Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Who is she talking to? Wait who the hell is she?
I racked my brain, trying to figure out what the hell was going on. A million and one questions started racing through my mind, making it hard to focus on the woman in front of me.
“Ma’am, can you tell me what happened tonight?”
I cocked my head to the side, looking dubiously at the woman dressed in a black suit with curious eyes.
“I’m Detective Monroe and this is Officer Parkins.”
My gaze went from her to him within a matter of seconds. 
What are they talking about?
“Aubrey,” he announced. “Do you remember me?”
I just stared at him not saying a word or making a sound. Trying to find my clarity.
“Can you tell us what happened last night?” Detective Monroe repeated, bringing my attention back to her.
“We’re here to help you,” she added.
Help me? What the fuck was going on?
Their imposing figures loomed in front of me, as if they were villains from a fairytale.
“Aubrey,” he coaxed, suddenly raising his hand toward me. I instinctively flinched, leaning back as far as I could, a reaction that had become second nature to me.
He grimaced, pulling back his arm. “I’m not going to hurt you. You’re safe. We’re here to help you," he repeated again.
I narrowed my eyes at him and then her, trying to take them in.
“Do you know where you are?” she followed with concern etched in her tone.
I glanced around the room, my eyes not knowing where to look first.
I was at a loss.
“You’re at the hospital,” she said as if reading my mind. “We can’t help you unless you talk to us. Do you understand? I need you to at least nod.”
“No… No… No… I hate hospitals, I hate hospitals,” I panicked, vigorously shaking my head.
She put her hands out in front of her in a surrendering gesture. “Jeremy Montgomery,” she coaxed.
I scooted back, practically ripping the IV from my arm, hugging my knees to my body. Still violently shaking my head back and forth.
“No, no, no, no, no, no,” I chanted over and over again, rocking back and forth. Trying to comfort myself like I had done countless times before.
“Aubrey,” he soothed, touching me.
I swatted his hand away, covering my ears now. “No! No! No! No!” I endlessly yelled out as loud as I could.
“What are you doing in here?” someone shouted out, making me cover my ears harder, firmer.
I tucked my head in my lap, curling up like a ball.
"I’m the doctor in charge and no one gave you permission to come in here!” she yelled again.
Hands touched me everywhere, and all at once, causing me to fight harder. Pain coursed through my entire body, my head throbbed and my vision blurred.
“She's going into shock. Get the hell out of here now! You’re not helping anything.”
“We’re trying to help her. We have a Detective behind bars and a man who—”
“Nooooo!” I cried out. “No… no… no… no… no…” I sobbed, my body shaking uncontrollably to the point of pain.
“Get out! Now!” she ordered.
“Aubrey, Aubrey, sweetie, you need to stay with me. You need to calm down,” said the woman in scrubs and white coat.
She seems so familiar? Do I know her?
I shoved their hands away, pushing at the grip they all had on me. At anything near me, at anything that was touching me.
“Don’t touch me! Don’t fucking touch me!” I screamed, violently thrashing my body around. Causing even more pain. The sounds of the machines beeping all around me were deafening. “Don’t fucking touch me!” I repeated, yelling out bloody murder.
“Grab her legs!” someone demanded above me. “Help me grab her arms.”
Their hands were everywhere, trying to control me, trying to restrain me, trying to undo me.
“No! No! No! No!” I whipped around every which way, but they were too strong for me.
They were always too strong for me.
“Please… please… please…” I bawled like a baby, my emotions overtaking me, smothering me in nothing but a sea of despair and loneliness.
“Shhh… shhh…” they coaxed and I immediately pictured Dylan’s face, Dylan’s voice.
I instinctively placed my free hand over my heart, taking in their words, “Shhh… shhh…”
My body felt slack, heavy, foreign, as a warm sensation began surging through me from my head down to my toes.
“Shhh… go to sleep. Close your eyes and go to sleep, Aubrey…” I heard them faintly say as an echo in the distance.
I shook my head, desperately trying to keep my eyes open. I couldn’t fight it off. I never could. I closed my eyes against my will, welcoming the darkness.
Always numb.
Always alone.
Always afraid.
I secretly prayed that I would never wake up. That I would die.
Knowing in my heart…
I was never that lucky.

I walked into Alex’s restaurant like a man on a goddamn mission.
“Fuck, man, what the hell happened to you?” my friend Jacob asked, taking in my bloody lip, bruised eye, and cut up knuckles.
