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Ashes: A Novel

Novel By: Sarabethany
Young adult



Rebecca Withers is that Christian girl you always hear about, she's crazy about God and is just trying to live a life that would make her family proud. Her life may be far from perfect but she fares it well enough, knowing that she could be living on the fringes of society, lonely and living in a world of pain. What the world considers the "chains of Christianity" she calls freedom, and her only goal is to prove that to everybody else.

But really, all she wants to do is one-up her brother, who seems to be perfect in every way.


Asher Ruiz long ago shunned the world in which he was raised, and if he was able to, he would stay away from church altogether. He's that bad kid you always hear about, he drinks and he smokes, and he knows that's the reason his church has shunned him. But he's just trying to convince everybody he's not a bad kid and he has big dreams just like every body else. In fact they're Major League.

Too bad he's not willing to convince anybody.

Two worlds thrown together under one dark circumstance. Too many painful decisions leaving broken hearts in their midsts. One common faith that brought them all together.

One painful ending, yet one beautiful future.



Disclaimer: There is religious belief expressed in this novel, and though it is not intended to threaten people into Christianity, it does have Christian ideals. I assure you however, it is first and foremost a young adult novel, which is simply about the life of a Christian girl.

Disclaimer: There are VERY sensitive issues adressed(addiction, suicide...and many more) in this novel, and I think it fair to warn you before reading. In short, my characters are pretty messed up, and though there will not be any thing too explicit I am rating it "R" just to be safe. View table of contents...


Chapters:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Submitted:Apr 1, 2011    Reads: 24    Comments: 3    Likes: 0   


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It had been two weeks, Christmas Break had started yesterday, it was a Sunday, and Asher wasn't going to lie, he felt slightly guilty for antagonizing Rebecca when he knew he shouldn't have.
He had a knack for starting drama when there shouldn't have been drama in the first place. He never learned, it was just too entertaining.

Nick had invited him to stay after church, to hang with him, and since he trusted Nick's judgment, he didn't think he'd get yelled at for attending. He'd been going to youth for this long; he didn't think they'd kick him out now.

Unfortunately, Nick was also in the band he was rallying Asher to join so desperately. Really, Nick just wanted a male on stage with him, because the boy got very nervous around Gabrielle. Asher was shy, he knew that, but at least he knew how to talk to a girl he liked without getting nervous. After Nicholas being friends with so many girls one would think he had confidence, but frankly, around Gabrielle, he had none.

Asher ended up texting Hailey, who never usually bothered to text back. She was more concerned with flirting with a senior she had just met.

He liked thinking to himself anyways, and the fresh air would do him good, help him take his mind off of things. It had been a month since his last high, and ever since trying to enjoy this church thing, he hadn't exactly had any sort of urge to get high. He even denied getting high on a Friday night, just so he could be sober at church. When he smoked to upset his mom it was rebellion, when it was against Rebecca or Nick, and all they stood for, for some reason, he felt guilty.

He had checked a majority of the female population at this church out, but he had yet to meet most of them. Samantha was cute, slightly aggressive, and easily bored. From what he could tell she was entertaining and high maintenance. He barely wanted to deal with friendship with a girl like that. But he was stuck with her; he'd bear her if he had to.

Lorraine was quiet, when she wanted to, but around certain people she was loud and crazy. She was Rebecca's best friend, and the two were glued at the hip. She didn't look like she wore an ounce of make up on her face, yet she was also one of the prettiest girls there. From what it looked like though, she was friendly, but she barely flirted.

In the midst of his thoughts Rebecca huffed all her way to the front step of the church, frustrated, and looking towards the empty street in front of her.

He had two options: walk away and dash all hopes of friendship, or try talking and hope she didn't lash out at him. Either way would cost him.

"So are you going to shut me out too, then?" He muttered, and her large eyes looked to him, surprised, she jumped an inch into the air too, she must not have noticed him beforehand.

"You don't even know me," She spat, "so don't even try." The insult didn't hurt at all, and he doubted she actually meant to hurt him.

He chuckled, "And here, I heard you were friendly…loved by all." Her emotion fell, and her frown was even deeper, and he apparently had hit a sensitive issue for her. He'd have to remember that.

"Just shut up Asher." She snapped, clearly frustrated that he was being either honest or sarcastic, or both, with her.

