Imperfectly perfect, p.1

Imperfectly Perfect, page 1

 

Imperfectly Perfect
 


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Imperfectly Perfect


  Prologue

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Acknowledgements

  About the Author

  To Ernie for all her love and encouragement.

  What is perfection? Does it even exist? Is it attainable? Millions of people spend countless hours in search of something perfect. Perfect dress, perfect shoes, perfect haircut, perfect job. But mostly we spend our time searching for the perfect partner. We all crave someone to share all of life's experiences with. Someone to grow old with.

  Growing up, my mother was unrelenting in her lessons on the importance of perfection. I had to have the perfect hair, find the perfect boyfriend, and choose the perfect college. I found the more my mother pressured me, the more I pushed back. Eventually I found myself rebelling and building my life in order to challenge her morals and values. It was the ultimate slap in the face.

  Regardless, I was happy with my life; the multiple aneurysms it gave my mother were just an added bonus. Everything was going great for me until one day it wasn't. Maybe things weren't as fabulous as I thought. Maybe I wanted the American Dream. Maybe, just maybe, I was my mother's daughter after all.

  This is the story of how I found my perfection. The road to where I am now was treacherous and bumpy, and far from perfect. And while my life may not seem desirable to most, I realize now that that's what makes it special. Things are perfect only in the eye of the beholder. It's the uniqueness that drives us. Life isn't about what is perfect for everybody else; it's about what is perfect for you.

  To understand everything, we have to go back to the beginning. So my story starts with a glimpse into my past, about twenty years earlier, along the coast of Maine:

  Bang! I opened my eyes just in time to see the flash of lightning illuminate my awesome pink bedroom. I glanced at the alarm clock on my nightstand: 2:05 am. I could hear the sound of the raindrops pounding on the roof. I loved thunderstorms, they were one of my favorite things in life. Soccer, thunderstorms, and New Kids on the Block; that was all this ten year old needed. I giggled to myself as I rolled towards the wall to go back to sleep. Seconds later I was interrupted by a finger poking the small of my back. I had almost forgotten that it was Saturday; sleep over night. I looked over my shoulder and squinted to see if it was Tyler or Shane. Another flash of lightning lit up my room, and I could see it was Shane.

  "What?" I asked.

  "I...Umm...I hate thunderstorms" he stuttered. I rolled over towards him and noticed him nervously rubbing his hands together. Shane and I had been friends for over a year by then, and I was beginning to learn how to read his emotions just by the look on his face. At that moment, I could see that he really was scared.

  I threw back my comforter and patted my bed, "Get in."

  He shivered as he slid in. I couldn't help but feel bad for him, even if I just wanted to tease him for this. "It's fine Shane." I muttered as I threw my arm around him.

  He snuggled down, and I felt him finally relax. "Thanks Em."

  "No problem. Anything for my best friend."

  I jumped as I felt something hit my face. Groaning, I squeezed my eyes shut; I was not ready to wake up. It felt as though I had just found my way to bed. I fumbled to remove whatever was smothering my face.

  "Get your ass out of bed!" the familiar voice boomed.

  "Holy shit… do you have to yell?" I flung the towel from my face and rolled back over towards the wall of my room. Squeezing my eyes shut I willed myself to drift back to sleep.

  Sunlight flooded my bedroom as the curtains were flung open. Squinting, I gazed over my shoulder, and through my drunken haze I saw Shane towering over my bed.

  "Get up," he muttered, grabbing the edge of my comforter flinging it to my feet.

  I shut my eyes again in an attempt to block the sunlight whilst my hands blindly grabbed for the blankets. "But it's Sunday," I moaned, "and I'm pretty sure I'm still drunk."

  My hands connected with the covers, I struggled to pull them back over my legs for a few seconds before finally realizing Shane had the other end. It was useless.

  "I'm bored," he whined, tugging on my arm. "We're going out."

  "Oh my god!" I sat up defeated and dropped my head into my hands. There was no use. Shane always started his mornings, even after a night filled with drinking, freakishly early. He had always said that insomnia was his version of a hangover. Whatever. I just didn't understand why I had to pay for it.

  "What time is it?"

  "Doesn't matter," he answered, tossing my sweatshirt at me. "Get dressed we're all going to Boston."

  "Boston?" My feet hit the hardwood floor and I struggled to maintain my balance. Yes, I was most definitely still hammered. "What the hell is in Boston?"

  "Go Karts."

  I rolled my eyes, throwing my sweatshirt over my head. "You have got to be kidding me. We can do that right down the street."

  "Not the stupid kiddy go-karts," I could tell he was becoming exasperated, "I'm talking the ones where you have to take a drivers test and wear a flame retardant suit."

  "Fun!" I oozed sarcastically, whipping my hair up into a loose bun. Stumbling out into the hallway of our apartment, I wanted nothing more than to be curled up in my bed. "Well, you better buy me Starbucks."

  Shane motioned towards the counter where four venti Starbucks cups were already perched in an obsessive fashion; neatly lined up in alphabetical order by our initials.

  He smiled smugly, "What is this, amateur hour? Of course I got coffee!"

