I pull off the top screen that protects my car from being too hot, I slide onto my cool leather seats and practically moan. Having school all day stresses me out and all I wanted to do was get home, shower, take a nap,get some food and party. In that order.
I drive away from my school at The University of Missouri and straight to my home town- Cape Girardeau. It's only a thirty minute drive and I turn on my playlist to fill the silence. I sing along with the songs until I'm pulling into my driveway. I park my car in the garage and walk in the house.
"Mom, I'm home!" I yelled.
The house is simple but outdated. Mom refused to change anything after grandma died two years ago.
I hear the sound of footsteps coming down the stairs as I open the fridge for a snack.
"Hey, Dawn." She said with a smile. "How was school?"
I close the fridge and look over at her. Cassie Robinson, looked younger everyday. Her brown curly hair is out and flowing. Her brown skin is flawless, the same color as mine. Her eyes are brown where mine are hazel. She says I have my father's eyes but whenever I try to talk about him, she changes the subject. I do know from grandma that he somehow saved their lives but they never elaborated further.
I shrug. "Same old. I have an exam coming up and then summer starts. Thank God."
She nods. "I can make you something?"
"Please." She went right to work making us a snack. "I wish some of your cooking skills would have rubbed off on me."
She scoffs. "I have no skills. Though, I did write a few articles on food poisoning the other day. If that counts."
I groan. "I've suddenly lost my appetite." She puts a BLT with chips in front of me. "And now it's back." I said while taking a big bite."
I'm glad this house is paid off because mom isn't making much money being a journalist in this town. I know that if she didn't get pregnant with me nineteen years ago that she would be somewhere big like New York or California. I know she doesn't blame me but I can't help but feel guilty. I also have some resentful feelings towards my father who left her high and dry.
She laughs and takes a bite of her sandwich. We eat in silence and once we're both finished, I wash our dishes while she goes to her laptop to write her next article. I go upstairs to my room, strip out of clothes and get in my bed. The second my head hits the pillow, I fall asleep.
I wake up to the sound of ringing. With my eyes still closed I put my hand on my nightstand to try and find my phone. I find it and answer it.
"Where are you?" Hailey yelled over the phone.
I remove it from my ear to see that it's ten-thirty and the party starts at eleven. I slept for seven hours straight and it still doesn't feel like long enough.
"Shit. I'll be there in thirty." I said and hung up without waiting for her response.
I got out of bed and straight into the shower. When I'm finished washing my body, I put some leave in conditioner in my dark brown curly hair and leave it out to air dry. With a towel wrapped around my body, I go to my closet to pick out an outfit. I chose a pair of black ripped jeans and a red crop top. I add a black choker necklace, my black converse and I'm out the door.
"Have fun and be safe." Mom said, when she sees me coming down the stairs.
She's curled up on the couch, with a bowl of popcorn and watching the notebook. I wish she'd get out more. Even in her fouries, she's too young to be hanging out alone on a Friday night. Some part of me believes she still has feelings for my father. I don't think she notices the longing look in her eyes on the rare occasions she does talk about him.
"Do you need condoms?" she asked, and I rushed that much quicker to the door.
I can hear her laughing when I quickly close the door. I grab my keys off of the hook, get in my car and drive back to school and to the fraternity house where the party is.
"About time." Hailey said when she sees me closing my door and putting my keys away.
"Sorry I fell asleep."
She waves me off and pulls me into the house. I find that I'm the only girl not wearing something short or barely there. I wasn't judging anyone, I just always seem to stand out at these things.
She pulls me through the crowd and towards the kitchen where a table filled with alcohol is. She starts mixing drinks into two cups. Hailey hands me my drink and I slowly sip it as I take it all in. There is a table set up where two teams are playing beer pong, a space with couches pushed against a wall where people are dancing and a mix of people with different sororities and fraternities shirts on.
