05: Unfortunate Events [1/2]
The week had gone by fast, with no more collisions from Blue. It was better that way, even if being near him made my heart race. Even if it made me want things I shouldn’t want. I don’t have the time to deal with situations of that caliber, but I told myself that if by some chance he approached me and wanted something from me that I’d give it to him, whatever it may be. Despite the warnings.
I wasn’t looking for love and from what I’d heard neither was he. I wanted to explore... him. His body, his lips--I shook my head and shivered as I walked out of the school. I’d never had an interest in masturbating before, but this week was proving difficult.
I didn’t know how.
The one thing everyone should know how to do and I don’t. How would I look it up? On a computer where someone could see? In a library? I couldn’t imagine getting caught searching for a book on how to get myself off. I knew where everything was. I’d read multiple human anatomy books. That was not the problem. I could be clinical, but being a scientific robot was ludicrous and not sexually pleasing to me in the slightest.
My shoulders drooped. I collapsed to the pavement and sat my butt on the curb, waiting for my mother to pick me up. The cool concrete beneath me seeped into my jeans. It was more comforting than expected. I glanced around, making sure no one was near and folded my legs under me. Usually, I saved my meditating for the bathroom in the mornings, but being so physically frustrated I’d taken to doing it when I could.
I could always ask my mom. It was her job as a parent, right? ...My stomach rolled at the idea and I made a gagging noise.
“Hey, are you okay?”
The guy held his hands up as a way to console me, “Whoa, whoa, easy!”
I flipped fully around, a scowl heavy on my face as I slapped the jean-clad leg in front of me. “It’s impolite to scare people. Make some noise when you move!”
“Ouch. Okay. Hey! Hey!”
Pushing my glasses up my nose, I stopped hitting his leg and lifted my head to see one of Blue’s best friends, Kie. I’d never actually met him, but I could see bits and pieces of his sister in him. I watched as he offered a crooked smile and then sat down next to me. Frowning at him, I tilted my head to examine him.
I must’ve stared too long because he coughed, cleared his throat, and started rubbing his hands up and down his jean-clad thighs. My gaze slowly trailed down until I focused on his movements. My breath caught and my stomach churned. I bit down on my bottom lip to keep from making noise.
Oh my. Not another one. What’s wrong with me?
“You do that like you’re an artist.”
My gaze jerked up and I blinked at him. “What?”
“You’re looking at me like you want to paint me.”
Or other, naughtier things that I’d never even seen. I’ve only heard. Why was I the late bloomer? Why couldn’t I have been interested in this stuff earlier? Like normal... I heaved a sigh, Mom’s words replaying in my mind.
“Well, you are very beautiful, but I’m afraid I have no artistic ability,” I paused and glanced at his hands, “but you do.” I reached forward, took one of his hands, and traced the dark spot on the side of his index finger. He missed it when he’d washed his hands. Soap residue and dampness clung to his skin in proof. I brushed my thumb over the spot, dropped his hand, and licked the tip. “Hmm, charcoal. Can I--”
“You can do whatever you want to me,” he said, his voice husky and deeper than it had been before.
I glanced up at him, eying him with curiosity. A change in tone could mean several things, anger, fear, lust, attraction. The chilling wind blew and it ruffled a stray piece of hair onto my face. Tucking it behind my ear, I smiled at him. “Wonderful,” I said and reached around him to unzip his bag.
He pulled away, but the clutch I had on his bag kept him from getting far. “Uh.”
“It’s okay.” My face was directly in front of his, and it took me a second to remember what else I wanted to say. Ethereal beauty was abundant in this school. “I tend to render many people speechless. I’m just looking for your drawing pad.”
His expression indicated he wanted to say something, but all he managed was, “Oh.”
Unable to get a good grip on anything in his bag, I leaned forward more, my breath catching as my cheek brushed his. I paused, licking my lips, frowning as I stared at his face. Physiologically speaking, sex was a basic need requirement that had yet to surface on the bottom tier of my Maslow’s. Well, until this week. Twice... no, three times and by two different guys. At least with Kie, I didn’t stutter my words.
It was official, my world was coming to an end.
“Am I interrupting something?”
I blinked and shook my head as I managed to curl my fingers around a book inside his bag. I didn’t even bother to turn around to see who it was. I knew his voice from the first time he’d spoken to me. The husky, bedroom tone to his voice did things to my body that I could not control. Two days ago, I eavesdropped on him. I have to walk by the music room every day to get to third period, and there he was. His arm curled around a guitar, strumming the strings lazily. He shook his hair out of his face, caught sight of me, and the corner of his mouth lifted in satisfaction like he knew I would be there. That’s when I noticed his hands, the calluses on his fingers from years of playing and then he started to sing.
I shivered as I remembered the silvery grit of his voice slaying a stripped-down cover of Pony by Ginuwine. I’d been two minutes away from crumpling to the floor due to weak knees when his leg shot out and he kicked a chair towards me, all while singing and playing... had I been in my right mind I would’ve laughed at the cliché. That chair stopped inches from me and I’d plopped down with a sigh. It was another first for me. A couple actually, first time getting weak knees, first time being late to class... I have never been late. When he finished the song, his honey-brown eyes seared through me and the upward tilt of his lips, his raised eyebrow--that pretty boy smirk--almost stopped my heart.
“You’re late, Gracie.”
I slowly exhaled as his words raced through my thoughts. My back stiffened when he sat on the other side of me much in the same way Kie had.
“Hey Gracie,” his voice was slick and deep as he spoke too close to my ear. My teeth sunk into my bottom lip. “What are you doing sitting on the ground?”
How I found the breath to speak was some type of supernatural anomaly. “I-a-I’m waiting for my mother.”
“You don’t drive?”
“I can. I have my license, but cars and I don’t get along,” I said, bowing my head trying to focus on my intertwining fingers instead of Blue breathing and talking next to me.
He’s too close. I can’t breathe.
I watched him from the corner of my eye. A mix of a frown with an amused smile crossed Blue’s face. “How so?”
I shrugged. “I crash them.”
A hard snort shifted into loud boisterous laughter from Kie. Blue was too stunned to laugh, but when Kie had started Blue blinked at him with shock. Kie mumbled something between gasps of laughter that I was the ‘very proof the world needed that women weren’t good drivers.’
“Hmm, I feel like I should be offended, but in my case, I can’t argue with facts.”
Kie guffawed behind his hand and his sparkling gray eyes danced as he focused on me. He tried to become serious, but his eyes danced away from my face to look at Blue, which started him laughing. They both laughed for ten minutes. Tears streamed down Kie’s face. Blue was bent over, clutching his stomach.
“It wasn’t that funny,” I said, hoping to stop the incessant insanity, but it only managed to make them laugh harder.
Ignoring them, I flipped open Kie’s art book and gasped at the first page. Careful not to smudge the work, I turned to the next page. And then the next...
“There’s so much detail,” I said. “This is unbelievable, Kie.”
Kie cleared his throat and thanked me, his voice hoarse. He reached over me and pointed to the current picture of a 3D skull clock with roman numerals and haunting eyes. “This part of a sleeve I’ll be doing tonight.”
“Sleeve?” I glanced up in confusion.
“He’s a tattoo artist too,” Blue supplied.
I stiffened as his breath ruffled the hairs at the nape of my neck. I turned my head and the golden hue of his eyes, the closeness of his face to mine, made my breath catch. “T-tattoos?”
Blue shifted closer, his nose less than three inches from mine and I shivered as he leaned his chest against my back and reached around me to turn the page of Kie’s art book. “This is my most recent one. Wanna see it?”
“A huh,” I said. I felt like I was in a trance. I even sounded like it. Blue noticed too. The corner of his mouth lifted and he pulled his hand away from the book and ran his thumb over my chin. He took a piece of hair that had gotten stuck on my glasses and tucked it securely behind my ear.
“Maybe tonight at the party.”
My face burned. “Wh-um-what?”
Blue’s smirk was full-blown now. “I want you to come to a party with me. What do you say?”
“A party? No, I--”
Blue pouted his full lips and caressed my cheek, his thumb coming dangerously close to my lips. “Please don’t say no. It’ll be fun. You can get to know people.”
“Getting to know people at parties is the same experience I have had with cars,” I whispered, dropping my eyes from his.
Kie snorted, but Blue didn’t make a sound. He applied pressure to the back of my head, forcing me to look at him once more. “Please, Gracie?”
“What will we do?”
I rolled my eyes. “What do you do at a party?”
“You’ve never been to a party?” he asked.
“I thought you crashed them?” Kie said, trying not to snigger.
I heaved a sigh. “That was me trying to be funny. What time is this party?”
