Authors: Kelly Hurley
HOW TO BE A ROCK STAR’S EX-GIRLFRIEND
Kelly J. Hurley
New York Lincoln Shanghai
How to Be a Rock Star’s Ex-Girlfriend A Novel
Copyright © 2007 by Kelly J. Hurley
All rights reserved. No part of this book maybe used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
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This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, names, incidents, organizations, and dialogue in this novel are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
ISBN: 978-0-595-46549-1 (pbk)
ISBN: 978-0-595-70321-0 (cloth)
ISBN: 978-0-595-90844-8 (ebk)
Printed in the United States of America
I couldn’t have written this book without so many people. Special thanks go out to …
My parents for constantly telling me that they loved me and that I could do anything I set my mind to, my siblings for being the first to read this and for being some of my best friends, to my hubby, John, for pushing me to finally write a book and for believing that I could do it, my Grandma Dent for reading to me all the time when I was little, my Grandma Woods for lending me all sorts of books to read, including her Stephen King collection, my bestest friend, Brit, for showing me that I wasn’t the only shallow, fashion crazy, “mean girl” out there, Jackye for sharing books with me back in the day when we both worked at Coach House, my Matty for giving me song lyrics when I asked him since I’m worthless at stuff like that, and Jared for unintentionally helping me come up with the idea in the first place.
A friend once told me that I should write a book, since I had so many stories to tell. How I fell in love with a rock star is just one of them.
Okay, okay, I didn’t fall in love with a rock star. I fell in love with the boy who would be a rock star. How it happened, and the results are the same either way.
At twenty-one I was not a shy, naive girl, but the first time I saw Braden I was reduced to behavior more in tune with sweet sixteen and never been kissed. My palms were sweaty and I couldn’t produce a coherent statement. I was your typical girl with a crush, and it wasn’t something I was comfortable with! Even now, when I think about our first introduction, my chest hurts, and I can’t believe how much I loved him. I was never a believer in love at first sight, but there are those people who cross our paths, and somehow you just know, they’re going to change your life forever!
As I packed my belongings in boxes, getting ready for my big move, I remembered what it was like to be optimistic about love. I thought that I could have a guy wrapped around my finger and that would make me happy.
I folded the sides of the box holding my pots and pans, labeled it, and taped it shut. A few more boxes to go and I would be ready for the moving truck to come. The process of sorting everything I owned, gave me plenty of time to play back those crazy events that led to my rock star ex-girlfriend status.
I’ve always been attracted to the bad boys. I just throw caution to the wind and hook up with someone who I know isn’t good for me. The type of guy with too many tattoos and a bad attitude, he parties too much and plays too hard. He would make my family cry if I brought him home. I know I’m not alone in this. All of my female friends have been in at least one relationship where they’ve said “I can change him!” We all shake our heads at them, but it doesn’t stop us from doing the same thing when our naughty but oh so hot dream guy comes along!
I blame it on the movie Dirty Dancing. Ever since watching Baby successfully turn Johnny Castle from moody, unattainable dance instructor to sensitive rebel with a heart of gold, we’ve all dreamed of that happening to us. When he stormed into the room and declares that “Nobody puts Baby in a corner,” we all fantasized about that happening to us. Not to mention the fact that he had a smoking hot body, and somehow forgot his shirt throughout the movie.
Unfortunately, I myself was guilty of this daydream, perhaps even more so then my friends. Have I mentioned that Dirty Dancing is my favorite movie? I can do the dances, recite the lines, all I needed was my very own Patrick Swayze to mambo into my life!
I’ve come across a few nice guys in my time, but when it comes to them, I’m a love ‘em and leave ‘em gal. Oh, I enjoy the flowers, the compliments, and the romantic dinners. Then I get bored. There is no challenge with a nice guy! He’s already half in love with you, and all you have to do is bask in his affection. Yawn! Give me some disinterest, a few lonely nights waiting by the phone; forget my birthday and I’m yours! I’m such a cliché! We all claim to want someone who treats us right, but deep down, we know we would throw it all away for a chance of achieving the impossible, changing Mr. Right Now into Mr. Right.
At the time Braden came into my life, I had been in love exactly never. The boys that I had met up to then had barely registered on the like scale.
I was picky and too confident for my own good. Maybe I wasn’t tall and blonde, but in my experience, short, curvy brunettes can get just as much attention.
Shaking my head, I moved on to the next box waiting to be filled. I had been a silly young girl back then! Totally clueless about what I wanted, but looking for Mr. Right anyway! Maybe I’m still silly, but I’d like to think that at twenty-seven I’ve grown out of a least a few things, including that phase!
The ringing phone brought me back to reality. I glanced around the disaster area that was my living room. Where was the phone?
“Hold on, hold on!” Racing around, trying to follow the sound of the phone, I made a mad search. “I’m coming!”
