So I got away with NOTHING! Not a sneak out. Not a goosey night. Not a tiny tad of criminal mischief. Nothing at all.
Intrigued by the tattoos, one completed when he was only sixteen and lied to the artist to get it done.
Frank, my then-boyfriend-now-husband, had no curfew and hadn’t for years. He slept at any number of houses and crash pads, disappeared for weekends without letting his parents know, and kissed me until I agreed to join in with his fun. Kind of agreed.
Factor in a girlfriend with a raging conscience and a sense of proper human conduct, and even the baddest bad boy starts to squirm when various lifted trucks and jeeps start pulling into one-of-a-dozen’s aunts’ driveways minutes before a romantic dinner/movie date.
“What are your cousins and brothers doing here?” I asked, so ready to eat sushi and snuggle down for a good zombie flick but feeling, with a sinking dread, that I was going to have to forgo my California rolls and undead.
Frank shifted his eyes and took my hand, kissing my knuckles in that way he knew melted my heart. “Look, can you wait here for a few minutes? I’ll be back soon, alright? Don’t come out!”
I watched girls pull out lawnchairs and offer them to Frank’s various male relatives, then sit, demure and cross-legged at their feet. There was a lot of stalking, pacing, phone calling, shouting, waving of arms, and clapping of backs.
It was a yard of shenanigan-experts preparing for a history-making shenanigan.
Frank finally came back to the room. “Don’t be mad,” he preambled, his hands up and his eyes wide. “I gotta stay here for a while.”
I got exactly one night a week off from the grind of college and work, and I wanted a romantic date!
“Am I allowed to ask why, or should I get you a lawnchair and a beer and sit at your feet until you send me to fetch something else?” I sneered.
“What?! No!” He gathered me up in his arms and held me close. “No. I want to be with you. Trust me. You have no idea. But my brother…”
“What? What happened?” I demanded, trying not to get woozy over the delicious smell of his aftershave.
“He got into it with this guy, and the guy is going to beat him up.”
I could tell from the tight set of his lips that this was the highly edited version of the story. “Okay. Call the police.”
He kissed me, an obvious attempt to divert my attention. Awesome. Wonderful. Not working. I turned my head away and he sighed. “Can’t.”
“Because my brother bashed his taillights in.”
“The guy talked smack to him. He had to.”
“Uh, no. No one has to smash anyone’s headlights in.”
“So, what are you going to do? Beat him up?”
“Yeah.” Frank looked relieved. Finally, I had seen the light!
“You’re going to wait for this guy to come here, then gang up on him and beat him up because he said something that made your brother decide to bash his taillights in?” I stared at Frank. He smiled.
“YES!” He leaned in to kiss me.
“Take me home, now,” I demanded.
Franks entire face fell. He argued. He cajoled. He begged, but it fell on deaf ears.
“Take me to dinner, or take me home. But I’m not sitting here and watching you idiots brawl, and I’m not waiting for the cops to come and arrest all of you for it.”
I couldn’t believe I was in this situation! I had waited my entire life to see shenanigans close up, and here I was, right in the thick of a big, broiling one, and I was calling uncle.
I gave him the face that communicated just how dead-set serious I was.
“We’re going out?” I was shocked.
“I’m not choosing a backyard brawl over you,” he said.
“Frontyard,” I corrected. Then I kissed him. And thus began the bitter end of Frank’s long, twisted shenanigan history. All for a girl who wanted to see it fisthand, and wound up with no taste for it.
At seventeen, Trinity McCabe has already made enough mistakes to fill a lifetime. Especially the one where she got high, drove a car, and almost killed a dog. And then let her friend Aidan take the blame. She’s clean now and desperate to fix the messes she’s made, but first she’s going to have to get out of her pajamas.
As Trinity struggles to stop sleepwalking through life, she faces the painful, tingling sensation of waking up. It’s sometimes embarrassing (she really didn’t want to have lunch with Aidan’s mom), sometimes terrifying (group therapy is beyond intimidating), and sometimes, amazingly enough, pretty romantic (who’d have though Aidan would be such a great kisser?)