Out of the blue,
Ashley calls me. “I’m picking you
up. You’re spending the night at my
house. We have something to do.”
I don’t ask
questions, because from the tone of her voice, I won’t be getting any
answers. I also know that when she wants
to do something – really wants to get
something done – she does it.
“When?” I yawn, and glance at the window. Then sun is shining through the blinds at an
angle I’m not used to – must be early in the morning.
have until I get to your place. Fifteen
minutes?” She’s driving fast. Something’s up.
groan. “Ashley, l just woke up...”
better shower and get dressed fast, then.
And wear something... good.”
I’m fully awake now. Time to ask
questions. “What’s going on...?”
do it. Fifteen minutes.” And Ashley’s
sigh and get out of bed slowly. I rub
the sleep from my eyes, and flip open my cell phone to look at what time it
is. It’s barely seven A.M. I swear,
I think to myself, that girl is dead.
over the clothes and other random things strewn across my floor, I go to my
bathroom. Stealing a peek at myself in
the mirror, I scowl at the girl staring back at me. I look like shit. As usual.
There’s a spot in the center of my forehead, from a pimple I picked at
last week. I barely ever break out, so
why does Ashley call me and tells me she’s kidnapping me now, when I have this stupid scab?
I turn on the water in my shower, and brush my teeth while I wait for it
to warm up. I step into it, and – FUCK.
Someone used up all the hot water.
AGAIN. My shower takes not even
five minutes, washing my hair, putting conditioner into it, and washing the
rest of my almost 5’7” frame while I let the conditioner sit. I rinse off, and jump out, shivering, almost
busting my ass on the slippery floor. Where the fuck did my shower mat go? I look, and it’s by the sink. I blow-dry my
hair for the first time in something like four months. Why I even own a hair dryer is beyond me... I
hardly ever use it.
“Wear something... good.” I laugh out loud, and go to my closet and
grab a pair of jeans from the shelf without looking or caring to see if they’re
one of the pairs that actually fit right.
I walk out, go to my dresser, and grab a random shirt from the drawer
that’s still open from yesterday. I pull
on my black tank top with the guns on it, and my written-all-over jeans. I check my phone again, place it on top of my
dresser, and start off back towards my bathroom. I quickly put on some foundation, scowling at
the still-visible (barely, but still there if you look closely, which I was)
dot on my forehead again. It’s 7:21,
just over 15 minutes from when Ashley called.
I silently thank whatever forces may be that she’s running late, and
then I hear Three Days Grace’s “Scared.”
...I spoke too soon.
answer my phone. I’m slightly irritated,
now that I’m thinking about it. “What.”
pulling into your apartment complex now.
Where’s your building?”
not ready yet.”
bad. You should be ready. I gave you an extra two minutes.”
growl inaudibly, holding my phone to my ear with my shoulder as I take the cap
off of my eyeliner. “Take your first
left once you get into the complex, and – AUGH!”
blink a few times, trying to get the microscopic bits of eyeliner out of my
left eye. “I poked myself in the eye
with my eyeliner.”
more careful next time. Anyways, first
right; did it. What now?”
continue to put on my eyeliner, not caring anymore. Fighting Ashley on this was not going to
work. “See that building in front of
you, all the way at the end? That’s
it. Make a right the next chance you get,
and the building’ll be to your left.
Park at the end of it. I’m on the
second floor, apartment number 812.”
not coming up to get you.”
you are.” My turn to hang up first.
at my eyeliner job, I make sure it’s at least a little bit even. Whatever.
