CH. 2: HEATHER
There’s a group of guys gathered just outside the front door of Tammy’s house. She chews on her bottom lip, observing them for any sign of going inside. She regrets not buying a nip of whiskey for such a situation. She blows air from her lips, closing her eyes. The little voice in her head assures her it’s no big deal.
“Excuse me,” she says, forcing out an upbeat tone. She must not have spoken loud enough, because nobody moves. “Excuse me, please!” The guys glance over at her and a couple step aside.
She pulls open the screen door, its familiar, aching creak greeting her. Blue paint chips fleck off along with thin shards of wood. She’s careful not to touch the frame, not wanting to risk another splinter.
The corridor is dimly lit by the light emanating from the kitchen off to the left. She hangs her purse off a hook on the wall and clears her throat. Luke Bryan spills from the sound system in the living room, the television filling it with pale blue, flickering light.
…She was like, oh my God, this is my song
I’ve been listenin’ to the radio all night long
She’d never hear the end of it if Rachel knew what kind of music she listened to while with her other friends. Her better friends, she thinks.
Belligerent laughter comes from the kitchen. Heather stands in the threshold, waiting to be noticed.
Her friend, Tammy is leaning against the sink with a Bud Light in her hand, laughing loudly behind a small group playing a game of cards. As usual she’s flaunting her emaciated figure: a sleeveless red and pink flannel shirt tied up in a knot to show off her abs, paired with a pair of destroyed denim short-shorts.
“What’re you playing?”
Heather asks loudly, announcing herself. She zeros in on a dark-haired guy as he takes a swig of his beer. She manages to catch his eye and he smiles. “Rummy.”
Tammy’s boyfriend, Chris peers at her through black-framed glasses, his dirty blond hair straggling around his ears. “Hey,” he says, holding two fingers from behind his playing cards before bringing his attention back to the game.
“Gin!” yells a mousy, limp-haired brunette.
Their attention falls to her as she places her sets of cards down in groups. The men place theirs down on the table as well. While they’re tallying their scores, the dark-haired guy glances over at her again. “Name’s Andrew,” he says, extending his hand toward her.
“Heather,” she answers, taking his hand in hers.
“There’s room for one more.” He raises his eyebrows and flicks his eyes to the open chair next to him.
Heather smiles. “Maybe later,” she murmurs, all too aware of the girl at the other end of the table glaring at her.
“Want a beer?” Tammy asks, cutting the tension. She opens the door to her fridge and a cascade of magnets swings in front of her before she can open her mouth to respond. Sailboats, a postcard from San Diego, pictures of nieces and nephews all clinging to the yellowish brown tinge of the fridge.
“Glad you made it,” Tammy says, pushing a Budweiser into her bosom.
She quickly glances around, tightening her grip around the cold, perspiring brown bottle.
“Here, let me,” Andrew holds out his hand. He places the cap off the edge of the table before slamming down on it with his palm. He holds it upward toward her, a cold mist escaping the mouth.
“Andy, Christ. You’re going to chip the wood!”
“Oh, please, look at it already!” he exclaims, holding out his hands.
It’s true. The table was already a mess of scratches, scrapes, and chip marks.
“So!” she retorts. “That don’t mean to ruin it more!”
Heather forces herself to smile before ducking out into the hallway and into the living room, hoping to give herself some breathing room.
There’s a guy and girl sitting on the couch nestled into each other, seemingly oblivious to their surroundings. Heather walks over to the side table and flips the lamp on. The guy squints, and she can’t help but wonder if he’s even legal.
Polyester pictures of mystic white tigers and patriotic eagles plaster the walls along side metal candle holders. There’s a kitty-cornered CD tower mounted by a stuffed, white bear holding a red heart.
Heather falls back into a beige recliner and her eyes fall over an overflowing ashtray sitting atop the brass-legged coffee table. She pulls a pack of Marlborough Lights from her purse, placing a cigarette between her lips while she digs around for a lighter.
“You got one more of those?”
She spins around, craning her neck to find Andrew standing behind her. Her heart practically stops at the sight his masculine build. “Oh, yeah, sure,” she says, plucking another cigarette from her pack.
