So, this is something very adult, and very different for me…let me know if you like it! REVIEW PLEASE!
OFFICIAL SEAL OF EDITED. THANK YOU BETA!
Chapter 1: A Spoonful of Peanut Butter is the Breakfast of Champions
I hate my days off. I hate this bed. I hate this trailer. I lay in bed, staying as quiet as possible as I heard my mother open my door and come in. Just pretend you're asleep, pretend you're asleep.
I heard her trying to be as quiet as possible as she rifled through my pockets of the uniform I wore the night before, no doubt taking the cash in my front pocket. I'm not an idiot. My tens and twenties are in the bra that is on my body. I left 2 fives and a couple of ones in the pocket so my mother would take that and think that's all I made. I'd made the mistake of leaving my pockets completely empty, only to be smacked repeatedly for "hiding" money from my mother. Even though the money is mine, hard earned as a waitress in a shitty diner, she claimed that I owed her for the years that she raised me. Psh. That's a stretch. Raised is a loose interpretation of what she did to me. I'd spent most of my life alternating between avoiding beatings from her when she was drunk, and cleaning her up when she was passed out. Not sure on what planet that is considered raising a child, but I'm pretty sure it's not here.
Don't start feeling sorry for me; I'm not a pity case. This so called raising made me into a pretty tough chick, something I'm pretty proud of. I can not only take care of myself at 17, but I can take care of my friends when they need it. No one messes with me. I'm not a bully, by any means, but people fear me to some extent. I like it that way. Better to fear me, than make fun of me, or worse, feel sorry for me. I might be rough around the edges but I have people that know the real me, people that I can let my guard down around. I'm very lucky that way.
Which reminded me of where I could go today. Carly and Spencer wouldn't mind if I hung out at their place today. Only 4 more weeks till I can get my own place. I couldn't wait to turn 18. I had enough money for a decent apartment, but no one wants to rent to a 17 year old. I faked an ID about a year ago to get my own place, but my mother found out that her personal ATM had moved out and called the police, claiming that I'd "run away" and created a sob story about missing her little girl. Fucking ridiculous. I "accidently fell down the stairs" the night I was returned home by the cops. The ER failed to notice that we live in a single story trailer.
To avoid further bodily injury, I was quietly waiting until July 23rd.
Carly is the only one who knows all of this. Carly, my best friend since we were 11, and her older brother Spencer are more than friends to me. They are my family. The only family that matters anyway. As I lay there trying to be perfectly still and quiet, I thought back to how I first met her.
Carly showed up on a warm fall school day. She was absurdly pretty. She was taller than me and had long dark brown hair and huge dark brown eyes the shape of almonds. She had just moved here because her parents had died in a car accident and was living with her older brother.
Jason Kart, the class bully, who had failed the 6th grade at least twice and had a moustache (something that even us 6th graders knew was just wrong) was being very cruel to her. Most likely because he liked her. But she was ignoring him, which only made him fuel the cruelty and increase his efforts. He made a crack that her parents had died on purpose to get away from her, and Carly ran out of the room crying. That was the last straw for me. I didn't mess with Jason as a rule; we sort of understood each other. He came from the same background as me. Heck, we lived in the same trailer park. I knew all about his drug dealer dad and his whore mother. I knew that his older brothers beat the shit out of him. But all of those things are just excuses as to why he was the way he was. I wasn't like that. I wasn't a bully. I had a shitty life too and I sure as hell didn't take it out on undeserving people.
Truth be told, I was a little jealous of the fact that Carly's parents died. I'd never tell her that, it's totally fucked up, and I can certainly understand why she was devastated. I'm sure I'd be devastated if I had parents that were worth more than their weight in shit. But Carly was as undeserving of her parents dying as she was having that asshole, Jason Kart torture her about it. So I made sure that after school, while everyone was waiting for the bus, that Jason Kart got a kick in the nuts and then in the face as he dropped to his knees. I spit on him, and told him that if he ever talked to Carly again, I'd cut "it" off. I was serious. He knew that.
Carly saw the whole thing go down and looked shocked and a little afraid. I walked up to her, with the whole class, and most of the school watching.
"Hi. I'm Sam. I don't think he'll bother you anymore."
"Umm… thanks." She replied uneasily. "I'm Carly, but I guess you know that."
"Yep. You got anymore of those chocolate covered pretzels you had at lunch?" I knew she did because I watched her eat them, while I hid out of sight, I didn't want anyone else to notice I didn't have a lunch.
