Remember that one time I decided to write a book? Oh you don’t? Oh yeah. Duh.! That would be because no one even knows that I tried to write a book!
Have you even been binge reading all your favorite books and then stopped to think, “I could T O T A L L Y write a book.”? Well that is exactly the thought that I had about 3 years ago. I thought, WTH I would give it a try… Well let me just say, writing is hard. I have so much respect for all the writers out there! I don’t really consider my blog “writing” so to speak (so this does not count)! Sitting down and writing a whole book that is like, what? 500 pages? Ummm… That takes some skill. BRAVO!
So long story short, I wrote a book. The whole dang thing, because once I started I was too stubborn to stop. No matter how hard it was! So I have attached below the first couple of pages that I wrote. I am not looking to get published I just wanted all you other potential writers out there to see that you can do it! It may be hard and you may want to quit, but don’t! It is so rewarding at the end, even if you never get it published and even if you think it is not that good!
1:52 on a Thursday afternoon and all I can think of is how I am so ready for this week to be over. It has been one of those kinds of weeks where you feel like nothing you do is right and no matter how hard you work, you never seem to make a dent in your on going to-do list. Tomorrow will be better though, Brooke’s birthday dinner is tomorrow and then we are going out for a night on the town.
Brooke is a friend. Who am I kidding; she is my best friend, one of my only friends. She is that girl that you can’t help but stare at. She has long mocha colored hair that is so perfect it should be in a shampoo commercial. She is tall, but not Amazonian, with legs that are to die for. She could easily have been a model if she put in a fraction of effort. She is more of the Levi’s and flip-flops kind of girl, which is probably why we get along so well. That is one of the few things we have in common, because I am completely opposite from her, being at least 4 inches shorter than she is and having long blonde hair. We both have green eyes, hers being that bright
almost see through green while mine are a deep and dark green. Whenever we are out, people look right past me and straight to her, especially the guys. I am okay with that though, I would prefer not to get all that extra-unwanted attention, she can take it all.
Our mothers went to college together. They are about as similar as Brooke and me. They were sorority sisters in Kappa Kappa Gamma and have been friends ever since their college days. They seem to have drifted apart some since then, but that is understandable when you look at how different our families are. Brooke’s mother Alison finished college and met a rich business man who swept her off of her feet, she of course married him and had Brooke and her brother Brandon. Mrs. Allen has never worked a day in her life and spends most of her time at social events and tennis clubs, but who can really blame her. When you think about it, how many women do you know with rich husbands that work?
My mother, Diane, is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. She met my dad at a teacher’s conference. They were both teaching high school science, and were there to listen to some Dr. talk about some new chromosome abnormality. I don’t know how I can be their child because I am horrible at anything to do with science. You would think that having two parents that are science teachers that I would have picked up some of their genes, but I missed every one of them. My father has gone on to be a college professor and my mom is still a high school teacher. She loves it though and says she will do it until she dies. We are just your typical middle class family. We never really struggled, but we are nowhere near as well off as Brooke’s family.
I still don’t know what to get Brooke. I really need to get on that, since we are going out tomorrow. Maybe I will call Brandon and see if he will go help me pick something up today after work. He knows her almost as well as I do. I pick up my IPhone and dial his number.
“Brandon Allen,” he says assertively into the other end of the phone. He works with his father, trying to learn the ropes of the business enterprise.
“Brandon it’s Layla, are you busy?” He sounded busy. Crap maybe I should have waited to call him after work.
“Layla! What’s going on?” I have known Brandon since I was a child. He is a couple of years older than Brooke and me, but we have all hung out together since we were kids.
“I wanted to see if you would do me a huge favor and come shopping with me for Brooke’s birthday present after work tonight?” Since Brandon is another person that hates shopping as much as I do, this should make for a quick yet interesting shopping experience!
“Hmmm…… Ugh….. You know I hate shopping,” he sounds less than enthusiastic. “Can’t you just get her a gift card for somewhere?”
“Brandon, you know I can’t.” Brooke hates gift cards, she says they are so impersonal and it is like passing money back and forth between people. “Please oh please don’t make me endure this all alone.” He has to feel bad for me because the begging has worked!