“Bad day at work,” I simply stated, grabbing a beer from the bar.
“No shit,” was all he could reply.
“Happy birthday.” I pulled his girlfriend Lily into a hug.
“Thanks, are you okay? Do you need me to get you something?” She looked me over. Concern and worry etched in her knowing eyes.
“Don’t fuss over me. I’m fine. Comes with the job.”
Family and friends all gathered around celebrating Lily, my best friend Lucas’ baby sister’s twenty-fifth birthday. Everyone was so goddamn happy and there wasn’t anything to be happy about.
At least not for me.
Not ever again for me.
It didn’t take long to hear my other friend Austin yell out, “What the fuck?”
Everyone turned, following the direction of his gaze.
Everyone but me.
Three police officers walked in, heading towards us. I was sitting down at the table beside Jacob and Lily, sipping my beer like nothing was going on, as if my life wasn’t about to get shit on and disposed of as if it meant nothing to begin with.
“Detective McGraw, we hate to have to—”
“Just fucking do it,” I interrupted the officer, standing to look at all of them.
The rest proceeded in slow fucking motion and trust me if I could have sped it up, I would have.
“Dylan McGraw, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
I nodded and Jacob who was a lawyer immediately jumped into action like I knew he would.
“What’s going on?” he asked. “Dylan, do not say a word without me present. Do you understand me? Do not open your mouth for nothing.”
I nodded again.
They finished handcuffing me and escorted me out of the restaurant with everyone’s prying eyes on me. Shoving me in the back of a cop car as I had done to so many people before, too many damn times to count.
The irony was not lost on me.
I was fingerprinted, a mug shot was taken, and I was stripped and searched before they pushed me into an empty cell as I waited for Jacob to make his presence known.
I took a deep breath, sitting on the bench with my head leaning back against the wall.
My entire life flashing before my eyes like a goddamn movie reel I couldn’t pause or fucking stop.
I heard footsteps down the hall and I didn’t have to wonder who it was.
“Come on, your lawyer wants to talk to you.”
He handcuffed me once again and led me down a narrow hallway into a room with a large rectangular table that had chairs scattered along it. Jacob was sitting at the far end of the table, exactly how I assumed he would be. I took the seat on the opposite end from him, mostly because I didn’t want to walk that fucking far to be closer to him.
I was exhausted and I’m not talking about physically. 
They shut the door and left us alone. Neither one of us spoke for I don’t know how damn long. We just kinda stared at each other, waiting to see who would make the first move. I sighed, leaning back into my chair, trying to get comfortable with the goddamn cuffs cutting at my wrists.
“Jesus Christ, McGraw, what the fuck did you get yourself into?”
I didn’t say a word. I didn’t even fucking move.
“What? You’re just going to sit there and stare at me all damn night?”
“I ain’t got nothin’ to say.”
“Cut the shit,” he gritted out.
“What do you want from me, Jacob? A fuckin’ bedtime story?”
He leaned into the table with his arms resting in front of him.
“Listen to me, you stubborn son of a bitch. You need to start talking and you need to start talking real fucking quick. The charges you’re up against are going to take a goddamn miracle from Jesus himself appearing in the courtroom to get you off. Now, you need to tell me what the hell happened so I can do my job and save your sorry ass from becoming someone’s bitch in a jail cell for the next decade. Do you understand me?”
I cocked my head to the side and spoke with conviction, “Where? Where would you like me to start?” 
He didn’t falter not that I expected him to.
“The beginning, Dylan, start from the fucking beginning.”

“You’re such a fucking asshole!”
There I was, yelling at a dude I knew by reputation only, out in the school parking lot by his Jeep. Both my fists remained at my sides while I tried like hell to keep my cool, to maintain my composure and act like the lady I was raised to be, but you wouldn’t know it by my actions in that moment. Uncontrollable anger toward him took over my entire body, and I fought the urge to punch him right in his damn mouth.
Dylan McGraw.
Just his name made me want to throw down.
I hated guys like him.
I didn’t know much about him, but the fact was I didn’t need to. Boys like him were all the same, every last one of them. Acting as though they were hot shit and owned every place they walked into. With their my-shit-don’t-stink kind of attitude. They knew how to flash their boyish grins and show off their dimples just the right way to grant them access to all the lust-infested girls’ panties. Their mere touch, the calculated romance or with their slick lines had those stupid, naive girls spreading their legs faster than I could say, “Open sesame.”
