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Abi and the Boy She Loves

Abi and the Boy She Loves

by Kelsie Stelting

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I don’t want to be another statistic.

After everything I’ve been through, I’m more focused than ever on healing myself and living the kind of life I want. But with my dad up for parole and Jon’s athletic career over with a single injury, my dreams are turning into a nightmare.

I have so many questions. How can I heal when everything around me seems so broken? How can I live my life when the person who hurt me might walk free? 

And the hardest question of all: How can Jon know he loves me if he doesn’t even know who he is anymore?

Abi’s story comes to an end in an incredible, emotional, tumultuous journey. Read the final book in The Texas High Series: Abi for a heartfelt story you will never forget.

Narrator: Courtney Encheff

Story Preview


THIS WAS EXACTLY where Jon belonged. On the
track, the wind he created flying through his hair, his
face determined, his lungs heaving, his muscles
rippling with every labored step.

My cheers for him blended with his parents’,
Grandma’s, Jorge’s, and everyone else there to
support the runners at the first indoor meet of the
season. Each lap they made with Jon edging steadily
ahead only reinforced how invested he was in this
sport. How right the coaches had been to recruit him.
The closer he and his competitors got to the end,
the louder the entire place grew until all I could hear
was an echoing of yells and claps. I watched his feet,
barely touching the ground before lifting and
pressing forward. Ahead.

He crossed the finish line at the front of the pack.
His steps slowed, but his chest lifted and fell rapidly.
He laced his fingers behind his head and sucked in
big gasps for air. As sweat slicked his skin, I thought
he had never looked more beautiful.

Not like the photo Marta snapped of me after my
race. My skin was ruddy, and my frizzy hair was
desperately attempting to escape my ponytail. It
wasn’t fair. But then again, I didn’t have to look at
myself until I’d had a good shower. I could keep
taking in the sight of Jon all day long, though.
I probably should put my tongue back in my
mouth before someone slipped on my drool and got
hurt. But still. Damn.

I absently scratched at my shoulder, then
stopped myself. My skin was healing, which only
meant the scabs itched like crazy. Especially with the
dried sweat irritating it. I was so ready for a good
shower and a dinner out with our families.

I waited in the stands with them while the
awards ceremony took place. I hadn’t won any of my
events, but I hadn’t placed last either. For me, that
was the same as winning, and for the first meet of the
season, I was thankful to just be...average. For once.
It meant I belonged here too. I wasn’t just a charity
case anymore; I was a part of the team.

But Jon stood out on the platform as they placed
a medal around his neck. The corners of his lips
tugged against a smile as he tried acting like he
wasn’t over-the-moon excited about his win.
When we finished clapping and cheering, I
leaned over to the others and said, “I’m going to the
team meeting, and then I’ll take a quick shower.”

Marta smiled at me. “Take your time, sweetie.
Our dinner reservation isn’t ’til six.”

The watch on my wrist said we were still an hour
and a half off, which royally stunk. I was starving.
Turned out, a girl could get used to eating more.
And still do well in college track.

Grandma stood up and gave me a tight squeeze.
“I’m going to get you all sweaty!” I cried.

She held on even tighter. “It’s worth it. I’m so
proud of you.”

I hugged her back and said, “Thank you,” even
though the words didn’t convey enough. I wouldn’t
be here without her.

I went down to the place where the girls’
distance team was supposed to meet and sat on the
floor beside Nikki. She was absently stretching, not
really putting too much effort into it.

“You did awesome today,” I said.
She smiled. “It wasn’t first.”

“It wasn’t last either,” I said. “Second place isn’t
anything to turn your nose up at.”

She pushed the end of her nose up and snorted
like a pig.

I shoved her shoulder, laughing.

“Okay, ladies,” Coach Cadence said, silencing us
and our teammates. “We had a good first meet today.
We placed sixth as a team, which is very promising
for our season.”

We let out a few exhausted whoops, and she
smiled until we quieted down.

She went around the group, offering congratula‐
tions and quick pieces of advice, but she skipped me.

“Go shower up,” she said. And then she added,
“Abi, can you stay behind?”

I nodded, not wanting to meet her eyes. I’d been
happy with how I ran, but now I wondered if I
should be worried. Had I done something wrong?

As the other girls left, I stood up to face whatever
Coach Cadence had to say to me.

“How are you doing?” she asked.

“Good?” I eyed her, waiting for the real reason
she asked me to stay behind.

Her chocolate eyes were softer now. “I know
you’ve had a hard start to your semester, but I’m proud of how far you’ve come, and you should be

Relief flooded my chest, making my heart buoy
so high I worried it might float away. My lightweight
sneakers wouldn’t do anything to keep the rest of me
on the ground. “You mean it?”

With a smile, she nodded. “You’ve worked hard
to get better, both on the track and up here.” She
tapped her forehead.

I just nodded because weekly therapy sessions
hadn’t been easy. My therapist dug through the
darkest corners of my mind—of my past—and
worked with all the painful memories until I was
exhausted in every sense of the word. It was all I
could do to go back to my dorm and curl up for a nap

“Now, go shower up.” She nodded toward the
stands where I’d been sitting with Jon’s parents,
Grandma, and Jorge. “It looks like you’ve got some
fans waiting to celebrate you.”

“Thanks, Coach,” I said.

My smile was still on my face as I showered,
changed, and met the others in the stands. Jon was
nowhere to be seen, so I guessed he was still getting
cleaned up.

Grandma gripped my arm. “Can you show me
where the bathroom is?”

“Sure.” We walked through the thinning crowd
to a bathroom. I stood of to the side to wait for
Grandma, but she stopped beside me.

“We need to talk.”

I girded my heart as I stepped closer to the
cinderblock wall, away from the other people
walking by. “What’s going on? Are you okay?”

My mind was going to all the horrible places.

Cancer. Disease. Financial struggles. I needed her to
just tell me so I could quit imagining every terrible

“Your father is up for parole.”

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About Kelsie Stelting

Hi! My name is Kelsie Stelting. I'm an author of relatable, heartfelt teen romance. Growing up, I always wanted to read books about girls like me. Girls who felt insecure sometimes, who tried their hardest, who sometimes failed and found a way to get back up every time they fell down.

Since I couldn't find those books... I wrote them.

Since publishing my first book in 2016, I've written and released more than twenty books, including my flagship series, The Curvy Girl Club. 

When you read these books through my website, you get a great deal and stories you can read in your preferred format and your preferred devices. You're also supporting my small business that supports myself, my husband, and our three children.

I appreciate you supporting my work and immersing yourself in these books! <3