“Fine, you owe me big time. I will pick you up around 6:00 from your place. We can go to the Beverly Center.” If you can’t find something there, you will never find anything.
“Thanks Brandon, see you later!” As I hang up my phone I walk back into my office.
I work as an assistant to a designer of a magazine called The Boulevard. Madison Wells is an attractive 30-year-old upcoming designer. She is teaching me so much. I love working for her. She is 5 years older than I am, but she has so much experience under her belt. She used to work for Allure, the magazine. She did multiple spreads on fashion week and you can tell by her
previous experience with clothes that she knows about fashion. She screams fashionista. She reminds me a lot of Brooke. It is unnatural for two people that I know to look this good all the time.
When we reach the Beverly Center, it never ceases to impress. This eight-story structure fitted with close to 200 stores is nestled into the heart of Los Angeles. It is a must see among tourists and residents alike. As we strut through mall the amount of people is overwhelming, Brandon and I continue to bump into each other in order to avoid being trampled by the crowds of better shoppers than us.
“Tell me again why I agreed to do this?” He eyes me speculatively. It is very clear that he does not want to be here anymore than I do.
“I will try to make this as quick as possible.” I try to reassure him, but I don’t think that I have succeeded.
He tries to act like he is really mad at me, but I can tell deep down that he is fighting to crack a smile as we people watch while we walk. This is one of our favorite past times. Brooke, Brandon, and I used to make up stories about people we saw out in public and would just about die laughing as we tried to mock and mimic them. I really miss those days, back before we became adults and were thrust into the real world.
After about 2 hours of shopping I finally decided on getting Brooke a white gold plumeria flower bracelet. The flowers are connected on a chain with small diamonds at their centers. Plumerias are one of the sweetest smelling flowers in the world. They remind me of tropical paradise. She will love this.
We practically live at the beach. Our apartment is located only a few miles from the ocean. Brooke and I live on the 3rd floor of one of her parent’s apartment buildings. We live across the hall from each other. We decided on separate apartments because when we moved in we were still finishing college and I would not let her have parties on weekdays while I was studying. This probably saved our friendship, but now that we are out of school, we are always in each other’s places. We have keys to each other’s apartments and come and go between the two as if they were one big one. We pay practically nothing to live in them. If it was not for her parents letting us live here we would not be able to afford these apartments on our own.
Brandon and I leave the mall and head back to the garage where we parked. I slide into the passenger seat and enjoy the ride. On the drive home we talk about Brooke’s upcoming party and things that have been going on with our lives. When we get close to my apartment Brandon changes the subject to something much more interesting than Brooke.
“So are you going to the Brown’s Annual Scholarship Gala in a couple of weeks?” He asks.
“Has it really already been a year? Wow, time flies. Umm. Yeah of course I am going. Are you?” I question back.
“I don’t think I have a choice in the matter.” He unenthusiastically states. “So to make my night better, would you come with me?”
“As your date?” I interject.
“Yes. I guess you could say that.” He nervously says while shifting his weight in his seat.
“Sure. I would like that.” I happily answer and secretly smile on the inside.
After a few more minutes of driving, Brandon drops me off at my place shortly before nine and I immediately go and wrap her present. Just I am placing the last piece of tape; Brooke bursts into my place hollering about her party the next day. She seems overly excited for turning 25. I know next month when I turn 25 I will not be acting this excited.
“Is that my birthday present?” She asks inquisitively. She clearly knows that it is though.
“Yes, who else would it be for?” Like I have other people that I buy presents for.
“I cannot wait for tomorrow it is going to be so much fun. We have a private room at a new restaurant called Someplace Else.” Still acting very enthusiastic as she plops down on my couch..
“Are you serious? The restaurant is called Someplace Else?” I actually find it pretty amusing. I imagine someone asking where we are going and we simply say Someplace Else and everyone seeming very confused because they think we are actually going to some other place but just won’t tell them where we are going. I actually giggle out loud at this thought.
“Can we ride together tomorrow, I don’t want to drive on my birthday.” Obviously she is insinuating that she is going to be drinking a lot!
“Yeah that’s fine.” I am not a big drinker anyways. I never really saw the point in drinking and making yourself feel like crap the next day. Why would people willingly do that to themselves I will never know.
