Six years ago Austin broke Jade’s heart. On that day he went from being her best friend to the person she hates the most.
Now six years later Jade’s life has been turned upside down, the family she once knew no longer exists. Her father’s infidelity has made it hard for her to trust anyone.
That is until she reconnects with the one person she’s despised the most.
Will Austin be able to break through Jade’s wall of anger to get her to trust him? Or will he break her heart again?
Together they will experience the ecstasies and agonies of being in love.
Life is Full of Traitors
My father sits across from me biting his lower lip intensely looking at the menu. I can’t believe he’s covered all his grey hair with a dark brown color. He looks so weird. Like he’s trying too hard to look young. Next thing I know he’ll be getting a piercing or a tattoo. I really hope not. He’s too old for that.
My sister Carrie taps her fingers loudly on her iPhone. It’s beginning to get on my nerves. Why does she have to text her fiancé so much? I don’t understand what they can be talking about that’s so important it can’t wait until later. Ohmigod! I’m beginning to sound like my mother.
Carrie’s heading back to New York City in forty-eight hours and I can’t wait. She’s been driving me crazy all week long. She thinks the world revolves around her and we are all here to serve her. Maybe that’s why she’s so into her fiancé Jeff, his world begins and ends with her.
I glance back at my dad wondering why he chose the same restaurant we used to come to as a family to share his latest news. The last time we were here was the night before he told us he was leaving my mother for that stupid skank. Hopefully this time we’re here so he can tell us he’s finally come to his senses and he has dumped her.
“Do you know what you’re going to have?” he asks, shooting his bright green eyes up to finally make some kind of eye contact with me.
I shake my head no. The smell of grilled steak has been dancing around my nose since we entered the restaurant. I look at my menu and try to decide between steak or a double cheddar bacon burger. They both sound so good. My stomach growls just thinking of taking a bite of either one.
“How about you Carrie?” My father asks her.
“Water and a salad with no dressing,” she coldly answers, without looking up from her phone.
“Don’t you want some real food?”
She shoots her hazel eyes up in horror and states, “Daddy, you know I’m getting married in a year. Do you want me to walk down the aisle looking like a cow?”
“Of course not,” my father says, raising his eyebrows up and down while giving me one of his silly grins.
There’s the father I remember. Once upon a time, he and I were inseparable, always doing things together and having our own private jokes. Carrie and my mother were always jealous of the relationship we shared. But then again they have their own special relationship.
My father was my whole world and couldn’t do anything wrong, that is until he began to see Trisha and destroyed our family. He didn’t only break my mother’s heart he also broke mine. Things really haven’t been the same since then.
The way he’s looking at me right now makes me think we could get that relationship back on track, especially if we’re here for him to tell us he’s done with his midlife crisis.
That’s it, I’m going to order the burger and maybe he’ll have the same. The way we used to.
“Sorry I’m late!” I hear a high pitch sound say shattering my eardrums. My heart bounces off my chest when I see Trisha running towards us in a red dress so short and tight I don’t think it would even fit my old Barbie dolls. Her perfectly styled black hair doesn’t move an inch as she bounces toward us with way too much make-up on her face.
I shut my eyes tightly and imagine her tripping on her five-inch heels, flying across the restaurant, and landing flat on her face. She stands up in horror when she notices her breast implants have popped. Trisha is rushed to the hospital where she’s pronounced dead from silicon poisoning. A wide smile comes across my face at the thought of being at her funeral. What can I say; I hate the bitch.
I open my eyes again and see her standing in front of us with a big idiot smile, showing off her new white teeth. I’m sure another gift from my father. I can’t stand how fake she is. I hope by the time I’m twenty-seven I won’t need as much work as she does to look good.
Trisha knew exactly what she was doing when she dug her acrylic claws into my father, a very successful oral surgeon. She gets anything his money will buy her.
“So, did you tell them yet?” Trisha asks, sliding into the booth right next to my father.
“No. I was waiting for you.” He leans in and gives her a kiss on the lips. Yuck! I think I’ve just lost my appetite.
“Can I take your order?” The waitress asks interrupting their moment of grossness.
“We need another…”
“Yeah, I’ll have the New York strip and lobster, and can I also have an order of the twin lobster tails,” I say, cutting off my father. If he wants me to have dinner with that home wrecker I’m going to make him pay.
“That sounds good. I’ll have the same, but also add a salad with no dressing,” Carrie adds. Sometimes I really love my sister.
“Wow, you guys must be starving,” Trisha observes, “Well, I’ll take a grilled chicken salad with the dressing on the side.”
“The full size or half?” The waitress asks.
“The half size…actually, bring me the full size, since I’m now eating for two,” Trisha announces, now looking at both my sister and I with a huge surprise I just fucked up your life smile.
The waitress quickly congratulates her, while Carrie and I begin to take slow, deep breaths. Did she really just say she’s having a baby? Who’s the father? Please don’t let it be my dad’s. Who am I kidding? Of course it’s his.
My stomach begins to twist in horrible burning knots. I can’t believe she’s having a stupid baby. Does she not know my father is forty-nine? He’s too old to have another child. I bet she’s just trying to trap him into staying with her.
