Co wrecker, p.1
Co-WRECKER, p.1Meghan Quinn
Table of Contents
Published by Hot-Lanta Publishing
Cover design by Meghan Quinn
Photo credit: Lauren Perry
Formatting CP Smith
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This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.
All characters in this book are fiction and figments of the author’s imagination.
Copyright © 2017 Meghan Quinn
All rights reserved.
To all of the Whitney Pointers in my life. Thank you for teaching me what true friendship is all about. I love you all.
“Why do you have a box labeled calculators?” Jimmy asks, setting my precious box on the stripped twin mattress in the middle of my tiny room.
Kicking the mattress to the side, I say, “Did I ask you to look at the boxes? Just move them.”
“Please tell me when you wrote calculators on this box, it’s actually code for porn. There’s porn in this box, right, Andrew? If I were to open it up, I would find a smorgasbord of boobs bouncing in barns and miniscule generic football jerseys on altered plastic chests.”
Rolling my eyes, I rip the tape off the top of the box, stick my hand inside and pull out my TI-84 EZ Sport graphing calculator, garnering a severely disappointed look from my brother.
“Dude . . .”
I push my thick-rimmed glasses back on my nose and say, “Who needs a box of porn when everything is practically free on the Internet?”
Exhaling roughly, my brother nods his head. “I’m glad to hear you have some man left in you. For a moment, I was starting to think you were sleeping with your calculators.”
Only when I’m doing homework late at night and I’m lonely, but Jimmy doesn’t need to know that. Waking up with a SIN COS button imprint on my cheek signifies a fulfilling night.
“I think that about does it,” Mae, my brother’s quirky girlfriend, says, brushing her hands off on her high-water khaki pants. She’s a beautiful girl with long legs and a love for all things Star Trek. How my brother found her—and keeps her—I have no idea, but he’s a lucky guy. “Do you want me to hang your curtains for you?”
Given the size of my small bedroom in the six-bedroom house, I’m shocked I have two floor-to-ceiling windows. The minute Mae saw them, she bought navy blue curtains to match my life-size Derek Jeter cutout.
That’s right, calculators and Derek Jeter. I’m a man of odd interests. But please note, I don’t have an infatuation with Derek Jeter. I’m a huge Yankees fan. Born and raised. Ever since my great grandpa got lost in the Yankees locker room, back when kids wandering in ballparks was acceptable, our family has sworn to love and praise the Yankees every year, even during the rough times . . . like the eighties. Such a terrible era for the pinstripes.
“Sure, hang the curtains.” Mae gets to work while I try to decide how to situate my room.
“Mom and Dad are on their way,” Jimmy says, arms crossed and leaning against the doorway, giving me more space to move my bed, dresser, and desk around, the only pieces of furniture in my room.
Sighing, I answer, “I know.”
“They’re going to try to convince you to move home.”
“They’re not thrilled about you living two hours away after everything you just went through.”
“I know,” I snap, not wanting to hear Jimmy repeat what I’ve been listening to for the past few months. Trying to reassure my brother, I look him in the eyes and say, “I’m not changing my mind.”
“Are you sure?”
“Hello?” My dad’s voice travels up the staircase, causing me to cringe.
Jimmy grips my shoulder. “Be strong.” Then he calls down the stairs, “Up here, Dad.”
From the other side of my thin wall, the stairs creak, indicating my parents’ approach. I’ve been dreading this moment for quite some time, ever since I made the executive decision to go against my parents’ wishes and jump right back into school after “the ordeal.” Transferring to Binghamton University was easy given my GPA and the honors I’d earned, but getting my parents on board was another story. Being the youngest man in my family and the one with a “sensitive brain,” my parents wanted me to take a semester off, live at home, and recoup. But I had different plans. I didn’t want to hide away. I wanted to continue to move forward with my education. That’s why I transferred to Binghamton, the beautiful armpit of New York, enrolled in the engineering school at Binghamton University, and found a job for the summer until classes started.
“Oh these stairs are deathly,” my dad complains, making his way to the top where he grips the doorway, pushing Jimmy to the side. His eyes scan my room, which takes about two seconds given its size. Tsking, he mutters, “This most definitely won’t do. Where are your housemates? You’re switching rooms.”
“Dad, I can’t switch rooms. This is what was given to me.”
My mom joins the party and takes a look around as well. “Nice molding,” she grunts, putting her hands in her pockets. Sounds about right coming from her. She doesn’t say much, but the woman knows fine craftsmanship when it’s in front of her.
