Broken by Christa Cervone
Released 2/28/13 ~ Self Published
Exclusive Scene from one of the visit's to see Helen, Leila's Doctor:
“Garrett, tell me how you and Leila met?” Helen asked inquisitively.
My eyes shifted in Leila’s direction and she was staring at me. I gently ran my hand over her thigh, flashing her a quick smile then turning my attention back to Helen.
“We met through a friend,” I responded emphasizing the word friend.
Helen quickly picked up on that. “Why do you say friend that way?” She asked giving me a half smile.
“Leila, has never told you this story?”
Helen’s head turned slightly towards Leila. Her entire body tensed up.
Running my hands through my hair I laughed. “Leila dated one of my friends before we started dating.”
“And your friend didn’t mind that you started dating his ex-girlfriend?” Helen asked surprised.
I smiled at Leila. “Nah. She wasn’t his type.”
“His type?” Leila blurted out.
“Come on Babe, you have to admit you were too good for him.” I couldn’t help but smile at her.
“Well now you really have me intrigued,” Helen said, crossing her legs.
“You want to tell the story?” I asked.
“No. By all means have at it.” Leila exhaled heavily rolling her eyes.
I knew she was annoyed at me for bringing this up, but I didn’t understand why. She never liked talking about how we met.
A huge smile appeared across my face as I began to relive our first meeting.
“Hey Ma, I’m home,” I yelled into the living room as I passed through the kitchen throwing my lunch box onto the island that was in the middle of the room.
“Garrett? Is that you?”
“Yeah Ma. It’s me. Who else would it be?”
“Sean and some girl stopped by about a half hour ago. Sean said to call him when you got home.”
“Okay Ma. I’ll call him when I get out of the shower,” I said as I stepped into the bathroom.
Fuck! I totally forgot Sean wanted to set me up with his ex.
Sean and I had two totally different tastes in girls. Sean liked the cheap looking girls who tried really hard to look good but fell short. I was into the more natural beauty. One who didn’t need to try to look good, one that was just beautiful.
How the hell was I going to get myself out of this one?
I stood under the showerhead letting the hot water beat down on me. Today had been a long day at work. Our busy season was over, so it was a lot of standing around. I began racking my brain on how the hell I was going to get out of meeting this chick. Sean only lived a few streets over and he would show up if I told him no. He had been talking about this for over a week. I’m not sure why he was hell bent on setting us up.
Turning off the water, I grabbed a towel from the hook on the back of the door wrapping the towel around my waist. Opening the bathroom door, I quietly snuck into my room. The last thing I needed was my little brother realizing I was home. He was only nine and always wanted me to play video games with him. That kid was a video game junkie. When I was his age, my mother forced me to go outside and play with my friends. I guess that's what happens when you have three children. You kind of just give up after the third one.
I ever so carefully shut my door behind me, no sooner had I pulled on my jeans my cell was going off. I could tell by the ring tone it was Sean. This kid was relentless.
“What Up?” I said answering my phone.
“What hell man. Where have you been?”
“Sean, I just got out of work. It’s only 3:30,” I said annoyed.
Completely ignoring the irritation in my voice, Sean asked, “So are you coming over or what?”
“Or What?” I replied laughing. “I don’t know, Man. You and I don’t have the same taste in girls. I think I’m going to pass.”
Sean’s voice went to whisper, “Dude, you gotta get over here. She’s totally into you. She saw the picture of you.”
“Picture?” I repeated.
“Yeah, the one that is on your fridge. She’s not like the other girls I have dated. She is definitely more your type.”
Letting out a huge sigh. “Alright! I’ll come over. But, I swear to God if she is some cheap floozy that you dated I’m going to kick your ass right in front of her,” I said laughing, hanging up the phone.
I put my new Drop Kick Murphy’s shirt on then dried my hair with a towel. I ran my fingers through my hair to get it out of my eyes and I headed back downstairs.
I peered into the living room. Like usual my mother was watching her soaps as she liked to call them. “Ma, I’m going over to Sean’s for a while. I probably won’t be back until around eleven.” I reached for my jacket that was hanging on the coat rack by the door.
“Okay. Have fun and don’t get into any trouble,” she called to me as I walked out the back door.
