Authors: Delaney Williams
Table of Contents
Copyright © 2016 by Delaney Williams
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without 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. For permission requests, write to the publisher with the subject line “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the email address below.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or 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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This book is for all the people,
men and women,
who deal daily with depression and feelings of insecurity.
You are enough.
You are loved.
Susan Oldfather - You are loved the most. Thank you.
Love is my gift to the world.
I will fill myself with love,
And I will lend that love out into the world.
How others treat me is their path,
How I react to it is mine.
Dr. Wayne Dyer
he summer fair had been just as it should be: hot, sticky and fun. The children were running around on sugar highs that I’m sure their parents would never get them down from. Everywhere, people were relaxed and enjoying themselves, letting loose after a long work week. I couldn’t help but look on with a smile, even if I was just enjoying their relaxation by proxy. It was amazing what a little smile and a mirror could hide from people. It was still fun. I was hot and tired after working the entire day with my best friend since birth, Meghan, in her custom scents booth, selling her all natural and amazing smelling personal care products. Meghan was a nut. She and I had met in first grade, when she found me standing on the edge of the playground watching everyone play, but too shy to do something about it and pulled me in headfirst. She’s been doing that same thing ever since.
Meghan was the complete opposite of me. She was the outgoing, courageous, crazy one in our relationship. The loud one. I was content to people watch, while Meghan had to be involved. Nearly every crazy thing I had ever done had been either started or finished by Meghan.
I was the kind of girl who was always helping everyone around her. If someone fell, I picked them up. I constantly said I was sorry, even when it wasn’t my fault. I was always fine. Even when I wasn’t. What I was really saying was “help me”.
Speaking of which, when it got quiet, like it was now, I had to wonder what Meghan was cooking up in her head. I looked over to find her typing frantically into her phone. “Hey Megs, what are you up to?”
“Hmm?” she replied, too absorbed in the phone to really hear what I asked.
“What’s so important that you’ve stopped your commentary on the local married couples’ sex lives? I was waiting to hear what that man and woman over by the cotton candy booth were really up to behind closed doors and you zoned off on me. What’s up?” I asked again.
“Um…Justin just wanted to see if I could meet him for some rides here once I shut down the booth. And, well, he used the word “ride,” so I am planning a ride.” She burst out laughing. “He says I’m evil and now he has to spend the next hour dealing with families who can’t find their children with an extremely inappropriate hard on.”
She had tears leaking from her eyes because she was laughing so hard by this point. I couldn’t help but giggle with her. Poor Justin. Or not, as he was getting a “ride” later.
Justin was Meghan’s current FWB. Meghan didn’t do “relationships”. She was all about experiencing life and not limiting herself. In her world, that meant not tying herself to any one person in a relationship because it could eliminate other options that came along. She wanted to be free to do what she wanted, when she wanted. And she did. Often. In fact, her current arrangement with Justin was probably one of the longer ones she had had. Typically, she cut the men loose because they became too clingy or wanted a relationship with her after a certain amount of time. I don’t know if this change with Justin was because she was finally moving forward, or if he really was just in it for the benefits and she didn’t feel threatened by him. Either way, it was going to be interesting to see how this worked out.
This may be a part of why our friendship worked well too, with me allowing her to call the shots. I was easily able to take a back seat to Meghan and her antics and no one would question my mood or ask if I was “fine.”
Wiping the tears out of our eyes from laughing at the idea of Justin trying to calm frantic parents and help them find their children, while fighting off said inappropriate hard on, we both took some deep breaths and tried to calm down.
“It’s not my fault he signed up to do security at a fair I was working at! He should have known I would do something; when he is around, sex is all I can think about! He should know this by now.”
She had a point. I don’t think I had ever seen them around each other when the outcome was not sex. Really, they had the benefits part of this non-relationship down. Justin was part of the local police force, and had probably signed up to help the fair on his off time more because it was his calling than because she would be here, but I couldn’t say that he didn’t want the benefits of working near her. Meghan was like a siren; men got swept away by the power of her and her no regrets lifestyle. A lifestyle she was trying to extend to me, but I just couldn’t do.
If Meghan was the outgoing, crazy one, I was the quiet, reserved one. Where she had had many lovers over our 28 years, I had only had a few, and they were nothing to write home about. Maybe that was why I didn’t see the fascination with her arrangements, because I had never had “good” sex. Hell, I had never had a guy even get close to making me come. I got the quick-draws and the micro-peens. Meghan was always saying I needed to get out more, try again with another guy, but I just didn’t see the need. My vibrator was a guaranteed good time and I didn’t have to pretend to be someone else for it.
