it wasn’t meant to go on for so long.
but once you started you couldn’t stop. he was like cancer. he forced his way into your brain and body and never left, no matter what you did. no matter how many options and antidotes were given. he would always be there.
our first encounter was an accident. a force of peculiar nature. we lived in a paper town, luke and i. that led to our group always meeting by the same motel with the same cars doing the same thing. smoking and talking shit. that’s it.
we were your average misfit care-free teenagers. sometimes there were ten, sometimes there were twenty. but the regulars were us five.
we were the ones who declared the motel on the corner of washington and parks ave the official spot. the place to be every friday night, along with scattered nights throughout the week.
spencer would drive his 1966 black mustang while bonnie brought her dad’s blue pickup and two cases of beer. i was in charge of buying the cigarette’s and brad was entitled to getting condoms, even though they were ignored most of the night. carrie was just there to entertain us with her bullshit stories about her life and how her mom used to bring a new man home with her every night starting when she was six.
“december 13th, 1978.” she would start off. “ma had just gotten back from her trip in chicago visiting her sister-in-law and her skanky-ass kids.” none of us believed her for a second, but we always played along for the laughs.
lighting up the first cigarette of the night would send chills down my spine. smoking isn’t healthy, but it’s sure as hell helpful. abusive father and deadbeat mother doesn’t really help my case, so i try and get help however i can. numbing the bad parts away from my life is exactly what i need. every goddamn night.
spencer would light us up and the night would begin. our definition of fun was venting while intoxicated. and up until that one night, everything was the same and everything was okay.
until he showed up.
it started off usual, carrie starting up about how her ‘ma’ brought her very own cousin home with her while spencer brought out his lighter and we leaned up against the cars drinking our sorrows away. but before bonnie could interject carrie claiming it all to be a hoax, his car pulled into the parking lot. one of his headlights was blown out as he rolled into the far left opposed to us in the center.
“who’s that?” asked brad, blowing smoke into the air. bonnie shrugged and examined the split-ends that she’d been complaining about for months. “probably just some loser here for a blow-job.” i laughed and sipped my beer. “is it true you went to third base with tim before first period a week ago?” she smiled slyly and giggled. “a woman never kisses and tells.”
she winked at spencer who laughed and stated, “try telling that to sarah the sucker.” we all laughed and agreed. sarah the sucker would always update us whenever she and some perv hooked up. she flaunted her sex acts like she was the queen of england which got on our nerves quickly.
the car switched off after a minute or so.
“why aren’t they getting out?” bonnie stepped on her cigarette butt and grabbed another beer. “maybe he’s just watching us.” carrie suggested, causing my nose to scrunch up in disgust. “at least make it public. that way we know you’re not jacking off.”
spencer put his arm around me and grabbed the cigarette in between my fingers, slightly inhaling and gave a look towards the car’s direction. “is it your dickweed dad bonnie?” i looked at him and snatched the cigarette back, turning my head towards the car once more.
“shouldn’t be. car doesn’t look familiar.” bonnie began to hum and returned to her examination. spencer nuzzled his head underneath my neck while leaving a trail of quick kisses behind my ear.
spencer and i were on and off for two years. it wasn’t that i didn’t like him like that. he was attractive and loyal and whatnot.. but something was holding me back from going all the way with him. “edie.. let’s go back to my place.” but i would shrug him off with an excuse every time.
“i’m not feeling that great.”
“i’m just gonna bounce.”
“dean’s expecting me back at the house.”
it wasn’t that i didn’t want to do it with spence, he was all that and more.. but i just wasn’t comfortable with it yet.
compared to bonnie and carrie who’ve been doing it since years back and brad who could make any girl open her legs wide as he passed, i was clueless.
the door opened and a figure stepped out slowly, as if he was underwater. “who the fuck is that?” carrie chimed in, adjusting her leather jacket.
“what if he tries to talk to us?” bonnie frowned and looked towards brad, who shrugged and lit yet another cigarette.
“then he’ll get his ass kicked.”
but the figure didn’t move. it leaned up against their car and brought out their own cigarette, placing their hand in front of it as they lit it. by the looks of it, the person was a boy.. most likely our age.
“maybe we should invite him over,” brad whispered, not once leaving his gaze towards him. we all sat in silence for a moment, each puffing away.
“maybe we should just leave.” i said, looking at everyone. “he might have a gun.”
they laughed and brushed me off. “relax ed. i think i’ve seen him around the neighborhood. nothing to be worried about.”
i bit my lip and looked at him again. something about him made me uneasy. “i think i’m gonna scram..” i said, not looking towards anyone.
no one seemed to object. i gave my cigarette to spence and flashed a peace sign before shoving my hands deep within my pockets and strolling along the sidewalk.
it hadn’t even been a minute before the street lamp above me exploded, yellow sparks slowly falling around me. i turned around only to see the figure now standing in my direction.
and looking right at me.
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