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Strong as you are

Novel By: lma
Young adult

This is from 2008 it's poor quality.

Billie hasn't been coping since the death of his 'everything' aka Maria. One night he encounters a mysterious girl and the next day finds himself running away with her but this girl has an agony of her own.

Billie also finds out the girl who won't tell her real name knows more about the murder of his bestfriend than he ever wanted to know.

Fast paced and full of twists and turns. This book offers you an insight into the mind of a Teenage boy getting mixed in with Drugs, sex, violence and gang war.

Set in California's slums and taking you to places you didn't really need to know - welcome to Billie's life. View table of contents...


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Submitted:Dec 23, 2009    Reads: 221    Comments: 7    Likes: 9   


Many people think America is full of opportunity, whoever these people are I would personally like to slap them across the face.They've obviously never lived in America.
In my opinion I really hate where I live. California is full of lies, the city's pretty but not the real parts. The parts were the crime rates higher than a season of CSI. Walking through the back streets of my home town I lit up another cigarette. I kept my head down as I walked into my house. As soon as I closed the door behind me there she was screaming at me.
"You told me we had no smokes left." Her voice was frantic as she raced up to me.
"We don't have any smokes left, but I do, go buy your own mom." I pushed past her and went to my bedroom slamming the door hard behind me. Seconds later she opened my door, her eyes focused as I blew smoke rings.
I could smell the cheap wine from my bed; I could see the empty bottle in her dressing gown. She pushed a hand through her mattered blonde hair. She could have been fifty with the age spread across her face. It was sick to think she was barely thirty three.
"I need a cigarette!" her voice contained a slight slur and her hands shook. She must have run out of booze as well as nicotine.
"You need a job!" I screamed back while flicking tab ash on my bed. She ran over to me grabbing the cigarette from my hands, she grabbed my tab box too.
"For Christ's sake" I growled. I watched her walk out of my room and hoped she wouldn't come back into it.
This was my life, living in the slums with a mother who didn't know the day of the week, never mind the name of her son. I looked around at the room I'd spent the last nineteen years of my life. It was falling apart and random objects covered the floor; bottles, condom packets, cigarette boxes, clothes, plates etc. I sighed and whacked my head on my bedroom wall.
I wondered how pissed my mom would be when she found out I'd just got fired from my job at the drug store.
I heard a bottle smash in the other room, but I didn't move there was no point.I heard my mom curse this and that as she picked up broken glass. I just lay there staring at my blank wall. I thought to myself for a long moment, what I could do tonight so many possibilities; Go out and get drunk, stay in and get drunk, go out and get in a fist fight, stay in and get in a fist fight or go on a walk or maybe go on a drive.
Guess the best option was a walk; I couldn't be bothered to find my car keys. I went to go see my mom before I left, I found her on her knees, and her hands were covered in blood and the floor in glass. I laughed a hollow laugh, she looked up furious.
The look on her face reminded me of the first time I'd answered back when she'd hit me.
I was eight years old and I'd forgot to clean up my toys, or something else kids do.Anyway she hit me real hard and instead of crying like I did when she usually hit me, I had got mad. I remember saying something like, "You can't do that, it's not right, you're AWFUL! I hate you!" I'm pretty sure that was it. After I'd said it I regretted it, she hit me twice as hard and I didn't get anything to eat for like two days.
Little did she know I'd learn to hit back and do my own damage, hit her twice as hard back.
"You think this is funny?" she demanded, she stood up and clenched her fists. I could see her pain and it didn't even bother me. I simply couldn't care less about her, I grunted and walked away and then I walked out of the house and back into the cold night. I walked round the back alleys seeing very few people. Odd, most of the time there were gangs waiting for someone who they could attack.
I didn't know the time, probably around 1am. I could go to Mary-Jane's house, stay there for the night. Soon enough I found myself walking the familiar path to her house.
