Bad Boy

By: Caitlin Daire & Alyssa Alpha



2002 – San Francisco

“And then they danced, and Princess Aurora and Prince Philip lived happily ever after!”

I giggled and clapped my hands as my grandmother closed the fairytale picture book and placed it down on my bedside table. “Can you read it again, Abuela?” I begged, even though my eyelids were already getting heavy. “It’s my favorite!”

She smiled and shook her head. “No, mi niña. You know you need to get up early tomorrow for school. You’re learning all about adding and subtracting numbers this week. We can’t have you being tired for that, can we?”

I shook my head too, and she leaned down and planted a kiss on my forehead. “Night. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

“Night, Abuela. Can you tell Mommy I said goodnight to her too?”

“Yes, of course, as soon as she gets home from work.”

I cast my eyes down and sighed as I slid further under the bedsheets, and my grandmother’s already-lined forehead creased even more. “I know it’s hard not having your Mom around very much…but everything will be okay. She’ll find a job with different hours one day soon,” she said, stroking my hair.

I smiled. “Okay. And maybe one day she’ll meet a prince, just like in Sleeping Beauty!”

“Maybe,” she replied, returning my smile. “Sleeping Beauty was always her favorite story as a girl, too. That’s actually a big part of the reason she chose to call you Aurora.”

That was my real name, but even at the tender age of six, I preferred my nickname— Rory.

“Oh. I didn’t know that. Do you think when I’m a grown-up, I’ll meet a Prince Charming as well?” I asked, my eyes shining with innocent hope as I tried my best to keep them open.

“Yes, one day you’ll meet your very own version of Prince Charming,” she said, smiling encouragingly as she continued to stroke my hair.

“But how will I know when I’ve met him?” I asked.

Her smile grew wider. “Oh, you’ll know, mi niña. You’ll just know. He’ll be a good boy who treats you like the princess you are. You just need to be careful to stay away from all the bad boys.”

“What are bad boys?” I asked. “Like my Daddy or the boys at school who tease the girls?”

“Yes, sort of,” she replied. “But don’t worry. You’re so young. You have years ahead of you before you need to worry about this sort of thing.”


“Now go to sleep. I’ll see you in the morning,” she said, giving me another kiss before standing up, turning my lamp off, and quietly stepping out of the room.

As I drifted off to sleep, I imagined meeting my very own fairytale prince one day, and the last thing I heard before I finally fell into a deep slumber was my grandmother’s voice echoing in my head. Stay away from the bad boys….

Chapter One


“You’ll love him! I promise.”

My best friend Dana’s eyes crinkled around the edges as she grinned and nodded, trying to convince me to go on a date with her boyfriend Rob’s friend, Ben. I turned my head and looked down at the pavement, delicately nibbling at my lower lip as we continued on the hilly four-block walk to our favorite coffee shop.

Dana had been trying to set me up on a date with this Ben guy for five weeks now. I’d kept claiming I was too busy with work for any sort of dating or relationship, but that excuse was beginning to wear a little thin. Besides, I didn’t really have a decent reason to not go on a date with the guy. I’d simply become accustomed to being single to the point where I preferred it now, so it was easier for me to say no.

Not only that, the last time I’d gone on a blind date with someone, the guy had asked me to call him Daddy.

The only thing I’d called him that night was a cab.

“I don’t know,” I said. “Blind dates are the worst.”

She waved her hand impatiently. “I know, I know. But this one will be different! He’s super nice, and totally hot. Maybe a little on the shorter side for a guy, but that doesn’t matter because you’re only five-three.”

I kept chewing my lip, considering her words.

Who knows? Maybe this guy could be the one, and here I was, about to let him slip away out of uncertainty and laziness.

Letting out a sigh, I held my hands up in placation. “Okay, I’ll do it. I’ll go.”

Dana squealed with excitement. “Yes! Oh my god, this is so cool…if it works out, we’ll be able to go on double dates together!”