Authors: Amy Stephens
DON’T TURN BACK
Copyright © 2014 by Amy Stephens
All rights reserved
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of Amy Stephens, except for the use of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
Cover design by Rebecca Berto of Berto Designs
Editing by: Kyla Stein of Missed Period Editing Services
Interior formatting by: Tami Norman of Integrity Formatting
“Hey, Babe, do you think you can drop off the rent payment for me this morning? I’m already running late for work. I’m having to use cash since I’m out of checks, so just make sure you get a receipt since I want have my cancelled check as proof of payment.”
I glanced over at my girlfriend, Macy, as she was zipping up her boots. Not wanting to look her in the eye for fear she would sense my unease, I quickly called out to her, “Sure, just make sure you leave it on the table, and I’ll stop by the front office.”
I’ve had money issues, among other things, my entire life, it seems. I never wanted to make her feel like I couldn’t live up to what she needed, but I wasn’t exactly doing my part in providing for her either. Macy came from a fairly well-to-do family, and money never seemed to be an issue for her. She expected me to contribute my portion towards the rent, but each month, I always would come up short, sometimes having no money at all.
Throwing her coat on, she grabs her purse, and tosses an envelope on the table. It has our number, apartment 214, written on the front. I manage to let out a sigh of relief, thankful she didn’t ask me for my portion this month.
Actually, the apartment is all hers. Everything here, from the furniture to the dishes. The utilities are all listed under the name Macy Williams. It’s almost as though I don’t exist here, other than my few articles of clothing, which hang in the walk in-closet, and the top dresser drawer that’s more empty than full. I have a duffel bag that’s folded on the top shelf of the closet that contains a few personal documents, but that’s basically it. Oh, I also have a few things in the bathroom, but everything I use could be scooped up in five minutes flat, crammed in my bag, and with me out the door in record speed. Why, might you ask, am I concerned about how fast I could escape?
Well, here’s a quick rundown of me, Brian Cooper.
I’m twenty-one and don’t have a clue where I’m going with my life. I met Macy one night while out partying with the guys. I had had one too many beers that Saturday night; I lost my job earlier that day, and rather than be in the dumps all evening, I decided to drown my sadness in a few beers with my buddies at the local club. A band was playing in the background, and the ladies were everywhere. My friend, Craig, dared me to approach the cute brunette who was standing off to the side of the bar. So, I mustered up the courage, and walked up behind her, careful not to stumble. I had seriously drunk way too much.
“Good evening ma’am. I noticed it’s been awhile since you’ve had a drink, and I was hoping you would allow me to buy one for you.” I hoped I hadn’t slurred my words. Dang, this girl was even hotter up close.
She and her group of girlfriends looked over at me and laughed. It wasn’t a hurtful laugh, but rather a laugh like they couldn’t believe someone would have the nerve to approach their little group. I swear, girls can go out in groups, laughing, hugging and hanging on each other, and no one thinks anything of it. But if a group of guys hangs out for a period of time, people start to look at you funny.
“Sure” she spoke with a slight southern drawl. “I’ll have a vodka and cranberry.”
I grabbed her by the hand and walked her over to the bar. I frequented here with my buddies, so the bartender was quick to grab my order.
“Hey man, how about a vodka and cranberry for my friend. Uh, my friend…. And I’ll have another Bud Light.” I swear I felt like the biggest fool for not even asking her name.
“I’m so sorry. I feel like a complete idiot for not introducing myself.” I grabbed her hand again while telling her my name.
“Nice to meet you Brian. I’m Macy,” she shared with me.
I picked both of our drinks up from the bar and tossed a handful of bills in their place while nodding to the bartender. “Thanks man.”
Macy and I walked out to the dance floor while sipping on our drinks and swayed to the music. We talked about everything possible. She seemed to be enjoying our conversation, and after finishing another round of drinks, this time on her, I pulled her close. Together, we slow danced to the country song that played in the background. Still feeling buzzed, I swear I couldn’t tell you the name of the song if my life depended on it, but I
remember she felt like heaven in my arms. Usually guys don’t remember details like that, but girls don’t forget a thing. I glanced over to where I had left my friends, only to not see them at all.
An upbeat song played next, and she slowly pulled away from my arms. “Wow, it sure is getting warm in here. Can we walk outside for some fresh air?” Macy asked me.
I grabbed her hand and directed her towards the door. The bouncer noticed the black ink stamp on our hands that would allow us entrance back in to the club. He nodded to us as I reached to hold the door open for her. We walked a few feet down the side of the building and she sat on the curb. I sat down beside her and continued talking to her. A light breeze wafted down the alley, and I could hear faint music playing in the night as the doors to other nearby clubs opened and shut.
After sitting there for what seemed like forever, I noticed she was starting to get sleepy. Her brown eyes looked tired, but I think we both could have sat there and talked until the sun came up.
“Well Brian, I usually don’t make it a habit of picking up guys at a club, but I have really enjoyed talking to you tonight.”
“Yeah, I’ve enjoyed it too. Do you think maybe I could give you a call sometime?” I was praying silently to myself that she would say yes.
And that is how I began my relationship with Macy. We talked the next afternoon, she invited me over for pizza that night, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. That was six months ago. While I never seemed to have trouble attracting a woman, my issue has always been with keeping them.
I moved in with her a few weeks after meeting. Since then, I’ve bounced from job to job, unable to find the perfect fit for me. She claimed she understood, and was willing to work with me on my share of the expenses. But lately, I get the feeling she’s unhappy with me because I never have any money. She’s always footing the bill when we go out, but I know there is going to come a time when she’s had enough. Macy loves dressing up and going out to fancy restaurants, and doesn’t hesitate to buy a new outfit each time. I, on the other hand, own one nice pair of khakis and a few jeans. She doesn’t say anything, but I know she wishes I could match her appearance. She deserves that, since she is such an understanding person.
I started a new job last week at the grocery store down the street from our apartment. Okay, I know it may not be the best job, but I was promised almost forty hours a week. I got sick last week and missed two days, but I should still have a decent paycheck. Next week, that is. I’m not thrilled to get paid every other week, but it’s just something I’m going to have to work out once I get my paychecks coming in regularly.