Thursday, December 22, 2011


Lucy is back, and the marks left behind by her abusive stepfather are getting noticed.

Lucy:  Stupid Natalie, told Ms. Green that if I was going to wear sunglasses in school, then so was she, and then she put on these gi-normous glam glasses with rhinestones studded around big, darkened, owl eyes.  Ms. Green had no choice but to make us both take off our sunglasses, even though mine were small, just big enough to cover the black eye Keith gave me which I think Ms. Green might’ve guessed about because I’m always hiding something, or I’m really clumsy, neither of which excuses she buys.
So then, I have to go to the nurse, who of course calls my house and of course Mom is at work, but sweet, kind, generous (not) Keith, my very favorite stepdad, of course he’s home.  And he doesn’t act mean, he doesn’t say, “Leave the little bitch in school, what’s her black eye got to do with me?
He doesn’t say that. 
He says something sugary-sweet, like so sweet it rots inside you (me), he says he’s worried about me, and he’s coming to get me and to take me to the doctor, and he’s such a liar, and I don’t want to go, I can’t go!
But I have to.
He’s my “father”.
He has rights.
Like, the right to kick my ass!
The right to kill me if he wants.
I’m sure it will be all my fault.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cherry (not her real name)

Cherry (not my real name): 
Secrets (rough draft)
I wear big earrings so people don’t think I’m a boy.  I throw up all the time, just because I’m anxious, I guess.  I’m not stuck-up, I’m just scared.  People scare me.  I don’t talk a lot, but it’s not because I don’t like you. I don’t really love my boyfriend, but I do have sex with him.  The boy I love is in college now, and I wrote him a letter saying I was so sorry he broke up with his girlfriend, but I’m not.  I pretend to like Kaylee Johnson, but I don’t, because she was his girlfriend.  I have never stuffed my bra with tissues or socks, but I wanted to.  I didn’t do it because I was hoping someone would touch me there, would want to touch me, and what if he only touched a sock imitation and not the real me?  Sometimes – no always – it feels like my boyfriend isn’t touching the real me.
To be continued…

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Nicki is the manin character in a novel I'm working on called Swallow.  This is a scene that happens near the end of the book (although I haven't even written the middle of the book yet!).  It might end up being the prologue.  Who knows.  As usual, I don't know where my Outsider Girls will end up.  I just let them speak.

Nicki:  I know this place.  I know the woods we’re entering. 
I know them in spring, when white flowers bloom in clusters among yellow-green leaves.  I know the woods in summer, when the foliage is lush and thick, and you have to know these woods like I do to navigate them.  In spring and summer, these trees -- this woods -- means a private picnic… a time to rest from the sun, lie on the cool moss and be peaceful and alone. It's a happy place.
In the fall I've scooped leaves fallen from these trees.  Penny and I have rolled down this hill.  I've laughed here, in the fall.
I’ve also been at this edge of the woods in winter a thousand times at least, climbing the hill I’m being made to climb right now.  Every winter when I was a kid, I climbed this hill, trudging up the snowy slope, dragging my inner tube or sled or toboggan or whatever came for Christmas that year.
I’ve seen these trees so many times I know the way one tree grows at an angle, toward the right, oddly away from the sun – the little sun that remains on this bitter afternoon.
     The trees I know so well are bare.  Gray stalks with spidery branches.  Familiar.  
     Focusing on the trees calms me down enough so that I can breathe.  I’m scared, but not so scared to death like I was in the car, because I know this place.  It has always been friendly to me.
     Stumbling, I land hard on the frozen ground.
     Lisa grabs me and pulls me up, and her fingernails dig into my arm, but I can’t feel it because I’m too cold.
     “Why are you doing this to me?” I want to know.  I sound like a baby, but who cares?
     “Just keep moving, bitch,” Lisa says.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Somebody's Daughter is out!