While I am in the kitchen trying to find something quick to eat for dinner, Brooke continues to talk about the next night; what she is going to wear, what she thinks I should wear, what she wants to do after dinner, and who is coming to dinner. I am just barely listening to the conversation when I hear her say the names of some people that will be attending the dinner “Sarah, Lisa, Derek…”
“Wait, wait, wait….. Did you say Derek?” I cannot believe that she just said his name. He is the roommate of my ex boyfriend, my first love. The guy who ripped my heart from my chest and stomped all over it.
“Yeah I thought I told you.” She looks at me puzzled. “He is back in town and Brandon ran into him the other day and accidentally invited him. It is not big deal Layla.” She says this through her pursed lips.
“I really don’t want to see him.” Why would I want to be reminded of the one guy in my life that hurt me so much. Seeing Derek would bring back memories of Logan. Of what he did to me. Of how he hurt me.
“Please don’t be mad Lay, I didn’t invite him, and I don’t want to uninvite him now.” She seems to have noticed that my mood has changed. “It will not be that bad, it is not like Logan will be there.”
“I know, but he is was the closest person to Logan…. I am sorry, I will try not to think about it.” Maybe it will not be that bad. After all she is right, Logan is not coming. Maybe we can just bypass the whole Logan situation while we are all together tomorrow night. Of course we can, we are adults and no one will want to ruin Brooke’s day…I hope.
That night, for the first time in a very long time, I dreamt of Logan. I remember the first time I saw him. He was in my Biology lab class my freshman year of college. He had one of two open seats next to him. It was either next to him or next to a hippie kid that looked like he was already baked at 10:00 in the morning, so I decided it would be best to take my chances with him. He had this blonde hair that flowed so freely on his head, it was messy yet still tamed with each hair in its place. His eyes were so blue that I felt that they could almost see through me and he had these long dark lashes that were so perfectly curled that it would make girls envious. I remember being so nervous to sit next to him because I had never seen someone so good looking.
He didn’t even notice when I sat next to him. He was too consumed by the phone in his hands. I couldn’t help but stare at him from the corner of my eyes. The teacher had entered sometime while I wasn’t paying attention and began to take role. After the teacher called my name, we made eye contact for the first time, he looked at me after I announced my presence to her. From that moment on his eyes watched me fidget next to him. Why was I so nervous? It was just another guy. I had dated before. Why was he so special?
“Logan McMann?” Our too tall, too skinny red headed teacher called out.
“Right here,” he said with his slightly deep and erotic voice that woke every nerve in my body. Logan McMann what a great name. It suits him. He looks like a Logan…
“Layla, something is beeping,” he is shouting to me. “Layla….”
“Layla, Layla…. Wake up…” Brooke is shaking me awake, “your alarm is going off. Get up.” Crap, why is she waking me up. Better yet, why am I dreaming of Logan.
“Ugh.. I am getting up.” I am still half asleep and still half engulfed in my Logan delusion. “Wait, why are you here in my apartment?”
“I ran out of milk, and I need it for my coffee. It is a good thing I came over or you would have never woken up. You must have been dead to the world. What were you dreaming of?” She seems very inquisitive for eight in the morning.
I try to just brush it off, “I don’t remember you woke me up so quick I forgot.” Hopefully she buys that because I don’t want to admit what I was really dreaming about.
“Oh, well… I have to go get ready to meet my mom. We are going out for breakfast for my birthday! I will see you later after you get home for work, then we can get ready together.” She is walking out my door and back to her apartment.
“Happy birthday!” I yell at her. “Tell your mom I said hi!” I close my door and try to forget my dream and head to the bathroom for a shower.
I try to drown myself in work for the rest of the day so I don’t have time to dwell over the dream from last night. I also don’t want to think about seeing Derek tonight either. I just want to have a good time at dinner and then go out with Brooke afterwards. I have meetings throughout the day and I have a spread that my boss wants me to work on for a campaign for a local artist. He is having a show in a couple of weeks and we are advertising and marketing it. The artist is some guy with morbid tastes. All of his paintings are dark colored abstract pieces that are illegible to the latent eyes. Of course that means me because when I look at them all I see is a large mess.
