The New Girl Next Door

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Summary

After her mum dies she has to learn how to live with someone who hasn't been in her life, can the boy next door help her with this big adjustment? Or does he add more pain to her life?

Genre:
Romance / Drama
Author:
R.A.Haigwood
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
21
Rating:
4.6 13 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter 1 ~Forced New Beginning~

**Tasmine’s Pov**

Hi, I am Tasmine Kelly, I’m a sixteen-year-old girl. Four days ago, I thought I was an orphan. Instead of turns out my sperm donor has a heart and now wants me to live with him. Not in Brisbane oh no in the small town that he popped up from!

What better way is there but to rip a young girl from her only home mere days after her mother was buried and ship her off more than half a state away from a place, she had called home.

As he continues to drive as he felt it is better to drive half of Queensland instead of flying, was a great way for him to get to know me.

I was quite happy staying with my mum’s best friends, but nope he must step in and become a father suddenly. Sixteen years he had a chance to get to know me, hell he could have stepped in and helped me look after my mother who was fighting cancer, but he didn’t, now he wants me to live with him?!

I am not a crazy person who jumps on a ride with a stranger, I know who he is. After mum had died, I ended up finding a shoebox full of photos of them together, some with me as a baby too, from love letters you name it she had kept it. However, she never spoke of him no matter what never said anything not even at the end to me, she had said a lot to her friends but I didn’t put it all together until now.

He had shown up at her funeral a great bombshell to land on someone, he had bought a few other people that I have no idea who they are but they never came near me, which I found odd as I have a feeling they were his family, which made them my family or were they my mum’s family?

“Are you going to be silent the whole drive home?” Lee snapped.

He sounded upset but who knows I don’t know him at all. “Home is four hours back that way!” I snapped at him, pointing south as he glares right back at me, I guess I now know where I get that look from.

“Oh, wow she speaks! I am not the bad guy here Tassie!” Lee yelled then finished off with a sigh.

He looked tired for someone in his early to mid-thirties. I wanted more than anything in the world was to slap him, no one calls me that name anymore.

“You of all people do not get to call me that! It’s Tasmine to you!” I screamed at him, he scoffed loudly, “Look I am not happy that I was not in your life! But get one thing clear I gave you that name Tasmine, and the nickname Tassie!” Lee yelled.

I huffed throwing my hands up in the air, “Who cares if you did! You haven’t been in my life! I don’t know you from a bar of soap and you’re not using her nickname for me!“I screamed holding back tears.

I have never screamed that loudly before and I chose to do it inside of a car?

What the hell is wrong with this dude?

Just drop it and shut up!

He let out a loud sigh, “I am sorry, your mum had taken off with you and I could not find the pair of you. I only found out about where you and your mum lived on the weekend. I received this letter from her, she wanted me to look after you, if I had known sooner, I would have been with you.” He said so softly.

My mouth dropped to the floor in shock, is he for real right now?

He pulls out a letter, I recognized her handwriting right away, that is from my mum!

But why did she leave him?

“Why would she do that? Did you hit her?” I asked wondering if I should have stayed in Brisbane.

He just about drove off the highway in shock, “WHAT!? NO! I would never lay a hand on Jane I loved her!” He screamed sounding very shocked.

Did he love her?

I don’t want to believe that, if they had loved each other they wouldn’t have been apart.

“Love her enough to not be in my life for sixteen years?” I snapped at him, I know I’m sounding like a brat right now but I want to hurt him just as much as he has to me.

He looked really hurt now, “What? You really do not remember?” He asked quietly.

“Remember what?” I snapped.

He rubbed his hand over his face, then through his hair. “You lived with me and your mother in Tully until she left when you were four years old.” He sounded like a robot right now.

“Really?” I asked shocked and stumped as to why I had no memories of it.

I don’t understand any of this?

Why would my mum do this and not tell me?

Even after knowing she was going to die to still not tell me?

“Yes.” He said quietly, he looks sad, why did he not fight for me?

Why did he let mum keep me from him?

He is taking quick looks at me when he can while he’s driving, “Did Jane ever talk about me?” He asked softly sounding hurt, should I lie or tell him the truth?