My eyes are shaped differently, so it’s useless. I eye my mascara furtively, and then tell it
that Ashley can go to hell if she thinks I’m going to try to pretty myself any
more than I already have. It’s too early
for this shit. I pull on a fresh pair of
socks and grab my black Converses that are lying four feet away from each other
on the floor. I go out into the living
room of my two-bedroom apartment while trying to undo the knotted laces on my
shoes. One of Rachael’s friends (I
forgot her name) actually pulled out the sofa-bed last night after everyone
else left and is still sleeping. I perch
myself on the arm on the couch and pull on my shoes. As I’m knotting the laces, there’s a banging
on the door. Rachael’s friend rolls over
in her sleep and grunts. Lucky
bitch. I write a quick note for Rachael,
telling her when I left, to call me and let me know what she’s doing tonight,
and to “clean the living room, you whore! Your friends left a mess!” I unlock the bottom lock on the door and step
outside, flinching at the brightness of the morning. I try to retreat back into my apartment, and Ashley
grabs my arm.
you don’t. We’re going.”
glare at her, eyes shaded by sunglasses.
“I want sunglasses. My eyes
a pair of mine. I’ve got extra in the
want mine. And I have to grab cigarettes.”
up.” She waits on the balcony while I
run back in.
I emerge less than a minute later, still glaring
through the black-tinted lenses of my sunglasses. “Let’s go.”
Ashley drives in silence
down 31. Or to me, in silence... She’s either singing quietly to the radio, or
trying to talk to me. I’m smoking a cigarette
and listening to Anberlin on high, earphones jammed into my ears, probably
further damaging my eardrums. Once
again, don’t care. In the middle of “A
Day Late,” I flick the butt of my cigarette out the window, and yank the buds
out of my ears in frustration. Ashley
glances at me out of the corner of her eye and smirks at me. “You gonna be okay?”
“You gonna tell me where the fuck we’re
smiles a Mona Lisa smile as she gets into the exit lane for State's End Drive. “We’re almost there.”
you’re going to think this is really
on my end. Ashley looks at me straight
now, kind of an uneasy look in her eyes.
She turns onto the next street without looking, almost hitting the car that’s
pulled out in front of her.
ATTENTION TO THE ROAD!”
am!” Her annoyed tone can’t quite cover
the apprehensive tone in her voice.
sigh. “I give up. I do!
What’s going on?”
um, there’s this thing at Kevin’s...”
give a start. Monkey wrench? I think so.
sighs right back at me. “Okay, so,
there’s gonna be like... fifteen girls there?
Every girl Kevin wants or has really wanted.” I interject with a harsh laugh. “Brea, knock it off. So every one of you is going to spend some
time with him today. And he’s going to –
I don’t even know what’s going to happen, at the end of this.”
“Great. So I’m going to be in a room with fifteen
what the FUCK did you get me into this time?”
wasn’t me! He told me to get you! He knew if you knew, you wouldn’t willingly
didn’t come ‘willingly’ anyways...” I
know what I mean. Like, there was no
chance of you coming at all. So, I
didn’t tell you. And you like getting
kidnapped anyways. Or you used to.”
phrase there: ‘USED TO.’ Augh.”
be difficult. You know why you’re here.”
“Why? So I can get dragged around again? Awesome.
But guess what: I have nothing to lose here. I don’t care.
isn’t what this is about.”
what is it about?”
smacks the steering wheel out of frustration.
“I don’t know!” She takes a
breath. “I don’t know, okay?”
being so stubborn.”
“Can’t. Always been like this. Never gonna change.” I see Ashley roll her eyes. I sigh.
“Fine. I’ll chill. I’ll do this.
I just don’t like not knowing what’s going on. I don’t like being in the dark about
something that involves me...”
I don’t think he knows any more than you or I do.”
I sigh again. “Alright...”
feel like I’m on a fucking reality TV show, and I don’t like it...” I mutter to myself. The girl next to me overhears me and
giggles. I scowl in her direction, and
take her in. She’s very pretty. Blonde, with a pixie-like face, shorter than
me by a good four inches, low-cut tank top, jean shorts almost shorter than my
boyshort panties, measurements probably somewhere around 38”x20”x38”. Compare my 118-pound, 36”x25”x32” body to
that, and... Pfft. Yeah.
