Authors: C.M. Kars
Copyright © June 30, 2015 Catherine Karelis
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, copied in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise transmitted without written permission from the publisher. You must not circulate this book in any format.
Seriously, don’t do it.
I dedicate this book to anyone who has felt like they weren’t doing a good enough job, to those who have doubted themselves, to those who think everyone else is doing so much better.
I’ll let you in on a secret - we’re all struggling with something, and belittling your own struggle doesn’t help anyone in the end.
Keep your chin up, and keep moving forward.
One step at a time.
Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy. - F. Scott Fitzgerald
Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you. - Ovid
Please note that the units of measurement we use here in Canada differs from those used in America for blood sugar levels. We measure it here in mmol/L, and therefore what constitutes a low and high by numbers alone will be different.
Also, Hunter is known as a brittle diabetic, which means his sugars spike and fall at any time of the day, no matter how well controlled he would like them to be. This is not every diabetic’s case, but it is his.
I also want you to know that if someone
cares about you, you’re more than the sum of your parts.
I sincerely hope every single one of you finds your own happily ever after - whatever that means to you.
Lots of nerd love,
Other works by C.M. Kars
Never Been Kissed (Never Been #1)
Never Been Nerdy (Never Been #2)
Never Been Loved (Never Been #1.1)
Bad Words and Gumballs (Never Been #2.5) - Coming soon!
The kid’s crying and it’s the dramatic kind, too. Christ, he’s four years old and he knows how to play me. Fucking shit.
I keep my eyes on the road, almost missing a stop sign when I catch a glimpse of him in the rear-view mirror wiping a wad of snot on the sleeve of a shirt I just fucking washed.
I turn the radio on, play with the buttons until something good comes on. Kiss’ ‘Detroit Rock City’ starts and it’s like Paul Stanley has gotten into my car and wiped the tears off of Matty’s face. Thank you, Jesus. I start driving a little faster, easing my foot onto the gas pedal, barely tapping the brake when I hit a stop.
Twenty seconds from my mom’s place, and the kid starts wailing again like I’ve gone and maimed him for life instead of bringing him to his grandma’s. The howls he’s letting out are the kinda screams you hear in
Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
I pull up to the brick palace and go to the back seat to get Matty unbuckled, my movements on routine and my brain on standby. I’m not thinking about the kid, or the shit I’m going to deal with my mom right now, or even Eddie. Or the memories the house is going to bring back for me.
Nah, my dick is twitching with the image of Aly’s mouth around it, and the way she just sent me a video of her touching herself and begging me to finish her off. So like the dog I am, I’m going to have a little fun, a little break from the shit my life’s become. And Matty isn’t going to ruin it, even if those blue eyes are the perfect shade of his mom’s and not mine.
“Why can’t I stay with you, Daddy? I promise I’ll be good! Please, please?” His little arms have wound themselves around my neck while he sobs in my shoulder. I donkey-kick the car door closed and beep the car locked. Man, my life is summed up in that gently-used Honda.
Dependable, only on good days. Good for the winter, all right. Used, just like me. Car seat in the back killing my game, and constantly reminding me that my life isn’t mine anymore, that I’m responsible for someone other than myself.
“You’re going to be fine.” My voice sounds dead, even to me. “I’ll come pick you up later and we can watch whatever movie you want when we get home, all right?” I don’t know why I say all right at the end. Nothing’s all right.
“You promise?” Matty sniffs, and pulls back to look at me. I get sucker-punched in the gut every single time I look at him.
It’s been three years since her death; you’d think I’d be used to it by now. But the kid loses a piece of her every time his face changes, every day he gets a little older, looking more and more like the boy he’s meant to be, and less like his mother even if the blueprints are there.
“Sure, kid, whatever you want. But you have to be good for Grandma and Eddie. And don’t eat any sweets, all right?”
I grunt like I’ve been stabbed. “Okay, good. I’ll see you later, alligator.”
Matty rubs his eyes, and leans forward to ring the doorbell. He turns to look at me, blue eyes so much like
my dumb throat closes up. “In a while, crocodile.
Eddie opens the door as usual, looking like he’s got a livewire up his ass, arms outstretched. Matty knows the drill. He lets go of me and twists to get into Eddie’s arms, giving him a kiss on the cheek. The kid sure knows how to win people over.
I give him a wave, and move my ass as quick as possible down the stone steps, scuffing the bottom of my sneakers down the very step where I almost cracked my skull and knocked out two teeth all those years ago. God, I hate this place. Someone should raze it to the ground, and the memories it holds, too.