“Here,” he says, holding a silver lighter. “So, how do you know Tammy?”
“We met when I worked at AeroMax, back when she’d just moved up from Oregon.” She takes a drag from her freshly lit cigarette and holds the lighter out to him.
“Ah,” he says, leaning against the door frame, eyeing her. “And what do you do now?”
“I go to school and work part time now.” She takes a sip of her beer and notices her hand is shaking. “I’m studying to be a CNA, but right now I’m just a merchandise associate.”
“Do you live here in Renton?” he asks, blowing smoke from his lips.
“Oh, no, I’m over in Redmond, actually,” she says, bobbing her head.
“A bit expensive, isn’t it?”
“My roommate is an LPN. She gets paid pretty well for it.”
“So I guess she pays most of the rent?”
An ache rises in her chest. It’s as though she was slapped in the face. “Not for much longer. Right now with my part-time job, clinicals, and studying.” She exhales. “I do a lot around the house. Way more than I have to, actually.”
“That’s cool.” He shrugs. “I get it. At least you won’t waste your life working with a bunch of illegals in some factory like our mutual friends here.” He snickers.
“That’s kinda racist, don’t you think?” she asks, fixing her eyes on the last of the cigarette being pulled between his lips.
“I dunno, I guess,” he mutters, dropping the butt into someone’s discarded glass. It lands with a hiss. “Well, this place isn’t so bad,” he says, motioning around himself. “For what it is, location wise.”
“Yeah...” Heather trails. “No offense to Tammy and Chris or anything, but I don’t think I’d like living in a park.
“Where do you live?”
“Kent,” he answers. “Over the hill.”
“Fancy,” says Heather, raising her eyebrows. “Alone?”
“Kind of. I live in the apartment below my parents’ house, and they usually don’t bother me. It’s temporary though. I go to school, too over at U.W.”
“What’s your major?”
“Am I being analyzed right now?” She smirks.
Andrew turns away from her abruptly.
“We were wondering what happened to you!” a voice chimes in.
Tammy appears next to Andrew. She looks at Heather and then to Andrew and back again. Her face contorting slightly. “Amanda’s a bit annoyed,” she says under her breath. “Best not to keep her wondering about you any longer, eh?”
Andrew nods, brushing past her.
“So what was that all about?” Tammy asks, folding her arms.
Heather leans forward, setting her empty beer down. “We were just talking.”
“Andy is taken,” she states, pressing her lips together. “He’s dating my friend Amanda. The girl playing cards. You know the one you dissed earlier.”
“Huh? What are you talking about? I didn’t diss anyone.” She squints her eyes.
“Whatever you say,” she mutters, before turning and heading back toward the kitchen.
Heather shakes her head, and reaches for another cigarette. What crawled up her ass and died? She shoots a glance over at the couple passed out on the couch. How shitfaced do you have to be to sleep through a party?
She pushes herself out of the chair and makes her way into the kitchen, desperate for another beer. She finds the kitchen is empty. The tightness in her chest loosens and it’s only then that she realizes how on edge she’d been. she pivots and walks toward the back, stopping at the screen door.
Andrew is sitting on a lawn chair while Amanda hovers over him. Tammy does a cartwheel and Chris claps.
She’s definitely not drunk enough for this.
While banging the top of the beer bottle off Tammy’s table, she feels warmth on her back.
Heather’s head jerks to the side. “Oh, sorry,” she murmurs sheepishly.
“Let me help you with that.”
She glances at Andrew and then around him.
“Looking for someone?” he asks, reaching for the bottle.
“I thought your girlfriend would be in tow,” she says, averting her gaze.
“She isn’t my girlfriend,” he says, shooting her a look. “I don’t have time for a girlfriend with everything going on. She’s hopeful though. She thinks if she hangs around long enough that I’ll change my mind.” After a brief moment of silence, he adds, “She’s not my type anyway, I mean, come on, you saw her.” He moves closer to Heather, leaning against the counter next to her.
“I didn’t think she was that bad...”