I turn around to find Zane Carter. He's a football player here and also in my English class. We've talked a few times. He's a sophomore while I'm a freshman. His hair is dirty blonde hair and a little messy but in a cute way. He's taller than me standing around six-two maybe taller. I don't know what position he plays but he's not as muscular as the other guys I've seen on the team. I do know he has a six pack though. I may or may not have started going to his practices on the lie that I was waiting for Hailey to get out of cheerleading practice.
"Hey." I said, "What are you doing here?"
That was a dumb question. He's here to party like everyone else.
He smiles down at me with his perfect white teeth. "I'm just here with a few of my teammates."
He gestures to a few guys who are cheering on a guy who is chugging from a keg. That's alcohol poisoning waiting to happen.
"It definitely is." Zane laughed and I realized I said that out loud.
"Sorry, I do that a lot. My thoughts hate me and sometimes decide to voice themselves to make those around me hate me for saying shit I shouldn't."
He laughs again and I just now notice the little ping inside that I feel when he does. I've found him attractive all year but never got the courage to say anything. Maybe now that the year is almost over I can. I look around and notice that Hailey is long gone.
"Hey Zane." A female voice said before I could get another word out, she put her arm around his waist and I feel like an idiot now.
I walk away without saying anything and go in search of Hailey. I find her making out with a guy and decide to get some fresh air. I go out the sliding door, close it and take a seat on the steps. I feel much more relaxed now that the sounds are muted and it's just me.
I don't know why I keep doing this to myself. I take another sip of my drink. I don't belong here. And I don't just mean at this party. I don't belong anywhere. I've always felt like an outsider all my life and here I am actually outside when I should be inside having the time of my life. But for as long as I can remember, I've felt like I'm missing something. Like I'm somehow needed somewhere. It's weird but also reassuring that maybe one day I'll be able to find where that feeling is coming from.
I'm about to walk to my car when the door slides open and I turn around to find Zane. He takes a seat down next to me on the steps.
"Sorry about that. We aren't together or anything, but somehow she feels some type of ownership over me. I wish she would get that she's not my type."
"Hmm." Is all I said.
"None of those girls are my type."
"So, blonde, pretty and rich isn't your thing huh?"
"Nah, I prefer women with more personality." he said. "Why don't we ever talk?"
The question comes out of nowhere and throws me off.
"We do talk."
He shakes his head. "We don't. You only talk to Hailey or you're off in your own world."
I shrug. "Sometimes that's the best place. I've never been one to socialize." I take another sip of my drink.
"You ever feel like you don't belong?"
I see him tilt his head back and look up at the star. He looks more like me. Peaceful, now that he's away from the noise.
"All the time. But isn't this your crowd?"
"Nope. I prefer to be alone. I get the feeling you're the same way."
I look up to find him staring at me. For the first time, I somehow feel connected to him in a way. His eyes drop to my lips before they look back in my eyes. I don't know who leans in first but before i know it, we're kissing. It's so unexpected that I'm shocked before I give in. His lips are soft and perfect. His arm wraps around my waist to pull me closer as we deepen the kiss. I don't know how long it is before we slowly pull apart.
"That was unexpected." I mumbled.
It felt a little awkward now. I just half drunkenly kissed my crush and I don't regret it.
He smiles at me. We talk for what feels like forever before he walks me to my car after I told Hailey I was leaving. She was too wrapped up in a guy to notice I was even still there.
"Could I have your number." He asked while he rubbed the back of his neck like he was nervous.
"Sure." I held my hand out for his phone.
"Oh second thought, can I put my number in your phone? I just remembered I left mine inside."
I nodded and handed over my phone. I pull out my keys as he types away before handing it back to me. He opens my door for me and I get in. He closes it and backs away from the car and watches me drive off to head home.
When I park my car I can't help the smile that is on my face. I plan to tell mom all about it but then I hear the sound of the smoke detector going off. I rush inside and my whole world falls apart.
Mom is on the ceiling with her mouth and eyes wide open as she burns.
Are you enjoying my ongoing story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, R.J. CollinsWrite a Review