After work, I head back to my place. I park my 2007 Honda civic in the parking garage. Brooke and I always park in the same spots event though we don’t have assigned parking, no one else ever seems to park in our spots. She drives a fancy new black BMW that her parents bought for her a couple months back. Must be nice to have everything paid for and not have to worry about making monthly car payments, like I am. I am not jealous because I get some of the perks that she gets, like this apartment being so cheap, but I can’t imagine my life every being that privileged.
As I step off of the elevator onto the 3rd floor, I can hear music beaming from Brooke’s apartment. She must already be in party mode! I decide on not even trying to bypass to my apartment and just go straight to hers. She is dancing around her apartment to “Where Them Girls At” by David Guetta. I have to admit, this song has a way of making you want to move around!
“ So many boys in here, where do I begin, I see this one I’m about to go in….Where them girls at… ooooooooooooo…” She is spinning around catches me standing and staring at her… “Layla, hey! Time to start getting ready! Just getting into the mood to party!” She chuckles and then turns it down a little so I can hear her better.
She has about ten outfits out on her bed, all with matching jewelry and shoes. I look over them all thinking that there was no way she was going to get me into any of those. Half of the dresses are strapless and are not even possible for me to wear because I was not graced with boobs big enough to hold them up. The other half of the dresses are so short that if I sat down at any point in the night, the dress would slide up to my belly button.
Brooke has obviously seen me eye balling them because before I can say anything she is already trying to make me feel better about them.
“They are not as short as they look, I promise. You will like them better after you try them on.” She smiles devilish at me.
“I was just going to wear some jeans. I am not a huge dress fan.” I try to say sympathetically.
“You are wearing a dress. It is my birthday so you have no choice.” As she hands me the first pink sparkly strapless monstrosity, I take it and glare at her so she knows that I am not happy about this.
After trying on about 7 dresses I think we have finally found one that both Brooke likes and that I agree to wear. She was right this dress is not as short as it at first seemed, but I will still have to watch out when I sit down. It is black dress with some metallic beads on the front of it. It has sleeves that barely come over my shoulders and has this scrunching on the sides around my hips and thighs. Brooke better be grateful that I am even wearing this. She so owes me.
“You can wear these, they will give you a pop of color.” She is handing me a pair of shiny red BCBG platforms stilettos. Shit I forgot about the shoes.
“I will brake my ankle, you know I can not wear those.” I say showing my sheer concern for my health.
“You will be fine. I will make Brandon hold you up all night if I have to.” There is a hint of sarcasm when she says this.
I think Brooke has always wished that Brandon and I would date exclusively. Besides Brooke, Brandon is my closest friend. Well he is a little more than a friend. We have had our share of “flings” with each other. I remember the first time was about 4 months after the Logan
incident. Brandon and Brooke had been trying to cheer me up for months, and he had come over to order pizza and watch the latest episode of Nip/Tuck with me. Nip/Tuck was our thing. Brandon, Brooke, and I would pile in to each other’s places and watch it every week. We were obsessed. Brooke had a date that week so Brandon and I had decided to watch it without her. Of course while we were watching, Dr. Christian Troy had his infamous kinky sex scenes and although the show did not show much because it was on TV, it was still kind of a turn on. I had been so miserable the past couple of months and I just wanted to forget about everything and move on. You could say that Brandon was my therapy. I crawled over onto his lap and placed my legs on either side of him so I was straddling him, catching him completely off guard. I looked deep into his eyes as if I was asking permission to continue and that is when he grabbed my face, wrapping his fingers around the back of my head and kissed me for the first time…I can’t believe I still get that sexual feeling deep down in my stomach when I think about it. I need to stop thinking about this right now… Brooke is staring right at me as if she is questioning what I am thinking about, so I quickly make an appalled face at the fact that I would need Brandon to hold me all night!
“Fine, whatever you want, you are the birthday girl!” I say with an eyebrow arched and a half serious face.
“Great, now lets do something about your hair and makeup.” She smiles and laughs at the same time acting like she enjoys torturing me.
“I am going to need alcohol.” I walk to her kitchen and open a bottle of wine. After pouring two glasses I walk back to her bedroom and let her proceed in the torture.
