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I Dreamt I Could Fly; Chapter 1
Ben was dumping me for that little slut. She had another name but I always referred to her as a slut—everyone does.
“How could you do this to me?” I said watching him get out of his truck with her by his side. He stopped in front of me and crossed his arms in front of his chest. He was already tanned and it looked as if he had gotten taller over the past three days—if that was even possible.
“Look babe.” He tried to smile at me but even I could see the flicker of annoyance in his darkened eyes. I dug my nails into my hand, stopping myself from pushing the long black hair out of his eyes. I shut my eyes hoping to get his face out of my mind.
“Don’t ‘look babe’ me. I can’t believe you’re dumping me for her.” I nodded to the petite blonde hidden behind his bulky frame. She cringed further behind him as I shot her a look.
“God, Grace; you’re being effin’ ridiculous,” he seethed. I raised my eyebrows as if to say really.
“You’re going to be sorry you ever dumped me,” I warned. Ben laughed once before he grabbed the girl by the elbow and tugged her towards his truck.
“Don’t wait up,” he added when hopping in the driver’s side.
“Shoot, I’m glad your sorry butt is outta my life.” My words were drowned out by the roar of a motor coming to life. The old white truck sped down the street and I eased down onto the porch steps. I could already feel the pent up tears starting to trickle down my cheeks; I held back a sob as I dragged my knees to my chest. Resting my head on my folded arms, I listened to the traffic heading by my house.
Don’t let them see you cry. Go out. Have some fun.
I cringed inwards as the dark voice entered my mind. I lifted myself up and walked towards the door; I planned to forget about the last few moments of my life.
Forty-five minutes later I was glancing into the floor length mirror, making sure my outfit was perfect. My bright eyes swept over the knee-high black boots, the short silver skirt and the black halter top I had thrown on a few minutes ago. I swept gloss over my lips and checked that my eyeliner was even on both sides.
“Perfect,” I murmured as I ran a hand through my tousled hair. I slung my purse over my shoulder and skipped down the stairs, towards the front door. When I reached the foyer, I slowed to a tip-toe and crept towards the door, hoping not to get caught. I was reaching for the door knob when a shrill voice cut the silence around me.
“Grace? Is that you? Where are you going?” My mother’s voice drifted down the hall from her office. I froze in mid-step cursing under my breath.
“I’m just going out with Natalie and Bailey. I’ll be back later tonight,” I answered.
“Come here for a second,” she said sternly. I rolled my eyes before answering. I could distinctly hear the crunch of tires on gravel outside. I risked a peek out the window and saw my friend’s car waiting for me.
“My ride is here. I have to go. I’ll talk to you later.” I ran out the door, slamming it behind me. I slid in the car waiting on the street and smiled at my two best friends.
“Are you ready for a fantastic time?” My best friend since sixth grade, Bailey twisted around in the passenger seat to look at me. I took in her super curly hair and dark make-up before nodding.
“Don’t you know it? I wanna get outta here,” I groaned. Natalie, also known as Nat, laughed at my complaint. Her brown skin glowed in the darkening sky and she had put her long black hair up into a high ponytail.
“I know girl. I wanna get outta this condemned town too.” She honked at a guy in front of us who was casually taking his time moving as the stop light turned green. “I can’t wait ‘till our senior year is ova. We have to celebrate big time tonight. It’s our first day of summer before we graduate.”
I grinned and looked out the window. We were passing by multiple restaurants and shops before spotting the familiar bright building that we had been to so many times. I noticed the long waiting line and shrugged to myself. Nat slowed and pulled into the parking lot. We all hopped out as a valet offered to park the car. Nat tossed him her keys and smiled at Bailey and me.
I hooked my arms through theirs and dragged them toward the flashing spotlights. A few guys glanced our way but we kept moving forwards. I could see a large man at the VIP rope and smiled flirtatiously. His black suit bulged from the muscles he packed on and he would have been cute if it wasn’t for the thinning hair on his head. As we got closer, the guy looked up at us and grinned.
“Hello Ernie.” I lifted my hand in a wave as he lifted the rope for us.
“Ello Grace n friends,” he replied in his thick accent. A few people in line let out a groan in unison as we were let it. Bailey gave them a smirk and we walked forwards.
All of a sudden, we were blinded by strobe lights and jostled by dancers. Nat ran ahead and slid into an empty booth. Bailey and I followed and I swept the area looking for and gorgeous guys. I trained in on one lone figure sitting by himself at the bar. Every few seconds a strobe light would flash onto him then turn off again. Every time the lights turned onto him I could see that he was muttering to himself.
It took me a moment to figure out what he looked like. He had the tall, dark, and handsome look about him; his brown hair hung below his eyes and his drink was only tap water in a glass. I felt the corners of my lips turn upwards.
“I’ll be right back,” I yelled at Bailey who was bouncing in step to the beat. She looked over to the guy at the bar. A smile lit up her face and she nudged me forwards.
“Go get ‘em,” she yelled back and went to find Nat. I carefully picked my way through the throngs of people to the bar.
Once I finally got through, I slid onto the stool next to the guy. I cleared my throat once and ordered a strawberry daiquiri—non virgin of course. When he still didn’t glance my way I sighed dramatically and then smiled.
