CH 1 – Troublesome
I'm at Jessica Stanley's party. Only it's not her house. Well, it's her house but instead of the brown microfiber recliner in her living room, there's a roller coaster. One of the wooden ones that knocks your head around and gives you a migraine. There's nothing like being tossed around hundreds of feet above concrete. Or in this case, baby blue shag carpeting. Which is a whole other nightmare.
Anyway, I digress. Back to my dream, because it's a good one. Shit, I've realized it's a dream. Now it won't have that feeling of authenticity. You know, when you wake up and think it really happened and you're happy for a second before you realize it wasn't real. And believe me, I want this dream to be real.
She's in it again.
I'm kind of in love with her.
She kind of doesn't know I exist.
That's not true, she knows I'm alive. She just doesn't know me, as in actually acknowledging my existence with a gesture of formal or informal greeting, such as a wave or salutation. Or eye roll. Nod. Whatever, I'm not picky.
So, I'm on this roller coaster with Rosalie. She's in a plaid mini-skirt and knee-highs, because apparently my subconscious thinks she's Catholic. She's flirting. Heavily. Her hand's on my knee and it keeps getting closer and closer to my junk. I'm chanting "Do it, do it, do it!" Like a fricking pie eating contest.
The car starts moving and I turn into Marky Mark, from that movie Fear. Yeah, you know the scene. I should wake myself up. I think my brain is trying to tell me this obsession is insane.
I'm not crazy. I'm only Internet stalking her. You know, the usual. I Googled her, bookmarked her Facebook. I might be following her twitter under the alias kittensRkute22. Honestly, I'm more worried about the twenty-one people who thought kittensRkute was a clever username.
I feel like a creep but I'm vaguely aware of that "blow a load in your sleep" phenomenon, so I stick it out. You know, for the sake of the twins.
I start filling in the details. Rosalie bites my lip. I lick her neck. She pulls my hair and I grab her boob. I'm so close but then my little sister's on the roller coaster with us. Only she's not supposed to be on roller coasters because she's seven months pregnant.
She's lecturing me on how I'm inappropriate and I yell at her to leave me alone and let me get my rocks off. She can't hear me over the clack, clack, clack of the coaster.
This dream just turned ten shades of fucked up.
"Edward! Wake up! I need you to drive me to school today!" Alice is banging on my bedroom door.
I groan and throw my pillow in the door's general direction.
"Get up!" She pounds again. "Ugh, I'm getting Mom!"
I open my eyes and try to find a comfortable situation in my pants. Comfortable situations are not my forte. I'm more of a painfully awkward lord of shame.
"Edward, honey? Can you open the door please?"
Ugh. So annoying. I throw my comforter to the floor and crack open the door to find my mom in one of her pink suits. She's a real estate agent. Looks like she's ready for a full day of cold calls and postcards.
"Sweetie, I know it's asking a lot, but can you please take Alice to school today?" Alice peeks over my mom's massive shoulder pad and flips me off. Bitch.
"Yeah, sure, whatever." I try to close my door but my mom has more to say. She barges in, Alice right behind her.
"I also need you to take her to her appointment this afternoon."
"Jesus, Mom! People always look at me weird. Like I'm the one who did that to her." I gesture to her huge bulging melon of a gut. "I'm pretty sure it's causing irrevocable harm."
"I really need you to help me out with this." My mom fluffs her hair in my mirror. In case you hadn't noticed, perfect hair equals success. At least it does here. In middle class suburbia hell.
I live in Riverside, Illinois, about ten minutes west of Chicago. My town has two high schools. There's the new, modern school, a brick monstrosity but each kid has their own laptop. Then there's the old school that used to be swank thirty years ago, but now it's a shithole and has metal detectors.
Guess which school I go to.
My parents didn't want Alice and me at the same school because they were afraid we'd have identity issues or something. When it came time to enroll, they sent me to the shit school. You know, because dealing with controversy builds character. Plus, Alice is their favorite. They don't even try to hide it anymore.
At least my school has a decent music department. I play the trumpet in the marching band. I've been playing since elementary school and I'm damn good too.
