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The Floor Sounded Better than Sleeping Next to the Enemy

A short drabble I wrote recently while taking the train home to visit family. Is it purely fiction or is it all real? Maybe parts of it, but I’ll leave that up to your imagination.

“Did you just stay up and party about our win?” I asked as Carson walked up.

He scrunched his face and shook his head. “Unnnnnngghh…tell ya at Starbucks,” he muttered as he pointed to hotel lobby. He stifled a yawn as we dodged families and couples checking out, exiting through the sliding doors and walking behind the hotel shuttle to reach the street.

“You room with anyone from your section?” Carson asked.

I shook my head and explained that I worked out an arrangement with a friend from colorguard. Carson sighed before he muttered that I was lucky.

“Senior perk,” he grumbled, “why do I have two more years until I’m there?”

“Oh stop whining,” I replied with a roll of my eyes, “She didn’t have a roommate for this trip and I asked the right coordinator. We thought we’d have to find two more people, but turns out we didn’t have to.”

Carson rubbed his eyes, his glasses lifting slightly off his nose. “At least you got the person you wanted.”

I stopped short and turned my head. “You knew you could pick anyone to room with for this trip, right?”

He snorted as he crossed his arms, fingers digging into the soft flesh of his biceps. “No Yinee, I didn’t. I actually agreed to room with Taj and Bryce a few weeks ago – then we got stuck with Christophe!”

“Then you should have asked someone else so you didn’t get a random assignment!” I replied, shaking my head.

“Let me rewind a bit,” Carson corrected, “no one assigned him to our room – Bryce asked him, but I’m pretty sure it was out of pity for him. I mean, Bryce asked if Taj and I were cool with it, but what was I supposed to say? ‘Yeah, Christophe can’t room with us.’ I’d be a jerk then, right?”

I nodded as I pressed the Walk button, keeping my eyes on the sign.

“So, they wanted to throw a big party in their room after the tournament and you tried to sleep through it?” I guessed.

“Who’s in the roller coaster group again?” he asked.

My head snapped in his direction at the question.

“Walk sign is on!” the disembodied voice announced from across the street.

Carson stepped down from the sidewalk and began to cross at a brisk pace. I followed, turning my head to cough.

I should take one now, I thought as I reached the other side. I dug around in my purse for the bottle of Zycam, pressing the heel of my hand against the cap.

“Ew, you’re sick Old Lady?” Carson asked as he nudged the button for the opposite side. He inched away and hugged the pole, casting a wary glance in my direction.

I tapped out a single melt tablet in my other hand and tilted my head back as I dropped it into my mouth. My lips twisted into a grimace as the fake orange flavor met my tongue and started to dissolve.

“Not contagious,” I corrected him as I threw the bottle back into my bag. “This is Day 6 – I’m just congested now.”

“Uh huh, sure…” Carson said with a sharp nod. “Sorry, but who’s in the amusement park group today again? Is it just us?”

“No, you, me, and Wilson,” I replied. “I almost thought we’d have my friends from the saxes, but they were just being trolls on my post. Figures, I always thought one of them was full of –” I trailed off, holding back the word threatening to slip out.

Carson relaxed, dropping his arms to the side. He mumbled something about being happy it was just the three of us and I turned my attention back to the tablet in my mouth and trying to finish it up before we reached the coffee shop. Next time I’m checking the other flavors.

Once the sign changed, we stepped off the sidewalk, walking side by side in silence.

“This is disgusting,” I announced as the final nub of the tablet dissolved. “I mean, it works but why did they think orange was any better than cherry?” I shook my head and sucked my saliva, trying to get the orange taste to go away. “Hey, you didn’t tell me why you look dead.”

“Cause I slept on the floor,” he replied with a pointed look.

I frowned and stared at him in disbelief. He had to be kidding me – this guy managed to get conned out of a comfy bed after the final tournament? While I didn’t know his roommates very well, Bryce would always stick out in my mind as the guy who covered his case in stickers from In-N-Out and couldn’t get enough of their Animal Fries. Taj was smaller than Carson and incredibly sarcastic, but not rude. As for newbie Christophe, he rarely was spotted without a smile or joking smirk on his face.

“Seriously? All right, who do I need to smack for kicking you to the floor?” I demanded as I crossed my arms.

Carson held his hands up and shot me a surprised look. “Whoa, easy there Old Lady! I know it might not sound normal, but I actually asked for the floor!”