Four rings later, there was the phone, under an old coat and a few dish towels that I had meant to throw away.
“Ava, you’re still there?” It was my best friend, Cara. We had already talked on the phone four times that day. I kept telling her to just come over and say goodbye in person, but she refused. She claimed to hate goodbyes too much!
“Yes. If you didn’t think I’d be here, why did you call?”
“One last goodbye. I’ll miss you, girl! Are you all packed up?”
“Getting close. The truck will be here in about ten minutes. I’ll miss you, too. You’ll come visit soon, right?”
“As soon as possible. I’ll let you go, I know you’re busy. I love you, Ava. Bye.”
“Love you, too, Cara. Bye”
With a few tears in my eyes, I turned back to my mess. Cara was the closest thing to a sister that I had. I knew that I’d miss her a lot.
But now was not the time to dwell on the people I’d leave behind. I still had two more boxes to go and trash to take out!
As I taped the last of the boxes shut, I heard the truck pull up the drive. I took one last look at my now empty apartment. Thank god, I had gotten everything done. I knew it would be super hard and emotional, so I kept putting it off!
“Well, it’s time.” I took a deep breath and walked slowly to the entrance. I grabbed the doorknob and opened the door to my future and my past.
I checked the mirror one last time, making sure that my hair was in place, my makeup subtle, and that my fuzzy, gray turtleneck sweater made the most of my little waist and not so little chest. Wishing one more time that I was skinny instead of curvy, I made a face at myself and left the bathroom.
“Cara, wait up!” A few feet ahead of me, Cara stopped, hands on hips, striking the perfect impatient pose.
“Were you checking yourself out again? I swear, I have never met anyone more fascinated with themselves!”
“When I meet someone who is more fascinating then me, I’ll quit being fascinated with myself.” I giggled “And I was not checking myself out! I’m allowed to look at myself once in a awhile!”
Cara laughed, too. “I doubt that you’ll ever meet anyone that can surpass you in any area, let alone in fascination!”
We continued along the hallway that led to the center court of the shopping center where we both worked.
“Come by later and pick up a coffee.” Cara was working at the trendy little coffee shop, CaffeiNation, while going to school part time for business management.
“I’ll be down as soon as I get the morning paperwork under control.” I have a slight caffeine addiction that I like to succumb to with a raspberry mocha cappuccino. “See you in a little while.”
I went through my usual morning routine with ease. I am a MIT, or manager-in-training, at the local bookstore, The Bookworm. Not a very original name, but in recent years it had taken off and become a rapidly expanding chain. I had started there as a sales associate while attending community college, also for business management.
Unlike Cara, who had changed her major more times then I could remember, I had wanted to own my own business since I was having my Barbies set up their own shopping malls. I thought of this job as a stepping stone to my ultimate goal, my own bookstore and café. I was hoping that Cara would one day settle down enough to be my partner.
I know it sounds crazy, I actually like working in retail. Most people would look at the hours we keep, the lack of time off during the holidays, the constant need to hire and train new people, and would run in the opposite direction. I, on the other hand, think it’s all in a days work. I love that it’s never the same and always a challenge. Plus being surrounded by books and people is perfect for me. Any book I could ever want to read is at my fingertips, and there is an endless supply of customers to talk to about them!
I counted out the money for the registers, walked the floor to make sure things were in order, straightened a few displays, and changed the employee recommends section. Satisfied that everything was taken care of, I walked to CaffeiNation for my morning pick me up.
“The usual please.” I had lucked out and was the only customer in the shop. It’s usually the hot spot first thing in the morning. Patience is not one of my virtues. Plus, it was easier to talk to Cara if there wasn’t a line of thirsty, coffee-crazed people waiting for their morning fix.
“Would you like to try one of our muffins or a nice croissant this morning?” With a huge, cheesy smile, Cara rang up my order. The job required her to ask each customer if they’d like to try another menu item. She likes to practice her smile and delivery on me.
“No, thanks!” I responded with the same over the top enthusiasm, and only a hint of eye rolling. I never eat in the morning, and after years of being friends, she knows this. “Don’t you get tired of asking me that?”
Ignoring my question, Cara leaned over the counter and nodded her head at the MusicLand store across the hall. “Have you seen the new eye candy across the way? Go ask that friend of yours, what’s his name, the guy who works there? Who he is.”
My friend at MusicLand was not exactly my friend, but a guy that I kept bumping into everywhere. He went to the same clubs, the same parties, and since we both worked in the same mall, we even ended up taking breaks at the same time. He name was Dylan, and although he was good looking in a big, athletic way, I found him to be a little obnoxious for my taste. He was always hitting on me in a half joking, half serious way that drove me crazy. Cara had told me a hundred times to go for it, but I think that was just because she thought he was hot and wanted details!