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Vodka on the Rocks (Uncertain Saint’s MC #3)
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There are rules to life that one just obeys in order in her attempt to stay on the right path. For example:
Why, you ask? Because they start bar fights, that’s why.
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Sometimes you can’t help but be a fucker. When everyone else you deal with is a fucker, you have to outfuck the other fuckers.
-Tasha’s secret thoughts
I walked across the stage with a smile on my face.
It totally contradicted what I was feeling on the inside.
I’d met some wonderful friends throughout the two years I’d been in school.
It’d been fun. It’d been challenging. It’d been exhausting.
What it hadn’t done, though, was make me forget.
“Congratulations,” my instructor smiled at me.
I’d done it, and they were happy for me. What they didn’t know, though, was that this was my third degree in four years.
And I didn’t use any of them but the one I’d gotten first: my degree in science.
“Thank you,” I replied graciously.
The Dean of Nursing Science smiled, offering me his hand, and I took it, pumping it twice before I moved to the next stop.
This one was my mom.
She was the one to place the pin on my lapels.
My nursing pin.
It was cool, sure.
But I wasn’t excited about it like I should’ve been.
This was all like any other day.
Another day that I couldn’t forget.
Another day that I questioned why I was still here, when it should’ve been me.
Jet shouldn’t have died.
It should’ve been me.
I got home from my graduation, walked through the front door, and tossed my diploma on the counter.
The piece of paper—rolled into a tight scroll from my fondling it as I made my way out of the stadium–rolled off the top of the table, slid past the edge, and teetered into the trash.
I contemplated picking it up, but I had to pee.
Then I forgot about it.
Mostly because my sister came up to my door, slammed the thing open like she was a beastie creature, and glared daggers at me while I was still trying to yank my pants up.
“What the fuck, Tash?” Annie yelled, waving her hands. “What the fucking fuck?”
I blinked at her outburst.
Not surprised by her ingenious use of the word ‘fuck’ but at the men that were at her back.
Mostly because I still had my pants unbuttoned, and I was fairly sure the toilet paper was still on the floor somewhere in my haste to yank my pants up.
“Jesus,” I squeaked, stepping back and slamming the door closed to the bathroom. “Don’t you knock, bitch?”
“I knock, bitch, when my fucking sister doesn’t forget to tell her sister that she’s graduating today,” Annie yelled through the door, totally ignoring my privacy again, and flinging the door open.
This time I, at least, had my pants up and buttoned.
“You made it in time,” I told her. “And Mom knew.”
“Yeah, but I almost didn’t! I didn’t know it was today until about twenty-five minutes before we were supposed to be there!” she snapped. “And that was because Mom asked on the way there where she needed to meet me!”
“I couldn’t help it,” I said. “I forgot, too.”
“How do you forget something like graduating?” Annie challenged.
I raised my brow at her.
“I had a player hurt herself, my mind was on other matters—like my team’s morale,” I told her defensively.
The team I coached at Jefferson High School; the varsity volleyball team, to be specific.
“You’re shitting me! How do you not tell me that?” Annie pushed, waving her hands even more wildly.
I ignored her, walking past her into my small living room.
I lived over the top of a bar in an apartment they’d converted from an old attic space.
It was huge and drafty and loud on the weekends.
Despite all of those things, I liked it.
Mostly because it felt like I was closer to Jet here. It was a place that we’d always wanted to live…our first place together. We’d spoken about finding a little hole in the wall place where rent was cheap and we could afford it and go to school together.
The apartment itself was horrible. But that was the way it was. And I’d keep staying here until it didn’t feel right anymore, even though my mother, father and sister hated it.
“So, why are you upset again?” I asked her, keeping my eyes on Mig.
Mig was my sister’s husband.
They’d gotten married a few months ago, and they were raising Mig’s son, Vitaly, together.
They were awesome together and I was so happy for Annie.
I wanted the world for my sister, because if it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t be where I was today. She’d pulled me through my darkest of times, and kept me moving forward instead of living in the past.
She deserved the moon, the stars and damn near anything she could ever dream of.
Mig held up his hands.
I’d actually spoken to him last night, telling him what time they needed to be there.
It wasn’t my fault that Mig hadn’t relayed that message.
But I also wasn’t willing to get him into trouble.
So I’d take the heat, because I didn’t care if she was mad at me one way or another.