Authors: Holli Spaulding
Published by Holli Spaulding at Smashwords
Copyright © 2014 by Holli Spaulding
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
This book is dedicated to Meema and Teete. Not everyone in life is lucky enough to have two people like you.
Table of Contents
If there’s one thing in life I have learned, it’s that sometimes life just sucks. Totally and completely sucks. There are no fairy tale endings. There is no fate, coincidence, or whatever you’d like to call it. People who believe in that crap should spend a day in my life.
I am finishing up my double shift at Texas Roadhouse, one more hour to go until quitting time. Most people look forward to the hour when they get to go home, relax and unwind, but not me. I try to pack on as many shifts as my boss will allow. Anything to keep me away from my house.
“It's 10:30 Abigail, everything is done. You, as usual, have made my night a breeze. Now go home and get some rest and enjoy your last few days of summer break. Thanks for your hard work,” my boss Darrell kindly says.
“Thanks Darrell, I’ll see you tomorrow evening.”
I give a small smile and wave on my way out of the door. I beam a little on the inside at his praise. He’s one of the few people who don’t see me as a royal fuck-up. I’ve been working with him since the day I turned 16. I still remember my interview like it was yesterday. Here I was sitting in front of him with my long brown hair, multi-colored stripes showing through, a small nose ring, black nail polish, my lucky Guns N Roses t-shirt, and my black combat boots. Which are completely bad ass by the way.
“Have you ever been a hostess before?” Darrell says.
“Um, no sir, I have never had a job before,” I softly say. He is staring at me, judging me by my appearance I’m sure, and probably wondering why in the hell he would hire some punk ass kid to work for him. I think I see a hint of a smile behind his eyes, but what do I know.
Before he can speak again, I look at him and blurt out. “Sir, I really need this job. I am a hard worker, I am available any time, I’ll even help out and do the shit people don’t want to do. I’m always on time, and I can follow directions very well.” Ah, Christ, I can’t believe I just said the word shit in an interview and that I lied. I am
on time, it’s a flaw of mine, along with many other things, which I probably shouldn’t be thinking about during my interview; first thing tomorrow I will work on cleaning up my mouth and being on time everywhere I go. At least if I get this job anyway. If not, to hell with it.
He’s still staring at me, except this time he has an amused expression on his face.
“Usually I require my hostesses to have some kind of experience.”
Really, experience being a hostess, how hard can it be? It’s not rocket science to grab a few menus and take the hungry people to their seats.
“Oh, I see. Well thank you for your time.” I go to stand up to leave, honestly what was I thinking, wanting to work somewhere where there are peanut shells thrown all over the floor. Can’t they sweep that up? The shells would just get crunched into my amazingly bad ass boots and we just can’t have that.
“But Guns N Roses just so happens to be my favorite band and anyone who wears a Guns N Roses t-shirt to a job interview has to be pretty amazing. So when can you start?”
I guess I can live with the peanut shells stuck in my boots.
As I’m waiting for my bus to arrive and thinking back on how I got my job, my thoughts drift towards my mother, and what state I will find her in when I get home. As I walk upstairs to my house, I silently say a prayer to a god that I don’t believe in. I’m hoping she stuck with the alcohol tonight and left the harsh drugs alone.
When I open the door, I am immediately greeted with my mother’s half naked body passed out on the tile floor, needles surrounding her, one still stuck in her arm. There is a candle burning beside her, wax slowly spilling out onto the floor, and in her left hand she is loosely holding a spoon. I contemplate leaving her there to fend for herself, to wake up alone on the cold floor right where she passed out. But like always, my fucked up loyalty to her wins. I carefully pull the needle out of her arm as best as I can and carry her small 105 pound body to her bedroom. I get a warm rag and wipe her face and neck, then dress her in a clean shirt. I softly pull the covers up around her and tuck her in.
For a long moment I stare at this woman who is my mother and wonder how our lives took a turn down this road. She didn’t always use to be like she is now, but she is a coward and weak and turned to drugs and alcohol instead of facing her demons head on. Everyone has choices in life; she chose all the wrong ones.
I turn off the lamp and head into the kitchen and spot the large stack of mail lying on the kitchen table. Sighing, I sort through it all and pull out the bills and start paying them. Somebody has to pay the bills around here or our lights will be turned off. My mother has never been responsible with money; her money goes to drugs and paying her bartenders. If it was left to her to pay the bills, our lights would be turned off and food would never be in the fridge.
I live above a bar. My mom and dad opened it about twenty years ago, and it was their pride and joy. Now all this place holds is bad memories. I can still hear the music and shouting from downstairs. I’m guessing my mom’s business partner is shutting down the place for her tonight, because she obviously isn’t in a state to be doing anything productive. But tomorrow will roll around and my mother will wake up, go to work at the bar she owns, and start the whole cycle again tomorrow night and act like nothing ever happened. Like I said, totally and completely sucks.
Summer came to an end, and today I will begin my last year of high school or as I like to call it, my last year in hell. No, literally, high school is hell. To make matters worse I will be starting at a new school this year, but at least I will be with my best friend, so that should make the year a little more tolerable. I am an outcast. I dress differently than most of the snobby bitches that roam the halls, thinking they are better than you just because mommy and daddy can afford to buy them whatever their little cold hearts desire. But no, I’m not bitter at all. Not one little bit. The thought of having parents who care is foreign to me. Most people at this school will probably treat me like I’m the plague. Everyone except my best friend.