Somebody's Daughter is now available at as a kindle book.

if you are a reviewer, contact me about getting a review copy.

if you don't have a kindle, get reader apps for your other devices at:

remember, for excerpts, check this blog for Casey, Nancy, Kayla and Rain.

more excerpts to come!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Casey (Somebody's Daughter excerpt)


            As I walk into the kitchen, I snatch the recorder from my mother’s hand.  I don’t press “record” of course, because I’m not getting involved -- but I pretend to speak into it, with a fake reporter-y voice:   “And now, a News Channel Mom exclusive:  Daughter’s Best Friend Raped, Mother Tries to Get Rich Off the Story.”
            My mother gives me a look that includes half a smile, and it’s like what the eff?   She never takes me seriously!  Obviously, she thinks I’m not really mad at her or something.  She thinks I’m kidding.  Well, I may joke in my own dark way, but fact is, she never even asked if it was okay with me if she wrote this book.  So what am I supposed to feel?
            Still with the half-smile, and now adding a rolling of her eyes in an “Oh Casey,” kind of way, my mother takes back her recorder.  She gives me the full smile.
            Oh.  My.  God.
            Her smile is totally a slap in my face.  My legs suddenly feel weak, drained of the strength that originally brought me downstairs to try and talk my mother out of doing this stupid book.  Because, A:  It’s a stupid idea.  B:  She shouldn’t be opening up wounds and poking around inside my friends.  And C:  She doesn’t have a clue what she’s getting into.
            I can’t talk to her when she’s like this, when she’s in writer-mode, when she’s all full speed ahead and screw the consequences.  When she’s smiling.
            Did I mention, I want to scream? 
            Only I won’t.  A:  My mother would like it too much.  She gets off on seeing my emotions.  She thinks it means we’re really close because I let her see me cry.   And B:  It’s too late to scream now anyway. 
            All I know is, I didn’t scream when it counted, and I’m all cried out.  I ache all over.   I can’t, I don’t...
            I don’t understand what I feel, what I want to feel, what I should feel.  In the past, I would’ve asked my mother, or she’d have told me anyway.  But that was before.  Like, before she adopted my friends for her book. 
            She hasn’t actually asked me to participate.  And I won’t say it out loud but inside, I’m all like, what, has she forgotten I’m her daughter and plus, I was there at the party too?  

Thursday, October 13, 2011


“OMG, I had a pair of earrings just like these when I was in high school!”
     My mother holds up what look like two cd’s in bright blue, only smaller – but not that much smaller.  She pretend dangles them from her ears and peers into the mirror on the counter because her eyes aren’t so good, and I want to die, and I’m thinking how old she looks squinting to see like that, and how she shouldn’t say things like “OMG,” no one should say OMG if they’re over twenty-five…
     “Nice.  You should get them.  They totally match your shirt,” I say.
     “I know, right?”
     Another thing no one over twenty-five should say, but whatever.  If she’s happy, she’ll totally buy me the silver hoops I have my eye on, even though they’re like thirty-two bucks, and she lost her job.  If she gets the blue cd earrings, she’ll feel like she has to buy me earrings too.  I know my mom.
I’m out of money because me and my boyfriend used up the minutes on my prepaid – and who, by the way, who has to have a prepaid cell with limited minutes they have to pay for themselves, it’s so unfair… anyway, I had to buy more minutes with my allowance or die from embarrassment plus probably Seth would’ve broken up with me if I couldn’t text him anymore until next month.  I have to get the unlimited Net 10 minutes next month, when I have some money saved.
     If I have any money saved, which I won’t at this rate, not after I used up my birthday gift card on the shirt that hangs off my shoulder, and can you believe my mom said I can wear it to school even though it’s against the dress code?  She was all, “If someone sees you, just put it back on your shoulder and pretend you didn’t know, and then when no one’s looking, slide it off again.”
     Remembering that, I make a decision:
     “Mom, remember you said I could clean the upstairs bathroom to make some extra money?  Could you advance me some so I can get these earrings?” 
     I put back the thirty-two dollar pair, and grab a $10 pair I can afford if I take on the bathroom cleaning job.
     “Only if you get these,” my mom says, picking up the more expensive earrings I really wanted.  “How about we go halves?”
     “You’re going to pay me sixteen dollars to clean the bathroom?”
     Smiling, she shrugs.  “Just make sure you really scrub the floor, behind the toilet too.”
     I love when she pretends to be tough.  Playing along, I roll my eyes and sigh. 
     My mother puts back the blue earrings she wanted, and we buy the silver hoops for me, and I pretend it doesn’t matter, I pretend she owes it to me or something, but deep down?
     She can say “OMG” whenever she wants.  I kinda like it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Nicki is a new Outsider Girl, and the protagonist in my next novel, Swallow.

Nicki:   “Wake up in the morning, feeling like P Diddy…”

     That’s Ke$ha, blaring from my alarm clock, which is also a dock for my iPod.

