Sleep Party People - Third Drawer Down
I sit under the small waves of music that crash into my walls and rush over head. My hands tap on the peaking skin on my stomach. I have worn the same shirt all day now. The same shirt I slept in last night because it’s my last memory of what I had before. What I had before my life decided to become simple. My door slowly peaks light into my room and I look to see Adam. He walks into my room with an ice cream in his hand. He brings it to me sitting in the chair beside my bed. I take it into my warm hands and I take a spoon of the chocolate into my mouth. I feel like a servant locked in a room as the sweets touch my tongue. My body melts with joy as it tickles my taste buds. He stares at me for a while and clears his throat to sigh. I lick the spoon and I look into his eyes as he stares around the room after I notice his staring.
"I think you tipped the bitch scale today." He hums softly tacking onto a picture behind me hanging on my wall. I look back at it. It’s a Nirvana poster that Ben’d gotten me a long time ago. I take another spoonful of the ice cream and it melts onto my tongue more.
"Why do you keep bothering me?” I ask in between my third spoon. My eyes find a white bag on the other end of my room just behind him. He clears his throat and scratches his head.
"I have a session with your dad today." he starts. "Why don't you ever talk to him about your problems?" he asks. But, he still has not answered my question so I refuse to sit and answer his questions.
"I don't have problems." I scold. He pulls a pen from my desk and a sheet of paper pulls from a heap of crap underneath my bed. I take another spoon of the ice-cream and I feel a little happy as it meets my tongue. He scribbles on six circles. I stare at a perfect circle to the left of the paper.
"This is everyone involved in your problem." he draws another circle. "This is the second therapist for extra insight." another circle and this one swirls a bit more than the others. "The trainer they're going to make you get sooner or later." he laughs and adds two more and I still don’t understand what the circles have to do with me. "Here are those extra friends they're going to get you." he makes four more circles. I clear my throat to ease the itching chill in my throat. "Friends branch off but these are the friends like me. They want you to be happy but you aren't happy with me." The words plant themselves in my head and I finally find time to look up at him. I pull the paper from him and I look at it. I pull the pen from him and scribble out a circle smiling to myself.
"That was you." I burn throwing the paper onto the floor. It floats down softly and gracefully while he laughs.
"That wasn't me." he sneers. He picks up the paper and sets it on his lap. I pick at the invisible crust in my eyes and ignore the words leaving his mouth. " I need your help." I roll my eyes to my pillow and I lie down. "I overheard your therapist talking about that kid and he taught you how to be sad. Do you think you could teach me?"
"I was sad before. Now, I'm happy." he stares into my eyes. I bat my lashes four times. He rubs his pant legs and looks away from me. Is my face that bad to stare at, that unbearable?
"When you cry, you look so innocent." I moan and turn from him. "You have to be sad." We sit in his silence for longer and of course he smacks his teeth. I roll over onto my stomach wrapping into my covers. "Are you going to help me?" I eat more of the ice cream.
"No." I say in between two bites.
"Why aren’t you going to help me?"
“You aren't sad. You have to start out sad." I tell him off lifting from my stomach. I set the bowl onto my dresser. He looks to it and then his eyes brush over to the other end of my room.
"In our sessions we always talk about the same thing." I turn to him sitting up to poke him in his chest.
"You only came here to talk to me so you could tell my dad what I say." I scold. I slap him. He screams and grabs onto his cheek. "Get out of my room." I order sternly pointing toward the door.
"I swear I didn't." he cries. “We always talk about ways to fix things with my family and stuff and the drugs and everything.” His eyes shift down to my thigh. Can he see the cuts through my pants. I pull my hand over my leg and I rub it. My hand sends a burn throughout my body that feels just right for the occasion. "I just, I should be really sad Penny." I cringe as the words leave his lips. I recoil as my name leaves his mouth. My name leaves his mouth so crisp and sharp. He’d said it so normal but my brain made it explode into being this extravagant thing.
"Why? Nothing bad ever happens to you. You have perfect everything. The girls like you, you have so many friends." he looks back into my eyes. I shy away from him rubbing harder and deeper into my skin.
