Authors: Tara Brown
White Girl Problems
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. No alteration of content is permitted. This book is a work of fiction; any similarities are coincidental. All characters in this fictional story are based entirely on the crazed mind of the author and are not based on any human. Any similarities are by chance and not intentional.
Cover Art by Once Upon a Time Covers
Edited by Gathering Leaves Editing
Thank you to all the girls out there, you know you don’t have to be Caucasian to have White Girl Problems. If you love sippin lattes and sporting leggings and texting your grandma #’s, thank you. If you love pop music and taking selfies and saying totes and still haven’t figured out if hipster is really you, thank you.
I am one of you so #KeepItReal!
Other Books by Tara Brown
The Devil’s Roses
The Born Trilogy
Born to Fight
The Light Series
The Light of the World
The Four Horsemen
The Blood Trail Chronicles
The Single Lady Spy Series
The End of Me
The End of Games
The Long Way Home
White Girl Problems
Under Sophie Starr
Lost and Bound
Co-Authored with Erin Leigh
No white girls were harmed in the making of this book.
Why do all the other nationalities have better lips than white girls?
Why does the God of plump lips hate us?
“So… I may or may not have had a MAC lip-gloss in my pocket, but it wasn't like I was stealing it. It was obviously an accident. I have so many of them, I didn’t know it wasn’t mine.” He didn’t look like he believed me so I tried a little harder. “I mean… it’s not like I’m poor.” I laughed, but he wasn’t buying it. My mouth was getting dry and my heart was racing, but I smiled like Sheila would have and shrugged. “You obviously have the wrong person.” I batted my newly done lashes at him and prayed he was into brunettes with honey-brown eyes.
But the guard gave me a look like he was either going to pass out or pay me to stop talking. He didn’t say a word. He was doing some kind of Jedi mind trick, trying to get me to confess. Ha! Fat chance on that.
I sighed. “Why can’t you just let me pay? I thought it was my lip-gloss, okay? I have money in my wristlet.”
His look changed from boredom to confusion. “Wristlet?”
I rolled my eyes. “It’s a wallet. It straps to my wrist—get it?”
He collapsed his face into his hands. “I saw you look around and shove it in your pocket—I saw you. Just give me your parents’ number before I call the cops to come and get you instead.”
I swallowed hard, begging my eyes to water, but those whores weren’t giving me even a single trickle. So I did the only thing I could think of. “I have two hundred and eleven dollars in my wristlet.” I waved it in the air for him to see. It was so cute. He looked confused again. It made me smile to see him so lost so I pushed on. “I got it at Burberry for a steal. I mean not… for a steal—it was on sale. I paid cash. Anyway, I have money and you can have it if you let me go.”
“You’re bribing me?”
I nodded. “I’m offering an incentive for you to let me go. I have a party to attend later and this is cutting into my time for getting ready.” I looked down. “I can’t very well go like this. It’s a pool party.”
He sighed again. “You kids these days are one screwed-up bunch. You know what? I was going easy on you ‘cause it was obviously your first time, but that's it.” He grabbed his phone and started to dial 9-1-1. “I’m calling the cops.”
My heart sank. I sighed. “554-279-3375.”
He lifted his face. “What?”
I nodded. “My house number.” I wasn’t sure which one would be worse, Dad or Sheila. My only saving grace was Jess might answer and pretend to be Sheila. If he got the real Sheila, she would be pissed and use it as ammo against me.
His face lifted as he looked at his watch. “Wow, you broke fast. I can’t believe you caved on the first call to the cops. Seriously, forty-five minutes? I think that’s a new record.” Suddenly he was Chatty Cathy and I was tongue-tied. I couldn’t believe he played me like that. He laughed. “Normally, the kids don’t talk the whole forty-five minutes. If they do, they can’t go that length of time without spilling something. Do you have ADD?”
I gasped. “What?”
He was suddenly smug as he dialed. “The fun thing about your generation is you kids crack faster than any other one. You think you’re all so badass, but you’re all the same—lost in that world of cell phone obsessions and tweetings and Ritalin addictions.” He held the phone to his ear with the most evil grin a man with a cheesy stash could muster, while I plotted his death. How would I do it? He was so chubby, honestly, leaving him a couple burgers would probably be the end of him.
The gloat all over his face when the phone rang was disturbing. A shrill sound filled his ear as she answered. I groaned… actually out loud. It definitely wasn’t Jess who answered. But at least it wasn’t my dad. I had things to blackmail Sheila with.
My step-monster, Sheila, was there within minutes, stomping in, clicking her heels and all. She slumped down into a chair but only stayed seated for a minute before she was up and pacing. She was frantic, and the display of her agonizing over the wreck I was, was brutal.
We got to spend the next two hours listening to Sheila reiterating our family’s wealth and the fact I was most like my father’s brother Jim, who had been a klepto at an early age. She never looked at me once. At least halfway into her nervous nattering and bragging to compensate for their great suffering, the security guard started feeling sorry for me. I could see it on his face.
Sheila nattered on. “Finley has caused us great agony, always has. She is my stepdaughter, not my biological daughter. But what can her father and I do? You have to let them make their mistakes and pray they learn from them.”
