276 pages

1st Books Library
(March 1, 2002)




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Reflecting back upon my life and all the joys and sorrows I have experienced, it’s clear to me that all the hardships that I have endured have made me into the person I am today.It’s funny how young people always map out their lives to the very last detail thinking that they know exactly what they want and how to get it.That may be true to a certain extent, but what they do not know is that there are just things in life beyond our control. Circumstances that just change your entire life. Sometimes the road you are traveling on can take a turn and you find yourself on a road you thought you would never take.

People are like ships being tossed around by life’s current. There are times when the ocean is calm and other times when one encounters stormy seas.But through it all, we manage to stay afloat- the strong ones do anyway. But sometimes there are ships that were not built as strong as others and those are the ones that sink. What some people do not realize, however, is that we all sink eventually, the weak and the strong.

My story takes place in a small town named Alexandria in Virginia. It’s a veryquaint town where everybody knows everybody else, at least where I lived they did.My family and I lived in Old Town Alexandria. It was a small portion of Alexandria not too far from Washington DC.It was just like a miniature world of its own.All the buildings looked like little houses all lined up in a row on the streets.

The streets were small and everything in Old Town was walking distance. So no matter what the season, people were always on foot, unless of course they were going out of state or passing through in which case a car is necessary.

Schools and major businesses were not located in Old Town. You had to drive to get to those places, but generally, it was not a bad place to live.That’s where I was born and raised, so I lived there for all of my childhood. I’ll never forget it.You never forget where you grew up.

It was the day ofmy high school graduation-the most exciting and most anticipated time of my life. I was eighteen and I felt invincible. It was as if I had the whole world in the palm of my hands.I was awaiting this day for years and here it was.I knew exactly where my life was going, or so I thought. I was going to graduate from high school and the following Autumn I would go to Georgetown University in Washington DC. It was commuting distance from my home so I could still go to school and live at home with my parents.I was planning on studying to be a lawyer. That’s what I always wanted to be. I had always admired the lawyers on television who would stand in court rooms defending their clients with everything they had. The thrill of victory and the wonderful sensation of winning a case for somebody was so appealing to me. The idea that somebody who is depending on you and who is trusting you so much that they are willing to have you represent them was equally appealing to me.I wanted to be able to win a case for somebody knowing that I put all my blood, sweat, and tears into it.That, to me, was worth all the hard work and dedication.

“Dream! Dream, dear, hurry up. You don’t want to be late to your own graduation, do you?” That was my mother calling. She was a sweet, fragile lady of 42.

“Coming!” I yelled from my room.I just had to adjust my cap, which refused to stay on my short brown hair. I stuck some bobby pins in attempt to keep it in place.It was a warm summer’s day, but there was a breeze in the air that I was sure would knock down my cap if I did not secure it.

I gazed at myself in the full length mirror that lay beside my desk in my bedroom.I did not consider myself beautiful.Actually, I did not consider myself even attractive. I considered myself average-whatever that meant.I was five feet six inches, which was not too tall or short for my age. My hair reached up to my shoulders and it was all one length.It was so plain though, I thought.It had no look to it.It was so thin and straight, it sometimes reminded me of spaghetti as it just fell plainly on my shoulders. I was a bit on the heavy side too.I had a round full face and a full figure that I hated. Looking at my reflection in the mirror, I thought I looked pregnant in my gown.

I leaned over to put the finishing touches on my make-up when there was a knock on my door.“Dream, Brian is here to pick you up.”

“You could come in,” I said to my sister.

Sara Warren opened the door and looked at me.“You’re beautiful!” she exclaimed.

“Oh please,” I said.“In this ugly thing?I don’t think so.”

“You are,” cried Sara, her soft blue eyes starring at me from head to toe. “You’re going to be the prettiest girl graduating.How do I look?”

I turned around to face my sister.My sister was the definition of beautiful.She was tall and slender with a tiny waste, but a full figure. She had long golden hair that touched the middle of her back and was cut into layers, which complemented her soft rose-petal complexion that was as radiant as the sun.

She was wearing a long lilac dress with thick straps that went around her shoulders.Her soft blonde hair was tied back in a pony tail.She was a vision of loveliness.Unlike me, Sara never wore heavy make-up.She did not need to.Her natural self was enough.It was no wonder that guys would drool over her everywhere she went.

“You look gorgeous, as usual,” I said, trying hard not to sound sarcastic.

“Do you mean it?” cried Sara.“It has been so long since I’ve gone back down to that school. I’m shocked they even remember me.”

How could they forget?I thought. Sara had graduated from my high school three years ago.But the principal, Mr. Williamson, had asked me to ask Sara if she would sing for them at graduation.Sara was in the high school choir and she was the best one there. In fact, that was her dream-to become a singer. Indeed, if anybody could sing, it was Sara. She had a voice that captivated everyone who heard her.It was a God-given talent because she had never taken any voice-lessons.

Sara was perfect, or so I used to think.She was beautiful, talented, loved by all, smart, and most of all, she was the kindest person I knew. She did not let her talent or her beauty go to her head. In fact, she was anything but conceited.It was hard to be envious of her because she was so caring and supportive, especially toward me. She was a great older sister. But I guess part of me was always jealous of her.How could I not be? I was no comparison next to her.

“You better hurry up,” warned Sara.“Don’t keep your man waiting.”

“I’m worth it,” I laughed sarcastically.

“That’s right, you are, little sis,” Sara said encouragingly. She was always trying to boost up my self-esteem. “Knock ‘em dead.”

“I’ll see you there,” I told Sara.“And don’t worry, you’ll be great.”I knew she wasn’t that nervous because she was used to singing in public and in crowds ever since she was a little girl.

“Thank you,” Sara said as I gave my sister a hug and rushed out of my bedroom.

Our house was a small cozy three bedroom home. It was one-story and was very old-fashioned.My mother was an antique fanatic and as a result, everything in our house was old-fashioned and reminded me of the middle ages.

