My Perfect Mistake (Over the Top Book 1)(9)

By: Kelly Siskind

Lily shoots her the dirtiest look she can manage. “She’s never allowed to straighten it again”—she faces me—“ever. It’s stunning natural.”

With Lily’s indie style, Raven’s in-your-face flair, and my love of trends, we look more like a motley crew than girlfriends. Two tables over, four women are chatting, each wearing jeans and knee-high boots, sporting similar slim builds, straight hair, and red lipstick. Edited versions of one another. If it weren’t for art class, I doubt Lily, Raven, and I would have become friends. A design-obsessed hipster, a badass chick, and a competitive skier don’t often mingle in high school. Somehow, though, we work.

The girls dig into their food as a different waiter appears with two more plates. He stops, brow furrowed. “There must have been a mistake. I’ll be right back.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” I hold up my hand before the guy can turn away. “Not another step. Those are for me.”

He glances again at the lobster risotto and steak frites and then at the table with one customer missing her food. The second item on that doing-things-my-way list: eating whatever I want. The Dick, his smoothies, and my slim hips can go to hell.

The waiter sets down my smorgasbord, awkwardly placing both plates so I can dig in without morsels flying. “Enjoy,” he says and smirks, leaving the girls to stare wide-eyed as I shove a massive forkful of risotto into my mouth. I follow with a bite of steak.

Raven shakes her head slowly. “If we feed her after midnight, will she sprout horns and terrorize Aspen?”

Lily giggles and presses her fingers to her lips. “I don’t know, but I’m glad our place has three rooms. She’s going to feel awful later.”

“You know I can hear you, right?” I say around a bite. But Lily’s spot on. There’s no doubt my wallet and stomach will regret this, but it’s lobster and risotto and steak frites.

The night the Dick dumped me, I might have snapped. A little. Just a smidge. I hollered choice words in the restaurant and told him not to show up at our apartment while I packed. After cramming my necessities into a few bags—the rest to be dealt with when I felt more rational—I had my hand on the door to leave, but I paused. Evil Shay took over. There’s no other explanation. I stomped to our bathroom, grabbed the Dick’s toothbrush, and headed for the toilet. No hesitation. I scrubbed that porcelain for a good five minutes, then returned it to the sink at the exact angle he liked. Next, I marched to our bedroom and took his underwear from the laundry basket, folded it (neatly of course—the Dick), and put it back on his shelf. Un-freaking-washed. Remembering the laxatives in our medicine cabinet, I smacked my hands together and squealed. That almond milk for his morning smoothie most certainly kept him “regular.”

I loaded my car and drove eighty in a sixty zone, but on my way to Lily’s, I passed McDonald’s and pulled a U-turn. A Big Mac, fries, chicken fingers, and shake later, my sugar-carb coma brought me back to reality. Good Shay returned…with one alteration.

Getting dumped by the Dick after suffering through his crazy diets and juice cleanses has made me slightly food aware. A touch obsessed. Minutely.

Hence my all-you-can-eat buffet.

Thirty minutes later, Raven gawks as I force another fry into my mouth. “It’s like I’m at the zoo,” she says.

Lily bites her lip. “You don’t have to finish.”

I lean back and polish off the last of my Shiraz. “Yeah, I’m done. But I’m taking the rest to the condo.” That hunk of steak and pile of fries have breakfast written all over them. Although there is that box of Lucky Charms back at our place. “I’m thinking we need to work brunch into our meal rotation. You know, as a fourth meal.”

Raven swirls her wineglass. “Shay, babe, you’re not a hobbit. You’re a twenty-five-year-old woman who’s a tad lost and needs to remember she’s the same chick who won the Whistler Cup. That chick knew how to get in the zone. That chick skied circles around those bitches. It’ll just take some time is all, and I’m not sure eating your way through Aspen is the answer.”

I push fries around my plate.

Skiing today was liberating. It was the thing that brought me out of my shell as a kid, too. Gave me confidence. Being part of a team vanquished the lonely, stuttering child I once was. Temporarily, at least. I may not struggle with my words, but my compliance with Richard echoed an unhappy time in my life. And I was blind to it. “I was sixteen at the Whistler Cup,” I say. “It was a lifetime ago. Sure, that—”

A waiter passes with a plate of key lime pie, and I watch, entranced, as my saliva gathers. Man, that looks good. When Raven, still waiting on me, clears her throat, I continue, “That girl rocked, but I don’t even know who she was…who I am.” Aside from the first known sufferer of ADFD: Attention Deficit Food Disorder.