3.01 – Raina

Chapter tune: Tori Amos – Almost rosey

A/N: Hey guys!! πŸ˜€ I can see the confusion on you faces about the chapter count – I mean, haven’t I published 3.01 already? Why yes, yes I have πŸ˜‰ Except it’s not counted as 3.01 anymore but rather 3.00a, as I had the admittedly brilliant idea of treating the first three chapters as a kind of prologue – considering Raina is still a child etc etc – and naming them accordingly… I know, lame >.< Sorry! :p You may also have noticed (if there’s anyone paying attention to this stuff and not just me lol) that the chapter songs are not the usual classic 80’s rock ballads anymore, at least not exclusively, and I’ve started throwing other genres in the mix! That’s partly because my list of rock ballads to go with the chapters is getting smaller, and partly because Raina and her story don’t give me those kind of vibes, you know? So the music from here on will be whatever works, from 50’s diner songs to reggae to indie, lol! We’ll see πŸ˜‰ Thank you so much for reading! ❀

It was high time you picked up your phone.” Charlie’s voice sounded carefree as always, with just a tiny dose of concern, which showed that she was was, in fact, very much concerned. Raina wasn’t really in the mood to talk on the phone, but three days of not picking up were too much, even for her.

“Sorry! I was in the bathroom.”

Since yesterday??!

“Sorry… I just… I needed some alone time. But I’m okay, I swear.”

Raina… you are not fucking okay! You have been sulking in your apartment for like a century! Time to move on.”

“Nope. I’m not sulking, I just… I needed some time with my thoughts. And some time to read those books I have to review…”

Those books you started three weeks ago?

“I just… I got distracted! But I’ll do it tonight. Plus, I wanted to binge watch that show we’d started watching, me and… uh…”

…Sam?

“Well, yeah…”

Charlie let out a big huff, and Raina could almost hear her rolling her eyes. “Look honey, I get it. Sam was hot as fuck BUT grade A asshole. You don’t want to get hung up on THAT. I tell you, after the stunt he pulled, you should have cut his dick off and turned it into a fucking hot dog.”

It was Raina’s turn to roll her eyes. “Eww… thanks for the mental image by the way. Now I won’t be able to eat a hot dog ever again.”

Any time.

Even though she acted shocked at her cousin’s choice of words, Raina found herself grinning. Charlie always had that effect on her. And truth be told, Sam was, well… not really worth the time and heartache – she knew that. Hell, she would have ended things with him soon enough anyway. But him breaking up with her after hooking up with his ex, as well as stating they were better of as “friends” was a big blow against her ego and self-esteem. And it was the third time someone used the “just friends” card. Raina had started doubting she’s ever get past the friend zone.

You there?

“Yup.”

“As I was saying: You have to get yourself back out there again girl! So you got involved with a cheating lying prick… big whoop. Show me one woman who hasn’t been there. But now you’re single again – we both are! How awesome is that! And guess what. We’re going out tonight! There’s a new bar at the docks that opened just a week ago and I hear it’s the bomb..!

“Wait. You’re single too? What happened to Liam?”

Eh.

“What does that even mean?”

Hmmm… tell you what. We’ll go out and I’ll tell you all about it tonight at the bar.”

“Ha, I should have seen that one coming. But Charlie, I don’t know…”

Nope. You’re not bailing on me. It’s been two weeks since you guys broke up and Sam has been getting some for at least three! Trust me, you’ve grieved looong enough. Now it’s finally time to get you laid!

“Charlie, you know I can’t do one night stands…”

Okay, then set the foundation for getting laid, whatever! You know what, I’m coming up. You decent?

“Well… I definitely need to take a shower buuut sure, come on up. Although, I thought you had an early class today?”

Eh… I’ll call Barry, he can can cover for me. He can handle cardio pilates just fine. Okay now, enough chit chat over the phone – I’m coming up in two!

Raina silently nodded and hung up. If it was up to her, she would curl up on that old couch, wearing her comfy pajamas, for at least one more week. That apartment, no matter how old and tiny, had always been her happy place. The two girls had a couple of years since they moved to Boroughsburg, right after college was over. It was mainly Charlie’s idea, but Raina had gladly tagged along – Charlie was not only her cousin but also her best friend, and when she informed her that she had found two apartments in the same building so they could be close, Raina was instantly sold. Not long after they moved, they both found their respective jobs; Charlie as a trainer at a local gym, and Raina as a book reviewer and article writer at a monthly women’s magazine – which was perfect for her, since she only had to actually be there once or twice a month.