Mary-Jane had been this girl who I'd bumped into at a gig at this bar, I was about eighteen. She came up to me drunk as hell and asked for my number. Mary-Jane took me back to her house and gave me all sorts of alcohol, I hadn't even heard of half the alcohol she'd gave me. After that night she was a regular thing in my life, whenever I had nothing to do, or couldn't crash at home (and vice versa) I'd go see her.
I looked up and I saw a few drunken girls coming out the 7/11, there was three of them, all stumbling around there makeup all over themselves, the usual night out for them I guessed but that was as much life as I saw, there seemed to be no one else around. There was no life for another ten minutes until I turned the corner and saw a girl leaning against a wall. I could barely make her out in the dim street lamp. She was smoking a cigarette, bingo. I needed one bad.
As I walked closer to her I could make her out more clearly. I stood a few feet away from her. She was wearing jeans but you could tell she had legs to kill. She was tiny too, barely 5 feet. Her head turned into my direction.
"Hey, think I could have a cigarette?" I called out to her. She nodded and summoned me over using her hand. She passed me one from her box and gave me her lighter. "You smoke Marlboro red's too huh?" I didn't look at her face until I turned, to give her, her lighter back.
The least you could say was wow. She was the palest person I'd ever seen. Her eyes were beautiful too, all big and blue. She flicked her curly black hair over one of her shoulders.
"So what's a little boy like you doing out on a night like this?" she was British.
"What's an English girl doing in the slums of California?" I replied and she smiled.She took a draw from her cigarette, real slow."Were you staying?" I asked staring at her lips that were producing smoke. She made a quick nodding gesture to a bag at her tiny feet.
"To answer your question am on the run, kid." She threw her cigarette onto the floor.
"You just call me 'kid'?" I made a grunting noise, "I'm pretty sure am older than you, and you shouldn't be so far from home all alone." I said with a joking edge to my voice.
"I'm not alone, I know someone." Her voice was fierce.
"Who's someone?" I moved closer, I was curious - probably a boyfriend, how could someone who looked like her not have a boyfriend, or girlfriend; maybe she was curious in a different way.
"Jimmy Brandon" Her voice was smug. My face went to shock.
Jimmy Brandon was the most notorious guy I'd ever heard of. No-one messed with him. Jimmy got involved with everything, all the nasty gang wars and all the sleazy drug gangs. He was supposed to be tough as nails. The story goes that if you're ever in trouble, you need to talk to someone who knows Jimmy and he'll look after you, but you don't get heard of again apparently.Jimmy was the most well respected guy, I knew. I hadn't even seen him either.
That must be why she wanted to see Jimmy I suddenly thought; she's in trouble. My eyes slid down to her bag. What could have happened that caused someone to run from England to America? I silently hoped she wasn't one of these stupid people that I'd rather slap than talk too.
"You know Jimmy Brandon?" I asked stunned. "How does some British chick, know Jimmy?" I asked my voice no more than a whisper.
"None of your business, anyway kid. What you doing out here so late, it's damn near three n' the morning." She pointed a finger in my direction. Whoa, 3a.m? Guess I got the time damn wrong.
"I think I'm on the run too, and am not a kid. How old are you?"I threw my cigarette to the floor.
"I'm..." My eyes ran over her body. She caught me looking and grabbed her bag. She looked me up and down looking really offended. "I'm barely legal."
"Hey now were you going?" I asked my hand reaching for her arm.
"Listen...you..." she looked to the floor.
"My names Billie" I said smiling wryly.
"Well listen Billie; move your arm or you won't have one. Am sure I'll be seeing you around anyway, I gotta a feeling y'know?" she made a grunting noise and walked away.
"A good feeling, I bet?" I shouted at her back.
"Hell no!" she didn't even turn to look at me.
I started off on my path to Mary-Jane's, I felt like laughing. That chick whoever she was, had really made me laugh. It was kind of weird though, how did she know Jimmy Brandon? I mean I live in the same area as him and I've god damn never even seen him. Yet she lives in a different time zone and knows him.