"So, I can count on you to pick her up?" my mom asks again and I sigh.
"Yeah. I can do it." I push past the two of them and my sister's scowling as she waddles after me. She's wearing this dark purple skirt and a long black sweater. She's all into the goth look right now. Her jet black hair is spiked, her pale skin is perfectly powdery. She looks like the Penguin. You know, from Batman.
"Pick me up in front of the school, so I don't have to search the parking lot for you. My ankles are like tree trunks."
"Okay." I make it to the bathroom and try to shut the door but her tree trunk is in the way.
"And the camera crew will be at the appointment today so you need to be on your best behavior." Alice is capitalizing off the general public's propensity to use people who screw up their lives as entertainment. There's this show, 16 and Pregnant. Have you seen this? It's a reality show for pregnant chicks. It's fucking ridiculous. My sister's on this show. She sent in this sob story audition tape about how her parents are estranged and her boyfriend knocked her up and then bolted.
Solid gold bullshit.
Our parents have been married for like, twenty years or something. They always claim they're too poor to get divorced, but that's bullshit too. My dad's got stock options like a champ. He's stacked. He wants us to think he's poor so we won't ask him for cash.
And Jasper, the boyfriend who bolted? Naw, he's just dumb in love. Alice broke up with him temporarily so she could be on this show. She said she wouldn't let love come before her career. I don't know if she realizes when she has this kid, she's no longer marketable.
"I know," I say. "I won't say anything inappropriate. No fat jokes."
She still won't move.
"Thanks, Edward," she says and her eyes are soft. And puffy. Then she's just my kid sister, stuck in shitty situation. Yeah, she brought it on herself, but she's still my sister. And I love her.
She finally lets me close the door. I have exactly twenty minutes to shower, dress and drop Alice off at her school.
I can't help it. I whack off and I'm late. Again.
I park in the student lot and make sure the alarm is set. I also put a club on the steering wheel. I don't actually have a key to it or anything, but I feel more comfortable with it looking like it's locked down.
My car's a piece of shit. I got my dad's old Volvo when he bought his new Mercedes. Alice got a fully restored '68 Camaro SS. Because she thought it was pretty. Two days later she told my parents she was pregnant. She blew out the engine last week. Red-lined all the live long day, chewed up the gears, spent seventy in second. The shit she put that magnificent machine through keeps me up at night.
I head to the front gate. It's the only gate that's open. One way in, one way out. Like a prison. I empty my pockets and the narc checks my backpack. No guns, no knives, no drugs. Just a shitload of books that are giving me Scoliosis. They had to take out all the lockers because kids were stashing contraband.
"Late again, huh, Edward?" Peter is cool. He lets me leave early once in a while because my mom found him a sweet deal on a foreclosure last year. And he knows my dad. Everyone knows my dad. He's a marriage and family counselor. The only one in the whole town.
"It ain't easy looking this pretty," I joke and Peter laughs. He thinks I'm hilarious. He graduated a couple years ago, went straight on to get a job working for the school district. People don't seem to make it far out of town. And those who do, rarely come back.
My parents both went to this high school. Met here, dated here, got engaged on the football field. Like fucking fate or some shit.
My mom's parents met here too. Even went to my same elementary school. They lived here for fifty years before buying a Winnebago and heading out on the road. They're like a two-man traveling circus. My grandma claims she's a contortionist. I don't challenge her because I'm afraid she'll try to prove it.
The halls are pretty deserted and my sneakers squeak on the polished linoleum as I skid around the corner, right smack into a wall of pectoral perfection. Emmett McCarty. High school student extraordinaire. Captain of the water polo team. Student body vice president. Fucker's smart too, a mathematical genius or some shit.
He's kind of my idol.
"Whoa, dude. You cool?" he asks.
"Hey, Emmett, yeah. Sorry about that man, woke up late." Like he cares.
"Choking the chicken, huh?" he laughs and I laugh along. Yuk, yuk, yuk…
He saunters off, cool as ever. And I'm about two inches tall.
I slide into American Government undetected. Snore. My teacher, Mr. Willis, insists on calling on every student in the class at least once, every single day. Only he's got a lazy eye so I'm not exactly sure when he's speaking to me.