I scanned his face and Carson nodded several times.

“No really, I asked for the floor.”

“Then why are you complaining?” I asked. “Please tell me someone at least gave you a pillow and a blanket.”

“Oh yeah, no I got those,” Carson added. He shoved his hands in his pockets and glanced around the strip mall we were near. “Look, it was either that or share a bed with Christophe! I mean, you’ve seen the guy right? He’s a giant – he pretty much needs the whole bed!”

I snorted and dropped my arms to the side. “Carson, you’re exaggerating – the kid’s not that tall!”

“I say he is!” Carson shot back.

“Well, how did he take it?”

Carson shrugged his shoulders and began walking toward Starbucks. “Oh hard to tell. He seemed surprised but I told him he should just take the bed – no big deal. He let me have the other pillow and the top blanket. You know, it actually wasn’t that uncomfortable if that makes sense. Did you know Bryce snores pretty loudly?”

I bit my lip as I followed him across the parking lot, looking left then right for cars. “No, I didn’t and I probably wouldn’t have known that,” I replied as I zipped my jacket up. I reached out to grab the handle but Carson beat me to it, swinging the door open and standing to the side, making a mock bow.

“After you, Old Lady,” he said with a smug smile.

I rolled my eyes as I slipped through the door and joined the long line, standing on tiptoe to see the bakery counter. Carson walked up behind me and leaned to the side to see the drink menu ahead.

“What are you getting?”

“A bagel and a cup of water,” I said. “You?”

“I think…I’m gonna have that chocolate chip Frappuccino drink and something from the case,” he announced before straightening up.


“Can’t stand him!”

“Who?” I asked as I spread a thin layer of cream cheese on my second bagel half.

Carson’s eyes darted from the window to the line, checking to see who else was here that we knew. I followed his gaze and noted that there were mostly strangers, maybe a few of the popular kids from band tucked in the corner of the cafe. A large group of them from various sections stood up at that moment and walked past us to toss their trash. One of the guys raised a hand in my direction before following the group out the door, coffee cup in his left hand.

Carson watched them leave before turning back to me. He leaned in and lowered his voice, “Christophe.”

I raised a brow at him and he huffed as he leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms.

“Am I missing something or did he empty his spit valve on your shoe when I wasn’t looking?” I asked.

He shook his head. “Just gets on my nerves. He acts like everyone’s his friend and he’s annoying. I swear he thinks life is one big laugh to him.”

I took this moment to take a big bite of my bagel, trying to chew quietly as I listened to Carson lay out his reasons for hating this kid. It seemed a little unfair to the poor guy but then again, it was like the old saying from grade school – you’re not gonna like everyone and everyone isn’t gonna like you.

Yeah, it was definitely good that it was just the three of us taking on the biggest, baddest coasters at Six Flags today…


Siblings Will be Siblings (Coalite Side Story)

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Thank you to everyone who has been reading my original story Coalite that I’ve been posting on here from time to time. This is a character analysis if you will about Tarico Sussex (Ari) and his sister Myrai. Something different for me to try – please enjoy!

Warning: There is some language, drinking, and implied sexual encounters.

“Bartender hit me with a stiff one,” the young woman barked as she slid into a bar stool. “When I say stiff, I mean it. And make it quick.”

“Someone’s in a hurry,” the bartender muttered under her breath as she began measuring out the amount of gin needed for the woman’s drink. She looked up to see the young woman’s face inches away from hers, green eyes glittering.

“Keep talking like that and you can forget about getting your damn tip,” the woman spat as she dug her pointed nails into the bar counter.

The bartender recoiled and began apologizing as she added the shots of gin to the mixer along with dragon fruit juice and lime. The woman smirked as she settled back onto her stool, crossing her arms over her chest.

The bartender slid the completed drink to the woman as soon as she finished pouring the concoction into a glass and the woman pushed a $50 her way. “You can keep $2 from the change,” the woman said as the bartender went to the register.

“Thanks m’am,” the bartender said as she punched in the amount for the drink. She counted out the change and kept $2, handing the rest over to the woman.

The woman put the change into her top and downed her drink in two long sips. She placed the glass down and sighed contentedly before snapping her head towards the door and rolling her eyes.

“Can I get an Execution with extra pepper juice and no vodka?” a male asked as he took the stool next to the woman.