How was that even possible? I wondered if I'd see her again. Apart of her made me feel uneasy. Then the other parts of her made me feel pretty good. I looked at the cigarette she had given me and threw it to the floor; I didn't even bother stubbing it out with my shoe.
I realised I was outside of Mary-Jane's shitty house.I knocked on her door; it was practically off its hinges though. I don't think you could classify it as a door anymore. She opened the door wide and leaned against the door frame.
She smelled like whiskey and cheap cigarettes. Her red hair was poker straight and perfect. Her tan face was inches thick in makeup. She was barely wearing anything. Her shirt barely reached her navel and her denim shorts hugged uncomfortably at her thighs. My eyes locked onto her face, I sighed she was the same old Mary-Jane. The same one who I'd been coming to see every week for the past year.
I looked at the room behind her. Mary-Jane had been doing some lines; I could see the coke from here. God she was a mess.
"Oh hey, Billie didn't expect you." She put a hand on her hip. I tried to ignore the fact I could see white powder just below her nostrils.
"Hi, M-J" I smiled, but it didn't seem genuine, pretty sure it didn't look it.
"Oh I love it when you call me M-J" she tried to make her voice sound all seductive, but it just came off making me feel sick.
"I can come in right?" I smirked at her. I looked at her body up and down, I sighed. This was disgusting.
Her hands were on my shirt and she pulled me toward her. MJ's lips crushed mine and I could feel her 99 cent lipstick smear my chin and lips. She started taking off my jacket, then my shirt. Next thing I knew she'd pulled me into her bedroom and onto her bed. We did the usual kissing, her using too much tongue and me trying not to gag. She kept on top of me, giving me a full view of her body. I didn't real want to look at her body.
Mary-Jane got off of me and took her shorts off. I propped myself up using my elbows and I took my jeans off. She smiled her lipstick over her face. She took her shirt off and threw it on my face; it made me unable to see for a while - thank god. When I took off her shirt she was there naked.
I swallowed back vomit. She crawled on top of me and took off my boxers and threw them onto the floor.
The sex was the same ten minutes of time it always was.
I pushed her off me as soon as I could and rolled over on my back. I put my hands behind my head and looked at the fan on her ceiling. I felt her face on my chest.
"Amazing as always" her voice was breathless, guess she'd enjoyed those ten minutes. She stared kissing my stomach and then my chest. Her lips found mine again.
We had another ten minute tumble. I just felt hollow, very hollow. It wasn't like the sex was bad. It was fine, good even. It was me and her. It meant nothing, if she didn't answer the door one day I wouldn't care. Sex with Mary-Jane was just something to keep myself busy.
I fell asleep with her on the other side of the bed.
I woke up to find myself alone. Thank god. If there was one thing worse than emotionless sex it was waking up beside the person you'd just given it too.
I got out of the bed and stretched. I squinted when I looked out the window, the light was blinding. I found my boxers and jeans easily. It took me awhile to find my shoes; she had so much shit in this bedroom. I found my pair of shoes after raking through her underwear and clothes that were scattered on the floor.
I walked out of the bedroom and into her dining room/kitchen and found my shirt hanging over her sofa. I put it on and began to walk out the door.
Wait, my jacket, you don't want to leave that here.
"...Mary?" I waited for a response. "Mary?"I looked around the room for awhile and found my jacket wedged underneath her coffee table. I put it on and left.
When I went outside I stumbled a little, I was still half asleep. I had no idea what time it was, but it mustn't have been too early because there was a newspaper at my feet.
The walk home seemed like a shorter walk than last night. When I came home, the house was empty - score my mom was gone. I lay down on the sofa trying to get as comfy as possible. I let my mind wonder randomly, I got flashes of Mary-Jane on top of me.
I felt uneasy thinking about her, I closed my eyes and tried to push images of her out of my mind. It didn't work; I got up from the sofa and wandered into my bedroom. I looked at the digital clock on my nightstand; 3pm.
