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Her Dad's Friend

By:Penny Wylder

Her Dad's Friend
Penny Wylder

 Chapter 1

Know what happens when you bring a bottle of cinnamon whiskey to a  party? Nothing good, that's what. It should come with an additional  warning label: May cause extreme stupidity and drunk sexting.

I blame it on Emily. Who needs enemies when you have friends like her?  She bought the booze and it was her idea to come to this frat party in  the first place and practice at being twenty-one before my birthday  tomorrow.

I admit, it started off as a good time. Several of my friends are here,  the music's perfect, and there's a hot tub, so bonus. I'm a crack shot  at beer pong and hit the best of all the flat notes during karaoke. But,  as we all know, good times and good decision-making aren't one and the  same. I may or may not have butt-chugged Gray Goose with future lawyers  and house wives. And I probably danced topless on the sofa since that's  what all the pictures on Instagram are showing-only I don't pay too much  attention to those since that shit can be photo-shopped. During all of  this, I lost my shoes, and who knows what happened to my bra.

At least Emily is here to keep me in check. She has always been the  responsible one-about as responsible as a toddler dog-sitting, but  still, she's a better grown-up than me.

She suggests a group of us get together to play Would you rather in one  of the quieter rooms. It's a game. No big deal. A game can't get me in  too much trouble, right? Yeah  …  right.

Her question for me is, "Who would you rather fuck, your ex or his dad?"

Of course I choose his dad, because he was hot and my ex was kind of a  douche. Thing is, I've always had doe eyes for older men. It all started  with my dad's best friend, Paul. He looks good for his age, a silver  fox covered in tattoos, and is in better shape than most guys who go to  my school. And OMG those tropical blue eyes and five-o'clock shadow on a  strong jaw. Yes, please.

We've been flirting since I turned eighteen. He'd tell me how beautiful I  was, complement my ass in a pair of jeans, or notice how nicely I've  developed. It was all innocent. Never going too far, no touching or  talking about sex or anything like that. But I want him. Bad. Just  thinking about him has me pooling between the legs.

I lean against the pool table, looking around at all these young bucks  strutting around the house in their polos and cargo shorts. I wonder  which one I can use for the night. Maybe do some role playing, pretend  he's Paul, have myself a daddy fantasy.

A cute jock-type walks by with all his muscles and cocksure youth. His  boner is about as subtle as a rocket launcher smuggled under spandex  pants. The way he stares at me leaves no questions about his interest.  Though I'm definitely in the mood, his baby face just won't do because I  know how this story ends. I've read it many times-well, not that many.  Enough to count on one hand  …  and maybe some toes.

I see it so clearly: We'll end up in his sock-stinky room full of pizza  crusts and porn magazines littering the floor. The glow from his snake  terrarium and the video game he has on pause will double as mood  lighting. He'll fumble around my body aimlessly and expect me to oooh  and ahhh and appreciate all the pleasure he's not giving me for five  minutes until he gets his rocks off. Then he'll promise to call the next  day. I'm bored just thinking about it. So I don't even bother.

When he heads toward me, I cover my face with my phone and pretend he doesn't exist. He's sober enough to get the hint.

I continue to play with my phone even after he's gone. My ass is wet and  sticky from spilled drinks on the floor. I move to the stained,  threadbare couch next to Emily and find Paul's name in my contacts. When  I'm bored I like to look through our old texts. Birthday wishes from  last year, a Merry Christmas here, Happy Thanksgiving there. There are  pictures of us during a houseboat trip, and at an airshow.  Unfortunately, my parents are in all the pictures too.

The whiskey has gone to my head and there's no room left in there for  rational thinking. Not a single consequence occurs to me as I type out  five little words. I want to fuck you.

I show Emily. "What if I actually sent this?" I can hear myself talking  slow and slurring my words. I've drank my body weight in everything over  fifty proof and it's starting to show.

She squints at the little screen. My phone is prehistoric and has a  Post-It sized screen. When she's done reading, her eyes go wide and she  says, with a sly smile, "What if you did?" Her words are clearer than  mine. She never drinks as much as I do. That's what maturity looks like,  and someday I want to be just like her. But right now I'm having fun.         