“In about four--no, three hours... we’ve been sitting here for almost an hour. Maybe your mom forgot?” Blue asked, glancing at his watch.
Reaching for his wrist, my heart sputtering as my cool hand touched his warm wrist. She was an hour and a half late.
Oh Mama, was it a bad day today? I wondered, nibbling my bottom lip with worry.
“I can give you a ride if you need one.”
“No, I--” I paused, Jack’s face flashing in my mind. She’s an hour and a half late with me. She’s a half-hour late picking up Jack. “I mean, yes, please. That would be wonderful. Do you think I could hassle you further by picking up my younger brother too?”
“No hassle at all.”
“Thank you, Blue. I appreciate it,” I said.
“I gotta go get some needles and ink for that tattoo--I’ll see you both tonight, right?” Kie asked, raising an eyebrow in my direction.
I tilted my head and bit my lip, thinking of what could have made my mother forget to pick us up. It’s only happened a total of four times, well, five now. And each time the reason was crippling. Could I go out to a party? My mom needed me... something has happened. “I’ll try. I’ll have to ask my mother. And perhaps, if I can, I can see you do that tattoo?”
Kie winked, nodded is head, and left.
Blue escorted me to his car, opening the door for me and when I sat down he leaned in, reaching for the seatbelt, bringing his face so close that his cheek brushed my nose. He pulled away, tightened the belt over my chest, his hand brushing my breast before he shut the door and jogged around to the driver’s side.
My heart was in my stomach. I was no longer breathing, but panting like a dog in heat. I’ve never had anyone touch me like that. I squeezed my thighs together, trying to relieve some of the pressure. I dropped my hand against my stomach to assist.
“You okay, Gracie?” Blue asked.
The knowing tone in his voice made my head snap up and I eyed him, nodding. “I’m fine,” I said, my voice breathy and soft.
By the time we got to Jack’s school, I had calmed down somewhat. He hadn’t touched again since, but I’m pretty sure if he did my head would explode.
I saw Jack slouched on a concrete bench outside of the school. His foot kicking an imaginary rock as he sighed over and over. “Jack! Come on,” I shouted as the window rolled down.
He lifted his head and his eyes bulged out. “Whoa! Look at this car. I mean, it’s-it’s--” he stopped long enough to get in and then frowned deeply, “My sister has bad luck with cars. Why would you let her in here?”
“Not with being a passenger, just with the driving part!”
Jack snorted and leaned over the middle console for a better look at the stereo. “Too risky. Letting her in this car, you gotta be either an adrenaline junkie or stupid. So, what’s your name, Mr. Adrenaline Rush?”
“Jack! It is not polite to call people stupid!”
“I didn’t! I said it was an option, which is why I went with Mr. Adrenaline Rush? Hello?!” He rapped his knuckles against Blue’s shoulder. “She’s supposed to be the smart one,” he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
Blue chuckled and shifted the car into drive. “My names Blue.”
I turned and smacked Jack’s shoulder. “Would you sit back and put your seatbelt on?”
Jack nodded and scooted back, his once amused, teasing face falling as he looked at me. I knew that face. Once upon a time, I had that face before I started putting myself in my mother’s shoes... or at least tried too. He wanted to ask me about Mom, but he wouldn’t in front of someone he didn’t know. He was embarrassed by her.
Later, I mouthed to him and he nodded. It didn’t take long for us to arrive at the apartment complex. I’d been surprised that Blue knew where we lived since I hadn’t told him and I was about to ask how he knew, when I saw my mom, stumbling to the car, swaying with each step. Once she got to the car, she tried three times to push the key in the hold but failed.
“Oh God,” Jack whispered, mortified.
I shot a glare at Jack before quickly unbuckling the belt and leaped out of the car towards her. “Mom! We’re home. We got a ride from a friend. Are you hungry?” I asked, pulling the keys out of her hand, and gently wrapping my arm around her waist, directing her back inside. “We can have a movie marathon!”
“I’m sorry I forgot to pick you up, baby,” she slurred. “Did you get Jack?”
I glanced up watching Jack scowl with hatred at us. He lifted his gaze toward Blue, who had gotten out of the car and started walking towards me. He grabbed his bag and ran inside. I could hear the door slam he shut it so hard.
“Jack’s angry with me again,” Mom whispered. “It was a bad day today. I just--It was bad and I...”
“It’s okay, Mom, he’ll come around.”
