Home > Things I Wanted To Say (But Never Did)(3)

Things I Wanted To Say (But Never Did)(3)
Author: Monica Murphy

“Get away from me.” I shove him off of me and this time, he staggers backward, letting me go. I stalk off, nearly tripping over the discarded champagne glass. I must’ve dropped it when we struggled earlier.

I don’t even remember that happening.

He calls after me, but I ignore him, running as fast as I can on shaky legs. I push my way out of the house, back onto the terrace, searching for my mother. My stepfather, who’s basically like a father to me. But they’re both nowhere in sight.

I hear the boy. He says my name, though I never told him what it was. Panicked, I glance around, scared he’s going to grab me, bracing myself when I feel a hand clamp around my shoulder but…

I turn around to find it’s my mother.

“Summer! What are you doing? You look petrified.”

Relief floods me. She’s not locked away in a room fucking another man; she’s out here. With me. At the party.

“Mother.” I throw myself at her, hugging her waist tight and she laughs, sounding surprised. We’ve been fighting nonstop since eighth grade ended. All of my friends are going to high school at Lancaster Prep, and that’s where I want to go too. I’m desperate to go there.

Jonas says no. He wants me going to St. Anthony’s like he did. In the city. It’s a good school and all, but I’ll be lonely. My friends will be having fun in boarding school and I’ll be stuck here.

Alone. With Yates, who’ll be a junior. Our parents travel together all the time, leaving us alone, and Yates will be relentless. He’ll wear me down, until finally I’ll give in to him.

“Honey, what’s wrong? You’re shaking.” She runs her hand up and down my back, soothing me, and I’m struck with the fear that this is the last time she’ll do this. Believe me sweet and innocent. It’s like a piece of me was stolen tonight, and that boy claimed it with his lips and tongue and wandering hands.

I try to laugh and pull away from her, desperate to play it off. “I’m fine. Really. I just thought—I’d lost you.”

“Your cheeks are extra pink.” She frowns, cupping my face. “You haven’t been drinking, have you?”

I try my best to look innocent. “No, Mom. God. Of course not.”

“Good.” That was way too easy. I can’t believe she took my word for it. “Stay away from the champagne. I know how much you like to sneak sips.”

My cheeks heat even more.

Now it’s her turn to glance around, and I study her. Really study her.

Her cheeks are flushed too. Her hair is a mess in the back, like she needs to run a brush through it. One of her earrings is missing. And the dress she’s wearing, it’s all crooked and rumpled. Like she needs to readjust it.

Oh no.

She looks like how I feel. Though I didn’t have sex with that boy, I did let him kiss me, and I sort of lost myself for a moment.

Mother looks like she lost herself for at least a half hour. Maybe longer.

“Where were you?” I ask, my tone accusing.

“I’ve been out here the entire time.” Her gaze meets mine once more, her freshly glossed lips curled into a frown. “Where were you?”

“Right here. The whole time.” I glance over my shoulder to find the boy standing there, watching us. A man stands behind him, the older version of the boy. He’s extremely handsome, with an air about him that says he owns everything. The boy is watching me.

The man is watching my mother.

The boy raises his brows, tilting his head in my direction. I turn away from him, not wanting to see the smug satisfaction on his stupidly handsome face. He knows I figured it out. He already had figured it out.

And damn him, he was right.









Senior year


I walk the hallowed halls of Lancaster Prep, my head ducked down, studying my feet as I place one in front of the other. Again and again and again. My shiny new penny loafers pinch my feet and the wool of my green and navy plaid skirt is itchy against my thighs. I remember wanting to come here so badly the summer before my freshman year, and how angry I was that my parents wouldn’t pay the tremendous amount of money it cost to go to Lancaster.

Now I’m here, for one year only. My final year in high school. It’s late August, and while the air is cool, thanks to the ocean breeze outside, it’s stifling in this old building with the beautiful wood paneling and the horribly outdated cooling system. Do they even have central heat and air in this place?

Probably not.

“Come on,” Mother says through her teeth, snapping her fingers at her waist to get me to walk beside her.

I hurry my steps, keeping pace with her, lifting my head to see other students pass by us with curious expressions on their faces, their gazes taking in the familiar Lancaster uniform that I’m wearing.

A new girl. A transfer. I’m sure they’ll be curious. I’m sure they’ll Google my name, and find out my family scandal.

I came out mostly unscathed. Mother made sure of that. She wasn’t about to let my future crumble. She knows people, and she used that power to ensure that I would be protected.

That’s why I’m here, at Lancaster Prep. The most elite boarding school on the east coast. Founded by one of the richest, oldest families in the country. The Lancasters go way back, to the time of the Vanderbilts, the Astors and the Rockefellers. Their money is so old, most don’t know exactly where it originally came from.

Like me. I’ve heard maybe shipping? Oil? Bought up all available land on the east coast and then sold it over the years. I don’t know. I don’t really care. I just know they’re filthy rich.

And for years, my mother, my prim and proper mother, was having a raging affair with Augustus Lancaster the fifth.

“Here we are,” Mother singsongs, and I can hear the slight tremble in her voice. She’s nervous for me, and I stand taller, wanting to prove to her that I’m not scared. “The admissions office.”

She opens the door and I enter first, smiling at the older woman sitting behind the high wooden counter. She rises slowly to her feet, clad in a navy skirt suit, the jacket barely able to come around her ample bustline.

“Good morning!” The woman smiles at my mother before her gaze lands on me. “You must be Summer Savage,” she says with an overly friendly smile.

“I’m her mother, Janine Weatherstone.” She always holds out her hand in a way that makes it seem like she’s a queen greeting her loyal subjects. I can tell this doesn’t impress the woman whatsoever, but she takes her hand anyway, weakly shaking the tips of her fingers.

“Lovely to meet you. We’re so glad to have Summer here for her senior year.” The woman’s expression grows solemn. “Such a tragedy, what happened. I’m sorry for your loss.”

Mother glares. That is the last thing she wants to talk about, especially with a stranger. “Thank you,” she says crisply. “Is Mr. Matthews available?”

The woman stands up straight. “Of course! I thought you’d want Summer’s schedule so she can get going. First period has already started, I’m afraid.” She casts me a look of judgment. Like it’s my fault I’m late.

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