Chapter 1 - FWU

Chapter 1 - FWU

A Chapter by MaliKate


Dear sixteen year old me. I know life goes its own way sometimes, but it’s best to just let it. Don’t try to change the course of time, because some things are beyond your control. Dear sixteen year old me. Call it a curse, or call it what you will; but not everything will go your way. Not everybody will like you, but that’s okay. You don’t need them to. Life will go on without them. Dear sixteen year old me. The last thing I want is to sound bossy, but please eat all of your vegetables. I want to have a good body image and clear skin. I want guys to notice that I’m here and that I’m happy. Dear sixteen year old me. Feeling lonely isn’t the end of the world, you know. Dad walking out hurt, I know, but it isn’t your fault. Dear sixteen year old me. Please don’t get in that car in the year 2010. You’ve got too much alcohol in your system and you’re not right to drive. Your level of intoxication is too high. Can you even walk straight? Dear sixteen year old me. Please, make sure you pull over and think it through. You don’t know how ugly it can get. Dear sixteen year old me. It’s scary facing death, especially when it’s so eager to pull you in. Remember that. Dear sixteen year old me. Please, put that bottle down. You’re okay. Dear sixteen year old me. Please, no, stop! Dear sixteen year old me. Look at me now. I’ve never been so strong.

Chapter one:

July, 24, 2010 �" River Café, New York

Alone she sat at a table for two. The gentle chatter of people sitting on the surrounding tables filled Marion with a nervous sensation, like a melody that haunted and teased her conscience; telling her that she was setting herself up for tragedy. An empty seat before her taunted her with its lack of presence, as empty as what she felt deep in her heart. She moved a fallen strand of rich brown hair from her lightly powdered face. Her lips puckered and endured gentle nips of her teeth as she let nerves get the better of her. Of course she was being ridiculous. Her silver watch read quarter to nine, only fifteen minutes had passed since she had less than confidently sat herself down on the seat. Faced close to the windows, the dark sky accompanied her.

Great, she thought. The guy doesn’t even have to meet me to know he doesn’t like me.

On a subconscious level, this was nothing short of her expectations. Of course she was setting herself up for disaster. Donny Hughes was an icon in town for his heroic actions and highly admirable persona. What did Marion have that could possibly be enough to capture his attention? Couples and families came and left the restaurant as time passed, to her dismay. Here she sat like a hopeful sitting duck, easy prey and heavily prone to disappointment.

Out of the window, though barely visible due the reflecting lights, were gently twinkling stars. Marion gazed at them, fighting back her irritation when people walked past and pulled her from the moment. She leant forwards and rested her chin on her arm, feeling dreamy as she imagined her date turning up, hitting it off and creating a future with somebody so successful and well-off.  She found herself praying, though she didn’t know what to pray about. Could she pray for a man she hadn’t officially met to turn up tonight? Would she pray for happiness and for a reason to live? No, there was nothing worth praying about and nor was there a god worth praying to.  She hadn’t found happiness in over four years and happiness hadn’t found her. Not then, now not, not ever.

Two children across the room clanked their forks together, imitating a scene from Star Wars, yelling and creating quite the scene. Marion studied the young girl involved, possibly six years old. The boy, presumably her brother, was yelling quotes from the movie and banging against the table.

“Hamish, Bessie, be quiet!” the mother hissed and took the fork from the daughter’s hand.  Unfortunately, she did this at the wrong time and the boy’s weapon landed on his little sister’s wrist, causing her to scream out.

 Hand in hand, tears streaming down each of their faces, the two children were escorted out of the restaurant by their very embarrassed mother. It was as they disappeared that Marion became aware of a man sitting behind them, tapping his fingers against the table and looking around with an easy interest in his surroundings. His hair was long, dirty blond, and tied behind his head. Although the style was strange, he was very uniquely handsome. Marion knew that this was Donny Hughes because she had seen him around and had heard countless stories from Jazzariah, her best friend, with endless descriptions of his heroism and unbelievable charm and wit.

“Oh my,” Marion whispered to herself as she studied his face. Irritation contrasted with her sense of awe and relief of seeing him. Her watch read quarter past nine. They had both sat near each other for half an hour, waiting and thinking that they were both stood up. The thought made Marion lightly chuckle to herself as she picked up her bag, smoothed her hair over and made her way toward him.

The closer she got to him, the odder it struck her at how relaxed he was. Was he so confident that he knew his blind date would turn up even if it was half an hour late? And then realisation dawned on her, so she paused and stood there awkwardly while she observed his table. There were two plates on the table, both having been eaten from. It was at that moment that a pretty red head walked towards him and placed her bag on the table, smiling and talking to him. He smiled and looked absolutely happy.

And then that all-too familiar feeling washed in and filled Marion to the very core. Just as she knew she would be, she was left in disappointment. There he sat with a pretty woman, much prettier than Marion in her opinion. Maybe he did catch a glimpse of Marion but didn’t like what he saw. Maybe he sought out new, better company. What a joke!

But that feeling wouldn’t pass by without embarrassing her first. Her glossing, thick lips trembled and her eyes watered though to her relief, none attempted to dampen her skin. Donny’s face turned to her at the very moment she was turning away, and she looked back at him to see a look of genuine surprise. All she could do was force a polite smile and turn away towards the door.

“Excuse me,” a strong, concerned male voice said from behind her. She looked back and saw Donny but kept heading for the door. “You wouldn’t happen to be Marion, would you?”

She paused at the door. “I sure am,” she said and wanted to throw her head against a wall when her voice wouldn’t stop trembling. She waited half an hour for a guy that mocked her by dating a woman only a few seats down. And it was a blind date, which didn’t really help.