"Yeah, I do." She grabbed them out of her bag and offered them to me.
"Thanks." I said.
"You're welcome." She said back. She went to get on her bus and I followed.
"So, I'm gonna hang out at your house." I announced as we sat together.
"Umm…okay." She said, smiling, and I knew she didn't mind. It was sort of refreshing. Someone who didn't know anything about me. I mean, no one really did, or no one really knew the WHOLE truth, but they theorized. They assumed. And I did nothing to prove them wrong or right. I didn't want to start off on the wrong foot with Carly. I'd always be truthful with her.
We arrived at an apartment in a really nice neighborhood. The front door actually had a doorman. I tried to hide my shock, but apparently I wasn't doing a very good job.
"I know. It's crazy fancy here, right?" She said with a little giggle. "I'm not used to it either."
We took an elevator up to the 3rd floor and got out, only to find two apartments on the whole floor.
"Wow. You guys have half a floor? Are you like, totally rich?" I asked, totally forgetting my manners, whatever I had of them.
"Umm… I don't know. When my parents died… I guess they must have had money saved for Spencer and I…." She trailed of, clearly uncomfortable talking about either money or her parents, or likely both.
"Sorry. I didn't mean to pry. I'm sorry about your parents too. That sucks." I said uncomfortably, not really knowing what to say.
"Yeah, it does suck." She replied sadly.
We went into the apartment and I looked around. There were instruments everywhere. Piano, guitars, drum sets, every kind of horn and percussion instrument that I'd ever heard of and some that I hadn't.
"My parents were musicians… so is my brother." She explained.
With that, Spencer entered the room. He was tall, and looked just like Carly… well, the male version of her. He was gorgeous with the same dark hair that was molded into careful disarray. He was tall, around 6 foot 1 and had a very muscular physique. He had tattoos going up and down both arms and a piercing through his lip. My poor 6th grade hormones were going crazy. He was the poster child for "bad boy".
I playfully flipped my blonde hair over my shoulder and batted my eyelashes at him while I waited for an introduction.
"Sam, this is my brother Spencer. Spencer, this is Sam." She gestured a hand toward me and I waved.
He smiled genuinely at me and waved back. "Oh Sweet! Pleased to meet you Sam. I'm so stoked Carly made friends already!" His voice was hypnotic; no wonder he was a musician. I was sure I was drooling at this point. Carly didn't seem fazed by my reaction towards him. My guess was that she was used to it. With looks like that, I was sure women were constantly throwing themselves at him.
And with that thought, a stunning redhead came into the living room, scantily clad in a men's dress shirt and nothing else. She smiled a fake, plastered on smile when she saw Carly and I, and leaned in toward Carly, hands on her knees, as if she was talking to a toddler.
"Oh, my! You must be Carly! I've heard so much about you!" The redhead cooed out.
I looked over at Carly who looked like she was trying not to roll her eyes.
"Of course you are." Carly grumbled.
Everyone looked at me. I looked at Carly, who was smiling a big, goofy smirk.
"Spencer, I'm gonna go show Sam my room." She said as she sent him a pointed glance that I later learned to mean, "We will talk later."
Carly left the room and I followed her up the stairs, offering an obligatory wave to Destiny and Spencer.
She opened her door and threw her backpack in a corner, I followed suit. Her room was enormous. But I had expected as much from the rest of the apartment. It was very… pink. And girly. And pristine. There were dolls and stuffed animals everywhere, and most of them looked brand new, never used. There was a huge canopy bed in the middle of the room and an oversized desk against the window, which overlooked the front street. But the main thing about the room that I noticed was the books. Along the entire back wall of the bedroom were built in shelves, from floor to ceiling, and they were filled with books. I wasn't so sure we were going to click. I wasn't what you would call a "school person." Not to mention I was the polar opposite of princess.
Carly sat on her bed and watched me while I checked out her room. It's a personal thing, a girls' room, and I couldn't even dream of bringing anyone into mine, so I could understand that she was sharing with me a very private part of herself by inviting me up.
"Your books are awesome." I said finally, not really knowing what to say.
She sighed. I looked over at her and immediately wanted to apologize, though I had no idea why.
"They belonged to my parents. Most of them anyway. I haven't even started reading anything. I just wanted to keep them."
I nodded, again, not knowing what to say. There was more silence and it was obvious that I was going to be the talker today.
"You have a ton of stuffed animals!" I stated, feeling like an idiot for stating something so obvious.