Andrew guffaws. “Look at me,” he says, motioning to himself. “You really think I can’t do better than that?” He snorts, bringing the beer to his mouth.
Heather says nothing. She takes a final drag of her cigarette before tossing it into the sink. Andrew hands her the beer and she takes a long sip. She fixes her gaze down at the unwashed linoleum floor.
“You single?” he asks, brushing his arm against hers.
Her face flushes with heat. Instinctively she crosses her eyes to examine the redness of her nose; her only indicator to the level of blotchy redness she’s prone to when in the company of the opposite sex. She blows air out of her mouth and laughs.
“What?” he murmurs, nudging her.
“What kind of question is that?” She laughs nervously. “You have a girl here who’s probably dying to get you home right now.” She’s faintly mortified at the words coming out of her mouth, but unable to stop. The alcohol must be kicking in.
“Just answer the question,” he presses.
“I am very single,” she says. “In fact...” She giggles, covering her mouth with her hand. “I’ve never had a boyfriend.”
He gives her body the up and down. “I don’t believe that.”
She fights back more nervous laughter. “It’s the truth.”
Andrew’s eyes glaze over, his lids appearing heavy. “That’s kind of hot,” he whispers into her ear, his hot breath tingling her face and neck. She squirms. The smell of booze wafting off of him arouses her in ways she didn’t expect.
“Is that you talking or the drink?” she asks coyly.
He presses his lips to her neck and lightly kisses her, moving her hair, cupping her jaw in his hand. “Does it matter?”
Heather’s breath catches and her body stiffens.
“What the fuck?!”
Heather jerks her head, spotting Amanda with her arms jutted out to her sides.
Andrew slowly turns to look at her, and groans.
“Are you serious right now?” she yells, throwing an arm out. “With that?” She scoffs. “She’s fucking fat!”
Heather’s mouth falls open, and her skin grows hot.
“That was rude, I think you should apologize,” he says, gripping Heather’s arm possessively. She pulls her arm away and backs up. “Don’t let her get to you, she’s just a petty bitch,” Andrew says, reaching for Heather again.
“Petty! You weren’t saying that this morning!”
Andrew rolls his eyes.
Amanda’s face contorts. “Don’t come begging me for forgiveness again, because I’m done with you this time for good!”
Andrew waves a hand at her dismissively and she storms out of the kitchen. Heather jumps as the backdoor slams shut.
“I’d better go,” Heather says, walking briskly into the hallway.
“Heather?!” Tammy calls.
Heather grits her teeth, determined not to stop. She takes her purse off the hook and reaches for the front door.
“Heather!” Tammy yells.
She stops, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath.
“What the hell is going on?! Did you seriously make-out with Amanda’s boyfriend at my birthday party?!”
Heather turns around, looking down at the little rodent of a woman. “No, I didn’t, and he isn’t her boyfriend.”
“What?” She squints her eyes. “Why would you say that?”
“Because,” she starts. “Because it’s true? And I didn’t even do anything, he came onto me.”
“Then you tell him to back the fuck up!”
“As usual, it’s all my fault.” She rolls her eyes.
“You should know better. You of all people.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Excuse me, ladies,” Andrew mutters, pushing past the two of them. He stops just in front of the door. “You coming?”
Tammy stares hard at Heather, seemingly daring her to say yes.
“I’m gonna go,” she says, frowning.
“With him?” she asks incredulously.
“No. I have class tomorrow.”
Tammy pulls her lower lip into her mouth. “If you’re smart you’ll go straight home. I promise you, Heather. He will use you for the night and throw you away when he’s done, and who will be on his arm when you’re gone?” she says, pointing behind her. “That girl will. That girl.”
Heather stares into the air where Tammy points. “Thanks for the advice.” She turns and walks out the door and down toward her car.
This is not how the night was supposed to end, she thought. Tammy’s usually a lot cooler than this, so why is she being such a bitch?
“Hey,” Andrew says, sneaking up behind her. “Wanna go for a ride?”
Heather turns to face him. “I don’t think so,” she snaps, shooting a quick glance at the house.
“Oh, fuck them. Do what you want to do.”
