Read A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl Online

Authors: Tanya Lee Stone

Tags: #Fiction

A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl

Table of Contents

Title Page

Dedication

Josie - FOR THE RECORD

THE WHOLE TRUTH

JIGSAW

FIRST (REAL) DATE : PART ONE

FIRST (REAL) DATE : PART TWO

FIRST (REAL) DATE:PART THREE

FALLING

HOME

BOOSTER SHOT

THE DEEP END

PUSHING MYLUCK

NO-MAN'S-LAND

ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR

HOT WATER

THE PLUNGE

TWO WORDS

WHITE-HOT

FAVORITE THINGS

SLAMMED

IN AND OUT

TESTING THE WATERS

ROCKING THE BOAT

COLD FRONT

SUNK

MISERABLE

OFF

KIM AND CAROLINE

NEXT TIME

FOREVER

THE PLAN

BEWARE

CHECK IT OUT

HIGHER EDUCATION

Nicolette - POWER PLAY

I LOVE

OF COURSE,

GOOD ENOUGH

HEY

BURGER AND SHAKE

FINE

NICOLETTE

AFTER PRACTICE

RED LIGHT

GREEN LIGHT

THE CLOSET

WE HAD

POWER OUTAGE

THE LONG WAY HOME

FAVOR

SECOND THOUGHTS

PIZZA AND BEER

CLOSE ENCOUNTER

NEW FRIENDS

NEW ENEMIES

ALL BETTER

AVIVA

FADE TO BLUE

DOG

NO MORE TEARS

FOREVER

LIGHTBULB

LONELY

BEING HEARD

Aviva - CRISS-CROSS

STILL

HIPPIE BY-PRODUCT

PARTY

MONDAY MORNING

SIGNALS

ALONG WEEK

Nicolette - FOREVER

Aviva - PRINCESS FAMILIAR

MY DAD

THE KISS

A SHORT WEEK

POOL PARTY

TENSION

YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND

GROSS

GLITCH?

MONDAY

COURTYARD

SURPRISE

NATURAL WOMAN

I DON'T THINK

READY OR NOT

FOREVER

555-3142

DRIVE-BY

THE NEXT DAY

LUNCH

LAST WORDS

THE TALK

THE MESSENGER

JOSIE

I CAN'T BELIEVE

WE THREE

MATERIAL GIRL

GIRLFRIENDS

Acknowledgments

About the Author

HAVE YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS BEEN BURNED BY A BAD BOY?

Copyright Page

 

 

For Alan, the
best boy
a girl could ever love

Josie

FOR THE RECORD

I'm not stuck up.
I'm confident.
There's a big difference.

If I was stuck up
I'd be one of those
“Oh look at me, I'm so pretty”
girls
instead of just appreciating the fact that
my cinnamon skin looks good year-round
and I can hop in the shower after soccer or lacrosse,
throw on a clean sweatshirt,
sweep on some mascara,
let my hair loose from its pony,
and give any girl
a serious run for her money.

And while I totally deserve my spot in Honors English
I'm happy to take my proper place
in Algebra I, suffering alongside the rest of the
mediocre math heads.

So,
as far as high school boys go,
I'm not so floundering in self-esteem issues
that I need
someone's arm to hang on or
someone's jersey number to cheer for
to be a legitimate person,
like some people I know.

Man, to listen to Kim and Caroline
chatter away all summer
you'd think we've been waiting our whole pathetic lives
just to graduate middle school
and get to Point Beach High
so we could date high school boys.

As if high school boys
hold some kind of magical key
to who we
all
really
are.

THE WHOLE TRUTH

All that stuff I just said is absolutely
swear-to-God true,
but the rest of the truth
the whole truth
is
lately
I don't have as tight a grip
on my confidence
as usual.
I mean, this is
high school.
Sure, I was pretty popular in middle school,
but you never know
how these things are going to
turn out.

What if
what Kim and Caroline call
my natural look
is considered totally lame in high school?

What if
wanting to read
during lunch
makes me a
total geek?

What if
I don't
fit in
at
all?

JIGSAW

It's funny how one night can change
the way you look at certain things.

I mean, I believe 100 percent
that high school boys don't hold any magical key
or anything
but that's not the same as saying they're all bad.
Some of them aren't so bad.
Like, maybe,
this
one.

I saw him across the gym before he saw me.
He was scoping things out at the Fall Fling,
looking for that one lucky freshman
to win the prize
of dancing
with the studly senior.

I think he picked me
because I looked
right at him
as if I couldn't
care less.

I couldn't care
more.

My heart was pounding,
palms sweaty.
Hit me like a surprise party you cross-your-heart
had no idea
anyone was throwing you.

Now, I have
never
understood all that
he's-my-other-half
soul mate stuff
or when people sometimes talk about
having an empty space inside
or that they're missing pieces or something.

But then
he walked over
and fit himself
right into my puzzle.

FIRST (REAL) DATE: PART ONE

I think Mom is a little bit worried
the first guy I'm dating
is a senior.

She should know me
better than that.
I never do
anything
I don't want to do.
That's not going to change.

I mean, when everyone thought
it was so cool
to sit on the seawall
and puff through a pack of Marlboro Lights,

I had a blast sitting there laughing,
telling them how truly stupid and
uncool
they really were, actually,
coughing and sputtering and wanting to puke,
yeah,
real
sexy,
dopes.
Give me some credit.
I never do
anything
I don't want to do.
Period.