A couple of minutes after the phone call, Charlie knocked on Raina’s door. That girl was like a hurricane; her presence always noticed. She had a unique way of combining an almost masculine energy with an overt femme fatale sexuality, and the result was captivating. At least until she opened her mouth.

“Holy hell, open up a window, will ya? It smells like something died in here!”

“The window is open, I just… I haven’t thrown out the trash yet…”

“How long?”

“I don’t know, a week?”

“For fuck’s sake… Fine, I’ll take them when I go. So… ready for tonight?”

“Nope.”

“Look honey, I know you feel like you don’t have the energy to do anything remotely social, especially after being cooped up for so long, I know you. But like all the other times, I know that to get out of this loop is to go outside, do things, have fun! Remember last year?”

“Yeah… I guess you’re right.”

“Good girl.”

“BUT if we go out tonight, you have to promise me you won’t drag me around for at least another month!”

“Well, let’s say that after tonight, you won’t have me to drag you around, but at least one guy. And I promise that you’ll like it.” Charlie winked at her cousin.

Raina scoffed. “How? How are you so sure?”

“I have that dress from Posh that you liked so much, it’s at my place. And it’s yours if you want it. But you have to wear it tonight.” Charlie said. Posh was a boutique that sold very particular, sexy outfits and Charlie was occasionally modeling for their posters. The good part of those gigs was that sometimes they gave her some of the outfits as a gift.

Raina turned from bored to excited in mere seconds. “Oh my god, really??! Thank you, thank you! But… don’t you want to wear it?”

“I got one for me too girl, don’t worry! So. I have about another thirty minutes to spare. Wanna count all the ways Sam was a total loser?”

“Sure… but I’m warning you, it might take much, much longer than half an hour.” Raina said with a smirk. “See, I haven’t told you the best part…”

The bar was located at the industrial side of Boroughsburg, which had become insanely trendy lately. Having been converted from an old factory, it was one of those multi-functional spaces, providing a bar, a club, a concert stage, as well as a room for art exhibitions.

“Well… it’s very impressive from the inside, I’ll give you that.” Raina said as soon as they arrived.

“See? It’s even better upstairs, at the bar. Everyone, and I mean everyone and their fucking mother goes for drinks here. The first time I came, I saw like twenty people I knew.”

“Well you don’t exactly count, you know everyone. I fact, I’m surprised it was only twenty.”

“Sheesh… look who’s finally back. Come on smart mouth, let’s go.”

Raina hated to admit that Charlie was once again right. She had needed to go out, have a change of scenery. It was always like this. After a stressful event (like a breakup) she had the tendency to cut all contact with the outside world and hole up alone in her apartment until her cousin pulled her out again. But it felt nice to be in land of living again. The bar was filled with young people, the music was great, and already a not too shabby number of dudes had openly checked them out. Plus, the cocktails were to die for. Raina realized she was having a great time. Both girls were.

“Man” Charlie was almost crying with laughter “I can’t believe Sam’s ex – or should I say current? – girlfriend stole the towel you’d left at his place! How low is that? Not to mention hilarious!”

“Right? I was so pissed. Maybe even more about the towel than Sam himself. I mean, it was limited edition! I was so excited when I bought it! Who knew my towel would end up as loot!” Raina couldn’t stop laughing too.

Suddenly, the bartender left a tray with a couple of cocktails in front of them.

“Hey… uh… w-we didn’t order those…” Raina muttered hesitantly, realizing she still hadn’t the appropriate amount of alcohol in her system that would make her less shy with people she didn’t know.

afterfocus_1562619001840.jpg

He smiled. “It’s on the house.”

“Oh… thank you so much!”

Riiiight… on the house” Charlie whispered at Raina while wiggling her eyebrows. “You know what that means, right?”

“Of course I do! Hey, if you like him, I can go home by myself, don’t worry!”

“Hmmm the question is, do you like him?”

“Me?”