“Hi,” I said in a high-pitched voice. Ugh, my voice sounded all wrong. I cleared my throat once more and watched the guy beside me. He turned slightly; I laughed as his eyes widened a bit while he took in my outfit and figure. He also cleared his throat and smiled a bit.
“Hi.” His voice was deep, yet soothing to my ears.
“What’s your name?” I raised my voice as the volume around us increased in intensity.
“Grace,” I yelled. “What are you, a gorgeous guy, doing here by yourself?” Blush crept up his neck as he turned towards the dance floor. It took a while before he finally turned back to me.
“I’m waiting for someone,” he answered. I heard my breath suck in and I looked down.
“Oh,” I said. Rejection washed over me and I hopped off the stool. “Sorry, I have to go.”
“Okay.” He looked into my eyes for a split second and I stared back into the bright liquid blue. I almost sat back down. I almost started to tell him about everything that had happened to me. I wanted to tell him about Ben, my dad dying, and my mother’s coldness. It felt as if I could whisper all of my nightmares into his ear and he would throw them all away. I was the one who broke the stare; I shook my head and stalked off towards my friends.
As I eased into the booth I risked one more look at the bar. A petite brunette bounced towards Jacob and took his hand in hers. I could see the dark curls that fell softly on her shoulders and framed her heart-shaped face perfectly. Even though she only had on jeans and a black v-neck t-shirt, I could see her exquisite beauty. She mouthed something to him and he laughed, throwing his head back. He suddenly stopped and his eyes swept the dance floor. He sadly shook his head once and let the girl lead him out of the club. His graceful lope had my heart aching for him but wistfully I turned back to my friends.
I forced a smile at them and they exchanged a look.
“So what happened?” Nat placed a comforting hand on my shoulder as I gulped down a glass of water. I wanted to tell her the truth; that I had been rejected and it felt horrible. Instead I turned to her and forced on another smile.
“Nothing,” I replied and turned to the dancers once more. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Nat give Bailey a questioning look. Bailey mouthed something to her and shook her head. I felt Nat’s hand disappear.
My two friends slid out of the booth and walked onto the dance floor. They danced close; encouraging two guys to come up to them.
Hearing some footsteps, I looked up expecting…I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t what I got. A tall guy with short blonde hair gave me a devastatingly handsome smile and offered his hand. I reached up at first but hesitated. I thought about the look of disapproval from my mother and the lecture I was going to get in the morning. But, pushing that aside, I grabbed his hand and let him lead me onto the floor beside my friends.
“I’m Jack,” the guy said into my ear before leaning back.
“Grace,” I replied and slid closer. We danced close, the kind of close that would have a teacher running up to us shaking her finger. It was close, sensual, hot. And it felt great. It felt great that I didn’t have someone holding me back from other guys.
As we danced the night away, I couldn’t help but remember Jacob’s electric blue eyes and inviting smile. Some things are just hard to forget.
“Just let it out.” As we jumped into the car, Bailey turned to watch me.
“Let out what?” I asked. Bailey continued to watch me, a weary expression on her face.
“With the guy Grace; what happened with the guy? You seemed so out of it the rest of the night.” Nat sighed gruffly and looked at me in the rearview mirror.
“Nothing,” I repeated using the same explanation I had been using for the past four hours.
“We both know something happened. Why won’t you tell us?” Bailey griped.
“Maybe because I don’t want to tell you that I got rejected; that he totally and completely rejected me with just four words.” I could feel the tears coming but even as they flowed down my face I continued my rant, “Do you want to make me feel even worse about myself? This is the first time I have gotten rejected and it sucked. It tore at my heart; especially since it was a very cute guy. Now can you please just drop me off at my house?”
I leaned back on the seat wiping at the hot tears streaming down my cheeks. Bailey scrambled over the passenger seat and curled up beside me. I could feel her hand, soft from the constant use of lotion, stroking my hair.
When I finally calmed down, we were stopped in front of my house. I climbed out of the backseat and slung my purse over my shoulder. I was ready for my mother and everything she threw out me. I wiped my eyes once more before steadying myself.
“Hey Grace,” I could hear Nat’s voice through the passenger window, “I’m so sorry.”
“Yeah, whatever,” I retorted and continued up the sidewalk to my door. For a moment I sat there, not opening the door and listened as Nat drove away. Finally, I pushed the door open and slid inside. I knew I reeked of alcohol, so I slowly climbed the stairs and slipped by my mother’s closed door. I could hear her deep breathing and I knew she was already asleep.
“Grace?” A small voice came from across the hall and I turned to see a little girl around the age of nine standing in the doorway of another room.
Her nightgown was all wrinkled and she was rubbing her eyes. Her figure was tall for her age and she had short black hair which stood up on all ends.
“Sh, sweetie, it’s okay,” I murmured, scooping her up in my arms. My sister curled up in my arms and fell back to sleep in an instant. I eased her into her bed, hoping not to wake her.
Then I padded into my room and slithered into shorts and a camisole. Yawning, I glanced in the mirror. My cheeks were flushed and my eyes were red. I sighed and finally jumped into bed, fitfully falling asleep.