“You’re just going to take what was given to you? How is that fair?” Before I can stop him, my dad stomps around the second-floor landing where three other doors are connected and starts throwing them open, revealing much larger rooms. “This is preposterous. Look at the size of these rooms.” Turning on a dime, his hands at his waist, he asks, “Are you paying the same amount of rent as everyone else?”
“Yes, Dad,” I sigh, knowing this conversation isn’t coming to an end anytime soon. “I don’t just pay for my room, I pay for the common areas as well. It was the only place I could find with such short notice. And the girls are really nice,” I add.
“Girls?” My dad’s eyebrow lifts.
Uh yeah, did I forget to mention that part? From the look on my dad’s face, as well as Jimmy’s—and Mae’s for that matter—I guess I did. My mom on the other hand is less than fazed. She’s more interested in the smooth texture of the 1920s solid-wo
And I know what you’re wondering, how many bathrooms. Rest assured, there are two . . .
Two . . .
Oh shit, I’m fucked.
Visions of clogged drains with rat-nest hair plugs start dancing in my head. The horror.
Swallowing hard, I nod, “Yeah, Dad, girls.”
“What kind of girls? Is this a sorority?” Jimmy starts chuckling, which garners a slap to the back of the head from Dad.
“It’s not a sorority, Dad.”
“Then what is it?” he asks, arms crossed over his conservative button-up shirt.
I know what you’re thinking: I’m hiding out in a sorority. I’m the guy that goes through an “ordeal” and decides to hide within the labyrinth of females and their hair nests, perfume-soaked carpets, and beastly hormones that are bound to calculate together for a monthly tirade only the wrath of the devil serpent himself can compete with.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
The reason I’m living with a bunch of women is because it really was the last option in housing. My choices were either live with five women, which would be against my father’s conservative ways of seeing the world (men and women live together when they’re married . . . cue the eye-roll), or spend the next year shacking up with who I can only describe as Gollum’s drunk, pinball-playing uncle. Graduating with honors is important to me, and Uncle Gollum didn’t seem like the kind of guy who would leave me alone, especially given the entire time he was giving me a tour of his dwellings, he couldn’t stop circling his bellybutton with his middle finger. Five girls would be less of a distraction.
At least I hope so.
“Well?” my dad asks, pushing for an answer.
Sighing, I say, “It’s not a sorority. It’s the starting lineup for the women’s basketball team at Binghamton.”
I’m a tall man at six foot, but these girls either match my height or are slightly taller than me. When I first met them, I was intimidated, and then they started talking with heavy European accents and I was intrigued. Two girls from Finland, one girl from Latvia, and one from France. The fifth girl, the only other American in the house, she said they were looking for another American to take up the sixth room because the girls wanted to improve their English.
My dad’s eyebrows test the limits of his forehead. “Basketball.” He leans back on his heels and thinks about his next sentence carefully, hands in his pockets now. “Basketball,” he repeats and then leans forward. “Do you think they could get us free tickets to games?”
Rolling my eyes, I get back to unpacking my boxes. “Games are free anyway, Dad, but glad to know where your head’s at.”
“You’re not romantically involved with any of these girls, are you?”
“No,” I answer quickly, avoiding eye contact with him. I don’t want to see that look on his face, the You shouldn’t be dating anyone right now look.
“Because if you were—”
“I’m going to stop you right there,” I say, gripping my brand-new spiral notebooks purchased for the fall semester. “I came to Binghamton for one reason: to finish my degree and pursue my master’s in computer engineering. I have no intention of frolicking around with the Amazons of Binghamton’s sports world.”
“I didn’t ask about frolicking, son. I asked if you planned to have sex with them.”
Holding up his finger, Jimmy interjects, “Technically you asked if he was romantically involved with any of them. Sex was never part of the equation, but now that you’ve thrown it out there, are you going to bone them, Andrew?”
Another slap to the back of Jimmy’s head.
“Don’t say bone,” Mae says while fluffing my newly hung curtains. “Andrew is clearly not the boning type.” A smirk peeks past her mouth.
Although, my boning is limited. Very limited. Boning lately has been with my hand, and it just doesn’t feel like boning—feels more like self-mutilation, especially when you lack lotion. And let’s be honest, spitting on your hand really doesn’t do the trick. It might for some people, but I just don’t have excess saliva to provide sufficient lubrication to avoid chafing.
“Who have you boned?” my dad asks. My mom is now on the ground, checking out the original hardwood floors. Did I mention she’s into wood? And I know where your head went just now, wood equals penis. Ha ha, my mom likes dick.
“I’m not going to talk about my sex life with my family. Can we just unpack boxes and then get some Nirchis Pizza?”
“I’m ready for pizza.” My mom stands and brushes off her hands, looking around to see who’s with her.