An hour and a half later, we are making our way to the restaurant. Everyone should already be there waiting for her grand entrance. We pull up outside of Someplace Else and let the valet take my car to park it. When we walk into the restaurant, 20 of Brooke’s closest friends are sitting at the table and greet her with multiple happy birthdays. Brooke walks around the table to welcome each guest and to thank them for coming. I walk straight over to my seat next to Brandon and next to Brooke’s head of the table seat. As I sit down at the table I notice that Brandon is gawking at me. Why is he staring at me like that? Has he never seen someone in a dress before?
“What are you staring at?” I ask inquisitively.
“You.” He pauses for a minute. “Have you seen yourself?” He stares at me and then looks me up and down.
“Of course I have seen myself.” Where is he is going with this. “Why?”
“Because you look weird!” He says playfully and then a large Grinch smile comes across his face.
“Geeze, you know all the right things to say!” He runs his fingers nervously through his hair. Although it is longer on top than on the sides it is still perfectly in its place. He looks really good tonight. He is wearing dark fitted jeans with a green collar shirt with the top buttons undone.
Brandon reaches over under the table and places his hand on my leg. It startles me because no one around us knows that we are more than friends, but I place my hand on top of his anyway. Between my joking banter with Brandon and ordering drinks and food, I had completely forgotten that Derek was even at the table. He is sitting across the table and down 4 chairs to my left. He is sitting between two of our friends Kyle and Steven. They are talking and joking around like everyone else at the table. I try to not think about all the good times that I spent with him and Logan in college, but it is impossible. The memories of frat parties and bar hopping pop into my mind quickly. At some point while I am reminiscing Derek glances my way and I accidently make eye contact with him. I quickly turn my head to face Brooke and pretend I am listening to her talking about what she got for her birthday. Crap. I can’t believe he was looking at me. Maybe he wants to talk to me about what happened that night 3 years ago. I try to push the thought out of my mind but I can’t help but to think about that night. The night my life fell apart. The night that Derek tried to explain to me what happened. To tell me what happened to Logan…
“I would like to propose a toast.” I am knocked back into reality as Brandon is standing next to me saying how great Brooke is and wishing his sister a very happy birthday. We all raise our glasses of whatever we are drinking and cheers to Brooke. Everyone continues polite chitchat as we all finish dinner and pay our tabs. I get up and go to where Brooke is standing and talking to our friends Lisa and Sarah.
“Do you care if Lisa and Sarah ride with us to Peabody’s?” She is more or less telling me that they are going to ride with us rather than asking me.
“Of course I don’t care. We are going there either way!” I really don’t care. I am almost always the DD so I am used to everyone piling into my car at this point.
I wait for Brooke to finish saying goodbye to everyone and to ask them if they will be joining us at the bar. I am standing far enough away that I do not have to join in on the conversations but I am still close enough that I can hear what they are all saying. She gets to Derek and he of course tells her he would love to join us. Why can’t he just go home? I have managed to avoid him all night but apparently our night’s interactions are not over with yet.
We walk outside just as the valet is pulling up my car. We all pile in and start our journey of 20 minutes to Peabody’s Bar. Brooke immediately starts going through the radio stations to try to find something to get us all pumped and ready to dance! Finally she find something worthwhile.
“Cuz I may be bad, but I’m perfectly good at it… Sex in the air, I don’t care I love the smell of it! Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me!” We all belt out singing Rhianna’s song S&M. After a few more dance worthy songs such as “Starships” by Nicki Minaj and “Good Felling” by Flo Rida, we finally pull up outside the bar and let valet park my car again. We are some of the first from our group to arrive so we walk up to the bar and order a round of drinks and proceed to the dance floor.
I must admit, I am very much in the mood to go dancing, but just not in 5-inch stilettos. I do my best once I am out on the floor though. I know the longer I stay on the floor the less likely it will be for me to talk or run into Derek. You cannot hear anything other than the base from the DJ’s speakers out on the floor. Brooke and I have to literally scream into each other’s ears so the other one can hear it.
While we are dancing, our friends from dinner and other friends that just came to meet us at the bar start showing up and making their way to the dance floor. Even Brandon has managed to make his way out to dance with us all. I try to keep Brandon relatively close to me as to keep Derek away from me. I can see Brooke is on the other side of the dance floor trying to talk, or rather scream, at Derek. Why the hell would they try to talk on the dance floor? It is impossible to hear each other. I spin around so that I am facing Brandon, and try to mouth that I need water.