She snorted this time. This girl's reactions were really keeping me on my toes.
"I'm sorry, I must look like a total psycho." She shook her head while she said it.
I looked at her expectantly, waiting for an explanation for the reaction.
She took a deep breath. "Well, since you took a big risk for me today, I guess I can tell you about me… if you want to know?" She asked.
"I wouldn't be here if I didn't!" I added cheerily.
"Well, you know my parents died, and you know I live with my brother. I moved in a few weeks ago, but I just haven't been ready for school, ya know?"
I just nodded.
"So, when I moved in, my brother's girlfriend at the time, Fate or Heaven, or Hope or Serenity or some other ridiculous stripper name, she wanted to help decorate my room. I didn't give a crap about decorating, being that my parents had just died and all, but my brother insisted that I try to do some normal stuff. So she brought me to the store and I just nodded any time she pointed at something she liked. Hence the pepto pink and the stuffed animal farm I have. I'm definitely not the princess this room portrays."
"Oh, thank god." I breathed a sigh in relief. "Not that I wouldn't have liked you if you were, but I'm DEFINITELY not the princess type. But I think you probably already knew that, being that I beat up a guy 3 years older than us." I laughed.
"Yeah. Thank you for that." She said genuinely.
"Don't sweat it. He was being an asshole." I said, and plopped down on her bed next to her.
"Aren't you worried that he is going to get you back?" She asked.
"Nah, I know where he lives, and all I'd have to do is tell his mama. She'd kick his fucking ass too."
Carly looked shocked at my language and I made a mental note to tone it down. Princess or not, she was definitely not from my world.
"So, what's your story?" She asked.
"Ah, Carly, we don't have enough time for my story. Long story short, I'm a tough chick who can take care of herself."
We were quiet for a minute. I decided to go for broke.
"You might hear some rumors about me. I try not to give the people at school reason to talk about me, but sometimes you can't help it." My lips got tight.
"I'd understand if you don't want to be friends with me. Most parents think I'm a bad influence on their kids. I don't have a whole lot of friends." ANY friends is a more accurate statement.
"Why wouldn't I want to be friends with you? You didn't even know me and you stuck up for me? I think that makes you a really good person. I don't care what people say. Besides, they talk about me too, and not all of it is true. We can just ignore them together."
"I'd like that a lot Carly."
She gave me a hug and I stiffened. I'm not a huggy person.
"Hey, do you have anything to eat here?" and with that, I got off the bed in search of the kitchen.
I watched my back for a few weeks for retaliation, and I'm sure it would have come eventually, but Jason's father was killed in a drug deal gone wrong and his mother moved across the state, bring dear ole Jason with him.
That was my world.
I was jerked from my memories, by my mother slamming my bedroom door. She was pissed I didn't have more money in my pockets. She assumed that my job at Lou's was slow going with bad tippers. She didn't show much interest in me other than my monetary supplements. Thirteen bucks will buy her a bottle of cheap vodka. Enough to get her through the morning. Great. I heard her rustling around in the living room for shoes or keys or something else necessary to get to the liquor store. I sighed in relief when I heard the door click shut. I had 25 minutes before she was back. Enough time for a quick shower and if there is even food at the house, a quick breakfast.
I got up and pulled out clothes for the day. I was off today, so no uniform, and the selections of clothing I had to choose from was slim. Not that I cared much what I wore. Not a priority. My goal in life was to get enough money to get away from here. Period. I guess you could say I don't exactly think like a regular 17 year old girl. What do normal 17 year old girls think about anyway? Boys right?
I think about boys, problem is, boys don't really notice me, I like to think they're more afraid of me. It's not that I'm not pretty, I think I'm okay. I'm short, about 5 foot 2, with blue eyes and long blonde wavy hair. I've got what I consider and athletic build, some hips and boobs, but I'm not curvy. I have a body that's meant for my lifestyle, I can move fast when I need to, and I don't get noticed, which in most cases, in my life, is a good thing. Because even though boys don't notice me, that means that the men around here don't really notice me either. At least most of them. I'm invisible most of the time.
Plus, I'm around Carly all the time. Carly is a gorgeous girl. She looks like she did when we were eleven, with the long brown hair and huge brown eyes, but the puberty fairy blessed the shit out of her. She grew to be 5 foot 8 and she is stacked. She is all curves, and in the good way, not the "I'm chubby but I tell people I have curves" way. She's a size 4 like me, but where my pants just fit my hips, they hug hers. Where my tops fall over my body, they conform to hers. Sharing clothes with her is as exciting as it is depressing. She's a true sister in that way; she lets me borrow whatever I need, no matter how much better it looks on her, though she does hate it when I borrow her pants since they drag on the ground. So, when I say I'm invisible, I think it's more likely that boys don't notice me because Carly is in the room. I'm used to it and I don't begrudge her for it. She thinks I'm crazy. She claims she'd give anything to have MY figure. Grass is always greener, eh?
