The lies between my parents and I came to light and now I’m working on a new life for myself. Along the way, I have my trusty superhero, Mason, to lean on when I have a hard time standing or when my crazy ex-boyfriend continues to feel he has a claim on me.
Porter has trouble understanding that there hasn’t been an ‘us’ for more than three years plus all the issues he had brought upon himself. My father was right, drugs do kill. My other concern is the growing feelings I am having regarding Mason. There’s something between us I want to explore but I keep getting mixed signals. Here, I thought that after telling my parents about my lies and having their full support, things wouldn’t be as complicated as they are.
My parents divorced before I even made my entrance into this world. My father has been obsessed with that love for years while my mother searches for love in all the wrong places. I don’t want a place to call home or a girl I can claim as mine. Except… Ainsley Janine –better known as ‘Nine’—has some special power that makes me question my preferences. The more I try to stay away from her, the more she pulls me closer.
Exploring the possibilities of having something steady in my life isn’t a problem; it’s the long term that worries me. In addition to that, the scumbag she dated years ago keeps popping up everywhere we go. If I could use my license to kill, maybe I can stop worrying about one thing and concentrate on what to do with the green eyed girl who keeps me awake most nights.
“Like the chorus,” MJ congratulates me. “If someone can write this hateful shit, it’s you. So, anyone in particular you want to castrate, or any man will do?”
Giving him a ‘no one, in particular’ shrug, I hood my eyes. When, in fact, there’s one person I want to castrate at the same time I want to kiss until we can make sense of the nonsense swirling around us. That hot and cold charade is not flying anymore. Next time he does that, I’m going to give him a piece of my mind.
MJ places it back on top of the piano and doesn’t finish reading the last three lines.
But before you disappear
Behind the shadows and the dark night
I ask for one last kiss
One last taste of what we couldn’t be
“Did you tell her?” JC shakes his head. “Good, I think it’s best if we take her now before she goes back to her crib and changes her clothes.”
I stop fidgeting with the piano and pay more attention to my brothers.
“Why do I have to change?”
I eye my entire outfit.
A pair of jeans and a yellow blouse, nothing fancy. Cute. My hair is pulled up into a ponytail, and I’m wearing the teardrop diamond earrings my grandparents gave me for my sweet sixteen.
“No, we don’t want you to change,” my brothers say at the same time. “You’re perfect. Let’s go.”
I check the time; it’s almost ten at night. I can’t think of many places where these two can take me. A strip club? JC did that two days ago. I had to call MJ to rescue me, but he never answered the phone. I ended up buying my brother a lap dance, and then he agreed to leave and take me to the movies.
“Payback for taking me with you to the spa,” he told me.
JC needed to relax; a nice massage was the perfect medicine. He didn’t appreciate it. A guy touched him, and not the hot blonde chick who checked him in when we arrived.
“Another joke?” I look from JC to MJ a couple of times and both shake their heads.
They seem sincere, but sometimes honest has a different meaning to my two brothers.
“Fine, I’ll drive.” I take the music sheet and head to Dad’s office where I file it away.
“Give me Eleanor’s keys,” JC orders. “I’m driving her. We’ll take her home later; MJ and I can crash there. There’s no way I’ll let you drive at night.”
I hate when he jumps on his alpha horse and thinks he has to protect me because he thinks of me as the little sister. I pull my purse from the drawer where I usually hide it and hand him one of the sets of keys. A few extra copies, in case of emergencies and what not.
MJ takes his monster Jeep, a Wrangler with big tires that he uses mostly when he goes camping. I’ve no idea why he’s using it today. I hope they aren’t planning on taking me somewhere I will need sneakers. I’m wearing sandals, for the love of Pete. Great. I’m going to have to take them off and wing it barefoot as usual. If only I had a sister to balance the scale. Nope, I fear she’d be too girly, and I would’ve wanted to drown her before her fifth birthday.
“Don’t look sour, princess,” JC smiles at me. “You’re going to enjoy this, I promise.”
“Vogue?” I read the black and white sign.
JC parks right behind MJ’s jeep, who is handing over the keys to a guy wearing a neon yellow vest. Another guy approaches my door, opens it, and helps me step out of the car. I’m glad I already hid my bag under the seat and grabbed my tiny wallet. A new trick-trinket I bought after Mason had to break in my house. The memory of that night sours my mood. One week and two days counting and the idiot hasn’t called me to apologize. If he thinks sending me cute videos of kittens is going to do the trick, he’s wrong. I still want to make a voodoo doll and torture him through it.
Born on the mystical day of October 30th in the not so mystical lands of Mexico City, Claudia grew up with a childhood that resembled a caffeine-injected soap opera. Seventeen years ago she ventured to the lands of her techie husband—a.k.a. the U.S.—with their offspring to start a new adventure.
She now lives in Colorado working as a CFO for a small IT company, managing her household filled with three confused dogs, said nerd husband, two daughters wrought with fandoms and a son who thinks he’s the boss of the house. To survive she works continually to find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact.