As David stumbled back to his armchair, Death Wish reached into a drawer besides the sink and pulled out a few gauze pads and a roll of medical tape.
Grimacing a little, she managed to bandage her arm. She opened the drawer again and popped a couple of Advil. “The mayor seems to think he can save money by using me instead of putting togheter a SWAT team. We’ll see how long I can keep this up,” she hobbled back to the armchair across from David and plopped down. “Stop looking so concerned,” she added as she gingerly placed her leg over the side of her chair arm, “It’s just a bruise. I’m being a wuss.” She used her feet to slip off her tennis shoes, which plopped to the ground, and David saw that it wasn’t just a bruise. The entire area around her left ankle was swollen and bruised black from her toes to the bottom of her shin.
“Maybe you should get that checked out…” David started weakly.
“The swelling always goes down. I’ll ice it when you leave,” she sighed heavily, “So, where did we leave off in this interview?”
David dug around in the armchair for his pen, which had dropped down into the cushion when he had gotten up earlier to snoop, “You said you had a normal childhood and you left off when you were seventeen,” he finally found the pen.
“Right…right,” she nodded, “I was a smart kid, not very popular, you know, your garden variety nerd. Then, when I was seventeen my parents decided to get a divorce and that just completely took me by surprise. I mean, I had absolutely no idea beforehand. And I, being the melodramatic teenage girl that I was, descided it was ll my fault. And this overreaction was where it really began.”
The night I found out about my parents I snuck oer to my best friend’s house. His named was Michael (I have taken the liberty of changing all the names in this little narrative so that you can’t even try to google anyone, so no, his name was not really Michael) and we had been best friends since middle school.
"Mikey!" I was standing on the little ledge outside of his bedroom window. He had a ridiculously easy house to sneak into, with the kind of bricks that were just too easy to climb. I held onto the ledge with one hand and used the other hand to knock hard on the window pane.
Michael had been laying on his bed, and after I rapped the window a couple of times he shot up. He had finally heard all the damn noise I was making. I saw him take out a pair of iPod ear buds. I waved frantically, well, I waved as well as I could while hanging onto a window sill for dear life. He saw me and slid open the window.
"What do I keep telling you about sneaking over to my house!" he exclaimed, looking exasperated, it was obviously a rhetorical question because he proceeded and answered himself, "Every single time I tell you to call me first. Give me a little heads up so that you know, I have clothes...oh sh**...sh**, you're crying..."
He reached his hand down to help pull me in. He wasn't exactly strong but I had never really been a heavy kid.
"Hey, gimme a sec," he muttered, and I noticed that he was indeed in nothing but his boxers, with his skinny, sparsely haired chest and pale, hairy legs displayed. It wasn't like I hadn't seen it before, but you know, it just stands out to me. You'll figure it out later.
Michael came back in a few minutes later with a Phoenix shirt and gym shorts on, "Sorry about that," he murmured. I was sitting on his bed, still in tears, and he came to sit down next to me.
"What's wrong?" he asked quietly, awkwardly placing his hand on my back in a way I guess he must have thought was comforting, but the feeling of his sweaty palms even through my t-shirt killed the gesture.
"My parents...are getting...divorced," I managed to sniffle, "I..had no...idea."
Michael didn't say anything for a few seconds, but eventually he did speak, "I know it sucks but it's not the end of the world. I mean, half of the marriages in this country end in divorce."
That only made me cry harder, and Michael tried to pat my back just a little too hard.
"Can I just sleep here?" I asked through tears.
Michael made a few spluttering noises, "I dunno...I mean, my parents...they're already in bed, but..."
Michael seemed to be thinking about it. He took his hand off of my back, "Yeah. Of course you can. You take the bed. I'll go get some blankets and make a cot on the floor."
He hugged me. All I could feel was his bony arms jabbing into me. But at least he tried. I was too upset to really think about it, so I just curled up in his bed, put my head against his pillow. There had always been something about his smell that was so comforting. There had never really been a sexual element to our relationship at all, at least not on my end, but his smell had always just been what I needed when I was upset.
"Hey Michael," I whispered into the dark when I had finally stopped sobbing.
"You're the best."