Line (short story) - eBook

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When Adriana's world is changed forever when her own parents refuse to believe her, she takes matters into her own hands.

Fueled with anger, she sets out to seek revenge on the family friend who violated her.

Soon, the tables will turn, and the family friend will be the one no one believes. 

Follow Adriana's journey as she unravels a thrilling and suspenseful story of justice and hope. If you enjoyed The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas or The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, you'll love this short young adult story of an unbreakable spirit. Buy now before the price changes!

NOTE: this story is also collected in How To Make Friends With Teenage Anarchists.

Their laughter and cheering broke through my bedroom floor. Focusing on the movie and my sketch was torture. Not that I was watching the movie. My drawing of Lady Gaga from memory was more important. God, I should have gone out with my mother and Brian, my little brother, to the movies. But they were watching one of those stupid Marvel movies again. Although women dressed in sexy outfits were my thing, watching men in them was not. It probably would have been more tolerable torture than listening to my father and his friends drink their humanity away and play cards. I might have gotten ice cream after the movie.

Speaking of food. My stomach started to rumble. It was 9:15 and I still hadn’t eaten dinner yet. One could consider a family-size bag of potato chips at 6 PM dinner but I was trying to be more mature for my sixteen years. Time for a proper dinner.

On bare feet and wearing my Saturday clothes of sweats and a vintage Cure T-shirt, I came down the stairs and entered the kitchen. Dad and his crew were in the living room at the back of the house. Once a month, he set up a card table and his friends from high school came over the first Saturday of the month to act stupid and bet on peanuts. I loathed my father’s friends. They said insulting things about gay people. They called each other fags and pretended to be gay. I often wondered why my father continued to be friends with them. Why my mother allowed him to continue with relationships wallowing in neanderthal debauchery?

“Oh, they’re all right?” she once said to me after I asked her.

All right? Acceptable? Better than nothing? The best he could find?

I understood. Friends were scarce for me at the time. This one-horse town was filled with rednecks and no queer community. And what friends I found quickly disappointed me by lying or dropping me for someone else. It saddened me that the friendships crashed and burned but after time I realized that said friends failed my standards. We were better off apart. Was that wrong, to have standards? Did my father have standards? Obviously, he tolerated homophobic and idiotic behavior despite having a queer daughter. He never gave me a hard time about my sexual identity. Unlike Mom who hoped that being into girls would be a phase. Like obsessively collecting My Little Pony toys, which I still do.

The noise grew full force when I entered the kitchen. A doorless threshold separated the living room from the kitchen. Old 80s rock blared out of my dad’s Apple speaker probably set on shuffle. I took out a frozen vegan meal, the last one, and popped it into the microwave. With my hands on my ears, I leaned against the counter and patiently waited.

Then he walked in. Mr. Alphona. An inch taller than my unusually short dad with a full set of professionally died hair, a graying stubbly face, and drunk off his ass on beer. He insisted I called him Damion. After all, he went to high school with my father. But he was also my school principal. We had a professional relationship even though I worked hard at staying away from his spotlight. Whenever I passed him in the halls he said Hi or asked how I was doing. For my parent’s sake, I mumbled a Hi or Fine in the loud hall, not caring if he heard me, and pumped my legs out of there.

“Oh, hi Adriana,” Mr. Alphona said, dropping an empty bottle of beer in the garbage and holding the counter for support. “I didn’t know you were here.”

I lowered my hands from my ears and said, “I live here, Mr. Alphona.”

He laughed as if I said the funniest thing in the world and crossed to the refrigerator. I hoped he wouldn’t pee in his pants. “Oh, God. You do. Indeed you do. You are so funny.”

Coming from someone else I would have accepted his words as sarcasm. But he was drunk, as always when he played cards, and I took him seriously.

I checked the timer on the microwave. Five more minutes to go. Maybe he would leave in 10 seconds and my appetite would restore before the alarm went off.

Nope. Instead of leaving the kitchen with his fresh bottle of beer, he shuffled over. I stared at the floor. His feet stopped a foot away. Way too close for my comfort. God, the smell that wafted off him. A mix of end-of-the-day body odor and alcohol. My school principal smelled like a hobo.

“You don’t have to call me Mr. Alphona, Adriana,” he said, blowing his vile breath in my face. “After all, we’re like family.”

I turned my head and focused out the window over the sink. The patio lights were on. During warmer weather, they used the table outside for their drunken game into nostalgia.

“I was at your baptism,” he chuckled. “I saw you naked as a baby.” He flopped his hand on my shoulder, too weak to grip it. I shivered. This was too weird. I hoped it didn’t get any weirder. “I’ve watched you turn into a beautiful, sexy young woman.”

Maximum weirdness.

“You must be fighting those boys off at school.” Another chuckle. Maybe he had no idea I was queer. “If I was divorced I would definitely chase you.”

Uh, sixteen here. Was he serious?

He then shifted to the side, trying to get into my face, and brought his lips closer to mine. Was he going to kiss me?

The microwave timer chirped. Mr. Alphona jumped back and turned around as if the alarm came from the living room entrance, having no idea it was hanging over the stove next to our heads. I slipped to the side and grabbed a towel, trying to distract myself from this weird feeling pounding through my limbs.

“Oh,” he said, frowning, confused. “They must be calling me back.” He pointed to the ceiling. “Time for a new hand.” He left the room.

Shaking, I took the meal out of the microwave. Anger and embarrassment flooded my stomach. I wasted a good frozen dinner.

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Line (short story) - eBook

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