Mickey's Lessons on Bad

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 3 (v.1) - Chapter 3

Submitted: June 24, 2017

Reads: 32

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Submitted: June 24, 2017

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A gentle knock came from the bedroom door, and Michelle weakly croaked, “Come in.

The door opened wider and wider until it revealed an elderly woman standing behind it. Entering the room with a glass of tea in her left hand and a plate of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies temporarily balanced on her left forearm, lodged in the crook of her elbow, Mariana Richmond inquired, “Ellie, my darling, how are you feeling?”

Michelle’s arm slipped over her eyes, and she muttered, “Better, I guess.”

Her grandmother clicked her tongue, placing the glass and plate on the nightstand beside the bed. “Well, rest up until you’re a hundred-percent. I’ll be down––”

“Quit babying her, Na,” snapped a familiar voice coming from the doorway.

Michelle didn’t need to look up to know it was none other than her older cousin, Francesca (or Fran, what everyone called her). Fran was a year older than Michelle, attending the local community college since she couldn’t afford anything else. She had always been considered an older sister instead of a cousin to Michelle, because Fran had been living with Michelle’s family for as long as either girl could remember before they moved into their grandparents’ house together. Everyone easily believed that the two girls were sisters––with their matching curly, light blonde hair; very light, almost icy, blue eyes; and petite figures––so that was what they always told people whenever they asked their relationship.

Oh, hush, you!” Mariana hollered. “Ellie isn’t feeling well.”

“She puked once––and that was a week ago and at school,” Fran snapped back. Michelle dropped her arm from her face to glance over at her irritated cousin. “She’s just in the dumps over the break-up. She can’t become a high school dropout over a guy.”

Michelle cringed at her words, but couldn’t disagree. She definitely couldn’t avoid Logan and Olivia forever, but then again, they weren’t the only reason she was avoiding school. A certain untamed-haired bad boy kept coming to mind and leaving her with terrible stomachaches. She couldn’t risk running into Mickey after the whole car incident––after slapping him across the face. Mickey frickin’ Varsity of all people!

Her thoughts were suddenly broken when a hand gently stroked her cheek. Michelle looked up and found a pair of dark navy blue eyes staring into her light blue ones. She wanted to reach up, catch a lock of her grandmother’s hair, and tease her about her cheap, extremely light blonde hair dye not doing a good job at hiding the gray, but couldn’t muster up the energy to do so.

“Ignore your sister,” Mariana murmured softly with another caress. She refused to acknowledge Fran as anything other than Michelle’s sister––as a part of her original family––as the only daughter of Joseph and Faye Richmond, two names dead to the family. “I know you’ve been having really bad indigestion––”

“Cookies ain’t gonna help indigestion,” Fran snapped.

A mischievous smirk that only Michelle could see spread across her grandmother’s face. She whispered, “Feel better, darling,” kissed her forehead, and left the room––not without stopping next to Fran and asking, “Don’t you have class?”

The eighteen-year-old smirked at the retreating figure and shot back, “In an hour!” She then looked into the bedroom and frowned at the sight of her younger cousin. “You okay, kiddo?”

Michelle stayed silent for a moment then said, “No… I don’t think so… Honestly, I don’t know.” A groan escaped her lips, and she draped her arm over her eyes again, whimpering, “I don’t know, Fran.” From the silence she received in response, she thought Fran walked away until her older cousin finally spoke after two minutes.

Love…” Fran’s voice trailed off then picked back up. “It’s deceptive. It’s an illusion. One minute, you think someone loves and cares for you, but then, the next moment, you discover they cared more about keeping up the illusion to avoid hurting you with the truth.” There was pain in her voice, and Michelle knew what she was really talking about.

Joseph and Faye Richmond––the perfect couple, the imperfect parents. They had a child too young in their relationship and lives. They just weren’t prepared. And Fran had to deal with the repercussions. One day, out of the blue, Faye picked up Fran from preschool, took her to Aunt Vanessa’s house, and left her at the footsteps with a “Mommy loves you, Francesca. She’s just not ready. See you later, baby.” Fran hadn’t seen her birth parents in fourteen years. No one had seen or heard from Joseph and Faye Richmond for fourteen years––they just picked up everything and left that very afternoon.

“As much as I loved Logan as a baby brother,” Fran continued, breaking Michelle’s thoughts, “he was always a wild, adventurous one. You held a good grip on him for the past four years, but he was bound to experiment. Don’t worry, though, he’ll come to know what he’s missing.” She winked. “Everyone comes crawling back to the Richmond girls eventually.”

