Dousing Salt on Fresh Wounds

"It's over."

A hushed silence settled. A large circle of light focused itself directly upon Jill Parker. A group of twenty or so photographers stood around her, each of them holding a large, expensive-looking camera, their fingers precariously poised above the button that would emit a blinding flash and capture the horror that was etched onto Jill's otherwise flawless face.

Her lips were slightly parted, her features twisted into a mixture of horror, shock, and anger. She stood in the spot light, trembling slightly. She wore one her usual midriff-showing shirts, her flat stomach peeking out from under the purple and white hem. Her feet were askew, one of the toes pointing left, one pointing far right.

I reached up cautiously and quickly mimicked cleaning out one of my ears. I wasn't sure I had heard right. Maybe my brain had misinterpreted the words, and I had actually heard 'Hi Lover'.

There was a bright light, and I was momentarily blinded. When the white, dancing spots before my eyes subdued, I realized that the photographers were actually curious students that had gathered to watch the drama, and that the light was just the harsh glare of the sun.

"What are you talking about?" I asked tentatively.

Jill moved long enough to point an accusing finger at me, her shoulders shaking violently. Tears that I hadn't noticed before now made their way down her blotched cheeks, dripping ominously onto her shirt.

"I thought we'd agreed on being loyal to each other." Jill replied icily, her voice edged with hurt.

"I still don't understand what you're talking about-"

Jill snapped. Her eyes widened, the tears magically drying up, leaving river-like stains on her face. Her fists clenched, and she rose to her full height. All-in-all, I would have given her a seven out of ten for attempting the 'menacing bully' look. "You slept with Melanie Keller." She spat.

I remained indifferent. Inside, something gnawed at my stomach. It settled unpleasantly, causing me to swallow hard, and force my vocal chords to contract into saying something. "I didn't sleep with her." I answered truthfully.

Jill continued to glare at me. I swallowed again. I withstood the intensity of her heated eyes, the back of my neck prickling with sweat. When she didn't say anything in reply, I recalled vaguely how much I hated the way women could be so spontaneous.

"I didn't sleep with Melanie." I repeated, a bit louder, in case she hadn't heard me properly the first time.

It turned out she had heard me perfectly well. "D-Don't you lie to m-me Douglas." Her voice was now audibly having a spasmodic fit, "I-I have my witnesses. I-I have proof."

"Infidelity isn't my style." I reminded her, folding my arms, "And explain how you can have 'proof' if nothing took place?"

Jill's glare only grew more murderous. She lowered her accusing finger slowly, and it fell to her side. I had begun to wonder how long a being could hold their arm outstretched. "It's over." She merely stated again, "It's finished. Done. Ended."

I wasn't sure if she was trying to impress me with her dictation of the thesaurus, but almost immediately after she spoke the words, my response mechanism finally kicked into action, and I blurted out a strangled "No."

Jill shot me a look of pure contempt, her lips forming a smile that simply oozed smugness and satisfaction. "You know you can't worm your way out of this. You know you've lost."

I blinked at her, dumbfounded. What was she going on about? What couldn't I worm my way out of? What had I lost apart from a perfectly adequate high school relationship?

"I'll see you in Physics." She finished, her voice caressing my ears with its whisper-like quality, before suddenly wrapping itself around my neck.

"Jill." I choked, raising both arms to reach for her.

Her hands slipped through my fingers. I glanced down at them weakly, a bead of sweat dropping onto one of the palms. It truly was over-


I sat up in bed, alarmed, my cotton nightshirt sticking to my back.

Wait. Since when did I go to bed wearing nightshirts?

I gingerly peeled the bed sheets from my sweat-covered body, and swung my legs over the edge of the bunk bed, shaking my head, as if trying to shake the oppressive dream from my mind.

It was merely a recollection of what had happened a week earlier. A vivid frame-by-frame replay of what had happened in the school's main hall. A one-sided confrontation that had taken place between Jill Parker and I. The once-famous and admired couple at our school.

The neon-blue display of my digital clock read four in the morning. Somehow I managed to land on the bedroom floor without my feet crumpling beneath me, before making my way to the kitchen for a glass of strawberry milk.

Scratching my bare chest absently, I drained the glass in one, long drink, and placed it onto the sink, staring outside the window. The road was empty, the lit streetlamp basking the mailbox in its unearthly glow, causing an eerie shadow to stretch across the grass.

I shut my eyes for moment. I had to get around mowing the front lawn if I didn't want abnormally tall blades of grass engulfing Ralph, my father's pet cocker spaniel.

