SYNOPSISs: Present Perfect by Alison G. Bailey
This invisible force occupies every sphere of my brain and permeates throughout my entire body. There has never been a time in my life that it didn’t hold me hostage. By the time I was able to fuse coherent thoughts together it was too late and I didn’t know where the exit was to escape. If I could see it, touch it, reason with it, maybe I would have a chance to survive it. Instead I only feel it and hear it. It’s message is a constant in my life. Where did it come from? Why did it pick me? I had love and encouragement, but somehow it still found me. It seeped into my life so slowly I never saw it before it consumed me.
And that my friends is fucked up thinking.
Amanda Kelly spent her entire life trying to control every aspect of it, while striving for perfection. Her obsession with being perfect, along with her feelings of worthlessness, consumed her. The one thing she thought was perfect in her life was the bond she shared with her best friend, Noah.
Everything was going according to her life plan until she woke up one day and realized she had fallen in love with him. The one thing she couldn’t control was the affect he had on her. Noah had the power to give her one hundred lifetimes of happiness, which also gave him the power to completely devastate her. He was the one thing in her life that was perfect, but she couldn't allow herself to have him.
We were all sitting around the table eating by the time Noah joined us. He sat in the only empty seat left, next to me. Dad and Mr. Stewart talked about work while mom and Mrs. Stewart shared the neighborhood gossip. I was trying to recover from the intense moment in my room earlier. I would have been able to if Noah wasn’t sitting right next to me. That was bad enough, but he kept finding subtle ways of touching me. He was trying to unnerve me. The sneaky bastard. Our parents were oblivious to it all. Noah put his arm around the back of my chair and reached across me for some bread, which brought his face so close to mine his lips were almost touching my cheek. We kept our voices low.
“I know what you’re doing.” I said.
“I do too. I really like garlic bread.”
“I could have passed it to you if you had asked.”
“Yeah, I know, but my way I get to look down your dress.” My eyes shot immediately to his. ”Oh by the way, your choice in bra tonight…Excellent. Do your panties match?” He winked and smirked at me before turning his attention back to his plate.
“Noah, congratulations.” My dad said. Just then I felt a hand on my knee and fingers creeping under the hem of my dress. My breath hitched and my eyes darted over to Noah. I’d be completely pissed at him right now if his hand on my naked knee didn’t feel so incredible.
“Thank you, sir.”
“Pretty rare that a sophomore gets asked to join the varsity team. We’re proud of you.” My dad always thought of Noah like a son.
“His mom and I are extremely proud of him. He’s a chip off the old block.” Mr. Stewart added. The dads laughed as if the comment was hilarious. Noah smiled at his dad while his hand began to move up my thigh. I slapped it away causing myself to jump slightly.
“Amanda, are you ok?” Mom asked.
‘Yeah. I’m fine.” Noah was trying to contain a laugh. ”I was swatting a fly away.”
My mom looked at me, slightly annoyed, while maintaining her cheery voice. “We don’t have flies in this house.”
“My bad.” I said. Noah’s hand landed back on my knee, squeezing slightly, causing me to gasp audibly. All four parental heads turned to look at me. “Um… mom would you please pass me the…um…” Noah was relentless. He kept squeezing and stroking my knee. It was almost impossible for me to think. “The stuff in the bottle, that you…um…pour on…um…lettuce?”
“You mean salad dressing?” My mom said, sarcasm flowing from her words like a torrential rain. I nodded. “You already have some on your salad.”
“I need more. Please give me more.” She looked at me like I didn’t belong to her and passed me the dressing.
“How’s Emily?” Mrs. Stewart asked while I doused my salad with more dressing.
A prideful smile appeared across my mom’s face. “She’s wonderful. She’s loving college.
“That’s fantastic.” Mrs. Stewart said.
“In fact, she’s joined the debate team. She’s an extremely articulate young woman.” Mom shot me a look. If she had any idea what was taking place under her dinner table she might cut me some slack. I was so out of sorts I dropped my fork just before loading it up with salad.
“I’ll get it, Tweet.” I took a drink of water to try and calm down as Noah scooted his chair back and bent down to grab the fork.
“Oh, we’ve drained bottle one.” Dad announced. All of a sudden I felt a pair of lips on the outer side of my thigh right above my knee. I almost did a full blown spit-take at the exact same time my dad asked. “Are we game for another?” Noah sat back up and I had four sets of eyes staring at me.
“I’ll go get you another bottle of wine. I’m done eating, anyway.” I quickly rose from the table and made my way to the kitchen to put my plate in the sink. Without stopping I headed to the garage where we had an extra refrigerator that my parents used for their wine collection. Standing in front of the open fridge I realized I didn’t know if they wanted red or white. I took a bottle of each to be on the safe side. I closed the fridge and turned around coming face-to-face with a grinning Noah. I took a step back. Noah placed his hands against the fridge on either side of my shoulders, caging me in.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing in there with all the touching and the kissing? You kissed my thigh under the table. The family dinner table, for gods’ sakes.”
“You’re mighty tasty.” He waggled his eyebrows and moved in closer. Holy crap on a cracker, he’s got me all tingly.
“Leave me alone for the rest of the night.” I tried to sound mad, but even I could hear the smile in my voice.
“Ok. I will.” He dropped his arms and stepped back giving me room to get by.
“Thank you.” As I passed him going back toward the door I felt the hem of my dress rise up behind me. I quickly stepped to the side out of his reach. “Dammit, Noah! Stop it! I can’t defend myself with these bottles in my hands.”
Author BIOAlison G. Bailey, Author
Alison was born and raised in Charleston, SC. As a child she would create (write) additional scenes to TV shows and movies that she watched. She attended Winthrop University and graduated with a major in Theater. While at school she began writing one act plays which she later produced. Throughout the years she continued writing and producing several one act plays, but then life got in the way and she hung up her pen for a while. At the end of 2012 a very talented author friend convinced Alison to go back to writing and see what happens. So I did and fell back in love with it. Present Perfect will be Alison's first self-published book. A few personal facts, Alison loves anything sweet, especially frosting, and is addicted to Diet Pepsi. Alison's philosophy: Don't let your obstacles define you. At times life can get pretty overwhelming, but with a great support system and a lot of humor you can get through them. If you have humor in your life, your spirit stays strong and you can tackle anything.