Michelle could cringe at her cousin’s words. Although she was trying to be reassuring, they both knew that wasn’t true. Fran’s parents never came back; Michelle’s parents will never come back; and Logan was no different from either couple. They both knew he was over Michelle. Michelle was always one who listened to the rules, took everything one step at a time, and played life safe while Logan was always one to break the rules, try leaping to the finish line with the least amount of steps necessary, and picture life as an adventure in his eyes. She was never going to change, and neither was he. Why would he want to be anything other than a friend to Michelle?

Knocking on the front door––followed by Mariana shouting, “I’m comin’, I’m comin’!”––interrupted the girls’ conversation.

Fran gently, empathetically smiled at Michelle, and said, “It’ll take awhile for the inner wounds to heal, but you can’t skip school forever ’til it does. Feel better, kiddo. Rest up.” She closed the door and walked off, shouting, “Na, who’s that?”

Michelle sighed, let her arm slip off her face, and stared up at the ceiling. Fran was right––the seventeen-year-old could not hide forever. She already missed a full week of school, and it was only the second week since school started. Her eyelids grew heavier and heavier.

Maybe it was better if she took a nice, long nap… She hadn’t been able to remotely sleep well for the entire, well, month.

*

God. I hate my hair with a burning passion,” Francesca grumbled to herself with a hairpiece in her mouth as she pulled back her bushy, blonde hair in a struggle to put it all up into a ponytail. Although she still had less than an hour until class started, she needed to get going as soon as––

Fran!

She paused in step, standing in front of the kitchen doorways but in complete view of the house entrance. She looked over at the front door and felt the urge to grab a knife and chuck it at the pretty boy standing there’s head, but instead forced a smile on her face. “Oh, Logan,” she said as politely as she could while approaching her grandmother and her cousin’s ex-boyfriend. “What’re you doin’ here?”

“Logan came here to drop off the tupperware I gave his mother,” Mariana started, and Logan finished, “And to drop off Michie’s homework. She hasn’t been in school all week, so since I’m the neighbor, I’ve been the designated delivery man of her assignments.” His gray eyes flickered around the house. “Where is Michelle? How’s she feeling? I heard ‘bout her throwing up during gym…” His lips dipped in a frown.

Fran could tell how he was genuinely concerned for her younger cousin. Too bad the concern and just the boy in general pissed her off. She swiftly snatched the pile of paperwork from his hands, and a cynical smile spread across her lips. “How kind of you, Logan,” she purred in a sickly sweet tone.

“If you may excuse me, I need to start preparing dinner for tonight,” Mariana interjected, already heading into the kitchen. She knew how Fran felt about Logan and preferred not to intervene. “Tell your mother I said, ‘Hello,’ Logan. Have a nice day.”

“You too,” he responded naively.

Fran placed her hand on the doorknob and already had it halfway shut by the time she chimed, “And that’s your cue to leave.”

His gray eyes met her light blue eyes that resembled Michelle’s. He visibly winced at her words and said, “Franny, those words hurt. I’ve known you since we were in diapers.”

“You’ve known Michelle even more so since you both were the ones in diapers. Think ‘bout your words,” she sneered back. “Better yet––stay away from my little sister, Logan. You’ve always been more harm than good anyways, and it’s only taking Michelle now to realize that.”

“We’re still friends.”

“Tell me ‘bout it… preferably through song.” And––slam!––the front door was shut in his face. Fran gritted her teeth and felt her fists shake in anger. She never had been a fan of the O’Connors family. Seeing as Charlestown was made of diverse socioeconomic classes (half being lower-middle class and the other half being split between upper-middle and upper classes), the Richmond and O’Connors families were considered a part of the lower-middle class. However, in Fran’s opinion, the O’Connors had a tendency of acting a bit too high and mighty for their socioeconomic status––and it really pissed her off.

Mariana sighed from the doorway of the kitchen and said, “Cut the boy some slack, Francesca.”

Cut the boy some slack?” echoed Fran, spinning herself around to stare at her grandmother in utter disbelief. “He broke Michelle’s heart, Nana.”

“I’m not siding with him.” Mariana rolled her eyes and dangerously waved a butcher knife in the air, saying, “If I could, I would chop off his balls with this thing.”

And?

And I won’t, because what goes on between Logan and Michelle is between Logan and Michelle. You’re not making your little sister’s heart feel any better with threats aimed at the boy.  You are, however, causing conflict between the Richmond and O’Connors families. As much as I hate that bitch Lucy,” who was Logan’s mother, “I don’t want any trouble with them, so watch your tongue, young lady.”

