Sweet Little BitchAbbi Glines
Sweet Little Bitch
Published by Abbi Glines
Copyright © 2018 by Abbi Glines
Interior Design & Formatting by:
Christine Borgford, Type A Formatting
All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Abbi Glines. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.
SWEET LITTLE BITCH
About the Author
Books by Abbi Glines
10 Years Ago
HOW FOLKS MANAGED LIFE WITHOUT a replica of themselves as a backup I didn’t know. It must have sucked to not be in two places at one time. Having an identical twin wasn’t a hardship. I often felt sorry for other kids when I was younger. They got lonely or bored without a friend around. But Mack was always there. We had each other.
And now that we were in high school, it still came in handy. Like today. I owed Mack one for taking my Biology test two weeks ago while I skipped class to stand in line and score the 3 Doors Down concert tickets when they went on sale at ten in the morning. Which was why I didn’t ask out Melanie Trainer tonight like I’d planned. I really wanted to ask out Melanie.
She’d been flirting and giving signals for a week now and I knew from stories guys told in the field house that Melanie, who was a senior this year, liked to get naked in the back of pickup trucks. Mack owed me big time for missing out on getting what I knew she was offering.
I didn’t know Mary Grace Whitehouse. I’d never even spoken to her. She was quiet, made good grades, did volunteer work, I think, and went through her day like she couldn’t wait to escape school. She never went to any of the parties, games, and never did anything fun. At least I’d never seen her anywhere having fun. The only place I had seen Mary Grace was sitting on the front row of all her classes. Listening aptly.
Everything I knew about Mary Grace led me to question, how in God’s name had Mack ended up with a date that I was now filling in for with her? He had sent me a text asking me to meet Mary Grace at her house this afternoon around five. No other explanation except that he had something more important he had to do, but he couldn’t not show at Mary Grace’s for the date.
Letting a girl like her down kind of felt like a sin. I got that. Besides if I did this then Mack and I were even again and I owed him nothing. He’d have done it for me. I doubted we had one thing to talk about, but then again, neither would Mack and Mary Grace. They’d have had a terrible date. I felt no pressure to make this memorable for her. Get it done and over.
The house she lived in looked like it belonged on a Hallmark greeting card. Much like Mary Grace herself. I knocked on the door hoping this lasted even shorter than I anticipated. There was still the chance I could call Melanie.
The door opened and luckily I wouldn’t have to chat with any parents or annoying younger siblings. Mary Grace was there dressed in a simple pink sundress that hit right at her knees. The pale blonde hair that stood out even when she was dressed like her mother still dressed her, hung over her right shoulder and curled softly on the end. Sun-kissed shoulders displayed a warm tan with a few freckles sprinkled across the top.
The pink gloss on her full lips was distracting because up close like this it made it difficult not to look at her lips and think about them. Maybe this was why Mack had asked her out. He’d seen her up close like this at school and paid attention to what she looked like. Instead of brushing her off because she was smart. I’d never thought the academic sort was very exciting.
“You’re on time,” Mary Grace said with a surprised but polite smile. She’d expected Mack to be late. At least she wasn’t under some sort of delusion where he was concerned.
“Yeah, uh, well, I didn’t want to keep you waiting,” I stammered still trying to adjust to my realization that Mary Grace was attractive.
She lifted her left shoulder with a little shrug. “That’s okay. I had no other plans today. Outlining our project shouldn’t take that long,” she said, stepping back as if she expected me to walk inside.
Project? I paused then stepped inside her house. With a quick glance, I deducted the style of her house fit Mary Grace. It was as perfect and polished as she was.
“Yeah, shouldn’t take too long,” I agreed but I wasn’t sure what I was agreeing to. I was beginning to realize Mack hadn’t sent me to fill in for him on a date after all. This was a school thing. He had Mary Grace as a partner and I was here for that.
“My parents won’t be home for two hours. We can use the dining room table. It will be easier,” she explained with suddenly pink cheeks as if she had said something embarrassing. Her blush was endearing. It made me want to kiss one of her cheeks or touch it to see if she felt warm.
“Lead the way,” I told her feeling as if she needed some encouragement. It was obvious she was nervous and I wondered how a girl this pretty could be so nervous around a guy. But then I had gone to school with Mary Grace since elementary school and we had never spoken. I knew she was limited in the friend department and her social life was nonexistent.
I followed her into a large room with a chandelier like I had only seen on television hanging in the center of the room. Under it was a table long enough to sit about fifteen people. Which was weird because although I had no idea how many siblings Mary Grace had, I doubted it was that many.
Notecards covered the surface of the table and the closer I got I noticed they had writing on them. Neat, perfect penmanship. She’d been working on this all afternoon it seemed. She hadn’t waited on Mack or me to get here. She didn’t plan on my brother being too much help.
