Read Distractions Online

Authors: J. L. Brooks

Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary


BOOK: Distractions
11.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


JL Brooks


Copyright © 2013 JL Brooks

This book is a work of Fiction. Any

Names, characters, places and incidents

are products of the author’s imagination

or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to

actual events or persons, living or dead

is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. Except as

permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act

of 1976, no part of this publication may





transmitted in any form or by any means,

or stored in a database or retrieval

system, without the prior written

permission of the author.

Table of Contents




Chapter 1 - Good-Bye, Dear


Chapter 2 - No Turning Back

Chapter 3 - The Open Door

Chapter 4 - Tying Knots

Chapter 5 - Bright-eyed

Chapter 6 - Breaking Even

Chapter 7 - A Break in the Clouds

Chapter 8 - Into the Deep

Chapter 9 - Can You Do This?

Chapter 10 - It All Falls Apart

Chapter 11 - The Guest of Honor

Chapter 12 - The Long Road Home

Chapter 13 – A Seed is Planted

Chapter 14 - Skeletons

Chapter 15 - Reconciliation

Chapter 16 - Savages

Chapter 17 - Morning

Chapter 18 - The Bridge

Chapter 19 - Wake-up Call

Chapter 20 - Coming Clean

Chapter 21 - Deal with the Devil

Chapter 22 - Never Say Never

Chapter 23 - Foundations

Chapter 24 - Broken Vows

Chapter 25 - Shooting Stars

Chapter 26 - Severed

Chapter 27 - Leveled

Chapter 28 - Life Raft

Chapter 29 - The Catalyst

Chapter 30 - Icarus

Chapter 31 - Culture Shock

Chapter 32 - Bad Joke

Chapter 33 - Nothing Stays the


Chapter 34 - Ingrid

Chapter 35 - The Big Picture

Chapter 36 - Can You Hear Me


Chapter 37 - The Rabbit Hole

Chapter 38 - Wonderland

Chapter 39 - Anchors Away

Chapter 40 - Eleventh Hour



About the Author


This is for all of the saints who have

chosen to join me in the grand voyage

we call life. Whether it be for a but a

brief moment in time, or a longer

excursion, I hope that it has been

meaningful. If nothing else, I have made

your life more interesting. In the words

of Miguel de Cervantes...

Thou hast seen nothing yet


I was fourteen the first time I was

fitted for a bodice. The pain of not

seeing my breast swell above the

crisscrossed ribbons dug deep. How I

envied those women with overflowing

bosoms proudly on display, mocking my

lack of visual femininity. My left hand

slid beneath the tight fabric in an attempt

to maneuver the not yet developed

tissue. It was redundant because I was

flat as a damn board.

I remembered a television show

that used duct tape as a method for

creating the appearance of cleavage in

super models. That evening I placed the

thick adhesive along my ribcage and

pulled the skin taut, making a small slice

of flesh on my chest. These thoughts of

inadequacy should never have crossed

my mind at such a young age, yet it

couldn’t be helped. My innocence was

tainted long before my virginity was


Every summer, for as far back as I

could remember, the American gypsies

descended upon the small Colorado

mountain village, breathing life into an

otherwise decrepit shell. They brought

with them a force so strong, it would

remain long after they departed, leaving

me to anticipate their return. My mind

was sharp enough to grasp the sensuality

they possessed, but my body was not yet

ready for immersion, despite my


The next year, puberty began the

samba of hormones and was kind enough

to broaden my hips and even out my

height of nearly five foot ten. My sister,

Vivienne, took pity on my wild state and

asked her friend, Melissa, to teach me

how to belly dance in exchange for

henna pieces. She knew it would be a

while before we could do this again

together – play in a world of make

believe. She was leaving with the

vagabonds to Minnesota and I would

begin my sophomore year of high school

back in suburbia.

Her hazel blue irises peered at me

wistfully as she painted intricate designs

on my feet and hands with earth colored

paste. The rust-hued stain would last for

a month if I kept it moist through the

night with a lemon sugar concoction. The

air smelled thick with sandalwood

incense, and drums roared outside the

rickety wooden shop. Tomorrow, I

would start once the cannon went off,

booming to those waiting outside of the

gates that they could gain entry to the

fabricated time warp. I would rim my

deep brown eyes with kohl black liner,

tie on my coin hip scarf and play the


Tonight, I would cherish these

intimate moments suspended between

fantasy and reality, imprinting them on

my mind for later. Each weekend, I

relished the opportunity to hone my

skills – not just the painfully slow

movements coordinating each stomach

roll and arm sway precisely, but the gaze

in my eyes, the way I smiled, the art of

seduction. I learned how to be someone

else, how to weave the illusion. Here, I

danced safely under the pine trees and in

the sunshine.

