Chapter 1

Chapter 1

A Chapter by Deanna Ballard

I peal myself out of my ex boyfriend’s clammy body. I turn to look at him and feel sick once again. I’m only using him for the proximity. He’s using me for my money.

            Now, despite my current predicament I am a blossoming petty criminal because as long as there are desperate adolescents who want cigarettes, alcohol, and exposure to night clubs, I’ll thrive in this business. I have the wherewithal to pull it off and not get caught.  Jeff does not. What a dank.

            I suddenly don’t want him in my presence or mi casa anymore so I throw the nearest school book at him. Unfortunately, it hits him in the back and not his head.

            “The hell?” he groans.

            “Jeff, get up and get out.”

            He rolls over and stares at me through freshly open eyes.

            Jeff is few things. One of the things is his, though, is hot. He’s got foggy brown eyes like it rained inside of him and left this fog as a reminder. His mouth is surrounded by laugh lines but I know from experience that those are cruel laugh lines. Nonetheless, sexy. He never quite smiles but he has a mischievous smirk that drives most girls up a parapet. And his skin, despite his many battle scares-which actually add to his allure-is so dark brown you'd think he was made of candy. All in all, the boy is worth the sex. He’s just not worth the time.

            When he doesn’t get up immediately, I amble over, gather up his clothes and toss them at him.

            “I kinda meant now.”

            He rolls over and sits up. "What is your problem? It’s too early for this.”

            “I agree. It’s way too early to be seeing your face.”

            He frowns at that and his cruel laugh lines fade slightly.

            “If I didn’t know any better I’d think you liked these little spats we get into.”

            “And if I didn’t know any better I’d think you liked me calling my goonies and having them carve another battle scar into you.”

            He stands quickly and grabs me around my neck and forcing me against a wall.

            “I actually don’t like that at all.”

            “And the same goes for me,” I say letting him feel the tip of the blade I just pulled on his naked skin.

            He lets me go and backs away, “You win.”


            He sloppily tosses his clothes on and heads out. I toss some money at him that falls to the floor, all singles.

            “I’ll call you next time I need your services,” I say slamming the door the metal door.

            He hates when I treat him like a prostitute. I love it.

            I go over and look out the window trying to figure out if I want to go to school today. They’re only going to put up with me for so long. I’ve been ditching like crazy, sleeping in class when I am there and fighting every chance I get. I’ve been getting away with it because I’m still “grieving” they say. The superintendent was good friends with my parents. They were very active on the school board; back when I was a thriving student.

            I look at my dad's car in the parking lot. It's a black 1964 Ford GT500 Mustang. I've always loved that car so he left it to me, of course. I was pretty much homeless after it all went down. I had three uncles: Uncle Bruce, Uncle Marcus and Uncle Shelton. My Uncle Bruce took me in because he didn’t have kids and frankly the only one who understood. My sorry excuse for an older brother doesn’t count. My Uncle Bruce gave me the option of going home with him to Maine but I didn’t want to. So he did the cool thing and got me a place to live and takes care of me from a distance. How unrealistic. The money he sends me goes toward rent and the bank only. I take care of myself otherwise. I just have to stay out of the line of fire of The People a.k.a. DCFS.

            My uncle yelled at me last week and told me the least I could do was finish high school. I see a GED in my future.

            I slowly get ready for school, lock up, then make my way downstairs.

            “Going to school this morning?”

            I smile, “Hey, Mike.”

            Mike is my biggest and most loyal goonie and he lives down the hall. In spite of his tendency to be violent, mostly in my behalf, he’s really smart. His eyes sparkle with intelligence. He’s got the most genuine smile I’ve ever seen in my life. His chest and shoulders are broad and his hands are massive. He stands at six feet. He never misses school and he lectures me. He graduates this year then heads off to Georgia on a football scholarship. I’m determined to make sure that this happens even if it means staying away from him but he won’t let me run the streets alone. He knows what Chicago is like sometimes. And his timing is never off.

            “Something like that,” I say in answer to his question.

            I keep walking knowing he’ll follow.

            “Wait, Grace.”

            He reopens his door and grabs something from the coat rack I know is there. He places a loosely tied red and gold stripped tie around my neck.

            “Oh, yeah,” I say with a smile.

            Girls don’t have to wear ties to school but I like to stand out. No one has to wear blazers either but I got black ones for myself and each of my goonies that go there, five in total. It’s got the red and gold North Lawndale College Prep logo on the left and a “G” for goonie on the right. Mine has a “C” for captain on the right because I lead this pack of strays.

            “I’m likin’ the new hair.”

            My hair had been growing out but I was sick of it so I cut it. I found a picture of Rihanna I liked, shaved on the left and the right side is cut but not shaved; still kind of lengthy. All the hair falls to the right and it looks phenomenal to be completely honest. It shows off the barcode tattoo on the back of my neck and the two huggers on the bottom half of my ears and the two diamonds above those.


            When we get outside, I pull on my black aviator sunglasses and get into the car. Once we’re on the road, I notice he’s staring at me.


            “I didn’t think it was possible for anyone but…you’re too cool for school.”

            I laugh and speed off to Nickelback’s Animal playing as my background music.


© 2011 Deanna Ballard

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register


Thanks for the review!!! I just needed a little reassurance.

Posted 8 Years Ago

Definately worth pursuing! An engrossing read. Flows well. Interesting right from the start and continues to be interesting right to the end. Thanks.

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


2 Reviews
Added on September 13, 2011
Last Updated on October 26, 2011


Deanna Ballard
Deanna Ballard

Forest Park, IL, IL

What defines me is not what I can tell you, but the things I can't. Know the things I cannot tell, and you'll find you know me I'm pretty laid back. I have a great sense of humor. I don't particula.. more..