     “Grab my glasses, I’m out the door…”

     If I don’t get my ass out of bed and turn off my alarm, it’s going to wake up my little brother, and my mother’s going to have a fit. She’s going to say something like, “It’s only six fifteen in the morning, and already you’ve ruined my day,” and then she’s going to rush downstairs to my brother’s room to pick him up, put him on her lap and rock him and tell him everything’s going to be all right, it’s just that Nicki is a teenager and she’s in her own world and she can’t think about the feelings of others right now.

     My mother’s going to tell Tommy that being a teenager is a tough time for a girl, and “we all have to learn to be patient with Nicki.”

     “Pedicure on our toes toes, tryin on all our clothes clothes…“

     My mother thinks she’s being all good and understanding.

     She would never think to ask me why I’m curled up in a ball under the fairy blanket grammy made for me last birthday as if I’m still just a little kid, although it is true I love this blanket, even if I was turning fifteen, and I am too old for flower fairies.

     “Tik tok on the clock…”

     I don’t even like this song, why did I pick it to wake me up—

     “Nikki! Turn your music down!” my mother yells from behind her closed door.

     “It’s my alarm!” I yell back.

     “Ain’t got a care in the world, but got plenty of beer…” Ke$ha sings.

      Tommy starts crying, Waa waa, big baby, Waa waa, the sound getting closer as he comes up the stairs—


     For like a second, I try to ignore it all, try to wrap my quilt closer around my head and drown it all out, but come on, that’s totally ridiculous, so I reach a hand out and slap the snooze button, shutting Ke$sha up. If only everyone else had a snooze button! I just wanna get a handle on the dream I was having. I just wanna stop crying. I cry all the time and its ridiculous.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Sax:  Got this ipod dock that’s an alarm clock.  Six AM, the Hamster Dance song blares from the speakers, waking me up happy.  I mean, I’m not happy to be up at six in the morning, but who can be a shithead when the Hamster Dance song is playing?  Weeehoo!
     Still, I’d rather get laid in the morning.  You know, wake up with a guy who doesn’t have to run out the door for a class or a job, or on the other hand, doesn’t pull my grandmother’s quilt up over his eyes and groan, roll over.  Ignore the Hamster Dance.  Say “Rumph!” in protest if I try to inspire him.
     You know, someone like me.  I want someone like me.  I’ll even take someone who likes me, me, Saxon, Hamster Dancer, smart, sexy, hair so short there’s no bed head.  Me!  Scrabble fiend, lover of mani-pedi’s, wearer of tees with words:  That was Zen, this is Tao. 
     Mother of –
     Naah, I don’t want to talk about that.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Kathryn:    Standing next to Andrew’s shitty white hatchback, outside CVS, waiting.

Heat rises off the blacktop in wavy lines, almost like a cartoon.

I’m in a cartoon.  You know the one, where Bugs Bunny waits for Elmer Fudd to bring him a balloon of meth.  While he waits, he melts in the heat.  Ears droop, and his voice is dry and scratchy as he whispers, “What the fuck is up Doc?”

Okay, now I’m getting delirious.  Lighting another cigarette, I watch a couple go into CVS holding hands.  She’s got those Suburban, chunky high and low lights in her shoulder length blonde hair, and she’s all thin but curvy.  He’s got gelled hair that’s just right, and tattoos on his arms, and because I’m delirious, he makes me think of one of the young guys on Top Chef, and I wonder what he’s doing here in Milford, Connecticut.

Then I wonder why Andrew didn’t come with me, or even meet with Fred himself.  Why did I have to come?  Why am I melting out here alone?  Why does everyone look at me as if they know I’m some kind of druggie.  Fuck them!

Fuck the fat mommy holding hands with her little boy, swinging arms.  Fuck the old guy with his walker who edges away from me, giving me wide berth as he passes.  Fuck the little girl who makes a show of smelling the smoke from my cigarette as she passes, and even has the nerve to say to her mother, “Yuck.”

“I know,” her mother responds, not even looking at me.

Fuck Andrew for sending me to pick up our drugs alone.

Fuck Fred for being late, and while I’m at it, for always putting the dope in a rubber balloon that he ties and wraps with some kind of weird meth head rubber origami so I can’t get at it, not even a taste, until I get back home.

Well, not home exactly.  Andrew’s apartment over his mother’s garage is what I mean.

I guess you could say I’m living there.  Not like I have my own key or anything, but I sleep there when Andrew and I do sleep, and aren’t up doing drugs and fucking.

He always wants to fuck for hours and hours when he’s high.  I always want to go draw all night, let the drug focus my hand.  I’m a really good artist, given the chance.