“No, when I was younger, I learned early on not to ask her about you,” I said looking out at the countryside rushing past us on the highway, I know he’s shocked, hurt and upset just by the sounds he’s making.

“Why?” He whispered sounding so hurt.

He wants to know what she did if I kept on asking, should I tell him the full story, part of it, or lie?

“She would say no nothing to tell or bite my head off, depending on her moods that day,” I said softly.

Do not cry Tasmine, not over this.

“Really?” He whispered, he sounded upset by this like he wants to bring her back to life and scream at her for what she had done, or that is what I want to do.

“Yes, can I read that letter?” I asked.

“No, not until you can give me a proper sentence young lady.” He snapped at me, while I rolled my eyes at him.

Oh, now he is going to try and be a dad, right now?

“Your serious?” I asked shocked.

“Deadly.” He said.

Who says deadly? That’s right he does.

“Can I please read the letter my mum wrote you, Lee?” I asked.

“Yes, but stop calling me Lee. My name is Dad for you.” Lee said.

Yep, I am not playing, not doing what he just said.

“That is your name is it not?” I asked with a smartass tone to my voice.

“Not the point Tasmine.” He snaps at me.

“Yes, it is, you haven’t earned that title from me just yet,” I said, doing my best to sound as bratty as I can.

He sighs shaking his head, “Are you going to be like this the whole drive?” He asked, sounding like he has had enough.

I wonder how far I can push him, if it was mum she would have snapped and started hitting me by now, one of her boyfriends I wouldn’t even dream of pushing them this far as she has dated some scary people in the past, fuck it lets keep going, I’m in the mood to find out what he really is like.

“Yes, Lee Kelly I am,” I said sounding just as smartass as I can.

Oh, he looks angry as all hell. He makes mum’s angry face look happy holy hell yep I pushed him to fair!

Shit!

“RIGHT TASMINE KELLY!” He roared out.

He indicated to turn off the highway, pulling off into a truck rest stop putting the car into park, and turning it off, he gets out of the car and walks around to my side of the car opening my door.

“What?” I asked like I just didn’t upset him, I looked up at him.

“Get out of the car now!” He yelled at me.

I was going to fight him on it but that looked scared me a little, but not enough to stop my smartass mouth though.

“FINE!” I yelled back at him, getting out of the car standing in front of him, crossing my arms across my chest looking up at him.

“We need to clear some air right now!” he snapped.

“I am not happy with what has happened, but that is all out of my hands. I wished that your mother never left, I wished that she would let me get to know my own daughter, I wished she had asked for help sooner. I am sorry that I live at the other end of the state that her letter took a while to get to me. I am truly sorry that you had to look after your mum towards the end of her life but get one thing clear, you can be angry, you can be moody all you like, you are allowed to be, grief is not fun. But you cannot be angry and moody at me for all of this! I loved Jane and you with every fiber of my body, if I had known where she was, I would be at your door in a heartbeat! We just have each other in this, she left a lot behind. You have family here, I know it does not feel right now, but they do love you not one of us knew why she had taken off. I know we had a big fight before she left, which still doesn’t make much sense as to why she left after it. Please drop this attitude towards me if you treat me kindly, I will treat you the same way.” Lee said sounding like he aged ten years after that.

Oh man, he looks truly upset, maybe he is telling me the truth, mum did move us around a lot, I was always the new kid at school never staying long enough to make friends, although this Brisbane sting was the longest we stayed in one place, I have left behind a handful of people that I call good friends, which is a first for me.

Ask him the one question that I have been wanting to ask him since he arrived.

“Why did she have to die?” I whispered before I finally broke down and cried, like really cried only a few tears had come out at the funeral, thought I was broken for not being able to cry at my own mother’s funeral.

“Oh, sweetheart,” Lee whispered.

He wraps me up in a big hug as I just kept on crying, then I felt his body shaking his crying too, we stayed like that for a long time until we both stopped crying.

“I’m sorry Dad.” I sniffed out.

Oh, crap I just called him dad, I didn’t mean to. But that hug, it felt good, it felt like a dad’s hug that I always dreamt of having.

“Oh Tassie, I accept your apology. You ready to continue this road trip?” He asked as I whipped away at my tears, “I have no choice.” I said chuckling, he started laughing, “Well that did not take you long.” He said.