“I have class tomorrow.”
“Ah, come on. I bet you’ve never been in a Mustang before.”
She glares at him.
“Come on, I’ll bring you right back, I swear it,” he says, drawing an invisible X over his heart.
“Fine!” she concedes, following him to his black GT. He opens the passenger door, watching her with hungry eyes.
She turns once to peer back at the house. Tammy’s small silhouette is planted firmly in place at the screen door.
The front door slams shut, and Heather sits in a daze, imagining all five feet of Tammy stomping into the backyard like a petulant child. Now they’ll all be talking shit about her for the rest of the night, she’s sure. She bites her lip, finding herself wondering if Rachel is still mad at her.
She stares at the double-wide mobile home; The drama will pass, she’ll make it right between them tomorrow. She hasn’t done anything wrong, after all.
Andrew gets into the driver’s side and starts the engine, pausing momentarily to eye her up and down.
Heather holds her arms crossed against her body, legs pressed together and facing toward the door.
“Why do you care what that old redneck thinks of you anyway,” he asks, in an amused tone. “She’s like, what… 30?”
“31 today,” she corrects, staring straight ahead. She sits in silence as he pulls into a dimly lit road and then onto another until they’re surrounded by trees. Heather looks around, no longer recognizing her surroundings. “Where are we going?”
“So why do you think all of her friends are in their early 20s?” he asks, picking up the conversation where it left off. He pulls onto a dirt road. It’s pitch black now, there are no street lights anywhere.
Heather swallows hard. “Uhm, I don’t know. Probably easier to relate with us because we don’t have kids. I think she said something like that once—Where are we?”
He kills the engine and reaches over, groping at her breasts, leaning his body into hers.
She pulls away. “You said this was going to be a quick ride.”
“It is.” He snickers, sliding his hands down her shirt. He spreads his palms across her bare breasts, squeezing a nipple between his thumb and forefinger. “I’m not bringing you back until I get my dick wet,” he murmurs, pulling her shirt over her head.
She quickly covers her chest with her arms.
“Look.” he says firmly.” It doesn’t have to be you. I can leave you here and go back there and get it from Amanda. Is that what you want? Because good luck getting home.”
Heather stares at his outline. Would he really just leave her here in the middle of nowhere?
He tugs her bra down, taking a nipple between his lips and sucking hard.
“I should really get home, my roommate is waiting for me,” she says, rushed.
“I think your roommate would want you to enjoy yourself, don’t you?” he asks, pulling her legging down.
“I really shouldn’t, we don’t even know each other,” Heather reasons, feeling his cock press against her lower lips.
“We’re getting to know each other right now,” he whispers, pushing forward.
Her vagina expands. Sensations of burning and tearing shoot through as he inches his way deeper inside.
“Ohmygod, you’re so fucking tight.” He moans.
Is this actually happening? She hadn’t even said yes. She barely had a chance to say or do anything, and now she’s having sex with some strange guy. Her hips instinctively buck as he pushes himself balls deep. He pulls back and thrusts deep again, grunting.
Heather whimpers, overwhelmed with sensation.
“That’s right, baby. Cum on my dick.” He pushes in and out faster.
She tries to push him off and squirm away, but he’s too strong for her. Pain ripples through her body, and she cries out in distress.
“Oh yeah, baby, cum for me.” He presses himself deep inside and exhales heavily into her face. He pulls out of her and pushes himself back in his seat. “That position was a little awkward,” he says, wiping his wet cock on her blouse.
Heather presses her fingers between her legs. Gooey wetness sticks to them and pools onto the leather seat.
“You do kegels or something?” he asks, pulling his pants up.
“I’m a.. I was a.. That was my first time.”
“Nuttuh!” His brows furrow. “Wait, for real?”
She nods slowly, swallowing.
“And just like that, you give it up? He blows air through his nose. “What kind of a virgin doesn’t wear panties?”
A tear rolls down her cheek. She pulls her shirt over her head.
“You came pretty hard, too,” he adds. “Well, I mean… of course you did. I’ve got the magic stick.” He chuckles to himself, reaching for her leg.