"I'm not going to tell you why. I just kind of figured maybe I could be a little like Tj and write poems with you and stuff." He will never ever have a chance to replace Tj. Where do I ever begin on the things that are wrong with that sentence? “I want something new for myself." he tells me. He pulls off his jacket. His smell whisks into my face as the jacket leaves his skin. He smells sweet and strong. The jacket lands on my bed and it lies in a small puddle of sweet. "Here, your mom threw away all of your jackets, why don't you keep mine. I can bring you sweat pants." My eyes catch him and I make this face automatically questioning whether or not he’s being serious. “I can teach you how to be happy."
"You all keep making me look like such a horrible person. I'm not happy you say. I'm suicidal, I have bad taste in music, I'm doing this wrong, and I’m being too depressed." I tell him. "I like what I am. If I wanted help I would slit my wrist and my cheeks and my hands because then it would show how serious I was about getting help. Please refrain from calling me the bad person. You guys live being so happy all the time and just because I don't smile I'm the bad person." I chant forward at him. I lie back down slamming my head into the pillow. I pull the remote to the stereo from my right and I start to turn up the music.
"What makes you the bad person is that you let your mother cry and you let her know that there's nothing she can do to make you appear happy." I turn from him as my face warms. I keep turning up the music to block him out.
"She makes me cry too!" I cry. He lifts from the seat and the music suddenly stops making me turn to him. He stands with the plug in his hand. I scream loud standing from my bed. I push him and I snatch the cord away. "I like to sit in my room alone and think and all of a sudden I have all of this company." I wipe a tear from my eyes. I swallow the spit piling up in my mouth as I sob. I look down to the cut pulling it into my hand. "I'm sorry that I make her cry." I sob. "I miss when he would sit in my bed with me and thumb over my cuts telling me how I was doing them too small." I sniffle. "When it rained he would lie down with me and we would play music in the background and slowly pick at their meanings arguing over the small things." I wipe my face. "He kissed me on August 24th and told me that he was complete." I admit. “Do you think anyone has ever said anything like that to me or showed me any type of appreciation for my existence?” he clears his throat as I sigh. "I don't even feel sad anymore. I'm not angry or depressed. I'm so numb. I'm elated half of the time and I feel like the contours of my body are dancing around. I get so anxious when I see my brother but, I don’t ever want him to talk to me." I turn back to him. "Why do you listen in on my mother and therapist?"
"I don't know."
"Well you do know." I cry.
"You’re really interesting." he stares at me longer. A smile grows onto his face. "Your nose turns so red when you cry." I cover it with my hand looking from him to hurry back into my bed. I bury myself underneath the covers again. The music starts to blast loudly and I let all of my tears drip out onto my pillow and on my covers and everywhere. I feel him leave but I like that and I lie there for a while then I lift. All of a sudden I hate being alone. The music makes me feel pathetic. My heart thumps harder for help but no one actually wants to answer me. I turn off the stereo and I walk out of my room to the living room to join the two boys in front of the TV. My intentions are not to join the two… I actually feel like I want to be alone and the part of watching TV excites me. Adam looks to me and smiles slightly. Ben’s eyes never make my way. I sit still in their silence and Ben lifts from the seat leaving Adam and I. I follow behind him to stand in his door way. He stops to turn to me and he pushes me back away from the door.
"Ben, I'm sorry." I tell him.
"You were the worse thing that’s ever happened to this family." he rumbles. He says it softly but from what I hear it's a rumble. My face pours again as I follow him into his room.
"I'm sorry Ben." I sob. My hands pull at each other as I fidget. I grow anxious and upset.
"Get out of my room."
"Please, just talk to me." I weep.