“Is there anything I can do to help?” Blue asked, walking around to the other side of my mom, helping me balance her stumbling and heavy body.
“Wow!” Mom smacked his ass. “They sure know how to make men in this state, don’t they Gracie?”
“Oh my God! Mother!”
“You should help my baby out.”
My face burned with embarrassment as she tried to continue, but I stopped her. “Mom, please stop.”
“No Grace, let me finish. You need someone like him to get you out of your room and your nose out of a book! But no sex, absolutely no young man,” she said, punching a finger into his chest. “Of course, if the situation arrives--”
“Please don’t finish that sentence,” I whimpered.
She finished it.
Blue laughed and let it roll off his shoulders like it was the most normal thing anyone had ever said to him. I blinked over at him in surprise as he conversed with my inebriated mother about ‘helping me out’. I was so shocked at the way he was handling the situation that I couldn’t even focus on what they were saying until we reached our door and Mom pinched my arm hard enough to leave a bruise.
“Ow! That hurt!”
“Why did you say no? Didn’t we agree you were going to do normal things?”
“Normal is overrated, Momma.”
Mom pointed her finger at me, swaying until Blue helped her into one of our dining room chairs. “Don’t you give me that babble.”
“I don’t even know what you’re talking about,” I mumbled, raising an eyebrow at Blue as he took a seat next to her.
“Blue asked you to a party tonight.”
My mouth dropped open.
“Close your mouth, you look like a fish,” Mom said, trying to lean forward to shut my mouth for me but failing. Blue caught her before she fell.
“Whoa,” he said, pulling her back into the chair. “Maybe we should move this to the living room? I saw a comfy couch.”
“She’s going,” Mom said. “You’re going to that party and you’re wearing a dress.”
“I don’t have any dresses.”
“You can wear my black one.”
I frowned. “You have a black dress?”
She nodded and asked Blue if he could get her a glass of water.
“Since after your grandmother’s funeral,” Mom said, crossing herself and sending a ‘rest-in-piece mom’ to the ceiling.
“Ew. I can’t wear that. I’ll just wear this, but I really shouldn’t go. What about you?”
My jaw set as I watched Blue come back with a glass of water, setting it down in front of her.
“What about me? I’ll get Jack a pizza, pop in a movie for him, sleep this off, and then I’ll tell your father where he can shove those custody papers.”
I froze. “Wh-what?”
“What do you mean what?” she asked, eyeing the way the ice moved in her glass when she moved it.
“What about the sperm donor?”
Mom blinked rapidly and frowned, but shook her head and turned towards Blue who had been watching my face after the reveal, “So Blue, she will be going with you.”
“What this about custody papers? Don’t ignore me!”
“Oh, sweetie, I didn’t want you to know. Your father wants full custody of you and Jack.”
I scoffed in disbelief. “After a no-show-no-call of ten years? I don’t think so. A judge won’t even look at that!”
Mom gave me a tight-lipped smile and reached for the stack of papers on the table I’d overlooked. “Well, you’re wrong. According to him, I’m not a fit mother.”
My eyes skimmed over the document. Words like addiction, alcoholism, single mother, special needs, and abandonment popping out. My mouth was so dry I couldn’t even swallow. “Yeah, well, he should know about abandonment... he’s the definition of it,” I growled, clutching the papers in my hand tighter than I intended too.
“So when’s this party, Blue?”
“In about three hours.”
“She’ll be ready for you to pick her up in two hours.”
“Mom, I don’t think this is such a good idea. I need to look into this,” I said, gesturing to the papers. “There has to be something his lawyers didn’t think of. And why now? After all this time, why now?”
Mom struggled to keep her eyes open. “I don’t know. I just don’t know.”
“Okay, let’s get you to bed,” Blue said, standing up. He slipped his hands into my mother’s and carefully pulled her up.
She patted his face. “Aren’t you just the sweetest thing?”
He smiled at her, turned to me for directions to her room. I told him and then started reading more.
“He has no grounds--what’s his proof?” I mumbled under my breath. I shook my head and put the papers down when Blue walked back in. “I’m sorry you had to see that, but thank you for your help.”
He shrugged, “So, I gotta get going, but I’ll be here to get you at about 7:30.”
I deflated as I walked him to the door. “Blue, I don’t think-”
After everything he’s done for me today, I couldn’t possibly say no. “Okay. I’ll see you then.”
I was even going to wear a dress for him.