I'm sitting next to the door and my buddy Jake keeps trying to get my attention from the other side of the room. He saved me a seat. Yeah, he's insane if he thinks I'm going to incur the wrath of sly eye Willis.
Instead, I ignore him and focus on federalist clauses. Because, you know, I might need that information someday. But he won't leave me alone. He's making lewd gestures with his hands and gyrating his hips.
"Mr. Black," Willis catches him in an awkward position and now it's time for the show. Jake's a douche. He really doesn't care who knows it.
Jake checks over his shoulders then leans to the left so Willis can see him with his good-eye.
"Is he talking to me?" Jake says to Angela, this shy, shrinking violet type. She's mortified. I don't blame her. He clears his throat, sits up straight.
"Yes, Mr. Willis, sir?"
"Mr. Black, do you need something?" Mr. Willis is staring right at Angela and it's making her uncomfortable. She doesn't like confrontation, especially when she's not really the one being confronted.
"Oh, um, yeah. I was just telling Edward over there that I have his homework. He couldn't quite get up this morning." Jake winks at me and I grit my teeth. Jake's been suspended twice this year. One more and he's expelled, doesn't get to graduate. I've kind of been watching his ass.
Willis is looking at me now. I think.
"Mr. Masen. Tardiness will not be tolerated. We have rules for a reason. Do you know what patriots did to those who chose to spit upon the rules of society?" He waits. I think the question's rhetorical.
"Mr. Masen, I expect an answer!" Now Willis is yelling at Eric Yorkie, the dude who sits next to me.
"Tar and feather?" I blurt because Eric looks like he wants to stab me.
Mr. Willis recoils. Takes a step back. He looks shocked.
"Well, yes, actually. That is correct. It's a shame they only allow me to hand out detentions. You'll be joining the rest of the deserters for Saturday school this weekend. I hope you didn't have any plans."
Fuck. There goes my weekend.
Not that I had plans. I was going to see the new X-Men movie and maybe stop by Game Stop on my way home. But now my hours of self-indulgent entertainment will have to wait yet another week.
When the bell rings, I jet but Jake's fast. I don't really want to talk to him. This is just like third grade when he blamed me for throwing spit-wads at the ceiling in the boy's bathroom. He barely got in trouble while I was sent home with a referral. It's like everyone expects the worst from him. He's from a single-parent household and is harboring some real feelings of abandonment because of his mom leaving and shit.
My dad's his therapist.
"Dude, I owe you. I can't believe he gave you Saturday school. What a dick!"
"Right, he's the dick," I mutter as I dodge some freshman's flying notebook. Jake slaps a paper on my chest.
"Here, I'll make it up to you. I snaked the answers from Allman while she was taking a piss." Mrs. Allman's like a hundred years old and has polio. She's in a wheelchair. Hardly a mission impossible.
"Thanks," I say and shove the paper into my notebook. Jake steals the answers every week. I never use them. Don't need to. Unlike the rest of the student body, I have excellent spelling. Who gives spelling tests in high school anyway?
We split at the quad and I head up to the band room. Jake refuses to walk in that direction with me. He thinks it will damage his street cred. But I don't mind being a band geek. I get great seats to every football game, and a bomb ass uniform. What other extra-curricular activity do you get to wear gauntlets? Maybe fencing. That might be the only hobby cooler than band.
The trumpet is by far the coolest of the marching band instruments. I mean, the sax is badass but it's so damn heavy. Too many valves. I like to keep it simple. Plus, it's easy to woo the ladies with promises of flutter tonguing and fingering.
"Hey, it's the bugle boy!" Mike's part of the front ensemble. It's hard to take an insult from the guy who plays the cow bell. I've been friends with Mike since kindergarten. The first time I saw him, he was latched onto his mom's leg and screaming. Later that day, he hit me in the face and stole my trike.
"X-Men is playing at the Belair tonight and my mom's making meatloaf. Ben said he'd drive if we wait until he gets off work." Ben has a big truck, kick-ass for the drive-in.
