“Ugh, Naomi this looks stupid. I wasn’t even thinking when I picked this dress out!”
“You look fine girl, besides, who are you trying to impress. You and Chad have been together for 3 years. He’s seen you at your worst, and that’s pretty bad.” Naomi said to me.
“Funny!” I said as I gave her a mean look
“Hey girls! How are you two feeling?”
“Good Mom, hey, have you talked to Chad? He said he was going to ride with you.”
“No sweety.” My mom said in a dissapointed tone “He’ll be there, I’m sure, just hurry up. We need to leave in about 15 minutes.”
I shot Naomi a look and she knew exactly what I was thinking.
“Karmin, he loves you to death. He wouldn’t miss your graduation for the world.
“I know bu-“
As soon as I began to speak my phone rang.
“Hey baby, we’re leaving in ten minutes….oh..so who are you riding with?…okay babe…okay, see you soon. Muah!”
I look over at Naomi and smiled
“Told you so!” She said as she twirled her tassel
“Wow I can’t believe we’re graduating! It seems like just yesterday that we we’re meeting eachother for the first time in second grade when you stole my purple crayon!” I said to her while putting a final touch on my curly hair
“I know, I was a bitch, still am! Let’s go girly, I want my damn diploma already.”
I grabbed my cap and gown and followed her out the door. I hope he actually shows up I thought to myself.
“Karmin, come here!”
“Here Omi, hold my phone I’ll be right back” I walked over towards Presley and gave her a hug
“Hey girl, you ready to graduate!?”
“Yes, oh my gosh I can’t wait. Come here I want you to meet my family.”
She walked me around the corner to where her family was
“Ma, Dad, this is my friend Karmin. She’s the one I was telling you about who wants to be an actress.”
“Pleasure to meet you, Karmin.”
“And these are my stupid brothers, Bruno and Eric. Bruno graduated from here last year. You may have seen him around.”
“Nice to meet you, they both said at the same time.”
“Hi” I smiled at them Nope, face doesnt ring a bell I Though to myself
“Congratulations to Roosevelt High School’s class of 2011!” Principal Harmont said as he ended the ceremony.
Everyone threw their caps in the air celebrating the graduation. I looked around squinting my eyes scanning over the crowd looking for chad. Nowhere.
“Fucking asshole” I whispered to myself. I grapped my phone out of my bra and texted him
-Smooth Chad, ditched me again on the most important day of my life. Fuck you…
Soon after the ceremony and I said my hello‟s and goodbye‟s to everyone, Naomi and I made our way out to the parking lot.
“Hey Karmin wait up.” I turned around to see Presley trying to run up to me in her 3-inch heels.
“Yeah what‟s up Pres?”
“If ya‟ll aren‟t doing anything tonight we‟re having a little bonfire at the beach. There‟s gonna be bottles.” She said as she shot me a not so innocent smile.
“Presley, you know I dont drink.”
“But I do!” Naomi interrupted me
“Anyways, like I was saying before drunky over here rudely interrupted me! That sounds fun. We‟ll be there around 9-ish? Mom‟s throwing a little family graduation party for that I have to be at first.”
“Okay, sounds cool. I‟ll see ya‟ll then, oh hey you can bring Chad too.”
“Yeah…” I said remembering that I was pissed at him
“Congratulations sweety” My dad said to me as he brought out a cake and a little black box.
“Thank you, dad”
He handed me the box and I opened it to find a necklace with a charm that was shaped like a palm tree. On the back it read „Home is where your heart is.‟
“It‟s beautiful dad, but what does it mean?”
“It means that I can see you making it big in Hollywood but if your head gets too big or things don‟t work out for you right away. Hawaii is and will always be your home.”
“Awwww. Thanks again, Dad.” I gave him a big hug and looked at my phone. 8:42pm
Shit the bonfire I thought to myself
“Mom, dad I totally lost track of time. I‟m supposed to be joining some friends down at the beach for a graduation thing. Forgive me? I promise i‟ll eat cake when I get back.”
“No worries baby.” My mom said as she looked at my dad
“Be safe kid, don‟t get in too late.”
I quickly grabbed my phone and dialed Naomi as I slipped on my flip flops.
