Authors: Aubrey Bailey
To Know You is To Love You. 1st Edition Copyright © Aubrey Bailey Publishing 2013. All Rights Reserved.
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MY MOM ALWAYS said that everyone has a story to tell. Mine isn't exactly a fairy tale-like the ones you would find in a bedtime story or a movie-but it
one worth telling.
My name is Madison Summers. I'm eighteen and, unlike most other high school graduates, I'm helping my mom financially, as she has a house and my sixteen-year-old brother, Andy, to take care of. My parents are divorced and even though my dad sends support checks, he only calls every three months or so. It's like he all but abandoned us. Andy believes our dad will come back home soon, just like he keeps saying in his letters from different places around the country. Usually only little kids believe those things, though.
I work different shifts as a server at a local restaurant, the Wayside. Most of the patrons are really nice and don't cause any trouble, but sometimes I have to deal with the early morning drunks. Due to my busy schedule with lots of overtime, I don't see much of my mother or brother. Any free time I have to myself, I try to catch up on my sleep.
My brother tries to help out, but he's usually busy with school or hanging out with his best friend, Orion. Interestingly, my brother's best friend is older than I am. Apparently, Orion is twenty, which leads me to wonder why he's hanging out with a sixteen-year-old. I've never met the guy, but I bet he's some kind of immature weirdo. Either that or he's as big of a video game freak as my brother. Who can tell the difference these days, though? All I know is he's in a band that my brother wants to join.
Anyways, one thing my mom always said I had going for me was that I was beautiful. I have her blonde hair that reaches my mid-back and her blue-grey eyes. Andy, however, says that mine look colder and harder than mom's. I suppose they would look that way with what I've gone through this past year.
I have a boyfriend, Damian Spencer, who half the time I don't even know why I'm with. He tends to be controlling and manipulative, which my brother hates, but what can I do? My boyfriend may be a "bad boy", but he's handsome, he makes me laugh, and we usually have fun on our dates. What more could a girl my age want from a guy? Except, sometimes his controlling nature becomes...violent.
This is my story.
"ANDY, WILL YOU please come on! You're gonna be late for school!" I banged on my brother's bedroom door. My mother was already at her cleaning job, which she did from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day. "Turn off that music and come out!" Finally, the door opened.
"But the song just started, Madison." Andy whined, standing in front of me in jeans and a t-shirt that was only half on. "It's Orion's band, so you should want to hear it too."
"I don't care if it's the Queen of England's band. You can't be late for school again. You know what the principal warned you about," I said.
"That reminds me: Mom has to sign that permission form so I can go on the field trip," Andy mentioned.
"If you're allowed to go," I wondered, more to myself than him.
I walked into his room, stepping over the dirty clothes, and shut off his stereo.
"Okay, I'm coming," Andy said." Just give me a minute."
I waited for him downstairs in my work uniform, a blue retro-style dress and white running shoes. My apron was in my bag, along with my pad of paper and pencil. My hair was up in a ponytail, and I had on my usual work makeup of lipstick, eyeliner and mascara.
"You finally ready?" I asked as Andy came down the stairs.
Andy nodded and grabbed his backpack. We went outside and down the street to the bus stop. "Are you working a double shift?" he asked.
"Does Damian know that?" Andy asked, even though it was none of his business. But then again, kid brothers are like that.
I looked at him.
"Yes, he does," I said. "So you don't need to worry, Mom!" I replied sarcastically.
"Why do you date him, Madison?" Andy asked. "You know better than I do how wrong he is for you." I didn't answer him, mainly because a) he was right, and b) we had gone over this before.
"Andy, when you're older you will understand about love," I reassured him. Putting my hands on his shoulders, I announced, "I have some good news, though."
"You're getting a really big promotion so that you can dump him," Andy suggested, looking hopeful.
"Um, no," I said. "I wish sometimes I could." Andy frowned. "But Damian is going to be out of town for a few weeks."
"So, he'll quit with his non-stop calling?" Andy asked. I raised my eyebrows. "Right, I know he won't." I wanted to cry. I wanted to cry and repeatedly say that I was sorry when I saw the look on Andy's face. I'm just glad he doesn't know the full extent of Damian's feelings towards me.
"We might need to trim your hair again soon," I observed. "It grows faster than mine." I can do Andy's hair myself, but cutting my own hair, especially at the back, is kind of tricky.
Andy smiled at me and I smiled back as the bus came to a stop in front of us. Damian had gotten all of us bus passes. Sounds nice, right? But it wasn't really, as his generosity demands prices from me.
"What time are you going to work until?" Andy asked as we sat down.
"Eleven," I replied. Being together on the bus was one of the few times I got to see him and I was glad we both had to stay on the bus for some time. "You can visit at lunch again, if you want." The high school was only about a ten minute walk from where I worked. Actually it was more like twenty-five, but Andy liked to run, so whenever he decides to visit at lunchtime, he runs.
"I'll see what I can do," Andy teased. I rolled my eyes at him. There was a big smile on his face. Andy loved coming to the restaurant, and the girls I worked with loved seeing him there. One of the cooks was even willing to make his favorite meal-a Megaburger, spicy fries and banana milkshake-whenever Andy came in. When the boss found out, she was willing to pay for it, too. She thought Andy was the cutest thing in the world because of his puppy dog face, which made most of the girls fall in love with him the first time they met him.
"Want me to tell Jen what time to expect you?" I asked. Jen was the cook.
"Please do," Andy said in appreciation. I nodded before Andy looked out the front window and quickly pulled the rope to signal the bus driver that he was ready to disembark.
The bus stopped and Andy gave me a quick hug before getting off. I waited a bit before pulling the rope again. The next stop was mine. I could technically get to work before Andy got to school, because the school was a good seven to ten minute walk from the bus stop (a four minute run if Andy wasn't still somewhat asleep). The restaurant was right next to the road and the bus stopped right in front of it.
I got off the bus, walked through the parking lot, and into the restaurant. Saying hello to a few of the regular costumers before going into the back, I put my bag down and took off my jacket.
"Hey Madison, you've got Sections C and E today," Jen told me, as I came over to the kitchen while tying my apron around my waist. Jen was really a nice person to be around. She was a full-figured gal in her mid-twenties, with red hair and green eyes. Her demeanor was friendly and protective, and she acted a lot like a big sister or mother to me.
"I already clocked you in, so don't worry," Jen whispered, winking. I smiled at her.
"Madison, there you are. I saw you come in, so I put a customer in one of your sections," Vanessa, the hostess, said as she came into the kitchen.
"Okay, thanks for telling me. Well, I'd better get to work."
"Have fun," Jen said.
I shook my head and followed Vanessa out front. She returned to her podium and I found the customer she had spoken about. My first thought was that-because of his tattooed arms, black jeans, and black leather jacket-he was some kind of punk guy; one of those guys you never would have imagined to be awake at this time. I forced a smile on my face, like usual.
"Good morning. What can I get for you?" The punk rocker looked up at me. He had light brown curly hair, which was slightly longer than Andy's. His eyes were dark brown, and I had to admit-he was sort of cute.