Home > The Freshman (College Years #1)

The Freshman (College Years #1)
Author: Monica Murphy







There’s a pretty girl staring at me.

I pretend I don’t notice, keeping my head down, my focus on the phone clutched in my hands. I’m absently scrolling through Instagram, bored out of my skull while stuck in the waiting area at the Range Rover dealership in San Francisco, dreading the upcoming visit with my dad. My parents divorced when I was twelve, and Dad up and disappeared, moving to San Francisco so he could be closer to his business.

And his then new mistress.

That mistress eventually turned into his second wife, she gave birth to twin girls almost two years ago, and Dad forgot all about me. Until I turned eighteen and he decided he wanted to take me under his wing and turn me into his new protégé. I’ve resisted as much as I can, but it’s tough. He’s persistent.

I haven’t met my stepmom or my half-sisters yet, but that’s all happening today.

Good times.

Not really looking forward to meeting the new fam, but I was coming here anyway to get my car serviced. My father knew—I’m guessing the dealership informed him of the recall issue, and now here I am.

Yes, my father basically abandoned me, but he still gets me a new car once a year, which means this is my third car since I turned sixteen. Fucking ridiculous, right? He’s a rich bastard and he spoils the hell out of me with materialistic things and plenty of cash, as if that might make up for his constant neglect over the last six years.

But anyway.

Fuck thinking about my dad. I’d rather focus on the girl.

As sly as possible, I slowly glance up, my gaze meeting hers for the quickest second before she dips her head, a tiny smile curving her lush pink lips. I look away, too, gazing through the window at the bright blue sky outside. Not a cloud in sight. It’s still pretty early in the day. I rolled out of bed first thing in the morning and hopped in the car, driving straight here, cursing at the traffic the entire drive.

I’d never want to live in the Bay Area, I know that for certain. I’m used to our small town and the fresh mountain air. The complete lack of traffic. How everyone knows everyone else—

Wait. That’s not such a great thing. When everyone knows each other, they’re all up in your business. Like when your parents get a divorce. Or you and your girl break up seemingly out of nowhere.

That part sucks.

My gaze, once again, slides to the girl, like I can’t help myself. She’s sitting in an overstuffed chair across from me. Her teeth are sunk into her plump lower lip, her brows furrowed as she concentrates on whatever is happening on her phone. There’s a white Chanel bag sitting by her side. Golden Goose shoes on her feet. They’re scuffed and kind of dirty, which is what they’re supposed to look like, despite costing around five hundred bucks.

I don’t get the appeal.

That I know these things is telling. Mom isn’t around much, but when she is, she’s got the jumbo Chanel, the multiple pairs of Golden Goose—she’s trying to appear youthful, she says—and she’s always dripping in Van Cleef jewelry. Mom is a self-proclaimed designer brand whore, and she stands out like a sore thumb in our small town during the winter months. In the summer when all the tourists descend, she fits right in. Mostly.

I check the pretty girl’s wrist and yep, she’s got a Van Cleef bracelet clasped around it. Of course she does.

This girl is from money. My mother would probably love her.

I check her out in bits and pieces. Long, tanned legs. Black shorts that ride up, showing off her sleek thighs. A plain white T-shirt that probably costs hundreds of dollars. A bunch of delicate gold chains around her neck, some unadorned, others with tiny charms and pendants. One is a string of scattered stars.

This girl is trendy AF.

I can tell she’s still staring at her phone, occasionally tapping at it as if she’s sending an urgent text, and I keep my gaze away from her face on purpose. I’m not ready to look at it again. Not yet. What if I’m wrong? What if she’s not as hot as I first thought? Not like anything’s going to happen anyway. She’s some rich girl who probably lives in Pacific Heights or Nob Hill. For all I know she could be my dad’s neighbor. She’s probably a spoiled brat who’ll make my life a living hell just for trying to talk to her.

Forget it.

I shift in my seat, holding back the sigh that wants to escape as I return my attention to Instagram.

“Car trouble?”

Her sweet voice makes my head jerk up to find she’s already watching me, her blue eyes wide and questioning. I wasn’t mistaken in my first assessment of her.

She’s hot AF. I can’t even tell you which feature of hers is the most prominent or is the prettiest. She’s just flat-out gorgeous everywhere I look. I stare at her for a moment, caught up in the shape of her lips before I realize I need to stop looking like a dumb shit and actually say something.

“No. Brought it in to fix a recall issue and get my back windows tinted,” I tell her, tilting my head to the side as I contemplate her. She watches me just as boldly, not backing down, not looking away or giggling or being overly coy and flirtatious. Seemingly nothing manufactured or phony about her, which I appreciate. I figured she would be phony, with her trendy clothes and expensive accessories.

Girls can’t be trusted. They’ll stomp all over your heart if you give it to them, and then walk away like you never mattered. Happened to me before. It’s happened to me practically my entire life, and not just with girls. My ex-girlfriend left me because dance was more important to her than me. I try to show interest in other girls, but they all blow me off.

Then there’s my family. Dad left me because new pussy was more important. Mom left me every week when I was in high school, out looking for someone new. Something better.

Better than her old life and her son.

“How about you?” I ask when she hasn’t responded.

“The recall issue.” She shifts her legs, uncrossing and then recrossing them, and my gaze drops, taking them in yet again. They’re long and slender and conjure up all sorts of dirty thoughts. I wonder how tall she is. “My father wanted to buy me a new one but I’ve only had this one for six months. I thought that was a bit—excessive.”

“Sounds like we might share the same father.” Mine had mentioned something similar to me when I let him know about the recall notice. I told him that was ridiculous. I’ve only had the car for a couple of months.

Her brows shoot up. “I certainly hope not.”

Huh. Is she flirting with me? I’ve been off girls since midway through senior year in high school so maybe I’m out of touch. Well, not totally off girls. I hooked up with a couple of Italian hotties when I went to Europe over the summer. I accompanied my mom to visit her family who still lives over there. My cousin Sergio would take me out every night, and we’d get blindingly drunk. I’d kissed a pretty Italian girl. I kissed quite a few. Felt them up. On the rare occasion, I’d even get a blow job.

I had a good time in Europe. The best part? No expectations, no strings attached. Plus, I’d never see them again.

“I don’t have any long-lost siblings,” she continues. “Though I wouldn’t put it past my father if some turned up.”

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