"Weren't you just yelling at me about shutting people out…here I am…trying to be your friend." Rebecca's eyes grew wide, and he just smiled in the ever so suave way that only he could when he tried to be friends with somebody, which he knew was a rare occurrence.

"What's your problem?" She questioned, genuinely hurt, but he felt no urge to comfort her.

"I can't just be complicated and mysterious?" His charm was working, and he smiled as a smile erupted on her face, he'd keep going on as long as he could. He shrugged, "I hear what people say about me…might as well use it."
"I don't get you," He shrugged, and he doubted she ever would, for he was like Lorraine, a completely different person once you got to know him, or when he decided to be friendly. Most people would describe him as complicated, when really, he wasn't.
"Do you need to?"
"You're so bipolar." She teased, pushing his leg, the closest thing to her and he immediately rubbed his leg in the spot she pushed him, the small action bringing a smile to his face, as she had already forgiven him for whatever she was mad at him at.

"I prefer to call it being real." He pushed her back, breaching his physical boundary. He wasn't a physical person, he acknowledged it.

Rebecca poked at her shoe, keeping eye contact with him as he sat down next to her. She bit her lip, "Why is Levi so mad at you?"

Asher sighed, looking forward, to the street in front of him, trying to forget, himself. He'd never forgive him for the way he acted that night. It may have been the truth, but he had no regard for his brother's well being. He looked at the street for a while, staring into space before he finally spoke, "I told him things he didn't want to hear, I think he's more scared than mad."

"Oh," The answer made her look disappointed, but he was, in no way, ever going to tell her the truth about that night, she'd never understand everything that was said.

"Yeah…Levi's a lot like me…he tries to be like me." Rebecca nodded, listening as he continued, but her face fell, as if she realized, maybe she didn't know Levi all that well. He doubted she would, as she had only known the "Christian" side of him and not the stoner side, "I just don't want him making the same mistakes I did."

He looked forward, thinking, distracting himself by looking away from anything besides Rebecca. The way she asked things, he didn't doubt he'd tell her his life story if she asked. Oddly, it wasn't even part of the attraction. Her personality just drew him to want to trust her.

"He has to know he has a whole family to support him, people that care about him." She sighed, and he nodded, he knew it was true.

Asher breathed a deep breath, looking into Rebecca's eyes, thankful that he felt nothing, "He does."

"You know Ash…" Rebecca sighed nervously, "If you ever let us in, we'd be there to support you too."

Asher's gave her a skeptical glance, the people in this church would never truly care about him; they just didn't care about some stoner.

"And if not…there's always Nick and I." The thought made him feel a little bitter, although they were his only friends at this church.

His chest rose again, and he caught her staring at him, staring at what looked like his arms or his chest, and without thinking, he puffed out his chest slightly. Harmless flirting was always fun.

"Thanks Becca." He forced a smile, and then opened his mouth, only to close it again. He rubbed his arm with his hand before continuing, trying to think of something to talk about. She was one of the few people here he genuinely wanted to know, "So are you ever going to tell me the secrets of this place?"

She gave him a quizzical glance, as if the question was that complicated, "Secrets?"

He chuckled, realizing that he'd have to explain things to her, and this wouldn't be the last time, "Who likes who…who hates who…all that."

"Oh," Rebecca nodded in a sort of way that suggested she was nervous, unsure of herself, and he only watched with curiosity as her face contorted with every thinking process, "I guess I could tell you." She sighed, "But you have to promise that you won't tell."

He chuckled, smiling at her carefree, naïve attitude that was so refreshing. Everyone else he knew was trying to be tough, mature, and experience life. And here Rebecca was enjoying it, not hiding anything, being herself, "I feel like I'm in kindergarten again…keeping secrets."

"Yeah," She brushed a hand through her chocolate brown hair, and he looked forward, waiting for her to speak, "Well…what has Nick told you?"

"Nick?" His voice lifted in octave in clear enjoyment, "The first thing he told me was that he liked Gabrielle, that brunette who plays guitar." He brushed through his hair, for no particular reason other than it would occupy him, "Samantha gets hit on by every guy in this church, and you…"

"Me?" She looked absolutely nervous, "what about me?"

