I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. Writing is my outlet and my passion. Everything I have endured has given me more writing material (when life gives you lemons, make lemonade). When life gives you a bucketload of bullshit, write a novel? I guess, same concept. When a person does me wrong, I don’t get even on Facebook with a nasty status, or by egging their car; I write a story. I vent through my words. Be careful what you say (and do) to a woman with a Macbook and the ability to write…you may become the villain in her new short story, featured on her blog (rich with details). I started writing Taking a Bite when I was much younger, but I forgot all about it. I rediscovered the story (I changed the name as well) when I was a freshie in high school. I realized that continuing to write Taking a Bite, could serve as a therapeutic tool; whenever there was an issue weighing heavily on my mind (the sexual assault, a friend’s betrayal, etc.), I could write that issue into my story. A lot of what is written about in Taking a Bite, is based off of my life and my many struggles. My characters have been blessed with happy endings, when in reality, I wasn’t. For example, in Taking a Bite, Olivia is raped at a party, but her older sister (Jane), and a family friend come to her rescue, and the guy who took advantage of Olivia, gets a fist to the face. In reality, I came to my own rescue…after months of pain. No one arrived in a yellow taxi cab to save me from my attacker. The name, Taking a Bite emerged from the idea that Olivia (the main character) was taking a bite out of her new home (experiencing a new world), The Big Apple, and The Big Apple was taking a bite out of her, as well (drawing her into the alluring and intriguing side of New York City). There’s a lot of heartache that Olivia endures on her journey, which I haven’t experienced, such as the death of both of her parents. I have grown quite attached to my characters, especially Olivia. She’s my girl. She’s a dramatized version of myself. Welcome to the world of Taking a Bite; a world filled with seduction and chaos. Let the words take a chomp out of you!
Taking a Bite
Dedicated to someone I used to know xo
Everyone knew Olivia Martin. Whether they were getting together with her on the weekends for a cup of coffee, or gossiping about her in Chemistry Lab, Olivia Martin was no ghost. She was popular and pretty, although she hated the term “popular”. She found it to be rather artificial and moronic, to label oneself as popular, but she was the definition of popular. She was a social butterfly. She came from a good family, and she was a cheerleader. Yes, short skirts and pom-poms. From Monday to Friday she spent her days at school, playing the role as queen bee and fawning over her attractive male teachers; bored out of her mind, tapping her pen on her desk impatiently, and passing notes to her equally bored friends, who’d probably peak in high school. Friday nights were spent cheering her little heart out at the spirit filled football games during the fall, and of course throughout the year, attending the best parties. Parties were everything. Olivia always made an appearance at the cool kid’s parties with her cheerleader friends, because that was her social obligation. They’d drink too much beer and gossip under the stars. They’d sneak back into their small suburban homes, and lie to their fairly clueless parents. Saturdays were spent recovering from the night before (Advil & Vitamin water), and pretending to be interested in her schoolwork. Sundays, her favorite day of the week, were spent at the mall. She had her close friends by her side; Visa, MasterCard, and Amex. Ah, shopping. The most important person in Olivia’s life was her sister, Jane. Jane was twenty-three, Olivia sixteen. Despite the age difference, they were incredibly close. They were best friends. Jane lived in a beautiful apartment in New York City, on the Upper East Side (of course). She was a party animal and had an elite group of friends. She constantly ran into the cast of the Real Housewives of New York City. Olivia ran into one of the Kardashian sisters, while shopping at Barneys with Jane. Jane’s days were spent quite differently from her little sister. Jane spent her Mondays-Fridays working hard at a successful Fashion Magazine, and bringing home hefty paychecks at the end of the week (along with the hot guy she met in the elevator). Jane liked to call the fashion magazine she worked for, an overnight success. Her boss was bonkers, and her coworkers consisted of three young women, and ten insanely handsome gay men. The magazine had been nothing more than a pile of glossy pages…and then one day; it blossomed into a beautiful piece of art, which became many young girls’ bible. Jane’s Friday nights were spent getting drunk with her best friends at Barneys, bonding with her Visa (Okay, well that part sounds just like Olivia) at Saks Fifth Avenue, and stumbling out of hip bars early the next morning, and usually with the hot bartender draped on her arm. Saturdays for Jane were spent having brunch at her favorite neighborhood restaurants, with unlimited mimosas, and with more of her A-list friends sloshed around her, telling stories. Jane’s Sundays were spent resting and reading a good book, usually about Cults, or Anorexia, cuddled up in bed with a joint by her side. Despite Jane’s entertaining lifestyle, Olivia was never naive enough to believe that Jane was truly happy. Jane numbed herself with men who didn’t care about her and drugs. She hid behind a critical and sarcastic personality. Olivia realized none of this until she turned nineteen.
