My Perfect Mistake (Over the Top Book 1)(2)

By: Kelly Siskind

Raven turns to him, her charcoal eyes likely squinting. “Rules? It’s an evergreen tree on a ski slope covered with a pile of colorful bras and tacky necklaces. She can launch it if she wants.”

He shakes his head and leans more heavily on his elbows. “No way. Tradition is tradition. It’s gotta come from the evening’s conquest. You bag a chick, take her bra, and sling it on the tree to immortalize the moment. Like I said, tradition. So unless you ladies got busy together last night, or at lunch”—a lazy grin sweeps across his face—“then pocket the bra.” If he could see the tattoos inked over Raven’s olive skin, he’d maybe look a little less smug. One glance at her in a dark alley, and I’d cross to the other side.

“Let me explain something.” She squares her shoulders toward him, head cocked in annoyance. “My girl here just got dumped by a total douche, so we three are hating on men. Since you’re the only dude on this chairlift, I’d say your choice is simple. She either hurls her bra on a tree covered in bras, or we channel our angry-girl hormones in your direction. What’ll it be?”

That sly grin slips from his face. “Whatever. You wanna spit on tradition, fine by me. But that shit is karmic.”

Raven’s long black ponytail glides along her jacket as she swings her helmeted head my way. “Forget him. That bra will be taking flight.”

I nod in agreement, my helmet bobbing with the movement. I may be hurt and pissed about how things ended with the Dick, but the relief is undeniable. Freeing. Both Raven and Lily made it known they thought I could do better, thought I’d lost a piece of myself to him (like two dress sizes), but I was too scared to step out on my own. Status quo was easier than no quo. I reverted to my prepubescent self, who stuttered and struggled to fit in. But knowing I might have said yes to a proposal because it was easy has anger bubbling up inside of me. I need to toss this bra, forget the Dick, and stop being such a doormat. I just wish I felt sexier in my equipment so I could get my flirt on with a rugged ski dude.

This helmet is the anti-sexy.

“Look, look, look!” Lily bounces beside me, the chairlift swaying in response. “That’s it, right?”

As we crest a rise, the pinks and reds and blues on the bra tree stand out in vibrant contrast to the white-tipped evergreens. A few skiers are attacking the narrow mogul run below us, their skis scraping and gliding between the massive bumps. God, I love that sound. Growing up in a ski town outside of Toronto meant the local slopes were in my backyard. Although our hills are glorified mounds, I practically skied from the womb, the blades an extension of my feet. Flying to places like Aspen never gets dull. Never repetitive. Ski trips with their mile-long runs, hot tubs, bars, and shops are my version of the typical girls’ beach vacation.

The Dick only booked all-inclusive yawners.

“That’s it, all right,” I say, my eyes locked on the tree.

Snowboard Dude horks and spits over the side of the chair, likely aiming for the yeti splayed on the snow, skis crossed, butt in the air, a yard sale of his gear smattering the uniform bumps. Karma, my ass. I scan the tree up ahead, cataloguing each brassiere I can make out. The hefty beige one looks more like a straitjacket than a bra, the thick material folded over a lower branch. It screams: dull, trite, supportive, and dead boring. Above it, a flirty number in bright purple and swirling lace dangles, its owner definitely more sassy than mundane. Swallowing thickly, I glance at the black bra I once loved, hating what an easy read it is.

Classy. Conservative. Proper. Poised.

The perfect accessory to pressed suits and silk ties. The chosen undergarment to accent my slimming black dresses. The Dick.

At a time in my life when I was struggling to adapt to the city, overwhelmed and friendless and out of my depth, Richard swooped in with his easy charm and charisma. He was larger than life. He took me out, bought me things, and introduced me to his friends. Lily and Raven were away, all of us busy with our own studies, and I latched onto him, needy and desperate to belong. To not feel so alone. To not be the insecure, stuttering child I thought I had banished. Worried he’d move on and I’d have to start over, I molded myself into his perfect girl. I became that chick.

Of course I’d rather suck kale through a straw than eat solid food.

Job promotion? Who needs it? I didn’t want a real life anyway.

Bring on the vanilla sex. Experimentation and excitement are overrated.

Every so often, though, I’d toss one of my hidden cookies into his smoothies…carbs and all.

“You better get ready,” Raven says.

We’re one chair back, and I raise my arm, readying to slingshot the bra, my past, and all things Richard into oblivion. As I do, a red lacy thing catches my eye. This piece of feminine lingerie is the perfect combination of sultry and flirtatious, the elegantly patterned fabric dipping low in the center, punctuated with a red bow. My heart quickens. That is the girl I was, once upon a time. The girl that got smothered by the Dick. That bra screams spontaneous and confident, a little wild and a lot of fun. It’s the one I’m buying the second we get to town.