  "Yeah, but the real question is did you get my order right?"

  I grabbed the cup and took a tentative swig. I savored the velvety sweetness as it warmed my tender stomach. I was enjoying the moment when my attention shifted toward the movement coming from down the hallway. Watching Tyler and Rob groggily stumble into the kitchen made me giggle. I felt better knowing that I wasn't alone in my annoyance for my early morning wake up call. They were silent as they grabbed their cups.

  "Give me a little credit Em. I've been getting your lazy ass coffee for 12 years now."

  "Oh and don't forget waking us up at the crack of dawn," Rob lifted his coffee to a toast.

  "Yeah you're the reason we need the coffee," Tyler added.

  The three of us pounded our paper cups together in a display of solidarity.

  "Just think of all the memories we've been able to make because of me," Shane argued as he grabbed his car keys from the counter. "So for that you are welcome. Now let's go!

  So at 7:00 am on a Sunday we piled into Shane's Lexus and headed towards Boston.

  Four and a half hours and a few pit stops later, we were inside an enormous and grand warehouse. Racecars were out on display and TV screens were playing racing events. I could feel the guys' testosterone surging, and simultaneously felt my own urge to get a pedicure.

  "Quite the place." I muttered as I casually sifted through my purse in search for my lip-gloss.

  "This is g
oing to be epic," Rob spoke, shaking his fist for emphasis.

  Shane made his way over to the counter where a young bimbo stood. I watched as he paid for our all day passes. She told him that there was a mandatory one hour safety talk before we could race. I couldn't help but roll my eyes as the bimbo stuck out her chest whilst talking to him. It was pathetic.

  Shane always attracted women, whether he wanted to or not. We had always teased him that it must have been due to his boyish good looks. I never really understood all the fuss-everywhere we went women swooned-but to me he was just Shane. I swear that guy must have stumbled upon the fountain of youth, because whilst we all kept getting older, Shane never changed. He looked the same as his did eight years ago when we graduated college.

  "The next class doesn't start for another fifteen minutes," she said with a smile, obviously hinting at something, although of what exactly I wasn't sure. Maybe she wanted him to take her out back, who knows. Whatever it was, Shane wasn't having it. He quietly mumbled thanks, but then turned around to join us.

  "Fifteen minutes," he said, handing us our tickets.

  "We're going to walk around and check this place out," Tyler replied as he and Rob started walking down the hall. "We'll meet you guys there."

  I walked over to the wooden bench perched near the main entrance and plopped down. Shane followed closely behind. "How's it going?" he asked scooting next to me.

  "Well I'm finally starting to feel human again, so that's a good thing."

  "I don't know if you drank or danced more last night."

  I laughed, recalling the previous night's antics. It was a blur of shots and good dancing; just another typical Saturday night.

  "I told you I was going to dance to every song," I yawned, leaning over and laying my head on his shoulder.

  "You sure did," he grinned.

  "I'm so tired," I murmured as my eyelids fell.

  I dozed off and on for what seemed like hours when in fact only minutes had passed. The next thing I knew Shane was elbowing me in the ribs. We quickly stood up to follow the bimbo into the small classroom. I felt myself perk up when I noticed that our instructor was a fine piece of eye candy. He stood confidently in front of the room wearing a company issued polo shirt and khaki pants. Even though he was clearly just a kid-at least compared to me-I couldn't help but notice how attractive he was.

  Rob must have read my mind because he slung his arm around my neck and whispered in my ear, "Hey Em, $20 says you can't get his number."

  "Pfffft, please. You're on." I shook his hand and quickly shrugged his arm off my shoulders. Not wanting them to cramp my style, I turned and winked at them while taking a seat in the front of the room. The guys chuckled as they took their seats together at the back table.

  I was instantly kicking myself in the ass for not taking a shower or dressing better. My only saving grace was that I had at least put some lip-gloss on. Sliding into my seat, I shot the instructor my best flirty smile. He returned the gesture and started walking around the room passing out informational packets. I could hear the boys laughing at me from their table. Annoyed, I quickly turned around and flipped them the finger.

  "Alright, good morning everyone. Welcome to Formula 1 Go Karts. I'm Ethan and I'll be your instructor. We'll take about an hour to go over rules and safety precautions, and once we're done with that I'll take you out for your first race. Any questions?"

  He stopped to scan the room. I smiled again as he made eye contact with me.

  "Alright then, let's get started."

  Ethan immediately went into procedures, rules and consent forms. I spent the next 60 minutes of my life trying not to fall asleep. Poor Ethan had a shitty job. I couldn't imagine having to give that lecture at all, let alone a couple of times a day. I was thankful when we finished the rules portion and moved to a locker room that was full of olive green flame retardant suits. Ethan walked next to me as we entered the dressing room, and I decided it was time to put myself out there.

  "How many times a day do you have to do that?" I asked, flipping my hair.

  "I usually have two classes a day," he answered.

  "Must be pretty boring."

  "Eh, at least I get to race during my down times."

