I admit, I didn’t think much of Charlie at first. She was rounder than the girls who usually caught my eye. Not my type. But when I saw her sitting in that booth alone, for the first time something in my mind or my instincts or my heart told me to join her.
She defied me.
She challenged me.
She gave me hope.
Before I knew it, moving forward was my only option.
I couldn’t tell you when it happened, but it had to have been a gradual change; I never moved too quickly.
If someone would have told me earlier that year what I was going to go through, I wouldn't have believed them.
Jesse was so different from anyone I’d met before. And everyone I’ve met since. He sucked all the life out of me, in the best—and worst—ways.
We don’t get strong overnight. For most of us it takes time. Strength isn’t measured by how high and fast our walls go up, but how easily we can watch them fall.
Warning: This book contains material that might be a trigger for some readers. Abuse and rape are implied, but not described in detail. Discretion is advised.
“What am I?” My irritation rising, I spoke loudly. “Am I a monster? Is that what you see?”
Please don’t do this.
There were a lot of things, despite my desire for her to know, she had no business asking. Dragging Charlie through my past wasn’t something I had any intentions of allowing.
“You’re my friend. And these are things I should know about you,” she said.
I licked my lips, feeling the adrenaline spike through my veins. My knee bounced, my head shook on its own accord, and my throat was dry. “Then maybe we shouldn’t be friends. If this is the shit you think you need to know, then I’ve got nothing to offer you. So just go back to your little world where you eat your ice cream at ?xml:namespace prefix = "st1" /midnight and stroke your clit over the thought of a man who will never actually have a shot at getting you off.” My voice was shaky. But I hoped to God she didn’t notice.
Her shoulders dropped and her mouth flew open. “You’re such an asshole.”
“Get used to it, sweetheart. The world is full of them.”
“Maybe, but you’re one of the worst I’ve ever met.”
“That’s a lie. I say what everyone is thinking but are too afraid of the consequences of saying it out loud,” I said.
“You know what I think? I think you thrive on being miserable. Maybe if you stopped ignoring all the shit from your past by drinking and smoking your life away, you might actually have a shot at being a relatively normal human being!” she cried.
I laughed, throwing my head back. When I returned my stare to hers, I added, “And maybe if you started forgetting a little about your past, you’d start living some semblance of a life. Get over it, Charlie. The world doesn’t owe you anything, and you aren’t entitled to shit.”
“That’s where you’re wrong.” She rose from the seat and gathered her notebook, glasses, and purse. “I’m entitled to walking out of this restaurant and never speaking to you again. You can be a miserable piece of shit when you want to be.”
“Oh, you’re going to play mad? You’re going to pretend that I’m a douchebag for telling you the truth? Go ahead.” I waved my hand, taking a sip of my beer. “Until tomorrow when you realize that just because I pissed you off doesn’t mean I wasn’t right.” I lifted an eyebrow.
She threw the strap of her purse over her shoulder and laughed nervously. “I’ll tell you one other thing I’m entitled to: being happy. And if you have nothing to offer in that department, just watch how long I can play mad, motherfucker.” -Jesse, Progress
Amalie Silver resides in Minnesota with her husband, two toddlers, and German Short-haired Pointer, Saba. She consumes approximately three pots of coffee a day, and credits this for her survival over the past decade.
When not completely consumed in her writing, she can be found taking road trips to northern Minnesota, engaging in fierce Scrabble games, or reading a good book. She’s a sucker for all romance genres, literary fiction, and psychological fiction.