I lay down on my bed and grabbed my television remote. I flicked through channels and left some black and white movie on.
I fell asleep and got woken up by someone banging on my door. I was kind of agitated; I was having a nice nap. I opened the door and surprise, surprise; it was Mary-Jane.
"Billie, fancy going out tonight?" for once she was sober.
"What time is it?" I asked realising for the first time the sky was black again. Whoa my nap must have been a long one.
"Eight, now come on let's go!" she sounded excited. I shook my head.
"No, I don't real feel like..." being seen in public with you "...going out" I closed the door and turned around back to the sofa.
"But we'd be with Jimmy Brandon" I could feel the smile in her voice. I ran and flung the door open.
For a moment my voice forgot how to work, I could barely reach above a whisper "Really?" I asked astonished.
"For real" she nodded. I followed her to her car closing the door behind me.
Sitting in her car, I tried not to picture myself in her car, but imagine it was someone else's. Everything that was connected to her made me feel uneasy.
"Here we are" her voice was almost a growl as she hit the brakes. I looked out the window and we were right outside the 7/11 except there were a lot of people there.
The usual gang groups - surprisingly they weren't fighting but clicking there beer cans together. The three drunken girls were there too, and about twenty other people I didn't recognise. Any of those twenty could have been Jimmy. I wondered which.
I got out of the car and Mary-Jane flanked me almost immediately. She tried to hold my hand but before she could I pushed it into my pocket. I walked into the 7/11 alone and bought myself some vodka. I made sure the brown paper bag was wrapped tightly around it. I walked out and saw Mary-Jane was outside kissing some other guy, I didn't even care. It made me laugh that she thought that this would bother me. She removed herself from this poor guys face and turned to me.
"Oh Billie, I didn't see you there!" She grabbed the guy by the hand and walked toward me.
"Enjoy" I said taking a swig from my bottle. I sat on a nearby wall and looked at everyone laughing and some even arguing. I just kept drinking. I thought about leaving, may as well get Mary-Jane - I felt the need for some meaningless sex. A chance to feel disconnected instead of feeling connected to all the pain and hate in my body.
I'm a pretty depressing person I have to admit. I hate everything about myself and am constantly in emotional pain. Letting my mind wonder, I started thinking about why I hadn't left home yet. It's not like I couldn't pack my bags up and run off into my own personal sunset, I mean I was nineteen but the idea of leaving my mom alone made me feel really uneasy. I couldn't stand the woman but I'd been her crutch for so long. The idea of leaving would be cruel and beautifully selfish.
"Fuck it" I said out loud and I decided to look for Mary-Jane so I scanned the crowd, and stopped when I saw the ass of this girl. Jesus she was nice. I drank a sip of my drink and stood up. Oh man, alcohol had gone straight to my head. I walked over and tapped her on the shoulder she turned around.
She had a cute little face, nice boobs and really short blonde hair. I was looking for a quick score and by her face she looked easy.
"Hey, baby" I slurred.
"Hello to you too!" her eyes looked me up and down, she liked what she saw.
"You look real lonely" I said before taking a sip from my drink.
"Oh, I really am" she giggled.
"You want a drink?" I lifted my bottle in the air slightly. She took it from me and took a swig.
"Let's hang out for awhile huh?" I didn't realise she was tipsy until she took a step forward and I had to catch her. "Sorry been drinking since six" she laughed loudly. I put my arm around her and her hand went round my waist. We walked over to the wall I was at previously.
She took the drink from my hands and took a really big swig. I smiled and took a swig too, but nothing came out.
"Oh none left" I laughed. I looked at her face, she was really pretty. She was wearing far too much makeup though. I hadn't realised what she was wearing until I was looking down at her; this tight - and I mean tight - dress, that left little to the imagination.
She grabbed my hand and dragged me off the wall; her face was really close to mine. I smirked, I was pretty sure if she let go of my hand I'd fall over.