I don’t have a chance in the looks department against that. I twirl my long, dark hair between my fingers
and wonder again why I’m here, and why I’m caring enough to compare myself to
this girl. Marley, I heard some other
girl call her? Marie, maybe? I don’t care; this whole thing is a joke.
walks in and looks at me, and my breathing halts and my heart stutters in its
‘What are you doing?’ I silently ask myself. ‘Don’t do this again...’
“Brea?” Kevin says, more a question than a statement.
I reply flatly. “I was taken from my
apartment quite unceremoniously more than six hours ago, and I’ve been stuck in
this fucking basement for five of those hours.
holds out his hand to me, which I ignore.
I push myself up off of the couch.
He sighs and walks toward the stairs without looking to see if I was
following. He didn’t need to. It was like I was being pulled to him like he
was a magnet. “You could have gone
swimming,” he says, gesturing to the pool visible outside the glass doors. “There are people out there. You didn’t have to be all antisocial.”
push him forward. “I wasn’t being
antisocial. I was just bored of those
girls. They’re all the same.”
except me. I’m the rough one of the
bunch. I think I intimidate some of
them. Not as, like, a threat, but like
they’re scared of me or something.” I
laugh and shake my head.
outside by this point, and Kevin holds open the passenger’s side door of his
Jeep for me. I raise my eyebrow at him,
and he laughs at my expression.
doing this for every girl today?” I get
into the seat offered, and he shuts the door.
He goes around the Jeep and gets into the driver’s seat.
“Eh. Not really.”
bit. Pick a song.” He hands me his iPod.
bit.” I smile at him.
the argumentative one.” He smiles.
“Always.” I pause, and enjoy the familiarity of the
banter. “So... Where are we going?”
have no idea.”
you go with the others?” I look through
his Red Hot Chili Peppers selection and decide on “Otherside.”
we went to the skatepark!” He says,
looking slightly embarrassed. I must be
imagining things: Kevin Hutchinson, embarrassed? Fat chance.
He continues, “I couldn’t keep a conversation going with most of them,
so I skated.”
stare at him, wide-eyed. Then I burst
into laughter. “You – couldn’t –
what!?” I can’t control the hysterics. “Kevin Hutchinson, with no magic words? I can’t honestly believe that.”
looks at me deadpan, no humor in his eyes.
Then he looks straight ahead at the road, not looking at me at all. This sends me into an even harder fit of
laughter. I know my makeup is probably
fucked up now, probably running from the corners of my eyes. I know I shouldn’t be laughing. It’s mean.
But I can’t help it. This boy,
this master of words, not knowing what to say to one of those
attention-grabbing poser-Bob-Marley-worshipping gossip queens? It blows my mind.
okay...” I take a shaky breath. “Okay.
says nothing, and I pout. He glances at
me, and his eyes soften a little bit, but he still has his arms crossed over
frown, and poke him in the chest. He
doesn’t budge. I jut my chin up and out,
and shift my body towards the window. “Hmph.” I hear him laugh softly at me.
grabs my elbow, and I look at him through narrowed eyes over my left
shoulder. “You really haven’t
changed. You’re still same Brea I used
with longer hair.” I concede.
snort. “Oh, thanks.”
serious. Why do you think you’re not
never said that. I think I’m pretty
okay. Average; I’m okay with that.”
sighs. “I can never win with you, can
shift back in my seat. “Probably
not. So, where are we going?”
never know, with you.”
that supposed to mean?” I raise my
eyebrow at him.
that – I don’t know. I’m fine with just
driving around with you.”
you’re okay with being bored with me.”
made that sound so bad.”
I’ve been bored all day... “
where do you want to go?”
don’t know. You decide.”
we’ll just drive around.”
be bored.” I stick my arm out the window
and rap my fingers on the side of the car, trying to keep time with Flea's bass
back in the basement, sitting in a corner of the basement bedroom. Most of the other girls are talking amongst
themselves, crowded on the bed. I’m
trying to put up a façade, like I honestly don’t give a shit about what happens
now. But I do. Fuck me.
