Excerpt For Ever, K.G. Reuss
I pulled my hoodie over my head, my long black hair doing the rest of the work of hiding my face as I walked through the chilly evening air. Hiking my messenger bag up onto my shoulder, I picked up my pace, eager to make it back to the warmth of my home. It was late fall in Northern Michigan, and that meant it was extra cold, and my breath was visible in tiny little puffs as I hurried along the darkening street.
A familiar loud truck rumbled past, its bass booming loudly. I groaned inwardly as the angry red lights of its brakes came on before the truck went in reverse. This was the last thing I felt like dealing with, but I was a trooper for dealing with unwanted situations. I’d managed to make it through my alcoholic father’s harsh words and heavy hits, watching as he’d terrorized my mother, running and screaming as he’d terrorized me when his bottle had run dry. I’d managed to make it through my parent’s nasty divorce. I’d even managed to make it through my childhood, which was littered with a creepy, red-eyed shadow person, strange creatures that were born from the dark corners of my dimly lit bedroom, and the disembodied voices that called out to me. If I could make it through all that, I could make it through a couple of teenage jock straps yowling at me from the truck their overindulgent parents had purchased for them.
“Ever!” Dylan Reynolds called from the passenger seat as his friends guffawed loudly from their various perches within the vehicle. I ducked my head lower and pretended like I couldn’t hear them. They idled beside me, laughing.
“Oye, mamacita, qué buena estás? I know your Mexican ass can hear me!” Dylan shouted again as I scowled behind my curtain of hair. “Come on, Ever!” The truck came to a sudden stop, and Dylan jumped out and stepped in front of me. I sidestepped around him and kept walking, but being the annoying little shit he was, he got back in front of me and started walking backward.
“Ever, seriously. Are you still pissed over Brit’s party the other night?”
“Dylan, I know it may be hard for you to understand, but vete a la chingada.” I snapped at him.
“You’re right, Ever. I don’t understand what that means. It sounds good coming from your mouth, whatever it is,” he said, grinning at me, his hazel eyes lighting up with his amusement and his sandy brown hair falling across his forehead. I don’t know what I ever saw in him aside from his looks, but I spent five months as his girlfriend, listening to him mess with people and suspecting he was cheating on me with Britney Stewart. I was over it now, though. “You haven’t been answering my calls or texts. What gives, babe?”
“Gee, let me think,” I snapped, stopping suddenly and glaring at him. “I found you sucking face with Britney in the bathroom at her party! Why would I give you the time of day?”
“Babe, that was nothing. I was drunk. I thought she was you!”
“Ugh, get the hell out of my face, Dylan! You thought that blonde-haired, blue-eyed Britney was me? Do you think I’m stupid and desperate?” I was losing my patience with him. I’d been avoiding him like the plague since the night of the party last weekend. As far as I was concerned, he could go back to making out with her.
“I was wasted. Come on, Ever. You know you’re my girl!” he sighed, stopping me by putting his hands on my shoulders. His fingers went to push my dark hair away from my face. “You’re just upset. Give me another chance. I swear it won’t happen again. Just get in the truck with us. We’ll give you a ride home.”
“Dylan,” I said sweetly, batting my long lashes at him.
“I’d rather shit in my hands and clap than get in that truck with you jackasses.”
“Christ, Ever.” Dylan’s face soured. “You know, maybe you’d keep a guy around if you learned to talk like a lady. It’s a huge turnoff when you say shit like that.”
“Good. My work here is done.” I stepped around him and continued down the sidewalk.
“Whatever!” Dylan shouted at my back. “You know where to find me when you’re ready to come to your senses!”
I flipped him off and kept walking, the wind at my back pushing me forward.