She was right. He wouldn’t be.
“I took the notes that Mrs. Ford gave us in class and wrote them on individual note cards then lined them up in order. We can work through each step. This will be more efficient I believe.
I was sure her plan was extremely efficient. “It sure looks that way,” I agreed.
She blushed again and I realized she thought I was making fun of her. I wasn’t. That wasn’t what I meant at all. She impressed me. The girl I’d ignored most of my entire academic life was intriguing now.
“How do you feel about milkshakes and fries?” I asked her before thinking it through.
A small frown creased her brow
. “Milkshakes and fries?” she repeated as if she were unsure she heard me correctly.
I nodded. “Yeah. I like them. Together. A helluva lot. Want to get some before we get started here?”
Large blue eyes went wide, and for a moment I thought she was going to say no. Remind me why we were here. But instead after the longest damn pause in history, Mary Grace nodded her head. “I like them. Both.”
The grin that appeared on lips had to reflect my relief, excitement, and fucking shock. What was I doing? I had no idea, but I wanted to get to know Mary Grace. I wanted to see her eat junk food and I hear her laugh. Why? I had no idea. But the need was there now. And all it had taken was a blush, tanned shoulders with cute freckles and perfect handwriting.
I had lost my damn mind.
8 Years Ago
THE DAY I WAS FREE to leave, get the hell out, had arrived. It was here. And I wasn’t happy about it. There was a sick knot in my stomach. Goodbye was coming, but it was coming too damn fast. I wasn’t ready. The last six months whenever Mary Grace brought up our plans I changed the subject. I knew it aggravated her, but if we didn’t talk about it then it wasn’t happening.
But it was happening. Right fucking now.
I stood on the football field watching Mary Grace walk toward me with her big bright smile. The crimson of her cap and gown looked good with her blonde hair. She lit up anywhere she went.
“It’s done, bro. Smile for fuck’s sake. She’s smiling. I’m so damn thrilled we are out of this place I could do backflips. Get happy for the love of God,” Mack said as he nudged me in the side with his elbow.
I could blame him for this. If he’d not sent me to pretend I was him two years ago I’d have probably never got to know Mary Grace. That idea caused a sharp pain in my chest. No, I wouldn’t blame him. The idea of never loving Mary Grace was something I didn’t want to think about.
“She’ll be eight hundred miles away from me,” it was the first time I had said that out loud. The first time I voiced what was happening to Mary Grace and me.
“Yeah, and she’ll be the most faithful girlfriend ever to go off to college. The girl has morals that would make Mother Teresa jealous,” Mack said with a smirk.
“It’s not jealousy,” I snapped at him. “It’s distance. I don’t want to be without her.”
“You’ve got a full-ride scholarship to play football in fucking Georgia. You’ll go to Georgia. She’ll go to Yale. You’ll both fucking survive.”
It wasn’t like I could go to Yale. Nor could I ask her to give up the future she had worked toward since she could walk. She was going to Yale. I was going to a state college. Two different worlds. This summer was all we had left. For the next four years, at least. I knew space wouldn’t change the way I felt. I would love her for the rest of my life. She was all I wanted. She always would be.
“We did it boys,” she said as she reached us.
“Time to party!” Mack replied throwing his arm around her shoulders.
Mary Grace rolled her eyes with a smile. She and Mack got along good. His wild behavior amused her. If she had thought I was Mack that first night when I kissed her I might have been jealous of them. But as I walked away that night hating that she didn’t know who I was, she said softly, “Goodnight, Marty.”
It was at that moment I think I fell in love with her. I couldn’t remember a time I didn’t love Mary Grace. It was that one acknowledgment—she had seen past our faces and saw me. Not Mack. It was that moment that marked me. Stayed with me.
“Smile, Marty. Be happy. For tonight. This summer. We can be sad later. Let’s enjoy the time before it changes,” Mary Grace said as she walked away from Mack and into my arms.
That was easier said than done. But for her, I would try.
“Okay,” was all I could say over the lump in my throat.
Mack shook his head in disgust. “As much as I’d like to stand around and watch this mushy shit I’ve got plans. If y’all want to hook up later, text me. I’ll tell you where to meet me.”
“Bye, Mack. Have fun,” Mary Grace said knowing we wouldn’t be texting him later. She wasn’t a fan of parties or crowds. Although she’d changed since I first met her, coming out of her shell some, Mary Grace still preferred her books and solitude. I was enough for her. She didn’t need any entertainment. There was never any pressure to impress her or do elaborate stunts to ask her to prom like most of the girls our age.