"You…try too hard, care to much what people think of you." He wanted to comment about William, the guy she had supposed feelings for, but he didn't want to start anymore new drama, but even if Rebecca was this naïve girl, she always looked nervous and unsure in front of everybody. She just needed to relax.

"Oh," She sighed, her face falling, and she just scratched at her arm for a while before finally speaking, "Why are you talking to me?"

He cleared his throat, honestly not sure. He had no true desire to speak to Samantha or Lorraine because they didn't prove to him anything special, but Rebecca tried to befriend him, she was complicated, she held up this wall that everything was perfect and everyone was good, when inside, he knew she must have been conscious of everything. She had a sort of shyness about her. She wanted to know your secrets, make you feel better, but no one ever cared about her.

"Because you tried…" He mumbled, finally, not exactly willing to tell her much else.

She sighed, and Asher was sure that both of them could feel that awkwardness that always came with new friendships. "What?" She questioned, a bitter sarcasm rolling off her tongue, "Am I one of the few people here that you trust?"

He let out a soft chuckle, turning to look at her, humored, as she suddenly turned cold, for whatever reason. He was curious, but still, he wasn't in the mood for her emotions. He wasn't going to deal with it.

"I don't trust you Rebecca," he attempted to shrug it off with a chuckle, but before Rebecca could argue back, he was quick to respond, "at least not yet. There are very few people I trust."

"Who do you trust?" She questioned curiously, looking to the clock on her phone, which seemed to be distracting her from him. She turned to him, their eyes locking, and he felt exposed as her hazel brown eyes bore into his, as if she was staring beyond his eyes.

"Well," he scratched the back of his head, thinking, trying to ignore the knot he was developing. He didn't trust many people, "I trust my mom."

He sighed, trying not to show Rebecca that her question had hurt him in any way. He wished sometimes, he could trust easily, but he couldn't, nobody legitimately cared about him, "However stupid he is…I trust my best friend Silas." He didn't expect Rebecca to know Silas well at all, and though he was a stoner, he was one of the best friends Asher had ever had, staying with him even with "rehab", "I trust Levi…and I just might trust Nick."

He knew he couldn't trust people, but it wasn't his fault, it wasn't his fault that people hated him for whatever reason. Maybe that's why he liked to talk to Rebecca, because she focused all of her attention on him and not herself, she actually tried to get to know him, unlike what most people before hand had done. They would say high, speak occasionally, but never had they tried to go beyond that. She asked questions no one else ever dared to ask.

She started to look around nervously, as if someone would catch them together. He could understand, he supposed, he was a guy that wasn't exactly Christian, and she was a pretty, and single, Christian girl; they hadn't exactly been friends for very long either. He could hear the gossip already.

"Are we good then?" He questioned curiously, meeting eyes with her again, and his breath hitched, as she glanced at him with curiosity, an intention in her eyes. It was making him nervous.

He held out his hand, preparing full well to shake it in the comical way only he knew how, "Shaking hands? Are you serious?"
He let out a chuckle too, not quite sure why he was making them shake hands, other than the fact it was different than regular methods, "I'm old fashioned."
"Okay then…Ash. We're good." She gave him a solid grip, and he couldn't help but smile at the fact that he had gained another friend here.

He let out another chuckle, doing his best to annoy her now that they were 'friends', "Does that mean I can call you Becks?"

She let go of his hand, walking away as quickly as she could, but stopped at her final turn, "You ever call me Becks," she raised a serious yet playful eyebrow, "And whatever friendship we have…" her hand moved to her neck, as she drew an imaginary line across her neck, and Asher chuckled understanding the message clearly. The friendship would be dead, if he ever called her Becks. But still, he was unique, and if all the males called her Becks, he wouldn't, Becca suited her well enough.

Maybe he'd always be attracted to her, but she was a sweet girl, and even if he couldn't see himself falling for her romantically, he definitely didn't want to let her go, because she actually gave him hope for this place. Maybe there were people who cared about the well being of others, without any expectation of return. If the world was a little bit more like her, maybe he wouldn't hate church so much.
A/N: Yay! Now they're sort of friends! And from here the fun starts, I promise. And character pics are now up for you to check out:www.booksie.com/young_adult/miscellaneous/sarabethany/ashes-character-pics . Please comment (on here if you would like to be updated)and tell me if you like their pictures too. Feel free to disagree, but thats how I pictured them.




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