“Hey, sorry, sorry I got caught up with the rents. Im on my way.”
“It‟s cool bitch, Im waiting for you at the tree.”
I ran through the neighborhood and down through a shortcut to the beach that only locals knew about. I made my way to the tree that had been a meet up spot for Naomi and I since the 5th grade. When I neared the tree I felt my phone vibrate. I pulled it out of the back pocket of my shorts and saw a text from Chad.
-Hey boo, so sorry I missed your graduation. Greg couldn‟t drive because his Mom needed the car and my phone died before I could let you know. I‟ll make it up to you princess. Love you. Call me later k?
“Ugh..” I returned my phone back to my pocket. I wasn‟t going to let him ruin yet another special time for me. This hasn‟t been the first and definately won‟t be the last time he‟s hurt me.
“Why do I put up with this shit.” I said to myself
“Put up with what?” I heard Naomi say as she walked up the hill towards me.
“Fucking Chad. He text me and said that he didn‟t make it because Greg‟s mom needed the car so they couldn‟t drive and his phone died. He‟s full of shit. I bet you a million dollars that he was just high again. I should just break it off now. Im going to LA anyways. Long distance just isn‟t going to work.”
Naomi stopped and put her hands on my shoulders
“I‟ve been waiting to hear that for the last 7 months.”
“What?” I said as we approached the beach
“Nothing, lets go have fun!” She said as she grabbed my arm and ran towards the crowd of people
“Hey chicas, glad you could make it!” Presley said as she carried a cooler full of sodas to a covered area on the beach
Throughout the night I just sat and thought about what I should do about Chad and watched Naomi get wasted and talk to a countless amount of boys. My thoughts we‟re interrupted by a tap on my shoulder.
“Hey, you look bored. Shouldn‟t you be celebrating?”
I could barely see who it was that was talking to me but the moonlight allowed me to see a curly afro and brown almond-shaped eyes.
“Hey you, Bruno right?”
“Yeah, I was just seeing if you wanted to dance or something. You look like you‟re having a horrible time.” He laughed
“Oh no, im fine, really. Plus, I have a boyfriend.”
“Come on it‟s just dancing. It don‟t mean nothing, sweety.”
He was right. Chad was not worth wasting some of my last memories in Hawaii. He held out his hand and I grabbed it as he helped me up. He led me towards the music as I brushed the sand off of my butt. He spun me around making me laugh and we moved left and right to the beat of Ginuwine‟s „Differences‟
“My whole life has changed Since you, came in”
Bruno sang along to the lyrics softly as we danced.
“Whoa, you can sing?”
“Um, I can‟t not sing!” He said trying not to brag
“You sound really good, im suprised.” I said
“Im suprised too.”
“Because your boyfriend isn‟t here with his beautiful girlfriend celebrating her graduation.” He said
“Oh, no it‟s not like that. He‟s sick with the flu. I told him not to le-“
“Your a great liar. I see why your going to be an actress.”
“What?” I said looking at him confused
“I can tell something is bothering you, is it him?”
How can this boy read me so well? He’s known me for no more than 8 minutes. I thought to myself.
One dance turned into another, and another dance turned into a few shots. I was convinced to live a little and I figured that drinking one time wouldn‟t hurt anybody. The alcohol was getting to me, I could feel it. I felt on top of the world and I found myself dancing in the middle of the beach by myself. The wind was blowing through my hair and the cool breeze felt good against my bare shoulders that my orange tank top revealed.
“Karmin Elizabeth!” Naomi shouted “What the hell are you doing?! You look like a damn fool.”
“No she doesn‟t” Bruno replied as he neared me with a seductive smile on his face
Why does he look at me like that? I thought
“Well somebodys having fun.” He said as he watched me sit down close to the shore
“I never drink.” I said as I laughed at myself
“Me either.” Bruno said as he smiled and looked away
“Whatever!” I said as I slapped his arm god he’s kinda cute “I saw you throwing back that Patron like you‟ve been drinking for a lifetime!”
“Ohhhh so you were watching me?” He winked
I laughed at him and looked back at Naomi who was flirting with Ryan. He was going to be a senior this year. I shook my head and looked back at Bruno.