Jane and Olivia looked an awful lot alike. They were both gorgeous with long wavy brown hair and perfect skin. They both had a smile that could light up the room, and a laugh that was contagious. Olivia lived in New Jersey with her parents and her Chihuahua Chloe, who she had begged her father for. He finally caved when she turned fourteen. She looked up at him with her Bambi eyes and he melted. Olivia had the tendency of getting exactly what she wanted, and not because she was a spoiled brat, but because she was patient and charming. Jane came down every other weekend (and not because she wanted to; she hated New Jersey) to visit her sister and parents, and Olivia stayed with Jane in New York City, once a month (not enough in Olivia’s opinion). Olivia’s life was TV-show perfect, until one unforgettably awful day. It was Olivia’s junior year of high school, when life as she knew it was forever altered. If she only knew about the life she had ahead of her; a short lived modeling career, so many handsome boys, Coke, inevitable tragedy, and new friends, that become old friends.
Jane was back in New Jersey for the weekend. She and Olivia got drunk while their parents went to visit old friends, who had a beautiful Bayfront home in Delaware. They left Friday evening and weren’t expected back until late Sunday afternoon. Jane was fighting with her parents, over failed business ventures, so she was glad to not have to see her parents. The girls were supposed to be watching the house (household chores, mail sorting, explaining new landscaping ideas to the gardener) and behaving themselves, but naturally they were doing the complete opposite (alcohol, weed, and late night lingerie fashion shows). Jane attended Olivia’s school football game that weekend, and watched as her little sister sparkled on the damp field. Olivia was shockingly vivacious and outgoing. She never backed down, from anything. She put her whole heart into everything she did. She was optimistic in an adorable, naïve, sort of way. Jane was envious of her little sister, for the way she lived her life. She never admitted that to her Olivia, though. Olivia’s friends looked at her with bright eyes and wide smiles. Olivia winked at them and cheered for the players (their boyfriends). Jane sat in the bleachers, smoking a cigarette. Olivia’s hair was curled, framing her face. Her lips sparkled with red lip-gloss. Her eyes glimmered beneath shimmery eye shadow. She smiled big and chanted enthusiastically. Her cheerleader friends hugged her tightly as the star quarter back made the winning touchdown. Olivia screeched and jumped high in the air. The football players picked Olivia up and spun her around. Another victory for the Devil’s Football Team! There was a huge party that night, hosted by the captain of the football team. He lived in the largest home in the area; a three story mansion, surrounded by a wrought-iron fence. His parents came from old money. Olivia and the rest of the cheerleaders were invited, of course. Jane was going with Olivia, but they didn’t plan on staying long. Jane was far too sophisticated for high school parties. She was accustomed to partying it up on the Upper East Side, with her high society pals, with a delicious martini in hand. Olivia adored city life, but there was something quite wonderful about small town parties. Olivia loved being the diamond among glitter, in a small suburban town.