“We’ll see you tonight, honey,” my mother called as I rushed out the door.

“Okay, front row, don’t forget!” I called back.

“Front and center!” my mom called as she watched me get into my boyfriend’s car and drive away.

“It’s about time,” Brian remarked as he peeled off into the street.

“I’m sorry, but I had to look beautiful for you,” I said.

He turned to me and smiled, his dimples making him as cute as ever.

Brian Walker was my boyfriend all through high school, but it was not serious until junior year.He was about my height, broad shoulders, pretty buff.He had short wavy dark brown hair and big brown eyes. He was the best.It’s funny how love blinds you to the truth.

“Are you ready?” Brian asked as he stopped at a light.

“Yes. I’m so excited. We’re finally graduating!” I cried.

“I am going to miss high school,” Brian remarked. “Now we have to start acting like adults and behaving maturely. Can you imagine that? We’re actually going to have to start taking responsibility for our own actions.”

I laughed.“Oh no, poor Brian,” I said sarcastically.

“No, seriously, high school was fun.I will miss it,” said Brian.

“We’ll always have memories,” I told him as he started driving into the heart of town.“And we’ll make new and better memories in college.”

Brian and I were planning to go to Georgetown University together accompanied by my best friend Melinda Hendricks.The three of us were inseparable.We were a trio in high school and we would remain a trio in college, which was why I was more excited than depressed.I was going to miss high-school, but I would never lose the two greatest people that shared those years with me.

We got to school.It was six and the sun started to vanish in the late summer sky. When we got out of the car, Melinda ran over to greet us. “Hey you two, you guys are late,” she cried breathlessly.

“Well, Miss. Warren here was too busy getting pretty,” Brian said sarcastically.

I looked over at him and playfully hit his cap.

“I’m just kidding,” he cried getting a hold of his cap. “You do look beautiful, in case I didn’t tell you earlier.”

“No, you didn’t, but thank you,” I said.

Brian pulled me near and gave me a kiss on the lips as Melinda cleared her throat.

“You two love-birds planning on graduating this year?” she asked.

“We’ll meet you out on the field,” Brian told Melinda.

“Okay,” said Melinda.“But don’t linger.”

“We won’t,” said Brian.

As Melinda walked away, Brian leaned over and whispered in my ear. “What are you wearing underneath your gown?”

“A dress,” I answered through a laugh.

“I hope it’s easy to take off,” said Brian as his hands moved around my waste and up to my chest.

“Brian, stop, people are around,” I cried.

“I can’t wait,” cried Brian.“Tonight is finally the night.I’m looking forward more to that than I am to this stupid ceremony.”

“Down boy,” I commented.

“Woof,” Brian said.

Brian and I had never had sex.In fact, I was still a virgin.It was a serious relationship excluding the sexual aspect of it. I just wasn’t ready.It didn’t feel right when we were still in high school. We had fooled around and gotten pretty close, but never all the way, which was my fault.But Brian never complained.I told him that if he loved me, he would wait.He said he would wait because he wanted his first time to be with me.

Then one day, we were very intimate and it almost went too far. I felt that I was ready, but it did not quite feel right. So I had told Brian that graduation night would be the night.I could not imagine a better way to celebrate.In fact, what made me more nervous than the ceremony was what would happen afterwards.

Hand in hand, we walked into the school.The school was not too big.We only had three hundred people graduating in our class. It was an old-looking school. The paint was chipped and the buildings looked as if they would collapse any minute.Rumor had it that they were going to remodel and repaint the school that summer and have it looking as good as new.Of course it did not matter to me since I was graduating.They would do it after I am gone.

The ceremony took place in the football field. It was an enormous field.And it was perfect weather for it.The chairs were all there along with the stage and the podium. I could see the principal setting up the place and people filling up the bleachers.I hoped that Sara and the others were there already.They knew how much I wanted them sitting in the front row. It was a perfect day to graduate. The sun was setting and the sky was an array of colors. The was the smell of change that filled the air.

“Hold it right there you two!” cried George Colins who took a snap shot of Brian and me as we entered the field. “Beautiful!”

George Colins was one of the nicest guys at my school. He was very down to earth and one of those people you just could not help but want to be around.He was someone I knew I would miss after high school.

“I think I blinked,” Brian said.

“I wasn’t ready,” I remarked.

“Nonsense, take a look,” said George as his picture came out and started showing. “Not bad. You two will always be together, I swear.”

“Can I have the picture?” I asked George.

“Sure,” he said handing it to me.“Come on, line up, we’re ready.”

I took the picture and put it in my purse before we took our places. We had to sit in alphabetical order. I was sitting next to Brian, which was lucky due to our last names.

I saw Melinda already in line as she looked over at Brain and me and smiled as if to say, “This is it.”And it was.

The music played and we started walking towards our chairs as people applauded.It was just like we rehearsed it, only this was the real thing.

We took our seats as Sara’s sweet melody filled the air and that was the first place I turned my attention to.She was great.Her voice penetrated across the entire field and to the audience. Everybody was mesmerized as she was singing. Her eyes shifted to meet mine. She smiled at me and it felt as if she was singing just for me.

When she finished, there was a thunderous, deafening applause followed by a dead silence.Mr. Williamson gestured for her to accompany him on stage as he took charge of the microphone.“Let’s hear it for Sara Warren, our high school alumni.”

The crowd gave another thunderous applause as Sara took the microphone and said, “Thank you.I wouldn’t have done it if my sister Dream Warren wasn’t graduating.”

I felt myself blush as Sara made her way off the stage and gave me a warm smile before she sat down by her boyfriend and my mother. Then suddenly, I noticed that my father wasn’t there, or at least I could not see him.Brian took hold of my hand, though I barely noticed.He followed my gaze to the bleachers.

“Where’s your dad?” he whispered, as if reading my mind.

“That’s what I’d like to know,” I said.

“I’m sure he’s just running late,” Brian reassured me, but by then I already felt a knot in my stomach.

The principal introduced the valedictorian who was some nerdy white guy. He was saying something about letting go of yesterday and following our dreams of tomorrow. I was not really paying attention because I was too concerned about my father.

My eyes met with Erik’s, Sara’s boyfriend, who had come down from California with Sara to attend my graduation.He was a close friend of the family’s as well as Sara’s love of her life. He was very handsome, I always thought.He had blonde hair the color of corn and a tan complexion. His eyes were the color of the ocean, so blue and shiny. Erik had a way of looking at me as though he were looking through me and to my soul. It had to be those dazzling eyes, I thought. He had a smile that would melt any woman’s heart.He was a damn handsome and many women thought so, but he was devoted to Sara whose beauty complemented him when they stood beside each other. They werethe perfect couple, I thought.They had been together for six straight years-all through high school and college. They both went to the University of California in Los Angeles.They had made the decision to go there together. It was amazing how long they were together. Secretly, I was hoping the same thing for Brian and me, for I truly felt that he was the one.

Erik smiled at me from afar and I saw Sara right beside him with my mother, but my dad was still no where to be found.My eyes scanned the rest of the audience.


The valedictorian finally finished his interminable speech and made his way back to his chair.I think I heard one of the students snoring.They finally started calling out the names for the diplomas.

Maybe he was running late, I thought. But this late? We were more than halfway finished. Maybe there was traffic. Maybe I just couldn’t see him. That was probably it, I tried convincing myself. I’m sure he was there, but was just hiding behind somebody.But he would be sitting beside my mother.What if he got into a car accident?Why didn’t he go with my mother and Sara and Erik in the first place? Why would he take a separate car?

I could not take it anymore so I let go of Brian’s hand and ran up to my mother.“Where are you going?” cried Brian in a loud whisper.

But I did not respond.I knew everyone was looking, but I did not care.“Dream, go back to your seat,” my mother cried in alarm.

“Mom, where is dad?” I cried.

“Darling, I’ll explain later, go sit down,” my mother said.

“Not until you tell me where dad is,” I demanded, looking at Sara.

“Dream Warren.”

“Dream, they’re calling our your name.It’s your turn,” Sara said.

My eyes started filling up with tears.“I won’t ask again.”

“He could not make it, dear,” my mother said softly. “Now go get your diploma.”

“Couldn’t make it?” I cried as the tears were already falling endlessly onto my gown.“What do you mean he couldn’t make it?”

“Dear, we’ll explain later,” my mother said. “It was a business thing.”

A business thing.That was all my mother told me about that.My father missed my graduation because it was a “business thing.”

“Last call for Dream Warren.”

“Dream, go!” Sara cried.

But I couldn’t.All I could do was run off past the audience and into the night in tears.


Chapter 1



Sara and Melinda found me in the girls’ bathroom after the ceremony was over. “Dream, I’m sure dad would have been there if he could.I’m sure it was an emergency.”Sara told me as she had her arm around me and Melinda was stroking my hair.

I looked up at Sara.“We both know why he didn’t come,” I cried through my tears. “He doesn’t give a damn.”

My father and I didn’t have a close relationship. He clearly loved Sara more and he never hesitated to show it. Sometimes I thought he just didn’t love me at all. He was never proud of me. It was always “Sara this, Sara that.” She was the beautiful one. She was the talented one. She was the smart one. She was the perfect one-or so everybody thought.

My mom was a different story.Whether she loved Sara more or not, nobody could tell because my mom did a great job of showing equal affection to both of us and loving us tremendously.

“Dream, don’t talk like that,” cried Sara.“You know dad cares.”

I looked up at Sara and I wanted to scream to her and tell her that if this was her graduation, then nothing on this earth would prevent my dad from going.In fact, I remembered him video-taping the entire ceremony when Sara did graduate three years ago.

I kept my mouth shut.I didn’t want to yell at Sara.She was only trying to help.

“Brian is really worried about you, you know,” Melinda told me, her black straight hair shinning against the light of the bathroom.

“Come on, Dream, this is your graduation night,” Sara said. “Don’t let this be the way you remember it.”

She was right.It was not every day that a person graduated from high school.This was supposed to be a special day for me. I was not going to spoil it because of my dad-or so I kept saying.

“Go on out, Sara,” I said.“Tell Brian and mom that I’ll be right there.”

“Sure thing,” said Sara as she brusheda lock of my hair away from my face and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

“I’m sure there is some reasonable explanation for your dad not showing up,” said Melinda.But deep down, Melinda knew exactly what I did.

“Are you okay?” asked Brian as I was washing my face.

“Brian! What are you doing in the girls’ restroom?Get out,” I cried as I dried my face with a paper towel.

“Sara told me that nobody was in here but you two,” Brian said. “And I was worried about you.”

I threw my arms around him as he just held me and Melinda continued to stroke my hair.

When I did pull away, I took a hold of both their hands. “Thank you, you guys.I’m sorry I broke down like that.”

“Don’t be," said Melinda.

“I ruined our graduation night.”

“Nonsense!” cried Brian.“I don’t think I could have had a better time.I mean, I would have never guessed that I’d spend tonight in the girls’ restroom with two gorgeous girls.I finally got to see what the girls’ restroom looks like.”

That made both Melinda and me laugh.

“I love you two,” I said.“You two are truly my best friends.”

“We love you too,” cried Melinda.“Now let’s go out there and take some pictures.”

My mother, Sara, and Erik were all waiting for us outside the restroom.

“Honey, are you okay?” my mother asked in alarm as she rushed to my side.

“I’m fine,” I said, a little embarrassed over getting so emotional. “I’m sorry.”

My mother gave me a tight hug as Erik snapped a picture.“Magnifique,” he said in a French accent.

Erik was always so kind to me.I could see why Sara loved him so much.He was one of the nicest, honest, loving people that I ever met. He could always manage to bring a smile to my face.

