A/n: It feels so GOOD to be back!
Ha. Anyway. This is my new story (obviously). The main character is kind of an asshole, so there will be a healthy amount of swearing and snark. Oh. And some sexy scenes later on. Consider yourself warned. I will post every Saturday as long as RL doesn't get in the way. Otherwise, enjoy!
A/n (4/21/14): I changed the title from The Imperfect Perfect to Imperfectly Perfect because I like it more and it ties in with the title to the sequel better.
"We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly."
Chapter 1: Eating Disorders
Harper Hennessy is perfect.
He has the looks—not too long, not too short, stylishly cut tawny hair; summer sky blue eyes, a breathtaking smile that'd be more appropriate on a big time Hollywood actor; and a body that could belong to a model from one of those preppy brand names, like American Eagle or Abercrombie or some shit like that.
He has money—his dad is a cosmetic surgeon and his mom's an actuary. To put it in perspective for you, he got a new sports car for his 16th birthday.
He has brains—all AP classes in his junior year of high school with top scores on every exam; valedictorian of his class; started college a year early.
He has the socialite thing down pat—big group of friends, dating a blonde beauty, attends every it event of the week, and is pleasant and friendly to everyone.
Oh. And he's also a "Good Samaritan." You know the type—church every Sunday, volunteering at the local animal shelter every Tuesday, the homeless Shelter every Wednesday, working at the hospital ever Saturday, and running at least one fundraiser to fight some disease or disorder every month.
So yeah. Harper Hennessy is, for all extensive purposes and outward appearances, perfect.
I don't buy it for a second.
See, I'm a firm believer in that whole Nobody's Perfect thing. Everyone has flaws. It's the indisputable truth about the human condition. No one can escape it.
That's why when I first heard about Harper Hennessy and saw him for myself, I knew he was full of shit. Something is wrong with him. There has to be. Nobody can be that perfect—it's impossible.
He's probably a satanic worshiper in in secret or something, and is using his position at the animal shelter to get his sacrifices for the devil. Or he has an addiction to prescription pain meds. You know, like all those other pretty boy LA types because, gosh, it's just so glamorous. Like eating disorders.
I bet he has one of those too.
Or he has some bizarre medical thing that makes him crave human blood. Maybe he's a cannibal too? No. He's probably just vegan, which is worse yet.
Anyway, my point is, I don't believe this Golden Boy idol crap that Harper Hennessy is selling. I may be the only one, but fuck—I know I'm right. He can't be this perfect. He has to have a flaw.
And I will find out what it is.
I stare at Hennessy from across the quad, watching him eat his lunch. It's a cheeseburger with fries. Which throws him being vegetarian, vegan and/or anorexic out the window.
Damn. Personally, I was rooting for eating disorder.
But there is still hope!
I nudge the girl sitting next to me with my elbow. Tess grunts in acknowledgement, but doesn't look up from her book. That's fine because I'm not bothering to look at her either; I'm still too occupied with scowling at Hennessy.
"Hey. How likely do you think it is that he's bulimic?"
"'He' who?" she asked disinterestedly, turning a page.
"Oh. No. He's not."
"And you would know that for sure because…?"
"You don't eat food like that if you know you're just going to throw it up afterwards unless you're a masochist."
Masochist. Well, shit. Now that's an idea. Maybe he's one of those.
But—hold up just a second. What was that tone in her voice?
I frown and finally tear my eyes away from Hennessy to look at Tessa. She still has her nose in that damn book, oblivious to me and the way I'm staring at her. I also note that she doesn't have food with her despite it being lunch. Which leads me to the realization that, in the past month I've known her, I've never seen her eat more than an apple or a thing of yogurt.
My eyebrows raise high on my forehead.
So. Hennessy's not the one with the eating disorder. It's her.
"You are not fat," I tell her.
And it's true. Tessa may not be stick thin, but she's is definitely slim—not fat at all. In my opinion, she's just the right weight for a chick that's 5'9" and has a sturdy, well-built frame and bone structure, and wide hips that were clearly designed for baby-making.
Plus she's got rocker-chick-meets-antisocial-librarian thing going for her that's weirdly sexy. I would totally tap that if I was straight and she was single (actually, no—scratch that last bit; her relationship would mean jack shit to me if I were straight and wanted her). And we would have a scandalous fling that ended in tragedy. It would be beautiful.
But that would only be if I were straight. Which I'm not.
Tessa snorts. "I know I'm not. At least not anymore."
"When?" I pry rudely. Anyone else would have given me a dirty look for it, but not Tessa. She doesn't give a shit about how nosy I am. It's part of the reason we became friends so quickly after meeting at orientation.
"Eh, a little over a year ago," she says, and she's still fucking reading. That's all she ever does. I don't get it.
"So, what? You went bulimic and walla! you got sexy?"
She snorts again. "No. Being bulimic—or anorexic, for that matter—is too hard. I just counted calories and worked our obsessively."
"Do you still?"
"Hm. Sorta, kinda."
"Oh. All right."
And that's where we leave that. Tessa goes on reading and I go back to watching Hennessy. It's another reason we get along so well. We don't mince words on things that don't need to have words minced over. Conversations with her are short, simple, to the point, and then done. Just how I like it.
I waste another ten minutes of my lunch glaring at Hennessy. He's laughing with the group of friends he's with, all of them nearly as perfect looking at he is. It's disgusting. People have no right to be that happy over a community college lunch. There's no way it's that good—I know it's not that good. Hennessy can't honestly be enjoying that stupid burger that much. It's just a ruse. It has to be because Hennessy is full of sh—
"Keep staring at him so blatantly and he's going to catch on," Tessa mutters, disrupting my musings even though she manages to continue reading.
"Catch on to what?" I say. "That I can't stand him?"
"More like you're obsessed with him," she corrects.
"I am not," I tell her, not for the first time.
"Uh huh." She sounds unconvinced. I shoot her a scowl.
"I'm not. I just don't believe in this Perfect Golden Boy persona of his. It's bullshit—nobody's that perfect. I know there's something wrong with him because there has to be. And I want to find out what so I can expose him for the fraud he is."
"Well, if that's what you want to tell yourself you're doing, then good luck to you," Tessa says with a shrug. "But just know you're not going to succeed."
"And why's that?" I ask dryly.
She heaves a sigh and actually sets her book down to look at me. Her caramel colored eyes are hard and clear as she simply states "Because Harper is perfect."
"How would you know?" I demand haughtily. In response, she slowly raises her eyebrows at me. I feel myself flush a little.
"Who went to school with him since middle school?" she asks, and—shit. She's got me there. I always forget that she and Hennessy are from the same school. More than that, they're from the same graduating class and are the only two from it that are doing the early admissions program here.
From the haughty and self-satisfied nod Tessa gives me, she sees my thought process on my face. "Exactly," she says. "I have six years of knowing him while you only have a month of knowing of him. Believe me when I say there is absolutely nothing wrong with Harper Hennessy."
"What if there is?" I ask because I have to.
"Then he does a damn good job of hiding it—so good that even someone as nosy as you will never find out."
And, with that said, Tessa stands up, grabs her stuff, and walks away. I scowl at her back until she disappears in the nearest building.
Then I turn towards Hennessy and resume staring him.
Tessa's wrong. There is something wrong with him and he's bound to slip up at some point.
All I have to do is watch and wait.