"Are you ill or something?"

I turned and saw my twin sister standing in the door way, trying to unsuccessfully stifle a yawn. In one hand she held a worn copy of Wuthering Heights. "Had a nightmare. Couldn't sleep." I answered dutifully, and held up the bottle of strawberry milk, "Want a glass?"

"No. It's full of preservatives; coloring and only god knows what else."

"Well I'm going to have another glass of this highly toxic muck." I pulled a feeble grin and refilled a glass, before returning the bottle into the fridge and watching Denise as she sat at the round kitchen table, opening the book at whatever page she had bookmarked.

"Haven't you read that book six times already?" I inquired with a weary tone.

"Seven times, to be exact." She corrected, showing me the cover, which was of a young girl wearing a light blue bonnet, typical of the seventeen-hundreds, "It's a great piece of literature, written by Emily Brontë."

"I'd rather read books by Matt Groening." I passed her, flipping the book shut with a quick motion of my hand and laughing lightly as she made an annoyed noise, "Now that's literature."

"You're rotting your brain reading comics." Denise called from the kitchen, "You're not going to get anywhere if you keep wasting time with those-"

My slamming of the door cut off her rant.

Stupid sister. What was she doing up at this hour anyways? Television hadn't even started to broadcast and she's already 'enriching her understanding' of 'fine and inspiring literature' by reading a book she's already thumbed through seven times.

I fished around the top bunk of my bed for a copy of a Simpsons comic. I found a comic and sank into the bottom bed, leaning into the navy cushions dad had bought the day before. A rapt knocking on the door made me sit up. I stuffed the comic under the covers. "Up so early Douglas?"

It was just dad. His face was drawn, his eyes somewhat vacant. Nonetheless, he tried to smile and came in, placing his weather-beaten brief case on my wooden computer chair. Ever since mom had walked out on us, he had worked twice as hard at his profession – Law.

"Couldn't sleep." I responded automatically, glancing at my clock.

The digital display read four fifteen in the morning. I turned to dad, crushing the comic under my weight, "Why are you home so late?"

"Bar. Had to take my mind off things." He drawled offhandedly, making a dismissive gesture with his hand, "Sometimes alcohol is the only thing you need to make you forget the outside world."

"And have a major hangover in the morning." I added.

Dad sighed and joined me on the bottom bed. I moved away, already knowing what was coming. He would start talking about mom, and then ponder the meaning of life as dramatically as he could in his inebriated state, before crying, and expecting me to comfort him, being the good, caring son I was.

"You're mother and I." he began, and I tried hard not to roll my eyes, "We were very close. Even after we married, we had this type of bond that no other couple could ever have."

Ditto your feelings dad. I know exactly how you feel.

"But that night I walked in and saw your mother in our own bed, with another man, I couldn't believe that she had broken something so precious." His voice cracked, and I resisted the urge to roll my eyes again, "She had broken our trust. Our bond had been shattered."

One Oscar coming right up.

"Dad," I began, "Mom left us. It's over. It's the past. You need to move on. You can't keep going on like this, drinking yourself senseless certain nights, and spilling your sorrows on me for the rest of them."

Dad looked away, and his shoulders began to tremble. I knew he was crying, yet I didn't offer any words of reassurance, or a gentle pat on the shoulder to let him know I cared and I would take care of him.

I had my own sad love story to sort out. "Get some sleep." I said brusquely, and clambered onto the top bunk, tugging the covers over me, despite the heat.

Dad stood up slowly, raising his head over the top bunk, and peering at me with his trademark tear-stained reddening eyes. "Douglas, I've tried so many times to forget your mother, but I can't. It's like a thorn in my side, except every time I try to pull it out, it just burrows itself deeper."

I pulled a face at his idea of break up. "Well keep pulling." I rolled over onto one side with a slight grunt, "It'll come out sooner or later."


Denise still had her nose buried deep within the pages of Wuthering Heights when I re-entered the kitchen at ten thirty. "My brain rotted last night." I informed her, yawning, "I read three comics."

She grumbled inaudibly and turned a page. "I think I'm going to rot my brain even more later today after I buy four more comics at the mall."

Denise closed the book, her fingers closing around the cover tightly. "When I said comics rot your brain, I wasn't asking you to remind me about your unusually low IQ every three seconds."

"I'm not the one that begged God to bless with me a science experiment gone awry."

Her eyes flared, her temples growing red. "Are you calling me a nerd?"