Just then, my father appeared at Sara’s side. “I was looking all over for you guys in this crowd,” he said breathlessly.Then he turned to face Sara.“I’m sorry I missed your performance, how was it?”

I could feel my blood pressure rise and my heart brake simultaneously. That was all he cared about. As always, Sara was going to be his one and only little princess.It was my graduation and yet he was sorry he missed Sara sing.

I bit down on my lip very hard so I would not cry. I could not afford to lose anymore tears tonight. I was so angry I could not even look at my father.

“The ceremony was beautiful,” Sara said awkwardly.

“Yes indeed it was,” my mother agreed.“I am terribly exhausted though.”

“Let’s take you home,” my father said. “Congratulations, Dream.”

I did not respond.I pretended that I did not even hear him.“Yes, Dream, congratulations,” Sara said as she gave me a hug.

Erik and my mother did as well before they soon turned away and left to go home.I did not have too much time to think about anything as I met some friends and we all just started taking some more pictures.Then I ran into Brian and Melinda’s parents as they too gave me a hug and congratulated me. Then Melinda had to go because she was planning on having dinner with her family.

We gave each other a hug as she told me that she would call me tomorrow morning.She and Brian also embraced before she turned around to leave.

“Let’s get out of here,” Brian whispered to me.

I nodded in full agreement as I turned around to give my high school one last look.“I am ready to go,” I told Brian.

“Music to my ears,” cried Brian, who grabbed my hand and pulled me to his car. We took off our gowns and threw them in the back seat as we got inside his car and drove away.

It was a cool summer’s night.The night was so fresh and clear.There were hundreds of stars that looked as if they were painted against the sky. It was a gorgeous sight.

Brian did not live in the same part of town as I did. He lived in Richmond, which was not too far from my house, but was still a drive away.

“Are you sure nobody will be home?” I asked Brian as we drove off in the night.

“Positive,” Brian said through a smile.“My parents are going to my Grandma’shouse and my brother is out with his girlfriend.I just saw them at the ceremony and they reassured me that they won’t be home.”

“How embarrassing!” I remarked.“They know?”

Brian looked at me with his eyes sparkling. He parked the car in his driveway and placed his hand on top of mine.“Relax,” he said. He then gave me a wink and got out of the car.

I followed.We went inside his two-story house, which was beautiful.I always loved going to his house because it was so gorgeous. It was something that I would not mind living in when I grew up.I even imagined Brian and I living in a place like that after we were married. The front room was very spacious and everything was decorated in a light soft peach color. The carpet was cream colored, which always amazed me how clean it was.But then again, they did not have any children and Brian’s mother was somewhat of a neat-freak.

Brian took hold of my hand and pulled me upstairs and into his bedroom, which was also a very big and spacious room.It actually reminded me more of a den than a bedroom. He had his bed in the corner by the wall and the rest of the room was filled with shelves.He had two enormous shelves across the bed against the other wall filled with books, notepads, and other sorts of stationary. Against the third wall there was his desk, which stretched from one side of the room to practically the other side. He had his computer placed on top beside a pile of other books and papers.

Brian closed the door and pulled me on his bed.


“Shh,” he said.“Don’t say anything.”

I didn’t.I watched him go to his desk and pull out a long box and hand it to me. “I wanted to wait until tonight to give this to you,” he said.

“Brian, you didn’t have to get me anything,” I said.

“I know I didn’t.But I wanted to,” said Brian.“Open it.”

I did.In it, lay the most beautiful golden necklace I had ever seen.It glimmered in my hands.

“Oh Brian, I love it!I wish you didn’t because I didn’t get anything for you.”

“I don’t want anything,” he said in a whisper. “I already have everything I want and need.”

I wanted to cry when he said that.In fact I did.But not because of what he said, because of my father and his insensitivity.

“What’s wrong?” Brian said in alarm.“I thought you liked it.I could return it and get another one.”

“No, no, no,” I said.“It’s not the necklace.I love it. Really.”

“Then what is it?” style='mso-tab-count:1'>

“It’s my father.Oh Brian he does not even care that he missed my graduation,” I sobbed. “How could he be so cruel?”

“He’s a jerk,” Brian said.“I’m sorry to say this, but he is.He doesn’t know what he’s doing.Don’t think about him tonight.This is supposed to be our night.”

I wiped the tears away with my hands. “You’re right.I already ruined graduation,” I said.“I don’t want to ruin this moment with you.Put the necklace on me.”

Brian smiled as I turned my back to him and allowed him to put the necklace on me.I felt so bad that I had not bought him anything.I hated when people bought me stuff and I had nothing to give in return.I knew it was only Brian and that he really did not want me to give him anything, but it still made me feel bad.

He put the necklace on me as I sat there in my dark blue dress, which I was wearing underneath my gown that was still in Brian’s car. It was a plain blue dress and it had a tight fit on me.It had a long zipper in the back and straps on the shoulders.

Brian put the necklace on me and then I felt his lips kissing my neck and working

his way down to my shoulders and to my back. I let my head fall back and my eyes close as his warm lips sent a tingle all through my body. style='mso-tab-count: 1'>

I felt his hands wrap around my waste and his warm breath on my bare shoulders.“Brian...” I whispered.

“I want you, Dream,” Brian interrupted as he pulled me down on the bed and slowly made his way on top of me.His lips touched mine so gently as I felt his tongue search my mouth. All of a sudden, he got up and went to his radio and turned it on to some soft music. He then locked his door and lit a candle that he placed by the night stand beside us.

He looked at me, his eyes longing.I knew that he had put on the music to ease my nerves. I was nervous, no doubt about that. But I was also sure. And looking into his passionate green eyes, I wanted him more than I ever did, and I knew that this would finally be the night we were both waiting for so long.

“Are you ready?” he asked me as he stood by the bed gazing down at me with so much love in his eyes.