“Sure thing sir,” the bartender said as she began pulling the ingredients for the drink.

The woman snorted and leaned on her elbow as she glanced over at her seatmate. “Seriously Ari? You’re old enough to add the freaking vodka for Lucifer’s Sake!”

“Not feeling it tonight,” Ari said as he watched the bartender make his drink. “I see you’ve already had your poison  – what’d you do this time Myrai?”

Myrai flipped her hair over her shoulder and stared at her new manicure – crimson acrylics with black arches painted above her nail bed, every nail sharpened to a point. “Bagged a guy and he was a disappointment. And I thought for a guy that badass, he had to have the same attitude in bed. How wrong was I?”

“Wow I think the world might come to an end,” Ari replied as he pulled out money from his pocket. He paid the bartender and told her to keep the change.

The bartender did a double take when she noticed that Ari had paid for his drink with a $20 for something that only cost $5. “Thank you very much sir,” the bartender said as she went to the register. “Hope you have a good night.”

Ari flashed the bartender a winning smile and ignored the gagging look that Myrai was doing. He took a sip of the drink and stared straight ahead. “I’m sure there’s other ones out there – always will be, right?”

Myrai turned towards Ari and laughed, slapping her thigh hard. “I…can’t believe…that my little brother actually said that,” she hooted. “Do you realize how obviously green you sound right now?”

“Least I’m not earning a rep as the town slut,” Ari shot back before he took a longer sip.

“Puhleeze Ari,” Myrai said as she yanked the drink out of his hand. “You’ve been drinking the stuff that Mom brought home for you since you were born and never, in the years I’ve been in this family, have I ever seen you go out and seduce your own food. Don’t ya think its time to stop crying to Mommy Dearest?”

Ari’s back stiffened and he wrenched the glass out of Myrai’s hand, ears turning red. He finished the drink in one gulp and swallowed hard, letting the pepper juice scorch his throat. “I’m done,” Ari said as he pushed back his stool. “Good luck finding your next conquest or whatever.” He shoved past other customers, one of them being a burly biker guy.

The biker guy put a hand on Ari’s shoulder and Ari whipped his head around, eyes burning fiercely and his teeth gritted in a way to show the sharp ones off. “Back. Off.” Ari growled.

The biker guy released his grip and backed away as Ari stormed out of the bar in a huff.

Myrai giggled, pleased with her work. She slid off the stool and sauntered up to the biker guy who confronted her brother. Score, she thought.

The Characters are A’Changin’

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For those of you who love reading series, you’ve probably heard of the authors who admitted to going through multiple revisions of characters and/or storylines before reaching the final version that hits the shelves. As a writer, I can definitely attest to that.

For those of you who followed Welcome to Confession Session last year, I’d like to share some interesting facts about the short story that you probably didn’t know.

  1. The main character Mckayla Tang was originally planned out as being more quiet and to herself. Her confession/rant at Open Mic was driven by pressure and being under duress rather than an angry moment where she starts spieling off about Jesse and Emma. She would have actually talked about Jesse’s insecurities and lack of getting action in the original draft while admitting that she felt that Emma could have been a ghost, as she was never present at the time.
  2. Dani was originally going to share confessions online to show support for Mckayla and act as a minor figure who sided with her during the drama.
  3. Chance and Mckayla were originally going to have hints at a possible romantic relationship but would not get together during the story. I eventually felt that they were two completely different individuals who would be terrible together romantically and decided that it would be better to have them interact and find common ground.
  4. Mckayla was going to be an only child. I liked the idea of her having an older brother that had a good balance of being a bit obnoxious yet he knew her like no one else knew her.

Irreplaceable (A Submission for Narrative’s iStory Contest)

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On a whim I submitted an entry into my first writing contest for Narrative Magazine. They challenged writers to create an iStory, which is a story that is 150 words or less that can be read on a smart device. Usually the stories tell a lesson or event without the fluff and extraneous details. It did not make it for submission, but I thought it would be great to share it with my readers on this blog. It is inspired by a recent change of events in my working career.


“Can you let our vendors know that I’ll be the new correspondent?”

“Sure, I’ll do it Monday.”

“Actually, please tell them now. Copy me on all of the e-mails.”

Sure, she thought behind a chipper smile with an egg-sized lump in her throat. The click, click, click of her fingers pounding the keys followed, typing the same generic e-mail to everyone on the distribution list.

