The Purity Pledge Chapters 1-4

The Purity Pledge Copyright © 2023 Sean Slagle

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Published by Floyd’s Gap, an imprint of AGF Publishing LLC.



Brandi Lanigan stood by the front door as her father brought down the last of her luggage. Her mother gave her a hug. “You don’t have to do this,” she said.

“Yes, I do,” Brandi replied. “I mean, I want to do this.  This may be my only chance.”

“Honey, don’t talk that way.” Tears began to show in her mother’s eyes.

“Mom, don’t. I’m going away for a week. We can try and be happy for just this time.”

Her mother brushed the hair from Brandi’s eyes. “I’m sorry.  You’re right. You go and have a good time.”

“Barbara, she’s eighteen years old and going to the beach. Of course, she’s going to have a good time,” her father said, as he stretched his back and tried to work out the soreness.

A moment later, Ashley’s car pulled up and she jumped out. “Let’s party!” she cried, throwing up her arms and running to the porch.

“I’ll put the bags in the car,” Mr. Lanigan said, rushing toward the car before Ashley could hug him.

Ashley hugged Brandi, then Mrs. Lanigan. “This is going to be so much fun,” she said, shaking her head back and forth.

Mrs. Lanigan took Ashley by the arm. “Ashley, you be sure and take good care of Brandi. Don’t leave her alone.”


Mrs. Lanigan gave Brandi the “don’t-bother-me look” and Brandi walked out to help her dad. Brandi didn’t know why her mom had to feel like she was in total control. Not only did she want to ruin Brandi’s trip, but Ashley’s, too. Brandi figured her mom had probably called Jennifer and Amanda, just for safe measure, and told them what to do if Brandi blacked out.

“You okay, sweetie?” her dad asked.

“Yeah. It’s just Mom.”

He put his arm around her. “She’s just worried about you. At least here she can keep an eye on you.”

“Doesn’t she trust me?”

“Of course, she does.” He kissed her on the forehead.  “It’s not that. She’s just worried about . . .” He could never say it. He could never mention that she had a brain tumor.  If he said it, then he would have to come to the realization that his little girl might not live to see nineteen.

Brandi tried not to think about it herself. She wanted to live a normal life, but it was hard with her mother worrying about her every turn. That was why Brandi wanted to go on this trip. She begged her parents, mainly her mother, for weeks to let her go. Ashley, Jennifer, and Amanda had done their share of begging on Brandi’s behalf.

In the end, her mother reluctantly agreed, only after the doctor’s approval, and Brandi knew she was going to have the time of her life.



Jeremy Jones was excited that graduation had finally come and gone. Now he and his friends could really celebrate with a week at the beach.

“Don’t go,” Sarah said, holding on to Jeremy’s arm. Jeremy was still wearing his long gray graduation gown.  Sarah was dressed in a blouse and short dress. Her long blond hair was back in a ponytail. Her eyes watered as she looked up at him. “Stay here. We’ll go to the lake every day. It’ll seem like you’re at the beach.”

Jeremy smiled at her. “Quit worrying.” Her fear was endearing to him.  She was so beautiful, so insecure. It didn’t matter that she was the object of his undying devotion. For some reason she was convinced that Jeremy would go to Myrtle Beach, hook up with a girl, and forget about her.

He was flattered that she thought he was such a ladies’ man, but he knew there was no chance of him partying. He wasn’t the type. He kissed her forehead and smiled. “Don’t worry about anything.”

She tried to return his smile, but it was more of a frown. “Promise you won’t talk to any girls.”

“I promise,” Tim interrupted, putting his arm around Jeremy’s neck, and staring down at Sarah. “He’s completely under my supervision.” Tim was a muscular football player, who attended every high school party ever thrown in their four years.

“Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of,” she snorted, then turned away.

Tim put his other arm around Sarah. “Come on. We’re just some high school graduates looking to blow off steam at the beach. That’s all.” He pulled them close. “Don’t you trust him, Sarah? Aren’t all relationships built on trust?”

“What do you know about relationships?” she said, staring up at him.

“Well, that’s what I’ve heard.”

“Tim is right,” Jeremy said.

Sarah just stared at him.

“Do you trust him?” Tim asked.

She nodded. “Yeah, I trust him.”

“And he trusts you. How do we know that you’re not going to hook up with someone here? I mean, I know the chances are slim since I’ll be gone, too.”

“Tim, come on, that’s enough,” Jeremy said, pulling away.

Tim held up his arms. “I’m just saying, if you don’t have trust, you don’t have anything.” He smiled at Sarah. “And you know you can trust me.”

Sarah shook her head. “I trust Jeremy. Not you.”

One of Sarah’s friends grabbed her and pulled her toward the others for a group picture. Jeremy watched her and knew that he had something special with Sarah, but he couldn’t help but feel like it was all wrong.

