Lucy Carlisle never had to know of hunger or poverty, she grew up in a suburb of Detroit in Michigan, with good friends at her side, but when she had the chance, she got out of there.
All men should strive
to learn before they die
what they are running from, and to, and why. ~ James Thurber
With my back pack on my back, walking heavily with my feet planted in the ground, deep in this dry soil, I take a gulp of my water bottle, staring at the light sky. I look in front of me, at Kevin and Wes, with Kevin’s hand in Wes’ pants, both of them sticking close together, like they need each other to survive, like the heat radiating from the sun as I keep on treading on, taking another sip of water. In front of me, I see Wes kiss Kevin on the cheek gently, and I can’t help but smile.
And drink more water
“I really like you Luce, you’re cool,” he tells me, staring at the steering wheel, not looking at me. I want him to look at me, to look into those deep brown eyes, and to slide those glasses off, trace the outlines of his eyes, kiss his eyelids… “But you can’t come with me.”
“I have to,” I tell him, “I have to leave here, or else I’ll… I’ll die.”
“You two kissed?” I gawked, “whoa, that’s cool,” I say after Ethan tells me about his first kiss with Alyssa Santoni.
“Frenched,” he smirks, god, for such a fifth grader, he acts like an eighth grader. Ethan starts to giggle and I punch him in the shoulder, loser doesn’t deserve my snicker doodles. I keel over, holding onto my stomach for a while, full from all of the sweets we’ve had, and then let my fingertips touch my lips, and I look up to Ethan, staring into those big blue eyes of his.
“Can you show me?” I ask, and he just smiles wide, and for a while tension rises, but then he just pushes me to the side, so I go tumbling to the corner of the bed.
“Little slut,” he calls me.
“We’re not going to go anywhere,” he tells me the first night, crushing my every hope and dream as I let my duffel bag drop to the floor, looking around at the studio apartment. There’s a clothing hamper that isn’t full, it’s not like there’s clothes everywhere or nowhere, it’s just dirty, scratched up too many times, run down. “Special,” he ends it with, and I feel like time has elapsed since he last said the words, but no, I have. “It’s just… mine.”
“At least you have your own place; I’m living off you, like a leech.” I tell him, running my right hand through my hair, my head itches…
“It’ll be fine,” he tells me and walks back, because he had walked to the cupboard that is to the left of the apartment door, he kisses my forehead. “You’ll be fine,” he breathes, and hugs me close. “I promise, I’ll do anything for you.”
Walking back from the nurse’s station for the third time, no, fourth time is a little embarrassing, the fact that I have to take a fifty yard swim test today while on my period, without a clue about tampons, is even more embarrassing, and embarrassment number one is the reason for all of this shit. Carelessly, I walk into somebody, and then there arms around me, holding onto me and I try to fight to let go.
“Jesus, Luce, it’s just me,” Brandon says and I look up at his thick lips and big, unsettling and truthful brown eyes as he lets me go. “You okay?” He asks naïve to this world. He’s a guy, he doesn’t have a vagina.
“No, nothing – ugh, I mean, everything’s fine,” I sigh and try to convince him with my eyes, but that doesn’t work. “Okay, well… see, today is the swim test,” I tell him, my hands motioning as I say so. He nods. “And it’s… well, it’s the first day of my period…”
“Oh, so you don’t have to do it.”
“But I don’t – I want to do it! Jeez, I want to get it over with, I want to do it with my friends and all, it’s just… I have no clue how to use a fucking tampon, and… well, I asked Chloe, cause I thought she would know, and she told me and shit, just to slide it in but… slide it in where? She said not to hit the side of the vag though…. I don’t understand that part…”
“Well, I’ll help you,” Brandon says eagerly as he pulls out a tampon out of his purse.
“What the fuck?” I ask.
“It’s for emergencies,” he says plainly, as if to tell me the geography homework.
“What emergencies? You have no sisters!”
It starts on the streets, goes through the back seats of the cars, of the motel rooms, and always ends at the studio. I walk through the door, let my keys fall on the end table standing randomly, and lonely by the front door.
“Hey beautiful,” Matt greets, but I can’t see him because my eyes were on the keys, both of our keys touching, interlocking once they touched, and I look up, he’s laying back on the bed, the one that’s right next to the sofa, with the wide dresser on the left side of it.
He looks comfortable, under the thin sheets, with his glasses in and a book in his hands. I want to snuggle right into him. “How was your night?” He asks, as if I work a regular job, at a regular age.
“Fine,” I say through tight lips as I sneak myself into his arms, his hands letting the book loose as I tilt my head back and reach up to touch his lips. Sighing, I let my head rest on his chest. “This is exactly how I wanted it to end, right here, life itself, if everything ended… my life, yours, the world, this would be the best time,” I told him as I took comfort as his warm and secure arms wrapped around my waist.
“I would never want this to end, I would never want to stop holding you,” he tells me and then leans down to whisper into my ear. “In my book, nothing has to end.”
“Cameron, I don’t think I can go down there,” I tell him now, after everything, I don’t want to face them. “I can’t lie to liars, they know too well.”
“Lucy,” Cameron starts, his hand on my knee, but the conversation falls silent. It stays like that for a while. He doesn’t know what to say, neither do I, so he kisses my temple on my head. I turn my head and soon enough we’re kissing. Its weird kissing
Cameron, I kiss him and think he’s a good kisser. Kevin had a good guy here but he didn’t want him, or his warmth, or security…
For a while, things are in Wonderland, hell, things are in the Twilight Zone, we raise my shirt off, Cameron fishes my bra off, and I pull off his shirt and unbutton his jeans, pulling them down, letting him do the rest, letting him take it all the way home.