Or at least I was until she reaches over and hits the send button on my phone.

"Emily!" I yell, jabbing at the screen, trying to get the words back  somehow. "What the fuck?" I can be heard over the music and everyone  turns to gawk in the hopes of a cat fight.

I stare at my phone, mouth breathing, hoping she hit the wrong button,  but no. The text is there, right under his last text to me several  months ago, congratulating me on getting my own apartment.

Emily rolls her eyes and tosses her blond ponytail over her shoulder.  "You've been talking about hooking up with Paul for years now. I just  did you a favor. You're welcome."

Turning away, she goes back to her game like it was nothing. Like she hadn't just ruined my life with a touch of a finger.

My buzz is DOA. Instant sobriety. I want to go home, but I came with  Emily and don't have enough cash on me to call a cab. Right now, I just  need a place to disappear. I stumble to the closest closet, kicking at  beer cans and stubbing my toe on a keg. Where the hell are my shoes?

In the closet, I sit among the coats and sports equipment, wondering how  the hell I can undo this. For an hour I literally do just that: Google  ‘how to un-send a text'. Apparently, that's not a thing. I guess us  fucking idiots are on our own.

When I finally make it back to my apartment at three in the morning, I  stay up as long as I can, trying to finish reading the paperback I  started three months ago while I wait for him to text back. I think  about sending another, saying, "just kidding!" or telling him I'd sent  that to the wrong person, but part of me is glad it's out there. I want  him to know. My eyelids grow heavy and before I know it, I'm drooling on  my pillow and dreaming I'm being chased by fried eggs with a spatula-I  have weird-ass dreams after I've been drinking.

When I wake up in the morning, I no longer want Paul to know how I feel about him. I regret everything.

It's early. I always wake up early when I'd rather sleep in. My phone  vibrates, rattling from one end of my bedside table to the other.

Shit. I can't look.

Instead of dealing with it, I roll over and try to go back to sleep. Fat  chance with the groundkeepers mowing the lawn outside my bedroom window  and the neighbor's parrot on its perch outside, singing it's unholy  morning song like some goddamned city rooster. It doesn't help either  that the sun shining through my window feels like a Death Star laser  beam searing into my face.

I'm in a bad fucking mood. I also have a Godfather of a hangover and my stomach is in knots.

Closing my eyes, my mind goes straight to the ominous "what if" pile and  jumps in it like a Labrador in a heap of autumn leaves. What if the  text blinking on my bedside table is from Paul, telling me he doesn't  want anything to do with me? What if he told my dad? I would die. If the  embarrassment didn't kill me, my dad definitely would. The good thing  is Paul doesn't live in town. He moved away to the other side of the  state two years ago and I haven't seen him since, so avoiding him is  easy.

I slam my arm down on the bed, mad at myself for being so stupid. Next  time I get drunk my phone is going in a lockbox with a key, retina  scanner, and most importantly, a breathalyzer. I won't have access to it  until I blow under the legal driving limit.

Unfortunately, I can't lay in bed and avoid my phone forever, so I say a hail Mary and pick it up.

My entire body sighs when I see it's from Emily. The text says, ‘Get up, bitch, time for some birthday pampering.'

Still no text back from Paul.

After dragging my body into the shower and brushing the dead animal off  my teeth, Emily takes me out for a manicure. I try to stay mad at her  for hitting send on that text in the first place, but it's impossible  while having my hands massaged. Sitting in the chair, getting my nails  painted a bright shade of teal, I ask her, "Do you think it's strange my  parents haven't called to wish me happy birthday yet?"

They always call first thing in the morning to wake me up on my  birthday, Mom singing terribly out of key while my dad mumbles his happy  birthday in the background. I was going to mention Paul not sending a  birthday text either, but was afraid it sounded too pathetic.

"Em?" I say when she doesn't respond. The entire time I've been with her  this morning, she's been on her phone. She has makeup on and her hair  curled. I don't know how she manages to pull her shit together after a  night of drinking when I feel like a child's beaten doll dragged through  the mud.