“Abigail, wait up.” I hear my best friend Jessie running down the hall to catch up to me. She’s out of breath from running the 20 seconds it takes her to catch up to me. Honestly, she needs to run with me in the evenings, we need to work on her stamina. She’s absolutely beautiful, with long dirty blonde hair, big blue eyes, a figure to die for, and my complete opposite. She’s preppy, I’m talking Abercrombie and Fitch preppy, while I tend to shop at Hot Topic and hand make my clothes.
Jessie and I grew up together. We lived across the street from each other for 15 years and have been best friends since we were two. She recently moved in with her grandma, so we no longer live right by each other. Which makes me sad for many reasons. She’s the only person who knows what goes on in my house, and the only person I can confide in.
“You know, if you ran with me in the evenings, you wouldn’t be out of breath after jogging 20 seconds down the hall.” I say while laughing at her.
“Oh shut the hell up, we all can’t run for days like you can.”
“That’s true; I am exceptional with my running abilities.” I smirk at her. Running is the one way to completely clear my head. Pounding the pavement is therapeutic for many different reasons.
She dramatically rolls her eyes and glares at me while getting her books out of her locker. She checks her appearance in the tiny mirror she has hung in her locker, applies lip gloss to her already glossy lips, and grabs a book for her first class.
“I can’t believe we don’t have any classes together this year,” I say sadly.
“I know, I was so looking forward to you being here this year and I’m so bummed we don’t get any classes together. We will have to catch up on everything during lunch.” She whines. “Hang in there and don’t let the vultures attack, I don’t want to have to go all bat shit crazy on some bitches on our first day of school.” Jessie is a tad bit over protective of me, and that’s putting it mildly.
I roll my eyes at her, honestly. “Oh calm down, mother hen, you know I can take care of myself.” I say. She gives me a sweet smile, one anyone rarely sees from her.
“I know you can,” she sighs “But the girls here are on a whole different level and so are the guys, just promise me you will stay away from all of them. I’ll see you at lunch.” She walks away, and gives me a small wave. She is immediately swamped by two massively built guys wearing jerseys, who I’m assuming are from the football team. I never understood why boys felt the need to parade around in their uniforms. It’s like they are throwing it all in our faces that they play football. Nobody really cares. I stare at them walking away. I laugh to myself because they don’t stand a chance. Guys flock towards her like she is a magnet and they are being drawn towards her. She could have any guy she wanted, and usually she does, but she never keeps them around long enough to find out if anything can come from it. She doesn’t have to tell me twice; I have no problem staying away from guys.
I practically have to run to my first period class so that I am not late. Man, so much for trying to be on time, I really need to work on this. As I am running down the hall I collide with someone and we tumble down onto the floor in a heap of books, body parts, and flailing arms. Looks like I’m not the only one who is running late. As I get ready to rip this asshole a new one for running into me and making me spill my stuff all over the place, I look up and I am met with the most amazing pair of eyes I have ever seen. They are the most exquisite shade of blue, almost see-through. I feel like he can see right through me. It’s unnerving. I could get lost in those eyes for days. His hair is dark brown, almost black, and he has the messy yet styled look perfected, and part of me wants to run my fingers through his hair just to see what it feels like. He stands at about 6 feet tall, the perfect height. He looks familiar, like I have maybe met him before, but that’s impossible, I’d remember this guy. He’s wearing faded jeans that look like they cost more than my entire wardrobe put together, a black t-shirt, and a pair of Chucks. Geez Abigail, get a grip.
“I, I’m sorry,” I stutter out. God, quit fumbling over your words, it’s not like you’ve never seen a hot guy before. I am mentally kicking myself right now. Except hot doesn’t quite describe this guy, he’s kind of beautiful. Ok, not kind of, he is beautiful.
“It’s ok; I should have been paying better attention to where I was going.” He smirks. “Here, let me help you with your stuff.” Oh God, his voice. He has a slight southern drawl, mixed with a deep masculine tone. Could this guy get any more perfect? He goes to reach for my arm and I instantly drawl back like he’s burned me. He draws his eyebrows in like he’s confused at my reaction, and I think I see a look of concern flash across his face.
“No, it’s ok, I’ve got it. You’ve done enough damage as it is.” I murmur slightly as I stand up. Just pick up your stuff and walk away Abigail, no good can come from a guy like this or any guy for that matter. I know his type, cocky, arrogant, thinks he can get any girl he wants, probably plays on the baseball or football team, though I wouldn’t really know, team sports aren’t really my thing. But I find myself not believing my first impression of this guy. He doesn’t strike me as the bad boy type. But it’s a defense I put up, I just can’t help it.
“What’s your name?’ He asks. “I’ve never seen you around here before, and with a face like yours, I’m sure I would have remembered you.” Is he trying to flirt with me? Guys don’t flirt with me; I usually scare guys off with my bad attitude and rotten mouth. But my traitorous body likes the fact the he’s flirting with me. My head and my heart need to have a talk later tonight.