Then I felt uneasy, the last person I'd held hands with was... I felt pain tore through me, I would not think her name. I needed to focus, I had this chance to disconnect infront of me.
"Why don't we just sit here?" I said while my free hand rubbed her arm. I heard her let out a small sigh.
"Let's go cause a little mayhem instead" her voice was high pitched and excited. She dragged me into the 7/11 and into the frozen food isle. I put my face close to her ear.
"What's your name?" I whispered.
"Sarah" her voice was no louder than mine. I kissed Sarah's neck and she moaned a little. She pulled my face to hers and kissed me. It wasn't a good kiss but I didn't care, I was too drunk to care. I felt my hand go up her dress, I couldn't stop it. My hands had a mind of their own. She pulled away biting her lip and turned around skipping away.
Sarah suddenly started throwing everything off the isles. It was hilarious. I joined in, we were falling all over the place and the owner wasn't even in the shop, he must have been out back.We both seemed to be on the same wavelength and we both ran behind the counter. She grabbed two bottles of Malibu and I grabbed a bottle of wine, we shoved each of them into individual brown bags.
Every time we looked at each other, we just burst into laughter. We ran out of the shops holding the bags and each other close. Everyone seemed to get what was going on and ran into the 7/11 too. We sauntered back to the wall and put the bags beside us.
We started kissing again. Her hands were down the front of my jeans and if anyone was around they didn't notice. My head was swimming I couldn't remember her name. Was it Sarah or Zara? I didn't care. Sarah or Zara's hands were doing a good job down my jeans.
Suddenly I felt a tap on my shoulder. I didn't stop kissing her. Whoever tapped my shoulder made a weird coughing noise.
I turned my head around annoyed.
"What?" I said through my teeth then I realised there was this huge guy was looking down at me. Jesus he was tall. The girl took her hands out my jeans and moved away from me a little.
"What do you think you're doing?" he jabbed his finger in my chest.
"What do you think? Calm down dude" I turned back to the girl who was smiling at me. He pulled me around again.
"Yeah well that's my girlfriend" he snarled and pushed me. I pushed him back. I really shouldn't have because, even though I was drunk I knew that this guy - probably a jock judging by his build - was probably going to kill me, he was about 6ft4 and made me look even smaller than the 5ft7 I barely was.
He pulled my shirt and flung me to the floor. He was on top of me in an instant. He started punching me in the face and I could feel my nose burst.
This guy was going to fucking kill me if he didn't stop. He started screaming something at me but I couldn't hear, my ears were ringing so badly. He raised a fist again ready to hit me. This time I prepared myself and tensed my body.
Then suddenly his body was off of mine, I looked up bewildered.I gasped; this huge guy was in agony beside me and a crowd of people around me. I was vaguely aware of Mary-Jane beside me holding my head up - which she didn't need too.
It took me a few more seconds to realise there was someone really laying into the jock. She was kicking him in the ribs. It looked painful. I whined thinking about being kicked with that force.
Her head turned to me her black hair tied up loosely. It was that girl from last night. She walked over to me and picked me up. Mary-Jane helped her too, I didn't realise I needed support to stand until this moment.
I also didn't realise how much pain I was in until Mary-Jane lifted my arm to hang over the back of her shoulders.
I was in and out of consciousness. One moment I was in a crowd of people, the next I was in an alleyway and the nothing, everything went black for a long time. I heard her voice, she was singing something to herself and I heard a tap turn on. I opened my eyes.
The room I was in was covered in graffiti. I turned my head to see that I was propped up against a toilet. Her face was suddenly beside mine. Her black hair was now down.
"Jesus, kid" she said while putting something wet on my nose.
"Whats-yer-name?" I slurred, was I still hammered? Or was this just pain?
"Did you just call me whatsername?" her voice seemed quiet. I tried to shake my head but then everything went out of focus I was unconscious again.
This time when I woke up I was in a bedroom, my own bedroom. She was sat at the bottom of my bed.
"Hey" I sat up carefully, but nothing seemed to be hurting.
