Home > Pretty Dead Girls

Pretty Dead Girls
Author: Monica Murphy


Chapter

One


I finally get her where I want her, folks, and wouldn’t you know, she starts giving me attitude within seconds.

“And why am I here again?” Gretchen snags the lit joint from my fingers and brings it to her mouth, taking a long drag. She holds the smoke in, her bright green eyes narrowed, her expression almost pained, before she blows it all out.

Straight into my face.

God, she’s such a bitch sometimes. Though I envy her fearlessness. She’s rude and mean and she just doesn’t give a damn.

I realize she’s waiting for me to speak and I clear my throat.

“Look, I know you’re never going to believe me, since we haven’t talked much in the past. But we’ve gone to school together for a long time and I just wanted us to…g-get to know each other better.” I stumble over the words, and I am thoroughly pissed at myself.

I practiced this little speech over and over again the last few days, preparing for this moment. In the mirror, reciting the words back to my reflection. Late at night, while I lay in bed and stared up at the ceiling, mesmerized by the slow spinning ceiling fan above my head.

Yet I mess it up, falter because I’m actually in front of her, just the two of us. Gretchen Nelson, one of the most beautiful, most popular girls in school. She has everything.

I have nothing.

All I want is a little taste. Just a tiny sample of what she is. What she has. What I could possibly be.

“So what? You tricked me to go out with you?”

“It’s nothing like that,” I reassure her.

“What do you mean by getting to know me better, then? What exactly are you talking about?” She takes another drag off the joint, this one short and fast, and she coughs out the smoke, hacking a little. The glamorous, perfect Gretchen Nelson mask falls for the briefest moment, and it’s like I’ve just been treated to a sneak peek of the real Gretchen. She’s just a girl who likes to get high, who’s aggressive, and who treats other people like shit. I mean, I already knew she was like this, but… “Please don’t tell me this is your idea of a date.”

The contempt in her voice is obvious.

“No, not at all!” I sound too defensive and I clamp my lips shut. “That wasn’t my intention. Can’t we just be…friends?”

She shoots me a sardonic look, her lips curled, her delicate eyebrows raised. She’s still wearing her shorts and T-shirt from volleyball practice and she has to be cold, since both car windows are rolled down, and once the sun disappears, the temperature around here drops rapidly.

My gaze falls to her legs. They’re sturdy, her thighs are thick, and I can’t help but stare at them. They’re thicker than the other cheerleaders’, which made her a great base. Gretchen was known for tossing the flyers into the air higher than anyone else. I remember watching her. Watching all of them…

Not that Gretchen’s a cheerleader any longer. She quit at the end of her sophomore year, wanting to focus on volleyball instead. She’s a strong player. Fearless. Downright mean on the court. Yet she’s also beautiful and poised and smart.

“You really want to be friends with me?” She makes it sound like an impossible feat.

I nod.

“We have nothing in common.”

“We have a lot of things in common.”

“Name ten.”

I frown. “You really want me to name ten?”

She nods slowly, places the joint between her lips. It dangles from her mouth, giving her this tough, rebellious air, and I can’t help but admire her all over again. At school, she’s absolute perfection. Right now, in the passenger seat of my car with a joint hanging from her lips, her dark-red hair a wild tangle about her head, eyeliner smudged, and her cheeks still ruddy from the chilly nighttime air, she’s not quite as perfect.

But she’s a lot more real.

“That’s stupid,” I tell her, and she sits up straight, yanking the joint out of her mouth so she can gape at me.

“Did you just call me stupid?”

The venom in her voice makes me recoil away from her. “N-no. I mean, I just took a hit off that joint. My head is spinning. How do you expect me to come up with ten things we have in common, just like that?” I snap my fingers for emphasis.

“God. You’re just like everyone else. Always thinking you can buy me off with sex or booze or weed.” She tosses the joint at my head and I dodge left, so it sails out the driver’s side window and lands on the ground outside. “Bringing me to a church parking lot, too. Real classy.”

With those last words, Gretchen climbs out of my car and slams the door behind her, so hard she makes the vehicle rock.

Panicked, I bolt out and follow after her. Her long legs take her far across the parking lot as she heads straight toward Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. But I can run fast when I need to, and I catch up to her quickly. I grab hold of her arm and she snags it out of my grip, whirling on me with wild eyes.

“Get away from me!” I grab her again and she shakes me off, her expression full of disgust. “God, you’re so freaking weird! Just leave me alone!”

It’s the weird comment that gets me. It always gets me. They all single me out. They all point their fingers and laugh. With every step forward I make, something like this happens, and I’m pushed four steps back.

She turns away, breathing heavily, but she’s not going anywhere. Odd. She’s usually dying to get away from me.

That’s when I realize she has her phone in her hand. And she’s tapping away on the screen, like maybe she’s texting someone.

Hell.

“Gretchen, come on.” I keep my voice even, like this is no big deal. Like I’m not hunting her down in the church parking lot on a Tuesday night. The wind whips through the giant pine trees that surround the lot, I can hear the branches swing and sway, the hoot of a lonely owl in the near distance. It’s dark up here. Quiet. No one drives by. The street is abandoned and the nearest house is a quarter mile away.

Feels like it’s just the two of us out here.

All alone.

“Fuck you, you fucking weirdo!” She turns to face me and starts to laugh. No doubt when she catches sight of the stricken look on my face. “I can’t wait to tell everyone about this. Wait until I spread this story around—I will ruin you.”

A roar leaves me, unlike any sound I’ve ever made before in my life, and it makes my lungs ache. I run up on her and shove her hard, so she tumbles to the ground. She’s distracted, in shock that I shoved her, and I take my chance and sock her in the face. I meant to hit her mouth, but my knuckles only glance off her jaw and my entire hand throbs from the impact.

Hot Books
» A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorn
» Anti-Stepbrother
» Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)
» Sugar Daddies
» Egomaniac
» Royally Screwed (Royally #1)
» The Hating Game
» Salvatore: a Dark Mafia Romance (Standalone
» Ruthless People (Ruthless People #1)
» To Hate Adam Connor
» Wait for It
» How to Date a Douchebag: The Studying Hours
» Managed (VIP #2)
» The Protector
» The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood #15)