Andrew doesn’t usually give me time to draw, or else he laughs at me, trying to get a portfolio together to go to art school because he already has a job doing computer graphics and making lots of money, and I should be grateful he pays for the drugs.

Felix pulls up, and I feel sleazy passing money through a slit opening of his car window, and then taking the balloon.  My mouth waters when the drugs are in my hand, but I don’t feel grateful.

Soon it’ll be my turn to suck the pipe, and the white, bitter smoke will rush into my lungs and my body will tingle and my mind will light up, and then I won’t have to feel anything at all.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Ella:  “I’m so angry, I could spit!”  is what my grandmother used to say.
I say it to myself:  I’M SO ANGRY I COULD SPIT!
Only, it doesn’t work.  I mean, I don’t want to spit.  Spit?! 
I’m so angry, I could cry is more like it. I am crying.  I always cry when I’m this mad.
It doesn’t even matter anymore what I’m mad at, or what I was mad at.  Now I’m mad at myself.  For being mad?  For being me.  And the worst part is, I can’t go back, I can’t ever be unangry.  I can’t NOT have told my boyfriend that I never want him to talk to Jayla again, and I don’t care if they’ve been friends forever, and if it doesn’t mean anything like we’re going to break up, or anything to do with me at all – that’s what he said, but I didn’t – don’t – believe him.  Still, I shouldn’t have said anything.  Then he wouldn’t have gotten mad, and we wouldn’t have had the fight we had and he wouldn’t have left all pissed and maybe going to break up with me, I don’t know…
All I can think about is scraping a piece of glass up my arm.  Slashing thin lines of blood.  I know where to cut to really hurt myself, I slash up by the crook of my elbow instead of my wrist.
The broken glass works.  A flap of skin is free, hanging, and blood is running down my arm, and I feel better.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Meghan:  He touches me, and I expect more.  I mean, where’s the thrill, the shiver down deep, the roller coaster ride, stomach in my mouth, rush through my crotch?
When my mother was drinking, she and I used to have these great talks.  I was ten when I asked her what was so great about sex, why did people do it?
She told me that it’s all about the orgasm, which feels like when you’re careening down the tall slope of a rollercoaster, that feeling in your gut that goes through your crotch.
Well, so here I am, and I’m not getting it.  I mean, if eventually I’m supposed to feel the rush of going down so fast you can’t breathe except to scream… shouldn’t I be feeling that tension of slowly rising up the coaster?  That, “it’s gonna happen, something’s gonna happen, something’s gonna feel good, feel better than anything” – like that?
Now his hand moves over my shirt, rubbing circles over my nipples. 
Okay, that’s not bad.
I’m starting to get it, starting to feel it, but then –
I shut down.
I get off the ride, metaphorically speaking.
I remember asking my mother what the big deal was about putting your privates together with a boy’s.  She said – besides the rollercoaster part – she said, you know the emptiness you feel inside sometimes?
I did and I didn’t.
She said, well, when a man puts his penis inside you, it makes you feel whole.
I want to feel whole even more than I want to feel the rollercoaster rush.
But all I feel is Mathias’s random groping.  Reaching lower, but I get nothing.
What is wrong with me?