I remembered the first time I was jealous of her body. We were thirteen and starting 8th grade. She had "grown" over the summer and I was still flat as a pancake. But instead of being proud and cocky like I would have been, she was insecure and embarrassed. I couldn't understand it.
We headed into homeroom together and I saw the new kid. It was an event when our school got a new kid. In fact, Carly had been the last new kid, and that was almost 2 years ago. This new kid was good looking in a nerdy way. Thick brown hair, dark eyes, and a sweet smile. He was sitting at his desk, reading a book, which was adorable, again, in a nerdy way, being that it was the first day of school, and nothing was due. I wanted to talk to him. I'd never had this kind of reaction to a boy. I'd had some experience with boys, but not this type of boy. This wasn't the type of boy that would make out with me on the bus home. This wasn't the type of boy to sneak cigarettes with. But I still wanted to talk to him. But as soon as I started thinking of ways to do just that, he looked up and saw Carly. All hope was lost once I saw the look on his face. Love at first sight. Of course. Carly.
Carly looked uncomfortable and sat down at the first available chair.
"Why is the new kid staring at me like that?" She whispered at me.
"Because you're hot." I whispered back. "And your boobs are huge." I teased.
She turned beat red and didn't talk to me the rest of homeroom.
When the bell rang and we got up to leave, the boy came over to us, or more accurately, to Carly.
"Hi, I'm Freddie, I'm new here."
Carly didn't say anything, and she looked panicked, so I stepped in.
"Hi, Freddie. This is Carly, and I'm Sam. Nice to meet you, we gotta go." I said as I dragged Carly away from the confused, adorable boy.
"What the hell is wrong with you? You couldn't even say hi!" I said to her as soon as we were out of earshot.
"I don't know, I just, the way he was looking at me, it was weird."
I shook my head. Poor innocent Carly. She was stuck on this idea of how it's supposed to be when two people like each other. This whole, "the clouds with part and the sun will shine and the angels will sing." kind of idea.
The rest of the week passed by in a blur. Carly finally talked to Freddie, and it was obvious to everyone that he was crazy about her. Who wouldn't be, really? Gorgeous and sweet, the whole package.
Freddie started hanging out with Carly more and more and he finally got up the nerve to ask her out. I wasn't there when it happened, but the gist that I got from Carly is that she just told him that she only liked him as a friend, and that he was okay with that. I'm not stupid. I know that him being "okay with that" meant that he was going to stick around until she changed her mind.
That annoyed me. Carly was my best friend for the last two years and I didn't have to share her with anyone else. I liked it that way. I hated the idea of having to share my best friend with a boy who just wanted to feel her up.
After that, I started being sarcastic and a little mean to Freddie. At first he was surprised, not really knowing how to take it, and then he started acting just as nasty back. It soon became precedent for us.
I hadn't really thought about why Freddie and I fought since then. It's just how Freddie and I are now. We do well with the sarcastic, mean banter. I usually win. He's just too much of a sweet boy. It doesn't work to his advantage that I'm bitter to the very core.
Not that I don't consider us friends, I just… I don't know how to explain it. I know that I defend him constantly, though I would NEVER admit that to him. But I don't like it when people try to act like they know him and they don't. The only time he has ever witnessed me sticking up for him was when Tim was insulting him in the 10th grade, I did the only thing I could to get them to shut them up, and enjoyed it a little more than I should have. Man, I haven't thought about that in a while… that was fun.
I settled on a pair of jean cut off shorts and a tank top, and headed out of my room. I checked the fridge first and saw that there was nothing in there but a box of baking soda and old condiments. The cupboards produced gravy packets and peanut butter. I grabbed the jar of peanut butter and a spoon and ate 3 large spoonfuls. Breakfast of champions. I took my clothes to the bathroom to get ready and started the shower. I let the warm water drops flow all around me and let my mind drift to nothing.
I heard the front door open, long before my 25 minutes were up and I panicked. Even though I was in the warm shower, I broke out into a cold sweat. It wasn't my mom. And the only other person it could be… was Chuck.