“So do you go to school or something?” I asked him
“No, I play small shows around town to save money so I can move to California to try and get signed.”
“SHUT UP!” Im moving to California at the end of the summer. Im going to acting school there.”
“Really?” Bruno said as he smiled
“Yeah…Shit.” I said
“What?” Bruno replied
“I really have to pee. Im not going to make it to my house, fuck.”
Bruno laughed at me “Come on, my house is right there….alchy” He joked
“Shut up I am not an alcoholic!” I said as I got up to follow him
He led me into his house where we had to be quiet because his parents we‟re sleeping. He had his own bathroon inside of his bedroom.
“To your right.” He pointed as he sat down on his bed to wait for me.
I finished up in the bathroom and walked out to see Bruno strumming an acoustic guitar. I sat down next to him and waited for him to finish.
“Ready to go?” He asked
I sat there for a second looking him in his eyes thinking about how bad I wanted Chad to be just like him. It must have been the alcohol because before I could stop myself I found my lips pressed softly against his.
I leaned on top of him as I continued to kiss him.
“Bruno…” I said between the kisses
“Yeah?” He responded
“I want you to take my virginity.”
“Karmin, whoa, wait a second.” Bruno said as he pushed me off of him
“Your drunk, and you have a boyfriend, and your virginity is supposed to be taken by somebody that you love. I can’t do that Karmin. We’ve already gone to far.” He said rubbing his head.
“Bruno, first of all im not that drunk. I have a clear head. And second, im breaking up with him..”
“Why?” He asked in a worried tone
“Because, it’s a long story, but he deserves it. He treats me like shit. I really like you, Bruno. I know we just met but, your different.”
“I don’t know what kind of guy you think I am but, I won’t do this with you. Not like this. Let’s get you home and we can talk tommorow, okay?”
I let out a deep breath and agreed with him. In a way, I’m glad he stopped me. I truly like him after tonight but if i’m going to make any decisions I want to be completely sober.
I reached over for my phone as it woke me out of a deep sleep.
“Hey hoe, did you get murdered last night or did Bruno lay it on you after the beach?”
“Naomi SHUT UP! I went to his house to pee and then I went home, Mrs. Keomaka.” I said to her as a sat up in my bed
“Oh my god, Kay he is so cute. I don’t care that he’s a year younger. He’s so worth it.” She said as she yawned
“Your crazy Omi. Hey let me get freshened up and then call Chad. I think im going to do it today.”
“You mean…?” She asked
“Yeah, I can’t deal with him anymore. Im missing out on better things”
“You mean, Bruno?”
“Ugh, Naomi, I don’t know. He is so different. He makes me feel like, like nothing in the world matters. He’s so comforting and he knows the perfect things to say at the perfect times, he’s just, he’s like PERFECT!” I yelled out
“Okay, okay, okay. Well go call Chad, and then call me right back! I need all the juice on what happened.”
“Oh god Omi, bye.”
We hung up the phone and I thought for a second how I was going to tell him.Should I call him, or just send him a text? No. I need to do it in person. I quickly showered and took an ibuprofen on my way out the door to try and clear the hangover I had from the night before. I walked for about 15 minutes over to Chad’s house. As I approached his house I took out my pink headphones and wrapped them around my purple iPod nano and shoved it into my pocket. I took a huge breath and knocked on the door. It took awhile for him to answer the door so I rang the doorbell. Still nothing. I walked around to the back of the house where his bedroom window was. As soon as I turned the corner I was disgusted by the sight of him having sex with another girl. Bastard. I moved away from the window and dialed his number.
“Where are you baby? Do you want to hang out today?” I asked trying to sound calm
“Oh, I can’t right now boo, I-I’m at the grocery store with my mom and then afterwards we’re going to my Grandpa’s for dinner. Maybe tommorow baby?”
“Your so full of shit, Chad. Full of it!”
I moved back in front of the window and stared at him as he jumped out of the bed.
“Fuck off Chad, Im done with you.” I said into the phone
Tears started to stream down my face as I quickly walked back towards my house.How could I have dealt with such an ass for so long I though to myself. As I was walking I saw a green Jeep Cherokee slowly pull into the gas station that I was passing.
“Karmin!” I heard someone yell out of the Jeep. Bruno.