He gets back into the car and turns it on, I quickly get in we get back onto the highway. I pull out my phone and headphones and put on a book to listen to.

“What are you listening to? Can hook it up to my car so we both can listen?” He asked, should I?

I know my mum would say I was rude if I didn’t do what he asked.

“I’m listening to a book, this old car is so old, does it even have Bluetooth?” I asked.

That just caused him to start laughing, “This baby does now, added a new sound system to it as it became too hard to get new music in tape form, good now, connect it to the Bluetooth.”

I laugh as it is a muscle car, a classic Australian black GT that he calls baby, I get the feeling he is a fan of supernatural but I am scared to ask him.

“Ok but be warned I do not care if you do not like this story either,” I said trying not to laugh.

That just earned me a chuckle as I get my phone to pair up with his Bluetooth in the car, within seconds the reading starts.

‘Akarnae by Lynette Noni’ Starts up.

“No, but it’s kind of like that.” He starts laughing, “Kiddo it’s ok I know it’s not Harry Potter, but I do like your taste in stories.” He said sounding happy, I smiled out the window making sure he doesn’t see that we could get along well if we like the same things.

We spent the rest of the eight hours of driving listening to the book, we did stop a few times for food, drinks, rest, fuel, and toilet breaks.

“We are going to stay the night in Mackay, I am driving over eighteen hours in one go, I need a rest.” He said loudly over the book, I opened up my eyes, “Hmmm ok.” I mumbled.

“Sorry, I didn’t realise you were asleep.” He said softly, “It’s ok” I whispered.

We pull into a hotel on the main road in the town of Mackay, Lee goes into the office and pays for a room for the night for us, he gets back into the car and drives to our room, parks the car, and looks at me.

“Do you want to quickly unpack what we need then find some food and head to bed?” He asked, I smiled at him, “Sounds like a good plan Dad.” I said sounding bubbly to my own ears, which is odd I must be overtired.

That got me a big smile from him, “Ok, kiddo let’s get moving.” He said sounding just as brightly as I did.

I got out of the car, god I feel stiff as, grabbing my backpack and one of my small bags from the car and followed him to our room, not bad at all. A basic hotel with nice dark colour choices a single and a double bed, with a table and chairs, a mini-fridge, and TV on the wall with a bathroom and aircon, thank god as it’s hot up here.

“SHOTGUN THE DOUBLE BED!” I yelled out as I raced towards the bed, throwing myself down onto it.

“Hell no! That is not happening Tasmine Rose Kelly!” He snapped at me as he walked into the room.

Wow, I got the full name card, yep he definitely doesn’t want the single bed.

“Too late old man!” I yelled back at him trying not to laugh.

He gives me an angry look, “No, I pull rank I am the parent here, and doing all of the driving I need a big bed to sleep in.” He said sounding angry.

I shake my head, “Still no!” I yelled out with a big smile on my face.

He goes to prove a point to me, by laying down on the single bed, his legs hanging off the bed, he sits up and looks up at me, “See I need the bigger bed!” He snapped.

Ok, I am not that much of a bitch, I sit up looking over at him, should I give in to him?

“Ok, ok fine it’s yours!” I said giving in to him.

Man, I haven’t slept in a single bed in years this is going to be fun.

“Thank you, now that is sorted let’s go and get some food into our bellies!” He sounded so happy now that he doesn’t have to sleep in the smaller bed, I laughed, I am so hungry, “Yes!” I yelled out as I jumped off the bed racing out of the room.

We head downstairs and see a restaurant opened, Lee looks at me. “Let’s eat here.” He asked, whiled he smiled at me, “Yes, let’s do that.” I replied.

Opening the door and making our way over to the bar, the barmaid looks up at us smiling I see she is trying to flirt with my dad, great is this now my life?

Having to watch women falling over my dad?

Bad enough people had done it with my mum, but my mum didn’t help those matters by wearing next to nothing showing off her body and only showing attention to nasty men.

“I will have a schooner of lemon and lime bitters made on Lift please, also I would like a crumb streak with chips and salad with Diane sauce, and an extra jug of Diane sauce too please,” I said with a big smile on my face having to force her to look away from him, not that he seemed to notice.