He picks me up in his brand-new
Mazda Miata.

I hate to admit it,
but he kind of cracked my
cool-as-a-cucumber exterior
I tried to pull off
at the dance
(even though I'm hoping
he didn't notice I talked way too fast)

but now
all
he's
talking about
is how many horsepowers his stupid car has
and the torque

and how he almost picked cherry red
but he's so stoked that they had this
sweet ocean color
come in at the last minute
and I'm starting to think
maybe
I made
a
big
mistake,
but I just smile and nod,
like the idiotic bobblehead
planted
in the middle of his dashboard,
pretending
this is the most
interesting conversation ever.

Man, I hope he doesn't keep this up too long.

We pull in to Smiles.
The parking lot is
alive,
too many radio stations
blaring
kids making out in cars
sitting on hoods
eating hot dogs
high-fiving
smoking various things
drinking various things
talking too loud
about
nothing.

Real
fun.

Inside
the scene isn't all that different,
except
it's another kind of dark
punctuated
by the bright lights
of too many pulsing
video games
jammed up
against each other.

We walk over to a big bunch of seniors
by the batting cages
he drapes his arm around me
real possessive,
which should have immediately brought out my
I-can-take-care-of-myself attitude,
but instead stirs this
way-foreign tingly
“Oh my God, he really likes me” rush.
(Lame! Did I just actually think that?)

“Dude!”

“Who's the babe? Fresh
meat
?” one of the jocks says,
right in front of my face.

“Get it? Fresh
men
, fresh
meat
?”
He's laughing hysterically,
like this is the most hilarious thing
anyone
has ever
heard.

“Yeah, got it.
Guys, this is Josie.”

A round of Hi's, How's It Goin's, and What's Up's
are tossed in my general direction.

“Hi.”
I never thought this scene
would interest me
but actually,
I feel really,
I don't know,
included, I guess,
with his arm wrapped around me
pulling me into a group—
and not just any group:
the coolest, most popular group of
seniors,
even though the guys are fairly juvenile.

“Hey, we're all heading over to Lindsey's in a while,”
one of the boys says.
“Time to party!”

“Okay. We'll hit that, too. All right, Jos?”
“Okay. Sure.”

Although I'm not at
all
sure
because my Mom would
freak
if she knew I was going to a
senior party.

FIRST (REAL) DATE: PART TWO

We hang out at Smiles for a while,
eat some truly nasty pizza,
then head over to Lindsey's.

On the drive over
he rests his hand on my thigh,
“Are you having a good time?”

“Yes.”
“Good, I'm glad. I want you to have fun.”

His hand
is still
on my
thigh.

He's going on and on about something,
his car again, I think,
but I can't concentrate
with his fingers moving back and forth like that
and even though he's acting real
innocent,
like he's got no
goal
or anything,
the heat from his fingers is
searing through to my skin
like one of those iron-on transfers.
I could almost bet
when I look later
his handprint
will have been permanently
imprinted
on my leg.

Then he raises the stakes.
He moves his hand onto mine
picks it up
and puts it on
his
thigh.

He takes his eyes off the road
for a second
looks at me
and smiles.
Like the big bad wolf.

If I was in a comic strip,
there'd be a bubble coming out of my head
with the word “Gulp” in it.

FIRST (REAL) DATE: PART THREE

We did
not
have parties
like this
in middle school.

Kids are doing, I'm not even sure what,
in rooms that aren't
really part of the party.

Lindsey lives in Morningside
along the shoreline
where the seawall is made of giant slabs
of granite and quartz.
Some are slippery smooth and catch the moonligh
Some are rough with little crags and crevices
perfect for
wedging
the toe or heel of a sneaker in to keep from slipping
down the wall.
I spot couples
sprawled out in different spots
on the huge quilt made of stone.
Her parents must be
way
out of town.

“Cool party, huh?” he says.
“Uh, yeah.”

Apparently, I wasn't convincing.

“Relax, Josie, people are just having fun.
You're a big girl now,” he says.

“Gee, thanks for telling me,
otherwise I wouldn't have known,” I say.
(Who the hell does this guy think he is?!)

“Oh, don't be that way. I'm sorry.
I didn't mean anything by it. Dance?”

We move onto the dance floor,
if you can call a living room with all the furniture
pushed up against one wall
and plastic cups tipping stale beer
all over the place
a dance floor.
With every step
my shoes stick a little to the
spilled drinks coating the wood like slightly used tape.

A lot of boys don't dance,
they're too cool.
Not this one.
He's
way
too interested in getting his body
up against mine.

As he pulls me into him,
full contact,
I feel like my brain's going to explode
from all the fighting going on inside it.
I mean, this is the kind of guy
Caroline would fall for,
not
me.
I'd be the one to point out to her later
that this was the exact moment
she should have gotten the message
and walked.
But instead
I smile
wrap my arms around his neck
and sink into his chest.
Damn.

Why does he have to
smell
so . . . so . . .
Yum.

Now we're basically just hugging to the music,
as opposed to
actual
dancing
and as he starts kissing me
I realize
I better get home
before things get out of hand
on our first (real) date.

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