I ignored her and began to make myself a ham and cheddar cheese sandwich for brunch. "So when does school start again?" I asked, "I want to know when you'll be too involved in your studies to bore me with your preaching."

Denise stood up defiantly. "School starts in two weeks. Though I doubt even an education can save a brain as corrupted and dense as yours."

"The brain of the family speaks." I poked my head, "We must all listen as she explains in detail why I scored three marks more than her on the end of semester exam."

Denise stormed to the kitchen doorway, holding her head high. "You only received higher marks than me on that exam because the question you scored three marks on, and I got completely wrong, was on female reproductive system." She told me calmly, "A subject on which you seem to be extremely knowledgeable about."

"Did you swallow a goddamn dictionary for breakfast? What's with the big words?"

"Ignorant prat." Denise shot back, before scurrying to her room, probably to dissect an earthworm's heart or something equally tedious and pointless

I laughed and bit into my sandwich. Dad was asleep, and hadn't bothered me for the rest of the early morning with his sulking, and I had successfully annoyed my twin sister. Things were starting out well.


The mall was crowded, despite it being only noon on a Monday. It was the first official day of the fall break, and two glorious weeks awaited me. I had no school work to bribe Denise into doing, nor did I have to worry about avoiding soccer training.

Everything was going well, and I had even decided to treat myself to a large cone of pistachio ice cream when I saw Jill Parker standing by the entrance of some ritzy branded store. She looked awesome, as usual, in a tight maroon top that showed off her ample cleavage, and two inch red shoes.

I always wondered how women managed to walk in those things.

I took a quick bite out of the ice cream, and ducked behind a large display of stuffed ducks. I wasn't ready to face her yet. I would break down and get on one of my knees and beg her to take me back. I would make a complete spectacle of myself.

Damn my dad's genes for being so sensitive.

"Douglas, what the hell are you doing?"

Scott Dermot seemed to materialize in front of me, wearing an amused grin. "Who are you hiding from this time? The FBI? The CIA? The little green men in funny silver latex suits?"

"Just avoiding my ex-girlfriend." I admitted, taking another bite from my ice cream cone, "And preventing a huge scene from happening."

My words only served to make Scott's grin grow wider. I knew what he was thinking, so I didn't bother asking. He was recalling the day after Jill had unceremoniously dumped me in front of half of the school's population, and I had fallen to my knees, crying.

Not the kind of behavior a nineteen year old male would like to present. Especially considering the fact that part of the crowd that had witnessed my little show contained numerous good-looking girls that now won't even look me in the eye.

"Forget about her." Scott mused, surveying my pained expression, "If she accused you of something you didn't do, then she's the bad one, not you."

"I haven't even touched another girl in six days." I groaned, rubbing my forehead.

Scott let out a low whistle. "Hey, that's harsh."

"Tell me about it." I lifted my head over the display of stuffed ducks, grasping the metal shelf cautiously, "It's amazing what sort of effect a girl like Jill Parker can have on you."

"She dated me before you, remember?" Scott reminded me, taking the ice cream cone from my other hand and finishing it in one swallow, "I would know what she's capable of."

"You're not making me feel better." I leaned into my arm, staring down at the tiling of the mall's floors.

"Come on. Don't sulk. You'll forget her in another couple of days. She's the most popular girl at school. Once she gets a new boyfriend, you'll see how shallow she is and regret even having dated her."

I turned to Scott with a lopsided smirk. "Jill Parker was your second girlfriend, wasn't she?"

Scott stopped talking, caught off guard. "Yes, she was, but-"

"And she was the girl you lost your virginity to, right?"

"Certain things should not be discussed in public." Scott hissed, dragging me from the display and glaring at me, while managing to shoot furtive glances around, "A guy's pride could be wounded if anyone finds out I only got laid when I was seventeen."

"Eighteen." I corrected.

"Rub it in, will you."

I laughed, before realizing that by pulling me away from my cover, Scott had placed me right in the path of Jill, who was walking towards us, chatting with her friends, her eyes sparkling.

She stopped abruptly when she saw me. My tongue quickly tied itself into a knot and refused to work. "Douglas." Jill said breezily, greeting me with one of her small hand gestures, "Nice to see you."

Her lips were parted seductively. The same way they had been parted the day I first kissed her. I felt a cold sweat prickle my brow. "Hi Scott." Jill added, noticing the guy beside me, who was staring absently at the mall's glass ceiling.

I croaked feebly. "Oh hi." Scott replied a second later, my brain somehow registering his presence only when he spoke.