I looked up at him.Our eyes met each others.And without another word, he got intobed again and moved on top of me.I knew that his eyes looked into mine and saw that I was ready.That was enough for him.

We started kissing again.With every kiss, I could sense how much he wanted me. And I wanted him too.

“Make love to me, Brian,” I cried in a breathless voice.

Brian kissed me on the lips and then wrapped his arms around me and pulled me up slightly so he could unzip my dress.He unzipped my dress so slowly, my heart was pounding so hard in my chest, I was sure he could hear it.He then tenderly moved his hands to my shoulders and pulled down both straps of my dress off my shoulders before pushing me back down against the pillow. He was able to slide the dress completely off me until I could feel it on my feet, and then it fell to the floor.

With only my bra and underwear on, I lifted up his shirt as he helped me take it off.His chest was so masculine and so beautiful.He took off his pants and tossed them by my dress on the floor. He then fell back against me and continued kissing me from the lips and making his way down to my neck and then to my chest. He moved his hands all through my body and to my back where he found the straps to my bra and unsnapped it before pulling it off my body. I felt his lips move over my breasts and to my nipples.It was as if electricity surged through my whole body.

I let out a sigh of ecstasy as every part of my body welcomed his touch, his kisses, and his gentle caresses.He moved his hands over my stomach and to my underwear that he slid off my body and kicked to the floor before he took his off as well.

Completely naked now, my heart beat was faster than ever. As if Brian could sense it, he whispered, “Relax.”

His kisses grew more intense, more passionate. I could feel his hands all through me while my hands were doing some exploring of their own.I could feel myself breathing heavily as was Brian and my kisses grew more intense as well.

My nervousness was easing more and more with every touch. Brian was so intense. I felt his tongue lick my body making sure he did not miss a spot.He was like a child who was just given some ice-cream and was told that this would be the last time he would ever eat ice-cream again. He licked every inch of me leaving me in a pool of pleasure and desire.

My eyes were closed as I savored every moment of his passion. When I did open my eyes, I watched as he made his way back up my body to my mouth. He seemed so calm and so sure considering that this was his first time too.It made me wonder if it was always the girl who was more afraid her first time making love than the guy. If he was nervous, I thought he hid it well. He did not seem to hesitate the very least and he knew exactly what he was doing. And he was prepared with the protection.

We rolled around and I found myself on top of him kissing him from head to toe.I did not know what had come over me, but I could not stop kissing him and I did not think he wanted me too. Suddenly, he took control again and resumed his position on top of me.The candle was the only light in the room, which was just the right amount of light for us to see just what we needed to see.The light reflecting against his body made him look sexy as ever. style='mso-tab-count:1'>

Then at that moment, the moment I would never forget as long as I lived, I felt him inside me.It hurt so much. I felt my face grimace in pain and pleasure all at once. At that moment, all my fears and anxieties disappeared along with the events of the day.Graduation became a blur and my anger and hurt towards my father also became a blur. All that mattered now was Brian and me. The rest of the world did not seem to exist.

I know I screamed several times during our love-making. At first they were screams of pain, which slowly turned into pleasure. I did not want it to end. But when it did, he just held me. He held me in his arms and caressed my hair whispering to me how much he loved me.

The sweat from our bodies covered one another as we lay there waiting for our breathing to return to normal and our racing heart beats to slow down.

“I love you so much, Brian,” I whispered.

“I love you too, Dream,” Brian responded. Then he caressed my cheek and looked me in the eyes. “Spend the night with me, Dream.”

“I can’t,” I said, although every part of me wanted to. “I told my parents I’d be home late.”

“Do they know what you’re doing?” asked Brian before smiling deviously.

“Oh sure,” I said sarcastically.“I told them I was going over to your house to make wild and passionate love. Of course not!”

“Then call them and tell them we went to a party and we had a little too much to drink so you’ll be crashing with me tonight.”

I was going to argue, but Brian kept kissing me that I finally surrendered. My body felt too weak to get up anyway. “Give me the phone,” I remarked.

Brian smiled as I called home and Sara answered. Of course she didn’t buy it.She knew exactly what I was up to, but she would not tell. She said that mom and dad were asleep anyway so it didn’t really matter.

“I hope you were careful,” said cried.

“Sara!” I said laughing.

“Well, you’re my little sister, you know,” she said.

“I’ll see you in the morning,” I remarked before hanging up and resting my head back on Brian’s chest.

He continued caressing my hair and then he whispered good night and that he loved me before I could feel his breathing getting heavy as he dosed off.

I just starred at him as he peacefully lay. The covers were pulled up against us while our naked bodies remained pressed against one another.As I looked at his angelic-face I thought to myself how much I loved him. I was glad we waited. It couldn’t have been better. I knew he loved me. He waited for me and that proved to me how much he loved me.I knew that we would be together forever.It felt too right for us not to be.Besides, I thought.I could not imagine myself with anybody but him.

I snuggled up closer to him as I watched the flame from the candle die and then I too, dosed off in his arms happier and more content than I had ever been.

Brian dropped me off the next morning and said he would call me later. He must have kissed me a million times before he let me go inside.Last night seemed like a dream, only it felt too good for it to be, which reassured me that it was not.

I glided into the house with my cap and gown in hand. “Good morning, everyone,” I said as I entered.

My parents were at the table having breakfast and Erik was sitting on the couch.He was staying with us as he always did when they came to visit because my parents would not have it any other way.Sara was on the phone and upon my entering she put the phone down. “It’s Melinda,” she told me.

I took the phone and talked to Melinda who said she would be coming over. I said okay and turned around to find everybody starring at me as I got off the phone.

Was I that obvious?I thought. Or maybe they could just see the glow in my face.

“Hello dear, did you have fun last night?” my mother asked.

“Yes, thank you,” I said.My eyes shifted to my dad and when it did, all the events of graduation returned. I had managed to forget about them last night, thanks to Brian, but seeing my dad brought them all back.