“Is this… am I doing it okay?” I ask, holding the bong in my hands.
“Just fine, Lucy girl, just fine,” Matt’s friend, Anthony, tells me as he lights it, and I squeeze the little part he told me to squeeze, inhaling as I did so. Coughing lightly afterwards. “Just fine, Lucy girl, just fine,” Anthony drones on, and I just stare at the wall in front of me, wondering when Matt will be home, hoping it will be sometime soon so he can rescue me from this dream, but hoping it will be never, so I don’t have to face his wrath.
Anthony scoots closer, his mouth hot and heavy on my neck, I pull him away, but he pushes back, and I try to pull him away, but he just ties my arms down and kisses me hard and heavy on my lips, his lips like fire. I could taste the burning, the desire in them, as much as the selfish iron.
“Oh, Paige,” he moans as he kisses me, one hand cupping my breast, and the other sliding under my shirt. “Paige,” he moans, his lips moving down my throat, on my breasts, as he takes my shirt off, unhooks my bra. “I love you, Paige,” he says.
Is it really rape if you’re doing it for someone else? For someone’s closure?
I sit on the toilet, my skirt off, thrown to the side of the larger stall, my panties down to my ankles as we wonder what to do with this stupid contraption.
“So we just… slide it in.” Brendan says, more to himself than to me, after all, he’s the one playing doctor here. “Okay, sounds easily enough,” he says and changes his sitting position and stares at me – or it. “Slide it in where exactly?” He asks.
“Wherever the blood is coming from,” I guess. I don’t know. This is why he’s the doctor.
“Fuck, where is that?” He asks, looking up at me, those big brown eyes searching for answers, looking like a child’s.
“I – I don’t know!”
“You’re the girl!”
“You’re the one with the tampon!”
“Yeah, well – I don’t have – shouldn’t you know your own anatomy?”
“Just shove it in!”
“I’m not going to shove it in, that’s rude, I’d – I’d gently push it in,” he says, trying to sound serene.
“Fuck it,” I said and pulled up my panties, standing up straight and dressed back into my skirt.
Looking back at Brendan, I promised myself and him. “We’re never doing this again.”
“Take this,” Dan told me, slipping me a pill. “It’ll make your sex life crazy like shit,” he laughed, and I just swayed from side to side, a little woozy, I don’t know why, I guess I’m drunk.
“I don’t have a sex life,” I slur.
“Yeah right, we all know what you do,” he said, and I couldn’t help but think, shit…. I walked away then, popping in those two little white pills, not wondering or questioning what they were, just hoping they were aspirin. I tug my jacket closer together, buttoning some of it up, it’s early December and I’m in Detroit, but I’m going to New York soon, Matt says I haven’t seen Christmas until I see it in New York.
I didn’t know you could see Christmas at all.
I think I might be pagan, I think, as I walk to the car that stopped in front of me, and without thinking, starting kissing the guy as soon as I get in, letting him have free rein of everything, his head goes to my breast, but the kissing doesn’t last long, he pulls himself on top of me, the fucking fat bastard, lets my seat lean back so it’s like a beach chair, and I’m lying down, and he unzips and unbuttons my pants, pulls down the lace panties and starts sucking.
I wonder about Christmas the entire time.
Somewhat about those little white pills…
“Chloe, you know I love you,” I tell her, holding her hand, I’m a little buzzed, we’re thirteen, it’s our job to get buzzed, to sneak into the liquor cabinet while the parents dine, retreat to the basement, and get drunk while the little siblings play Doctor in the other room. It’s just our job, but we can both hear my little brother Connor grunt and her little sister Lindsay moan and moan. They’re only ten, but like that matters anymore…
“I know, I love you too,” Chloe tells me, slurring her words even more and our hands are interlocked, and we’re looking deep into each other’s eyes, and then Chloe grabs a handful of my hair with her free hand, and pulls me close in an aggressive way, our lips locking, tongues dancing to something sweet, and we kiss and kiss, not thinking about anything else as we let our hands roam around each other and ourselves, and we fall down slowly enough that we’re lying consensually on our backs, and then Chloe decides to go deeper, kissing the cloth covering my stomach before unbuttoning my jeans and pulling them off, fulfilling her own fantasies while drunk.
“Matt,” I whispered, rolling onto my side as I woke up groggy in the morning, I patted the side of the bed that is usually his. “Matt?” I ask again, and get up and start walking around, even if I’m just in a t-shirt of his and a thong. “Matt,” I say again as I enter the bathroom on the right side of the bed, on the other side of the sofa. Sure enough, the show is up and ready, the bathroom steamy and heavy. Still groggy, I enter the shower, letting my shirt fall to the ground as I enter the shower, kissing Matt on the lips as passionately as I ever could kiss anyone¸ but how I only ever wanted to kiss him.
I’m sleeping over at J.J.’s, and she lives across the street, one house to the right, with her younger sisters Kristen and Karen, she lives with her step-dad, Michael Stratton, mother, Stephanie Blackham and Uncle Mick. I’m wearing a pair of pajama shorts, my favorite kind that I got from Wal-Mart a while ago as I walk around the house, looking for J.J., I woke up and she wasn’t next to me, it’s three in the morning. I hear noises in the house, but think it must be, well, I don’t want to think of her parents still doing the dirty, but still, the curiouser side of me wins out and I follow the noises, the moanings and find it at end of the hallway, on the right, and open the door a little, even though its dark, I can still figure out two people having sex, rotating positions, rolling on top and under each other like fucking crazy.
“Fuckers,” I mutter to myself and walk to Mick’s room, J.J.’s Uncle, to tell him about this shit, but I find J.J.’s parents, asleep and soundly in bed.
I get confused.