"Isn't it great we have two whole weeks with no school?" One of Jill's friends, a girl I recognized as Barley quipped, smiling at me meekly.

I pitied anyone whose parents had been on marijuana the day they had to name their firstborn. "Two whole weeks of nothing but letting lose and having fun." Jill's voice was as smooth of silk, her eyelashes lowered, "Don't you think Douglas?"

Say something, I told myself, don't just stand there and ogle your ex-girlfriend.


Well, it was a start.

"Jane O'Neal is having a party tomorrow night." Barley rambled on, "There's going to be alcohol and everything." She tapped Jill's slim shoulder, "Right Jill? Should I invite them?"

"I think they would have heard about it already." Jill answered coolly, "Anyone that is someone knows about that party anyways."

Scott and I remained silent. Behind Jill and Barley, a bored voice emerged. "Are you two done socializing? Can we keep walking? The mall closes in five hours."

"Just because you're still a virgin Alex, doesn't mean you can't talk to boys." Barley responded, before pulling a girl to Jill's side, gripping her shoulders a little to tightly for comfort.

I raised my eyebrows at Scott. It appeared that boys weren't the only ones concerned with losing 'it'.

Alex shuffled alongside Jill, her head held high. Either she was new in town, or I hadn't paid any attention to the 'popular crow' for the duration that I had been dating their leader.

I wasn't going to lie and say she wasn't good looking. The girl was dripping self-confidence in large puddles. Her wide set brown eyes were surveying me apprehensively, making me feel slightly uncomfortable.

She leaned in and whispered something in Jill's ear. Jill suppressed a giggle, and Alex continued to look at me strangely, twisting a lock of black hair over and over again.

"I'll see you boys around." Jill finally said, smiling at me brazenly, before motioning for her friends to follow her into one of the boutiques.

After she left, Scott nudged me hard with his elbow. "Do you even want to know what you looked like just then?"

I shook my head. "No." I answered, "I don't want to know."

Scott shrugged. "It's too bad we both lost Jill. But what do you think of the black-haired girl? The one called Alex. Not bad, huh?"

"I don't think I should be getting involved right now."

"Listen to you." Scott said exasperatedly, "You sound like a forty-year-old man who just divorced his wife."

Was he indirectly insulting my dad?
"It's not like the other girls I've dated." I began to walk, wringing my hands, "The thing that bothers me is that Jill broke up with me because I supposedly cheated, even though I know I didn't."

Scott stared at me for a minute before grinning again. "What say you let me buy you a beer?"


"You're going to Jane's party?" Denise wrinkled her nose, closing one of her many fat textbooks, "Do you even know Jane's reputation?"

I had wandered into my twin sister's room to say goodbye, and regretted it instantly. "She is the most prized student at our school, and has received the highest grades in her grade?" I tried, tugging on a navy sweater.

"Douglas, I am the most prized student at our school, and Jane's grades are anything but high. I don't think you should be wasting these two weeks partying when you could be studying for the final exams we'll be sitting in four months."

"It's one party." I told her, "And I can tell by your way of talking that you've never enjoyed life."

Denise glared at me. "I have been to parties before." Her voice was low and harsh, "And I know exactly what goes on during them, which is why I don't bother attending any anymore."

"Do you want to come out with me tonight?"

She paused, watching me furtively. "Is that one of your crude, unfunny jokes, or are you actually inviting me, your geeky one-minute younger sister, to one of your well-acclaimed outings?"

I shifted my feet, buckling my belt. "I'm inviting you out for dinner." I answered without looking up.

Denise screwed her blue ink pen shut, and tapped it against one of her notebooks thoughtfully. "Where will you take me?"

"Wherever your warped mind wishes." I replied sincerely, "And if you dine with me, I won't go to Jane's party tomorrow night."

"Don't tempt me brother."

"I'm serious."

Denise smiled reluctantly. "Okay."

Dad was still at work when Denise and I left the house. We made our way to Kerri's, a fast food place located right beside the library. Oddly enough, this was Denise's favorite place to eat.

"What do you want?" Denise asked, pulling out her red, white and blue beaded coin purse.

"Double cheeseburger and large coke."

Denise counted her money and left me to guard our table. I sighed tiredly and sunk into one of the aluminum seats.

"Didn't think I'd have to see you again."

I averted my eyes from Denise's back. It was the black-haired girl I had seen with Jill earlier at the mall today. She still wore the same clothes, and the same indifferent yet calculating expression. "Is this seat free?"