“I will get a schooner of Great Northern and a crumb steak with chips, veggies, and gravy please,” Dad said.

The barmaid keeps smiling at him and I see a hint of jealousy in her eyes when she looks at me. “Sure hun, is it dine-in or take-away?” She said using a flirty voice, Dad is ignoring her, “Dine in please.” He replied.

She starts typing at buttons on the till as she reads it out loud to us. “Ok, so that is two crumb steaks one with chips, salad, Diana sauce, and an extra jug of Diana. The other chips, veggies, and gravy, a schooner of lemon and lime bitters made on Lift, a schooner of Great Northern. That will be forty-two dollars please is that cash or card sir?” She asked.

I rolled my eyes at the tone of her voice, Dad pulls out his wallet, “Cash thanks.”

As he is paying, I go find a table to sit at, I found one with a view of the pool, some people is using it at the moment, wishing I wasn’t so tired would have loved to go for a swim to cool down, why is it so hot up here?

One of the men that I was looking at walked over towards me, I would say he is in his early twenties, tanned, fit, has a few tattoos, long hair. He’s not bad-looking but he reminds me of the men my mum used to bring home, lets see what he has to say for himself, I just smiled at him.

“What is a hot girl like you sitting all by yourself?” He said.

I wanted to vomit, really does that line actually work?

“What right into the pickup line? Never thought of saying Hello first. That might have worked you know.” I said sounding a smartass.

“Really? Would you take a do-over?” He said sounding so eager.

Is this guy for real, I spot dad is on his way over he doesn’t look happy either, “Mmm maybe?” I am playing with this guy the way I had seen mum do it.

Dad walks up to the table next to his seat eyeing the guy up and down, “Are you, right mate?” Dad snapped.

“Yes, just talking to this young lady.” The stranger replied.

The guy is clearly not impressed with my dad standing there eyeing him up, I’m doing my best not to laugh right now.

“You mean my sixteen-year-old daughter?” Dad said sounding like he is about to punch him.

He looked shocked then started backing up.

“What you’re sixteen? What your daughter?” He sounded so stumped.

Dad looks like he wants to punch the guy, “Did I stutter mate?” Dad snapped.

The bloke shakes his head no, “No sorry, I will leave you be, meant no harm.” The bloke said, I chuckle as the guy races off back to the pool area; dad puts my drink down in front of me then sits down looking at me.

“When were you planning on telling him your age miss?” Dad asked sounding a mixture of pissed off and tired.

Taking a sip of my drink before I answered him, “I wasn’t, he was an idiot Dad, he lost me the minute he said that stupid pick-up line.” I replied.

My dad shakes his head as he glares at the guy through the doors, “He shouldn’t have even been talking to you, you clearly look underage!” My dad snapped, say loud enough for all around us to hear, I laughed harder, “Well of course you’re going to say that!” I said.

Our food arrived, we ate in silence then headed up to our room for the night, I jumped into the shower and got into a pair of comfortable PJs, which is my Harry Potter set the bottom is the marauder’s map with a marron singlet with the Harry Potter logo on it with the marauder’s map in silver behind it, dad’s face lights up with pride when I walked out of the bathroom.

“Good! You like Harry Potter! Would have been by myself at the movie marathons.” My dad said sounding so happy.

I start laughing as that did sound like fun to have someone else to watch the movies with.

“That explains why mum hated me enjoying this type of stuff,” I said to his shocked looked on his face as he stopped pulling clothes out of his bag as he looked at me.

“What? She was the one that had introduced me to it! Wow...” He said sounding shocked and hurt.

He walks into the bathroom shaking his head, ten minutes later he walks out in his PJs, as I start laughing his wearing blue Harry Potter PJs, “You weren’t joking!” I said laughing as I roll around on my bed laughing so hard, “Oh, no you do not joke about liking Harry Potter, but please keep this to yourself that I have a set of Harry Potter PJs.” He said.

I laugh harder, “Who am I going to tell?!” I asked shocked, he thinks on it for a bit, “Good point, good night Tassie.” He says as he climbs into the double bed, “Good night.” I said as I rolled over in my bed, as soon as my head hit that pillow I was out like a log.

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