Pretty little lies lie 2, p.1
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       Pretty Little Lies (Lie #2), p.1

           J.W. Phillips
 
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Pretty Little Lies (Lie #2)


  Pretty Little Lies

  By

  J.W. Phillips

  Copyright © 2014 J.W. Phillips

  All rights reserved

  Published by The Black Heart Club

  ISBN

  This book may not be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages for review purposes. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of events to real life, or of characters to actual persons, is purely coincidental. The author acknowledges the trademark status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction.

  Dedication

  To my AMAZING Readers:

  Each sweet word of encouragement meant more than you will ever believe.

  I have found the ONE whom my Soul LOVES.

  Song of Solomon 3:4

  Monday, November 24, 2014

  Dylan

  I drove for hours unwilling to face the ugly truth. As long as I was in the car, I didn’t have to utter the words that finalized it all, “I left him.” The tears poured, blurring my vision until I was unable to see.

  Thursday, November 27, 2014

  Ethan

  Between the fifth of Jack, the utter lack of sleep, and the swallow-me-whole depression, I had passed out and obviously been that way for three days. The only thing that brought me out of my most recent coma was the unrelenting ringing of the cell phone.

  “What,” I slurred into the receiver.

  “Wanted to see if you made it back home,” Neal Asher said.

  “I’m here. All safe and sound,” I said, but it was beyond a lie. I wasn’t even aware if I was still breathing. My entire body had shut down. Without Dylan in my life, I was as good as dead.

  “What’s wrong, son?”

  My hand automatically went in the air. I started to make a fist but shook the stiffened hand instead. What’s wrong? I sat here hurting like a motherfucker. The ass-whipping you ordered to happen is slowly getting sorer. But the real pain came from where Dylan ripped out my heart and left a bleeding hole. “She left me.”

  He didn’t speak for what seemed like minutes then he asked the most idiotic question of them all. “Do you love her?”

  I didn’t answer him. He already knew the answer. I gave up so much just to be with her. I would have easily turned my back on my family. I still would because the worst pain I ever experienced was watching Dylan walk away.

  “E,” Neal said, bringing my drunken mind back to the conversation at hand. “If you love her, fight for her. True love doesn’t happen every day.”

  I loved her enough to let her go. She wanted a good-bye. I promised her I’d never let her hurt again. So, I’d give her the good-bye she needed. Even if it killed me. Like hell, I will.

  Tuesday, January 20, 2015

  Dylan

  I didn’t expect to be able to hear everything yet still not be able to comprehend any of it. I guess that was what you got when your car collided with a half-ton pick-up truck going eighty miles an hour. All I could remember was the noise. There was so much noise. It pounded in my head until it drowned out the ache from my broken heart.

  “Don’t go to sleep on me yet.”

  My eyes fluttered open at the sound of a manly voice. Not the voice I wanted to hear. I wanted the ability to scream, but my thoughts were too locked up in my head to utter a sound. I whispered, “Ethan,” before my eyes focused and I realized where I was. My home away from home the last two months; the hospital’s physical therapy room.

  “No, not Ethan, though as much as you ask for him, I’d say he was a lucky man.”

  I twisted my neck. Damn, it hurt. My eyes fixed on Danny, the therapist who had spent every day, all day long the last two months working on getting me able to walk again. I smiled at the carefree way Danny smiled down at me. I was laying on the floor as he pushed my legs back against my chest. I grimaced in pain. My hip had been crushed, and every movement felt like a million little vice-grips tightening. I stroked my belly amazed that through all the trauma of the god-awful wreck, Baby E not only survived but even thrived.

  “Two more, sweet pea, and then I’ll walk you back to the room,” Danny said as he pushed my kneecap into my left breast.

  I tried to focus on his voice, but my mind drifted to the side of the road. I’d been fishing a napkin out of the glove box when I heard it. The squealing of tires. The honking of a horn. I heard it, but never saw it. The only memory my mind could hold on to was one particular face, a manly face that was shattered beyond belief. It was not the bruises on his all-too perfect face that captured my attention; it was the hopelessness. Was that man the Ethan I’d cried for? Why was he so sad? Was he the father of my baby? A man I couldn’t remember, but a name that gnawed at my heart.

  “Dylan, are you remembering something?” Danny asked.

  I shook my head. I didn’t want to talk. I wanted to crawl into bed and hold the only thing I was left with . . . the precious baby growing in my belly.

  Saturday January 24, 2015

  Ethan

  That day marked two months in Hell. Every text was left unanswered. Not even a small word for all the flowers I’d sent. My Dylan had fallen off the planet again. I’d driven by her small townhouse every day. Not once had I seen her car or even evidence that she lived there. I’d do anything for one more day with her. Just a day to try to get her to change her mind, to try to get her to love me just a little bit.