“Girl, you haven’t noticed but I have. He’s been checking you out aaall night. I mean, I could almost see his hard on the minute he layed his eyes on you!”

“Charlie! …Really?”

“Mmhmm. Why do you think he swapped bars with that other bartender? So he would be closer to our spot! Your spot to be exact. Come ooon, look at you! You’re HOT! So…?” Charlie wiggled her eyebrows again.

Raina took a closer look at the bartender. He was hot, in a rugged kind of way. He reminded her of the pictures she saw from when her granfather Jared was young. Not that he resembled him in any kind of way – that would be super creepy, she thought – but he had that bad boy vibe, which made her once again dream of living her own epic bad-boy-turned-good love story, like her grandmother. Yes, he was totally her type.

“Earth to Raina!” Charlie’s voice interrupted her thoughts “I guess that look means our night here was a success. You’re welcome.”

“What? Nooo… I don’t know. But yeah, he seems… sweet.” Raina replied, not even realizing how mesmerized she looked.

After some more drinks – on the house – Raina was out of her shell, the bubbly side of her personality finally making an appearance. “Heeey… so what’s your name?” she half drunkenly asked him.

“It’s Zach. And yours?”

“Raina.”

“Wow. That’s a beautiful name.”

“Thank you! …but about your name. Does it come from Zachary? I bet it does. Did you know that Zachary means sugar in greek? It suits you, you know!” she rambled, mentally punching herself for her lack of flirting skills.

“Oh boy” Charlie muttered.

“I didn’t know that” Zach replied “but if it were a woman’s name, it would be the perfect one for you, not me. You are by far the sweetest girl I’ve ever met.”

Raina felt her cheeks, her whole face actually, get pink. And hot. And not only her face. It had been a long time since someone she liked was so directly flirtatious towards her. Granted, she hadn’t been out of the house for a long time, but still.

For the next couple of hours she kept chatting with Zach, who tried every way to spend as much time with her as possible. Charlie was near enough but, not surprisingly, had spotted a couple of friends nearby so she divided her time between companies.

She felt like she should thank her cousin for almost forcefully dragging her out. If it wasn’t for her, it would be another boring Friday night watching anime on her couch. To be fair, she loved her way of spending her days and nights, but maybe lately she got too used to the comfort of it. But now she was feeling her energy and optimism make a big comeback. Maybe she could go for shopping tomorrow; she needed some new outfits, maybe a couple of shoes, and some beauty products. And she should make a trip to the supermarket at last. And she should finish that book review that was due in a week. She was finally ready to start living again, like a normal person. And maybe… maybe she was ready to fall in love again. For real this time. She wanted to believe it would happen sooner than later. What she didn’t know though, was that she was closer than that. Because that night, was the night her own love story would finally begin.