He seems to get my hand signals because before I know it, he has grabbed my hand and we are off to the bar.
“Two waters.” He says to the bartender and then turns to me. “You are sweating!” Isn’t he Mr. Obvious!
“Yeah it is a little hot in here, and it doesn’t help that there are about 500 people in here.” I say sarcastically. “I am going to run to the bathroom really quick. I will be right back.”
“Ok I will wait here for you.” I turn and walk away and as I do I can feel him staring at me.
As I am walking to the bathroom, dodging in and out of people, I get shoved by a guy walking past me in the other direction. Before I can stop myself I turn to yell at him. “Excuse you!” That will show him! As the guy turns around my mouth is instantly dry. I am completely shocked. I should not have had that last drink. Am I drunk? Am I seeing things? Logan? No this can’t be right. He left, he moved. He looks as good as he ever did. Stop. I am floored at the fact that he is here. I don’t know what to even think or say. He looks almost as shocked to see me as I am with him.
“O…Ugh…I’m sor… I’m sorry Layla.” Logan says with a stutter.
I can’t even respond. I stand dumbfounded by the situation that is occurring all around me. He turns and walks towards the dance floor and before I even get my bearings back I have lost him. I cannot see him anymore. Where did he go? I try to follow his footsteps and head to the dance floor. Brooke catches my eyes and knows what has just happened. When I left her she was still talking to Derek. Wait where is Derek? I glance around quickly, but I don’t see him. Brooke runs up to me to ask what is wrong.
“Why?” Is the only word that I can manage to get out.
“I guess he came to get Derek. He walked past me to Derek, they said bye and then were gone. I swear I did not know he would be here.” She seems almost as upset as I am so she must be telling the truth about not knowing. Why after all this time? Why now? I have not seen him in 3 years. I am in a good place now. I can’t do this. While the thoughts are running through my head, that feeling comes back into my stomach, but this time it is the feeling of sickness. Before I know it, I am running for the bathroom and storm into one of the stalls and heaved into a toilet. I can hear Brooke behind me asking if I need some help.
“Just give me a minute.” I mumble.
When I open the stall door, she is standing there with a towel. She hands it to me asks me if I am ok.
“No I am not.” I walk to the sink and rinse my mouth out and splash some water on my face. “Why now? Why here?”
“Like I said, I think he came here just to pick Derek up.” She looks upset and confused for me.
“Was he just not going to tell me he was here? Was he not going to talk to me?” I am almost yelling at her. “He can’t do this to me.” I almost start crying. Why is this happening to me?
“Come on let’s get out of here.” She puts her arm around me and walks me to the bar to get Brandon, who looks extremely confused. He doesn’t try to ask what is wrong, but I know that he wants to. Brooke asks him to drive us home in my car since he rode to the bar with some of the guys.
When my car pulls up, I jump into the backseat so I can just lie down. On the twenty-minute drive home I try not to think of anything. I just want to get home and go to sleep. I want to pretend like tonight never happened. I can hear Brooke in the front seat telling Brandon what happened. He doesn’t say a word when she is done. For the rest of the trip the car is completely silent.
When we get home, Brooke and Brandon walk with me into my apartment. I know that they are concerned, but I am in no mood to talk. Brooke sits with me on my couch. I lean over and lay my head in her lap so she can play with my hair. It is very soothing and it feels really good. Brandon is pacing around my apartment as if he does not know where to go, what to do, or what to say. Finally he just can’t hold it in anymore.
“He is an asshole.” He blurts out very abruptly. “You should not be sitting here upset because of him. You spent long enough doing that.” He is looking right at me when he says this but I can’t say anything. He is right. He would know of all people. He and Brooke were with me picking up the pieces and dealing with the aftermath. He walks over and sits on the chair across from Brooke and me. I know I should say something, but I just don’t know what. I do hate him. I am just as mad at him as Brandon, but I do still love him. That will never go away. He really is an asshole for doing this to me. He knew I would be there. How could he not know that I would be there with Brooke?
“I really don’t want to talk about him anymore.” I say very serenely. “I just want to forget that this ever happened and continue my life like I was doing.” I look up at them. They are both staring at each other as if they are silently agreeing to drop it.