Authors: Jennifer Davis
Copyright © 2013 JENNIFER DAVIS
All rights reserved.
This book is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.
This title is intended for readers age 17+ due to strong language, sexual situations, and drug and alcohol references.
WHAT HAPPENED FIRST
My father owns a company that insures things, like, schools, hospitals, and private commercial buildings, which generates tons of money, but forced him to travel a lot. Even though he wasn’t home much, I thought he and my mother were happy in their marriage, so finding out that he had this whole other life in another state sort of blindsided me.
I was eating a bowl of cereal before school when my mother broke the news. She’d breezed into the kitchen and calmly explained that my father was extravagantly living with a twenty-one-year old girl who called herself Nico, during times when he was supposed to have been away on business, as she casually stirred cream into her coffee.
She then smiled, told me to have a good day at school, and mechanically left the room like a Stepford wife. My mouth, full of partially chewed Cheerios, fell open. She was in shock; it was the only way my mother could have delivered such news so coolly.
By the end of the day, the shock had worn off and my mother had filed for divorce. She’d actually scrawled
as the reason on her petition papers.
She was obviously bent about the infidelity, but she was also pissed about my father’s big house and flashy cars because the two of them had agreed to live a middle class lifestyle for my sake—to save me from the evils of wealth or whatever, but because my dad had tossed that agreement out the window—along with his marriage vows—my mother adopted a new motto.
If he can have one, so can I
. And began buying the most expensive things she could get her hands on.
Her first purchase was an enormous house that she’d only seen in photos, which just happened to be fifteen minutes from where my father and “the infant,” as my mother referred to Nico, lived. Then hired an interior designer she’d never met to decorate said house, instructing her to finish at lightning speed and spare no expense—both of which she accomplished.
My mother also upgraded our cars by a thousand. I hadn’t even sat in the one she’d intended for me. Besides having no place to drive it, since I was living four hundred miles from my life, it was a Cadillac sport wagon. The color was pretty; glacier blue, and it looked a little sporty, but what eighteen-year-old drives a fucking sport wagon on purpose? That car had been created for upper crust soccer moms. Not me.
I had only been out once since we’d moved—when my father took me to dinner to introduce me to Nico, who looked, as you can imagine, like the perfect place for a man in midlife crisis to land. Flowing blond hair, big blue eyes, sparkling white smile, bubbly personality, and drum roll please…a chest full of saline. It had only taken me 1.4 seconds to realize that Nico and my dad didn’t have shit in common; that he just wanted her body and she just wanted his money, which meant that my father
had basically dumped my life upside down for sex.
I was so angry I wanted to stand up, dramatically throw my napkin on the table, scream,
“This is complete bullshit!” and walk out, but didn’t have the guts. So I sat and watched the two of them feed each other while fighting a violent urge to vomit and fuming over how my father’s secret life was ruining my real one.
I’d lost my home and car, the friends I’d known all of my life, my boyfriend of almost a year, who’d dumped me because, well, what good would I have been to him four hundred miles away? My mother was spending money like a
jonesin crack head at 2 a.m., and had taken to strategizing about how to win everything my father has in their divorce like it was her job.
To make things worse, it looked like I was going to be spending my last summer before college completely friendless. I’d only seen one person in my new neighborhood that wasn’t a gardener or a pool boy in three weeks. She was next door and had
blue hair, but looked close in age to me. It was hard to tell though; I’d only seen her for a second. She’d stepped out on a balcony and thumped a cigarette over before spinning back inside. I hadn’t seen her since.
My mother was on the phone with my father trying to start another argument. The day’s subject: His relationship with Nico and how it was going
to negatively affect me for the rest of my life. She’d begun by reminding him how much she hated him for living with a woman barely out of her teens and went on to blame him for my future “daddy issues” and impending inability to trust men ever again since the man I’d trusted most (my father) had awakened one morning and decided to abandon his family (me and my mother) for an infant with veneers and plastic boobies.
Unfortunately, she’d chosen to conduct her rant in the kitchen where I was making myself a sandwich. My mother wasn’t spewing anything I hadn’t heard before; she’d repeated herself a
lot over the last couple months. It was when she warned my dad not to be surprised if one day soon I was pole dancing in some nasty club downtown that I’d had enough, abandoned my turkey on rye, and went outside.
I’d moved past being angry about my situation to just feeling defeated. Their constant bickering was draining me. All I wanted to do was get through the next month a half. Then I could leave for college and never come back.
I sat at the edge of the swimming pool in my new backyard, which took four full-time landscapers to keep maintained to perfection—my mother’s new standard for everything. I dangled my feet in the water, swirling it around, daydreaming about getting the hell out of there when a female voice interrupted me.
“The gate was open. I live next door.” She pointed toward the house where I’d seen the blue haired girl. “I’m Hazel.”