As pissed as I was, my heart warmed up from the sight of him.
“Hop in.” He said as he leaned over to unlock the passengers door
“Have you been crying, Karmin?” He asked
“Yeah, I just broke up with, Chad. i’m fine though, really. I’ve been over him so long that i’m not even hurting.”
“Im sorry sweety..” He said as he touched my shoulder
Fuck, I want him.
I wiped my face and got myself together.
“Where to?” Bruno asked as he started the car
“Ummmm, I was just going to go home unless you needed to go somewhere on the way.” I said as I put my seatbelt on
“I do have one stop to make if you don’t mind.”
“Nope.” I smiled
We pulled up to an old burger joint that everyone in town goes to after church every Sunday.
“You hungry?” He asked trying to find a parking spot
“Ummm, sure..” I said unsure of what he was getting at
We walked in and followed the host to a booth in the back of the restaurant where she seated us. Bruno ordered a Double Bacon Cheeseburger meal with a large chocolate shake. I had a Chicken Sandwhich with a small vanilla shake.
“So about last night.” I started
“It’s okay, I know you had a couple shots.” He said with a mouth full of fries
“Im sorry that I said I wanted to, you know. But I meant it when I said you were different.” I said handing him a napkin
“Karmin, I really like you, but I don’t want you to rush into anything. I mean you just got out of a relashionship a half hour ago.” He said laughing
“Hello?” I answered without looking to see who was calling me
“Um what happened to calling me back, it’s been like 4 hours!” Naomi yelled
“Oh shit, sorry Omi. I went to eat with Bruno and then totally fell asleep aft-“
“What!” She interrupted “You went to eat with Bruno? What is your deal with this guy Kar?”
“It’s not like that. He saw me walking home from Chad’s and offered a ride, he was hungry, so we stopped on the way.” I answered half lying
“Your such a lying ass whore.” Naomi answered laughing
“Whatever, what’s up with you and…oh hey Omi hang on someone’s texting me.” I took the phone away from my ear and checked my messages. Bruno.
I look out my window and was blinded by a familiar pair of headlights.
“Hey, let me call you back.”
I hung up the phone quickly as I jumped out of my bed looking for the match to my gold gladiator sandal. I look like shit I thought to myself as I walked passed the mirror on my wall. I reached for some eyeliner and finished with a little mascara. I grabbed my house key from my purse and ran down the stairs hoping he wouldn’t think I was crazy for taking 15 minutes just to see him.
“What’s up” I said leaning onto his driver side window God he looks good
“What’s on your face?” He said leaning in close to me
“What do you mean?” I responded as I backed up a bit
“Why did you put on makeup Karmin, you’re beyond beautiful just the way you are. You don’t need that shit.” He said flashing me a corny but irresistible smile
“Oh I, it’s just, nothing. What do you need?”
He looked away from me for a split second and then looked back at me.
“Whaaaat?” I said
“I need your help. Im writing a song and for some reason i’m completely stuck.”
“Oh Bruno, im no good for that type of stuff. If anything i’ll make it worse.” I said looking away
“I just need you with me you don’t have to say a word..”
We slowly pulled up to the front of Bruno’s house. It was completely empty. I hopped out of his Jeep and followed him to the front door.
“Where is everybody?” I asked looking around
“They’re at my uncle’s for dinner.”
He opened the door and I slipped off my sandals before entering. He led me up to his bedroom where I took a seat on the edge of his bed and him in a chair in front of a desk.
“Tell me what you think about this.” He began singing and strumming a melody on his guitar
‘Once again your home alone tears running from your eyes and i’m on the outside
knowing that your all I want but I can’t do anything I’m so helpless baby…’
Every note he hit and muscle that he moved drove me crazy.
“Karmin?” He said waving his hand in my face.
“Sorry.” I said trying to pull myself together
“Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, I just, that song reminds me of…me. I was such a fool for letting him treat me that way. I deserve-“
“…Someone who can say that they love you and mean it.”
His comment caught me off guard, but he was so right. I wanted to be with him so bad.
“Karmin.” He said again
He stood up and looked at me while clenching his jaw. I looked at him wondering what the hell he was about to do. He ran his fingers through my hair which sent chills throughout my entire body…