Meghan was set on getting me out there again; she had spent most of the day finding and picking men from the fair to throw at me. I had to admit, the flirting was fun. But I needed more than flirting and a nice face before I was going to put out. I wanted something more. I needed something more before I could show anyone what I was hiding under my clothing and smiles.
Sighing, I turned my attention back to Meghan and started helping her pack up the booth so that she could go get her ride on.
“Hey, thanks for helping me out today. I know I was pushy with a few of those men, but really Teagan, you need to get out there and clear those cobwebs! I mean, we are almost 30 and you are still practically a virgin. If we’re counting male induced orgasms, you ARE a virgin. You need to live life instead of watching it and reading about it. You say you want a relationship, that you have to have more than physical attraction, but you won’t get out there and DO anything about it. Seriously, I love you, but you need to let go and have fun for a while. There were some seriously hot men here and you didn’t take advantage of a single one this weekend. I mean, that one hot guy came back like four times to talk to you!” Meghan was on a streak.
I knew she loved me, but really, sometimes enough was enough and I had to step back. I wasn’t going to find a random man at the fair, and have sex with him just to make her happy. Even if he was hot and had repeatedly come around to see me today. I mean, who does that? He was good looking, stunning even, but I expected a better pick up line than “Are you sure you don’t know me?” or something else equally as trite.
“Meghan, you know I love you, but I’m not you. I’m not going to have random sex with someone this weekend just to ‘clear the cobwebs’. I have no cobwebs! B.O.B clears them out every day and he always makes me come. I’m good doll. I have you and my family, I’m not lonely. I just want more in a relationship than you do, and someday I’ll find it. I don’t see the need to sleep with everyone on the way to do it, okay? Whoever I do end up with, I want him to want me for me, the quiet and shy one, the quirky car girl. If I do what you say, they will feel tricked when the outgoing girl they slept with disappears after sex into her shell to watch from the sidelines later.”
Meghan sighed, “I just want you happy. You’re my best friend and I love you. I don’t want you to be alone. I want to know when I am not around, you still have someone to make you smile and push your boundaries, that’s all.”
Such was my mask. No one noticed how truly broken and hiding I was; how empty and crushed I was inside. How cut and bleeding I was underneath the mask of pretty clean clothing. I’m just sick of pretending to be happy for them, that my smile covers everything and they feel okay and can nod and continue their day. I constantly felt lost.
Instead, I was there to focus on others, like Meghan.
Meghan never looked to the future; she always lived for the present. In my head, I had to do a little dance, because maybe Justin was getting further with her than I thought, and maybe she would stop riding me so hard.
“I know Megs, I love you too. Don’t worry about me, I’m good, okay? Now, are we done for the day? I want to get over to the car show and see how dad did today with
.” I asked, redirecting the conversation off of my lack of a love life.
“Yeah, I’m good. Thank you for today, I really needed your extra hands! Who knew all these moms and dads would want me to blend a unique scent just for them? I love my job. Will I see you tomorrow? I know it’s ‘back to work’ time, but I really want a night in with you. Maybe wine and a movie? I’ll let you pick to make up for my behavior this weekend.”
I smiled, “Yeah Megs, I will see you tomorrow. Now, go enjoy your ‘ride’ and text me later! Remember there are children around who don’t need to be seeing you riding…”
Sometimes smiling and pretending like everything was okay was harder than it used to be; like maybe the lies were getting harder and harder to come up with and keep organized.
She snorted and waved at me as we both walked off in different directions. How fitting, different directions. She was off to have sex; I was off to hang with my dad and the rest of the shop guys. We really couldn’t be heading in more different directions if we had tried.
I meandered through the show cars, looking for the signature yellow that was
, smiling and waving at the people I knew as I passed. While I was recognized in the car world, I was something of an oddity in it. As far as I could tell, this was due to two things, the first being I was a woman. Being a woman in the car world was becoming more acceptable, but it was still a man’s world. Second- I was not just a girl, I was a girly girl. For example, I was currently wearing my hair in victory rolls, a red 1940’s dress with a huge black petticoat under it and a corset (which I typically lived in when I was feeling down) cinched down to 26 inches. I also had on heels with a 6 inch lift. Today.
I chose a different mask every day, everyone else just thought I was quirky.