“Are you serious?” Carrie hollers.
“Yes. I’m due at the end of May. Are you guys excited? You’re going to be older sisters,” Trisha cheers as if this is all good news.
“I’m already an older sister. Dad, how could you? Does Mom know?” Carrie’s body trembles with fury. While I feel myself shrinking as tremors of terror spiral through me.
“Yes. I told her last night.” No wonder she looked so unhappy today, my poor mother. “She agreed I could be the one to tell you girls. Carrie, Trisha and me are in love. We want to have a family together.”
Each word coming out of his mouth pierces my body with pure venom draining every drop of life out of me. “Excuse me,” I mumble, trying to get out of the booth. Carrie stands up and allows my escape.
I look at my father and want to yell at him, “You already have a family! You just fucked it up by leaving us for her! I hope you and your new child will be very happy together!” But I don’t say anything. Instead I begin to walk towards the door. I need to get out of here.
“Jade! Where are you going? Come back here right now!” My father orders, making everyone in the restaurant turn and stare at me. I take a deep breath and take off running before anyone can see me cry like a bawling baby.
I run out the door into the hot sticky August night air just as my tears begin to stream down my face. How can my father do this to us? Aren’t Carrie and me enough for him? How could he think this was something to celebrate? I will never forgive him for this.
I continue running, trying to breath in the thick air. I run down the parking lot until SMACK! My body bounces right off someone’s hard chest and fall backwards onto the inflexible wet ground.
“Whoa! Are you okay?” I hear a deep voice ask. He gives me his warm hand and helps me up.
“Yeah,” I answer, as the pain throbbing in my chest now travels down my body.
“Are you sure?” I look up at him and roll my eyes in revulsion. Why out of everyone in the world, do I have to bump into Austin Evans? He makes me sick.
His dark eyes narrow with concern and I remember I have tears in my eyes. He must think he’s the one who hurt me.
I yank my arm out of his grip. “Yeah. I’m fine.”
“Look, if you’re hurt…”
“I said I’m fine.” I continue to walk down the parking lot. I have no idea where I’m going. My dad drove so it’s not like I have a ride. Damn it!
“Hey,” Austin calls out running behind me.
“What?” I don’t stop walking.
“You don’t look like you’re okay. Do you need me to call someone for you? Or…”
“No. Just leave me alone,” I spit out, without looking back. I don’t need this right now. All I want to do is crawl under my covers and cry my eyes out.
“Where’re you going?”
I don’t say a word.
“Austin!” A girl calls out. This time we both stop walking and look back at Leah Turner with her lips twisted up into a phony smile. Of course it’s her! Where ever Austin is Leah is sure to follow. “Where are you going?”
“Nowhere. I was just making sure that umm…” He looks at me once again acting like he doesn’t know my name. He’s so full of shit. I can’t stand him.
“Jade,” I remind him.
His look of concern disappears as the corners of his mouth point up producing an annoying smile. “I know who you are, Jade Miller.”
Does he want an award or something for remembering my whole name?
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
“She looks fine,” Leah calls out trying her best to sound sweet.
Leah and me do not have a good relationship. She blames me for our cheerleading team losing at finals last year. It’s not my fault I walked out half way through the routine. My dad had just sat down with Trisha, and instead of watching his daughter cheer he was too busy shoving his old tongue into her disgusting mouth. Just another thing my father is responsible for ruining.
“Look, she’s right. I’m fine,” I reassure him, wanting to get away from him and this moment.
“Where are you going?” he asks.
“Home.” I turn around and continue to walk away from him.
He follows right behind me again. “Do you need a ride?”
“Aren’t you on a date or something?”
“What? No. I’m meeting a couple of friends, but it’s okay. I can take you home.” I spin back around to see him smile again making his dimples appear. I hate those damn things. They drive all the girls at school wild, but they have the opposite affect on me.
A long time ago Austin was my best friend. He was the person who I shared all my secrets with. He was the person who knew I broke my sister’s iPod. He was the person who held me when my grandma died. He knew everything about me as I knew everything about him. But that was six years ago. Now all I know about him is his growing list of hook ups, while all he knows about me is my name.
“Jade!” I turn my head and see my sister marching out of the restaurant with the same tears I had in my eyes. “This is all bullshit. Come on, Mom is on her way. I told her we’d meet her across the street.”
Austin’s face falls. “I guess you don’t need that ride.”
“No. I don’t.”
I begin to walk towards my sister. “Hey Jade?”
I whirl back around to face him. “Yeah?” What the hell does he want now?
“There’s a party on the beach tomorrow night. Are you going?”
“I don’t know. Why?”
“I just thought it might help cheer you up. You can never be sad at a party.” He smiles his big goofy smile again. “Maybe we can hang out.”
Did he really just say that? “I don’t think so.”
“Why? Is it cause your boyfriend will get mad?”
“No. It’s because I can’t stand you!” I turn back around and stomp away. I’m not in the mood to inform him Garret and I broke up two weeks ago.
Goodreads link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17287736-because-of-you