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*** Just a side note - its been a few months since I posted a revision of this story because I got really frustrated trying to revise what already existed. Finally I decided to tone down the MC and give him a little more mystery in the first chapter. I still don't know if its the right place to start but at least I'm no longer stuck.
I attempted suicide exactly once a day. Twice would be excessive. It would lose its value. I was starting to think it already had and I was starting to like it here.
Enjoying a blistering cold November in Chicago after spending my entire seventeen years in California was not part of my plan. I should hate my life right now, but I didn’t.
And it was so wrong for me to be happy.
I made my usual climb up the rocky wall. My hands numb from the cold wind, but the feeling was exhilarating. I couldn’t deny that. San Jose had such mild weather compared to this. The way the bitter cold steals your breathe, stings the tips of your fingers and toe. It was fascinating.
When I reached the top of the mound of giant rocks, I looked out at Lake Michigan spread before my eyes. It wasn’t California, but damn, it was beautiful. Even with the bite of a cold winter.
I closed my eyes and I was there again, with her. The girl I was sentenced to spend a lifetime with.
“Every weekend it’s the same fucking thing, get drunk and party, maybe hook up with some random girl. Don’t you ever get tired of it?” I glanced over at my friend, he wasn’t even listening. He was watching a group of girls dancing.
“Hey Dan, someone’s checking you out,” Trenton sang.
He handed me another shot glass of whiskey and pointed at a short girl with dark hair across the room.
“What’s her name, Hailey or something?”I asked.
Trenton laughed and shook his head.”How many shots have you had? You never forget anyone’s name.”
“Six shots . . .Hannah,” I remembered.
He moved beside me leaning against the counter. “What do you say? I don’t think you’d have any trouble getting in that girls’ pants. She totally wants you.”
I laughed and my head spun even more. “You’re such an ass, Trent. If I were a chick there would be a warning label tattooed across your forehead, I’d make sure of that.”
“We can’t all be as God damn charming as you,” he said.
I rested my head in my hands massaging my temples, wishing I hadn’t drank so much. Exactly thirty seconds later, I got a whiff of perfume.
“Hannah Fuentes,” I said, without lifting my head.
“Dan Anderson,” she answered, giggling.
One strike against her already. Giggling girls were a little bit of a turn off for me, or maybe they just seemed fake, rehearsed.
“So you remember me?” she asked.
I lifted my head meeting her brown eyes. “Yes, we had Biology Freshman year. You sat in the third table on the window side of the room next to Byron Silverman.”
Her face lit up with a look of excitement- possibilities.
I cursed myself silently. Now she was going to think I spent the past two years dreaming about watching her bend over to pull a pencil out of her bag or something.
“See what I mean? God damn charming,” Trent muttered, as he walked away.
“You want to dance?” she asked.
Damn! Why didn’t I go home early like a good little Senator’s son? “Okay.”
She grabbed my hand and pulled me to the middle of the giant living room with the rest of the drunken upper classman. The music was fast and loud, the beat, the lights, my spinning head, none of it allowed me to think clearly and I knew this wouldn’t end well.
Then she was kissing me, her tongue dancing around in my mouth. It wasn’t a bad kiss, but it wasn’t love.
And it should be.
The vibration coming from my pocket shook me out of this morning ritual. My pounding heart slowed just a little before I flipped open the phone.
“Dan, where are you? I got up at five thirty and you were gone. Did you go out last night?” he asked, putting on his concerned uncle hat.
“Do I ever go out?”
“No . . .well anyway, I have a favor to ask.”
I groaned more out of habit than real distress.
“It’ll get you out of first period,” he taunted.
I sighed and start to climb down.
Not today. I was still a fucking coward. Again.
I walked in to the audio visual room a few minutes late. A blond haired woman stood in front of the T.V. with a notebook and a pen. She was the only one in the room.
“Are you Christian?” I asked.
She continued to stare at the T.V. “No, I’m atheist. My parents are Catholic.”
I laughed. “Okay, and you don’t have a French accent either.”
“Nope sorry, but I could give it a shot.”
I walked over and stood beside her, looking at the T.V.
“Damn, I thought we had it locked up.” She shook her head at the giant robot still intact and gloating after demolishing the other one in the ring.
I examined the screen a little more closely. “What materials are you using on the outside?”
She didn’t get to answer because a girl came skidding in the room, flustered and pink in the face. “Are you Christian?”
The woman next to me laughed. “This is still the audio visual room, isn’t it?”
The frantic girl put her hands in her face and moaned. “Oh God! He’s probably wandering around the school without a clue where to go.”
“You must be Claire Ramsey. The girl who’s battery died,” I said.
She looked up at me and I found myself staring a little too long at her green eyes. The genetic improbability of green eyes was so fascinating. Plus, she was gorgeous and something about her was different . . . honest maybe.
A virgin. She had to be a virgin.
“How did you know my name?” she asked.
“I was supposed to be your replacement, but if you’re here then my work is done.” I started to walk toward the door and she grabbed my arm.
"Wait, I’m not sure I can do this?” She bit her lower lip nervously.
“Do what?” I asked smiling because it wasn’t surgery or anything life or death.
“Translate.” She shook her head. “What if he uses slang or something not in my third year text book?”
The honest concern that filled her voice was so endearing. “Okay, I’ll stick around.”
This is bad Dan, resist the guilty pleasure. You’re already living with a girl. When I looked at Claire’s face again, I knew I couldn’t be an ass and leave her hanging, but I wouldn’t get personal either. Ever again. I committed myself for life to someone else. It was marriage in the worst sense.