My poor mother, I had given her a run for her money when I was younger. I was an unruly teenager that skipped school and snuck out of my room at night to go party. There were even a few times the cops brought me home. I think I single handily aged her twenty years.
Since turning eighteen, I had definitely tamed my ways. I was now working a full-time job and if I didn’t show up, I didn’t get paid. So, I made sure I was there every day. I had just bought a car and had to pay for car insurance.
It was a cool November day and as I walked to Sean’s I stopped at the corner store for a pack of cigarettes. Yet another thing that drove my mother crazy. She was always bitching at me to quit. My father had smoked for years until he finally gave it up. To be completely honest I don’t even know why I started smoking, and I have tried to quit on several occasions but I just keep going back.
I was now standing at the end of Sean’s driveway. I took one final drag of my cigarette then flicked it into a puddle on the side of the road. Feeling myself getting nervous, I ran my hand through my hair and began walking towards the house. I didn’t want tonight to end up a disaster. There is nothing worse than being set up with someone you can’t stand. I slowly walked up the steps and hesitantly walked through Sean’s door.
Sean and I had been friends since we were kids and I didn’t even bother knocking anymore. I was told by his mother just to walk right in. As soon as I stepped into the kitchen I was hit by a wall of smoke. Sean’s parents were heavy smokers as well as heavy drinkers. His mom, dad, and uncle were sitting at the kitchen table playing cards.
“Hey Garrett,” they all said in unison barely even looking my way.
“Hey everyone,” I said smiling. “Where’s Sean?”
“I think he’s on the back porch,” Sean’s uncle answered.
“Oh okay,” I said turning around to go back out the door I just walked in.
“Garrett,” Sean’s mother said to me in a whisper motioning with her hand to come over to her. “He’s with a girl out there,” she said smiling. “This is the first girl he has ever brought home.”
“Well, I hate to break your heart Mrs. T but they are not dating. That is why I am here. Sean wants to set me up with her.”
I could see the disappointment in her face as I broke the news to her. Sean had told me in confidence that he would never bring home any girl that he dated. He was embarrassed by his parents. They were alcoholics and he never knew what he was walking into when he got home.
“Well Garrett she is very, very pretty,” she smiled at me. I could smell the cheap whiskey on her breath. “I think you two would make a beautiful couple.”
“Don’t get carried away, Mrs. T. I’m only meeting her, not marrying her,” I laughed.
“You say that now Garrett, but I met Sean’s father when I was fourteen years old. And look at us now,” she said grinning ear to ear.
“That’s right Kathy. You are the love of my life. I knew it the first time I laid eyes on you,” Sean’s father said.
Awkwardly, I began backing out of the kitchen before things got really weird. “It was really good to see you guys. I’m going to find Sean.”
“It was good to see you too, Garrett.”
I shut the door quickly and shook my head. I really did feel bad for Sean having to deal with his parents who were drunk all the time. It was a miracle he actually had his head on straight.
As I rounded the house I heard Sean’s laugh. “No you are doing it wrong. You gotta do it like this.”
I froze dead in my tracks. Sean was right. She was definitely my type. Her hair was brown and wavy falling to the middle of her back. She wore very little makeup, and she was on the petite side but everything about her was proportionate. The jeans she was wearing hugged her body in all the right places. She had a black hoodie on and pink Chuck Taylors on her feet. I stood there quietly watching her for a moment, taking her in.
I cleared my throat to make my presence known.
“Bout time you got here. I was trying to show Leila here how to hacky sack. She’s never even heard of it before. Can you believe that?” Sean said in complete disbelief.
“Yeah, actually I can believe it,” I said as I walked up to them. “Hi, I’m Garrett.”
“Hi, I’m Leila,” she said softly pushing her hair behind her ear.
She had the most beautiful blue eyes with the perfect amount of eye makeup to accentuate them and her smile was almost angelic.
“So you’ve never hackied before?”
She shook her head.
Taking the ball from her. “Here let us show you.”
Sean and I took a few steps back. I threw the ball up in the air hitting it with the inside of my shoe in the direction of Sean. We did this back and forth several times demonstrating to Leila exactly how to do it.
“You think you can handle it?” I asked, smiling at her.