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Jayla:  The story spread.
My story!
I found out after I got my lunch of a bagel with nothing on it and a bottle of water.  As I passed the jock table on my way to the theater table, this guy, this jerk-off, he got in front of me and mimed unzipping his you-know-what.  He mimed holding out something huge, when his is probably all shrunken and small, pinky-sized, not zuchinni –sized like he was pretending.
I only noticed because I was trying not to.
Then the cheerleaders, well not all of them, they’re not all evil, but a bunch of them, they started pretending to suck dick.
Swallowing back my tears, I hope they don’t see me gulp, but it’s too late.
“Swallow!  Swallow!”  they chant. 
Turning red, I don’t even have to swallow my own spit, my mouth is so dry.  I hurry past.  When I get to my table, not really my table, but the theater-geek table I’ve adopted… I find a place at the end, across from my friend Lauren.  She looks at me with sad eyes.
So, she knows too.
They all know, I swallow.  I suck dick, and I swallow.  That’s what they’re going to call me for the next four years, right?  Right?  Swallow.
Because it’s not like I’m smart and get all A’s, even in honors math and English, it’s not like I’m the youngest reporter for the school paper, and it’s not like I got this cute haircut that cost me a week of babysitting money, and at home I take care of ‘lissa and Mikey, and I bake fresh cheddar cheese bread which I slather with butter and toast in a pan – making the best Goddamned grilled cheese sandwiches in the whole fucking world.  It’s not like I wasn’t Miss Petite Westie, then L’il Miss Westie, and finally, last year, Miss Westie, riding in my own float in the Memorial Day parade and again this year, in the Labor Day parade.
It’s not like I’m all that, not to them.
To these kids I’m mostly meeting for the first time, I’m only my reputation as a girl who swallows.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Juliet:  I don’t want to do it.
     I have to do it.
     I don’t want to—
     Have to--
I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.
I can.  Juliet, you can do it, you’ll be okay, I tell myself.
You’re not dying, it just feels that way.  It’s just a panic attack. 
Wiping cool sweat from my brow, I hit the space bar on my laptop, waking it up.  Open Safari, sign in to Youtube.  Open iMovie, and I’m almost ready to record. 
I don’t want to do this, but I have to because I can’t breathe and it helps when I’m someone else, performing, playing to my fans but also revealing something from deep inside, my voice--
I am a star, I whisper inside, afraid of what I might say if I dare to speak -- that it might be the wrong thing, that someone’ll get hurt if I even breathe.
Pulling my hair back, I stuff it into the piece of black stocking I use so no one will recognize me.  Sometimes, all I wear is the stocking.  Sometimes I pull it down over my forehead, eyes and nose. 
Today, I put on a snarled Hannah Montana wig from when I was ten and loved Hannah Montana and loved to parade around pretending to be her and now I don’t know who I’m pretending to be anymore or if I’m pretending at all.
Next, a Mardi Gras feathered mask over the upper half of my face.  Then, get my wastebasket.  At last, with the tap of a key, I am recording.  Show’s on!
     Sticking a finger down my throat, I throw up for the camera.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


  Emily:  Pills.
     They’re all over my house.  My Dad takes Vitamin D, a multivitamin, and right now, an antibiotic.  The dog takes doggie-profen and glucosamine.  My brother and I each take three vitamins a day, chewables because he’s only five, and me?  I won’t swallow a pill.  
     Drives my mother nuts.
     She easily swallows her pills, tiny handfuls of them.  She keeps them ordered and ready in one of those big, rectangular pill boxes, only she had to adapt hers, putting stickers over the pre-written days because she takes different combinations of pills on schedule, four times a day.  She keeps the bottles in a big basket in her room.  One day, I checked them out.  Just checked them out.  I wasn’t going to take any.  I won’t swallow a pill.
     Vitamin D, 2000 mg.
     Vitamin D, 1000 mg.
     Algaecal (?!)
     Women’s weight loss plus supplement
     Neurontin, 100 mg.
     Neurontin, 600 mg.
 Me, I won’t swallow a pill.

     ...But I will snort them. ;)  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