My phone buzzes in my pocket, and my cock is ready to go. I get into the car, look around to see a deserted street. No parents that live here
let their kids play outside on the street. West End kids play outside in their respective tennis courts, and pools, never some street hockey with a net that has to be moved every time a car drives by.
So I’m alone in the car, like I’m about to do something criminal.
Fishing my spare pack from the glove compartment, I get an alcohol swab ready along my left index finger. The sting is fleeting at this point, and the bead of blood that swells on the pad of my finger makes me slightly nauseous. I stick a test strip into the glucometer that I’ve defaced with a crude drawing of a skull, and wait for the screen to light up. When the thing is ready, I watch the strip suck up a little bit of my blood, like some electronic mosquito without the decency to do the biting for you. I wait the five seconds, hoping for a good number.
Seventeen. High. Not great, but not too awful, either. And the way I’m twitching with a flash of memory of what Aly was doing to herself, I’m going to bring it down another few points, so I should be good. Exercise is good for the body, after all.
When I get back to my building, the elevator doors are open and I end up sprinting to get inside. The doors take their time closing as I lean forward and jab the already lit-up number six just to make sure I get to my destination.
There’s a babe in the corner opposite me. And not a babe as in overdone makeup, orange tan, tits plumped up by fake bras. No. She’s an understated babe that’s most likely a lady on the street but a freak in the sheets. The kind of refinement that’s hidden under jeans, clad in Chuck Taylors and wearing a t-shirt that says ‘My heart belongs to Ponyboy Curtis’.
is Ponyboy Curtis? Some little boy belting out pop songs?
Christ, she has glasses,
she has glasses
. Not those awful ones that cover half the face and make chicks look like they’re stuck in the eighties. No, just sleek brown ones that fit her face nicely and make me want to see her in a skirt and some heels. To top it all off, she’s reading a book.
Her index finger is halfway to her mouth (great fucking mouth), and her eyebrows are popped up high over the rim of her glasses. With a quick move, the top knuckle of her pointer finger is in her mouth, a flash of teeth biting down on the flesh.
I’m in agony, and I really need to fuck.
And this babe doesn’t even
I exist right now. I’ve taken a backseat to a book – must be some book. It’s thick and looks like she’s two-thirds in. Serious reading, then, not this
shit Aly is always going on about. Although, it
fun when she starts reading scenes out to me and makes me do whatever the guy in the book does. I don’t know much about literature, but I do know people, and that fucker is beyond help.
I clear my throat without thinking better of it. Catching a quick glance at the numbers going up, up, up, I grin when I belatedly realize we live on the same floor. She still hasn’t looked at me, and I frown.
What kind of book is she reading?
We both get off the elevator, me walking ahead so I don’t have to look at her and know what I’m missing. A girl like that, smarter than her own good, well, she deserves someone who’s at a hundred percent. I’m never at a hundred percent.
Diabetes has a tendency of chipping away at you until you’re the ghost of the person you used to be. Ten years after being diagnosed and I feel every single day in those years. Not today, no wallowing in my own stink of
what could have been
First order of business, I’m getting laid – once I shower.
I make my way to the door, fishing my keys from my pocket, only to catch a glimpse of the babe’s backside view on her to way to
door – right next to mine.
I watch, as she doesn’t have her keys out, and see her continue to read. Jesus, this chick has a death wish. What if some asshole decided to force his way into her apartment? He wouldn’t even have to be quiet about stepping closer to her, or saying anything – her mind is somewhere else, completely captured by a few hundred words on a page.
My stomach twists when I think of someone hurting her while her nose is stuck in a book. I’ve spent fucking two whole minutes with her and I’m passing judgements. But shit, she
to be paying more attention. Fine, the building we live in, not a total shit-hole, but people don’t walk up to you and
their bad intentions.
I wait for her to fish her keys out of her pocket, never taking her eyes of what she’s reading. I’m going to have to ask her about it sometime, maybe in the elevator. I only step into my apartment when I hear the turning of her key in the lock. Man, the way the sound carries in the hall, I feel like goddamn Superman, enhanced hearing and all.
Erasing the babe from the elevator outta my mind, I head to the shower and fire off a quick text that I’ll be seeing Aly in a few. Towel around my waist, rubbing at my short hair to get the water out, I move about the apartment, picking up shit Matty left all over the fucking floor.
No matter how many times I tell that kid, he just doesn’t wanna listen to me. It’s like his mother’s spirit is haunting me in a four-year-old form. Three years after her death and I’m still pissed off. Rabid with it, saliva-frothing crazy with it.