Don’t be stupid, she thought. You chose to take the offer. People come and go on this team.

Ping! 2 New Messages!

Ping! 5 New Messages!

She takes a break to open them, expecting to see polite farewells.

What?! You’re leaving? Great working with you!!

The new team has some elegant, lovely, big shoes to fill.

I cannot thank you enough for helping me these past 2 years. It’s been an honor working with you.

Your new team is very lucky to have you.

Make it a Quick One

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Who here likes horror? While I’m not a big horror fan, I find it curious why many are drawn to it. Recently, a friend challenged me to write a two sentence horror story by Friday. Was I willing to try? Why not.

Below are a few different two sentence horror stories. Have a favorite? Comment below.

The usual snoozefest started in fourth period like every Wednesday for Haley, who was sound asleep as the drone discussed planes and right angles. The scythe raised and swiped down in a diagonal, the scream lingering behind closed eyes.

Thunk! His shaky hand wiggled the hilt from his side, vision sharpening and blurring while her crimson lips shot him a pitiful smile.

“Can you hear me?” she screamed, hands pressing against the walls. The blank eyes lined up with hers as the door slid shut with a thud.

No way out, absolutely no way out, he thought. The screams filled the air and all he could do was close his eyes as the sound intensified.

The trigger was pulled with haste, sending the bullet into his windpipe. The last thing he could make out in the blurriness was the rotting, swollen face with bloodshot eyes hovering over his face.

He Said Hello with a Hat (One Chapter Story)

“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” Jasmine groaned as she dashed up to the nearest Departures screen. Her carry-on began to slip toward her elbow and she hitched it back up onto her shoulder. Her black bowler hat fell over her eyes and she pushed it back to see the screens. Her eyes zipped across the lines of departures as another woman came up behind her.

“Looks like that layover is going to be longer than we thought,” the woman said. “Well no matter, we can grab a bite to eat. Correction, you can eat anything while I-”

“I know Mom, you’re trying to eat healthy,” Jasmine groaned. “You were practically a saint when we visited Grandma. I think you made her feel uncomfortable with the measured servings of unsalted nuts and pieces of roasted chicken.”

Her mother gave her an exasperated look. “I told her that I was trying to eat better before we came out here!”

Jasmine shrugged her shoulders and moved toward the directory of businesses in each terminal. Her eyes lingered on the Japanese fusion bistro but her mom hated most of the cuisine.

“Jazzy, how about this place?” her mother asked as she pointed out a seafood place. “We can both eat there.”

“Yeah sure Mom,” Jasmine replied.

They began heading over to the restaurant and waited for a hostess to bring them to a table. Jasmine couldn’t help but notice how crowded the bar was and not just because it was Happy Hour. There were swarms of people crowding around one area of the bar and she saw lots of camera flashes going off. She didn’t have any time to look closely as the hostess came over and guided her and her mother to a table close to the kitchen doors.

“You’re busy tonight, aren’t you?” her mom mused to the hostess.

The hostess handed them their menus and leaned close to them. “Well people found out that Tyler Desmond and some of his teammates were eating here before their flight, so its been nuts. And you know that with all of the Olympic coverage recently…yeah its been crazy. But your server will be right over.” She hurried back to the front of the restaurant and Jasmine tried not to roll her eyes under her bowler hat.

Tyler Desmond. Poster boy for Team USA swim and ladies’ man. Jasmine didn’t get what the big fuss was about him – heck he wasn’t that good looking in her mind. Almost every girl at college talked about him and his toned body, flashy sports car, and accomplishments in the pool. But then again, he did graduate from the same college she was attending, meaning he probably had a brain under that mop of chlorine-soaked hair. That or someone probably scouted him for his swimming talents.

“Isn’t that the guy-”

“Yeah Mom, he graduated from my college,” Jasmine grunted. “Can we not talk about him? I’m sick of hearing about him.”

“Hi there ladies! I’m Christy and I’ll be taking care of you tonight,” the waitress said. “Can I start you off with some drinks? A beer? Our house-made Bahama Mama?”

“Club soda for me, please,” Jasmine’s mom said.

“Water please,” Jasmine said.

Christy nodded and pulled out her order pad. “Can I suggest any appetizers to start with? A cup of New England clam chowder? Fried calamari?”

“No thank you,” Jasmine’s mom replied.

“Okay then, are you ready to order or do you need some time to decide?”

