Better Than Revenge - Taylor Swift
Pretty Wicked
Kalynn Nichols

layout cred to the amazing Jenna....aka @curious-and-young 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4TH: Happy Independence Day! If you’re into the whole celebration then head down to the center of town for the annual parade. Afterwards there’ll be a barbecue down at The Filling Station, Coldgrove’s favorite bar and grill. Grab a cheeseburger, find a lawn chair, and enjoy the fireworks that’ll be on later at night.

"Why do they always do this to us? I'm still punishing myself for everything I ate yesterday,"Dylan whined as she added a second burger to her plate.

"It's all about marketing. Local businesses love the specials they get to have," Chantal chimed in as she snuck a beer out of the cooler and walked away before anyone would notice.

"Whatever. I just think it's their plan to make us all fat," Dylan told me as we went to search for a spot on the lawn.

For some reason, for as long as forever I guess, this small little town of ours celebrated Founder's Day and Independence Day one right after the other. Why they couldn't just wait a day to found the town was beyond me.

"I think there's an empty spot over there by Con's truck," I told her as we weaved our way through the families that had already gotten settled.

"Oh no," she whispered and I turned my head to where she was looking.

There, in the middle of the field, were Alexa and Nate, looking all coupley. I quickly looked away, not wanting to deal with that right now, and ignored the worried look my friend was giving me.

"There you guys are, took you long enough," Alex yelled as she jumped up from her spot on Con's truck and gave Dyl the biggest hug. "What's wrong with you Kales?"

I hadn't realized I was staring off into space until she addressed me personally. I quickly shook it off, not wanting to damper the mood, and turned to my friend with a big smile.

"Nothing at all. I'm perfect," I told them all, although I'm not sure I was telling the whole truth.

As the night grew darker my friends and I steadily grew tipsier. We were laughing at every little thing and when I saw Lex look over here I was too drunk to even care about her anymore. After the fireworks went off the girls, and their guys, started to depart until it was just me and a few others left on our spot.

"Need a ride home Kales?" Ingrid asked me as she packed up her bag and dusted off her shorts. 

"No thanks, I'm going to stay around a bit longer," I told her. She looked around as if she was worried about leaving me behind with all the late-nighters. "Don't worry, Cole said he'd come get me in an hour or so."

"Oh, well if he'll be here. See you later," she said as she made her way to her car.

Cole wasn't coming to get me. I just told her that so she wouldn't feel bad for leaving me. My stupid friends worried about me too much.

After about twenty minutes alone I decided I should probably start heading home. I got up a little unsteadily, I drank a lot more than I was used to, and made my way East to my house. I passed a few people I knew from school and waved them off as I walked past. 

Five miles down the road I decided to stop at the convenience store for some water. The alcohol in my system had made me severely dehydrated and I still had a ten mile walk ahead of me. I ignored the guy behind the counter and walked to the back of the store. I finally found the cooler with water in it and stood there for awhile trying to decide which brand I wanted.

A seemingly easy decision, it was water….it all tasted the same, but in my incoherent state it was as if I was choosing red or blue whilst disarming a bomb. 

"What are you doing, Nichols?" a voice echoed around the small store. I stepped back a little and turned to see who was talking.

"Oh, it's you. What's up Coach?" I asked. My brain had recognized Coach Cambrigde, even in his everyday clothes as opposed to sweats and a Coldgrove High t-shirt, but hadn't recognized that this man was considered a supervisor.

"Are you drunk?" he asked me as he stepped a little closer. 

"Just a little," I replied as I shrugged my shoulders and opened the cooler to grab the biggest bottle of water the tiny store had to offer.

I walked away from my track coach and went to pay for my ridiculously sized bottle of water. As I handed the cashier my money I sensed he was judging me. He knew I was drunk, and underage at that, but he wasn't going to say anything. Nobody in this town did.

I thanked him when he gave me my change and slowly walked out the door. I was about fifteen feet from the door when I heard my name.

"Nichols, wait up," Coach C. called out to me. I turned around and saw the older man walking in my direction. "Let me give you a lift."

"Thanks, but I can get home on my own," I replied but he still made his way towards me. I started walking away but he grabbed my hand and preventing me from moving.

"Kalynn," he said with a whisper. He didn't say anything else, just stared at me.

"Oh fine. Whatever. I didn't feel like walking ten miles anyway," I relented. I followed him to his oversized truck {what's with people in small towns owning trucks?} and hopped into the passenger side.

We drove in silence. It was kind of odd, being with a teacher at night during the summer, but I trusted him. After a minute of neither of us talking I started to doze off but he apparently didn't want me to sleep because he started the chit-chat.

"Got any big plans this weekend? It seems like every other day there's something going on around here."

"Kennedy Richards' birthday party. It's sure to be a real blast," I said with sarcasm as I took a swig of my water. 

"Not a fan of the Richards?" he asked me as he turned onto Cherry Street. Just a few more blocks to go.

"Oh I like them just fine. Dylan's fckn awesome, but it's just another excuse for the youth of Coldgrove to get completely wasted and not get blamed for the things they do."

"You may be the only teenager that isn't up for a bit of partying," he told me as we turned onto my street.

"Oh, I can party just as much as the rest of them, hence my current state," I told him as I leaned my head back on the seat. I was starting to get dizzy now. "Although now that I think about it, I probably shouldn't have told you that."

"Don't worry, I'm not your teacher right now," he said as he pulled in front of my house.

"No, you're just some creepy old guy a ride home." He shut the truck off and looked at my house to make sure he didn't wake anybody up.

"How do you know where I live? You didn't date any of my sisters did you?" I asked him as I unbuckled my seatbelt and reached for the door handle

"No, I didn't. I did talk to your dad at a parent's night though."

"Great. Just what I wanted to hear," I laughed as I jumped out of the truck. Before shutting the door I looked back at my coach with a smile. "Thanks for the ride."

"No problem Nichols. Don't want Coldgrove's Golden Girl getting into any trouble now do we?" he joked as he started up his truck.

"How do you…" I started to ask but before I could say any more he drove off, leaving me alone on my lawn.

{forever behind….le sigh. comment 'long ride home' if you read all that. included @curious-and-young @keziahh @sophiaspastic @b0hemian-lovers @buds-over-studs }
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