It was so cliché.
All of it.
I had heard enough to know that I needed to steer clear of Dylan McGraw and his asshole tendencies. I was only a few months into my freshman year at a new high school, but his reputation preceded him.
Dee was the only girl to approach me on the first day of school, and we quickly became friends. She was sweet and funny in an innocent kind of way. When she told me she was hanging out with Dylan McGraw, I kept my mouth shut. If I was aware of his reputation, I was sure she was aware of it, too. Especially with both of them being natives to Oak Island. You’d have to live under a rock to not know that no good came from that boy.
The rumors were everywhere.
Dylan turned from his Jeep with an overconfident arched eyebrow, narrowing his stare on me. He stood there with nothing more than a mischievous smirk. It was the first time I had ever been around a guy who screamed sex. It radiated off of him, he had this cocky demeanor without even trying. I slowly licked my lips, my mouth suddenly drying up. I felt like I was under a spell. His gaze immediately followed the movement of my tongue, and I subconsciously took a step back, folding my arms over my chest to stand my ground. I shook my head, ridding myself of the uneasiness I was immersed in because of his slightly intimidating composure that unexpectedly seemed to loom over mine.
“You’re an asshole,” I repeated.
He folded his arms over his chest and his face didn’t falter. I tried like hell to ignore how his stance only emphasized his tall, muscular build as he leaned back against his black Wrangler with one leg propped over the other.
Cocky and confident as ever.
The parking lot was empty. Everyone had gone home for the day. Everyone except me. I had to listen to Dee cry for an entire hour in her car about Dylan and how he had used her. How they had sex a few times, and now he didn’t want anything to do with her, tossing her away like I had heard he had done to so many other girls. Treating them as if they were disposable.
Fuck ‘em and chuck ‘em was his style.
After she finally calmed down and drove away in her car, I started to walk back toward my house, but then I saw Dylan throwing his textbooks in the backseat of his Jeep. I don’t know what came over me. I just made my way over to him and shouted the first thing that came to mind. I had never been that close to him before. I’d never even looked his way or said a single word to him before that moment.
“How could you do that to Dee? She doesn’t deserve your bullshit. She’s a nice girl. She’s not like the girls you’re used to, okay? You owe her an apology,” I ordered.
He grinned.
He. Fucking. Grinned.
“Is this amusing to you? Do you like hurting girls? How many notches do you need on your bedpost, Dylan? What’s a few more right?” 
He bit the side of his lip in a charismatic and magnetic way, and it was my turn to arch an eyebrow. I hated that he was trying to use his so-called charm on me.
“What? You’re just going to stand there and not say anything? That’s really mature, asshole.”
He scoffed. “I’m not the one throwing a temper tantrum, now am I?” he finally spoke with a rough yet smooth tone.
His voice was deep, deeper than I expected, with a bit of a Southern drawl. It was the first time I had ever heard it, and I would be lying if I said it didn’t catch me off guard. Everything about him did. I thought I knew what to expect when it came to him, but he proved me wrong. Which didn’t make any sense. I was supposed to have the upper hand, not him.
My eyes widened in shock. “This is not a temper tantrum, asshole. This is someone calling you out on your shitty behavior. Own up to your whorish ways, apologize to Dee, and we won’t have any problems.”
His patronizing eyes scanned the length of my body, starting with my pink toes, lingering on my breasts, and coming to a stop at my eyes. His expression was hard to read, and it did nothing but confuse me even more. I thought I was prepared. I thought I knew everything there was to know about him. I thought a lot of things, but I would learn soon enough that I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
It was one thing to think you knew, to assume, but when it was staring you right in the face, when he was looking only at you, it changed things. It changed everything.
The way his eyes barred into mine ignited a fire deep within me. He wasn’t looking at me. He was looking in me. And that I hadn’t expected.
That I wasn’t prepared for.
His reality being much more intense than my assumption, I never wanted to be one of those girls.
Especially not now.
The awkward silence was finally broken by his condescending tone. “Problems with you?” he stated as a question with a crooked grin and a cocked head, eyeing me up and down once again.
I watched as he slowly engulfed every inch of my body, making me feel naked and exposed. He bit his bottom lip again when he sensed what I was feeling.
“Yes, that’s what I said.”
We locked eyes.