My life was a blending of two things that impacted me growing up. My dad, though he loved his daughters greatly, had just that, daughters only. He needed a man; one who loved cars and rebuilding, and someone had to pick up the mantle and follow his steps. I did that. I was the co-owner of my dad’s restoration shop,
Sub Zero Steele
The other blending in my life started with the influence of the movie “White Christmas”. Every year at Christmas, my mom, nana, sister, myself, and any other women of the family, would watch “White Christmas”. That movie changed me. In my head, the General was my grandpa and I was born in the wrong time period. I loved the glamorous dresses and the gentlemanly behavior exhibited in the movie. Starting at a young age, I began to dress and live differently. I loved the retro lifestyle. It worked well for me, gave me something that was unique to me. It was something that helped me to stand out amongst all the teenage bullies and clones. Yes, I wore jeans and concert t-shirts, but I spent a lot of time scrounging local thrift shops for clothes from the 1920’s to the 1960’s; I loved anything from the flapper dresses and finger waves of the ‘20’s and prohibition, to the current day. Anything that wasn’t super revealing was perfect for me so the older the clothing the more secure I felt. Because of this, the car show guys and I were at opposite ends of the spectrum, until I got a wrench.
When I found my dad he was getting the ‘Cuda ready to leave but it wasn’t turning over.
“Sounds like your starter isn’t connecting. Again.” I said
“Hey baby girl, you look beautiful. What’ve you been up to all day?” he asked, truly interested but also deflecting that I was right about the
(we named the car
e because she demanded blood so much) needing yet another starter, unless I could tighten this one down.
was a 1970 Barracuda and she was fast, loud, and mean.
“I helped Meghan with her booth today. She tried to set me up with
single man that walked her way. I’m talking anyone from teenagers to Grandpa Munster.” (I shuddered at this thought).
“It was so weird, some guy she found came back and asked me at least four times if I was sure I didn’t know or remember him. And…there is the highlight of my life. Now, pop the hood.” I told him. He looked at me first, squinting to see if I was okay or not, and popped the hood, but with the “there is a discussion coming” look in his eyes.
In heels, liberty rolls, petticoat and dress, I leaned into the engine to try to get to the starter. Really, I needed to be under the car, but without a lift and in this dress, that was NOT happening.
I finally finagled my way to the starter, burning my hand on the engine manifold to get to it (which meant the car had been running sometime lately and he blew it out) and yelled “turn it” to my dad.
He did. Not a single spark. It was either dead or not making connections. I was really hoping for the second option because I hated getting
towed. Everyone, everywhere always stared.
Biting back my modesty, I did what I had to do and got under the car (sans petticoat as it wouldn’t fit). And there it was, a completely cracked starter, something that never happened. I crawled out and dusted off, smoothed my hair and walked behind the car to put the petticoat back on before announcing the bad news. And what could I say, I had a whole show waiting on my answer, and I was never wrong.
“Dad, you got nothing. When I crawled under the car, I found your starter is cracked. I don’t know how the steel cracked or what you were doing to the car to make it do this, but its toast. You’re going to have to call to get a tow home and get a new starter. Check it yourself. Hell, have these Neanderthals check, but it’s split in the middle and no fixing will help. I’m gonna get the starter out now so you can go call the company and get on with finding a new one as well as set up the tow, okay?” My dad smiled, he loved that I was able to come out of my shell when cars were involved. I wasn’t the shy girl here. I let other people dominate me in person, but not when I was around the cars. Around cars, I was the queen. He wasn’t going to have anyone check, I knew he trusted my opinion. He was proud of the daughter I had become.
“Does anyone have a 3/8 angled wrench I can use?” I stood there, hands on hips looking pointedly around. No one moved.
“No one. Not one of you car guys has a wrench that I can use? Or does the fact that I am a girl make this hard on your little heads, because by the way you are acting; it’s a good thing cars don’t care about size.”
Okay, I admit, maybe I over projected when around the guys and that was why they always looked at me funny. I mean, I was usually the quiet girl that people talked over and around, but no one listened too. Around the men, I became someone else. I was secure in my abilities with cars and didn’t want them making assumptions, just because I was a girl. I closed my eyes while I let that thought sink in. Why was I like this here? What was so different that I was able to drop all pretentions here? Here, I was just me. A girl, who liked cars, dresses, and swore like a sailor. But most of all, a girl who didn’t feel the need to hide who she was and didn’t care to if the need arose. Which it never did, because men notice nothing. Ever.
I was still thinking about this fact when I heard a snort and looked over to see a set of rubber handled wrenches, with the 3/8 already attached.
“Thank you.” I looked up. It was the hot guy from the booth today, my “do you know me?” man.
“You again? You don’t give up, do you?” I shook my head, “No, I still don’t remember you, but since you were kind enough to help me out with the wrench, and none of these ‘ladies’ here would help me, maybe we can talk after I finish this.” I figured I owed him as much, helping me out such as he did.