“Uh I’ll need some time,” Jasmine said.

Christy smiled and told them to take their time before leaving to check on another table.

“So Jazzy, why do you not want to talk about Tyler Desmond?” her mom asked.

Jasmine brushed a strand of her hair away from her face and sighed. “Mom, everyone talks about him non-stop at my school. I just need a break from it, okay?” She turned her attention back to the menu and her mom followed suit.

Creole Codfish…………………………………$14.75

No Fuss Salmon………………………………$17.95

Have it Your Way Filet………………………$15.95

Fish and Chips………………………………..$11.50

Fish of the Day………………………………..$18.95

“Do you know what you want Jazzy?” her mom asked.

Jasmine nodded and craned her neck to find Christy. She scanned the restaurant for her and paused when she felt someone looking at her. She turned toward the bar area but saw no one looking in her direction. Odd.

“Have we decided yet ladies?” Christy asked as she came up to the table. She plunked down the drinks next to their respective owners and pulled out her order pad.

Jasmine snapped her head back to the table and looked at her mom. Her mom held out the menu to Christy as she ordered the salmon with broccoli and brown rice.

“I’d like the Creole Codfish with fries,” Jasmine replied as she handed her menu to Christy.

Christy scribbled down their order and promised to put it in right away. As she left, Jasmine took a sip of her water and adjusted her hat. Her mom rolled her eyes and muttered that Jasmine shouldn’t have worn this hat today. The security personnel at the Newark Airport had given her a hard time about the hat – heck one of them insisted on checking to make sure that Jasmine wasn’t trying to hide something in it. If that wasn’t enough, a little boy had pointed the hat out to his mother on the plane and loudly said it reminded him of this creepy hat in a Disney movie that possessed people.


“Her? But she’s already-”

“I just have this hunch, okay?”

Jasmine raised her head from checking her phone for texts when her hat was lifted off her head. The dark felt that once sat low on her forehead was replaced with a white cabbie/golfer hat. She was almost afraid to look to see who it was, since she had a bad feeling who it was. But she took a deep breath and turned to see who it was that swapped her hat out. She had to look up at the guy who had the bowler perched on his head because he was so much taller than her.

A strong, square jaw. Dark brown hair that stuck out at different angles. Dark eyes. No it wasn’t poster boy Tyler – not by a long shot. He looked familiar but she couldn’t place where she had seen him. He smiled sheepishly at her as he looked at the white hat on her head.

“Sorry for taking your hat,” he said. “But I was trying to tell my friends that the closing ceremony hat looked better on a girl than on me.”

Jasmine felt her face flare up as she touched the sides of the white hat. One side had diagonal stripes of ribbon sewed on and it clicked. This was the closing ceremony hat from the Olympics and that meant that this guy was with Tyler’s crew.

“Hey Paul! Are you done with your food or what?” Tyler yelled over at him. “We’ve got a flight to catch!”

Paul? Oh he meant Paul Wilson, the up-and-coming swimmer who had won his first gold medal this summer! Jasmine had seen him prior to his entry into the Olympics and thought he was handsome. They both came from the same hometown and he was only 2 years older than her. Was this a dream?

Paul jerked his head back toward Tyler and said yes. He removed Jasmine’s bowler hat from his head and handed it back to her. “Although I do like your hat on you. It works for you.”

“Thanks,” she said as she pulled the white hat off her head. She started to hand it back but he placed his hand on top of hers.

“No I want you to keep it,” he said. “It looked weird on me and I think it looks nicer on you.”

“Wait I don’t want to take your hat!” Jasmine protested. “It should be a memory of your first Games.”

He shook his head and adjusted his jacket collar which was sticking up. “Nah I don’t need it to remember the Games. I’ve got a medal which is awesome in itself. And I’ve got a good memory of a cute girl I just met rocking my hat.” He turned to leave the restaurant and looked back with a small wave.

“Hope to see you again soon,” he said as he left with his teammates.

Her mom couldn’t help but smile knowingly at her daughter. Jasmine took her bowler hat and stuffed it into her carry-on bag. She replaced the white cabbie hat on her head and fixed her hair to lie smoothly under it.

The food arrived and Jasmine ate but she couldn’t even think about how great the fish tasted. Her face was still pink from meeting the guy she thought was cute and she still couldn’t believe that he gave her his hat.


“Well that was exciting, wasn’t it?” her mom said as they found their seats on the flight. Her mom slid into the window seat and Jasmine took the middle one.