“Yeah, I got this,” she said with cockiness in her voice.
“Then bring it,” I replied egging her on throwing the hacky sack in her direction.
I loved a girl with a little spunk and I could tell already she had spunk.
Without even batting an eye Leila kicked her leg out hitting the sack with the tip of her sneaker. The hacky sack went flying and hit Sean in the head.
“What the?” He laughed.
“Heads up, Sean,” Leila said smirking at him.
In complete astonishment I said, “Sean, did you see that? I think we may have just been played.”
“Oh please,” Leila laughed. “It was beginners luck.”
The three of us hung out in Sean’s backyard for a good hour playing hacky sack until it became too dark to see anymore.
“You guys wanna come in? We can order a pizza or something?” Sean asked.
I looked at Leila waiting to see what she was going to say. I was definitely intrigued by her and wanted to spend more time with her.
“Yeah, sure,” she responded glancing over at me. “Are you going to stay too, Garrett?”
“Hell yeah! Pizza is my favorite.”
She gave me a coy smile.
“Come on let’s get you inside it is getting cold out here and you must be freezing with only a hoodie on.”
“I’m okay,” she said leaning into me.
We climbed the two stairs onto the back porch and I pulled my cigarettes out of my pocket.
“Eeewww. . . You smoke?” Leila said with a look of disgust on her face.
I laughed a little. “I take it you don’t?”
“Oh God. No way,” she blurted out.
“Why don’t you go inside and find Sean. I am going to smoke my cigarette and I’ll meet you inside in a few.”
“Okay. . . Suit yourself. You know those things are going to kill you?” She said as she closed the door behind her.
As I lit my cigarette, her words ran through my head. I took my first drag then exhaled “Fuck.” I threw the cigarette onto the ground, putting it out with my foot.
The door opened from behind me. “Garrett the pizza is going to be here in like five minutes,” Sean said as he walked up and stood next to me. “So? What do you think of her? She’s cute. Right?”
“She’s more than cute. I’m just wondering what the hell she saw in you,” I laughed patting him on the back.
“We better get inside before my uncle starts hitting on her.”
The three of us sat in the living room eating pizza and playing cards. Leila was a horrible card player and only knew a few games. Sean and I tried to teach her poker but she gave up after one hand. We ended up playing Go Fish. I had this shit eating grin on my face as I dealt the cards.
“Why are you smiling at me like that?” Leila asked suspiciously.
“Oh, I don’t know probably because I am sitting here playing Go Fish.” I winked at her.
Laughing back she said, “Hey there is nothing wrong with Go Fish.”
“You are right there is nothing wrong with it. It’s just I haven’t played this game in years.”
“Well, I play it all the time with the kids I babysit. You’re lucky I don’t have my Old Maid cards with me. I’d whoop your ass at the game,” she laughed, pushing her leg into mine.
Our eyes met and I couldn’t help but keep staring. Her eyes were mesmerizing to me. I needed to find out more about this girl.
“You wanna take a walk?” Finally came out of my mouth.
“Sure,” she said in barely a whisper as she was still staring into my eyes.
I stood up holding my hand out to her. “Come on.”
“Sean we are going for a walk,” I said looking at Sean.
Jumping up off the couch Sean said, “Cool. Let me grab my coat.”
“No Sean. Leila and I are taking a walk. You’re not invited.”
“Oh. . . Okay,” Sean said with disappointment in his voice.
Taking Leila by the hand. “Come on. Let’s get out of here.”
“Okay,” she smiled.
We slowly walked down the street holding hands. “So Leila. Tell me about yourself.”
“There’s not much to tell. I’m a junior in high school, I love photography, and I babysit. That’s about it. What about you?”
“I’m the oldest of three boys. I live still live with my parents and I work full-time at a paper company right down the street.”
“Wow, we live thrilling lives,” she laughed.
“Ha! Yeah, I guess we do.”
“So you live around here?” Leila asked.
“Yeah, I actually live in that huge house on the corner over there.”
“Holy shit! That is a huge house.”
“Yeah, it used to be a two family house. My parents turned into a one family.” I laughed. “How are you getting home?”
“I’m not really sure. I’ll probably have to call my mom.”