"Penny, just get out." He howls and I can feel the anger come out of his lungs and coil up into those words. I back out into a wall watching him slam the door in my face. I feel mute and stiff. My jaw tightens and I don’t know what to do. I rub my thigh more tightening my hand around the bruised flesh. Sooner or later I find my way back into the living room to sit on the couch. I sit alone. I sit in silence picking at the dried blood on my arm and pulling at strands of my hair. I am in a vegetated state now and I don’t want to more or eat or sleep. My tears dry onto my cheeks making my face feel tight. I can't think as straight as I wish. My hands pull at the long strands of m hair twisting them and braiding them. I'm the only one in the room and I hate it. I absolutely hate being alone now. The thing I enjoyed the most is now the thing I despise. The kitchen light flips on but I don't look into the direction. The water runs for a second then the fridge is opened. A couple of foods are shuffled around. The TV screen flips on and my father walks in gasping as he spots me. I coil up in my seat and I wipe my eyes before he can actually see that something is wrong. I stand to try to rush out of the room but he laughs and grabs onto my arm.
"What are you doing?" he chuckles. He gets a better look and lets his hands slide from my arms. "Don’t cry Penny." he whispers. He pulls me into a hug and kisses my forehead. "You don't mind spending an hour or two with me do you?" Ben's stares rumble and the two boys join us back in the living room. Ben flings his keys around his finger.
"Dad, we're going to go to the movie."
"Why don't you take your sister?" he suggest looking down on me. I want Ben to just say yes now. Then I don’t have to spend an afternoon with the physiatrist.
"no." he adds plainly. I pull away from my dad having him sigh and the tears want to fall again and I rush back to my room.
"Penny, you can come." Adam yells after me. I slam my door falling into my bed pulling the cover over my head. This box will house me forever. It’d be crazy to run away because I have nowhere to go. I don’t have family or friends or acquaintances. I don’t have anything. The door opens and a body joins me in my bed. They don't touch me though, their smell, sweet and tangy. I know its Adam and I sniffle back my tears.
"Penny." I look to see Adam lying there. I like the way my name leaves his mouth because it’s a different mouth to say my name. "Can I tell you something?"
"No, please just leave me alone." I don’t want Ben to come into my room and threaten to make me upset. I don’t want Adam here to make Ben come. I don’t want anyone around. I just want me. I want me all by myself. I want to wrap up in my covers and be alone again just for as long as the day lasts.
"I'm going to tell you anyways because I don't know how to tell anyone else." he scoffs. "I wish I could just scream it to everyone but I don't know how they’re going to take it. I feel like they'll all be upset with me." I look to the profile of his face looking into the corner of his eyes as they gloss over. His blue eyes bob over the stars on the ceiling. "My mom found out and she started making me talk to these people and do treatments." He hums beside me vibrating the coils of my bed. I turn to face him.
"Are you gay?" I whisper. He smiles and turns to me. His hand pushes the hair back from his face and a light laugh leaves his mouth.
"I have cancer." he whispers. He stares at me longer. His long eye lashes bat like butterfly wings. I breath softly sure not to blow air into his eyes. "Can you be my friend or something?" I ignore the question though. Of course I can’t be his friend because he can’t be my friend and I can’t be his friend… and he can’t be my friend. "What's today's date?"
"It's February 5th." I whisper. He pulls forward to kiss me. Our lips collide and my eyes close but nothing stops me from feeling the wrong in all of this and I push him back making him fall from my bed. I turn wiping him from my lips. He laughs whimpering on the floor.
"God Penny." he laughs. My heart thumps harder than it usually does. My lips quiver underneath my hand.
"Get out." I wail from the bed. He looks up at me and I quickly turn from him and I pull the cover over my head tucking the cover underneath my body. He laughs harder.
"Your face is so red." he chuckles. I pull a hand to my cheek. They burn and I can feel the thick blush underneath my skin because the room is a little too hot now.
"Please just leave?"
"Why are you so embarrassed? I should be embarrassed I just got knock out of bed." he laughs. "Do you not like me?" I ignore him. He sits back on my bed. "Do you?" he laughs. "It’s totally okay if you don't. I don't want you to feel bad because of my problem."
"I don't feel bad at all." I mumble from underneath the cover.
"Well that's just great." he blurts.
“Adam Come on!" Ben echoes throughout the house.