“Yes, yes it was,” Jasmine said as she buckled her seatbelt. “It was really nice of him to give me his hat but he didn’t have to. Well, we live in the same hometown so maybe we will see each other around.”

Her mom nudged her and pointed to the hat. “I thought I saw something written on the inside of it when you took it off.”

Jasmine frowned and she pulled the hat off her head, turning it upside down to see inside. Inside the brim, close to the manufacturer’s tag was a string of 10 numbers written in small, black ink. He had given her his cell phone number.

Hardest Thing to do is to Say I’m Sorry (Welcome to Confession Session Chapter 11)

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“How was your Brother-Sister Day?” Devon asked me when I got back. “I hope it went better than it started in here.”

“Yeah it was good,” I replied. “We watched a movie and had breakfast. It was good catching up with him.” I sat down in my desk chair and decided to check my Facebook page.

Devon got off of her bed and slammed her heavy Math book shut with a thud. She came over to me and watched as I checked for messages and updates. She placed a hand on my shoulder.

“Since it sounds like it was such a great day, I won’t put a damper on it,” she said.

I looked away from the screen and creased my brows at her comment. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Devon coughed and made a face. She looked uneasy about telling me whatever she had to tell me and I nodded at her.

“Just spit it out Dev,” I said. “What’s up?”

Devon shifted her feet and gripped her other arm as she began telling me her news. “Jesse stopped by when you were out. He was hoping to talk to you but I said you were out with your brother. He wouldn’t say what he needed to talk to you about, but I’m guessing it was pretty important.”

I fiddled with the tail of my braid and Devon continued, “I’m sorry Kay, I didn’t mean to ruin your fun day. I know its been…a month I think, since you last talked to each other. …You know, you don’t have to talk to him right away. You could give it a couple of days.”

“Did he seem angry?”

“Nope, he seemed kind of quiet and almost…almost as if he was sorry,” Devon said.


Thursday was a blur and filled with more of Rachelle’s snotty complaints about bad stories. Friday finally arrived and I still hadn’t talked to Jesse.

My alarm clock went off at 8:45 AM and I lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling. Just go and get the talk over with.

I sat up and reached for my cell phone which had a new text message from Jesse.


When are you free to talk?      Sent at 8:20AM

I typed back Now.


I drummed my fingers on the bench as I waited for Jesse to show up. He had told me to meet him on campus by the stupid abstract scribble sculpture that was donated by some rich donor. The wind cut across my face and I zipped my jacket up to the neck collar to keep warm. Surprisingly, it was pretty gloomy-looking today for the west coast.

“Hey,” Jesse said as he sat down beside me. He had a bouquet of white daisies in his hand, each one had a piece of paper with a string tied onto the stem.

Before I could ask what the flowers were for, he cleared his throat and pulled one from the middle to hand to me. He prompted me to read the paper attached to it.

I was too proud to admit that I was wrong.

He handed me another daisy once I looked up. I overstepped the boundaries we set between the two of us. 

This process continued 4 more times as he handed me the daisies.

I have no idea what I am to other people. Funny seemed like the natural choice to go with.

I suck at being a good boyfriend. Ask any of my ex-girlfriends and they will tell you.

I hate my dad right now because he decided to leave my mom.

I have never slept with anyone. I might talk big but I haven’t done anything yet.

The last one made me raise my eyebrows and I looked over at him.

“What about that girl you brought back to the building?” I asked.

Jesse made a face and leaned back against the bench back. “Her? That’s Dana – she’s in my lit class and she claimed she needed to study with someone for the next exam. I did better on the last exam than she did so I guess that’s why she approached me. Then she spent the entire session talking about her life and girl stuff and I snapped at her that we were supposed to be studying. Then she left in a huff to hang out with someone else.”

I snorted at the thought of Dana throwing a big temper tantrum after having someone else shut her down. “Yeah I saw her the next day when I came back from hanging with Dany. There was another guy looking for her.”

“I’m guessing she wanted something from him or the other way around,” Jesse speculated. “Either way, I could care less about her. She probably flunked the latest lit exam anyways. No wonder she’s failing.”

“So what now?” I asked him.

He looked at me and sighed. “Can we go back to square one? I’d like a do-over.”

“That works for me,” I replied. “Good to have you back old friend.”

“The feeling’s mutual.”