Our eyes met and he just smiled as if nothing had happened. I knew in his mind, nothing did. I was too happy to care so I did not let it get to me.

“I didn’t have a chance to give this to you last night,” Erik said as he got up and handed me a gift.

“Erik, you didn’t have to get me anything,” I exclaimed. “That was very sweet of you.”

“I know,” Erik said and then laughed.

“Open it,” Sara urged.

I did.It was a graduation bear holding some flowers.

“Thank you, Erik,” I said as I gave him a hug.

When I pulled away, Erik’s eyes shifted to the necklace that Brian had bought me.“This is nice,” he said as he looked at me with a devious grin.

“Thanks,” I said.“Brian gave it to me.”

Erik nodded as if he already knew.Then he leaned over and whispered, “Was that before or after?”

I felt my cheeks burn up and I knew I was blushing as Erik smiled and gave me a wink.

He then turned to Sara.“Okay, honey, I’ll be packing.”

“Okay, I’ll be right there,” Sara said with a smile as he gave her a kiss.

They were so romantic, I thought.But out loud I said, “You’re leaving already?”

“Yeah, we’re going to head back tomorrow morning,” Sara said. “But before I left, I wanted to ask you something.”

Sara looked at mom and dad and they smiled so I got suspicious. “What is it?” I asked.

“Well, I know you’re already set on going to Georgetown University, but I was thinking what a good idea it would be if you would go to Los Angeles with me. You could go to school at the University of Los Angeles and you and I could share an apartment together.I need a roommate and you’d be perfect.”

One of the schools I applied to was the University of California Los Angeles and I had been accepted, but I only applied because Sara insisted I do so since she went there.She always thought it would be great if I went down there with her, but I always thought she was kidding.

“I already turned them down,” I said.

“So? Trust me, I could get you in,” cried Sara.“It’s not too late. Once you’ve been accepted, it’s a piece of cake.”

“Oh Sara, it would be great, but...”

“But what?” my dad interrupted.“This is a great idea.Do something right for a change.Go with your sister.”

I glanced at my dad and right back at Sara in anger. “No thanks, Sara,” I said calmly. “You know my plans are to stay here. My home is here.”

“Oh Dream, you’re going to have to leave the nest sometime,” said Sara.

“And I will,” I said.“But not right now.”

“UCLA has an excellent law school just as Georgetown,” Sara said trying to persuade me.“And you’ll love California. The weather there is gorgeous, although you can’t really tell when a season changes down there.”

“Sara, I’m sorry, but I’ve made up my mind,” I told her.

“Okay,” Sara said reluctantly.“It was worth a try.Well, I’m sure you’ll be happy either way.”

I smiled and walked to my room and closed the door. I was finally alone.

I took out my notepad and a pen and started writing. One of my hobbies was writing and playing the piano. Although playing the piano was more than a hobby, it was a passion.I liked to write, though because it helped me to release a lot of bottled up anger. It was hard for me to open up to people just like it was hard for me to be outspoken when I should be. So instead of letting my emotions out verbally, I express them on paper.I do not know if I would even call my writing poetry. It was just feelings expressed down on paper-which I guess some call poetry. I never dared show anybody any of my writing. To me, it was private; something that was only meant for me.

After about an hour of writing, there was a knock on my door. I closed my notepad and tucked it under my bed before saying, “Come in!”

It was Melinda.“Hi Dream.”

“Oh hi, come in,” I greeted.

“Sara let me in,” she said, as she closed the door to my bedroom after entering.

“How are you?” I asked as I gave her a hug.

“I feel old,” she remarked as she sat on my bed.

“Already? Melinda, we barely graduated yesterday. So how was dinner with your family?”

“It was good.What about you?” asked Melinda as she let down her long black hair. “What did you and Brian do?”

I looked down.“Nothing much,” I felt my face burning and I knew Melinda could read me like a book. That’s what happens after five years of being best friends.“Oh Melinda, I had such a wonderful time,” I squealed with delight as I sat down beside her on the bed. I took hold of both her hands and looked her straight in the eyes. “We made love.”

Melinda smiled.“You did, huh?”

“Oh Melinda, it was extraordinary,” I cried, no longer able to keep it inside me.“I was so nervous, but he eased all my fears.”

“Are you glad you gave it to him?” Melinda asked.

“Why do you ask?” I said in confusion.

“Well because you always said that you wanted to wait until you were married.”

“That was because I wanted the person I’d give myself to be there forever. But last night, Melinda, oh it was so incredible.I know that he’s the one.He’s the one I’ll be with forever. I don’t need a wedding ring to tell me that.”

Melinda was about to open her mouth to say something when my excitement took the best of me.“Look what he gave me. Isn’t it precious?” I said as my hands touched the necklace that dangled from my neck.

“It’s lovely,” cried Melinda.“I’m happy for you, Dream.I really am.”

“Thank you,” I told Melinda as I flung my arms around her.

“I hope you’re always this happy, Dream.”

I thought that was very sweet of her to say. And I knew she meant it.

“Guess what?” I said.“My sister just begged me to go with her to California.”

“She still wants you to go to school with her?” asked Melinda.

“Not only that, but she wants us to share her apartment,” I said.

“That is so nice,” Melinda remarked.“Most older sisters wouldn’t want to hang out with their little sisters much less share an apartment with them.”

“Not Sara,” I said with a smile.“We get along great, just like friends.In fact, she’s like a best friend to me-after you of course.”

“So what did you say?”

“No of course,” I said, surprised she even asked. “You know I want to go to Georgetown with you and Brian."

“Dream, do you want to go to Georgetown for the school or for Brian and me?”

“Both,” I said.“Why?”

“Well because if it’s because of Brian and me, don’t do it. You don’t need to be close to me for our friendship to last. You’ll always be my best friend. As for Brian, the way he loves you, I’m sure you two could endure a long-distance relationship.”

