Being Plum ain't Fun
I roll down the window of Esther’s Ford and stick my head out to let the strong breeze knock away my senses, but Esther grabs a hold of my arm and pulls me back in. “I know what you’re doing,” she declares with her eyebrows raised.
She focuses on the road whilst lecturing me with an omniscient tone, “you can’t ignore the world you know. It’s here for you to live in.”
“I thought it was here to die in,” I roll my eyes over to her with a sarcastic smirk.
She mirrors my expression and switches her eyes from the road. “Since when were you such a downer?”
“Well… My foster parents are demons in disguise, one of the people I cared about most seems to hate me and my only real friend is a 25 year old know it all that works with drunks for a living.”
“Hey I don’t work with drunks. They’re like my pigs and I’m the farmer that feeds them their slop,” she defends as she swerves around the bend. “HEY BUTTWIPE MOVE YOUR ASS WILL YOU?” she shrieks out the window, making me jolt in my seat.
“ I swear to Lucifer, if I miss my shift at the bar because of that tramp, I’m going to track her down and slash her tyres in the shape of a swastika! Damn selfish Nazi.”
“She was like 70 years old Ess,” I giggle. “Maybe instead of work, you should check out an anger management group.”
“Oh shut up baby Lannie.”
“You shut up oldie Essie,” I retort whilst I slide over the grey leather seat to step out of the car. I turn to face her, pulling my violet skirt to cover my well-fleshed thighs and return the wide smile thrown at me.
I can’t help but feel a little lost at the sight of the car inching away from me. Esther’s comfort drives away alongside it, and my stomach tightens at the thought of being left to my own survival.
As the sound of her tyres running over the gravel fades, Brian Myer slides over to me and flirtatiously hip bumps me from the side. “What’s cookin’, plum puddin’?” he winks with a grin wide enough to catch a nest of hornets.
“Please stop calling me that,” I roll my eyes dismissively and walk away from him. He stops in his place for a second, but jogs to catch up to me before I get too far ahead.
“Wake up on the wrong bed this morning Plumy?” he mocks, fingers running through his styled gelled hair.
“Wrong bed?” I keep my tone distant and my eyes focused forward. I know Brian and if I show any kind of interest in him, he will latch on to me with the thirst of a vampire-leech.
“Well yeah, I mean it wasn’t mine…” He laughs like a baboon in response to his own joke which makes me groan in annoyance.
I try to turn the other way to get to my class but before I can, Brian grabs a hold of my arm and spins me back around to face him. He steps closer towards me, his cologne now close enough for me to choke on. Even though my head wishes I would push him away, or knee him in the groin… Or even just turn my back to him, I don’t move an inch.
“You can’t ignore me forever plumb,” he whispers, stepping closer still. He stares down at me with seduction in his eyes and his mouth rises into an exaggerated lopsided smile, “After all, our parents seem to want what I want.” He leans his head in so that his nose hovers above mine. And with a cocky flutter of his eyebrows he adds, “wear something pretty tonight doll.”
I snatch my arm from his grip and snarl at him, “they are not my parents!” I glare at him for a second, then storm away with fury and confusion playing tug of war in my head.
I plop down on the first available seat I see, cross my arms over my chest and grind my teeth in frustration. “Why does everyone treat me like a damn house pet?!”
“Because you let them.”
I jerk my head towards the person next to me and instantly jerk it back towards my lap, pursing my lips with embarrassment.
“I could call you a freakin’ necrophiliac, Satanist that has the social appeal of a spider and you would just sit there, with your puppy dog eyes and take it,” Evan mocks as he relaxes back into his chair. I take a silent breath, tense my shoulders and lift my head back towards him.
“I’d take my way over your way any day,” I declare with a turned up nose.
He responds with laughter. But it seems to represent something more. He’s not just laughing at me, he’s laughing at my naivety.
Is it so stupid to think that I can live life in my own non-confrontational way? Am I naïve?
I start to analyse his features and I notice a hint of something I’m not sure I recognise. His dirty blonde hair has the same careless flip and the dimples on his cheeks display the same detachment that I’m used to, but the glint in his eyes shows no intent to hurt. Without a sign of malice, I’m left to wonder why it is that he said what he said.
Evan turns his head to the paper in front of him and I do the same. I pull my chair into the desk so that the curved edge digs into my ribs and slouch over it; letting my hair fall from behind my ear to create a curtain over my periphery. I can feel every time Evan’s eyes wander over to me and I don’t need the distraction. I’m in my element right now. I’m in creative writing.
For the rest of the day I have to sit through tedious gossip and irrelevant nonsense. In Biology it was a twenty minute conversation about some girl called Lucy and her out-of-style nail polish. Meanwhile I was left to do the experiment alone. And the teacher in Math had an urgent meeting so the class was free to start a full scale debate on the best way to eat mashed potato. Needless to say I didn’t get a whole lot of work done.
The final bell echoes through the school. I’m free. I am finally free from this whirlpool of hormones and horn-dogs, and I couldn’t be more relieved that Esther is the one meeting me in the parking lot.
“So, gossip me. What happened?” Esther chants with enthusiasm as she pulls out of the school car park. Her bright eyes slightly sunken by the stress of a day’s work, but her face still lit up at the prospect of a juicy story.
“Why do you assume something happened?”
“Your face tells all.”
“ So come on, is it the hell-bred hunk we’re dealing with here?” snorts Esther.
“Worse. Brian Myers told me our parents want what he wants. Like what the hell does that even mean?” I flail my arms in a huff.
“Damn babe, that’s real shit.”
“I know right! It’s gonna bug me all night trying to figure it out.”
“No, I meant being referred to as the spawn of the Satan twins,” she cringes, encouraging an amused smile to form on my face.
I pause, the smile still smeared across my face as I stare over at her. “God I love you.”