  Monday, February 2, 2015

  Dylan

  I felt hands on me startling me from a night of fitful sleep. I hated it. I wanted to be left alone. Maybe if I didn’t move, they would think I was still sleeping. If I were lucky, I’d close my eyes and never open them again. I rubbed my hand across my stomach and was hit with a sharp stab of guilt. My baby was what I was fighting for . . . that and the idea I could put a smile on the haunted man’s face.

  “Happy birthday, dill pickles.” It was a woman’s voice I had grown accustomed to. I was sure her name was Sarah. She said she was my best friend and roommate, but I remembered no one before the wreck. Well, no one but the sad man. “I know you’re awake,” she whispered in my ear before shoving my shoulder.

  I opened my eyes and let them settle on the three faces in the room. They came every day but wouldn’t tell me anything. Deacon, Sarah, and Allison. Three friendly faces, but something told me nothing would truly make me smile until I finally had Ethan in my room. Whatever he may look like?

  Deacon tossed me a small white box with a big pink bow around it. “This came for you earlier.”

  Sarah had said happy birthday. I stroked the bow. Was it my birthday? How old was I? I flipped over the card, hoping it would be a hint into my past.

  Happy Birthday, my beautiful Privy,

  I wish I could give you the world today.

  But I can’t.

  However, you will hold my heart in your hands forever.

  Yours, E

  The image of the mystery man making love to me flashed in my mind. He was crying. I sank down in the bed. The emotions of trying to weave together my forgotten past was like a roller coaster that had been turned up on high and small chunks of the tracks were missing. It was unpredictable, constantly moving from the highest highs to the lowest lows. The worst was when I didn’t know where the next curve was going to appear. That was one of those moments. But the truth knocked me over and kicked my ass. I’d left him. I was the one who had put the misery on his all-too perfect face. I felt I’d hit a loose spot on the ride and was falling into oblivion. That was my Ethan, but why was he crying? And why did I leave him? I tossed the pillow lying beside my arm. It was insane that the one person who was never present, and I
could only remember in a cloud of a fog, had that much effect on me.

  Sarah jerked the gift from my hands. “Why did you bring this to her?”

  “It was hers. She needs to remember.” Deacon said and yanked the package from Sarah’s hands. She chucked the gift back to me. “Here, Dylan. I hope you remember.”

  I hastily pulled the top from the box. Inside, I found a beautiful antique locket in the shape of a gift box. I opened the small clasp on the locket and discovered it held a solid gold heart. For the first time since the wreck, I clutched my stomach and cried. I had decided I’d dreamed up Ethan, but at that moment, I knew he was well and he was Baby E’s daddy. Sarah snatched the locket from my hands.

  “See, that’s why you don’t remind her of that bastard. You heard all the craziness she mumbled the first few days after the wreck. He had her attacked.” Sarah stormed across the room and was in Deacon’s face.

  “She needs her memory back, and I’m sure he’s the key to unlock it,” Deacon said and shoved Sarah back onto the small loveseat in the corner.

  I couldn’t even scream for them to stop. Actually, I didn’t care what they were doing. My mind was hypnotized by the image of Ethan making love to me and crying. I gripped the shirt over my stomach. Was he crying from the ass whopping his face clearly shown he had recently took? Was he crying because of the baby? Sarah said he attacked me, but the look he was giving me was a look of love, not wrath.

  “Stop it, both of you. All that matters is Dylan and the baby, and this is not helping either one of them,” Allison screamed and snatched the locket out of Sarah’s hand, bringing it back to me. She sat on the bed next to me. “Sweetie, whatever you’re remembering, embrace it. Sometimes you have to work through the pain to reveal the truth.”

  She slid the necklace around my neck and fastened it. She was right; before I could move on, I needed to remember who Ethan was.

  Monday, February 9, 2014

  Dylan

  Each day dragged like nails against a chalkboard. There were a few uneven lurches where the second hand leaped forward,causing my reality to flash before my eyes. But the days never seemed to end.

  “Good morning, little momma. After our workout session today, you get to see the OB doctor and hear sweet baby E’s heartbeat,” Danny said and tickled my toes.

  Danny was my favorite therapist. He liked me. He’d even brought me a small daisy the last few days to celebrate my twenty-first birthday week. He said he would have brought me my first legal beer, but the baby was not legal yet. He hardly got the statement out without laughing. Someone else used to laugh while telling a joke.

  “Why do you call him or her baby E?” Danny asked.

  I didn’t know for sure, but the only two names that appealed to me were Elizabeth and Ethan. So no matter what, my sweet little bundle would have an E name. I wondered if my mother was an Elizabeth. She hadn’t been to see me once, and when I asked, everyone suddenly got tight-lipped. Did I even have parents? I must have had them at one point . . . I was alive. But they were another missing piece in the puzzle of my life.

  “The names I like are Elizabeth and Ethan.”

  “There’s that name again. I really want to meet this Ethan.”

  “Me too.”

  Danny was a great guy, but something told me no one would affect me the way the man behind the only face I could remember did. The man with a face too stunning to be that sad.