“But why do that when I could stay here and go to a good school and be near you two?” I asked.

“I just don’t want you to pass up an opportunity like this on account of me. I’d feel guilty if in the end if you hated Georgetown.”

I laughed.“You’ll have nothing to feel guilty about,” I said.“I heard Georgetown is an excellent school and even if it turns out to be a bad school, I’d never blame you.This is my choice and my choice alone.”

Melinda smiled.

“But thanks for thinking about my behalf,” I said, touched by her thoughtfulness.

“I just want you to be happy,” she said.

“Believe me, I am,” I said.“I have the best boyfriend whom I adore with all my heart and the greatest best friend anyone could ask for.What more do I need?”

Just then the phone rang.“Hello?” I answered.

“Hi Beautiful.”

“Brian, hi,” I exclaimed happily, feeling my heart beat quicken at the sound of his voice.

Melinda looked up at me.

“I can’t stop thinking about you,” Brian said. “My bed misses you.Come over.”

“Brian!” I cried.“It’s the middle of the day.”

“So?” he asked.“What are you doing now?”

“Actually, Melinda is here.”

“Oh she is?” said Brian.“And what are you girls gossiping about now?”

“Girl stuff,” I said laughing.

Just then there was a knock on my door.It was Sara.“Dream, could you come out here for a second and settle a debate?”

“Sure,” I said.“Brian, hold on a second. Sara wants me.”

“So do I,” he said.

I felt myself blushing as Melinda just looked at me and smiled. “Here, talk to Melinda until I return,” I told Brian as I handed the phone to Melinda.

I walked outside to see what Sara wanted. Apparently, all she wanted was my opinion about two shirts that belonged to Erik.She wanted to see which one I liked better.Erik and Sara always had their disagreements over clothes and I would be the third person who usually sided with Sara.

“Women,” Erik would say while rolling his eyes.

When I returned, Melinda was still talking to Brian. “That’s what I told her,” she said. “You tell her.”

She looked up at me.“Brian wants to talk to you,” she said.

“Hello?” I said after she handed me the phone.

“What’s this I hear about you turning down an opportunity to go to California?” said Brian.

“What? Melinda told you? It’s no big deal, Brian. I don’t even want to go.You know I don’t.”

“But you can finally get out of that house,” Brian said. “And away from your father.”

“But then I’ll be away from you,” I said.

“It’s okay, we’ll keep in touch,” Brian said.

“If I didn’t know any better, I would think that you two want me to go.”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” both Brian and Melinda said simultaneously.

“Honey, it’s because I love you and I want what’s best for you,” said Brian.

“Like I told Melinda, I have what I need right here. I could never leave that for anything in the world.”

“I love you, Dream.”

“I love you too, Brian.”

“Don’t ever forget that,” Brian added.

“I won’t,” I said.

“Talk to you later.”



I let out a sigh.“I love him so much, Melinda.”

“I know you do,” she said with a smile.

I looked at Melinda and all of a sudden I got an urge to share the poem that I had just written earlier with her. Melinda and Brian were the only two people who knew about my hobby. Brian had never read anything that I wrote and neither had Melinda.I didn’t think my writing was that good anyway.But for some reason, I wanted to share it with Melinda. After all, she was my best friend and I knew she wouldn’t judge me.

“I want you to read something,” I told her as I pulled out the notepad from underneath my bed.“It’s a poem I wrote earlier.It’s about last night.”

I handed it to Melinda.“Are you sure you want me to read this?” she asked, knowing how personal I take my writing.

I nodded so she quietly read it.She must have read it several times before she looked up at me. “This is wonderful, Dream.”

“Thank you,” I told Melinda.“I wanted to share this with you because it’s my way of telling you how much I love you.I would never show this to anyone else.It’s so intimate, I don’t think I could, except maybe Brian.”

“I feel so honored that you shared this with me,” Melinda said. “Honestly, Dream, you should think about writing professionally.”

The thought made me laugh.I had actually never considered it before.“No way,” I said.“I couldn’t. This is just a pastime of mine.”

“But think about it,” cried Melinda.“You play the piano brilliantly.”

“What does one have anything to do with the other?” I asked.

“Turn your writing into music!” cried Melinda. “You could be a lyricist.”

“What? That’s crazy!” I said, although such a thought was very appealing.

“I’m serious,” Melinda insisted.“This is beautiful.You should share it with the whole world.”

“Like I said before, this is very personal to me. I could never show it to anybody else,” I said. “I really did just want to show you.”

Melinda dropped it.“Thank you, Dream. It’s the most beautiful thing I ever read.”

She was lying, I thought.I knew she was just saying that to make me feel confident. It was probably her way of thanking me for sharing it with her. It did make me feel good, though.

I wish I could have stopped time those two days. For they were the happiest days I would ever share with Melinda and Brian.

That night, it was a beautiful clear summer’s night like it was the night before-the night I spent with Brian; the most magical night of my life, I thought.

I was out with Erik and Sara who invited me to go to a movie with them before they had to leave tomorrow morning.We were in my mother’s car since I didn’t have a car of my own because my father never thought I deserved one. He thought that I should make my own money and buy one.I worked at a restaurant in Old Town as a waitress, but it didn’t make me enough money for a car; just enough to get by with buying my own clothes and things. My father had bought Sara a car at age sixteen because he was so proud of her when she sang a solo at his boss’s party.If it wasn’t her solo it would have been something else.Either way he would have bought her a car.He was so proud of her, but as for me, I was the loser sister who amounted to nothing-at least not yet.

Melinda had spent most of the day with me at my house just hanging out and having lunch.It was nice spending the day with her after spending the night with Brain.

“So what movie shall we see?” Erik asked as we drove down to Richmond.

“A romance,” Sara suggested.

“Again? You always want to see a romance,” Erik whined playfully.He loved to give Sara a hard time.

"We haven’t seen a romance in a long time,” Sara argued.