“Oh good!” he said and smiled widely, revealing his white teeth. “I was beginning to think I’d been stood up.”

Marion eyed the redhead sitting at the table, who was looking at them in curiosity, and perhaps annoyance. “Yeah,” she said absently. “I was beginning to think that too.”

Donny followed her gaze and laughed when he realized what she was looking at. “The lady joined me when she noticed I’d been sitting on my own for a while. She was kind enough to join me until you showed up,” he explained.

“Right, okay,” Marion said. His expression appeared confused as he watched her put on her black jacket. “You’re leaving?” he asked.

“Yeah, it was good to officially meet you, Donny. Enjoy your night and more specifically, your very gorgeous date.”  She forced a smile and walked on, not wanting to show her embarrassment. Of course she would have stayed if her insecurities didn’t reduce her to tears. Oh lord.

“Did you eat?” he asked.

“I’ve got food in the slow cooker at home,” she lied. “Now that we both know what the other looks like, maybe we can try this again some other time, maybe under different circumstances.” The redhead caught her attention again, but she quickly diverted her gaze back to the handsome man standing before her. It was obvious that he knew exactly what was wrong.

“Can I at least offer you a ride home?” he asked.

“No, no,” she answered quickly. “We’ll do this another time if you’re up to it. Here, I’ll give you my number and you can call me.”

After handing him a piece of paper with her name and number on it, they bid one another goodbye and she walked to her apartment, situated a mere few blocks away. Before her mirror she stood growling herself, emotionally punishing herself for being so childlike. Why would he want to call her now?

She wasn’t there at the restaurant to see him politely bid the redhead goodbye, pay for both of their entrée plates and leave. She was unaware that he went straight home to call her, but when he checked his pockets, there was no piece of paper in them. Long, miserable weeks passed and he never called.

November, 13, 2010

Marion didn’t take well to mirrors. She considered them an enemy, a nemesis; if you will. They were her greatest vice. Her reflection stood before her, glowering at the woman it loathingly represented. Her dark, curly hair fell limp, but it was easy to change it up so that it drew some heads in her direction. There were things she felt were missing in the way she looked. Something was wrong with her complexion. It wasn’t soft or rich like she wanted, though it was easy enough to fix up with some makeup. That was her problem. She couldn’t be satisfied. She was never satisfied. Not with her appearance, not with her tendency to fall harder than she should; not with anything. How did Blair destroy her so cruelly?

Between the in-home movies, bludging on the couch with large jugs of ice-cream she ruled out as her constant companion, besides Jazzariah that is, and swooning over her favourite book heroes and heroines - Marion’s endeavour was to make herself everything she wanted to be. She’d spent great lengths of time preening and changing her appearance until she had everything as good as it’d get. Yet it still wasn’t good enough. She still wasn’t satisfied. She worked so hard to get where she was now. So why was it that when she felt the slightest spring of confidence, one slip of her guard would send her shaking in her very skin?

The touch of his skin against hers, the gently applied pressure he exerted into the very action of holding her hand as though it were the most delicate thing, the warmth of his lips and a tenderness that could make one weep. Nowhere in the world could offer more protection than what she felt in his beautifully structured arms, and the shelter his considerably sized body provided for her. This misery tainted her memory of exactly where everything went wrong; suddenly everything was her fault. Damn it, she mentally cussed. Here this beautiful, elegant young woman stood before her yet she could see nothing but a droning, pathetic failure staring back at her.

There she went again. Of course the thoughts that camped out in her freshest memories were ridiculous in all their entireties, yet they had a habit of controlling and consummating her. It had to stop. She puffed out her chest, allowing the slightly immodest hint of cleavage to present itself with what pride she could offer herself. At least she could be proud of that much.  

Deciding enough was enough, she picked up her purse and sprung it over her shoulder before marching out the door. Acting now was the best option before she cowered behind some excuse to stay in and gain an extra few pounds with a single woman’s traditional feast, mentioned somewhere above.

As if right on cue for a movie scene, her phone went off, singing a sweet tune of Bohemian Rhapsody, calming her senses quite literally when her best friend’s name was flashing on the screen. The song was a classic favourite, so it was almost a difficult task just hitting the answer button. With great effort, she did it.

“Hey Jazz, right on time. I’m walking out the door.”

“I’m already here, girl. Just thought I’d let you know that B-bear is on shift tonight. You gonna be alright?”

“Absolutely fine,” Marion answered, half robotically, and swung back in through the door. Jazz clearly noticed.

“Get your butt back out there, Marion!” she scolded. “We’ll relocate if necessary.”

“There’s nowhere that’s anywhere near as good,” Marion muttered irritably. How did the woman at the other end of the line even know she was heading back inside?

“Any where’ll have to suffice tonight.” Her decision was made and there was no way Marion could do anything to avoid it. “Or I’ll have a cute guy here waiting for you to make the grizzly B-bear jealous. That sounds fair, doesn't it?”

“Absolutely not, Jazzariah Jones,” Marion raised her voice to argue, but the line quickly cut dead. All the poor girl could do was mutter soft cusses under her breath as she stalked back out of the door and locked it behind her. 

Somehow, she didn't miss a breath that wasn't followed by some sort of silent insult towards her best friend. Of course she wasn't prepared for any events that were about to transpire.


© 2013 MaliKate

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Added on June 22, 2013
Last Updated on July 9, 2013



Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia

I'm Mali. I'm 18. Please do not send me poem read requests as I will no longer review them. I am happy to read and review your book under the condition that it is appropriately formatted and sized... more..

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A Chapter by MaliKate

Chapter 1 -HWW Chapter 1 -HWW

A Chapter by MaliKate