Home > All the Rage(5)

All the Rage(5)
T.M. Frazier

I always saw.

It was for those reasons and hundreds more why they could never find out the truth.

I didn’t want to think what it would do to them if they ever found out that their one and only daughter…yearned to kill.



Sixteen years old

Through the moon roof, the stars twinkled overhead in the clear night sky. The tall, thin, pine trees rustled overhead, bending down at extreme angles even though the breeze was slight at best. Crickets serenaded us from the nearby brush. A nearby sprinkler shot out from the ground, hissing to life, filling the air with the scent of sulfur, which to me always smelled like rotten eggs. From the center console, some old country love song played on Cody’s iPhone.

It was all mocking me. All of it.

Even the fucking crickets were a reminder that I was a failure.

At life. At love.

At friendship.

At normalcy.

“Here, turn around,” Cody said. I twisted as much as I could in the small backseat. Cody zipped up my dress, snaring a few of my hairs that had fallen free from the pins. He planted a kiss on the nape of my neck.

Still nothing.

I took a deep breath and tried to remember that Cody was my best friend. My ONLY friend. I trusted him. Nothing was going to change between us.

Except that was a lie, because everything was about to change. For him. For me.

Because I was leaving.


The second I turned around to face him, Cody was going to know the truth. I couldn’t hide it, especially not from him. He’d always seen through my lies and that night was no exception.

“Hope?” he asked in a whisper, his excitement over what we’d done moments before in the backseat of his Honda, in the middle of the closed Caloosa State National Park, completely deflated from his voice when our eyes met.

I flashed Cody a small smile, hoping against all odds that maybe he couldn’t see what I was feeling inside.

But he always did.

I was a horrible actress and an abominable liar, but when I told Cody I was leaving Lilly Heights for good after prom, he wanted me to try one more thing, for him. Truth was that I wanted to give it one last try too. The normal thing. I owed him that much. I owed myself that much.

So we did what normal teenagers did after the prom.

And during, I felt nothing.

And after, I felt nothing.

“Hope?” Cody asked again, studying my face.

“I’m here, I’m with you,” I said, trying my hardest to turn my fake smile into a real one, because deep down I wished it was real. I looked down to my lap and twisted my hands, picking at my French manicure.

“Bullshit!” Cody snapped, drawing my attention back up to his face and eyes, which reflected a mixture of hurt and anger. I’d known him since he moved in next door when I was four years old and never before had I seen him so distressed. He was my best friend.

My only friend.

I met his blue eyes and dropped the fake smile.


“I told you it wasn’t going to work,” I said, taking another deep breath, snuffing out the anger inside me that threatened to take hold at any moment. I could hold on for a few more minutes. For him. “I told you I’m broken. I told you this couldn’t fix it, but I wanted us to try.”

Cody reached for my hand and I let him link his fingers with mine one last time. A feeling of familiarity I’d always been comfortable with when it came to him. Cody sighed. “I don’t understand. I mean we can try again. Maybe we just need to…” Cody’s grip tightened around my hand. “Hope, be honest. Tell me. We can’t make this work if you don’t…” His continual use of a name I hated was what pushed me over the edge and suddenly the backseat of his Honda seemed impossibly too small.

I felt trapped.

“Make what work?” I snapped, tearing my hand from his and pushing open the car door. I stumbled out barefooted onto the grass and leaned up against the Honda. Cody got out and stood on the other side, the moon highlighting every line on his face I didn’t want to see.

“Us!” Cody yelled out. “Of course us! This is what this was all about, wasn’t it? Seeing if we can make it work as a couple even with your…issues?”

I finally understand how naïve he really was. All this time. All these years of trying to help me, and he still didn’t get it. He didn’t get ME.

I squared my shoulders and launched the truth at him. “What do you want to hear, Cody? That we can live happily ever after? Because you of all people should know that’s not in the cards for me. And what we just did? Sex? Fucking? Do you want to hear the truth when it comes to that to? Because the truth is that I felt numb,” I admitted. “It didn’t hurt. I didn’t really even feel anything. Honestly, I thought about my hair and the pins that are poking me in my brain. Then my mind drifted and I don’t know where I went, but it wasn’t here. That’s the problem, it’s never been HERE.” I reached up and pulled on the two main pins that holding my hair in a pile of tight curls on top of my head. I threw the pins to the ground. My hair fell around my shoulders, the tension instantly relieved. “I feel like a failure, not because this didn’t work, but only because I let you down.”

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