Chapter 27: The Urchin, The Starfish, The Mollusk And The EelMature

Narrator: Crystal Jennings


"I'll be at the dance, my dear," I whispered in his ear, as I held aside his dye-damaged yet still smooth hair aside with one hand.

That seemed to excite him more as he groped at me wildly. He said nothing, though. His breathing was heavy and all I got from him was the occasional grunt and moan.

He had sideburns, now, that I had never noticed before, perhaps because of the change in his hair colour. And his skin was pale, as if he'd spent all weekend in doors.

There were shadows, tired grooves of darkness, below his eyes that betrayed just how much of the weekend he must have spent crying about me.

I gasped, as his hand passed along my lower back at just the right moment, sending a warm shudder of pleasure up my spine and then echoing down through all my limbs. I felt at peace, more peace than I'd ever felt with him before; because this time, I wasn't forcing him into anything.


There was something different about his touch. It was crazed far more than it was graceful, so different than Friday. It was night and day, like the contrast he first had between Greg.

I wasn't sure what I thought of this. It was new, in a way that surprised me, though neither for the better or for the worse... as far as I could tell.

Then it began to concern me that I was at work, and that I had to act respectable. I could lose my placement if I was caught, and it certainly wouldn't help his already-massacred reputation.

When I realized what I was doing, what I was letting him do, I thought it was too late. His hands had gone so very far, threatening to do what they must not. I twisted between them like an animal trying to free itself from a hunter's snare.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"This isn't what you really, truly want from us," I told him. "This is all wrong. You're fooling yourself as much as you're fooling me. And you do so needlessly, because I agree with your message."

"What message!? What are you talking about?"

"Really, CJ, now's not the time to play dumb," I told him as I pushed away from him and began to button up my blouse. "There's a new apple in your eye, and this one's rotten!"

He frowned.

And then my eyes noticed the lack of veins in his right forearm compared to his left. The hole was there like a tiny drop of nothingness that pervaded his skin. A needle had done it, on each arm. I looked back and forth between his bare wrists and his face.

That face somehow seemed so wrong.

"You're too late," he spoke grimly.

I pushed the unspeakable notion that was surfacing into the back of my mind with what I can only call denial. It was unfathomable to consider the possibility that he had become a heroin user.

And then I heard Christina behind me, "Crystal, what the hell were you doing and why are you here? He's so worried about you!"

"I don't care if Greg's worried about me, he's not my boyfriend anymore!" I snarled as I turned around.


"Yes, Greg." I was splayed out upon the hill like a starfish.

"What's he got to do with this?" she said, as a tall and chiseled young man walked down the hill to stand beside her. Christina frowned at me, then, as she moved her hand into his.

"Who's worried about me then?"

"CJ. Who else?"

I blinked, confused.

"Oh, no..." Christina said as she looked past me, up the next hill.

"Does that vile and uncanny resemblance have a name of his own?" asked the other adolescent. His jet black hair was spiked with care, like a prickly sea urchin. And his voice was very attractive, so much so that it took me a while to figure out what he'd just said.

"Huh?" was all I could manage.

"Who was that guy, and why did he have his hands all over you, Crystal?" she asked me as she gripped his arm as a pretty mollusk to a dark rock.

"That was CJ. Haven't you seen his new hair?" Then, I realized something, "Oh... he's hiding from all of you, isn't he..."

"Crystal, you are a fool," Christina told me. "You've gone and fucked everything up."

The man who stood with her took the cue and they walked off together, leaving me baffled.

What've I done wrong? I wondered. Are they mad at me about Friday? Do they blame me? Have I broken him?

I turned around, hoping he'd give me some insight, but CJ and Vidal were nowhere in sight. I was left alone with my troubled mind. And that's when my phone began to vibrate in my pocket.

The End

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