An Unexpected Hunger

 
 
 
 
An Unexpected Hunger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Unexpected Hunger

 

By

C. Rosa

 

 

 

Copyright
©
2013 by C. Rosa

 

All Rights Reserved

 

www.crosabooks.com

 

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer's imagination, have been used fictitiously and are not to be interpreted as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental. The author holds all rights to this work. It is illegal to reproduce this novel without written expressed consent from the author.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Liv

Contents

Chapter
1-
The Return

Chapter
2-
The Re-introduction

Chapter
3-
The Job

Chapter
4-
The First Day

Chapter
5-
Home Alone

Chapter
6-
Drawing the Line

Chapter
7-
The Confessions

Chapter
8-
Ethan

Chapter
9-
The Beach

Chapter 1
0-
Out of Control

Chapter 1
1-
The Call

Chapter 1
2-
The Date

Chapter 1
3-
The Letter

Chapter 1
4-
Night Out

Chapter 1
5-
Blindsided

Chapter 1
6-
The Aftermath

Chapter 1
7-
Second Chance

Chapter 1
8-
Fear Not

Chapter 1
9-
Picking Up

Chapter 2
0-
First Date

Chapter 2
1-
Everything’s Fine

Chapter 2
2-
The Visit

Chapter 2
3-
Make a Choice

Chapter 2
4-
Letting Go

Chapter 2
5-
Moving On

Chapter 2
6-
The Announcement

Chapter 2
7-
NYC

Chapter 2
8-
First Kiss

Chapter 2
9-
Alone

Chapter 3
0-
Two Can Play

Chapter 3
1-
Down that Road

Chapter 3
2-
Waking Up

Chapter 3
3-
Together

Chapter 3
4-
Birthday

Chapter 3
5-
Empty House

Chapter 3
6-
Ask yourself

Chapter 3
7-
Home Again

Epilogue

 

 

 

Chapter 1
The Return

 

THE MINUTE I STEPPED
off the plane, I felt the effects of the sedative I took earlier wear off. I hated flying and dreaded being confined to a giant airborne metal box. Just over four hours in an airplane and I could feel my anxiety making a slow crawl over my body. My heart pumped through my chest, the adrenaline coursing through my veins. It skipped beat after beat, thumping uncomfortably each time it did, making it hard to keep my breathing even. I was relieved to be so far away from California but even more nervous to be back home.

I waited as the luggage carousal spun agonizingly slow, hoping to see my suitcase appear out of the magical hole in the wall. An announcement bl
ared through the loudspeaker; English first, and then Spanish. My stomach growled with nausea, and my bladder was so full it felt like a rock in my groin. I looked at my watch, the big hand just about pointing to the twelve and the little hand nudging towards the five.

I watched in
a trance as the suitcases glided by until mine finally made an appearance. My eyes followed the green ribbon I wrapped around the handle, and I waited for just the right moment as it approached me. One suitcase and a carry-on, holding everything I owned.

I fumble
d with the large piece of luggage so full it looked like it was giving birth to another piece of luggage.


Here…let me help you with that,” a deep voice said.

“No thanks,” I answered
, not bothering to look up. “I got it.” I gave the suitcase one good pull and finally managed to free it from the conveyer belt. I pulled the handle up and plopped my carry-on on top.

I ble
w the loose hair from my ponytail out of my face and heard the man who offered to help me chuckle. I finally looked up at him.

He was
attractive, probably in his early twenties like me. No tattoos, that I could see, and his hair was carefully parted on one side and smoothed back. He looked oddly familiar and seemed like someone my mother would have hand-picked for me out of a line-up of acceptable suitors.

He flashed
me a wide smile, and I offered him a lame grin in return. He opened his mouth to say more, but I didn’t give him the chance. I gave my suitcase a kick to set it on its wheels and walked away as fast as I could, never looking back.

I pass
ed by the
restrooms and thought about running in and using the bathroom. I watched a few women pile in before me and decided to skip it. Hopefully, my mother would be here to pick me up.

When I finally reach
ed the pick-up area of the airport the heat hit me like a cast-iron frying pan. I slipped off my thin denim jacket and flopped it on top of the handlebars. Philadelphia International Airport, the last stop between where I had been and where I was going.