They had been perfect together during high school, but now that he was heading to college and she still had a year of high school, things just didn’t seem right. He couldn’t help but feel that there was something more out there.

He figured he would deal with it when he got home or at the end of the summer.

Tim stepped up behind Jeremy and laughed. “Man, forget her. She’ll be here waiting on you when you return.”

Jeremy nodded. “I know.”

“But man . . .” Tim held out his hand and Jeremy slapped him five. “While she’s here waiting, we’ll be at the beach with the babes.”

Jeremy couldn’t stop the smile as it overtook his face.  “You got that right.”

Jeremy had always heard of the Myrtle Beach stories classmates told about meeting beautiful girls from all over the country. He could never afford to go, but now he finally had a chance. With all the money he received at his open house, he knew he was going to have the time of his life.



“Darryl and Jimmy are going to meet us at The Attic tonight,” Jennifer said as she adjusted herself in the front seat.

“Who?” Brandi asked. She was sitting in the back of Ashley’s Intrepid with Amanda.

“Darryl and Jimmy,” Ashley said, keeping her eyes on the road. Traffic had picked up on 501 as they neared Myrtle Beach. “We met them on Spring Break. We’re supposed to meet up with them here. They’re bringing a couple of their friends to meet you and Amanda.”

“I told you I don’t want to meet any boys. I just want to relax and have a good time,” Brandi said.

“Yeah,” Ashley said, laughing.  You can have a good time with the boys.”

Brandi shook her head. “I’m just here for the sun.”

“We’ll see about that,” Ashley said with a smirk.

“Yeah. Remember the New Year’s Eve party? You went to just have fun, then what happened?” Jennifer waited for Brandi to respond. “You hooked up with Joe Turner.”

“Nothing happened.”

“That’s not what Joe said,” Amanda stated.

“Well, he’s a liar. You know I would have told you girls if something had happened.”

Jennifer shook her head. “If I hooked up with Joe, I wouldn’t let anyone know. He’s ugly.”

“And fat,” Ashley added.

“Joe isn’t that bad,” Brandi said, wondering why she was defending him.

“He was bad enough to lie about you,” Amanda said, as if she were in a court room cross examining a witness.

“Well . . .” Brandi looked away. “Maybe we did kiss a little.”

“I knew it,” Jennifer screamed and pointed at Brandi, then Ashley. “Didn’t I tell you they made out?”

Ashley nodded.

“Made out?” Brandi asked. “You make it sound like we’re living back in our parents’ day. We just kissed a couple of times.”

“The same way you’ll be kissing some guy this week?” Ashley asked with a laugh.

Brandi smiled and stared out the window and looked at the vacation-type houses that began to line the street as they neared the coast.

The idea of meeting someone was appealing, but she really didn’t come to the beach for that. She just needed a break from her mother and her life.

She would begin chemotherapy in just two weeks. She needed this time for herself, to perhaps come to terms with what was going to happen. She didn’t need a guy.

She had all she needed in the car with her: her best friends. They were going to make this a special trip, each in her own way. Brandi loved each of them for that. They would be her best friends for the rest of her life, however long that might be.



By the time Jeremy and his buddies reached the hotel, most of the day was already wasted. Since the room was in his name, Pudge checked them in while the other three scouted out the area.

The Eden was a 15-story condominium complex on the oceanside of Ocean Boulevard. They were about five miles away from downtown and the social center of the area. But that didn’t matter. The guys would just jump in the Liberty and cruise down to the main strip.

Tim had stayed at the Eden with his parents and knew the layout well, so he gave the guys the five-cent tour. Off to the side of the lobby was Adam’s Prime Rib, a full dining restaurant. On the other side of the lobby was a place called Eve’s Temptation, a lady’s health spa, which promised full facials and messages for a reasonable price.

Jeremy followed Tim down a long hallway that led to the pool. There was one room along the way that served as an arcade.

“Wow,” Reggie exclaimed when they reached the pool.

There were two Olympic size pools. One pool was indoors and the other outdoors. A fiberglass wall separated the two, and two channels ran under the wall and connected the two pools.

A few children were playing inside, but everyone else was outside. There was a large patio area beside the pool and then a set of stairs that led to the beach. The ocean was about fifty yards from the steps.

They walked out the door and onto the patio. They looked out at the beach, where sunbathers had claimed their spots for the day. There was barely enough room for more people.

Tim clapped his hands. “Let’s hurry boys. The ladies and water await.”

They turned to go back in and almost ran into a group of girls heading toward the steps. “Excuse me, ladies,” Tim said politely, holding the gate open.

“Sorry,” Jeremy said, jumping to the side. He watched as each one passed.  He made eye contact with the last one, a small blonde girl with a beautiful smile.

The blonde said, “Thank you,” as she stepped by.

Tim closed the gate and watched them walk the rest of the way down the steps. He put his arms around Jeremy and Reggie. “Boys, let’s hurry up.”