“I’ll take my chances,” he retorted with an arrogant tone.
“Oh my God! You’re such a fucking asshole.”
“Darlin’, I think you’ve already pointed that out.”
“I’m just stating facts. None of which you’re denying.” 
“Stop calling me that.”
He pushed off his Jeep and strolled over to me with such purpose that I felt it down to my bones with each step he took. He stood right in front of me, lowering his face too close to mine.
“Darlin’,” he drawled. “I don’t know your name, and although Crazy Bitch seems fitting, I figured you’d appreciate Darlin’ more.” He smiled, breaking the harshness of his words.
Something about the way he was looking at me made me more uncomfortable than I already was, if that was even possible. I had never been that conflicted around a guy. I realized right then and there that Dylan McGraw was different, I just didn’t know in what sense, at least not yet. I could feel my guard escalating higher and higher as the seconds passed between us.
“I mean if we’re calling a spade a spade, I’m not the one who came at you, am I?”
I said nothing because honestly, what could I say to that? My outburst was spontaneous. I just wanted to rectify the Dee situation and his demeanor ruined my momentum.
“I didn’t think so,” he added, as if reading my mind. “You’ve called me a fucking asshole more times than I care to count in a matter of five minutes, and I’m still not clear on what I did wrong? Try again.”
“I already told you. What you did to Dee. You used her.”
He shook his head, narrowing his eyes at me. “I used her? That’s not the way I remember it. I would get your story straight before I go playing martyr, sweetheart.”
“Unbelievable, you’re going to try to deny it?”
I don’t know how long we stayed frozen in that moment but he suddenly leaned forward, closing the gap between us and bringing us back to reality.
“I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced,” he added. His cheek grazing mine, his face moved closer to my ear. I faintly felt his breath on my neck.
“You smell good,” he whispered, lightly brushing his lips on the sensitive area just below my ear. Shivers rippled throughout my entire body. The rhythm of my heart escalated, betraying my mind from the asshole before me.
“What the hell?” I snapped, roughly pushing back off of his hard chest. He didn’t budge.
“Who the hell do you think you are? You can’t just go around sniffing girls!”
“I believe I just did.”
“So is this how it works, Dylan? Am I supposed to spread my legs open for you now that you introduced yourself to me? Just like every other girl?” I crudely mocked, letting him know that he couldn’t intimidate me. “I will tell you one thing… I’m not impressed. You’re a boy trying to be a man, and not even a good one at that.”
He snidely chuckled, “You have no idea, suga’, what I'm capable of. How about I show you just how much of a man I am? I have something right here for that pretty little mouth of yours that seems to know everything." He gestured toward his dick.
“You cocky son of—” His finger came up and pressed against my lips, silencing me, and I barely resisted the urge to bite it off.
“Sticks and stones, darlin’, you best remember that.” He playfully tugged the loose ends of my hair that were lying across my cheek. “I paid you a compliment, it would do you some good to say thank you.” And with that he turned around and got in his Jeep.
I was dismissed.

“Woo-ooh-eee!” Jacob hollered beside me as I threw the Jeep into reverse.
“Someone just got chewed up and spit the fuck out,” he laughed, clapping his hands over and over again obnoxiously. “Damn, I would pay good money to see that again, bro!”
“Shut the fuck up,” I snapped.
“What pussy did you piss off this time? Two? Damn, this is a new record for you.” He just didn’t know when to quit, and that was always the problem with Jacob. “Who was that anyway? Is she new here? Maybe I should show you how it’s done, fucker. I’m marking today as the first time Dylan-fucking-McGraw couldn’t seal the deal.”
Jacob was my childhood friend. He was more like a brother to me. I knew he would be running his mouth to Austin and Lucas as soon as we stepped out of the Jeep. I had known these guys since birth; our parents had been best friends since before we were born. They took any opportunity to fuck with me, as I did with them.
And this gave them the perfect ammunition.
I hoped Half-Pint would be around to stop them before I had to do it with my fists. Half-Pint was Alexandra, Alex for short. She was the glue that held all us good ol’ boys together since we were kids. She was younger than us by two years, but you'd never know that. She was much wiser than all of us put together. She was a true lady, the only one besides my mama I had ever met.

That chick from the parking lot was right about one thing…
I was an asshole, I owned it, and made no excuses for it.
