Soundtrack To My Youth (book 1)

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What's My Age again

“Veronica” Bridget’s voice came booming through my ears, pulling me from my slumber but still I refused to open my eyes, if I was to open my eyes then I would be awake and that would surely mean I would feel pain. No one hits a telegraph pole with that amount of force and doesn’t feel pain.

“Veronica wake up, we have to go shopping before the party and you’re just lying there wasting the day away” I could sense that she was standing over me now.

“You said it was Just Sam and Lucas coming over, you mentioned nothing about a party, we’re not even allowed to have more than two people here Bridge, remember?”

“The party isn’t here, it’s at Sam’s and it starts in an hour so I need you to get up so you can drive us to the mall, I need a new bikini” She rambles on, not making sense, why would she need a new bikini to wear to a party at Sam’s house? Considering it’s May and it’s freezing outside.

“Bridget, I’m pretty sure my car is destroyed after I hit that telegraph pole. How did I even get home? I should be in hospital right?” I bring my hand up to my eyes and rub them, trying my best to shake the sleep as I slowly open them. No pain, this is good, maybe I walked away unscarred. Bridget’s face comes into view, she looks different to when I saw her an hour ago, how is it possible that she looks, dare I say, younger? Same green eyes, her dark brown, curly hair is longer, her skin softer, youthful.

“You crashed your car? Dad is going to kill you” She shrills, making me sit upright. Dad can’t kill me, dad has been dead for over 14 years. I take my eyes off Bridget to take in my surroundings, I recognise this room with it’s pastel pink walls covered in posters of The Backstreet Boys, NSYNC and Five, the sheer purple curtains and the school uniform hanging up in my open wardrobe. I haven’t been in this room since I was 23, since the day we sold the house, the posters on the walls were down long before that though.

“I’m at Dad’s house” I whisper, trying to make sense of it all.

“Well duh? Where else would you be? Now get up, get dressed and go tell Dad about the car so he might be able to take us to the mall before he leaves for work.” Bridget demands of me.

“Why can’t you just drive yourself to the mall and let me sleep?” I negotiate with her. This is the most craziest dream.

“I don’t have a licence, you know that but next month, when I’m 16 I’m going to get my learners so I never have to rely on you or dad to take me anywhere ever again” She informs me before stomping out of my room, most likely to go find Dad.

If she’s 16 next month then that makes this January. What year was Bridget 16? Think Veronica. I look around my room and see a Friends calendar hanging on the wall, being the control freak I am I can see that I’ve been marking off the days, which would make this day Saturday the 30th. I flip the calendar over to view the front which displays the year, it’s 1999 and that would mean that I’m 17, almost 18 and about to start my final year of high school.

My mind starts ticking over, this is the last Saturday before school starts on Tuesday and if Bridget says we are going to a party at Sam’s I know that it’s the party where I first caught Lucas cheating, of course he denied it completely and told me it was all in my head, that I had fabricated the image of him kissing Kristen. I remember that fight we had, I remember storming out of Sam’s in tears with Kate and Bridget not far behind me. I also remember that it took Lucas until Tuesday afternoon, after school, to come knocking on my door, not to apologise but to tell me how wrong I’d gotten it, how he was just helping Kristen out of the pool and she had fallen on top of him, he told me he loved me, that I was the only girl he would ever want to be with and I was stupid enough to believe it.

I’m startled by a monophonic melody playing, I search the room and see that the sound is coming from a phone, if you could even call it that, sitting on the nightstand, the small screen flashing as I look at the caller I.D and see it’s Lucas. I press the green button and hold the tiny phone in my hand as I bring it to my ear. My heart is pounding.

“Hello?” I greet him, unsure of what to say to him, 20 years of anger and all I can say is hello.

“Hey baby, I didn’t wake you did I?” He asks me, his voice is as I remember it, smooth like velvet, ready to suck me back in.

“Umm, no, Bridget woke me up about 10 minutes ago, said we’re going to the mall before the party” I say, standing front of my full length mirror, eyeing my 17 year old body. I’d always been insecure about my body, always kept it hidden under layers because my mother always liked to point out my flaws “Veronica that dress shows too much boob, Veronica you should cover up your body otherwise boys will only see you as a whore, Veronica only wear knee length skirts, you don’t have the thighs to pull off a mini”. He digs at me had created how I viewed my body as being frumpy and unattractive but looking over myself now I can see that I wasn’t either of those things, well not at 17 anyway.

“Cool, I was just checking to see if you were still coming, it’s all good if you can’t make it, I’ll understand” His voice is so reassuring, as if he’s actually concerned if I’ll make it when in reality he’s hoping I’ll stay home so he can play.

“I’ll be there, wouldn’t miss it for the world” I say before hanging up on him, I will not get pulled back into his vortex, I am a strong, confident woman, not that little girl who was once trampled on.

I leave the bedroom and join Bridget and my Dad in the dinning room, wrapping my arms around my dad’s neck and kissing his cheek.

“Well good morning to you too sunshine, what’s put you in such a good mood for the day” He asks me. You dad, seeing you alive again, being able to hug you and talk to you. Even if this is just a dream, it seems so real.

“She’s sucking up Dad coz she crashed her car and we need a lift to the mall” Bridget pipes up and I give her my most dirtiest look. I forgot how annoying my younger sister could be as a teen.

“Bridget stop stirring the pot, her car is fine, it’s been sitting in the driveway all week. God help your poor future husband Bridge, you’re going to drive the guy mad with all these tall tails you spin” My Dad laughs and I watch as Bridget’s eyes look down at her cereal, she hated when the subject of boys comes up and now I know why.

“Bridget we should get ready if we want to make it to this party” she nods and slinks away from the table.

“What did I say?” Dad looks at me worried and I feel for him, he’s trying to understand his teenage daughters but we never made it easy on him.

“She’ll tell you when she’s ready to but for now just lay off the boy talk with her, it makes her feel uncomfortable”

“I can do that, thanks sunshine, be careful at the party, don’t drive home if you’ve been drinking, call me and I will come and get you” He says, hugging me tightly.

“Will do, we’ll probably just crash the night at Kate’s anyway, it’s within walking distance from Sam’s” I assure him before going back to my room to pick out an outfit.

I browse through my wardrobe, looking at what’s on offer, I have a pair of flared jeans which look like they would be baggy, a pair of overalls, a few plain, boring dresses, some actual cute looking t-shirts and two mini skirts which I clearly bought but never had the guts to wear because they both still have tags on.

I pull out one of the skirts and pair it with a t-shirt, brush my hair into two buns and slip on some flats. Now to check out what kind of make up I even own. I was never really that big on make up as a teenager, it wasn’t until I hit my mid 20s that I started playing around with it and by my 30′s had the style that I loved down pat,

I look at the basic make up I owned at 17, foundation, blush and mascara, I can work with this, it wont be as glam as what I’m used to but it can make it happen. Bridget appears in my doorway just as I’m finishing up.

“You look different, not bad different, just not like you” She comments as I search my room for a handbag of some sort, finding a plain brown one with my keys inside, I grab my sad excuse for a phone and head towards the front door, I had a mission.

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