"I have to take my sister to her appointment." I open my trumpet case and pull out my instrument. I attach the mouthpiece, wet my lips and give it a good blow.
"Are the cameras going to be there?" Mike asks. Every time he comes over, he makes a point to talk to my sister just so he'll be on television. I don't know if he's familiar with the editing process.
"Unfortunately," I mutter and then stretch my jaw.
"Does she want to go to the movies with us?" he asks.
"Are you insane? Those cameras are the bane of my existence."
"Dude, help a brother out," Mike shrugs. "I'm relying on this to get me into the entertainment industry. I have star power, you know?"
I can't tell if he's serious. That's scary shit, right there.
After band, I have Calculus and then Lit. Seniors don't really have to take a fourth year of math, but it was either this or Advanced Chemistry. I guess I'd rather play with numbers than risk losing a limb in an explosion.
After reading a million pages of Shakespeare sonnets, I head to lunch. I hate eating in the cafeteria. It's just way too…social. It's where the assholes at this school go to flaunt their availability. Or claim their clique. Me? It's where I go to buy two chocolate fudge cookies and can of Dr. Pepper before heading out to the stadium steps to meet the guys.
I've hung with the same group of bastards since elementary school. Like I said, Mike and me go way back. Jake moved here in the third grade. He offered to split his collection of Yu-Gi-Oh cards if I'd be his friend. Even back in the day, he was a schemer. Ben's a relatively new addition. We met him in middle school. P.E. He was the only one of us with any real coordination, so we stuck with him to avoid the inevitable pummeling. If we hid behind him, we could delay the onslaught for at least a week.
I make my way through the gross assortment of nutritional fallacies and purchase my cookies and soda and then I see her. Rosalie. All gorgeous and shit. She's got on these short black pants and they're real tight. Man, she's got a nice ass. I mean, she's brilliant and totally cool. But damn, the girl is fine. She's sitting with her usual group, mostly academia types. Not nerds, mind you. These are competitive academic decathletes.
Lauren Malloy, Emmett McCarty, Tyler Crowley, and the two exchange students Vladmir and Stefan. I don't even know how they got into that crowd. They're the only dudes at this school who can get away with wearing loafers and skinny jeans and still be accepted by the top dogs on campus.
They're engaged in conversation, probably a political debate or thoughts on string theory. Whatever it is, it's got Rose heated. Her violet eyes are on fire, her hands flying through the air, the soft blonde curls swaying. She uses her entire body to make her point. I know she's right. I don't even care what she's arguing, I agree with her.
Suddenly, she looks up and catches me staring at her. Like some creepy weirdo. God, I'm an idiot! I hope I'm not drooling. That would not help my cause.
I'm considering changing my name and moving to Mexico when she smiles. And waves. At me.
I look behind me, just to make sure what I'm seeing is reality and not one of my masturbatory fantasies. No one's even remotely close. She has to be waving at me.
I wave back. I think. Then she calls my name.
My name. Out of her mouth. Her tongue pressed against her teeth and she breathed and said my name.
I'm getting hard. No shit.
Be cool. Be cool. Be cool.
I walk over to her table and Emmett's drinking one of those carbonated waters. Normally, I'd brand this douchey, but something about the way he doesn't give a shit makes it cool. Genius, social genius.
"Hey," I nod. The Romanian brothers ignore me. Tyler's got Lauren on his lap and she's looking at my shoes. Apparently, they meet her approval because when her eyes meet mine, she's coy. Flirty even. That's not awkward at all.
Rose is seated in her chair, a halo glowing around her glorious face. She's wearing this blue sweater and these red and white striped shoes that let her toes show. There's little flowers painted on them. Her golden hair is held back by a black ribbon. Like Alice in fucking Wonderland.
"It is Edward, right?" She said my name again. I wonder if I could discreetly record that shit on my phone. I'm going to try.
"Hey, Rosalie. Rose. Or Rosalie. What do you like to be called?" I stutter. Jesus! Why can't I stop talking?
"Rose is perfect," she grins. Yes, yes she is. Even her teeth are perfect.
"What's up?" I ask and casually sit down at her table. I'm sitting at her table.