The platform wa
s crowded with loads of foreigners speaking languages I didn’t understand, pushing their way past me. I looked for mom, hoping she was actually on time for once in her life but didn’t see her car anywhere. I took a couple of deep breaths, hoping my anxiety didn’t come rushing at me like some crazed axe murderer.

I hate
d feeling so out of control. Each day, I thought I had overcome the shame I felt from that disastrous night, only to be proven wrong. I fanned my arms, hoping to cool the sweat pouring from under them. My cheeks burned from the heat of the sun, and I checked my cell phone to see if she called.


Alexa!” My mom came trotting over, waving her arms in the air like she was flagging down a plane. “Alexa, honey!”

She came barreling towards me, both arms outstretched. “I’m sorry I’m late,” she said. “I took the wrong exit after the bridge.”

“It’s okay,” I muttered as she wrapped her arms around me. She smelled like the Chanel No. 5 perfume she’d worn for years, and her jewelry was colored coordinated with her clothes.

“Let me have a look at you.” She stepped back a few inches, still holding onto my shoulders.
“When’s the last time you got a trim?” she said, holding onto a lock of my hair and examining the ends with squinted eyes.

I looked down at the spike of hair between her fingers
. “I don’t know…a year ago?”

She released my hair and flipped it behind my shoulders.
“Oh, honey,” she said, pulling me into another hug. “A year without visiting your mother once is far too long if you ask me. It’s so good to have you home again.”

I always looked forward to Mom and Nick’s annual visits, until about day three when Nick had eaten just about everything
in the fridge but the baking soda, and mom had rearranged my living room furniture so that it “flowed better.”

“Yeah,” I
said. “I hope I can say the same.”

She smacked me lightly on the shoulder. “Oh
, don’t be such a pessimist…just like your father.”

My father died right after I graduated from high school
, but my parents divorced when I was ten. They never got along, not as long as I could remember. Even though my dad’s been dead for five years, my mother still gets a kick out of throwing him a few jabs now and then.

“Where’s your car
?” I asked, trying to change the subject.

“Oh! It’s right there,” she said
, pointing. “I forgot to tell you. I bought a new one.”

Mom had just finalized divorce number three, this time to a well-off man, named Barry, that she met through a mutual friend. She had married him not long before dad died. They weren’t together that long, only a few years, and when mom called me to tell me the news of their split I couldn’t say I was too surprised. Although, the relationship did last a whole year longer than husband number two.

I followed her to the shiny new SUV parked on the other side of the platform. It was huge with silver paint and smooth black leather seats. Mom pushed a button on the keyless entry and the trunk popped open. She helped me stuff my suitcase and carry-on in the back, and then we both piled into the car.

“Need a latter to get in this thing,” I muttered
under my breath, hoisting myself into the seat.

Mom blasted
the air conditioning, fanning her face at the same time. “Ugh…I’m going to melt in this heat!”

I nervously
tapped my foot during the whole ride home. My mother did most of the talking, updating me on every bit of gossip about everyone we knew.

My concentration drifted in and out as I gazed out
of the window. Home again and it felt like nothing changed…nothing but me. I left here five years ago to follow my dreams and attend culinary school. Ever since I was a little girl, growing up in dad’s restaurant, I knew what I wanted to do for a living. Some of my best memories of my father involved cooking.

No one, especially my mom, could understand why I didn’t just go to New York, which
was only a car ride away. After my father died, my mother’s overbearing tendencies kicked into overdrive. Even California didn’t seem far enough away sometimes.

Now, I was moving back home to stay with my mom until I could get back on my feet. After the last few
months, I needed a fresh start, or maybe to start over. Either way, I needed things to change.

“You’re brother
’s looking forward to seeing you,” mom said, pulling into the driveway.

Unbuckling my seatbelt, the mention of my brother stop
ped me in my tracks.

“What do you mean
?” I asked. “I thought he was taking a summer class?”

Mom gave me an e
xaggerated sigh. “He came home. He wanted to see you.”

I slumped back in the seat, not ready to get out of the car just yet.
Chronologically, I was only sixteen months older than my brother, but emotionally we were years apart. In school, he probably spent more time in the principal’s office than in an actual classroom. My mom had to do a massive campaign to get him graduated from high school on time which was no easy feat considering his .9 GPA. The worst part was that it had nothing to do with his intelligence, but everything to do with his behavior. It was a miracle he actually made it to college.

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