By: Jen Cousineau


I never had a mother. Well, technically, I do, but in reality she’s a total bitch who couldn’t remember to take a pill regularly, and… well, here I am. Surprise!

I love my Dad, though. He tries his hardest to make up for my mother lacking on all levels. My brother, Aedan, is seven years older than my sister Eve, and I, but he’s never treated us as ‘annoying little sisters.’ In fact, if you take my Mom out of the equation, we’re a tight-knit family who truly are best friends. Cliché? Maybe. But, fortunately, for us it’s pure truth.

I wish I could tell you my life is all rainbows and butterflies, but then I’d be giving you complete bullshit. One dream. My dream broke everything. It destroyed my family, my best friends. It destroyed me. It tore me down, causing me to defend myself the only way I knew how. I just simply stopped caring. Until I met a man who tried to change all that I felt. Until he believed in me, to make me see how beautiful life can be if I just let life in. I started to believe. He helped me see what I was missing, that is until I discovered who he really was. How dark and dangerous he truly was. How believing in him meant turning my back on everything that I believed in.

I won’t promise you butterflies and rainbows. Shit, I won’t even promise you a happily ever after, simply because I don’t even know how this is going to end.

I’m Joey. Welcome to my hell.

Chapter One

Nine Years Earlier

“So… what’s the plan for tonight?” Eve asks me. I spare a glance at her and see her bright, cerulean blue eyes twinkling and her smile showcasing her deep dimples.

“Well… there’s this contest…” I start to tell her. I really hope she’s game for it. It’s our eighteenth birthday today and being that it’s a Friday, we don’t have school tomorrow—works perfectly. The only downfall is if she doesn’t want to go. I mean, it’s our eighteenth birthday. It’d be wrong to not celebrate it together. We’re best friends, in spite of being sisters. Identical twin sisters. Maybe it’s selfish of me, but this could be it. This could be the break I need to make my dreams come true.

“Hello! Earth to Joey!” Eve is nearly yelling beside me, making me jump back to reality. I hear cars honking from behind me.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m going,” I mutter. “Sorry, I zoned,” I tell her and then going back to our conversation.

“So what contest? And why didn’t I hear about it before now?” she asks me as she takes out her file for her nails from her peach Coach purse that Daddy gave to her last night for her birthday.

“Well, it’s a songwriting competition. All participants have to be eighteen to enter, and they have to perform their own songs. Music and all,” I tell her as I start to chew on the corner of my bottom lip. A nervous habit I picked up years ago. I don’t like performing. I’m talented and gifted with a decent voice, but the idea of doing it in front of a crowd of people makes me want to vomit. I just want to write music.

“Tonight? Hell, yeah, baby! This could be it, Joey! I mean, like, it it,” she shrieks as she starts bouncing in her seat like an excited toddler.

“Jesus, Eve, simmer down.” I laugh. “Yes, tonight. And I know. Trust me, I know.”

“Oh, Joey, don’t be nervous. You’re incredibly talented! Your music is amazing, and you may not believe it, but you really do have a beautiful, soulful voice,” she tells me as she pets my head as if I’m a dog.

I roll my eyes at her as I swat her hand away from me. “Thanks,” I mutter and then turn left down our road leading home.

“So where’s it at?” She beams. “Can we drink?”

“You can since we have a fake ID, but if I’m registering for the contest, I want it all to be legit. So… I’ll be just your average eighteen-year-old underage in the club,” I roll my eyes regretfully. “It’s at Monsoon.”

“Well, being that you’ll be eighteen, and we’re identical and all, I doubt they’ll buy the fake.” She pouts and crosses her arms over her chest and slumps down in her seat.

Now I feel bad. I knew this would be a deal breaker for her, but can I really pass up this opportunity? I mean, this could be it.

I pull into the driveway and turn the key to shut off the engine. Unbuckling my seat belt, I turn toward her and wrap her hands in mine.

“Eve. The winner of this contest wins three guaranteed meetings with the top three music labels in the industry, $10,000, and the song they perform will be bought by the top leading label. Bought, Eve! Please, Eve.” I start to beg, “Please don’t make me pass this up. I promise, as soon as the contest is over, we’ll take our fakes and go party somewhere else that we can use them. You can call the shots for the rest of the night. Please, Eve.”

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