23 thoughts on “3.01 – Raina

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  1. Those girls are GORGEOUS! Raina is absolutely beautiful. A perfect blend of her hot parents. And Charlie is too with her mother’s red hair! I’m not so sure about bartender dude, but it seems she’s attracted to the bad boy…. I hope he’s not too bad for her though. Soooo excited….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you sooo much! ❀ Yup, they both turned out super hot! 😍 Actually Charlie has Dylan's hair, but the colour wasn't exactly showing on him, lol (at least I think so)!
      Hmmm he's quite the mystery, haha. Let's see how he'll turn out to be πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Um EXCUSE YOU. How dare you write a main character who is actually me?! Holes herself up in her apartment all the time, awkwardly flirts by using etymology, doesn’t do one-night stands and is a hopeless romantic. How very dare you! (Just about the only thing that’s not me is how many boyfriends she’s had – I’ve dated one other guy and has had a grand total of one bf, the current one).
    Ha, ha, okay, jokey jokes aside, the moment I saw a new chapter I had to go read I was so excited to see the girls all grown up. ❀ And Raina is so sweet. I love the look of her apartment. It's so cute and so her. πŸ™‚ Seems like she favours light, girly colours (srsly, is she me?!). πŸ˜€
    And Charlie, of course, is amazing. Reminds me of Regina, as a matter of fact. I was going to say they might get along, but actually they'd probably not – Gina isn't good with people who are too similar to herself. πŸ˜›
    I love the relationship between the girls. You're really good at that showing how close they are – Charlie knows exactly what she needs and when she needs it. That's a proper friend right there.
    And ooooh, I'm so excited to get into Raina's grand romance. More, more, more! πŸ˜€ ❀ I loved this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, I loved this! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ And I loved that you feel so connected to Raina – I hope that doesn’t change eventually ❀ Ooh, I have the holing up in my apartment too, lol! πŸ˜‚ And I love it πŸ˜›
      And yesss, she's all for soft, girly pastels! πŸ˜„
      I agree about Charlie – if she ever met Gina, they'd either complrtely love or hate each other, nothing in between – but probably the second one, lmaooo!
      And you're right about her relationship with Raina ❀ I can't wait to delve more into that, as well as Raina's romance story πŸ˜‰
      Thank you sooo much for your comment!! πŸ˜€ ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Soo, does this Sam have maybe anything more in common with my Sam? Lol, I died when Charlie called him “prick” out of all things…
    Ha ha, yup, I too share some traits with the protagonist. Mostly not wanting to leave my house. But I don’t need a bad break up for that, it’s just my preferred way of living. πŸ˜› Oh, and thankfully I’m not into bad boys.
    OMG, Raina’s socks are so cute I can’t!
    I agree with others that both girls are super pretty. No wonder they’re atracting glances!
    I like how you arranged it with the chapters. Totally makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lmao! You know, he does have something in common with him – I was thinking what I should name Raina’s asshole and Sam instantly came to mind, lol! So he’s the inspiration! But I guess they’re not the same person, considering Sam’s daughter’s husband was friends with Raina’s grandfather, right? XD
      Haha, I also have that trait. Why can’t some people stand staying at home? Lmao! I’ll never get it :p
      Yeees, the socks were a last minute addition and I love them so much, haha! ❀
      They are! ❀ – I'm so satisfied and proud with how they turned out to be :p I know it's not veeery realistic for every character to be so pretty, but whatever πŸ˜‰
      Thank you so much for your comment! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol, right! But since Hailey was of a different generation than Reggie, I guess supposedly Raina and Ron would be of the same generation? Except that time passes faster in my game now because I’m father ahead.

