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He Never Told Me What He Did for a Living

Chapter One

My long hair whipped around me in a whirlwind as I walked the first of four blocks from school to my grandmother’s house nestled in a nice little neighborhood. The chill in the October air was just enough to make me shiver and pull my black trench coat a little tighter around me. I let my eyes follow a stray orange leaf that danced along the sidewalk ahead of me, never stopping. The wind carried it along, brushing its scarred surface with each gust. It led the way until it fell into a puddle of water and stayed there. Several people were out in their yards, decorating for Halloween. I smiled happily as I thought of past Halloweens, all of them spent at my grandma Rain’s house, surrounded by her friends and neighbors. Though I had no friends to invite, I knew everyone who would attend well enough to mingle with them and make small talk.

I’ve lived with my grandma Rain since I was little, thus the shortening of her name Lorraine into just ‘Rain.’ My mom is no good, and neither is her boyfriend of the moment, Craig. Grandma Rain took me in and I’ve never gone back, nor do I want to. Neither of them comes around Grandma’s house, because she doesn’t allow them there. I have no worries now. I pulled out my iPod and stuck the ear buds in my ears and let the sound of piano fill my body. It was a song I’d been trying to learn, one I’d found at random on iTunes called ‘Welcome to the Black Parade.’ I didn’t know who the original artist was, and didn’t really care. The song was beautiful.

Suddenly, a hand curled around my wrist, jerking me to a halt. Angrily, I pulled the buds from my ears and whirled around with my fist tightened. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I said through clenched teeth.

The boy holding my arm was a jock, and his buddies were hanging behind him, grinning and jostling each other. “Hey, now- no need to get nasty- I just wanna talk to ya, sweetie,” he said with a cocky grin.

“If you’re thinking I’m gonna melt at that ‘sweetie’ remark, Joshua, you’re thinking wrong, boy.”

His buddies let out a chorus of “Ooohhh,” and he glared at them, then grabbed for my other arm.
“Now listen, you little Emo bitch. We wanna have a good time, and I think you’re just the person to show us how to do that.”

I raised an eyebrow and stepped out of his reach. Emo was the wrong thing to call me. I didn’t label myself as anything. I was simply me. I dressed how I wanted and did what I wanted to do. And a bitch, I definitely am not. “Listen, Jockstrap- I don’t give a shit what you wanna do, or what you think about me. But I wouldn’t have a ‘good time’ with you and the rest of your friends if you were the last people on Earth and I was a Nympho. Got it?”

The blank look on his face told me that he hadn’t expected to be rejected, and when it morphed into an angry snarl, I knew he didn’t like being rejected. Again, he clawed for me and I quickly swung my foot up, giving him a swift but powerful kick in the nuts. Instantly, he dropped to his knees, his eyes watering. “You…bitch,” he coughed out.

I knelt down in his face. “You got that right, douchebag,” I said, then straightened and turned to continue walking home. “Oh, and good luck trying to find someone to have a good time with,” I called over my shoulder. No one said a word as I walked away, and I didn’t look back.

As I walked up the stepping stone path through the garden to Grandma’s front door, I smelled cookies instantly. Their familiar scent always made me smile; no matter what mood I’m in. “Grandma Rain!” I called to her as I slipped my backpack to the floor and walked to the kitchen.
“Oh, hello dear, how was your day?” She greeted me in an apron covered in flour. There was a smudge of chocolate on her cheek.

“It was okay,” I said, then pecked her on her wrinkled cheek. “I’m so glad its fall now.”

“I agree, honey. The leaves are beautiful. Oh, I forgot to tell you that my dear friend Donna is coming for a visit today- I haven’t seen her in forever!”

I smiled at my grandma’s use of such a modern phrase. “Cool. Have I met her before?”
“No, I’m afraid not, dear. Usually, if those two boys of hers are home, she spends all her time with them.”

“So what’s she like?”

“Oh, she’s just wonderful. You’ll like her, I’m sure and-” The phone rang loudly, cutting the rest of her sentence off. She picked up and answered. “Hello?”

I heard the faint buzz of a voice on the other end, and I was willing to bet it was Donna.

“Oh, yes. Of course that’s alright…No, no dear, don’t you worry. I’ll take care of everything…” She looked at me. “And my granddaughter’s here, so he’ll have someone to talk to while we catch up…okay, see you soon.” She hung up with a huge grin on her face and turned to me. “Now, Josie, Donna’s son will be tagging along with her. So I want you to make him feel welcome when they arrive.”

Confusion took over me. “But wouldn’t her son be pretty old by now? I mean, if she’s your age...?”

“Oh, he is. He’s ‘roundabouts 29, I do believe. And yes, Donna is around my age...your mom would be the same age as her son.”

“Did she say what his name is?” I asked curiously.

“I believe she said it is Jared or something like that.”

“Okay, Grandma. I’ll do my best.”

“Oh, I know you will Josie. I’m just unsure of what you’ll think of Jared. He’s quite a well-known young man from what Donna’s told me. His brother Michael is too.”

I wondered what they did for a living when the buzzer for the cookies went off. I quickly pulled them out and set them on top of the stove, claiming one for myself. “Now, Josie, be sure to save some for the Ways, okay? We can’t have our guests without some fresh cookies.”
“Sure, Gram- these are fantastic, by the way.”

As I gobbled down the cookie and headed to the piano with iPod in hand, I could’ve sworn I heard her say “Gracious, if that child gets any sweeter, she’ll be pure sugar.”
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If you're thinking this looks is.

Welcome to the new, revamped, rewritten edition of my story 'He Never Told Me What He Did For A Living.'

If you've made it this far, it means you've read the chapter- please let me know what you thought! And if you previously read the original version of this, stick around- there have been many changes made during the rewriting process and there are more to come!

Happy reading,

Rat Head