Never Enough
Author:Ashley Johnson

Chapter 1

The sun peered in through the half open blinds that hung in the window of my bedroom. Apparently it was time to wake up but instead of dragging myself out of bed, I threw my teal comforter over my head and groaned. I pulled it back once more and glanced over towards my alarm clock. The time was only 9:00am; I had no idea why I was awake, although really I was never one to sleep late. It was a cruel joke, more like a curse. No one should have to be awake early, but I guess it was habit from back in high school when I had cheerleading practice. Nothing to add cheer to your day quite like waking up before the sun. I tried to close my eyes and go back to sleep but it just wasn’t working for me. Nothing was making me comfortable. I flopped from my side, to my belly, to my back, then back to my side. My brain was racing like a madman. My thoughts drifted back to the night before as I lie in bed. I drank way too much last night, but then that wasn’t really any different from any other night. The night was too much of a blur to really remember. My head hurt just from trying. I closed my eyes trying to clear the fog in my brain maybe that would help with some of this mass chaos. I was supposed to be working last night but work and play always seemed to go together for me. I always mixed the two up and it was always hell the next day. My body sure wasn’t thanking me this morning. Instead it was laughing at me and saying, “Good job Macy, this is what you get for being a drunk!” I badly wished I could tell my body to go screw itself, that I was the boss of me, but it would most likely retaliate and I didn’t need that this morning. All I could seem to remember from last night was Gary saying I could drink on him, which was the usual thing he told me. I graciously kept giving myself shot after shot of whiskey and after he tried to tell me I’d had enough, I began sneaking behind the bar to get what I wanted. Then, then there was Trevor James and his band. Oh lord, Trevor James. Cue the cheesy grin. I don't know what's gotten into me lately but I've begun drinking more. More than usual anyway, which is usually quite a bit. Perhaps it is my way of dealing with life. Everyone has their own little ways for things and this was apparently mine.

I sat up and pulled my long wavy hair back into a ponytail while letting out another groan. Some mornings I just wasn’t a morning person. This was definitely one of those days. I scooped my black sweatpants up off the floor and threw them on so I at least looked halfway decent whenever I decided to step out of the room. A few more minutes were needed to compose myself though. I stared into the mirror at my reflection. I was exhausted. My face looked weary like it was screaming for a break. I splashed my face with cold water and dabbed it dry with a towel. There, I felt a little more refreshed and not so dead looking. I was still nowhere near ready to let myself walk out of my comfort zone.

Trevor James had been trying to bat his eyelashes at me for a while now. A few months to be exact, I wouldn’t be surprised though if it hadn’t been since I moved here. I don’t know why he still tried. I don’t get why he couldn’t understand I was not interested in him at all? Who am I kidding? I absolutely loved the attention from him He was always quick to try to approach me when the band wasn’t playing and either attempt to start a conversation or make sure we brushed against each other. Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely hot but it just wasn’t going to happen and I had no problem with wanting to burst his bubble. He was used to being turned down by me by now. He was the lead singer in his band, which had no name. They didn’t seem too concerned with getting one, they just played the music. He was easy on the eyes I will admit that, a little too easy on the eyes. He was muscular, he had to work out. If I had to guess I would say he at least had a six pack going on underneath it and he had dark brown hair that wasn’t too short but wasn’t too long. Typically it covered most of his bluish gray eyes to where you could barely see them. It was perfect. He was perfect. He had the sexiest voice. Whether he was singing or talking. I don’t care which he was doing as long as I could listen. It was dark and husky. Talk about make a girl melt. And he played a mean guitar. He could play almost anything he was asked to. That always amazed me about people who could play guitar, the way their hands can remember every little chord that they need to play the song. The way they play so flawlessly as if they were made just for that. His jeans always hugged his amazing ass and hung off his hips in the most delicious way. And his shirts clung to his chest in all the right places. I totally had it bad for him, I can’t lie. Really, it was usually the highlight of my day to see him; I just didn’t let him know that. He could never know, that I would make sure of. He had tattooed half a sleeve on his arm recently. I don’t remember ever seeing any tattoos on him before. Maybe these were his first. I couldn’t tell what it was really; I’d never been that close to him. I mean I’m not saying I wouldn’t like to see under his shirt, I absolutely would love to. Looked like just a bunch of tribal stuff but it drew me like the moth to the flame and it made him even harder to ignore him. What can I say; I’m a sucker for guitars and tattoos.