It was outside of these walls that

seemed surreal and foreboding. The

world offered nothing other than

disappointment and regret fit for

someone more than twice my age.

After Vivienne left, I became lost to

my powerful delusions, finding relief

with the worst kinds of distractions.

With an open vacancy for influence, two

entities appeared. One was in the form

of a teacher who had an affinity for the

gypsies and eclectic literature, the other,

a much darker force named Connor

Lewis. In between the benders of a

wicked methamphetamine addiction, I

found solace in the library, studying

everything from Jack Kerouac to

Henrietta Lacks. Somehow, I would

have to make peace with these dueling

forces raging inside and all around,

spirit and flesh, the cosmic joke of my

existence. Time would soon teach me

that nothing happens by chance, and that

fate intended to make good use of my

procured abilities.

Chapter 1 - Good-

Bye, Dear Doctor

For nearly eight amazing years, I

have lived in obscurity, the soiled

memories of the past sealed out of the

immaculate laboratory I called home.

Among the autoclaves and incubators, I

appeared just like any other twenty-six

year old. The students and assistants had

left hours ago, leaving just a few to

clean up the mess, as always. In an

attempt to reduce the putrid odor of

formaldehyde in the air, the squeeze

bottle of ethyl alcohol served to clean up

the tables a bit more.

Shaking my head, I thought I would

never get over how selfish and entitled

some people assumed they were. It must

be nice to grow up never having to lift a

finger and looking down your nose at

other people. Long ago, I learned to just

bite my tongue and wait for their rotation

in our department to pass by.

The privilege of attending Dr.

Robertson’s course bore a false notion

of superiority in many. Most were just

looking to pad their resumes; very few

were actually concerned with the

monotony of cataloging genetic data.

Truthfully, it was boring – dreadfully so

– but it was a reminder that I didn’t

destroy my brain being a reckless

teenager. I had lived an entire lifetime






Predictability and structure were good

things, contrary to what I believed

before. I had to know exactly what was

going on and have a plan in place. Even

if it went off course, just having it made

me feel more in control. Spontaneity and

I were not exactly good friends.

In here, my mind could wander

freely without consequence. I drifted

over the home repair projects to tackle

over winter break as I tidied up the

remaining pieces of equipment.

“Violet, you really can leave now.”

I placed the rest of the clean

beakers into the cabinet, pretending I

didn’t hear him.

“I know you heard me.”

My shoulders flinched before

turning around.

“Doc, you know how I get.”

The lab was quiet, more so than

usual. Dr. Robertson remained perched

on the side of his desk, reviewing his

latest journal publication. His fingers

grabbed the edges of the paper as if what

he was holding would change the course

of history, and in a way, it could. Last

month, he had finally decided to

announce his discovery of SN4, a

revolution in genetic therapy. I watched

his face absorb the words in front of

him. He should be ecstatic; instead, he

was pensive and distant. Maybe it was

just the holidays and I was being

paranoid. My heels clicked on the

concrete surface as I closed the distance

between us.

“Doc, something is wrong. I won’t

leave if you don’t want me to.”

He raised his head, hollowed eyes

meeting my nervous gaze. The feeling in

my gut intensified a hundred fold.

Without saying a word, he circled

around the desk and reached into a

locked drawer, removing a bottle of

scotch I bought as a celebration gift and

poured it into a couple of clean coffee


“This is classy.” My sarcastic

comment drew a slight smile.

He raised his mug and paused in

thought, deciding what to say. “Here’s to

you, Miss Philips, the greatest research

assistant I have ever had the pleasure of

working with.”

I felt my cheeks blush at his sweet

statement. Dr. David Robertson was my

mentor, father figure and knight in

shining armor. I was lost when I first

BOOK: Distractions
11.87Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Highlander's Hope by Cameron, Collette
Demian by Hermann Hesse
Terra Incognita by Ruth Downie
Vengeance by Megan Miranda
BootsandPromises by MylaJackson
The Price of Freedom by Carol Umberger
Alight by Scott Sigler
1982 Janine by Alasdair Gray