  "So you must be pretty good then," I said, making sure to bat my eyelashes. Flattery always worked with men. Boost their egos and make them feel like a king. It was a sure fire way to score.

  He quickly shoved his hands into his pockets and shrugged his shoulders. His face flushed with embarrassment. Apparently my flattery was working.

  "I do alright. I'm hoping to make a career out of it someday. But for now this will have to do."

  This made me seriously question how old he was because the fact that he didn't currently have a career was suspect. Whatever, I decided I didn't want or care to know. I had a bet to win.

  Suddenly I was hit with an idea.

  "Care for a friendly wager?" I asked.

  I could easily win two bets in a day. Yes, I was that good.

  He nervously rubbed his hands together. "I'm not supposed to gamble on duty."

  This guy seemed like a real drag, and if this was any normal situation I would call it a day. The only thing keeping me going was that I loathed losing, especially to Rob. Rob was the hands down winner of the 'worst display of sportsmanship' award in our apartment. He loved to gloat, and seized every opportunity to remind you of your shortcomings. I refused to spend the next six months of my life listening to his taunts.

  I found a suit in my size and slid into it.

  "Oh it's not that kind of bet, no money involved," I stated while zipping the front of my suit. "I bet I beat everyone in here, including you."

  "You're pretty confident," he laughed.

  "What can I say, it's a curse." It was true, and my confidence had been known to get me into trouble on more than one occasion. "Anyway, as I was saying, when I win you give me your phone number."

  I watched as his face turned three shades of red after my shameless request. Yeah, this guy was a young one. I just prayed that he wasn't a teenager; jail time wasn't exactly a great incentive. He quietly regained his composure and his face returned to its normal shade.

  "What's in it for me?" he questioned, stepping into his suit.

  "If you win, you can still give me your number. That way it's a win/win," I paused and Ethan blushed. It was apparent that this poor boy was quite taken with me. "I still get your number, and you get the satisfaction of knowing a cute girl is walking away with your number. "

  He pondered my proposal for a moment.

  "Alright," he said. "I don't think you have a clue of what you're doing. But I find your confidence amusing. See you on the track."

  I felt the smile spread across my face as I walked out of the locker room to the track where the guys were already huddled together.

  Rob was running his hands all over his suit. "These things are awesome. Do you think they would let me buy one?"

  Shane rolled his eyes, "I doubt you could afford it."

  "They're flame retardant," Tyler interjected, "big bucks. More than even your big lawyer salary could afford."

  "There she is, the cougar herself," Shane teased.

  My face reddened. It seemed like I wasn't the only one who noticed that Ethan appeared to be a little on the young side. However, the double standard of the situation made my blood boil.

  "Whatever," I cried. "If the roles were reversed you would be worshipping me! Men are such pigs. Besides, he's kind of cute."

  We started moving with the group towards the track entrance. "So have you scored the digits yet?" Tyler asked softly as we got in line to select our karts.

  "Not yet," I whispered. "But not only am I about to get his number and be $20 richer, I'm also about to kick all your asses'."

  The boys roared with laughter, shaking their heads. My cockiness was to be expected; there was never a challenge that I backed down from. Yet deep down they knew I was being serious. In fact they
were probably a little nervous, wondering what I might do in order to win. I realized that this was only going to make my victory that much sweeter since they would be trying their hardest to stop me.

  We quickly threw on our helmets and waited while track workers came and strapped us into the karts. Ethan took his spot at the front and briefly gave us our final rundown of track rules. He flashed me a smile as he put his helmet on and gave the thumbs up to signal for us to start the engines. The track roared. I wrapped my fingers around the wheel so tight my knuckles were white. My heart raced and I knew that my competitive edge had kicked into high gear. These poor fools didn't stand a chance.

  I stared at the light, waiting. It turned green and my foot immediately floored the gas.

  I weaved in and out between the karts. Compared to driving in the city this was easy. I couldn't remember the last time I drove through New York. I refused to drive there anymore. There was nothing appealing to me about getting flipped off and constantly honked at. I much preferred public transportation and getting escorted around, rather than stressing myself out. This was definitely more my speed.

  After a few laps I neared the front of the pack. The only karts ahead of me were Shane and Ethan. I felt a smile spread across my face, and I made a note to make sure to thank Shane for this later. This was shaping up to be one of the best hangover days yet.

  Seizing my moment, I tapped the rear end of Shane's kart. He slowed in response, giving me just the opportunity I had wanted. I swerved out to the left, easily passing him. I quickly set my sights on Ethan and watched as he glanced at me over his shoulder.

  I giggled to myself.

  I couldn't help but feel bad for him because the poor guy's ego was about to take a huge hit. I stayed back for the next two laps, letting him get comfortable with his lead. I was just waiting for the right time to make my move when Rob spun out going around a corner. Ethan, obviously feeling confidence in his ability, let off the gas for a split second as he approached the stray kart. I slammed my foot down, propelling my kart toward him. I jerked out to the left, and the tires moaned in response. By the time he noticed me approaching it was too late and I easily shot past. With only one lap left, I was able to maintain my position and took the checkered flag.

 
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