I’ve been a regular at Gary’s bar The Lounge for about three years now. Actually Gary is my uncle. He helped save me three years ago from a bad situation at home with my mom. I don’t remember much about my dad. Just that he got a new family when I was about four year’s old and jumped ship. Birthday cards stopped coming years ago and so did the phone calls. I maybe had an old photo lying around somewhere and that was it. Eventually everything from him stopped. He didn’t deserve any of my tears, neither did she. I knew I was better off without either of them in my life. I’d grown to be a basically decent young woman without either of their help. Mom was basically dead to me and so was he. I never wanted to see either of them again. When it happened, I was terrified and afraid to let anyone know. I did nothing but sit around and drink but finally I called up my Uncle Gary in tears. He could barely understand a word as I babbled incoherently into the phone that day, but he agreed to let me come live with him in Louisiana about thirty minutes from Mom and when I turned 21 he let me help run the bar so he could relax some. I even bought my first car, a white Honda Civic when I moved in with Gary. If I had a car before then, I would have never stayed around Mom as long as I did. I would have jumped in the car the first time and drove as far as I could to get away. Gary was in his mid 40's, he had done more than his fair share of work in his life so I didn’t mind at all helping him. He’d bought the building at an auction about five years ago and decided to turn it into a bar. So far so good. It had turned out to be a rather good investment for him. He had the perfect mixture of salt and pepper hair and a beer gut he was proud of. He would always tell people he worked hard on earning it and had no desire to lose it. He also cooked the meanest pot of chicken and sausage gumbo I’ve ever had in my life. He made it a few times a year and I always begged him to make it more. Some people believe it has to be cold to eat gumbo, but seriously, we, in the south, believe you can eat it anytime of the year. I loved that man.

I spent the majority of my time there at The Lounge making drinks, drinking drinks, or singing karaoke. Music is what keeps my head straight. Call it my drug of choice or whatever you want; it puts my mind at ease. People may think that sounds absurd but I don’t judge them for what makes them happy. I only drink and listen to music, it’s not like I’m out selling my body and doing drugs. Trust me I could be doing a lot worse than what I am. I was a big fan of 80's music, 90's music too, I mean I could listen to anything and be content. Rock, pop, name it, I listened to it and sang it, and it soothed my soul. I think that is one good quality I got from my Mom. I remember being a kid and her always blasting music videos on MTV when they actually played music. I loved music from that point and on. We used to sing and dance in the kitchen; I think back smiling at those good times. Lord knows there aren’t any more of those. Maybe it was just supposed to be a sort of ploy when Dad left, either way it became my soul mate. It always seemed to find the words that I couldn’t always come out with. At least I can thank her for my love of music; at least she did something right with me. She didn’t screw up entirely.

I had dropped out of college because I could no longer concentrate on my studies. I was lucky that I was able to finish high school and graduate somewhat at the top of my class. My grades had started suffering and I had let it consume my life. I really had to buckle down and study to pass my finals my senior year. School had always come easily to me, it was crazy how one thing could happen and just throw everything way out of whack. So what if I was making the biggest mistake of my young life by being a college dropout. Lots of people do it when they realize they just don’t belong there. I wanted to belong there; I just wasn’t ready like I wanted to be. I’m only 23 and besides, I have the security of a family owned business. College was always an option for the future if I decided to go back, I always told myself that. I hadn’t completely shut the idea out.