A whimper escapes her mouth.
“Are you crying?” he asks, incredulous.
“I’m sorry but...” she says in between sniffles. “But it’s true. I’ve never been with anyone else.” She slides one leg and then another into her leggings.
He stares off. “So then you’re not on birth control?”
She shakes her head.
“Fuck.” he says, wiping his palm over his face before looking at her again. “There’s a 24-hour pharmacy… I’ll get you the pill.”
Heather remains quiet, running her hands over her hair in an attempt to settle her tousled strands.
He puts the car into gear and backs down the road.
She glances over at the man sitting next to her, Tammy’s words of warning echoing in her head now: He’s going to use you up and throw you away.
He pulls into the pharmacy parking lot, puts the car in neutral and pulls the e-brake. “You got fifty bucks?”
Heather stares at him for a moment before he snaps his fingers in front of her face. “You hear me?” he barks.
Her mouth drops open and she shakes herself out of it. She unzips her purse and rummages around, pulling out two twenties and a five. “This is all I’ve got,” she mumbles, handing it to him.
He sighs, staring at the bills. “You can pay me back later, I guess.”
She decides right then not to tell anyone about what happened tonight. Rachel would give her the cold shoulder and Tammy would bad mouth her to everyone.
Andrew gets back into the car, shoving the plastic bag into her lap. “Take it right now.”
She peers into the bag and pulls out a box and a bottle of water.
“So there’s no sense in wasting fifty bucks.”
Heather looks up at him, trying to make sense of his words.
“I’ll take you to get your car and then you can follow me back to my place.”
Had Tammy been wrong after all? If he was going to discard her, wouldn’t he have by now? She suppresses the urge to smile. “Okay,” she says.
She feels his eyes on her as she places the pill into her mouth and chases it back with water.
“Let me see,” he demands. His eyes dart around her mouth. “Move your tongue.” He pushes his fingers around her mouth, salty bitterness sticking to her tongue. “Okay, good girl.”
She takes a gulp of water, hoping to wash away the coppery tang left behind.
“I’m looking forward to feeling that tight, elastic pussy around my shaft again.”
She focuses on the pain radiating from her loins. She wants nothing more than a hot bath and maybe an ice pack.
“Tell me how bad you want my cock inside you.”
She swallows, looking at him with pleading eyes.
He rolls his eyes. “Take your tits out.”
“We’re almost at Tammy’s,” she murmurs.
“We have like five minutes, don’t be so boring,” he says, reaching across and squeezing her left breast. “Suck me at least.” He releases his half hardened cock from his jeans.
Heather’s eyes widen. She’s never seen one in person before. It was weird enough seeing them in porn. It was like looking at an alien. “I… I don’t know how.”
“How old are you?” he demands.
“21,” she stammers, her cheeks burning hot.
Heather apprehensively follows Andrew into the backyard and through a sliding glass door. He flips the light. “Sit over there on the couch, I’ll be right back.”
The sound of piss hitting water reminds her of how badly she has to go herself.
The toilet flushes and he emerges, walking toward her.
“Are your parents home?” she asks, looking around.
He points to the ceiling. “They live up there. Don’t worry about them.”
“I’ve been thinking, he says, changing the subject. “You’re like a blank canvas. I could probably teach you a thing or two.”
Heather stares at him intently, not sure if he’s asking her a question.
“I think it would be a lot of fun. You’d be like a project.” He pauses. “Or if you don’t want that, then I guess after tonight you’ll never hear from me again.” He shrugs. “The choice is yours.”
Heather looks down at her lap, thoughts race through her mind a mile a minute. She swallows, but finds she can’t speak.
He sighs, reaching his arm out to her. “Come on, let’s get this over with.”
Heather takes his hand, allowing herself to be escorted into his bedroom. He flips the switch, illuminating the room. His bed is the first thing she sees, bedecked in a blue and white plaid comforter. A PS4 controller lies at the foot of his bed and there’s a small TV on his dresser.
She can’t take her eyes off a poster of a platinum blonde with her legs splayed open. Is that his type?
