanna looked at her mother. “You’ve done really well, Mom. I’m proud of you.”

Naomi raised her eyebrows. “Well, thank you, dear.” She put one arm around Joanna’s shoulders and gave her a hug. “That means a lot coming from my only daughter.”

Joanna tilted her head toward her mother. “
you’re welcome, Mom. You’ve really made me so proud since Dad left. I…I hate to take sides because, well, I mean, he is my Dad. But what he did was wrong. And I just want you to know how great I think you are for how you handled it.”

Naomi looked away, trying not to let her daughter see the tears in her eyes. “You’re a sweetheart, Joanna. You really are.”

Neither of them spoke for a moment. The limousine left the church and passed in front of them. They waved because the windows were down and both the bride and the groom were looking at them as they passed by. The couple waved back to them.

“They seem
” Naomi said, non-committedly.

Joanna shrugged. “Yeah.”

“You aren’t lonely, are you, Joanna?”

Her daughter shrugged. “Oh, sometimes. But it’s not me that I’m worried about. It’s you. You’re the one who has been married all this time and now you’re not.”

“Technically, I still
” Naomi said as they both turned to go back in the house. “That still has yet to be resolved.”

“I wish I could help you. But he doesn’t contact me either. I don’t know where he is.”

“Just that he’s with his girlfriend.”

“Yep.” Joanna shook her head and held the door open for her mother. “You’re quite a woman, Mom. I just want you to know how much I admire you.”

Naomi laughed. “Thanks again, love. I appreciate it.”

When Joanna went inside after her mother, she continued on to her bedroom. “I’ve got to go to my study group, Mom. I’ll be back later on.”

“Will you be here in time for youth group?”

Joanna laughed. “Of course. When do I miss it?”



“It’s more important to have the visual access we need so that the students who don’t really understand can see it with their own eyes. I think it will help them get it.”

“You are probably right. But that’s no reason to discount the other ideas that are on the table.”

Joanna looked at her study group members as they debated the way to present their information to the class in two weeks. She didn’t have a real stake in the matter on the table. She hadn’t been in charge of that area. Two of the five in the group had been asked to settle on presentation. Apparently, the two weren’t getting along well.

It wasn’t surprising, at least with Teresa. Joanna wasn’t fond of Teresa. She was very forceful and had often struck Joanna as selfish. She tried to avoid hanging out with Teresa on a regular basis. They weren’t friends. She was even less pleased with the fact that Teresa was also in the youth group she attended Wednesday evenings, her destination later on.

Teresa was debating the matter with Jessica, the other student in charge of presentation. Jessica was easy to get along with. Being paired up with Teresa made Joanna feel sorry for the girl.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily more important.” Another member of her group, Bobby, spoke up, his eyes on Teresa. If the girl needed to be reined in, he was the one to do it. “I think it would be a good idea to do both ways. We can have an oral presentation with visual
to back it up. Posters, slides, pics, whatever you guys want to do. We can even present a
if you have one that is relevant. A video is probably a good idea.”

“I agree.” Joanna nodded, putting her two cents in.

“Well, neither of you are on the presentation team, are you?”

“We’re all on this team, Teresa.” Bobby narrowed his eyes at the girl. “All of us. We’re all responsible for the grade we end up getting. So if you don’t think you can handle the task you’ve been given, along with the other area you are researching, we can certainly relieve you of the burden and decide on it ourselves.”

“I actually think it would be a good idea to have a
” Joanna said. “I have one in mind. We should take advantage of the research people have done before and how they’ve made our subject so understandable in their video.”

“You have one in mind?” Bobby asked. “What is it?”

“It’s part of the Brain Video series put out by Science Daily. They explore the sections of the brain in the video and how each area might affect personality disorders.”

Bobby nodded. “Sounds good to me.”

“Wait a minute…” Teresa held up one hand, giving Joanna a frown. “Neither of you are on the presentation team.”

“And you won’t be on this study group team at all if you don’t calm yourself down.” Bobby shot back. “Will you please just shut up and let everyone decide? Let’s take a vote. Raise your hand if the plan of an oral and accompanying posters and video are a good idea.”

After Bobby, Jessica, Joanna and Lydia lifted their hands, Teresa slowly raised hers, looking reluctantly away from them. The rest of her group members rolled their eyes but accepted her vote without saying anything more to her.


Joanna tried to shake off the bad feelings that Teresa left her with when she left the library where her study group met. She couldn’t get her sour attitude off her mind. She wondered why Teresa had that attitude. Was she getting bad grades? Did she hate her after-school job? Was her home life miserable? No matter what the reason was, Joanna wished Teresa would get her attitude under control. It was annoying and disrupted everyone’s good mood.

She drove home as quickly as she could. The youth group was meeting in only a half
and she had to pick up her mother. They always carpooled on Wednesday nights. Her mother headed up the adult prayer group.

