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Deceitful Choices

By:C.A. Harms

Deceitful Choices



By C.A. Harms


Prologue





Lindsay



Late October



We all have those moments that make us realize just how careless we’ve been. Those moments when we wish we could go back and change the way we acted, or the things we said. Reroute our path and make it better—better choices, better outcomes.

If only we could take one small lie that escalated to heights beyond repair and be truthful.

Lies—to some they were just words spoken, but to others, they were so much more. A turning point in a relationship or friendship that finalized its future.

Some lies you just can’t come back from. The damage is too deep.

The ones I told recently were destructive. They could have destroyed a good man had the right people found out.

Even though I tried to fix it, tried to explain, it was hopeless. The damage was done and I found myself alone.

Picking up the pieces of my own deceit and learning from those mistakes.

One lie changed my life. It woke me to the reality that just a few words could forever change someone’s life.

I spent my adolescent years believing I wasn’t enough. My parents were never supportive; on most days I felt as if they couldn’t wait until the day I moved out and moved on. I’d heard a few times how my father didn’t even want children, and that my mother had trapped him.

He was a selfish man and in turn, my mother became selfish too.

I’d have been better off if they’d given me up for adoption. I never understood why they didn’t.

My father was heavy into gambling and my mother was oblivious, or she pretended to be. As long as she was able to have her weekly manicure and a bottle of vodka, she was set. Being drunk was her vice; she didn’t have to deal with reality if she was passed out.

They were the ones who taught me one lie could get you out of almost anything, if you told it correctly.

But they couldn’t have been more wrong.





Chapter 1





Six Weeks Earlier



“Are you okay?” Taylor asked as she stepped up to my side.

I stood in the doorway of the beach house, staring out at the waves as they crashed against the shore before retracting back out to sea. It was a scene anyone could get lost in for hours.

“Yeah, I’m good,” I told her.

I had never set foot outside of our small town of Roanoke, Illinois. I lived a somewhat sheltered life compared to my friends. It was the downfall of coming from a low income family, if that was what you wanted to call what I had at home.

Family.

Yet this was my chance to see something new, something I may never get the chance to see again.

Taylor, me, and couple of other girls from school took a little road trip. We were invited by Sierra, another senior Taylor knew, to stay at her family beach house in Gulf Shores, Alabama—a 3400 square foot home, to be exact. It was gorgeous and private, and I had never seen anything like it before. It made the small trailer I lived in my entire life feel like a shoe box.

It was beautiful—the water, the air around us, everything about it. It was kind of like living the life of someone else for a few days.

I loved the feeling. Being able to leave who I was behind and fantasize about a better life; even if it couldn’t last forever, I would treasure it for now.

“Why do you look like you’re so far away then?” she asked, bumping her shoulder against mine as she laughed. “You do know that to enjoy this trip, you’ll have to actually step outside, right?”

“Yes,” I sighed. “I’m just enjoying the peace for a few minutes. I never get this at home.”

My days and nights were normally filled with my parents’ loud obnoxious behavior, their friends coming in and out at all times, my father yelling about bills being due and money he lost to his bookie, and the X-rated displays they were never private about.

I slept most nights with my earbuds in my ears to drown out their otherwise obscene behavior. Neither of them had any morals.

The group of kids we met up with consisted of twelve others, both girls and guys, ranging from older teenagers to younger adults. We all went in together to pay for the food and drinks for the week, but the house was supplied by Sierra’s parents.

The money I spent should’ve been given to my parents to help pay our rent. I worked at a local restaurant busing tables, and gave Mom and Dad every last dime I made. If my father didn’t gamble away his weekly paycheck, I wouldn’t have to work to help with bills.

I was seventeen years old, just a few months shy of eighteen. I shouldn’t be forced to work to pay my father’s debt. I should’ve been allowed to be a kid. Most teens my age were working to save for college, or buy a car, but not me. Those were luxuries I couldn’t have.

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