It’s August in Tennessee, and for anyone who knows, that means the barometer is set somewhere between hades and hell. It’s not for the faint of heart that’s for sure.
It had been broiling hot all day, with clear blue skies and not even a whiff of a breeze. The sun beat down so hard on the pavement, the bottom of the flip flops worn by the young girls who traipsed up and down the sidewalk were all but melted.
A blackout had sent the residents of the little town of Harpersville outdoors to battle the heat since their homes had become little more than ovens. Girls dressed in little more than was needed for a day in the pool, a sight that would usually draw its share of raised brows, barely garnered a second look. Except the exceptionally pretty ones at any cause!
Annabelle Scacci was one of the most if not the most beautiful one in the crowd, but unlike the others, she didn’t put on airs. Besides, she always found her beauty a bit outdated. Her long black locks that her mother refused to let her get cut, and her almond shaped brown eyes were no match for the blonde haired blue eyed beauty of her friends as far as she was concerned, and so she ignored all the compliments as nothing more than horny teenage boys just trying to find their way into her pants.
“Well Annabelle, have you decided to come to the party next Saturday or not?” Annabelle heard her friend Kimberly but her focus had gone straight to Lisa, their other friend.
She was dying to go to the party, but the last time they’d visited Kim’s home there was a big stink afterwards because her brother Chase had shown a little too much attention to her and not Lisa who was dying to jump into his bed.
Annabelle liked him well enough, in fact she’d spent many a long day daydreaming about the two of them in some hot and steamy compromising positions.
But she knew she didn’t stand a chance against the beautiful and rich Lisa. Lisa and Chase shared the same kind of background. Their families lived a few houses apart on Williams Street, the wealthiest street in the whole damn county, while Annabelle lived on the more seedier side of town.
“I’ll think about it.” She gave a halfhearted answer and her ire rose when she saw the satisfied gleam in Lisa’s eyes. Their animosity have been on the rise more and more of late, could be the heat.
But Annabelle wasn’t so sure. Something had been going on since school ended back in the spring. Instead of seeing her friends on a daily basis she was down to seeing them on the odd afternoon here and there.
She didn’t mind that so much except that she really did like Kim and missed their daily chat fest. Kim like her brother, was very down to earth and didn’t act all high and mighty, even though of all the families on that ostentatious block theirs were the wealthiest.
Even their mother had been kind to her the times they’d met. And besides, there was no guarantee that Chase would even be there. At twenty-seven it had been some time since he’d lived at home. But somehow he always managed to show up whenever Annabelle was around.
She ignored Lisa and enjoyed the last of her melting pistachio cone. There was another reason she wasn’t exactly in the mood for a party where she was sure to run into more of her high school friends. While the rest of them would be heading off to college in a few weeks, she had to take a year off. She’d done well enough to earn a scholarship, but it wasn’t a full ride.
The counselor had been kind enough to work with her so she could save enough money to enroll in the spring. Luckily she’d been in a program that allowed her to earn college credit while still in high school so she wouldn’t be too far behind when and if she finally did make it.
It seemed that her hesitance about the party freed Lisa up to act the damn fool. She prattled on and on about the new outfit she’d bought just for the occasion, and how much it cost and blah-blah-blah. Annabelle knew it was all for her benefit. Everyone knew she could never afford anything new.
Her only relative since her dad bounced years ago, was her mom, who could never hold down a job on account of her drinking problem. And whatever money Annabelle made at the grocery store she’d been working at since she was fifteen went into savings for college, when she wasn’t using it to pay bills that her mother had forgotten.
It wasn’t long before she grew tired of listening to the snooty bullshit and when her nerves were frayed to the point of breaking, she said her goodbyes and headed for the trolley to take her back downtown.
Of course the others headed in the opposite direction to their cars that were parked around the corner. It only took five minutes for the loneliness to kick in, but that was nothing new.
All the way home she ignored the licentious looks from leering men and the glares from their women. She couldn’t for the life of her figure out what the hell they found so appealing.
She was hot and sticky and no doubt had ice cream somewhere on her face she was sure. She had no idea that it was her eyes, the shape and even the look in them, that held men enthralled.
She wasn’t a complete dolt, but she really had no idea of her appeal. Other less awe inspiring aspects of her life pretty much overshadowed any pleasure she might’ve found in her natural good looks.