I'm Only Here for the Beard

By: Lani Lynn Vale

Prologue


Roses are red, violets are blue. Blah blah blah. I don’t like you.

-Naomi’s secret thoughts

Naomi

“Please talk to me.”

I looked over at my brother, then shrugged.

My brother. The man who I once called one of my best friends had ruined my life.

He was in a bad place. I knew that. My mom and my current best friend, Aspen knew that. Hell, my dad even knew that and he wasn’t even talking to me.

But did that excuse him for driving drunk? No.

“I’m not mad at you, Danny,” I lied. “I’m just tired.”

And I was. Tired. Very, very tired.

Though, I couldn’t decide if that was due to the fact that I’d just clawed my way out from the haze of anesthesia or because I was just plain tired.

“Danny,” my friend, Aspen, stated, “I think you need to give her some space. She’s tired. She’s confused, and honestly, she likely doesn’t really want to talk to you right now.”

What my best friend didn’t say, however, was that he should feel guilty. I should be mad at him.

He’d hit me with his goddamned car!

And I wasn’t even going to go into the fact that he’d done it in his police cruiser, of all things. I still hadn’t figured out why the hell he’d been in the cruiser in the first place since it happened in the middle of the night.

Though, the same could be said about me. Why had I been out in the middle of the night, walking down the road where the house that I was renting was located?

Why? Because I was a fucking loser. My life sucked. Every man I met either cheated on me or found another woman to be with who they liked more than me. I was always the consolation prize. The rebound fling. The woman who men felt sorry for and had pity sex with.

Yeah, I was that girl.

So, fuck yeah, I was out in the middle of the night walking my street. Why? Because I couldn’t fucking sleep. All of my insecurities had come out to play last night, and I’d stupidly gotten up, put on my running shoes and started walking.

The only problem with that? I’d gotten hit by my brother in his police cruiser when he was supposed to be at home.

I couldn’t remember anything after actually seeing the car coming at me. Which was a good thing and a bad thing, I guess.

I couldn’t remember the look on my brother’s face when he realized he’d hit his sister.

I could, however, see it now, and it was heartbreaking.

He’d sank to rock bottom, though it was his fault.

Once upon a time, Aspen and Danny had been together. But my brother, being the idiot that he was, had cheated on her with his partner. The same partner who’d broken up with him a week ago by doing the same thing to him that he had done to Aspen.

So he’d started drinking to forget the fact that he thought his life was ruined.

Now, it really was.

He’d been suspended from the police department and was facing criminal charges. Not to mention that he would forever have to live with the knowledge that he drove drunk and ran over his sister with his police cruiser.

“Okay,” Danny murmured. “If you need anything, call me.”

With that my brother left, but I doubted he went much further than the waiting room. He’d been at the hospital since the accident had happened.

“Did you want to see it?”

I shook my head at Aspen. “No, I most certainly do not want to see it.”

The ‘it’ she was referring to was my colostomy bag.

When my brother had hit me, I’d suffered damage to my intestines, liver and one kidney.

The liver and kidney were expected to make full recoveries.

My intestines, however, were going to require more time to heal, hence the latest addition to my wardrobe: a colostomy bag.

I could feel it.

It felt utterly foreign, like something was duct taped to my belly and just sitting there, waiting for me to take it off.

But I couldn’t. At least not for another four to six months, according to my doctor, while my intestines had a chance to heal from the trauma I’d endured.

I’d have to be changing poop bags for six whole months.

Just when I thought my life couldn’t get any worse, this was thrown at me.

Thank you, Danny, the life ruiner.

“It’s not that bad,” Aspen started to say.

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