"You're friends with Jake Black, right? He said you might be looking for a tutor in Calculus." She slides her card over to me. She has a business card for tutoring. With her phone number on it. Her real one.
"I'm available during sixth period if you want to meet in the library. My rates are on the website." Oh. Right. I'm going to have to pay her to hang out with me. It's common knowledge Rosalie Hale doesn't date. She's too busy planning her vast empire.
"Um, okay. I, uh, I'll see if I have some free time in my schedule." Yeah, I kind of don't have a schedule. Unless you count the prime-time line up on the history channel. All Nazis, all the time.
I get up and walk away and she doesn't say my name again. Goddamn Jake. He probably thinks he's doing me a favor but now I just feel like a jerk. A stupid jerk who can't do math.
I leave after lunch so I can pick up my sister. My mom has to call to get me out of class. I don't turn eighteen until the end of the school year. All my classmates were held back a year, started kindergarten late so they'd have an edge. My parents didn't get the memo, I guess. Well, not until Alice started school. She's sixteen, but she just started tenth grade this year.
I pull up in front of her school, a big beautiful brick building and she's already outside. Her camera team is waiting with her and she looks annoyed. Probably because I'm like two minutes late.
"You were supposed to be here ten minutes ago," she shouts at me as she opens the door.
"You said one-thirty." I check my clock. It's quarter after. I was supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago.
The camera guy and producer get in the back seat and Alice starts narrating. He's got this camera leaning against my face and I'm expected to drive safely.
"I'm twenty-eight weeks today and am going to my midwife for a regular visit. She'll probably check my cervix for dilation or softening, even though I'm super far from having to worry about that." Alice thinks her cervix is very important.
"Why did you choose a home birth?" The producer asks and Alice is ready for this question.
"I want as little intervention as possible. Child birth is a natural process. I just want to let my body do what it was designed to do." This from the sixteen year old girl bringing a human into the world. A human! The whole idea is completely sick and twisted.
"Oh! Can we stop at Jack in the Box? I want a milkshake," Alice blurts.
"No, we're already late," I mutter and then the camera's on me. "Besides, Jack in the Crack is hardly natural."
"How do you feel about Alice's choice to have a home birth? Are you planning to be there for the delivery?" The producer asks. I almost vomit in my mouth. Seriously, I have to choke it back. I already know way too much about her cervix.
"Um, home births are cool," I say and Alice gives me a warning glance. I'm trying to be as boring as possible so they won't ask me any more questions. But my kid sister is looking at me and there's a plea in her eyes. So I sigh and think of something positive to say.
"It's a pretty brave thing to do. Kinda scary. But Alice can do it. She's the toughest person I know." My sister looks like she's gonna cry.
I park and the moment they leave the car, I dig through my glove box and find my stash. I have at least an hour wait ahead of me. I open the bag and inhale. I love that smell. Some people think it's awful and it does bad stuff to your teeth but I can't give it up.
CornNuts are delicious. Alice hates them so I can't really eat them at home. I stash them in the only place she has zero jurisdiction, my piece-of-shit Volvo.
After her appointment, I drive through Jack in the Crack so she can get her damn milkshake. My mom's waiting at the door, anxious to hear how the appointment went. She asks a billion questions and they disappear upstairs, the camera crew following her the entire time.
My dad's reading mail at the kitchen counter. I grab a Dr. Pepper from the fridge and it fizzes around my fingers. I lick the residue and my dad glances up from his mail, his glasses perched on his nose.
"Hey Sport," he says. He always calls me Sport. I think he forgot my name.
"Hey Dad." I stand there for a good five minutes and sip my soda. I'm about to head up to my room when he decides it's time for conversation.
"How's school? What have you been up to?" He leafs through a L.L. Bean catalog, and I almost want to give him a red pen so he can circle all the stuff he wants.
"It's school. I'm going to the movies tonight."
"Not too late, though. You have school tomorrow." Licks his finger, turns the page.
"Okay," I answer. Like he'd notice
He doesn't notice when I leave the room.
I start up my computer so I can do my homework. At least that's what I tell myself. In reality I'm about to indulge in my daily Facebook/Google stalking.