I nodded hesitantly; looking back in the direction my sister had deserted me. "I'm not surprised Jill broke up with you." The girl commented, pushing back her hair over one shoulder, "You do seem like the annoying, clingy type."

I recoiled. "She broke up with me because she thought I cheated on her."

"That's what she told me at first." The girl responded aptly, waving a hand dismissively, "But I figured you were too loyal to her to do anything of the sort. You seem clean-cut and pure."

"I didn't do anything against her." I fought back weakly.

"Ah." She examined her long, finely manicured nails, "The usual feeble comeback. I'm used to it now." She leaned back in the chair, and I half-wished I hadn't allowed her to sit at my table, "Your name is Douglas, right?"

I nodded. "I'm Alex. Alexandra Meyers is you have to." She introduced herself, as if her presence mattered, "I think we go to the same school. But I'm not sure. I don't scavenge the halls like Barley."

It was beginning to perplex me how someone like Alex got along with people like Jill Parker and Barley Spooner. Then again, stranger things have happened. Like my dad's never ending love for my mom, who left him quite some time ago, and my twin sister's obsession with inanimate objects such as books.

"How did you get together with Jill anyways?" Alex inquired, her tone containing a biting edge that made me want to reach out and slap her.

Which I would have done, if I didn't hit girls.

"It was one of those 'kiss-and-date' things." I answered after suppressing the strong urge to stand up and find another table, "After one of the soccer games, we hit it off at the bleaches, I kissed her, and the rest is history."

"That ought to be erased." Alex finished candidly, "I'm not surprised it didn't last."

Despite my better judgment, I ground the chair hard on the ground so that it emitted an ear-splitting ache. Alex didn't even flinch. "What is your problem with me?" I demanded angrily, "What do you have against me?"

Alex's eyes glittered. She tucked her ever-present lock of hair behind one ear and placed her elbows on the armrests of the chair. "You intrigue me." She replied, her lips tilting into a smirk, "The way you and Jill broke up was so sudden and messy that it made me think there was more to it."

"You would make a great Hollywood reporter."

"I'm down-to-earth. What I want to know I find out."

"I'm not interested in being interrogated. I don't need microphones being shoved into my face just now."

I had received enough unnecessary attention at school for an entire day following the 'break up'. It was apparently so big it made the headlines of the school paper. I don't know how I would have made it through the school day without the help of my friends.

"Douglas I got your burger." Denise arrived, and I smiled in relief.

She paused, noticing Alex, who cocked her head to one side, as if inspecting my sister's appearance. "Denise Summers?" Alex finally said, after a few tense seconds of scrutinizing.

Denise nodded, placing the tray in front of me and taking a seat. To my satisfaction, she was looking at Alex with a mixture of confusion and repulsion in her face. "The Denise Summers?" Alex went on, ignoring ours bewildered faces.

"There's only one Denise Summers at our school." My sister replied, arching an auburn eyebrow, "And that's me."

Alex's icy features melted into a friendly smile. I was genuinely surprised at the fact that Alex was capable of looking friendly. "You received the most prized student award for this year, didn't you?"

To my horror, Denise gave Alex a wide smile, accompanied by a tinge of pink on her cheeks. "Yes, I did."

"And you also received the literature award, didn't you?"

More nodding and blushing from my sister's part. I watched in horror as Denise and Alex pulled themselves into a heated discussion about the use of similes Great Expectations and Oliver Twist.

I unwrapped my burger, fingering the plastic-covered wrapping. "Charles Dickens is extremely gifted, don't you think?" Denise turned to me, her gaze questioning.

I paused in mid-bite. Alex had also locked me with her eyes, except she maintained that stony look that seemed to be reserved solely for me. I lowered the burger slowly. "I've never read anything by him." I admitted.

"No account of good taste." Alex quickly countered, "It's amazing how you, of all the boys at Belmont's, managed to snag the most popular girl."

Denise stifled a laugh, completely missing the cutting message in Alex's words. It was as if she wanted to bring me down, piece by piece, till I caved in and confessed that I was the worst person in the world, unworthy of Jill's love.

If you could call it love.

I was still thinking of a biting comeback when I realized Alex and Denise had resumed their discussion. I lifted my burger again, and stared at it. Pieces of lettuce stuck on, and a drop of melted cheese slid out of one side and fell onto my jeans.

Even the cheeseburger didn't like me.


"Can you believe how nice Alex is?" Denise said to me, and I remained silent, grounding my teeth together, "I thought she would be worse, seeing how she hangs out with Jill and Barley all the time."