I stopped walking. “I can drive you home if you want,” I said smiling at her.
She quickly looked down at the ground kicking a rock. “Sure,” she said quietly as she tucked her hair behind her ear.
“We’ll walk to my house and I’ll drive you home.”
I walked as slowly as I could trying to delay getting to my house. I wanted to spend more time with her, learn more about her. She told me about her photography and how much she loved taking pictures. Her entire face lit up as she talked about it.
Before I even realized we were standing at the foot of my driveway. “Well. . . Here we are,” I sighed heavily.
I rounded the front of my car unlocking and opening the passenger’s side door for her. Once I knew she was in, I carefully shut the door behind her. My car was an old piece of shit and sometimes the doors stuck. I was praying they wouldn’t tonight.
I opened the driver’s side door and slide in behind the wheel. “So, where am I going?” I asked her as I turned the ignition. My radio began to blare The Drop Kick Murphy’s. Leila began to cringe at the loudness of the music.
Quickly, I turned the volume down. “Sorry. I didn’t realize it was that loud.”
“What the hell was that?”
“You’ve never heard of The Drop Kick Murphy’s?” I gasped.
“Nope. They sound like pirates,” she laughed.
I began to laugh. “Yeah, I guess you’re kind of right they do. Don’t they?”
We both laughed as I backed out of my driveway.
She told me the directions to get to her house. I was trying to figure out a way to keep her with me longer. But nothing was coming to mind.
As we were coming up on a Dunkin Donuts I asked, “You want to stop for a coffee or hot chocolate?” I had noticed she had shivered a few times.
“Nah, I’m good.”
“It’ll warm you up.”
“This may sound really weird. But I don’t drink anything hot.”
“You what?” I said flabbergasted.
“Yeah, you heard me right. I don’t drink anything hot. Not coffee, tea or hot chocolate.”
Giving her a puzzled look. “What do you drink then?”
She then gave me that beautiful angelic smile again. “Diet Coke.”
I laughed loudly. “Did you just say Diet Coke?”
“Yup. It’s my vice. I drink it first thing in the morning to wake me up.”
“Yuk! Soda in the morning?”
“Well that is how I feel about coffee. I can’t stand the taste let alone the after taste.”
Nodding my head. “Fair enough,” I said.
“My street is just past that light,” she said pointing.
I anxiously ran my hand through my hair. The thought of her slipping away was gnawing at me. Think, Garret, Think. I screamed at myself. I quickly remember about a party that was going on at Wales Park this weekend.
“My street is the next one,” she said waking me from my train of thought. “I’m the third house down on the left. The one with all the lights on.”
I pulled into her driveway and put my car in park. We both sat silently as she unbuckled her seat belt.
“Well thanks for driving me home. I’m sure my mother would thank you as well. She can’t wait for me to get my license,” she said politely.
“Oh, I didn’t realize you didn’t have your license yet. How old are you?” I asked.
Smiling she responded, “I just turned sixteen at the beginning of the month. Only six more months and I can get my license. I can’t wait.”
“Well since I missed your birthday that means I need to take you out this weekend so we can celebrate.”
“You didn’t even know me when it was my birthday. Why would you take me out for it?” She laughed nervously.
I moved my body closer to hers. “Well, I was trying to make up an excuse to see you again. But since you just called me out on it.”
“Oh, sorry,” she said innocently moving closer to me.
“I really want to see you again, Leila,” I said softly.
“I would like that,” she whispered back.
I inched my face closer to hers. “How about Saturday Night? I’ll take you out to dinner. Where ever you want to go.”
She nodded her head.
She then moved her face closer to mine and gently brushed her lips up against mine. I slowly pulled her into me pressing my lips harder to hers. I’d been waiting all night to kiss her. I wasn’t expecting her to make the first move.
“Leila, is that why you don’t like Garrett telling this story? Because you made the first move?”
Helen’s voice brought me back to reality. I could feel myself smiling at the thought of our first kiss. I turned my attention to Leila waiting to hear her response.
Leila sighed. “It’s not that. I just hate people telling stories about me when I am sitting right here.”
“Well I think it’s a brilliant story and I loved how you told it, Garrett. Thank you for sharing,” Helen said smiling.