Toxic

Los Angeles—the city where all of your dreams come true. Rosie Jones couldn’t have imagined a life better than the one she’s currently living. She had just moved into a new apartment and meets a guy from across the hall, who has a secret of his own. Everyone warned her about him, but she didn’t listen. What happens when all of your dreams comes crashing down?

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2. One

Los Angeles - the city of dreams. I can't believe that I'm finally making those dreams come true. Of course, it might take a bit of work. It'll all be worth it. The first thing I needed was a job. Next, I had to find myself a place and get a car. Just two years out of college and I'm still paying off student loans. Go to college, they said; you'll have a career, they said.

Well, I did end up majoring in journalism. Currently, I am working for a fashion magazine as an assistant for one of the editors. The pay wasn't much, but I'll eventually have to work my way up to the top somehow. If I was going to make it in Los Angeles, I'm going to have to dream big. I've always had that mindset ever since I was a little girl.

My mom passed away when I was five and have lived with my dad ever since. I have no other siblings, just my dad and I. Things can get pretty lonely sometimes with the two of us. Guess we're just missing mom. Vaguely, I remember my mom. She was the best mom a five-year-old girl could ever have at the time.

Eventually, my dad remarried when I was eight. I went from being an only child to the middle child in a year. My step-mom is Rebecca. She has two daughters: Hannah and Chloe. Hannah is three years older than me and Chloe, two years younger.

How my dad met Rebecca? Let's just say they were old friends who briefly dated in high school before she married some rich guy, but she divorced him because of some events. I'd like to think Hannah and Chloe were spoiled brats. They asked my dad of everything from clothes to even giving them allowances.

I'm not going to lie. I was jealous. Once my dad had tried to give me an allowance so I wouldn't feel left out, I declined the offer. Hannah took the money instead because clearly she needed it more than I did. The five of us lived in a small town in the state of Virginia.

My step-sisters complained of sharing a room with me. I was kicked out and slept in the basement, which I didn't mind. It was quiet and kept me away from all of the noise upstairs. I mainly kept to myself, even when I entered high school. I did have friends that ended up being the only people I talked to and trusted.

My dad paid so much attention to Rebecca and her daughters that he hardly ever spent time with me. I missed the days when dad and I were having fun. Dad and I had the entire house to ourselves. I had my own room and no one to share it with.

In my room, I wrote in my journal that my mom had given me a few months before she passed. It was a little after my 5th birthday when she gave it to me. She told me that if I ever needed some comfort that I should write in my journal.

In a way, the journal was a replacement for my mom. I would confide in that journal almost every single day since the day dad remarried. I would write to my mom and tell her everything about my day, only because I knew that she would be up in heaven listening.

Sometimes at night I pray to her. I think about her often. Every day, I would tell her that I miss her and that I wish she were here with us. Rebecca doesn't seem to be the best substitute for a mom since she is always abusing dad's money in someway.

By the time I was 18, I had to get a job and go to school. Almost every single day, I was tired due to the fact that I'd go to school and go straight to work afterwards. For four years while in college, I managed to keep up with my busy schedule.

Two years ago, I decided to move out and get my own apartment. I had just graduated from college. I needed to get a head-start on my career path somehow. "You'll come back home one day, you'll see. You'll be missing us Rosie." said Rebecca. I rolled my eyes.

I bid goodbye to my dad before taking the car and driving to my new apartment. In my apartment, I was away from all the distraction that my step family had been causing for the last 12 years. I can safely say that I am so relieved to be out of the house and living on my own.

I was able to acquire a job for the local newspaper. It wasn't much, but it's a start. I wrote about the locals living here. Also, I wrote about events that I literally had to pay to see. Overall, it wasn't so bad. I was able to experience a world that I haven't even dreamt of. It's good to live by my own rules and do the things I want, when I want.

Finally after two years, I decided to get a move on with my life. On the side when I wasn't work my morning shifts at work, I was writing songs. My dad inspired me to achieve my dream of becoming a singer. 

Though, I always had doubt that I wouldn't make it in the music world. Well, that was about a year after my dad remarried and Rebecca tore down those dreams. She always told me that my head was too high up in the clouds. My focus should be realistic. My instinct was to ignore her.

From time to time, I would record myself singing covers of famous songs. The views weren't great, but it was still a start. Finally my decision was to move to Los Angeles. After being interviewed by a prestigious magazine company and getting accepted, guess I have my life well-kept in tact.

As soon as I entered my apartment, my phone rang. The moving guys helped me with my boxes. Although the rent was a bit higher than I expected, I didn't mind. I earned enough to get by with rent and still have enough for all other necessities. I picked up my phone to answer.

"Hey honey, it's dad." It was so relieving to hear dad's voice. Every once in a while, dad would call to check up on me. He just wanted to make sure that I was okay. He always worried about me when we were living under the same roof back home. Now, he doesn't have to worry about me as much any more but he still does. "Hey dad. I'm doing well, if you wanted to know. How are you?" I ask.

"It's not quite the same without you Rosie. It's good that you're doing well. You should visit again soon. I miss you squirt." said dad. I told him that I will try and plan to visit them in a few weeks. Our conversations on the phone don't always last long because Rebecca spends countless of hours talking on the phone.

Hannah and Chloe are big phone talkers as well. The conversation between dad and I ended. I checked the time on my phone. Fifteen minutes, that's a new record. Usually it's a lot shorter than that, like two minutes or so. Five minutes if I was lucky. Rebecca is always trying to kick him off the line.

Hannah and Chloe still live with my dad at home. I feel like they should move out as well, but Rebecca doesn't like them to be away from her for too long. I'm just glad that I decided to move out when I had the chance to. Otherwise I would've been stuck in Louisville. 

Living in Los Angeles is my life now. I don't think I'll ever plan on moving back home to be closer to my dad. Though, maybe in the future I might just be a few towns over instead of a number of States away. It's not going to be easy to get used to the traffic in Los Angeles.

Also, I don't mind the warm weather at all. I love the feel of the sand against my toes while hearing the sounds of waves crashing against the shore. The weekend was over. It's another Monday, working as an assistant for a fashion magazine editor named Cheryl Winston. I brew myself a pot of coffee while getting dressed for work. Cheryl was a high-maintenance woman. She's 33, married, and has no kids.

I don't want to pry, but I wonder if she and her husband were planning to adopt. I have met her husband, only once. His name was Jack. He was a very nice man, much nicer than Cheryl. He too owned a business, but it was a restaurant. He was the manager. Maybe I should've decided to work as a waitress in stead.

Maybe I should've gone into business in college, but I never found an interest in finances or business management. As soon as I am ready to head out the door, my coffee finishes and I pour it into my thermal coffee cup. I grab my keys and head out the door, but I caught a glimpse of my neighbor from across the hall walking down the hallway towards me.

I never knew his name, but I could spot him from a mile away if I was ever in the city. He had jet black hair and hazel colored eyes, which I took note of when we both picked up our mail from the box. He was wearing a black t-shirt. I never noticed that he had tattoos before, but he always seemed to cover them up. Just as I would be locking my door, he entered his apartment without a word.

Who is that man, and why does he give me such intense feelings?

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