Quarter After Dawn

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Mary always hated Phoenix. It was hot and sweaty and nothing like San Diego's up-beat lifestyle. And when she's forced into her father's custody for a year, she hates her life more than ever. Her new school doesn't satisfy her, and she hesitates on making friends. And once she does open up, she instantly hits 'Miss Popular' rank in her entire school. Every boy drools, and every girl becomes jealous. Little does she know, one person out of the crowd is waiting to capture her heart. Rather to break it or keep it safe, is for her to find out..

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Quarter After Dawn

Submitted: August 10, 2010

Reads: 158

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 10, 2010

A A A

A A A

C h a p t e r O n e ;
It wasn’t that she didn’t understand, she simply chose to ignore it. Mary sighed and ran a hand through the thick curls of chestnut brown hair that hung loosely at her shoulder. Her mother never understood what she did, nor would she ever for that matter. Mary stared out the window at the blurs of brown sand and green trees flashing by her. Traveling to Phoenix in the early spring didn’t excite her, and her mother’s constant nagging made the trip even worse and more painful than intended. The air conditioning system was fried, the radio was broken, and Mary’s phone was dead.
Overall, she wasn’t a very happy camper.
She sighed, leaning her head against the headrest of the tattered leather seat, closing her eyes in a desperate attempt to drown out the nags and comments that flowed from her mother’s lips. She didn’t mind coming to her father’s for a weekend or so. But being forced against her will to leave her life in San Diego to live with her father for an entire year? She dreaded this.
It wasn’t that she didn’t like her father; she’d much rather live with her quiet, barely-around father than her nosey, bubbly mother. She’d simply rather stay in San Diego with her friends. But her mother ignored her desperate pleas and begs to let her stay. Her mother was intent on putting Mary with her father. And that was that.
‘Just two more hours…’ Mary whispered quietly to herself, tapping her fingertips impatiently on the armrest. ‘Two more, Mary. Two more.’ she repeated over and over again to herself, hoping that maybe, just maybe, this was just a horrible nightmare and she’d wake up at her best friend’s, Allison, swim-party this weekend.
“Audrey, are you even listening to me?” her mother barked. Mary cringed and swallowed back the vile words that urged their escape through her lips. She hated her name. ‘Audrey,’ she thought. Oh yes, it was a nightmare. But she wouldn’t be waking up from this one. Ever.
‘Yes, Mom. I’m listening.’ Mary said dryly. Her mother scoffed and rolled her eyes, gripping the steering wheel tighter. She wasn’t necessarily angry with her daughter; she was anxious to see her ex-husband. Part of her longed for him each night she laid with her husband for three years now, but she knew she couldn’t return to his arms.
Mary sighed and shook her head, resting her chin in the palm of her hand and placing her elbow on the armrest of the seat. She closed her eyes slowly, yawning a little and tucking a stray curl behind her ear. She missed San Diego already, and she hadn’t even been gone a full day already. This next year would be difficult. Very difficult.
The rest of the ride to 4203 Gravel Hut Road in Phoenix, Arizona consisted of a stop at Taco Bell and Mary drifting in and out of light sleep. She yawned and stretched as the car pulled into a high-dollar neighborhood. Black iron gates were placed at the entrance, brick wall surrounding the entire Gravel Hut community.
“Dad can afford this place?” Mary mumbled, more to herself than to her mother. She looked at each of the large houses on either side of the wide, freshly paved road. Every house was surrounded by neatly mowed bright green grass and a few shade trees, a narrow concrete pathway that led to the sidewalk next to the road, and a black number painted on the door frames. Perfection seemed necessary in this neighborhood. Each house seemed flawless, and every family inside were probably snotty rich people, Mary assumed. ‘Great choice, Dad.’
“Ah, 4203.” her mother said quietly, pulling into the second to last driveway on the right side. She smiled to herself. It’d been ten years since Ruth had last seen this red-brick, two-story house. Ten years since she packed up her life and kids and left her husband. Ten years had changed everyone. Not too much, she hoped.
The front door opened and out came a tousled brown haired man in a gray T-shirt and faded blue jean, his hair graying at the roots and his green eyes full of excitement. Mary swallowed hard, wrapping her hand around the silver lever to open the door. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. The last time she talked to her father was Christmas and she told him she hated him. Maybe he’d forgotten. At least she prayed he did. She pulled the lever down and pushed the door to the old stationwagon open with her foot, cringing when it creaked and slammed into the metal trashcan. She frowned a little and smiled apologetically, accepting her father’s gentle smile and stepping out of the car. Her mother turned the car off and pulled the key out of the ignition, taking a quick peek in the mirror before smiling at her daughter’s father and stepping out of the car.
“Hello James.” she said softly, closing the door behind her and smiling at him. He returned the smile as they exchanged a hug.
“Hello Ruth,” he replied. “You look great.” She smiled and laughed a little to ease her nervousness. She ran her hands over her purple blouse, clearing her throat and smoothening a wrinkle.
“Thank you.” she smiled, flashing her bleached white teeth behind her thin red lips. Ruth looked young for her age, thanks to several thousands of dollars put forward into her appearance. Instead of looking forty-three, she looked twenty. Her light brown hair was pulled back into a messy bun, her bright blue eyes accented nicely by the crème eye shadow painted across her eyelids. Mary sighed and popped the trunk open, walking to the back of the car and trying to ignore the knot in her stomach.
“Geez, pack a whole house in this thing, did you?” James chuckled at his own joke after joining her at the back of the car. He ruffled her hair a little and smiled warmly. “I’ve missed you, Kiddo.”
“Kay.” Mary replied dryly. Mary wasn’t amused by any of this. This trip, this house, this city, and this life itself just simply didn’t satisfy her right now.


© Copyright 2020 kelliskylinee. All rights reserved.

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