SOMETIMES NEVER ORIGINAL FIRST CHAPTER
The first thing I notice is the hot pink polished toes on the ends of two pale feet. They sway and wiggle, dangling over the passenger side door of a classic convertible. You would think it would’ve been the giant boat of a car that caught my attention, but no, it’s the brightly colored toes.
As I glide past the car, I peer casually inside. My eyes following a set of nicely shaped calves, up over the knees, down the exposed thighs. Continuing on to the faded Beatles tee shirt before settling on the face of a girl. Her eyes are closed, long black lashes resting on top of rosy cheeks. Her dark hair is pooled around her head like spilt silk. Head phones tucked over her ears, stretching to the iPod clutched in her hands above her head as she lies across the bench seat.
I keep walking as if I’m not checking her out. As if it didn’t just become a little harder to swallow as my eyes roam over her body. Just as I flick my glance away my hip grazes her naked feet. I mutter a quick, “Sorry,” as she pulls her legs into the car.
My heart beats a quicker as I pull the gas station door open. The cool air conditioned air hits me. The thin layer of sweat on my neck instantly goes cold bringing me back to my senses. As I reach the register to pay for my gas, a guy rushes past me dumping an armful of gum and candy across the counter before gingerly placing a case of beer down.
I stifle the irritated sigh that wants to burst out of me. Seriously? Did dude just cut me?
“Hey, sorry there, mate,” he says with a strong accent. British or Australian, I’m not sure which. He looks over his shoulder with a wide grin. “I had to empty my hands. You don’t mind do ya?”
I shrug one shoulder, throwing my hand up. “No, man. Go ahead.”
I shove my hands in my pockets and wait for my turn. Dude grabs his beer and bag and breezes past me. Throwing a twenty on the counter, I tell the cashier my pump and head back out into the thick, hot, night air.
I look up to see Dude from inside hanging out the driver side door of the convertible. He gestures me over and I nod my head. “What’s up man?” My gaze flicks past him to the girl, now sitting up. She watches me with eyes so light blue they remind me of ice.
He tosses me a beer. “Just wanted to thank you for being cool.”
I toss the beer back. “Yeah, no problem, but I don’t drink.” He shrugs and I’m about to walk away when the girl leans over Dude. “Here,” she says. Her voice is breathy and soft and my abdominal muscles pull tight. She extends her hand and drops a pack of Skittles into my palm. Then she smiles.
“Park, give him a lyric,” Dude says to the girl. He tips his head at me and I’m just thinking…what?
She reaches in the back pocket of her cut off jean shorts and produces a black ink pen. “Give me your arm.” She says this as she grabs my wrist and I have no time to react before she flips it over. Her eyes flick from the thin vertical scar on my skin to my face. It’s only a second, but I feel completely exposed, my breath out of control. Not something I like to feel. I try to pull away, but she tightens her grip, her fingers covering the scar now. She places the pen in her mouth to pull the cap off and begins to write up my arm. Her fingers are cold despite the heat and I shiver as the pen tickles my flesh.
Suddenly she releases me. “Done.” I look at my arm not knowing what to make of this situation. Her writing is small and stick like. I squint as I read.The scariest storms bring the sweetest tasting rainbows.
Dude laughs loudly. “We’re in a band. Parker just wrote you a line.” He taps his temple with two fingers. “Now you’re in her head. She’ll write an entire song about you.” I feel my brows scrunch as my eyes meet Parker’s. “We got a flyer anywhere, Park?”
Parker pops the glove compartment and fishes out a neon green sheet of paper. “Aw, yeah. Here we go,” Dude says. He waves the flyer at me until I take it. He jabs a finger in the air. “That’s us, light as a rock. We’re playing…well where are we playing this weekend?” He gestures impatiently at me and I skim the paper.
He snaps his fingers. “Yeah, The Box. Come see us if you want to hear your song.”
“My song?” Who are these people? I shift to look past Dude, trying to get a better view of Parker, but she’s scribbling fiercely into a notebook, not paying attention.
“Parker has a crazy insane talent for lyrics. And you, my friend, have inspired her. She’ll have it done by this weekend. Hell, she’ll have it done tonight.”
“O.k. Well I’ll see you later. I need to get going,” I say slowly.
“Yeah, yeah. See ya this weekend.”
I walk back to my car and watch them pull away. I stare at my arm, rereading the words and trying to make sense of what the hell just happened.
© Cheryl McIntyre