I check my messages, scope statuses. The usual. Tanya Denali had a salad for dinner because she's trying to lose fifteen pounds. Sam Uley likes sarcasm society. Tyler Crowley's having a party this Saturday. Which reminds me. I have Saturday school.
I wonder if I should tell my parents.
"Dude, your cousin's hot," Mike says as he slurps his cherry slurpee. The popcorn is fresh. Mike always gets us the good stuff from the food court.
I raise my eyebrows at him and he shrugs. Mike's gay, he just doesn't know it yet. He wears sweater vests and took art appreciation two years in a row.
"Dick!" Jake shoves Mike hard in the chest and he almost falls off his Outdoor Patio Madaga wicker chaise. "Aren't you supposed to be working?"
Mike works at the Target with Jake's cousin, Leah, and half the teenage population of Riverside, Illinois. They work at the Target in Broadview, as opposed to Jake's sisters, who work at the Target in Cicero. Yes, we have to leave town just to go to Target.
We chill on the patio furniture in the garden section. It's the best place to hide out. No one really pays much attention to the patio furniture, unless they're in the market. Even then, they've usually done their research and know exactly what they want. And they end up ordering it online.
Mike gets us the popcorn combo and we people watch. Moms with their herds of offspring, grazing the aisles and taking up way too much space. Couples buying cleaning supplies for their first home. Pregnant ladies registering for baby shit. Then there's my peer group. If they don't work here, then they're loitering and shoplifting. Which is really selfish, by the way. Most of these kids come from loaded families. They get allowances and gas money and shit. They're sucking up all the shoplifting karma from those who really need it.
"I'm supposed to be doing a lot of things," Mike says as he tosses a piece of popcorn in the air.
"Oh, I almost forgot. You're an asshole," I say to Jake and he shrugs.
"Did you talk to Rosalie Hale about me?" I ask.
"No," he says, then thinks for a minute. "Maybe."
"Not cool, dude."
"I was just trying to help a brother out." He's flabbergasted.
"By making me look like a tool? Besides, I'm not really into her anymore." I'm trying to throw the dog off the scent.
But Jake just laughs, a loud, annoying guffaw that catches the attention of a family of four. The lady gives us a dirty look but this just makes Jake laugh louder.
"You've got a bigger hard-on for Rosalie Hale than Ron Jeremy at a handcuff convention. Not really that into her? Dude, at this rate you never will be."
"Didn't you try to hook up with Lauren at the bowling alley last night? I heard she shot you down pretty hard. Called you a self-indulgent prick or something?" Mike's mouth is full of popcorn but I appreciate the sentiment.
"I am a self-indulgent prick. Not my fault she doesn't want to drink the kool-aid. I have plenty of other takers." He leans back on the lounge chair, his hands behind his head.
Jake's bravado is not unfounded. He really does get a lot of ass. I have no idea why. He's good-looking, I guess, but he's a total dickhead. He treats girls like shit and doesn't even try to hide it. I guess his confidence is what they're attracted to.
Don't get me wrong, I've had my fair share of admirers. Jessica's been trying to get with me since eighth grade. We went to a dance together and she tried to kiss me. I freaked out and ran home. I felt really bad about it and have been trying to make it up to her ever since. I hang out with her a lot. She's cool, but there's no chemistry. I realize this is a thing assholes say, but I get it. I never wake up with a massive boner when I have dreams about Jessica.
I had a summer fling once with this girl from Charleston. We were vacationing there two summers ago. She gave me my first blow job. It wasn't meant to be. She dumped me at the end of the summer. Said she had a lot of living to do, which I very wrongly interpreted as she had a lot of dicks to suck. We parted ways, and not on good terms.
It doesn't matter though. Not a girl in the world can hold a candle to Rosalie Hale.
So, I'm tapping into my inner teenage boy for this story. All Edward's POV. Dick and fart jokes galore. Hopefully, I'll be able to post weekly.
Special thanks to my Boo, for prereading and general hilarious fuckery.
LightStarDusting is my drug of choice. She's also beta'ing this bastard. Because she likes dick and fart jokes too.
Thank you for reading!