     Liz:  I hate my mother.  I hate my mother, hate my mother, hate my mother, hate HATE MY MOTHER, hate her.
     Because of her, I want to die.  No joke, I really do.  I can't go back to class.  I can't.  I can't, ever.
     I'm done for.  It's all her fault.
     It started in 6th grade, when I got my first period.  I mean, what happened, happened today of course, but it wouldn't have happened if my mother hadn't been crazy.  It wouldn't have happened if she let me use tampons like the rest of the freakin world.
     She said, no joke, that she didn't want me to lose my virginity so young.  In 6th grade.  When she gave me my first pad, and I said Anna used tampons.  My mother said if Anna's mother wanted her to grow up and be a slut, that was fine, but she wasn't going to let me, she didn't want me to lose my virginity... (to a tampon, OMG!)
     I mean, I didn't think that at the time.  It sounded hinky, but I was like, okay Mommy, because what did I know?  Maybe a tampon was just the same as a penis.
     That's a lie -- I knew it was different, even in 6th grade, I knew it wasn't the same, but even so, I wore the pad, and so on and so forth, until now.  Until today.
     And it had to be a big, white, diaper of a pad -- not one of those ultra thin, deodorized, with wings pads.  Which is why I could never wear pants when I had my period.  I was sure the outline of my pad would show.  I didn't want anyone to know I had my period, of course, but also I was embarrassed to be wearing a pad when everyone else I knew used tampons.
    So that's why I was wearing a skirt today.  That's how come I can't ever go back to class.  Why I'm going to sneak away as soon as the nurse leaves me alone, gonna sneak away out of school out of here, OUT OF HERE, thanks Mom.
    I'll just say it.  You probably figured it out, but I'll just say it.  I was in Social Studies class, and Mr. Lynch asked me to collect the homework, and I was walking up and down the rows when I felt it between my legs.  My pad!  Slipped, out of my underwear.  I clamped my legs shut.  I started to cry.  I couldn't move.  I said I had to go to the nurse, but I couldn't move and everyone thought I'd gone crazy or something, but it was worse than that.
     I don't know why I didn't just stay put, not move until the bell rang and everyone left and let them think I was crazy.  Maybe I thought the pad hadn't slipped all the way.  Maybe I thought if I ran fast enough I could outrun reality, outrun shame.
     You know what happened.  The pad landed on the floor.  I acted like it wasn't mine, and no one said anything, just their mouths dropped open and it was silent.  Silent as death.  My death.
     I can never go back.
     I will never go home.
     I hate my mother.
     Now you know why.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Nora:  I follow Gina into her room, and then freeze.  Maybe my mouth hangs open for a moment, but I quickly shut it and continue into the room – pretending I’m not humbled, awed, diminished? By the hundreds of pictures of supermodels.  Cut-outs from magazines paper the walls.  The dresser drawers.  The closet door.  Even the headboard of Gina’s bed is a rainbow of eyes, faces, bodies.
I guess I didn’t hide my surprise so well, because Gina says, “My mom and I cut out pictures of women we admire.  They’re for inspiration.”
For what?  I wonder.
As if she read my mind, Gina says, “It’s supposed to help me get thin.”
“Uh huh,” I say.  So lame. 
Gina crosses the floor, her corduroys swishing because of her thighs rubbing together.  That’s exactly why I never wear corduroys.  But if Gina is embarrassed, it doesn’t show.  Still, after patting down a curled corner on one of the pictures, she turns to me – a long way from supermodel thin.  A long way from any kind of thin – and she says, “I don’t think it’s working, and I don’t know why.  Don’t tell anyone, but I’m bulimic.”
I didn’t think I could feel any smaller than I already do, with all those beautiful eyes staring at me.  But I do feel smaller, less than.  And something burns in me – jealousy.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Juliet:  I will never take off these socks, I think to myself.
I will take them off, but I will never wash them, I’ll save them, the socks that are filling with dirt as I press my heels into the side of the hill, off the path that leads away from Griffith Park Observatory.
There are people just above us, looking out at the lights of L.A. in the distance I hope, and not down into the dark hillside to the dark shadows which are Raif and I.  This is not how I expected my first time to be.
My mouth is raw from kissing Raif, kissing that started outside the theater, as soon as we got into his car.  Kissing that almost got out of control in the parking lot outside Starbucks, then turned tender inside, where we sat in front of the fake fireplace and ignored our coffee.
I have to pee, I think.  My underwear, down around my ankles, is probably getting full of dirt.  This hurts.  I didn’t expect it to hurt so much.  I’m sliding a little down the hill and rocks are scraping my butt.  We didn’t go to Raif’s apartment because he said he wanted to take me someplace special.  This is special.
Stop complaining, Juliet, this is special.  We’re under the stars.  We’re in love.  I love Raif and he loves me.  How long is this supposed to last?
That’s not what you’re supposed to be thinking, Juliet.  You’re not supposed to be thinking at all!
This is so awesome!  I’m having sex!  Me, Juliet, Never Been Kissed Juliet. 
And Raif is not old, like Michael said.  He’s twenty-four. 
Raif grunts softly, then sighs, long and deep.  Rolling to the side, staying on the flannel shirt he laid down for us, he pulls me close.  He sucks on my neck, and I realize too late that he’s giving me a hickey, which I know I should be happy about because it means I’m his, and it’s not like he’s branding me like a cow, it’s not. 
Only now I have to tell my mother.
I worry too much.
“Your skin is so soft,” Raif whispers.
“My boot!” I say as I grab for it, rolling down the hill. 
Raif scrambles down a few feet after it.  His ass is pale in the moonlight.  Skinny, the knobs of his pelvis show when he turns over.  Like me, like me!
“I think I love you,” I say, my fingers holding tightly to my boots, nervous fingers because I never said that to a guy before.
Raif smiles and kisses me.  Crushing my Doc Martens between us, and we start to slide again.  My underwear is sticky and cold, and dirty and gross.  Raif didn’t say he loved me back, but that’s okay.  Of course he loves me, or we wouldn’t be here.
“I have to pee,” I say, giggling.