Mariana and Fran stood off in a small staring match until the younger Richmond woman snorted, walked to the front door, and said, “I need to get to my class. Don’t expect an apology to Logan.”

“Of course I don’t.”

“Good.”

Please no drama.”

She swung open the door and stepped outside, muttering, “Fine.” The door slammed behind her. Fran walked over to her black, seven-year-old Hyundai Elantra, sneaking glances at the O’Connors household that was to the left of their house. No one was outside, but right as she reached her car, a fancy Jaguar parked right in front of her despised neighbors’ property and a bleach blonde girl in a tight, mid-thigh length sundress stepped out of the car, slipping her Gucci shades over her head.

Must be Logan’s new girl,’ Fran thought bitterly, sitting in the driver’s side and turning on the car. She didn’t pull away quite yet as she continued watching the girl’s path.

The girl walked right up to the front door and rung the doorbell before patting down the back of her dress in a way to make sure her butt was covered. Logan was––of course––the one to open the door. It didn’t look like any words were exchanged when Logan already slipped his hand into her hair and kissed her passionately on the doorsteps.

Fran snorted. She wasn’t the least bit surprised Michelle threw up from the shock of witnessing her ex have such PDA with a new girl. (Talen informed her beforehand how Michelle hid in the bathroom, crying hysterically, when she saw Logan make-out with the same girl in the lunchroom.) She finally drove off, glancing in the rearview mirror every now and then to see them still making out on the porch––and it was the last thing she saw before finally turning the corner onto the main road.

“That asshole is dead if he tries anything with Michelle,” Fran grumbled to herself as she grew to regret not punching Logan in the face when he was willingly on her property. If his parents tried any legal business, she would have claimed it was out of self-defense (and her grandmother would’ve backed her statement up without hesitation).

Pulling into the Dunkin’ Donuts five minutes away from her house, she stepped out of the car and walked inside, daydreaming about the court case if Fran did punch Logan and his parents sued. She imagined the judge declaring, “Since Logan is a massive douchebag, he gets life in prison,” and everyone––other than his crying mother and upset father––erupting in cheers. Michelle even flung herself into Fran’s arms, saying, “Thank you for being the best big sister ever!”

A dreamy sigh escaped Fran’s lips by the time she reached the cashier and handed Bob a five-dollar bill while he tapped her usual order into the machine and handed her the change. She wandered off to the side to give the other customers access to the cashier and waited for her drink. “I hope he burns,” she unconsciously muttered to herself.

“Those’re pretty harsh words, blondie.”

Snapping back to reality, Fran rolled her eyes and didn’t bother a glance behind her at the leather-cladded guy leaning against the counter. “I’m not in the mood to deal with you.”

A deep chuckle rippled from the guy. He chortled, “Only when you’re drunk, you’re in the mood for me.”

“There’s a reason why they coined the name ‘Drinking buddies.’ You stay that.”

Harsh.”

“It’s the truth.”

“So, who you be pissed at this early in the morn, blondie?”

Fran jumped at the chance of escape when she heard Bob holler, despite already holding the drink out toward her, “Vanilla chai!” She snatched the foam cup, spun around, and smiled sweetly at the brown-haired fella leaning against the counter. “As much as I’d love to stay and talk, I have to get to class,” she said sweetly.

A grin slipped across his face, and Fran didn’t like the sight of it. Or, more like, she wasn’t going to like what was about to leave his lips. “It’s ‘bout Michelle, isn’t it?”

“Go away,” she sneered, her face dropping. She was already having a shitty-enough day. Why did it have to keep getting worse?

“I can help her, y’know.”

“No.” She gritted her teeth and took a daring step forward, poking a finger at the small portion of his chest that showed off his black tee underneath all the leather. “I don’t want you anywhere near my baby sister. You got it?”

Feisty,” he chimed.

She took another step forward and repeated, harsher this time, “You got it?

He held up his hands in defeat. “Calm down, girl,” he responded, taking the black coffee Bob handed over to him. (Bob didn’t even bother trying to call out the drink this time, noticing the high tension between the pair.) “I only suggested I can help. I didn’t say I will help.” There was an underlying tone in his voice that rubbed Fran in the wrong way.

“Mickey Varsity, I will castrate everything you have if you go anywhere near Michelle.”

His auburn eyes wore a grin more mischievous than the one his lips. “Yes, ma’am.”


© Copyright 2017 Lynn Ozog. All rights reserved.

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