There was no reason to try to deny it. I accepted that title a long time ago. I spoke my mind, I didn’t sugar-coat shit. Whether it hurt someone’s feelings or not, that was their goddamn problem, not mine. Life was too damn short to pretend to be something I wasn’t.
Now, did I use girls?
Fuck no.
They knew what they were getting themselves into. My reputation followed me everywhere. I got more pussy thrown at me because of it. See, girls loved the bad boys. The ones they thought they could change, the challenge, the rule breaker, the game changer. The ones that fairytales were made of, the happily-ever-after’s where Prince Charming swept you off your feet and you rode off into the sunset looking deeply into each other’s eyes or some shit like that.
Every last bit of it.
I was sixteen years old. My parents just got me a brand new Jeep Wrangler. I came from a home with a loving mom and dad who went above and beyond for me. I had a group of boys that were like brothers to me. I didn't need a girl to love me. I didn’t need a girl expecting things from me. I just needed my cock played with because the best part of being me was that I was hung like a goddamn horse.
Now if you were in my shoes, would you settle for one girl?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
I did what any normal teenage guy would do. The only difference was that I wasn’t subtle about it at all. Why hide it? That’s what got you in trouble.
End of story.
But having a stranger, a hot-as-fuck stranger, call me out on it was completely new territory for me. Yet there I was, lost in thought about her. Except, I wasn’t thinking about her ridiculously, curvy figure that would usually have my cock standing at attention. It was the way she came at me with no fear that had my interest piqued. She had the damn balls to call me out on my shit. What people I’ve known all my life said behind my back, she had the backbone to say it right to my face.
A guy like me could appreciate that, yet I was labeled an asshole for it.
Not that I didn’t enjoy watching her pouty pink lips pucker every time she tried to hide the fact that I had an effect on her. I would even go as far to say she had an effect on me as well. Too many adolescent years spent stroking my dick to images of women that were shaped just like her in Playboy magazines. Her blonde hair lay perfectly against her huge tits. She tried to hide them with a modest-cut shirt that did nothing but the opposite. She stood her ground and glared right fucking at me, making me take in her bright green eyes that had a hint of brown in them. Not once did she cower or lower her intense stare from mine.
She smelled good enough to fucking devour. Honey and vanilla mixed together. My favorite.
The girl was a paradox of contradictions. Her demeanor screamed she hated me, but her body, her body liked me just fine. Which only made me want to get to know her that much more. I loved a challenge as much as the next guy.
“She got to you, didn’t she?” Jacob asked, pulling me away from my thoughts. “Well, I’ll be damned. I never thought I’d see the day. Someone got through to your icy prick—”
“Jacob, stop watching all those Disney movies with Lily or I'm going to have to start buying you tampons. I'd really hate to have to punch a girl in the face,” I mocked.
I may have hit a sore spot there, bringing up Lily. She was Lucas’s baby sister and seven years younger than us. I swear the girl was a spitfire. She was a kid, a youngin’, only nine years old, who was desperately in love with Jacob. Had been her entire life. Jacob though, was oblivious to it. It was his subconscious way of protecting himself from the little girl in pigtails in front of him. The same little girl, that would one day turn into a woman right before our very own eyes and eventually carry Jacob’s balls in a jar.
In the years to come, it would be like Lucas and Alex all over again, history repeating itself, and karma knocking Jacob right in the fucking mouth.
“Her name’s Aubrey,” he announced out of nowhere.
“What?” I glanced at him, pulling into Alex’s parents’ restaurant to meet up with the rest of the boys and Half-Pint.
“You heard me.” He grinned like a goddamn fool. “Aubrey Owens to be exact, according to Kayla.” He showed me his text message. “Oh, she’s a freshman, fresh meat just the way you like them, asshole. She moved here from California with her mom or some shit. Do you want me to get her address too? Maybe you guys could braid each other’s hair.”
I chuckled. Everyone fucked with me because of my hair that sat just above my shoulders, especially my mom. I’d had long hair ever since I could remember. It was blonde, but turned white over the summer from surfing and constantly being in the sun and salt water. 
“I get plenty of pussy on my own, Jacob, which is more than I could say for you.”
“What can I say? I have high standards. I don't go around and fuck everything with a hole. By the way, tell your mom I said hello.”
“Not before you tell your sister Amanda she's the best I've ever had, you sick son of a bitch.”
“Touché, motherfucker. Touché.”
