Everybody forgot about the girl whose body was dumped a few miles from our town. She wasn’t a local. She was tattooed, and there was evidence of use of drugs. Her body was probably dumped after an accidental overdose, as there were no signs of violence on her, not even bruises.
I was glad, because if there was a murderer in town, Travis would have to hang around to make sure I was safe. And I didn’t want to see him again after that night. I was too embarrassed, too ashamed.
I believed he felt exactly the same. He was gone when I woke up the next morning. Therese, my maid, told me that Travis sat on the couch all night that night. He waited until the house was up at sunrise, and then he left.
“I was startled to find him sitting like a statue in the couch. He was not moving, lost in his thoughts,” she had said. “He didn’t look like he slept at all.” Well, he wasn’t the only one who wasn’t able to sleep that nig
I looked at my reflection nervously. I was wearing a bright lavender gown that hugged my body to perfection, with a skirt that flowed flirtatiously a few inches above my knees.I hadn’t spoken to Travis since that day he told me he was taking me to prom. I found out later that Trip had been making bets with his friends about who would be able to pop my cherry at prom. I said yes to Alex, who was more than willing to do the job that Trip was supposed to have done had I not caught him on top of that cheerleader. It was all a bet for him. Alex was cunning enough to use flattery and poetry to lure me into his lair. They had been bantering about it in the locker room, cheering that prom was the day. Trip had apparently been cajoling Alex into taping the whole thing to make sure he wouldn’t cheat on their bet.The whole campus must have known their evil plans. I’m pretty sure that, had Alex caught our fornicating on tape, there would have been a sc
I was excited to start my new life. For once, I would live in a house where I did not have to wonder when my parents were coming home, or if they were coming home at all.The last time I’d seen them was graduation day. They decided we would be a family once more. It was also the first time I’d seen Travis since…since he started staying away from me. He didn't go to the stage to take his diploma. But he appeared out of nowhere just as I was posing with my parents for a photo.Emotions overwhelmed me. After that…night…he kept a good distance from me. I wanted to tell him that it was going to be okay, but I had to remember that it wasn’t me who had a problem with what happened between us. I knew I had to respect his decision and the space he asked for.I missed him like crazy and I almost regret what I asked him to do for me. I realized that though it was the most amazing night of my life, worth every second of giving up my &l
Travis took me to a private house party that night. It was hosted in a six-bedroom house owned by one of the guys he knew from one of his classes. They served alcohol. We shouldn’t be drinking, but I figured that Travis was with me, a few glasses of margarita wouldn’t hurt. But I didn’t realize I have very low alcohol tolerance, I think I almost passed out after my fourth glass. Travis decided it wouldn’t be good for me to come back to my dorm looking witless, and he thought it was better for me to spend the night in his apartment. I think he was right.When I woke up again, it was already afternoon. I slipped out of bed and went to Travis’s luxurious bathroom to take a shower. I put on the same jeans I had worn the day before and the extra halter-top I could fit into my bag before I left home.I was trying to zip the back of my blouse, but somehow the zipper was giving me trouble.“Damn it!” I cursed. The thing about li
I went home for spring break. The house was the same as it was when I left it; my parents still weren’t around. Cindy decided not to go back that break, so I was alone at home and totally bored.It was only my first day back. I laid down on my bed and played with my phone. On impulse, I pressed the button to dial Travis’s number.“Everything well?” he asked after two rings.“I’m so bored!” I complained.“What do you want to do?”“No idea! Are you busy?”“Nope. Just playing pool,” he replied. He didn't say anything for a while, and then he said, “Okay, I’ll give you something to do tonight.”“What?”“Pack your bags. I’m taking you to the lake house tomorrow.”Sheer excitement went through me. “You’re not joking, are you?”“Do I look like I have a sense of humor?&rdquo
Two years later, my parents’ divorce was finalized. My mother would take permanent residency in Manhattan; my father would station himself in Boston. No battle for custody—I was already of age. My parents decided to give the house to me instead of selling it and dividing the profits between them.I was angry. My parents had decided to abandon the house…the happy house where Thomas and I had grown up! Where they last saw Tom! I refused to let the memories go. They could divide all their properties except this house…I could not believe they were walking away from it and all the memories it had.I was in my room, and as always, I decided to channel my emotions onto the canvas. I didn’t know what I was painting. But it was a mixture of dark blues, blacks, violets, swirling around in angry patterns. I was on the brink of crying. That day marked the end, not just of a chapter of my life, but of a whole story.I swirled the violet paint
Wednesday, I surprised Chris by showing up in his office. He was having a chat with one of his lady colleagues. He was surprised when he saw me at the door of his office.“Brianne!” he beamed. He came to me and gave me a kiss. “I thought we weren’t meeting until seven.”“I thought I should pick you up for a change,” I said. “I hope it’s not a bad time.”He shook his head. “It’s perfect!” He turned to the blonde sitting in his office. “Alana, this is my girlfriend, Brianne.”Alana was a beautiful blonde with startling blue eyes. She was wearing a pencil-cut suit that hugged her body to perfection. She smiled at me brightly. “It’s nice to finally put a face to the name. I’ve heard so much about you.”She extended her hand to me and I shook it. Standing beside Alana made me feel out of place. I was wearing a pair of skin-tight jeans and an
We had a dance show the next day. Before going to the theater, I dropped by Chris’s apartment to pick up some of my stuff. I’d left some of my dance clothes at his place.He wasn’t there, but the girl named Alana was. I was tempted to ask her what she was doing in Chris’s apartment, but I guess I didn’t have to be a genius to guess that.I was even more heartbroken than I was before. We’d been broken up less than twenty-four hours, and there was already another woman in his house.Sarah was close to berating me for showing up a few minutes late.“I dropped by Chris’s apartment to get my stuff,” I said, motioning at the box on the floor.“Wow! That does not look good!”I laughed humorlessly. “It doesn’t. But I can’t think of that now! I need to dress up!”I focused on my dance pieces. I had one with Sarah and some guys. It was a contemporary piece
When we got back to the hotel, Travis and I sat on the bed and talked. We were…well, basically planning our future. Although we were not lovers, we were betrothed and whether we liked it or not, we had lives that we would live together, for the next two years, minimum.“You said you were thinking of moving cities,” he said.“Yes.”“Then come to Manhattan with me,” he said. “You can manage your gallery there instead. You can paint all you want. I’m pretty sure there are dance studios that would be happy to accommodate you.”“That sounds like a plan.” I smiled. I found that proposal interesting.“I have an apartment there. You can move in with me.”“Why? Can’t I rent my own?”“Useless,” Travis replied. His tone told me that he thought my idea was ridiculous. “When do you intend to get married anyway? You’re appr