I share an apartment with my best friend Halley Moore. She was 21 and absolutely one of my favorite people in the world. We met when I attempted to go to college. We had exchanged numbers before our first semester when we discovered we would be roommates so we would have an idea of who each other was when school started. That was bound to save us from the awkward first meeting. We started off rooming together in the dorm and then we decided to get an apartment together off campus after I withdrew myself and she just drove to school until she graduated. Originally I was going to move in with Gary but Halley convinced me to just move in with her off campus and since we had bonded so much and I thought of her as the sister I never had, I was more than happy to move our friendship from a dorm to an apartment. I loved that girl. We had many good times under our belts in the past few years. Besides my Uncle Gary, she was the only other person who knew my story.

Our apartment wasn’t anything fancy. It was the average run of the mill two bedroom one bathroom apartment. It was perfect for us, way much more room than the dorm we shared. We split everything in half as far as bills go. We tried our best to compromise on decorations in the living room, but honestly we were never really in their long enough to pay attention to any of it. I could tell you that our couch is tan and a little lumpy to sit on, I try not to have to be the one who suffers through it. Our recliner is much more comfortable, probably the best thing we’ve bought so far. Our walls are a medium brown and Halley insisted on a few pictures of us then a painting hang there. I told her whatever and she did what she wanted. See, that was my compromise. I mainly stayed in my room when I was there and she did the same.

Groggily I got up, found my slippers and began to slowly walk to the kitchen. I needed an aspirin now. My head was pounding. I really believed it may explode into a thousand tiny pieces. And that would royally suck because I was too hungover to even think about being able to pick those pieces up. A thousand pieces would take forever to find, that’s not how I wanted to spend my day. Part of me hoped that Halley was either sleeping or not home. I did not want any judgment for my irresponsible actions lately. I was an adult after all. I may only be 23 but dammit, that is still considered an adult. Little did I know that when I turned the corner she was waiting for me. Damn the luck.

"Good morning sleepy head. What’d I miss last night?" Halley was a veterinary assistant. She worked hard while she was in school and she loved everything about her job. She usually tries to meet me at The Lounge after work but she had a long day yesterday and she informed me she would be sleeping and not to wake her when I decided to walk or stumble in.

She was a little too perky this morning with her cup of coffee in hand. She leaned against the counter trying to sound as interested as she could in what I had to say. I wanted to take her coffee and pour it down the drain so she could be miserable like me.

"Ugh, whisper please." I continued to hold my forehead like it was going to fall off. Halley wasn’t talking very loud but it sounded like a she was speaking into a bullhorn in my ear. I wished my feet would move back towards my room where there was peace and quiet. They were stubborn and too tired to even think about moving. Wonderful.

"Rough night huh? I wanted to go by but Marcus called and wanted to grab dinner before he went to The Lounge and I was too tired to even think of going to drink so I came home after we ate. Did you sing last night? Oh how was the band? I haven't talked to him since last night." Marcus Walker was her new friend and also the drummer in Trevor’s band. I say friend because they really didn’t label themselves yet but they were so cute together. They were probably better off that way. Things that were labeled tended to be a little more trouble than they needed to be. Halley and Marcus have known each other for about a year and recently began seeing each other after nothing but casual short conversations. She'd seemed so much happier since she found him.

He was about her height, which was around 5‘5“and he had a short brown buzz haircut. He looked like he could probably be some sort of MMA fighter but he was just mainly fit from playing the drums. Marcus was extremely laid back and so funny to have around. She fit comfortably in his arms when he stood beside her and she always looked so content.

"Oh it’s cool." I popped an aspirin in my mouth and chased it with a glass of water praying it would begin to kick in. "Yea, I sang before they got on stage. I couldn’t tell you what I sang though; I think I was gone by then. They did a few covers last night; I’ve never heard them play these before. Sounded good from what I remember. Or maybe I have heard them before and I just don’t remember. Who knows?" My lips curved into a smile. Sometimes I just couldn’t hold back that I had an attraction to Trevor. Halley had to know. If not her best friend radar was way off.