Andrew guides her to his bed. “Take your clothes off,” he instructs.” I want to see everything.”
Not wanting to disappoint, she pulls her shirt off first, and then her bra. She allows Andrew to scan her exposed breasts. She finds herself looking at the perfectly round melons on the poster model, and mentally compares them to her own. Hers are the exact opposite: drooping, heavy breasts strewn in faded stretch marks and blue veins.
Her nipples harden, not from arousal, but from exposure.
Andrew smiles, flitting his eyes over her soft belly which hangs gently over the waist of her leggings.
She bends over, pulling them down, her breasts swinging with each jerk of the arm.
Once her pants are off she turns around for him, displaying her ass—her best asset in her opinion. Rachel often told her how lucky she was to be cellulite-free.
Andrew stands, slowly stroking himself as his eyes scan over her exposed flesh. She presses her lips together, nervously watching him ogle her breasts. He reaches out and touches her belly. She flinches, having always been self-conscious about this part of her body. He slides his hand from her belly down to her pussy, rubbing the lips. “Shaved,” he says aloud.
She looks down, ashamed of the red, aggravated bumps. Her eyes shoot back to the poster—smooth, irritation free.
He pushes her down gently onto the bed, facing her away from him. He runs his hands down her back and spreads her ass cheeks apart.
Andrew places a knee onto the bed and climbs over her. Hovering, he presses his cock between her ass cheeks. She stiffens and her heart beats hard against her chest.
“We’ll save that for another time,” he mumbles, dragging his cock down further until he meets the inviting wetness of her salivating cunt. He pushes forward, letting out a moan.
It enters with what feels like a pop, the thick shaft dragging along her inner walls. She squirms, pulling herself forward. It’s too deep from this position and hurts more than she thinks it should. Before it was mostly just a burning sensation.
He pulls her back and pounds her harder and faster. She lets out a yelp, clawing at his hands which have her hips in a vice grip.
“It hurts, it hurts!” she yells.
“It won’t be for much longer, baby, just bear with me.”
She whines in frustration. “Please, just not so deep.”
He pushes in until she feels his sack resting against her pussy lips and pulses back and forth, his cock barely leaving its position.
Just when she thinks she’s about to scream, he lets out a heavy grunt and to her relief, his spent cock slips out.
He throws himself down on the bed and reaches for her, pulling her onto him.
Is sex supposed to feel this way? The movies made it look so passionate and lovely, and porn made it look wild and fun. So what was she doing wrong? Why was it so painful and awkward?
Heather reaches between Andrew’s legs and strokes his limp dick, watching it with eager eyes. Andrew moves her hand away, grimacing. “Too sensitive for that. Give it a minute.” He exhales. “I fucked Amanda’s ass before the party. She’s like a wild animal, always demanding my dick be inside of her. Just wait until she hears about this… She’s going to be pissed.” He laughs.
She stares at him unblinking. Andrew tilts his head back, meeting her intensity. He flinches. “Don’t look at me like that, it’s weird,” he says, breaking eye contact.
“Can you teach me to like it?” she asks. Andrew shifts his gaze back to her.
“I want to be better at it…”
Andrew’s expression shifts from tired to amused. “I need to be up early,” he says, glancing at his clock. “It’s nearly midnight, so you’d better go.”
Heather sits up. “I’m being serious. I want you to teach me.” She pulls her shirt over her head.
“You know you aren’t going to be the only girl I see, right?”
She shrugs. “That’s okay.”
Andrew shakes his head in amusement. “You say that now.”
“Where are my pants?” she asks, fighting back tears.
Andrew tsks loudly. “Oh, don’t.” He reaches under his body and yanks her leggings out from under him. “Here.”
She rips them from his hand, forcing her legs into them, not caring that she’d put them on backwards.
He grabs her by the arm. “Hey. You need to get it under control. Show me you’re mature enough to handle casual sex, because right now you’re really disappointing me.” He releases her, and pulls his blanket down. “Please shut the lights off on your way out.” He turns his body away and adjusts his pillow.
Heather stares at the back of his head, her bottom lip quivering. “Good night,” she murmurs.