She didn’t look how I pictured someone named Hazel would look. She had long blond hair with a hint of strawberry; stick straight with bangs swept to one side. Her face was covered in dark makeup and she was wearing a school uniform: white top, plaid skirt, Mary Jane’s, and knee socks. She looked more like a Brittani to me, a Brittani with an i.
“I know, right?” she sighed, crossed her legs, and plopped down next to me. “It’s my fucking dead grandmother’s name. My dad, who named me, was, like, a hundred when I was born and my mother was either too stupid or too stoned to fight him over it.” She rolled her eyes, stuck a cigarette in her mouth, lit it, and took a
Okay, so I was wrong—not a Brittani.
Hazel was a lot to take in, but she was also the only person my age that I’d seen in three weeks. I decided I’d better make conversation instead of blankly staring at her, wondering if her mother really had been stoned when she was born.
“What’s your middle name?” I asked.
is my middle name. My first name is way too disgusting to say out loud.” Her expression soured. “So I tolerate Hazel.” She took another hit off her cigarette.
“I’m Ryen,” I said.
Hazel laughed, forcing out a broken stream of smoke. “Did your parents think you were a boy or—ooh, you’re not a hermaphrodite, are you?” she asked wide-eyed, as if she’d really love it if I were.
“No,” I answered flatly, not offering to explain my name or prove that I had only one gender.
“I was screwing with you about that hermaphrodite thing,” Hazel shrugged, and flicked her cigarette ashes into the pool. I cracked a tiny smile. My mother would have been furious if she’d known there were cigarette ashes anywhere near her perfect swimming pool.
“Are you in summer school?” I asked to change the subject.
“Nah, I graduated last year.”
“From private school?”
“Why are you still wearing the uniform?”
Hazel looked me in the eyes and cunningly smiled. “Guys think it’s hot when they see a girl in knee socks and a short skirt. I wear the Mary Jane’s so they’ll think I’m a virgin,” she winked.
“What?” I gasped.
“I don’t know why, but they eat that shit up for some reason; the completely buttoned up shirt and these preschool looking shoes.” She stuck her foot out, and twisted her ankle, gazing at her shoe as if she couldn’t figure out what it was about Mary Jane’s that men found so sexy. “It’s really pretty sick if you think about it,” she finally said.
“Then why do you do it?”I blurted.
“Because I like to dangle in front of them what they can never have,” she explained, and leaned closer, ready to enlighten me. “It’s the best high on earth,” she grinned. “Lust is an appallingly strong emotion—more powerful than love sometimes. It’s why people cheat. It totally excites me when I know a guy wants me and there’s no way in hell he could ever have me.” She took another hit off her cigarette and laughed—probably at me staring at her in awe.
“I never act on it, of course. That’d be super slutty of me, but it is a shitload of fun watching men stare at me with this depraved look in their eyes,
like they’re really memorizing me, getting a good mental picture. Makes me wonder if they think of me when they’re in bed with their girlfriends.”
I had no idea what to say to that, which didn’t matter
because Hazel didn’t allow for more than a second of silence between us. “You’re not a virgin, are you?” she asked. I could tell she expected me to say yes.
“No, but I’ve only been with one guy.”
Nowadays that’s apparently the equivalent to being a virgin.
“We broke up when I told him I was moving.”
“Ouch,” Hazel mouthed. “How long were you together?”
“Almost a year.”
A curious smile broadened across Hazel’s face. Her teeth were perfect
; white and equally straight. “So, I guess you two had the whole Hallmark movie love story and shit, right?”
I smirked. “I guess.” I didn’t like Hazel assuming that I was Hallmark wholesome after thirty-seconds with me.
Even though I sort of was.
Especially in comparison to her. Except for sleeping with my boyfriend, and sipping an occasional beer, I’d never done anything bad. I’d been an honor roll student throughout my school years and had the same handful of friends during most of that time. I guess I didn’t have many chances to get into trouble, but I could have been bad if I’d wanted to.
Hazel took one last draw off her cigarette and flicked it across the yard, not watching where it landed. I didn’t mean to, but I smiled, thinking of my mother again.
“So, how vanilla are you?” Hazel asked.
Hazel smiled crookedly.
“Never mind.” I guess I’d unintentionally answered her question. “Why don’t you come out with me tonight?” she asked. “I’m going to a sleepover at my friend Tosh’s house. It’s going to be sick and it’ll take your mind off the dick that dumped you.”
“I don’t know,” I frowned. The thought of hanging out with a bunch of rich girls sort of made my skin crawl, although, so far, Hazel hadn’t been
“Tosh won’t care if you come. She loves meeting new people. Besides it’ll be better than listening to your mom bitch about your father’s infidelity all night.”
“How’d you know about that?” I asked, slightly defensive.
“I’ve overheard her out here a few times on the phone. She’s not exactly into keeping it down,” Hazel added out of the side of her mouth as if she’d known my mother for years or something.
“She didn’t use to be like that,” I mumbled, embarrassed.