He sighed. “Like I said two hours ago, you can take her home. The store isn’t pressing charges. They just don't want her back here for six months.”
She got up abruptly. “Good day.”
He looked at me and winced, mouthing, “Sorry.”
I narrowed my gaze. “That two hundred is looking good now, huh?” I turned and followed her out to the car, making attempts at blocking out the words leaving her glossy, red lips like snake’s venom.
“Finley, you are such a frustrating child. You think you can humiliate me like that? Or your father? Do you know what this will do to him when he finds out? You, young lady, are going in his office when you get home and confessing every disturbing detail of the past two hours.” She clicked along like her legs were twigs and her shoes were glass. “Do you understand me?”
“No. I won’t be because I recall catching you phoning in an order for a watch engraving for a man named Henry. I don’t recollect our family having a Henry.” I challenged.
She turned and smiled. “Do you know how easy it is for me to find cocaine in your room and call the authorities?”
“I don’t do drugs.”
“They won’t believe you. I’ll sneak it in the food and they’ll find it in your system. You’ll be in rehab before you can bat a fake eyelash.”
“My lashes are filled, not fake. Unlike your boobs.” I looked at her grip on my pale-purple wristlet and sighed. “Can I just have my bag back? Please?”
“You’re dead, kid. Dead.” She clicked harder and faster. I was sure she was grinding her heels into the pavement on purpose. She could use my misadventures to her advantage and get new shoes.
I couldn't believe I’d stuck that stupid lip-gloss in my pocket. Meghan was always stealing and getting away with it. I wanted the plumper and the new dress at Forever 21 and the shoes from Aldo. I needed my lips bigger to go with the summer dress and the wedges. Big juicy lips, that was my dream. Why hadn’t I brought more money with me?
Technically, it was Sheila’s fault. She had ratted on me for overspending the week before and forced my dad to take my cards. It wasn’t my fault at all. She had impoverished me and forced me to steal.
How did Meghan get away with it so easily hundreds of times, while I get caught by the rent-a-cop the first time?
It wasn't fair. I always had the worst luck. My bad luck was probably hard at work, trying to get me into more trouble. I could almost guarantee Linna was blowing up my phone with all kinds of crap that if Sheila read, I would really be dead then. My best chance at survival was if the damned thing died—a wish I had never made before.
Sheila turned her head, snapping loudly. “Are you punishing me for going back to work?”
I gave her a look. “You went back to work? Where did you work before you met my dad? Hooters?”
She slammed her hand on the leather steering wheel. “This is what I’m talking about. You are so selfish sometimes. Why can’t you think about anyone but yourself? You know I’m having a hard time adjusting to work again. Dammit. And I think I’ve ruined my new shoes. This is entirely your fault. Your selfishness knows no bounds. I don't understand how I raised my girls and you, and somehow you turned out so wrong.”
Yes, my selfishness ruined her shoes… ‘cause that happened all the time.
When she pulled into the driveway, my stomach started to gnaw at my spine, like when I tried the cabbage soup diet to fit into my junior prom dress.
She turned back and smiled, almost like the one the fake cop with the stash had. “Well, go and do it or I will, and God knows what kind of story I can come up with.”
“No. I will tell him about Henry.”
She laughed. “Go ahead. He and I are in counseling over Henry. He was a yoga instructor. It was a fling. The same kind your father was having with his secretary, Jolene.”
A snarl pushed its way out of me. “I hate you.”
She nodded. “Clearly. Now go and tell him what you did.”
I laughed bitterly. “I don't care if he knows. What’s he going to do, honestly? Ground me? Who gives a shit about being grounded anyway?”
She smiled wide. “Your grades are barely going to get you into an all-right school; it’s him getting you into a good one. You could always go back to the MAC store and ask for a job to work off your debt for stealing from them.”
I growled. “God, you’re such a bitch sometimes.”
She laughed, but it was more like a cackle. “Then just maybe you really are my daughter.”
“I would rather die!”
She leaned into me. “I can arrange that.”
Why had I given the fake cop our house number? Why hadn’t I lied and given him my aunt’s number. She was way cooler. She would have laughed it off.
I climbed out of the car and walked up to the house. When I looked back, she was looking at my phone. I started to feel sick again.
When I got inside, I ran for the phone in the hall and dialed Linna’s number.
“Hello?” She sounded as if I were calling from Mars.
“DON’T TEXT OR SNAPCHAT OR EMAIL! SHEILA HAS MY PHONE!”
She was silent for a second. “Dude, are you calling from your house?”
“Yes! I just got caught shoplifting at the Northwest Plaza. She took the phone and it’s screen-locked, but she can see any messages that come. Don't send anything and send out an emergency group message to the girls. Oh and Carter—tell Carter. He was Snapchatting me earlier with naked photos. Oh, and Aaron. Tell him too. If she sees the Snapchat picture Aaron sent, she will show Dad. Bye.” I hung up the phone quickly and slipped down the hall to his office. I took a deep breath and remembered who I was. I was the girl who had conned every teacher every year for the last four to get better grades. I was the girl who had invented Stain-A-Melena’s nickname. I was the girl who coined the term “hottie from a distance” based on our soccer coach who had horse face when you got closer.