"Macy Young! You really need to slack on that drinking sometimes. One day something’s going to happen to you and it’s not going to be good! Did you drive yourself home? Please tell me you didn't." Geez I swear smoke was getting ready to come out of her ears. She stood there in the kitchen with one hand on her hip fussing like a mom with her teenager. Wonderful. I wanted to laugh at her but my head was pounding too much for that.

I rolled my eyes. "I know. But really I haven’t been drinking that much. This is the most I’ve drank in a long time. I was just having fun, you know enjoying myself? You should try it sometime. So what if I can’t remember any of the music. Gary didn't drink last night, he brought me home mother dear. Seriously, you know anytime I drink someone brings me home. I’m not stupid." I rolled my eyes as she looked at me still as serious as ever.

"I know your uncle owns the bar but you need to be responsible. I’m not trying to preach to you but I just care. And I know that’s what you think, but at least he brought you home. Don't worry me like that." Halley meant well. Her lips were pursed together and she kept a stern look on her face with her hand still on her hip. No grin or joke would get me out of this one. I let out a groan. "And I do know how to have fun. I don’t need to be so wasted I can’t remember anything though to do it. I mean really Macy why do you drink so much? I know you’ve had a rough past but is it because of that or because you don’t want to admit you like Trevor. Hell even I’ve seen how he looks at you."

"Hales, he looks at everyone that way. Any woman that passes him gets that look. He’s just eye candy to everyone. Look I don’t want to discuss the past. I do know you mean well and I know you care. Thank you, at least someone does but I just woke up. Can we have a conversation about something else? Anything else? Please?" I shot her the biggest puppy dog eyes and prayed she would accept my semi-apology. She always did no matter how mad she seemed to be at me.

"I’m sorry. You know how I get sometimes. Ok I’ll change the subject. You working tonight or just hanging out?" The best part about my uncle owning the bar was that I didn’t always have to work; sometimes I got to just hang out. No waiting on drunk people or having to clean up behind them. Just me getting to drink and enjoy myself. Me getting to be the drunk person. Someone to clean up after me for a change. Lucky for me, tonight was that night and I could not wait.

"As far as I know I’m just hanging I guess. Gary hasn’t asked me to work and I hope he doesn’t." I fixed a glass of water and then another and downed it to quench my thirst.

Halley grinned at me and replied, “Good, a night out with my best friend is just what I need. We got a date?”

I rolled my eyes at her as dramatically as I could, smiled and said, “Sure.”

We hardly got to do much together anymore besides just hanging out in the apartment. When we were both in the apartment we either cooked or ordered food and rented movies. I never for the life of me understood why we rented the movies because we did nothing but gossip all throughout them. When she was working with the animals, I was either sleeping, lounging around, or going shopping and when I was working at the bar, she was sleeping. Marcus would be there tonight at The Lounge with us, obviously because the band was playing. He made my best friend happy and that made me happy too. When the band wasn’t performing he was constantly around Halley. He never left her side and sometimes it was sweet but most of the time I found it nauseating. Seriously, find a room, one that I’m not in. Once the band started playing, it would be easy to steal Halley away and have a little fun. That was usually our, no my favorite part of the night. Then who knows what kind of shenanigans we could get into. I smiled glancing back at a memory of her and I at The Lounge right after I moved here. Gary had left for the night leaving me to clean up and close. We had downed so much liquor when he left it was unreal. We probably could have filled a pool with everything we drank. The DJ made the mistake of playing ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ and we ended up dancing on the bar and had the whole place in a frenzy. How I was able to close that night and have everything perfect to where Gary didn’t know, I had no idea but that was one hell of a night. One for the books for sure. We hadn’t had another night like that, I think we were too nervous but we definitely had many more memories in the making.