She turned and tilted her head back to look up at me. “Tonight is the first of many celebrations for us. Next it will be college graduation,” she said trying to sound excited enough for both of us.
“Then the day you say yes and become my wife. The day our first child is born,” I added because damn if I was going to pretend that wasn’t what I was planning.
Mary Grace frowned slightly looking concerned, then laid her head on my chest. Her hand is resting over my heart. “We have our whole life ahead of us. No need to rush it,” she said as if talking about marriage and kids made her nervous. I didn’t like that much. I wanted her to want it as much as I did.
My fingers traced her forehead then I ran them through her silk locks as we stood there. Parents, family, and graduates taking photos all around us. Laughter rang out across the field. Happiness everywhere. It was normal. What we all should be feeling. Not fear or dread. But I couldn’t help it.
“I can’t lose you, MG,” I said as I lowered my head and pressed my mouth to her temple.
“It’s just distance. Nothing more. We can find a new normal and adjust. Four years will fly by,” her words were positive. As if she truly believed what she was saying.
Faces of everyone I had made memories with over the past four years were in front of me. I saw them. But felt no sadness that this was possibly the last time I would ever see them. I didn’t care. Leaving this town, leaving these people, it was easy. They were my past and I was good with that.
“Thank you,” Mary Grace said pulling back to look at me again.
“For what?” I asked.
She waved her hand at the people around us. The scene we weren’t in. The one I was watching and felt no attachment to. “This. The memories. The moments. Until you, I simply came to school, worked, went home. No social life. No dances, No ballgames. Nothing. But you . . .” She raised up on her tiptoes to lean close so her nose was touching mine. “You gave me a life. You showed me how to enjoy high school. I’m not leaving this place with bad memories. I had the most amazing time and these past two years will the best memories ever.”
She leaned in to kiss me. I held her tight and soaked in how she felt in my arms. Until Mary Grace, I hadn’t enjoyed one damn thing about high school. I was empty and felt no real joy, only cheap quick thrills. She gave my life meaning. She filled a void I didn’t realize existed.
“That day, the first day, how did you know it was me?” It was a question I’d often wondered but never asked her. A part of me had always held back from asking because I didn’t want to ruin the way it had made me feel. To me it had been fate. If it was something simple like my name had been in my notebook or silly shit like that I was afraid that memory would be less meaningful. But standing here at the end of the two years we had spent together in high school I wanted to know. I was brave enough to ask.
Mary Grace chuckled and lifted her left shoulder. “Your smile.”
She nodded. “Yes. I had watched you for years. I loved your smile. It stood out. It was real. Mack’s was more of a smirk like he was always up to something. Yours was sincere. And when you first smiled at me that night with the notecards. I knew then it was you.”
That answer was perfect. Fucking perfect.
6 Years Ago
WAITING ON MACK. THE STORY of my fucking life. Could he ever be on time? Just once? I glared at the bar pissed that I still had four months before I could legally order a drink. Right now, I needed one. Some days were better than others. Today was supposed
to be a celebration. A day to be motherfucking happy.
But she still managed to keep me from enjoying anything. It had been a year, three months, and five days since Mary Grace told me she had fallen in love with someone else. Someone who had the same plans she did. Someone at Yale. With her. Someone who she had claimed was just a friend whenever I questioned all the time they spent together. I knew now that deep down I was ready for it. She began changing almost as soon as she got to Yale. We began changing.
Now, after getting my first job as a firefighter, I was still struggling to find joy in it because she haunted me. Would she ever leave my memories? I still had two more years of school, but I wouldn’t be finishing them on campus or playing football. I was wasting my time in that world. I wanted a degree in fire science. This was the best thing for my future and career. Getting a job now in my profession and finishing up the last two years later for the fire science degree made more sense. I would be living in an apartment with Mack starting next week. I was moving here, to Savannah. A new life. A new place. Somewhere with no memories of Mary Grace.
Glaring at the bartender as he slid a tall beer toward the bald man whose shoulders slumped as he stared up at the television in front of him, I envied the freedom to drink in public. Maybe not the shit the bald man was obviously dealing with but getting a drink to dull the pain was nice.
“Fucking traffic. Jesus, I need a beer.” Mack’s words snapped me out of my thoughts and I turned my head to see my brother had finally arrived. He sat down and pulled out a cigarette. I hated he’d picked up the habit since we graduated high school but it was his business.
“We won’t be getting the kind of drink you need,” I said with obvious bitterness in my tone.
Mack chuckled. “Not here. But I have plans. It’s time to celebrate!”
“Then why did we even meet here?” I asked.
“For the food. They make the best damn ribs you’ll ever put in your mouth.”
The bar and grill looked like a hole in the wall from the road. Several people were eating ribs. “I don’t have much of an appetite,” I muttered.