Lucas and Austin were already surfing by the time we walked into the restaurant. Alex sat at a table with her notebooks spread out, writing in her binder. On a Friday afternoon, it was normal to see Half-Pint doing her homework like the good girl she was. She was very bright.
All of us boys were like brothers from different mothers. Alex being no different, but there was no telling her she wasn’t one of us boys. She was like our little sister. We all looked out for each other, even when we didn’t need to. Old habits die hard, that was true when it came to meddling in things that were none of our business to begin with.
Jacob and I were definitely the closest, since we were the oldest and our smart-ass personalities were somewhat the same. Both of us acted like we owned the damn beach and our little town. And in our minds, we did.
Lucas was a few months younger than us, but you’d never know it by looking at him. If you told that boy no he would do it just to spite you. Stubborn, hardheaded, and a temper that would make anyone think twice about ever crossing him. That didn’t stop us from fucking with him though since we were all a bit like that, growing up together made it easy to fall into similar patterns, our personalities rubbed off on each other whether we liked it or not.
Alex was adamant she would be one of the boys from the second she popped out of her mama’s belly. She came out screaming and kicking, a force to be reckoned with. Hell would freeze over before she would act like the girl she was. It was only a year or two ago that she actually started wearing dresses and make-up. Before that she dressed exactly like us, begging her mama to buy her cargo shorts and loose-fitting shirts to blend in with us boys. And like Lucas, we picked on her every chance we got. She hated being called a girl, or being treated like one. Though she was tough. Tough as nails, we made her that way, and you better believe that we were overprotective as hell of her.
Despite her tomboy tendencies, I meant it when I said Alex was a lady through and through. She never cussed, she didn’t hang out at parties with us, and was polite to everyone, even if we didn’t like them or talked shit about them. She never cared to get involved in gossip or school drama like most girls did, keeping to herself or hanging out with us. Except she wasn’t very bright when it came to her choice in guys.
We all realized it before it even happened.
Case and point… Lucas and Alex aka Bo and Half-Pint.
Those two had always shared this special bond between them that didn’t include the rest of us. They were separate, but still a vital part of us. We ignored it for years, blew it off, thinking it was the best thing to do at the time. We all hoped it would magically go away on its own or some shit like that. Until one day we couldn’t overlook it anymore. When shit went down it was like a goddamn avalanche occurred, and it impacted all of our lives in ways we never thought possible.
Austin was the youngest among us boys, a year younger than Lucas to be exact. He was trouble with a capital T, in every sense of the word. He was the good ol’ boys wild card. The older he got the worse he became, and there was nothing any of us could ever do
about it. It wasn’t from lack of trying on our parts either. He was out of fucking control.
Jacob headed toward the beach, saying he was meeting up with someone, probably some new pussy he was trying to get a piece of. I walked over to Half-Pint.
“Hey,” she greeted, looking up at me. I pulled a chair over and swung it around to sit on it backwards.
“Whatcha workin’ on?”
“Algebra,” she sighed.
“Ah shit. Your worst subject.”
She peered at me, wide-eyed and confused. “I think I’m going cross-eyed trying to figure out these formulas.”
I nodded at her. “Scoot over, sweet girl.”
She smiled, pushing back her chair to give me some room to sit beside her. I grabbed her algebra book, skimming over the chapters she was working on. Numbers and statistics were always my best subjects in school. It was easy for me to remember formulas and rules. Numbers stayed consistent. I grabbed her binder to help explain an easy way for her to remember the patterns.
“See, here’s your problem, Half-Pint. Your Order of Operations is off. You need to do the parentheses before your exponents or else it’s going to mess you all up.”
“Ugh, I always forget that. It’s so hard to keep them in order and remember which goes first.”
I grabbed her pencil from her. “Remember it like this: Parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. You remember that phrase, you’ll always remember the rule, guaranteed.”
She nodded, looking at what I just wrote. Whispering, “Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally.” She glanced over at me. “Good to know. Got it!”
“Knew you would, you’re smart, darlin’.”
“Okay, what about these?”
I sat there for the next hour, explaining numbers, shootin’ the shit, and simply laughing. I helped her with everything she needed. It didn’t take long for Alex to catch on to what I was explaining. I told you she was bright. That girl could take on anything, and she did, in more ways than one. When I got up to head out to where the boys were, I never expected to look up and lock eyes with my destiny and quite possibly the girl who would undo me.

Copyright of Author M. Robinson.

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