So Much More - Kim Holden


“You’re such a bitch, Miranda,” my roommate says with disdain. It’s an insult.

We’re in the middle of one of our weekly, petty arguments. Our arguments are never over anything of significance, they’re simply a product of our mutual dislike for each other. I roll my eyes, regretting that I have my back turned to her and she can’t see the full force of my loathing. “Like I haven’t heard that one before,” I retort, injecting the venom of the wasted eye roll into my words, as I turn to face her.

She yanks the strap of her backpack over her shoulder in true pissy, self-righteous fashion and stomps to the door on her dainty, little feet that are better suited for a fairy than a human. Her petite, ethereal appeal is one of the things that irks me the most about her. The other is that deep down she’s just nice. Which automatically means we repel each other, like opposite sides of a magnet. “I don’t know what Seamus sees in you,” she mutters before slamming the front door behind her, eliminating my chance to reply.

“Me either,” I whisper to an empty room. It’s a truth I don’t want anyone to hear.

I’ve never been the type of girl who needed a man in her life. Men don’t complete me, romance is bullshit. They provide folly in my otherwise structured and strict world. I enjoy the occasional game of cat and mouse, at the conclusion of which I consume the mouse whole with sharpened teeth after toying with it until it’s dazed into a bent version of its once vibrant self. Men are such simple creatures. The pretty ones are my favorite, their egos so fun to crush into sparkly dust.

Seamus is different though. I didn’t know it at first. When he pursued, I played coy and let him; it’s all part of the game. But then we went out a few times. And that’s when it happened.

I was temporarily stunned.


Seamus is one of those rare men who has no clue how good looking he is, how intelligent he is, how kind he is, how good he is. He just is. And oddly enough, I found that incredibly attractive. It’s what drew me in. He’s idealistic, selfless, and genuinely believes in the good in humanity. I didn’t know men like him existed outside of the goddamn Hallmark channel. It made me want to be like him—to be good. He’s the only person I’d ever met who made me yearn for some light in my black soul.

Foolish, I know. That pipe dream was short lived.

Thank God.

I came to my senses and realized that idealism and goodness are a luxury afforded to few. And that kindness clashes with my life goals, every last one. You can’t claw your way to the top riding a wave of good intentions and hope for the best. Success is a science fueled by calculated action and hard work—it’s manufactured, everything part of a larger agenda. People are pawns. Morals only get in the way. Power isn’t granted to pussies.

But here’s the thing I’ve learned about having Seamus in my life.

I need him.

I need to keep him close.

He’s my get out of hell free card.

My good karma card.

My walking, talking goddamn repentance.

Being in a relationship with him is like living in a confessional booth. I sin, he absolves. It all evens out. I’m innocent by association. And goddamn, is he nice to look at.

I was raised by my grandmother. She didn’t have a lot of money; she was a lawyer who lived for pro bono work, passionately representing women who’d been wronged in some fashion or another. She shared her cases with me, and I learned early on that it’s a dog eat dog world, only the strong survive and thrive. She was vicious. My grandmother was the poster child for women’s rights and the original man-hater. She hammered into me at an early age that I could do anything a man could do…better. She was a brash, outspoken, unyielding, guiding force. The complete opposite of my doormat mother, a weak individual, compromised by vices and bad decisions that ended in her death when I was ten. She let others influence her and ultimately destroy her. I will not be my mother. I will be my grandmother. Nothing, and no one, will destroy me.

My grandmother was someone people didn’t simply cower from. They submitted, willingly or not, they submitted—it never failed to awe me. The fact that she could inflict