"Come with us." he pulls the cover from my face. I still hold my hand over my cheek. "Please come with us."
"I don't really want to."
"So, do you like me?" he laughs. I groan as he turns the situation back into a joke. I push him from my bed pulling back underneath the cover.
"Please get out."
"You avoid the question over and over again." he cries. He whistles a tune as he waits for me to answer his question but, I’m not going to answer.
"That’s what people do when they don't want to answer child-like questions." I pull the covers from my head as Ben enters the door way. Adam looks from me to him.
"Why do you keep talking to her? Do you like her or something?" He groans. The look of disgust finds his face as his eyes lay on me.
"Just get out of my space." I cry. "He doesn't like me." I tell him.
"Come on Adam."
"Maybe I really should kill myself; I don't see the point in not doing it." I add sympathetically.
"Dad!" he calls out. I turn lying down back in bed. My father enters as they leave. He walks to my desk and thumbs through music to play. The song slowly starts. He sits at the edge of my bed. He runs his hand over my back and sighs.
"I don't really know what to do in this situation."
"I don't either."
"You’re my little girl and I'm supposed to protect you." he whispers. But he isn’t and he has never helped me in any situation he just helps everyone other than me. It’s impossible that he doesn’t see that state I’m in.
"I know." I lie but I don’t know. I don’t know that I’m his little girl because I’m really not.
"Do you want to cry about it or something?"
"I almost want to cry."
"Come on, just cry about it and get it out of your system."
"I don't have tears left."
"Can I tell you a story?" I nod rolling over to look to him. "When we found out we were going to have a girl I panicked and I was scared shitless. I started to talk to my mother and your mother’s mother and my friends and I panicked. I just knew that deep down inside it would be impossible to teach you self worth and how to pick the right guys and how to talk. Everything started to hit me like a stray bullet. Then, I thought maybe you would be everything I never wanted. You would be beautiful and the boys wouldn't be able to keep their hands off of you and its true now but, I also thought you wouldn't be able to keep your hands off of boys. I started plotting to make you fat and make you wear boy clothes but I didn't want you to come out on the wrong end of the stick I was throwing." he clears his throat. "You were covered in blood when you opened you eyes and I peered into your eyes and I was stunned. I knew you would be just the way I wanted you." he wipes his face and smiles. "The second time I saw you I cried hovering over you and I thought it was strange since I hadn't cried when your brother was born. Ben kept peaking over me and he kept asking me to change you into a little boy. He was two. While I sat with you in my arms he climbed up into my lap and do you want to know what he said to me?" he laughs as I nod. "He said, 'daddy, I don't think she's going to like the monsters under her bed so can I share a room with her?" he laughs. "He would make me rock you to sleep but every time I picked you up you would cry and I started to think I was the monster." he runs his hand over my hair. "Am I the monster that you're afraid of?"
"How is Adam as a person to you?" my cheeks flare and I turn from him. His hand finds my back and he rubs it laughing under his breath.
"I mean, I know that you know."
"You’re interested in me dating him." I suggest sheepishly. I pull my hand to my cheek to hide the blush surfacing.
"I really like the kid. I think that you could give it a try."
"Could you tell me more stories?" I quickly turn away from the previous conversation because it is stupid.
"Why don't you tell me a story?"
“When I was little and I broke my arm I really liked it because you paid a lot more attention to me." I tell him. "You let me sleep in the bed with you and mom and you would always let me come to your office and sit under your desk."
"I think you're too big to fit underneath my desk now." he chuckles. I don’t think it’s funny though so I don’t laugh. Now, I would love to be that age again and bundle up underneath his desk. "Is it because we don't pay enough attention to you?"
"No, why does it have to be a problem?" I cry lifting. "It’s because I do it. There's no reason. I guess I don't know self worth, I picked a suicidal fuck that left me here all alone, whenever I open my mouth I piss people off."I groan. "I'm not beautiful dad. It's completely fine that things don't work out that way."
"You are beautiful." I turn to see him and he smiles down at me and rubs the hair from my forehead.
"Does mom hate me now?"
"I promise you that she'll love you forever."