Olivia threw a sweater on over her cheer uniform. The temperature had dropped drastically. A breeze blew up her short skirt and she shivered. An obnoxious but extremely handsome football player, covered in sweat and grass stains, ran past Olivia and slapped her butt. She screeched and hit him hard in the arm. She shook her head and looked at Jane. He stuck his tongue out at her and laughed. She shook her head once again, and giggled. She ran over to Jane, who was flirting with one of the football player’s older brothers. He was going to be at the party that night, as a chaperone. Olivia smiled as she approached them. The attractive older guy looked Olivia up and down, and smiled back. Jane hugged her sister and congratulated her on a great game (Olivia was the star in Jane’s eyes). They met up with a few of Olivia’s cheer friends, and they headed to that night’s big event. Olivia’s friend Andrew was the designated driver for the evening. He came from an old fashioned religious family and he wasn’t one for Friday night parties, or alcohol, so instead, he drove everyone around. No one else in Olivia’s group drove, either. Olivia would soon be getting her license though, if she passed her driving test. She wanted a sports car. She liked her engines fast. Olivia also wanted a lifted truck, for the bad winters, but Jane laughed at Olivia whenever she uttered the word “truck”. Jane was the farthest thing from a country girl. Olivia was split equally between city girl and country girl. She was quite versatile. Jane was Manhattan.
Andrew’s jeep was packed full with girls screaming and guys smoking. His least favorite group to drive around was Olivia’s crew. They were the worst. Olivia was always polite and appreciative, but her friends could care less about Andrew. Olivia didn’t cheer for the people on her squad, she cheered because it was what her mom had done as a teenager. Her mother had been the most popular girl in school. Olivia’s cheerleader friends weren’t nice people. She smiled pretty and fit in just fine with them though, but she would never be one of them. Jane sat next to Olivia in the jeep. They were practically on top of one another. Olivia’s friend Cody passed her a joint. She blew a puff of smoke from her mouth. The joint now kissed with red lip-gloss (Olivia’s signature) was passed on to the next person. Cody kissed Olivia’s cheek. Jane stared at her sister. Olivia threw her head back and laughed. Her brown hair draped over one shoulder; her smile lit up the back of the jeep like a firecracker.
They arrived at the party. Everyone stumbled out of the jeep, trying not to trip over one another, or any lawn ornaments. Olivia grabbed Jane’s hand and led her around to the back of the house. Olivia had been to that house multiple times. Olivia waved to a few of her high school friends. They stood on the back deck with the wasted jocks, who had just won their beloved football game, against the crosstown rivals. Olivia hugged them all and congratulated the team. Olivia was a sweetheart. A boy handed Olivia a red cup filled with cheap beer. Jane said she would pass on the beer. Cheap beer wasn’t her thing. Olivia drank a bit and made a sour face. Apparently, cheap beer wasn’t Olivia’s thing either. But, Olivia was too underage to be picky. She put the cup down on the ground and headed inside. She’d steal someone else’s beer later. She told Jane to lighten up. It was just high school. Jane had been rolling her eyes and sighing since she got there. Jane followed behind her baby sister. Olivia sat with Jane on the couch in the living room and gossiped with her cheerleader friends. Jane told Olivia’s friends about her amazing job, and her life in the city. She told them about her best friend Caleb, and the bright lights she was lucky enough to enjoy, every time she looked out her apartment windows. Olivia grinned. Olivia knew her friends were a bit overwhelmed and confused by the words coming out of her big sister’s mouth. Jane was a bit overwhelming. Jane came on very strong, always. The city was very much a part of Olivia, but New Jersey was her home. She was queen of Jersey. Olivia looked around at her drunken friends spilling beer and juicy secrets from the weekend before (hopefully none about her). She glanced outside the football player’s home at the Christmas lights that were hung on his porch, just a little too early in the year for them to be considered pretty. She looked across the room at the guy she had been casually hooking up with for the past year. He smiled at her. She looked over at Jane and winked. She stood up and walked over to the guy. His name was Michael. He was a couple of years older than her, had a super fast car, and was a total gentleman. Olivia wasn’t a fan of having boyfriends though, not at sixteen. Her friends watched her as she won him over, as always with her smile, and her flirtatious body language. She was so young, yet so intriguing. Olivia pulled him into the next room.
