In Your Dreams (Falling #4)

By: Ginger Scott

Falling Series Book 4



Chapter 1





Casey


I don’t know why I thought wedging the full vase between two speakers in the back of my Nissan was a good idea. I was rushing.

Always rushing.

I wish I could get places on time. It’s one of my flaws. I’m habitually late. I cover it up with my devil-may-care attitude, but inside my gut is tying itself in knot after knot. The squeezing feeling gets tighter with every set of seconds that tick by after the time I was supposed to arrive somewhere. Like right now, at this stoplight, which is exactly forty-seven seconds long. I know this, because I’ve been late getting to my parents’ house at least a thousand times, probably two thousand if I count the number of times I blew my curfew when I was in high school. I’ve counted the length of this stoplight since I was sixteen, and it always lands on forty-seven. I think the note I wrote to myself scribed with 47 is still stuffed in my center console somewhere.

That note must be three years old. I bet it’s yellowed and the ink has disappeared. It’s probably buried under piles of receipts and notes to remind myself of things I ultimately forgot. God, I’m a pig—I need to clean shit out of my car.

Another one of my flaws—I’m a pig.

I start to make mental notes about my messiness and lateness and other personal shortcomings I need to fix, knowing I won’t really do jack about them, but it keeps me from bouncing my leg for the rest of the ride until I pull to the curb, to the familiar front lawn with the perfectly edged trim. The gutter between the concrete and the place where my parents’ lawn begins is precisely one inch wide. It’s perfect. It’s always pristine. My dad does it himself. Spends his entire Sunday—his one day off—on that front lawn, making sure the green is just right, the weeds are nonexistent and the edge is an inch wide.

Asshole.

It’s Saturday. So, he isn’t home. Even though it’s my mom’s birthday, my father is at work. On a Saturday. Because he’s the boss. She would have been at work too if she wasn’t retired, because my father never really liked the idea of taking frivolous days off. Whenever she tried to take one, he made her feel bad about it.

Double asshole.

I guess I’m glad he’s an asshole today, though. It means I get to wish her a happy birthday and step into this house I haven’t been in for more than a year—since the day I told him I didn’t want to be a mechanical engineer and work for the big fuel companies in the city just like he and Mom did. Apparently, he had plans—an internship lined up, a guaranteed job ready and waiting, a good salary that would set me up for a comfortable life. Something about bonuses and points and shares or taking limbs from my body. That last part may have only been in my head. He probably had a wife and house picked out for me too—all to his liking. I screwed it all up with my own goddamned dreams.

Look at me, being the asshole.

I cut the engine and step from my car, brushing the front legs of my black pants, trying to work out some of the wrinkles. I wanted to look good, but now that I see my clothing choice out in the light of day, I look like I just rolled out of the collection bin for the homeless on Broad Street. At least I have a vest on over my dress shirt. My roommate, Eli, is a serious preppy hipster. I make fun of him, but hell, his clothes are really nice.

I walk to the other side of the car, opening the door to the backseat so I can pull out the vase of flowers. About half of the water spilled out on the ride here, just as I figured. I push my hand into the fabric of my seat and it squishes. Awesome—it’s going to mildew. I roll down the window crank slowly, but not slow enough. It broke last year, and sometimes the grip inside the door gives way and the pane of glass falls all the way in…like it did just now. I have to pull the inside door panel off just to push the glass back up. Looks like I have fun plans for the evening.

I sigh and shake my head, trying to forget about my shit car that’s going to smell like old mop water in a few hours and turn my attention to the red front door at the end of the curved brick walkway. I recognize my sister Christina’s BMW pulled in behind my mom’s in the carport. I’m glad she’s here. This way, I’ll get credit for coming.

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