I should have left after Kevin and I got back to his house from our
little ride around being bored and making fun of people and things with each
other... He was right: nothing really had changed between us. Just our situations.
girls on the bed jump up and crowd around the door. I see my opportunity and claim the bed for my
seat, now that it’s empty of the gigging bitches. I glimpse Kevin leaning against the opposite
wall, looking at the doorway to the bedroom, at the girls that are crowded
around and spilling out of it. His eyes
scan the girls, then he frowns a little.
He shrugs it off. It’s obvious
that no one but me really noticed it; the girls act the same: oblivious.
also seems very out-of-place. He looks
like he doesn’t know how he should be acting.
I wouldn’t know. I feel
out-of-place myself. I swear, this is a
reality TV show and I wasn’t informed of what it was. I could have played this up SO much better.
says some girl’s name, and then another.
I’m not paying any attention. I’m
examining the peeling skin on my hand.
Damn my being allergic to water.
Oh well. Just another thing to
quiet, and I look up, and every single girl is looking at me
incredulously. I see Kevin looking at me
with a leveled gaze through the throng, and I furrow my eyebrows. “What?”
I ask. “what are you people
fucking staring at?”
looks at me, an amused look on his face.
I don’t know what’s so funny. I
want to know what’s going on. Damn it,
it was my fault I’m out of the loop this time.
I wasn’t paying attention. Then again,
I was trying to not pay attention,
of the girls move out of the way, so that I can walk up to Kevin if I so desire.
rest of you can go now,” Kevin says.
There’s some murmuring amongst the girls, then they start to disperse,
stand up and walk over to him once all but two others are gone. “So, I thought on a reality TV show, the girls
the guy sends home leave before the ones he picks to stay?”
get three pairs of eyes looking at me like I’m insane. “Okay, cue taken. Leaving now.”
I turn to leave, and Kevin says, “Brea, what are you doing...?”
“Leaving.” I say simply.
“I’m not just some thing you can dismiss. I will leave of my own accord, which is in approximately...
steps into the bedroom and drags me by my wrist behind him, closing the door
behind us. I fold my arms over my chest
and scowl. “I’ll give you five seconds
to open that door and let me go.”
And I’ll give you three seconds to sit down and accept what I want to say to
start to say something, then realize I’ve got nothing left in my arsenal. I also realize something else, and bite the
inside of my cheek as I start to flush. I
‘hmph’ and flounce down on the bed, trying make it to look like I’m extremely
irritated. I don’t think it’s working
out that way.
lie back down on the bed and stare at the ceiling, thoughts running through my
mind faster than I can register any one of them. Kevin comes back into the room after about
five minutes, though it feels like five seconds. Kevin lies on his side next to me, and
brushes the hair out of my face. The
touch sends an electric shock through my body, and OhFuckISwearToGodHeJustFeltThat. I squeeze my eyes shut for a second, and I
feel him shift his weight. I slowly open
them again, only to see him leaning over me.
I blink slowly a few times, and then I say, “What was this all about?”
pulls back from over me and leans back on his hands, and sighs. I prop myself up on one arm, facing him. The silence isn’t comfortable right now. It’s more awkward than anything. I don’t think I want to hear this, whatever
it is, so I say something completely inappropriate:
this was about you wanting to fuck someone, too bad, it’s not going to be me.”
starts, then looks at me. He barks out a
laugh. “If you think that’s all I
want... You’re so wrong...”
I’d rather just lie here with you than fuck any one of them.”
am struck by silence. When my voice finally
comes back to me, I murmur, “Then what do
you want from me? If it’s not
moves to where the bed meets the wall, and motions for me to join him. I go automatically to him. I can’t help it. He holds his arm out and I settle into
him. He wraps him arms around me. “I want everything,” he whispers into my ear. “Everything.
Brea, I love you.”
that’s the last straw for me. My eyes
start to burn, but I’m not about to cry.
He’s just too fucking sweet. I
bury my face into his neck; I don’t want to see the look on his face right
now. ICan’tDoThis, ICan’tDoThis. I want to.