She pulled up in front of the house and honked the horn, looking at the front door. It
and her mother came out, waving to her. She waved back. Her mother turned to lock the door before hurrying down the pathway to the car.

“Hello, dear.” She said, sliding into the passenger seat and closing the door. “How was study group?”

Joanna looked in her mirror, turning the wheel to pull away from the curb. “The same as usual. Teresa was
and the rest of us put up with it.”

“Why do you keep her in the group if none of you get along with her?”

“I think it’s that we feel sorry for her.”

“It’s good to be compassionate to people who have bad attitudes about life. You never know what’s going on with her behind the scenes. But if it’s interfering with work getting done…”

“It’s not.” Joanna cut her off in a polite tone. “It’s okay, Mom. It really is. We’ll get our stuff done despite her bratty behavior.”

Her mom fell silent and nodded. She was quiet the rest of the way.

The parking lot was half-full when she pulled in. She had a regular spot that she parked in every time she came to church. She slid into the spot and turned the car off.

“There’s Mark.” Her mother said, pointing at a young man tossing a football in the parking lot with a smaller boy. He was calling out football terms as if they were playing a pro game and praising the boy when he caught the ball.

“I see him,
” Joanna smiled at her mother. She was fully aware that there were ulterior motives for Naomi pointing Mark out to her. She’d been giving her a nudge in his direction all school year. “He’s got a girlfriend, Mom, cut it out.”

“Yes, well, I heard that they had broken
” Naomi smiled wide.

“And you know who that girlfriend is, too.” Joanna gave her mother a narrow look.

“Teresa.” They both said at the same time.

“Well, he can do better. You know it.”

“Yeah, you think I’m better, of course. You aren’t biased or anything.”

Naomi laughed, patting her daughter on the hand before turning to the door. “Oh, Joanna. Even you know you’re better for him than she is. And if they have broken up, you should go and talk to him.” She stepped out of the car. “Hello, Mark! How are doing today?”

Mark smiled at her, palming the football. “Hello, Mrs. Fletcher! Hello, Joanna.”

Mark.” Joanna nodded at him as they passed by to go in the building. “How you doin’ today?”

“Not bad. Saw you in the library earlier. Gettin’ your studying done? You looked like you were concentrating pretty hard.”

“Oh yeah, you know me.”

Mark chuckled. “Not really. Go long, Johnny! Back up, back up, this one is gonna fly!”

Joanna and Naomi gave each other sly looks as they went up the steps and through the church door.


Joanna crossed her arms and watched the children
over the tables, their crayons clutched in their hands, coloring the pictures she had given them. The door
and Mark stepped in, closing it softly behind him. He smiled at her, moving
across the room
to stand next to her.

“Enjoying yourself?” He asked quietly.

She gave him a big grin. “I love watching these kids. They like to color.”

“I can see that.
I don’t think I’ve seen them so quiet ever before.
I mean, how did you do that? You must have the magic touch.”

Joanna giggled. “I think they just
like to color

He chuckled. “Yeah, you’re probably right. I was just trying to give you a compliment. You have an assistant, right?”

“Sure.” She nodded at Anna, who was leaning over one of the children, praising the coloring job he was doing.

“You want to go for a walk with me?”

Joanna swallowed in surprise. “Well, I guess so.” She went to Anna and whispered. “Hey, I’m gonna go out for a minute. I’ll be right back.”

Anna smiled at her. “All right, honey. Go ahead. I’ve got this under control.”

Joanna stood back up and nodded at Mark, gesturing with her head toward the door. He met her there and held it open as she went through.

“I’m glad you agreed to go for a walk with me.” He said as they went toward the front door. The sun was just
and the sky was lit up with many beautiful colors. He held the front door open for her, too.

“Oh? Why’s that?”

“Well, since the beginning of this year’s bible studies on Wednesdays, Pastor has had me watching the Centurions, you know the third through fifth graders. He paired me up with Teresa because we were dating. But now that we’re not dating, well, it’s kind of awkward.”

“You guys broke up?”

Mark nodded. “Well, I broke up with her. She’s not taking it too well.”

“I guess that
make it pretty
” Joanna remarked.


“So that’s why she was acting like that today.” Joanna murmured. “Although I have to say, her attitude today wasn’t much different than it usually is.” She looked up at Mark. “Is she always a sourpuss?”

Mark laughed
this time, throwing his head back. She thought how handsome he looked with a smile on his face. Now that she thought about it, she hadn’t seen him
smiling often
when he was with Teresa.

“Well, yeah, I guess. That’s kind of why I had to break it off with her. At first, she seemed so nice and sweet. But it didn’t last long. I’m kind of surprised I stayed with her as long as I did.”

Joanna looked up at him. “I’m kind of surprised, too, Mark.”



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