Coming home, I unlocked the apartment door, a chip in my mouth as I held onto the bag, my jacket, book and steadying the key as I held it in the lock. Opening the door awkwardly, I started the night all by myself. “Alright, honey, I got the night off and –“my mouth falls open, and my eyes wide as it – Matt?
“It’s not real,” I whisper to myself, over and over again. “No, no, it can’t be real,” I try to swallow down the truth, but it tastes like lies. “Matt?” I whisper, how many times have I said his name? I reach out my hand, and touch his head, feeling his hair in my hands, brushing his long hair out of his face, out of his pale face. “Oh god,” I sob, my hand flying to my mouth, as I start to sob, and crawling away from him before I take refuge and curl up beside him.
Lights swarm my eyes, my eyelids being pulled in all directions.
“Think she’ll OD too?”
“Are you okay?”
“She is in my book,” I don’t see them, I can barely hear them, everything is blurry, at first all I can see is Matt, but then they take him away…
“Hey, hey, don’t cry,” he says, holding me in his arms. No, no, no, I don’t want you to hold me – No. This is supposed to be Matt – this is Matt’s job, he’s the one who’s supposed to hold me, not some strange guy, not some client or anyone else. “Don’t cry,” he says, his hand trying to touch my hair, but I retract and leap forward.
He’s in a bag, some black bag, and my hands fly to the zipper, and I start to unzip him but the fucking perv is grabbing at me, pulling me back, away from Matt…
“No, no, you don’t want to do that, you don’t want to see him now,” he says, thinking that’s what I need to hear.
“I want to be with him,” is all I can say. “I want to be with him – I’m his girl,” but I’m shaking and crying and all I can do is cry.
I don’t know what to do, I’m confused. I can’t stop crying, can’t stop shaking, and when I stop, I remember Matt, little things, him getting me ice cream for breakfast because we didn’t have cereal, and mixing the cereal and the ice cream when he learned I liked what he did the first time. But there comes a time when the tears dry up, and all there are is sobs, and after that, are there is are questions.
“Hello Ginger,” he says, calling me by another name, when I’m no ginger.
“Who?” I ask, I don’t look at him; I just stare ahead, at his hands. I still… I still can’t believe this. He’s… gone… my eyes swell with pain, and my throat aches so much it makes a gagging sound.
“That’s your name,” he tells me, as if I’m supposed to know this.
“That’s my other name,” and I can feel other tears make their way in now. “I’m Lucy, that’s who Matt liked.”
“Matt, is that his name?” The Hands ask me, such a stupid question.
“Don’t,” I tell him and I can see the hands flutter, feeling awkward, like they have nothing to do besides write and repeat, repeat and write, reap. “He’s not just – anyone, he’s mine, I love him, and he-he cared for me,” I tell him slowly, he cared for me. He was there, no one else was, it was Matt and me, Matt and I, me and Matt, I and Matt, whatever, and grammar school is nothing to me.
“Lucy,” and The Hands’ touch me, holding lightly onto my hands. “Matt died of an over dose, he didn’t care for anyone but himself,” he tries to tell me.
“Lucy, you seem like a sweet –“
“You’re wrong!” I scream, and pull my arm into my chest, folding it under my breasts. “You’re wrong, you’re wrong! You’re a liar! You’re a liar!” I scream and scream, and plug my ears. “Liar, liar, pants on fire, liar, liar pants on fire,” and I just end up crying again.
After a while, someone, another pair of hands, a feminine pair, hands me a piece of paper, with things to fill out, I try, but I don’t know, I’m just a kid, I’m a… I don’t know what I am.
“Hi sweetie,” the other pair of hands says, sitting beside me, and takes the sheet from me. “Miss Carlisle, it’s nice to meet you, I’m Ms. Dunning,” too young to have the two S’s. “Oh, you’re from Iridian, huh? Great place, Michigan, great place.”
She’s obviously never been there.
“Let’s get you back home? Huh, Detroit isn’t for little girls like you, only seventeen, huh,” wow, you’re boring.
I don’t say anything, she pats my back and assures me everything will be okay, but to her okay is a warm bed, meals every other hour, but to me, I just wanted Matt back.
“Nothing will ever be okay,” I told myself, sure it was true. It will never be okay again, especially if I’m back at home.