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  4. Those two grew up gorgeous!! Stunningly beautiful parents lead to stunningly beautiful children.
    I love the fact that Raina is a hopeless romantic with no game. I can do relate!!
    Also, I did notice the change is song. The change definitely fits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! ❀ They are super pretty, I'm very happy with how they turned out to be πŸ˜‰
      Lmao, "hopeles romantic with no game" – I love this! πŸ˜€ And that's exactly what I was going for πŸ˜‰
      Thank you so much for your comment! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The girls are gorgeous, the poses are great, the rooms are to die for, man, I admirred each one of your shots as I went through reading! Soooo prettyy!
    Okay though, I think it’s just me who can’t do glib romantic things, but “You are by far the sweetest girl I’ve ever met.”” made me cringe a bit. Hahaha why do these lines work on sweet girls like Raina! I’m sure he’ll turn out to be more than just a guy with game, if she goes anywhere with him. Or maybe she’ll meet someone else tonight and this is just a red herring O:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you so much! ❀ I really appreciate it – it means a lot coming from you, considering I love your pictures! ❀
      Haha yeah, that line was a little toe-curling, I'll admit lmao! πŸ˜‚
      If it was me, I'd probably shrug it off as blatant exaggeration, but hmmm, sweet Raina is apparently sold. You might be onto something here though! πŸ˜‰ Already working on the next chapter, so it shouldn't take too long for you to find out!
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you sooo much! I really appreciate all your kind words, and I’m very happy you liked the pictures and the girls ;)<3
      Hmmm… that's a good question! πŸ˜€
      Thank you for reading and commenting! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so sorry for my late reply!! 😦 I took a little break on all things online, lol! πŸ˜€
      Yup, it’s a good thing Raina has Charlie, or she’d never get out of the house, heh!
      Hmmm that is a problem for sure. But maybe Zach isn’t as bad as he looks? Hmmm… we’ll see πŸ˜‰
      Thank you so much for your comment! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Whoo-hoo! I’m here for grown Raina πŸ˜€ I’ve said it before, but it’s worth mentioning every time, she and Charlie are soo pretty!!! 😍😍😍 I like how you’re experimenting with the music for the chapters, it makes sense her vibe will be different from the previous gens. Your range is incredible, you’ll have some super popular, well-known, hits and some super unknown, underrated, talents (like this chapter’s tune) So I have to applaud you for that πŸ‘ My music catalog isn’t that rich, haha.
    Raina’s apartment – or what we’ve seen of it so far – is pretty! It totally suits her and is giving me some Rose vibes. Our poor hopeless romantic has already experienced some heartbreak, or several, ouch. The fact she’s so eagerly looking for love makes me think that she will probably continue to experience that going forward </3
    At least she has Charlie to help her bounce back, haha I love her. I had a feeling I would, and I was right. "masculine energy with an overt femme fatale sexuality" That description is πŸ”₯
    Raina's lucky she's cute because her flirting skills could use some work. Well, I suppose the bartender isn't much better either. I'm hoping the love story she's referring to at the end is not with him, hehe, but maybe I'm judging too soon.
    Hey! As someone who occasionally spends Fridays watching animes and chilling at home, I have to say it's not that boring :p It is good to go out and reenergize though because that lifestyle can make you sort of lazy, hehe πŸ˜†
    This was a cute start, can't wait to see where it goes ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so sorry for my late reply! I meant to do it yesterday, but then work got the best of me, lol!
      Ooooh, I’m so excited to see you here again! ^_^ Thank you so much! ❀ I know it's not super realistic for everyone to be so good-looking, but eh. The temptation is too strong to ignore, lol!
      Awwww thank you soooo much for commenting on the songs! ^_^ It means a lot (I always had an obsession with music)! ❀ ❀
      I was so proud of that apartment when I decorated it! Yup, she and Rose do have somewhat similar tastes, although I try to differentiate – when I can, lol πŸ™‚ I imagine that Rose has more of a country-style taste, while Raina's is a bit more contemporary? Lol, let's go with that!
      Oooh, thank you so much! It seems that sometimes I pop out a good line or two, lmao!! XD
      And I hear you; I always enjoy my nights in tbh, just watching silly shows or playing video games – it's the best! But, of course, sometimes the only thing you need is to go outside – that's what the extrovert friends are for, lol!
      Hmmm you will very soon find out about the bartender and if it's meant to be πŸ˜‰
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Raina is such a pretty young adult, with a lovely decorated apartment to match! I really like the soft pastel aesthetic going on, the pictures look great~

    Hm… so it seems that Raina’s life is largely dictated by relationships, with an obsession with falling in love and a pursuit of the ‘perfect’ romance. As cute of a hopeless romantic baby she is, that seems like an unhealthy and unrealistic mindset to have. We can already see how badly she is affected by a shitty lame ex, so I can imagine her depressive withdrawal could be much worse. It also appears that Raina’s not very good at picking guys, especially if she’s got a taste for bad boys, and perhaps tends to overlook their flaws because she wants true love that badly, so I feel like unless she changes her way of viewing relationships, she might end up in very toxic situations πŸ˜₯

    Charlie is an excellent contrast to Raina, and although she has some disgusting imagery, haha, she has a direct, no-nonsense sharpness to her (like Calla) that I really like. Plus, what a babe! She’s fun to read and I love the supportive, bantery relationship between the two girls. I’m glad they stuck together.

    Nice chapter and introduction to Raina’s Boroughsburg life! Love the chapter tune too πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you so much! ^_^ I seriously loved decorating her apartment!
      Yup, relationships and romance pretty much have shaped the attitude and aspirations of this particular girl… which, as you said, is not the ideal mindset to have in life! And, apart from guys friendzoning her all the time, she also might lose interest if things aren’t developing like in a romantic fairytale/drama (flaws and all included) . We’ll definitely see how badly all this could get in the future, as Raina will have difficulty viewing relationships under a realistic light..!
      Oh, I love Charlie and I’m so happy you like her too! ❀ I have admittedly ignored her in the latest chapters, but that is something that has to change asap! πŸ˜‰ She could definitely prove to be the voice of reason to shake Raina out of her dreamland.
      Thank you so much (and I really love that song too)! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

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