I have posted this novel in chapter form. The newest update begins at Chapter Four. I hope you like.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
'Hey young thing looking so sweet
hustling across that damn street
your hair blowing wild
creating the next style
with that smile so sublime
you can claim my heart anytime...'
Tarah is singing the lyrics to a popular rap song while the radio is blasting the hell out of it. The FM station has been playing it nonstop
The fifteen-year-old loves the image she presents as she speeds down Chester Avenue in her mother’s car. She has to sneak and do it, but so what.
It is worth the risk.
Now she is able to go where she wants; and, she is able to do what she wants.
To Tarah the benefits outweighed the possibility of getting into trouble.
What if the cops stop her? She'll deal with it! Today is Friday. School is out and she is free.
Tarah Evans is beautiful. That’s why she gets most of the things that she wants. If she wants a tennis bracelet, she gets it for Christmas. If she wants gold earrings— the big hooped one, she gets them for her birthday. If she wants new clothes that's no problem; she gets them for Easter, summer vacation, her birthday... or simply no reason at all. She is spoiled, and now it is too late for anyone to try to change her.
If she wants something, all she has to do is ask for it; her syrupy sweet smile and excellent grades guarantee it. Tarah learned from an early age how to manipulate her father.
It was through academics. She stumbled onto this revelation.
Her fifth grade report card had been all A’s. Not from sheer hard work alone, but because she simply loved school. Mrs. McCullough made learning fun. Every Friday afternoon was storytelling in her class.
Miss McCullough would spend the last hour of school placing magical images in the heads of impressionable ten-year-olds.
The tales were from books like the The-All-of-A-Kind-Family which introduced the class to seven Jewish girls living through the Great Depression and Charlotte's Web which the entire class loved.
Tarah frowns sadly for a moment— she misses Mitchell Elementary School— her classmates— and all the cute boys...
Tarah remembers her father taking one look at her report card that year and then everything changed.
Mr. Evans snatched her out of public school. He wanted only the best for his daughter— a catholic education at an exclusive small school— Holy Spirit.
Mr. Evans took both Tarah and his wife out to dinner in celebration.
And of course, she was allowed to pick anything she wanted from the menu.
Deluxe double-cheese burger. Large French fries. A chocolate milkshake. Strawberry Shortcake.
Mr. Evans also presented her with a surprise. A mutual trust fund in her name. It was worth 5,000 dollars. That would help finance her college education.
It pleased Tarah, but what really impressed her was the gold charm bracelet he presented to her. Between the links of gold were symbols of the things a ten-year-old treasured.
Mr. Evans immediately unhooked the piece of jewelry and refastened in around a tiny wrist. He then leaned over and whispered to Tarah that each year he would add to it. He also fastened a diamond encrusted heart shaped pendant around her neck and winked at her.
Her mother almost fainted at the table. She had protested that the gifts were too much for someone that young.
'She’ll lose them. She cannot possibly appreciate those types of presents.'
Mr. Evans dismissed his wife's comments and continued to celebrate with his daughter.
Tarah, over the years; however, has proven her mother wrong. She is still sporting the bracelet and necklace. Also that college mutual fund is worth an awful lot more.
Mr. Evans treats Tarah like his little genius. He praises her— fills her head with his thoughts. She is going to become an electrical engineer. She is going to a prestigious college when she graduates from high school; she is going to be the best. She is going to be the first female engineer in the family.
Tarah has a group of people she can always run to when she wants something: Daddee. Pop-pop. Nanna. Aunt Tish and Mommee— but only if it's an emergency; her mother is a very hard person to work...
Tarah has cream colored skin, onyx black hair cut extremely short, and brown eyes. Halle Berry is her idol. And, Tarah is going to blow-up just like her. Even though their career choices are totally different.
Tarah is smart— everybody keeps telling her that and she has the baddest body in Philadelphia. Just ask any boy who has witnessed her parading down Market Street.
There is no denying it. She also has the sexiest walk this side of the city. Her butt is sensual; the way it gently moves from side to side as she walks can drive a brother insane. She knows she can pull any guy— just give her the chance.
So with the windows down and her hair trying to blow in the wind, she knows she looks hot— really, really hot!
And she wants everyone to see her, especially Darryl Stevens. He works at Turner’s Mini-Market. He is the owner’s nephew. And, he is her latest crush.
In no time, Tarah pulls up to the curb of the mini-store and locks the doors to her mother's car. Maybe today he’ll change his mind. Maybe he'll treat her to the movies? She knows he likes all of the attention she is giving him.
Walking into the store, Tarah makes no pretense about why she is there, but she instead goes up to the counter where he is standing.
“Did you miss me?” she asks.
He looks at her blankly, “Why should I?”
“Because, I haven’t seen you in a week,” she smiles. “When are we going out?”
“I’m too old for you, Young Buck,” he says looking down into her face.
“Age ain’t nothing but a number,” she quips, thinking about Aliyah Houghton’s debut album briefly.
“Not to me,” he states.
His attention becomes distracted when he see Dana round the corner with her basket half full. Tarah looks at her too.
“You can’t be interested in that?”
“You know her? What's her name?”
“Figure it out on your own,” for the first time in Tarah's short life, she experiences a moment of jealousy— it passes. But, she doesn’t like the feel of it one bit.
“Juvenile,” he teases picking up on the jealousy.
Tarah ignores his comment, but says, “Don’t even consider it. I know her and she’s not into boys. She doesn’t like them— some kind of phobia I guess. All she cares about is racing bikes—”
“I’m not into little girls,” Darryl repeats. “Are you two friends?” he looks back at Tarah.
“Kind of. We both have the same friends," then she smiles and acknowledges the other girl verbally; “Hey Dana! What’s up?”
“Hi Tee,” says Dana as she avoids the eyes of the boy standing behind the counter.
“Let me know when you’re finished. I’ll give you a ride home,” says Tarah benevolently. She also uses that opportunity to announce to everyone in the market that she is old enough to drive.
“I thought you two were friends.”
The ice in her voice doesn't escape Darryl’s ears. He realizes that Young Buck has a mean side to her.
“We are, but I don’t have to like her all of the time, do I?”
“I wouldn’t want you for a friend.” he comments.
“Yes, you do. I know you like me,” she says leaning seductively over the counter. Her young breasts are now pressed tightly together by her arms as she rests her small frame against the counter-top.
He ignores her actions.
“Go home,” he says gathering up the items a customer places before him. He begins ringing up the order. His fingers move deftly over the merchandise. “You are just a baby to me.”
“Don’t be fooled by the face,” Tarah warns sweetly as she moves away from the register in pursuit of Dana. “I am nobody’s baby. You'll find that out real soon.”
Darryl smiles broadly while disregarding her threat and playfully describing the flirty fifteen-year-old, “See you around toddler.”
Tarah ignores his words. She will just have to make him change his mind. The beautiful sophomore is very good at manipulating boys.