Authors: L. Duarte
A Taste of Utopia
Copyright ©2015 By L. Duarte
All rights reserved.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, character, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
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Interior formatting by Cassy Roop of
Pink Ink Designs
To my husband and children
MOST PEOPLE CELEBRATE
their birthdays. Not me. I celebrate the anniversary of my death. That’s the date I did the one noble act of my shallow life: I died.
They say memories aren’t as accurate as one would think. But I clearly remember that day. It’s etched in my brain, encoded and stored in my mind, and promptly ready for retrieval.
I still remember the stench of melted plastic and burning wood. I can feel the warmth irradiating from the crumpled structure. I can perfectly picture the smoke curling up in the sky, resembling snakes rising upward under the influence of a snake charmer.
I approached a firefighter holding a metal clipboard. He was making notes and assessing the damages.
“Excuse me, what happened here?”
He glanced up from the clipboard. His brows furrowed, silently asking me if I was seriously asking him this question.
“A fire,” he finally responded with the impatient tone of someone stating the obvious.
“But . . . but what happened?” I scrunched up my face.
“Too early to determine. We do know, however, that the fire started in a stove. It appears it was some sort of explosion.”
“Did anyone get hurt?” My heart threatened to come out of my mouth. Were Mom and Luna okay?
“Two fatalities. A female and her teenage son,” he said, turning his back to me and resuming his notes.
Though sluggish, my mind processed the information. Mom. Female body. Her son. Mom was dead. I clenched my teeth to avoid the tears burning the back of my eyes from falling.
Subsequently, it hit me. They assumed the guy’s body to be me. Me. But why? A flash of Jerry placing my probation bracelet around his ankle crossed my mind. Of course. They assumed his body was mine.
That’s when I should have called the firefighter back. Informed him I was not dead. Asked if he’d seen my cousin Luna. But the words lodged in my throat and I couldn’t bring them out.
Petrified, I stared at the house for what could have been hours. It was destroyed. In its place were a charred skeleton and a pile of ashes.
When I finally snapped out of my stupor, I decided I had to find Luna. Explain everything. Tell her I was alive, that they had misidentified Jerry’s body as mine.
Altered voices caught my attention. I circled the house. That’s when I saw Caleb, my Cousin Luna’s boyfriend. The guy I was sure was the love of her life. He was arguing with an older man. Immediately, I recognized the man. He was Caleb’s dad. Also, he was the judge presiding over my drug-related case.
As I approached, I heard Caleb saying, “Nothing will keep me away from Luna now, Dad. Jake’s dead. You can’t use him to separate us anymore.”
I took a few steps back. Caleb’s dad was using my pending case to blackmail Caleb and separate him from Luna.
I fled without them noticing my presence. I went back to the blue bench at the beach where I had passed out from drinking. I sat there for hours, thinking. I realized, I was unconsciously destroying Luna’s shot at happiness.
But there was a way I could avoid further damaging her life. If I were dead, there would be no more blackmailing. Caleb and Luna could be together. Free from me. Free from my baggage of screwed-up decisions.
When night fell, I hitchhiked a ride and skipped town.
And I never saw my cousin Luna again . . .
My name is Seth. I’m 28 years old, 6ft, and 171lbs. I have teal-green eyes, dark blond hair, and a toned and lean body.
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I PUSH OPEN THE
door to Chemistry 101. Long, confident strides take me to the middle seat in the first row. I place my notebook on the desk and sprawl out in the chair.
I bring the tip of my pen between my teeth and chew on it. The professor writes her info on a whiteboard.
Prof. Edith Smith.
Ph.D. in chemistry.
E-mail: [email protected]
She proceeds to list the schedule, availability, expectations, yadda, yadda, yadda . . .
The words fade and my gaze falls on the professor’s tight ass swaying as she writes the information. My eyes scan the back of her black heels and then travel to her toned and tanned calves, rising higher to her ass clad in a gray pencil skirt, and bouncing chestnut curls cascading down her back. Holy hotness. Yeah, that’s fucking material, all right.
My cock twinges coming to full attention. As I readjust my jeans, Professor Smith turns and her eyes find me in the front row.
Her eyes fly to my crotch catching the unsettling movement of my hand adjusting my dick. Her breath catches in her throat, her eyes darken, and I swear she reads the lewd thoughts reeling in my mind.
She goes on to say what was already written on the board.
“Welcome to Chemistry 101 . . .”
Though I don’t pay attention, I don my utterly attentive student mask. My eyes fix on her face as if drinking the words rolling out of her painted lips.
“Let’s start with basics. Chemical elements are everywhere, including the human body. We can find sixty chemical elements in the body.” She strolls toward my desk. The click of her heels echoing in the auditorium. She props a hip on my desk and continues. “Ninety-six percent of our body mass is composed of water, being made up of the main elements oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. That leaves the periodic table of elements to produce the remainder four percent.”