“Until your dad left her for the infant with the stupid name,” Hazel stated, proving that she really had overheard my mother’s rants.
“Yeah—not until then,” I agreed.
“So you’ll come with me,” Hazel said, as if it had been decided. I guessed she wasn’t going to allow me to say no. Besides, she was right about how I would have spent the rest of my night. I figured that going out with her couldn’t have been any worse than staying home with my mother.
Standing in Hazel’s driveway, she opened all six of her
garage doors at once, revealing a row of a dozen cars. Six on the floor and six on hydraulic lifts above the others. The cars were beautiful, brightly colored, and very clean. Their surfaces had been polished to a glass-like finish. Their chrome wheels glistening. Their windows darkly tinted and tires super glossy, like Hazel’s red lips. From the emblems I recognized, they were also grossly expensive.
I’d never seen anything like it. It looked like a toy car collection I’d seen my friend Monica’s little brothers play with when we were younger. They were the kind of cars that most people only had access to in that form—as a two inch Hot Wheels replica.
Hazel slowly strutted between me and the row of cars as she spoke in a sultry tone. “So, what are you in the mood for tonight? Mellow Yellow?” she purred. “Bitchin’ Blue, Racy Red, or Sexy Silver?” she asked, her eyebrow cocked, a roguish grin on her lips.
When I opened my mouth to answer her, the words, “Your parents won’t care which one we take?” tumbled out, and I really wished I could have taken them back. It made me sound like I didn’t have even an ounce of the badass Hazel was inside me anywhere.
“Don’t worry, they’re all mine,” she said, not flinching at my ignorance. “Besides my parents have no say in what I do anymore.” I wanted to ask why, but didn’t want to embarrass myself further, so I kept quiet. Hazel smiled as if she knew what I was thinking.
“Remember how I told you my dad was, like, a hundred when I was born?” She rolled her eyes. “He was actually seventy-five. He died when I was a baby and left me a shitload of money. So much that I’ll probably die of old age before I could spend it all. He left my mom a lot too, but she blew through hers, so I give her an allowance every month.”
Once that statement settled in, Hazel laughed. “I think if anyone has a grown infant in their life, it’s me,” she said, referring to my mother’s pet name for Nico. “My mom’s thirty-eight, but likes to think she’s sixteen. Her husband is a twenty-six year old French guy who claims to be an artist, but can’t paint for shit. Or produce anything that resembles art. He’s more like a professional perv. He’ll screw anything that’ll lie still long enough, and since my mom’s too plastered to know what year it is most of the time, he totally gets away with it. I finally bought them a place just to get that filthy bastard out of my house.”
“This is your house? You live here—by yourself?” I gasped. Hazel laughed, making me conscious of my gaping mouth, which I instantly clamped shut.
“Yeah, but I have a staff, so there are people around—
.” She rolled her eyes. I didn’t know, but she’d moved the subject back to the cars before I could say so.
“So which one, Hallmark?”
I pointed to the car I was standing in front of because it looked to be the least expensive to me. It was an Audi R8, which I
only knew because I’d seen Ironman.
“Sexy Silver it is,” Hazel growled, excitement flickering in her cobalt eyes.
The windows were down and Hazel’s hair floated around her face like a science experiment. I’d put mine in a ponytail before we left, while Hazel changed out of her schoolgirl uniform.
The Audi was fast and Hazel drove it like a maniac. Weaving in and out of traffic while smoking a cigarette, shifting gears, talking, and screwing with the radio, but for some reason I felt no fear that this girl, who I’d only met half an hour ago was going to crash and kill us, even as distracted as she was.
“So what’s his name?” Hazel called to me over the wind noise.
“Derrick just sounds like a dick name,” she moaned. I
didn’t disagree with her.
“Well, I say that tonight we get you started moving on from that asshole,” Hazel proclaimed as she bore down on the accelerator to make it through a yellow light.
I was stunned when Derrick dumped me. We’d been talking about going to college together in the fall and kicking around the idea of sharing an apartment instead of living separately in the dorms just days before I told him I was moving.
I was still hovering somewhere between the devastated and pissed off stages, so moving on from Derrick sounded good. All I had to do was do it, which I knew would be easier said than done. I figured the first step would be to think of something other than
“Do you have a sister,” I asked Hazel.
“A sister?” she repeated. “No, why?”
“I saw a girl on the balcony at your house last week. She had short blue hair.”
Hazel laughed. “That was me. Game night. 20’s theme. I had to wear a flapper dress. The blue bob was sort of frowned upon,” she glanced over at me and grinned. “But I didn’t want to look like every other bitch in the room.” From what I’d experienced so far, I imagined no one ever confused Hazel with being like anyone else.
“I’m here, like, everyday so they know me,” Hazel said. Before I could ask who
were, she whipped around a corner without attempting to slow down as we passed a security stand. Two men wearing tan uniforms and matching hats stepped out of the stand and waved. Hazel blew kisses using both hands as we sped past them.