"Billie, your one crazy guy, I'll tell you that." She shook her head her voice seemed to be bored.
"What's your name?"I asked.
"Whatever you want it to be." She looked annoyed.
"Fine I'll call you..." I pondered for a moment and she smiled a little. "I'll call you... Gloria." A beautiful smile spread across her face.
"I like Gloria" she patted the bed beside me and got up.
"Hey were you going?" I got of bed and realised I was in different clothes. I looked down confusion filling my face.
"Oh that girl - red hair, muffin top, and awful makeup - changed your clothes" Gloria shrugged.
"Her name's Mary-Jane" I said, whilst cringing at the thought of her undressing me.
"She's off doing someone cocaine" Gloria pulled a face of disgust "It's not even hers she stole it from some guy" She turned to leave the room but I caught up with her and grabbed her arm.
"Were you going?" I asked keeping my grip on her tight.
"Holiday" her big blue eyes flicked to the bag beside my door. Did she take it everywhere?
"Hmm, were you going on holiday? I thought coming here was sort of a holiday for you?" I could feel her trying to get out of my grasp.
"I'm going to hitch-hike for a few days, find somewhere to stay." Gloria ripped her arm from my hands.
"I can drive you anywhere... it's the least I can do after you kicked that guy in for me" I laughed and she smirked grabbing her bag.
"Don't you have to stay home with mommy, kid?" her voice was sarcastic.
"Listen I need a holiday too, it might be nice to get out of this hell hole for a while... do some crazy things and have a crazy time" I put a hand through my hair. I tried not to tear up; it would kind of hurt if she said I couldn't go. I don't know why it would. It'd probably hurt because it felt like a huge window of opportunity, a chance to get out of here leave. Just run. I'd like that.
She seemed to sense my thoughts.
"You want to go on a crazy run with me?" Gloria snorted "You have no idea what you're getting yourself in for kid. Am as crazy as they come, I'm insane. Anyway you can drive me to the nearest hotel... I don't really want you sticking around" Gloria turned and walked out of my bedroom. I followed her; this chick was my new escape. This chick was what was going to be keeping me busy. I followed her outside then led her to my car.
She got in the front seat and put her seatbelt on before I'd even opened my door. I didn't bother with my seatbelt and went to turn the keys. I realised then they weren't in the car.
"Be right back" I said quickly. Gloria rolled her eyes.
I walked into my house and searched frantically, I picked up a box of cigarettes and my car keys. I turned and saw my mom at the door way.
"Where you going?" she stamped her foot.
"Away from this" I put the tab box in my back pocket.
"You aren't leaving me!" She walked forward and pushed me and started punching my chest. I grabbed her hands. I took a breath. I exhaled slowly.
"I've done the same thing a million times with you; I've tried to help you but not this time. I'm leaving. Regardless whether people want me to stick around or not - I'm leaving; there isn't anywhere you can go to stop feeling the shame of driving your son away. I'm leaving home and I'm not coming back." I throw her hands down and marched out. I got in the car and Gloria looked kind of startled.I guess she heard.
"Get a bag" she suddenly said, I put the keys in my car "GO GET A BAG." Her voice was stern. I looked at her and nodded. I went back into the house and into my room. My mom was behind me the entire time not saying a single word. Silently I grabbed a big bag and went to my dresser. I shoved all my underwear and clothes into my bag. I ran to my bed and lifted up my mattress; there were about five rolls of cash, I shoved them into my bag too.
I flung my bag over my shoulder and left my house.
I kept my face away from my mothers. I walked out the front door and threw my bag in the back of my car. I went over to the driver's side.
"I won't apologize, I've done nothing wrong." My mother's voice was fierce.
"Hey, I don't care, if you don't care" I opened the door and slammed it shut.
"Drive." Was all Gloria said and I sped out of there.
I didn't look back once. I just kept focused on the open road in front of me and I kept my head focused on the 'Holiday' I was about to have.


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