Ten Seconds to Fall

Lucy doesn't know what to do with herself after graduation. That is, until she stumbles upon The 10 Second Fiesta.

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8. That Night

He took me to his apartment and walked me wordlessly past Lew, who was watching black and white horror movies in the living room. He laid me down on his bed and kissed my forehead.

"I'm going to go let Lew know you're okay," he said softly. "And I'll get you some water. Anything else you might want? There's loads of ice cream and chocolate syrup in the freezer downstairs."

"Do you have anymore wine?" I said it with a laugh, but I was serious.

"I do," he gave me that uncertain look again.

"Would you share a bottle with me?" I asked and sniffled.

He shrugged his shoulders and stood up to leave the room. He came back a few minutes later with an uncorked bottle of moscato. I sat up.

We took turns sipping straight from the bottle. I had never drank like this before, but it felt like I needed this small rebellion at this moment, and I needed to let myself be weak in front of him. I spent so much time on the defensive, I needed to let myself feel my wounds for one night.

I opened up to him about all of it. About my brother moving out and hell breaking loose. About how I hadn't seen my brother outside of social media in a year, and how he doesn't call home. About my mother's strangeness and how I'm afraid that my parents will separate as soon as I leave. And her fears will be fulfilled. She'll be all alone, and that's what scared me the most.

He listened the entire time.

We fell asleep in our nice clothes on top of the comforter.

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I woke up with a pounding headache and a dry mouth. My eyes and cheeks were puffy and swollen from crying. I was alone under the comforter, still in my cotton dress.

I could smell bacon.

I pulled myself out of bed and found my bag, changing out of my dress and into a baggy pair of ripped up jeans and a plain gray t-shirt.

I went into the kitchen. Jude was sitting at the island with his head on the counter, a glass of water beside him. Lew was cooking breakfast. They both looked at me and Jude sat up. He winced, probably just as hungover as I was.

He stood and met me in the living area.

"Good morning," he said and enveloped me in a warm hug. "How are you holding up?"

"My head," was all I could manage.

"Well, come sit down," he said and guided me to the bar stools at the kitchen island.

I sat down and he pushed a glass of orange juice towards me.

"What, no hair of the dog?" He shot me a look. "I'm just kidding. One night of drinking with you and you think I'm an alcoholic?"

He smiled and shook his head, "No, I'm just always forgetting we aren't the same age and it's interesting to be reminded of the fact that you're only eighteen."

I glared at him and asked, "Are you saying I'm too young for you?"

He snorted, "Not at all. Besides, that would have definitely been an issue when I met your dad if that had been the case. I'm simply being reminded of the experiences I had four years ago when I was also eighteen."

"You're making me feel like a kid and it's creepy and annoying," I griped.

"I'm sorry," he sat down beside me as Lew dished out breakfast for us. "Drink the juice, though, it'll help."

"Thank you," I rubbed my temples and took in a deep breath to smell the bacon, eggs, and hash browns on my plate.

My phone started to buzz in my pocket. I took it out to see Dad's caller info on the screen. I pressed the lock button to ignore the call and say the phone down on the counter beside my plate.

"Thank you," I said quietly and took a bite of my food."

"You're welcome," he said and kissed my shoulder. "Anything for you."

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