I still have the 3000 Likes giveaway going on so I thought how could I celebrate this milestone??
Well since you all have been so good I decided to release Chapter One of Walk Into Me!
Unedited and may change before Publication
I’m sitting on my boat with a beer in my hand, looking across the river at her old house. The house that is now on the market. I’ve been toying with the idea of buying it but it seems like a stalker move. I start my engine and untie the lines, I’m just going to take a closer look.
It only takes a minute to get to the other dock. There is a For Sale sign on the bulkhead with the number of the realtor but I know the number by heart. I’ve looked at the pictures online a few hundred times noticing the differences between what it was and what it is now. The whole house has been updated and instead of the Mediterranean feel you got when you walked in before now it is a cold modern feel. Too much white in the kitchen and the family room that used to be my favorite room anywhere is barren of warmth.
I tie up and turn off the engine. Stepping onto the updated dock I look up at the tree shading the yard. Lisa and I would lay here and look up through the leaves telling each other our deepest secrets and fears. Our hands clasped together to get each other through another night of hell. Her father, the alcoholic, would he be in a good or bad mood? Would he put her and her mother down, yelling at them what pieces of shits they were? Or would he come in while they were eating dinner and tickle Lisa just a little too hard along her ribs? It took a good six months after he was gone before she wouldn’t jump if someone touched her sides and then only if she knew it was coming. She still flinches if she’s unaware of you coming up behind her.
My nights were my perfect sister telling my parents all about her perfect day then my father questioning me and always finding room for improvement. And of course if I had gotten anything less than a B on an assignment or test there was the belt that came out to make me work harder. You just gotta love corporal punishment as an inspirational tool. Of course my father could find fault in anything I did, not just school work. My room wasn’t clean enough, I didn’t take the trash out soon enough and god forbid I actually fought with my sister, it was never her fault and she never had a hand laid on her.
My mom was a housewife so she was always home after school. Lisa’s mom worked so we had the house to ourselves ‘til she got home around five-thirty. In those two hours between getting home and when I would have to leave for my house Lisa and I did our homework, she would help me with my English and I would help her with the Science that she just couldn’t wrap her mind around.
Once Lisa’s dad moved out it was even better for us. Lisa’s mom would invite me to stay for dinner all the time, calling my mom and begging for me to stay, it worked about every other day. Lisa and I would help her mom by setting and clearing the table and then watch TV until I had no other choice but to go home. I think her mom knew I didn’t have a great home life and tried like hell to help. She tried to become friends with my mom but it never really took. My mom was not one to make friends easily and with Lisa’s mom getting a divorce my mom didn’t want to get involved in other’s troubles.
Shaking myself out of the plethora of memories hitting me I look at my phone for the time. Oh shit! I have to get going. I only have an hour before I have to be at the party. The one I’m dreading. I get back on my boat and turn it around to get to my dock. I take one last glance at the house, I’m going to have to decide soon, it won’t be on the market long.
I get out of my car and walk up the path to the house. Two months since the concert that left me with my heart on the floor. I’ve been hiding from everyone but I can’t miss her birthday no matter how much seeing her with Bobby will hurt.
I walk through the door into the crowded house, looks like the gangs all here and then some. I look around and see all my friends but the person who sees me first is her mom, “Brad! So good to see you,” she hugs me, “Lisa will be so glad you’re here. She’s missed you.”
I don’t know what to say to that. I know that Lisa loves me like a brother but I want so much more with her, “I’ve missed her too.” It’s the truth, staying away has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I even took the boat over to Fire Island for a couple of weeks hiding out at my sister’s summer house. She was not happy about that until I started to fix the outside shower. Now she tells me I can use it anytime I want as long as I fix something each time I’m there. Her husband can’t fix shit, damn Ivy League pretty boy.
I turn back toward the party and suddenly Lisa is in my arms kissing my cheek and holding me tight, “Don’t do that again,” she tells me. “I missed you too much.” She is running her hands over my shoulders and through my hair and if I don’t get her off me soon she will know exactly how much I missed her.
I release her and put my hand in the pocket of my jacket, “Happy Birthday Lisa,” I pull out her gift and hand it to her. She smiles up at me but keeps her hand on my arm like she doesn’t want to let me go. Maybe she does feel more than friendship towards me. I look into her eyes and hope she can’t see how much I want her.
She looks down at the box in her hand then back up to me, “Do you want me to open this now?”
I want to see her reaction but I don’t want an audience, “No later, after the party.”
“Does that mean you will stay ‘til everyone leaves?” her smile widens.
“If you want me to,” I can’t say no to her, I never could.
Then he comes up behind her pulling her back to him and extending his hand to me, “Brad, good to see you.”
I know he is staking his claim but he doesn’t have to remind me that Lisa is not mine. I have known that for a long time, “Bobby,” I can’t bring myself to say more than his name. I really want to yell at him to get his hands off of her but he has every right to touch her. She is his.
“Glad you could make it for Lisa’s birthday,” he runs his hand up her arm. She turns and smiles up at him and I can see the love she feels.
“I wouldn’t miss it,” I tell him. “So where’s the bar?” I start to walk towards the kitchen since that is probably where the alcohol is, god I need a drink.
Lisa stops me, “Brad, thank you.” I don’t know if she means the present or just showing up but it doesn’t really matter. I nod my head to her and turn away. I have to get a few beers in me if I plan on staying to the end. Just watching them all night will be torture but I can’t avoid it anymore. My life is here and I need to get back into it. No more hiding I will just need to try and move on.
I run into John and Jodi on my way into the kitchen, “Brad man good to see you,” says John.
Jodi gives me a hug, “Glad you’re back. You’ve been missed around here.”
I want to ask who exactly missed me but that will just set me up for more heartbreak. I know I’m important to Lisa, just not as important as I want to be. “I couldn’t miss her birthday, she would have hunted me down,” I snicker trying to lighten my mood. I need to hold it together for just a few hours then I can go back home and hide for a few days. If I take it in increments maybe I can get used to this again.
There is a full bar set up on the counter and a keg in the corner. I go for the hard liquor first, I need a shot to fortify me. I grab the Southern Comfort hoping the name will rub off a little and pour three fingers into a cup. I down the whole thing at once, the burning makes its way from my mouth down my throat and into my belly. I inhale to cool my mouth off and use the same cup to fill from the keg.
I turn around and Patty is standing there watching me with a look of concern on her face, “Did you drive?” she asks.
“Yes but I am not leaving until the end so don’t worry, I promise this will be out of my system by then.” I appreciate her concern but she really needs to mind her own business.
“I just want to make sure you’re okay,” she says.
“I’m fine,” I tell her, “It’s a party lets have fun,” I lift my cup and salute her then swallow half of it. I glance at the clock, 9:45 hopefully everyone will start leaving around midnight and be gone by one. I can make three hours I tell myself.
I start to walk back into the living room and I hear her laugh. I just wish she were laughing for me.
Let me know what you think in the comments below - include your email address! I will choose one winner to receive an ecopy of Watch Me Walk Away!