  Saturday, February 14, 2014

  Ethan

  The last thing I wanted to do was go home for my dad’s birthday. Lying in my childhood bed, all I could see was Dylan’s beautiful face when I told her about Devon. The way she kissed me standing in that very room after talking to Charlie. My last truly happy day. I’d understood when she’d said she felt whole with me, because she took a huge chunk out of me, and I would never be the same again.

  I couldn’t take another moment of remembering. I headed to the kitchen hoping to grab a few cups of coffee before my whole family emptied out in the living room. Brandon was even coming in. I couldn’t help but be a little thankful, he had to work and wouldn’t get there until late that afternoon. He was bringing his mom, too. She had used Jamie’s death to weasel into every aspect of my dad’s life. I’d only met the bitch he called mom a handful of times. After each encounter, it was clear why Jamie was such a shithead. I gave her one thing. She had to be a great piece of ass for dad to keep tapping that all those years. I think that was how I could always tolerate those two, because they didn’t have all the warm kisses, bedtime stories, and early morning cuddles I had. My mom tried to show them love when they came to dad’s, but it only showed them more what a bum deal they got in the first place.

  Neal was already up and in the kitchen. He was gathering the items out of the fridge to make our usual Saturday breakfast. Neal was never one to be domestic, but he went overboard when he had all his kids together. His number one rule in life was family. I think that was why his kids had always been so close despite the twenty-eight year gap between the oldest and youngest. And the four different moms. Charlie came first, then four years later everyone’s favorite, Kristina. They were the children from dad’s first and only other marriage to Rebecca. She had a brain aneurysm when Kristina was five years old and Charlie was nine. Neal did the best he could to raise them alone and carry on business as usual. But that was a job too big for most men. That was how Peggy came into the mix. I don’t believe she was ever a woman that sent dad’s heart on fire. In fact, I know she didn’t. But she was a great mom to Charlie and Kristina. Quickly after moving in with them, she added Lydia to the family. The ten years they lived together, dad was a great father but a horrible man to Peggy. Peggy finally gave up on dad and moved out. The following eight years, he managed to bring Brandon and Jamie into the group by a bitch who didn’t mind doing his dirty work.

  Dad played the ultimate playboy except for every other weekend when all the kids came home. That was until Lydia came home one weekend with mom. Dad often told me he didn’t know what mom did to him. But when she touched his face to remind him to look at her when he spoke, he was never the same again. She got sick that first weekend. She stayed in and helped dad with a two year old Brandon as the older kids, including Lydia, went out to party. No one knew that Dad and Helen hooked up that weekend for the first time, and continued that affair for another two months. I could only imagine their shock when Lydia walked into her apartment at college and saw her dad’s bare ass in the air with her naked roommate underneath him. A month later, I was on the way and a marriage was being planned as the playboy Neal was forever replaced with the whooped Neal. I always thought he was a horny old man that got lucky with a cute piece of ass. But after Dylan wandered into my life, I understood that instant connection, and there was no doubt my dad worshiped my mom. I often wished I could’ve met the playboy Neal, he sounded fun. But no, I got the Neal who loved to cook breakfast for his family as his wife slept in.

  Neal slammed the milk on the counter and smiled at me. “Good morning, my special one,” he said. He always told me all his kids had his heart, but I was special because I was not only part him, but part his Helen too. “How are you doing?

  I straddled a bar stool and crossed my arms. “I’m fine.” Fine, I feel like shit, but I’ll live.

  Dad turned on the stovetop and eyed me. I could tell he saw through my fake smile. He could read every one of his kids’ moods. “You miss her?”

  “Yeah,” I answered without looking back at him. Dad didn’t have to use her name. We both knew who he was talking about. I started cracking the eggs in a big bowl.

  “You know what she means to this family. What makes her so special?”

  “She’s different. She has spent her whole life trying to keep her head above water. No matter what life has thrown at her, and hell, it has thrown her enough to destroy a good person, she finds something beautiful about each moment. She can smile when most would throw up their hands and run. She cries when she i
s mad and can’t find the words. You know why? Because she would rather that hurt fall down her face than come out her mouth and hurt someone else. It makes me smile just to hear her voice. My favorite sound is the sound of her laughter. My heart crumbles every time she hurts. That beautiful, fragile soul can only take so much. I’m nothing but a noose around her neck. A reminder of so much of the pain she has lived through. I won’t let her hurt any more than I can humanly make possible. I love her enough to walk away. Even if it totally destroys me to do it.”

  “That’s great, but what about Victoria?”

  “I’m taking care of that,” I snapped, not wanting to be reminded.

  Neal jerked the bowl, overfilled with eggs, across the bar to me. “Son, you’re lucky because it took me forty-eight years before I found that kind of love. Hold onto it. Fight for it. It only comes around once in a lifetime.”

  I already knew that. I would never find another Dylan. She was a once in a lifetime love. A love I didn’t get to hold onto. I gladly welcomed that achy hole in my chest, because it reminded me I got to hold her once.

 
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