Yes, wood and pizza. My mother’s interests are wide and varied.
Shaking his head, my dad opens a box, starts unpacking my clothes, and then places them in drawers. “I just don’t understand why you needed to come down here so early. You could have spent the summer with us in Middleburgh and helped at the shop. We would have paid you.”
“Paying people in fudge is not paying people, Dad,” I deadpan.
“I said I would pay you in fudge and hugs.”
“Oh hell.” Jimmy steps up and raises his hand. “I didn’t know hugs were involved. Shit, sign me up. Forget Sears, I’m in.”
“Don’t be a smartass.” My dad goes for another smack to the back of Jimmy’s head but he ducks out of the way and loops his arms around Mae for protection.
Jimmy has been working at Sears and paying his way through college ever since his freshman year. It’s taken him some time to earn his education, and he scrimps every penny he has, but he’s determined to graduate debt free. He’s in his last year of earning his master’s in Special Education. He can see the end. I’m glad I can spend one year with him in the same town before he graduates.
“Did you hear back about the job?” Mae asks, changing the topic.
“I did. I got it.” I puff my chest a little. My first job.
That’s right, I’m going to be a junior in college and finally have my first job. Don’t judge. Did you hear the part about being paid in fudge? Ever since I can remember, I’ve worked at my parents’ shop—sans bankable pay. It was time I ventured out into the real world and learned about the work force. When I heard from Stuart, the manager at Friendly’s, that they wanted me full-time for the summer as their fountain boy, I jumped on it.
This kid would be earning a paycheck that didn’t consist of butter, sugar, and “fun” flavors.
“That’s great.” Mae cheers and claps. My dad huffs, and my mom returns to the floor examining the baseboards, realizing pizza time isn’t in the near future.
“Oak,” she mutters, knocking on the wood with her middle finger. “Nice.”
“You got the job, huh?” my dad asks. One thing you need to know about my dad, he loves repeating sentences . . . and clearing his throat. Lord Jesus, if I ever clear my throat as much as my father, please strike me with one of your electric bolts right then and there.
“Yes, Dad, I got the job.” Hear the annoyance in my voice?
“Hmm.” *Clears throat* My teeth grind together and I’m almost sure a faint growl pops out of me. I’m about to explode. “What will you be doing there? Working the grill?”
“Scooping ice cream. As I said, I will be working the fountain,” I answer, pulling out the rest of my school supplies then placing them in perfect order inside my desk.
“You’re a . . . fountain girl?” The level of disgust in my dad’s voice is borderline offensive.
“Fountain boy, Dad. Fountain boy. I have a dick; remember the whole boning conversation?”
“Are you going to have to wear one of those candy-striped frilly aprons?”
“No.” Do not lash out at your father. I repeat, do not lash out at him. “Times have changed, Dad. I have a red shirt, a black no-frill apron to wear, and a baseball cap.”
Exhaling heavily, I look up to the ceiling and beg for patience.
Can you tell my dad is a cheap bastard?
“Oh, good question.” Jimmy turns to me. “Can we get free ice cream?”
Giving up on unpacking, I step past my boxes and say, “Okay, pizza time, then you can all leave.”
I can finish unpacking in silence. Well, maybe not in silence, as I might watch the game while I unpack. The Amazons won’t be moving back into the house until August, so I’ll have the house to myself for the summer, the perfect excuse for cranking up the game and strutting around in nothing but shorts.
My dad, Jimmy, and Mae argue but I don’t listen to them and instead wrap my arm around my mom’s shoulders and guide her down the stairs.
“Real nice place, Andrew dear. A stable foundation for you to start a new life.” My mom gets it. She gets me. “I couldn’t ask for a better set of baseboards for my son.”
Or maybe she doesn’t.
I put the car in park in my usual parking spot, and rest my head against the steering wheel. Four years. Four long years at this hellhole and Stuart still has me training the newbies in the fountain area. You would think after four years of working for him, and the fact that my uncle is his best friend, Stuart would NEVER put me in the fountain; he should also understand my hatred for training.
Nope. He likes to torture me.
“You can do this; it’s just for today and then you’ll be back on the main floor racking up tips.” I mentally prep myself, but dread still looms in my stomach.
Trainees. God, they are the worst.
Throwing on my aviators, I snag my keys from the ignition, toss them in my patchwork Yankee purse Smilly made me, and start to get out of my car when my phone rings.
Speak of the devil.
“What’s up?” I answer, twiddling the fabric straps with my fingers. I’m not a purse kind of girl, but my best friend made this for me, therefore I use it.
Co-WRECKER by Meghan Quinn / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes