01 blondie

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I WILL NOT remember.

A small affirmation on my side that helped me forget. I'd repeated it so many times that the memories were a blur now. Time helped. And forgetting was selfish, but I did it anyway, because remembering was painful. Remembering stung.

I wasn't looking for trouble when I pulled up at the local grocery store. If anything, my raging craving for chocolate was to be blamed.

Moving states for college was never my intention. But I'd always loved math, so I decided to study it and see where it'd take me.

So when I got invited to study at Columbia, it would have been an unforgiveable sin to refuse. My mother was delighted, of course. She didn't want me to stay—but never did tell me why.

Asher had also, more passively encouraged me to come to New York. I loved my brother, I really did, but sometimes he was a bit overbearing.

He'd rented out a Manhattan apartment for me, and no amount of begging and conniving would get him out of it. I didn't need a freaking five star apartment.

Even an hour of me drilling alternative investment options for the damn money with extensive compound interest calculations to coax him out of it didn't work. He was as stubborn as they got.

I gave up.

I had already unpacked my boxes at my new apartment and my fridge, and pantry was looking quite sad. So I parked my red Bentley and stepped out.

Again, Asher had bought it for me, much to my chagrin about buying one with my own money.

But I had none anyway.

College tended to leave the average student largely deprived in many aspects and well, in layman's terms—

broke.

I realized that I practically owed my entire life to my brother, at this stage. It would take me forever to pay him back. Not that he'd accept any of it.

I'd definitely taken after Wren in my motor skills. The car was barely in the two white stipulated lines. I'd say it was at least sixty degrees out. Oh, well. I wouldn't be long anyway.

Like I said, I wasn't looking for trouble. Trouble found me. I was pretty content after I'd filled up two bags with microwave popcorn and Hershy's, shoving them into the trunk and shutting it with a satisfied smile. That would last me a few days. At the very least.

When I stepped out the store, the sky had delved into a dark, ominous canvas, clouds roiling and heaving like they were going to give any time soon. And God help me if I was going to get stuck in that storm.

I got into my car, and switched into reverse. It shot back faster than I'd expected. I let out a strangled scream.

Then there was a loud bang mixed with metal crunching and a muffled male “Fuck!”

Shit, shit, shit.

I got out of my car and stared in horror at the black cycle I'd just partly demolished.

The owner stepped out, and I immediately wanted to sink into the ground.

Six foot tall and bronze skin, his curly brown hair caught my eye first. Then the seemingly perpetual frown on his full lips.

He looked beautiful.

He also looked like he wanted to kill me.

“You blind, blondie?” he quipped.

How original. Well, if I was going to die, I was going to die fighting.

I glanced over his face again, faking distaste. Partly. “I wish I was.”

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