It was getting late and it was time for Jane and Olivia to head home. Jane was pretty over the high school scenery, anyway. Olivia emerged from the next room. She adjusted her sweater and cheerleading uniform and kissed Michael briefly. She wasn’t a fan of public displays of affection, either. Olivia had rules and she always followed them. She invented her own rules and they meant a lot to her at sixteen. Michael offered to drive her and Jane home. Olivia thanked him and told Jane that she was ready to leave (Jane did a happy dance). Olivia blew kisses to her friends and headed out. Michael dropped them off in front of Olivia’s house and she thanked him for the ride with one final kiss. She practically fell out of his car. Jane laughed and grabbed a hold of her drunken sister. Jane dragged Olivia inside. Giggles drifted through the front yard. Jane collapsed on the couch, prepared to fall asleep to an episode of Gossip Girl (she needed a little New York City while she was stuck in Jersey). Jane was exhausted. Had high school always been so draining? She heard Olivia fumbling around in the kitchen. Olivia was drunk; whatever was happening in the kitchen couldn’t have been good. She heard a loud thud and a burst of giggles. Jane sighed. Music came blasting out of the stereo behind the couch. Jane sat up. She looked puzzled and tired. The bags under her eyes were crying.
“The night is far from over my gorgeous sister, now get up and dance with me,” Olivia giggled as she opened up a bottle of her parent’s wine and sipped it slow. Olivia was a non-stop party. Jane had foolishly forgotten.
Jane laughed. She got up and danced around the living room with her barefoot little sister, who was so full of life. Olivia adored the time she spent with Jane. She made the most of every second, because she knew that come Sunday, her sister would be heading back up to New York City, and Olivia would be left with her mediocre teenage life. She loved her life, but at times she craved something more. But, doesn’t every teenage girl ache for more?
Olivia’s first time getting drunk was with her sister when she was about thirteen. Jane had bought them an expensive bottle of vodka, which Olivia couldn’t even pronounce, and a case of Jane’s favorite beer. Olivia barely remembered that night. She did remember though, waking up in a pile of down feathers. Her pillowcases were demolished (pillow fight), and from the looks of the battlefield, it had been a messy one. She was wearing a cocktail dress, her mother’s pearls, and a pair of rhinestone stilettos (they had played drunk dress up, no doubt). A tiara hung from her throbbing head (she had no idea where the tiara came from). Her curls were a mess. Jane was on the floor next to Olivia’s bed, groaning (too much vodka, of course). Olivia’s bedroom smelled of weed, vodka, and trouble (the beginning of Olivia’s party girl days). Jane had created a pretty little monster.
It was Sunday morning and Jane snuck out of bed early to make breakfast. The smell of burnt toast drifted upstairs. Olivia was hung over and didn’t want to wake up. She was dreaming about the shirtless gardener. It was a good dream. She knew she had to wake up though, since her parents would be home shortly. She needed to shower the smell of alcohol off of her and clean her messy room. It was raining cats and dogs outside and the wind was violent. The tree outside of Olivia’s room tapped on her bedroom window, loudly. Olivia jumped up, startled. She groaned. Jane yelled for Olivia and told her to come downstairs; breakfast was ready. Jane looked down at the burnt toast and the slightly overcooked scrambled eggs and sighed. Olivia needed to eat, regardless of how burnt the food was. She needed to soak up the alcohol. Olivia moaned and groaned. Jane yelled up once more and told her to get her butt downstairs. Jane was using her “mom” voice. Olivia stood up, swaying back and forth. She put her hand on her head. She had an awful headache. She had an unanswered text message from her boy toy. As Olivia stumbled out of her room, the house phone rang. Jane answered it. Everything in the household fell silent. Even the rain and tornado wind seemed to stop, just for a moment. Olivia entered the kitchen, looked at her sister, and sat down at the kitchen table. She yawned and stretched. She rubbed her tired eyes and looked outside at the flooded yard. Her sister’s face turned pale. Jane dropped the phone to the floor and began to whimper. The pan sizzling on the stove distracted Olivia. Chloe yelped. Olivia realized something was terribly wrong. She stood up and asked Jane if everything was okay. What had just happened? Who had just called the house? Thoughts spiraled through Olivia’s pounding head. Jane pulled Olivia into the living room and onto the couch. Olivia was scared. She knew something awful was about to leave Jane’s lips. Jane pulled Olivia onto her lap. Jane hadn’t done that since Olivia was a little girl. Jane bit down on her lip.
“Liv, mom and dad were in a terrible car accident. A drunk driver ran a red light and smashed right into their car.” Jane held onto Olivia tight.
I will be posting more of Taking a Bite shortly. Xo