Just Good Friends
Friends Book One
Number of pages: 180
Word Count: approx. 77,000
Juggling two jobs and mounting bills, Audrey decides she doesn't have time for a boyfriend, but contemplates a friends plus situation. After placing a personal ad, she meets Mike, a local cop, former Marine. He's old fashioned and overbearing, but she just can't walk away.
Unfortunately for her, Michael is an expert marksman, and her heart never stood a chance. Their tumultuous love affair crashes to an ending neither foresaw, and Audrey is forced to make a decision that will change both their lives forever.
The burglar’s hands grabbed her waist. His fingertips dug into her skin, and her hands covered her mouth to keep from screaming. His body pressed against hers, not an ounce of softness to be found. He whipped her body around to be facing the cash register.
“Empty out the register, old man, or she’s done for.”
Audrey would have laughed at the line, finding it comical. Under normal circumstances, she would have probably asked if he heard the cheesy line in some poorly written movie. The fact that she was now being held at gun point, and her boss, whom she loathed, would supposedly be her savior, was far from hilarious. Imminent and painful death had a strange way of leeching humor out of a given situation. She needed to make sure she didn’t turn to hysterics out of fear, and cause the robber to become trigger happy, or her few remaining seconds would end even quicker.
The barrel of a gun slammed against her temple, and she kept her eyes on her idiot boss, Mr. Constantine, notorious for trying to argue his way out of everything. Audrey prayed he’d keep his fat mouth shut and hand over the money. The metal pressed against her skin chilled her to the bone, odd since it was ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit outside. She mentally calculated the degrees into Celsius to keep her mind busy and not contemplating her current predicament. Thirty degrees Celsius? No, her math seemed off.
“Any day now!” The man shouted. Audrey heard a clicking sound, the revolver now cocked and aimed at her head. Urine trickled down her inner thighs as hot tears streamed down her face.
“Any last words you want to tell your boss?” The man whispered in her ear.
She didn’t have any particular words for her underpaying, pain-in-the-butt boss, nor did she really have anything to say to her co-workers, waitresses who she never spoke to more than a few moments. What did come to mind, however, was Mike and the sudden, acute regret over never confessing what he meant to her. Tomorrow she would be lying in a coroner’s office, and he’d be left to believe that they were just good friends.
At least she wore a matching black lace bra and panty set. She always feared dying while wearing granny panties, a serious deep-seated fear of hers. During her freshman year at college most teachers made the students fill out ice breaker questions. What’s your biggest fear always made the top of the list. Most people wrote normal stuff: spiders, heights, failing their first semester. Audrey wrote down dying while wearing granny panties. Other students might have laughed, but she knew deep down they thought the same and weren’t brave enough to admit it.
She also wondered if the coroner would be so kind as to omit from the autopsy reports her peeing incident. The truth was too embarrassing to have on permanent record anywhere.
But, right now she was still alive, and she wanted to stay that way. She had to tell Mike once about how he made her fall in love with him. It suddenly became the grossest injustice in the entire universe, even though somehow it was his fault. Maybe all of his absurd idealism had finally rubbed off on her, but he needed to know the truth, because it couldn’t die and be buried with her.
“Why are you doing this?” She asked him as a stalling tactic. Sergeant Scarface sat in the back corner of the restaurant, and with a little bit of luck…
“Why am I doing this?” He asked, slamming the metal into the side of her head. She bit her lip hard to keep from screaming out. That was going to leave a bruise.
“I’ve been cleaning up this town for a while, sweetie. This will be my last job.”
Cleaning up the town… His words triggered in her memory the night lying with Mike spent from their lovemaking as he confessed his frustration at not catching the thief.
“Do you mean house robberies or other stores like this?” She asked trying to draw him out.
“What are you, a reporter?” He shouted.
Mr. Constantine stood in front of them, frozen in fear still not moving.
“Well, it seems your boss doesn’t want to part with the dough. Tough luck for you.”
Religion had never given Audrey any comfort, so she didn’t pray for her soul. It seemed hypocritical to her, since she had never prayed before. Why start now? Instead, Audrey spent what she believed to be her last moments alive thinking about Mike. Every look, every kiss, every gesture ran through her mind since the moment she laid eyes on him like a silent film.
If these were her last seconds of life, she chose to spend them with him.
I love you, Mike.
About the Author:
S.L. Siwik lives in New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.
She loves going to NJ diners on the weekend for inspiration, drinks a pot of coffee a day, and loves finding new music to add to her list.
Just Good Friends is her debut book.