Chapter 5: Blue to the Rescue

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

Reads: 32


I went to bed early. I really need a decent night's sleep.

But half an hour later, I'm still staring up at the ceiling, sweating and cursing Hunter's cheapass stepfather.

Even with his stepson living in the house, the sonofabitch won't spring for decent air conditioning or do anything much to make the house livable.

Actually, maybe it's precisely because Hunter lives here. From what I can tell, the two of them do not get along. 

I sit up and switch on the lamp next to my bed, then grab the guitar leaning against the nightstand. 

The instrument's dinged wood has almost as many battle scars as I do. That guitar has kept me sane, or at least saner than I would have been without it. No doubt in my mind about that. 

Plus, it was the last communication I'll ever have from my old man, his peace offering.

I never even thanked him for it. I figured I'd have time to do that later, after I'd let him suffer a little longer for all he put me through.

But we both ran out of time.

Sweat runs down my back, and suddenly, I can't stand to sit there any longer. 

I jump off the bed and head out to the front porch, still holding my guitar. I'm thinking maybe I can play for a while out where it's cooler. Maybe that'll soothe my crazy-ass brain enough that I can get some sleep.

I slump into the squeaking porch swing and bring the guitar to rest on my lap. But a chirping army of cicadas shatters my plans before I even start playing. Too damn noisy to be able to focus on the music.

At least the house is quiet, for the moment. 

Hunter went out around seven and probably won't be back until very late, if he comes back at all. 

He usually gets lucky. Hunter can talk most girls into anything, at least until they get to know him better. And even then, some are willing to give him a pass. I guess he's that good. Or maybe they like his treat-'em-like-dirt attitude. I just don't get it.

Kendra gave me a scalding look this afternoon when we passed each other in the kitchen, but she didn't say anything. She doesn't say much to me nowadays.

That's probably for the best.

I play a couple of chords, telling myself I should just stay away from women altogether. 

Then I hear noises above me. I slide out of the swing, slipping the guitar over my shoulder and stepping off the porch. 

I look up toward Keegan's room. Her bedroom light is shining into the tree in the front yard, and I can see her sitting on the roof. It looks like she's writing something.

"Hey," I call up to her, "you discovered the best spot in the whole house."

"Hey," she responds after a moment, closing whatever she was writing in. 

"Feel like some company?" I hadn't planned that. It just popped out. 

There's a long pause. Seriously? Is she going to say no?

"Sure," she finally responds, sounding less than enthusiastic.

Ouch. The girl isn't making it easy. 

Maybe I should take the hint and stay away from her, like I just told myself to do. But I really would like to get to know her a little better.

There's something about Keegan. And I'm pretty sure she's into me. I can feel it. So why not take a chance?

But of course, I don't just take the stairs to her room like a normal person. Blue-to-the-Rescue always likes to make a big entrance. 

That's what the guys in my unit started calling me after I helped out a group of Afghan civilians stranded in their flooded village. 

And that's what I was doing later, when everything went so wrong in Afghanistan. I was just trying to help.

But no one else would see it that way.

I shake my head, trying to chase away the memories. I turn toward the tree and jump up into the lowest branches, the guitar still on my back.

"What are you doing?" Keegan sounds shocked, but also, I could swear, a little excited.

I turn to grin at her as I begin to climb. "I'm coming to see you."


Submitted: December 29, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Emily Blaze. All rights reserved.


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