“Well, you know what a romance does to me,” Erik said while placing his right hand on top of Sara’s hand and keeping his left hand on the wheel. “And we do have Dream with us. Unless you don’t mind a threesome.” Erik looked at me from the rearview mirror and smiled at me while I was cracking up in the back seat.

“Why don’t we bring Brian along?” Sara suggested. “What’s he doing tonight, Dream?”

“I don’t know,” I said.“But can we stop by his house since it’s on our way?”

“No problem,” Erik said as he made the turn that took us to Brian’s house.

His car was parked in the driveway so I thought he was home. I quickly stepped out of the car while Erik kept the engine running.

I rang the doorbell several times, but nobody answered. Maybe some friends picked him up, I thought. I turned around to leave when suddenly I thought that I would leave him a note telling him that I stopped by and that I was thinking about him.That would brighten up his night, I thought.

I dug into my purse and pulled out my keys, which had his house keys attached as well.Brian had given me his house key a year ago telling me that his house was like mine and that I was welcomed anytime.Whenever I needed to get out of my house and away from my father, I was welcomed to go to his house even if he was not home.He had said that his parents wanted me to have it as well because they loved me. I was so touched when he had given it to me, but I never used it because I felt too awkward to just come into his house whenever I felt without him being home. So tonight, for the first time, I was going to finally take him up on his offer.

I unlocked the door and walked right in. It was pretty dark as I made my way to his family room and found a small notepad and a pen. I wrote him a little love note that he could come home to.

I left the note on his counter and just as I turned around to leave, I heard laughter coming from upstairs.Could his parents be home?I thought. But their car was not parked in the driveway.

The laughter grew louder.It was a girl’s laughter.As I walked closer to the staircase, the laughter seemed a little familiar, and it was coming from Brian’s room.

Maybe it was the television.He always had it on so loud that he would never hear what went on in his surroundings. My heart beat quickened and I felt knots in my stomach, but I was not sure why.I made my way upstairs and through the dark corridors down to Brian’s room. His door was slightly ajar and the laughter andvoices grew louder as I approached.

Then I heard moaning.“Oh Brian that feels so good.You really know how to please a woman.”

My hand was trembling as I touched the door knob and pushed the door open. That was the moment I would never forget for the rest of my life. I thought I was living a nightmare. In fact, for a split second I truly thought it was all a dream.It could not have been true. It could not have been...

It was.

There before my very eyes lay Brian and Melinda in bed. Melinda was in her bra and panties and Brain was only in his underwear.She was lying in bed as Brian had his hands all over her.For that moment, all time was frozen as my eyes met with Brian’s and then shifted to Melinda whose eyes were wide and whose mouth dropped open in utter shock.

I could not breathe.My chest was so heavy, I thought I would collapse. “Oh-my-God!” I cried. And that was all I could say. My mouth was open, but I could not formulate any words.

I backed away in horror as tears filled my eyes and rolled down my face in endless sheets.

“Dream, wait, please,” Brian called scrambling out of bed.

I stuck my hand out. “Stay away,” I cried, only the words came out in a hoarse whisper.“Stay away,” I repeated.

“Dream, please,” Melinda said from the bed as she was pulling the blankets up to cover her half naked body.

I turned around and ran back down the hallway with Brian chasing me in his underwear.“Dream, let me explain,” he called.

But I didn’t stop.I couldn’t stop. All I could think of was getting out of that house.

I made my way downstairs and to the front door where I dashed out as Brian continued calling my name and chasing me right outside the house in nothing but his underwear.

Erik stopped the car by then as he and Sara were waiting for me. By this time I was crying hysterically that I couldn’t breath anymore and Brian caught up with me and grabbed my arm.

“Dream, Dream please listen to me, Dream!” he cried out.

“Let go of me!” I cried at the top of my lungs, the tears never ceasing.

But Brian had a tight hold on me.I struggled desperately, unable to calm down, refusing to look at him like he wanted me to.

“Dream, please stop.Look at me!” he pleaded, his hands glued to my arm.

Erik and Sara had gotten out of the car as I was madly fighting as if it was my life that I was fighting for.“Let go of me!” I cried as my voice echoed the streets.“I hate you, let go of me!”

“No, not until you calm down,” Brian cried as one of his hands clung to my arm and the other was trying to grab my other arm to control me.

All of a sudden, Erik intervened by taking a hold of Brian and yanking him away from me and punching him in the face. “She said to let go of her!” he cried.

The punch did not send Brain down to the ground; it was only enough to give him a bruise.Sara had taken a hold of me and held me in her arms while I desperately cried.

“Dream, please come talk to me,” Brain called to me as he started approaching Sara and me.

I turned around angrily and screamed, “Stay away from me!”

Brian took another step when Erik stepped right in front of him. “I don’t know what’s going on, but don’t come any closer,” he warned Brian.

“Stay out of this, man.This doesn’t concern you,” Brian yelled at Erik.

I turned around.The air was returning slowly to my lungs as I looked at Brian with disgust. The tears in my eyes blinded me from seeing him clearly. “You-told-me-you-loved-me,” I cried in between gasps of air.“You bastard!I hate you!”

“Dream...” Brian cried out in despair.

“I hate you!!!”

Sara took hold of my arm as I opened the door to the car and crawled inside. “I-want-to-go-home,” I cried breathlessly.

“Okay,” Sara said soothingly, confused and scared over my behavior.

“Dream, I’m begging you, don’t leave like this, please...” Brian called out as he approached the car.

Sara got in the back seat beside me as Erik got in the car and started it.

“Go! Go, please!” I cried to Erik.

Brian threw his hands on the window and pounded calling out my name, but I couldn’t even look at him.

Erik pulled away from the driveway so fast, it sent Brian tumbling to the ground, but I instructedhim to go and not look back.

I felt like my life was over, when it was actually only just beginning.

- Copyright 2013 Chrissy Yacoub, Chrissy Books All Rights Reserved -