She caught my expression. "Douglas, I'm sorry," she apologized quickly, "I didn't mean to bring up your ex-girlfriend-"

"It's finished." I was tired of people thinking Jill's name could reduce me to tears.

Denise bit her lip and was quiet for the remainder of the walk home. When we arrived at our porch, I sensed something was wrong. One of the upstairs lights was flickering ominously.

Denise hurriedly unlocked the front door and the pair of us rushed up the stairs. The bedroom door was partly open, and some light was streaming through the crack. I gingerly pushed the door open further with my hand, and froze.

Dad was slumped face down on the bed. A bottle of alcohol lay on his pillow, the foamy gold liquid having stained it a pale yellow. Denise gasped and practically jumped onto the bed, grabbing dad's shoulders. "Dad?" she whispered, and lifted him tentatively.

I was still standing frozen by the door. Denise motioned frantically for me to approach. "Get over here." She hissed, before meeting dad's glassy gaze and clamping her mouth shut.

I moved closer, not daring to tear my eyes from dad's lifeless figure. I felt a mixture of disgust and shock stir my insides. "Is he awake?"

"He's breathing." Denise felt dad's pale wrist, "His pulse is weak. But at least he's got a pulse."

I stopped at the foot of the bed. The room stank of beer and despair. The curtains had been thrown wide open, as if in some sort of frenzy. On the bed stand was a small container of pills. I picked it up and read the label. It was Sominex.

"Dad drugged himself with sleeping pills." I put the container down, waiting for Denise's reaction.

She was holding dad's head in her lap, brushing strands of hair from his pasty white forehead. "Dad?" she murmured softly, "Speak to me. It's Denise. Are you there? Dad?"

She looked straight at me, her eyes reddening from tears. "What are you just standing there for?" she demanded, "Call an ambulance!"

I shook my head a couple of times and stumbled into the hallway, groping the wall for a phone. I knew I was in shock, and slightly unstable. I desperately jabbed in a couple of numbers.

"Hello dominoes pizza delivery. May I take your order?"

I stared at the phone for a moment before hanging up. Wrong number.

I tried again. "This is Long Island hospital." The receptionist answered in a stereotypically sweet and calm voice, "Would you like to make an appointment?"

"I'd like an ambulance." I breathed into the phone, my mind beginning to spin, "I need an ambulance as soon as possible."

"May I please know the address?"

Address? Dammit. What was my address?

"Give me that phone." I turned and found Denise snatching the phone from my grasp, "Go take care of dad."

"He's unconscious."

"Hello? Is this the hospital?" Denise said into the phone.

I rubbed my temples and ambled into my dad's bedroom. He was still lying on the covers, his head propped up on the beer-stained pillow. In a way, part of me I felt pity for my dad. His depression had driven him to the edge.

The other part of me reeked of anger. I was angry at dad for never getting a grip on himself and reality. He always seemed to be floating in his own world, thinking that someday things would turn out well.

I sank onto the edge of the bed as Denise re-entered the bedroom, her features haggard. She placed a hand to her forehead.

"The ambulance is going to arrive in a few minutes." She announced in a constricted voice.

I acknowledged her words with a small nod. Denise sat beside me and buried her face in her hands. A few tears seeped out between her fingers. I sighed and wrapped an arm around her shoulders.

"It's going to be okay sis." I said to her soothingly, "Dad's going to be okay."

I hoped.

A/N A brand new story. Yes, I should know better than to try and juggle three stories at once, but the good news is, Stealing Madison is only three chapters away from completion, and once it's finished, I can concentrate on this story, and The Seventh Sin. I also managed to pull a Myrika and make this chapter ten pages. Extra long for one of my chapters, and I plan to keep it that way. Anyways, this story is again, a romance, which I am a sucker to writing. Who doesn't love a romance? Also, it won't be as sexually-orientated as The Seventh Sin, so hopefully no one will be easily offended. I have posted the story bio in my website. Sadly, the pictures for my other stories were taken down due to space limitations. I hope you all enjoy reading this story as much I'm going to have fun writing it. ENJOY!


1) How old are the characters?

Douglas, Denise, Alex and Jill are nineteen years old and have one more semester of high school left. Scott and Barley are in their late eighteen.

2)What is the age difference between Douglas and Denise?

1 minute.

3) What do Douglas / Denise look like?

(This wasn't really described in the first chapter) They have grey-ish eyes and wavy auburn hair.

4) Whose point of view will this story be narrated by?

Douglas' (I'd though I'd write a story narrated from a guy's point of view for a change.)

Peace Out.