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You've always loved solitaire games.


Submitted:Aug 22, 2010    Reads: 48    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


"The King and Queen are friendly to each other."

You bite an ulcer on your lip. You want some soda, but all you have is water. And it's in the kitchen, but you know you'll wake Mum up if you do, and she'll scream, and Newbie will wake then, too.

Newbie.

You stand up to go get some water.

"The King and Queen are friendly to each other."

You start for pouring some fresh water into a glass, but decide just to chug it from the gallon. The liquid--it seeps down your throat, the ulcers on the inside of your lips cooling down. You hate them. You hate everything. No, you don't. You don't at all. You love the music, you love the soda, you love the solitaire games. Especially the solitaire games. The vibrations in the dark swift past your ears with the lazy sound current of Mum rustling in between her soft bed sheets.

Mum.

You walk back to your room.

"The King and Queen are friendly to each other."

You play with little nick-nacks on your shelves 'cause you can't go to sleep. Heh. You have never said 'because' once in your life, just ''cause'. Mum hates it when you do that. She gets angry. Your nick-nacks hold pieces of yourself together--pennies, crystals, cards, bottle caps, shoe laces, pens, whatever you could get your cold fingers on. Like solitaire cards. They have always been somethin' to you. Colorful. Faithful. Blue eyes casting on a picture of Rocky, you gaze peculiarly on his pointed black ears. Your eyelids shut.

Rocky.

You tuck the picture of Rocky into a drawer.

"The King and Queen are friendly to each other."

You try to think of something to do. Not much to do. You don't have a computer. Or a TV. Just a phone, with a couple of your friends' names on it. Your friends are the greatest; they love you back, they don't get as angry. So. You flip through your phone. The first contact makes you put the phone back in its rightful decision: under your bed. You like to lie about your age, you ponder to yourself.

Evec.

It kind of hurt.

"The King and Queen are friendly to each other."

You itch your foot. There are thorn punctures in your toes when you ran into the fields a couple of nights ago. You had been trying to find a route to somewhere else, somewhere far away, where you could find the rules of solitaire games in an open area. Mum found you later on. She cried. She thought you had run away. You told her you'd never do that, that you'd never betray her. It was the most words you had ever told her in a couple of years. Patch took you both home, where home was, where home wasn't.

Patch.

"Black" is always his favorite song.

"The King and Queen are friendly to each other."

You throw some clothes on when a car light beams across your window. Your shaky sigh bangs into a blair across the walls of your throat, but you're not doubting anything. You sling your backpack across your shoulder. Clothes. Another pair of shoes. Money. Solitaire cards. You know you aren't doing anything wrong. You never have done anything wrong. But it's okay. Everything's okay--she'll still love you. You'll still love her. You'll always love her. And Newbie. You aren't leaving Newbie. Patch is coming back for him. Your cold fingers latch onto your window as you quietly slip out the frame and shut it back, securing the area. You notice you have always had cold fingers, forever and on and on, and you wonder why you're thinking about this while your dark figure stalks without sound across the lawn and to the car. Your ring. Yes. It's still on your finger. As you get in the car, Patch asks if you made any noice and you shake your head. He smiles. And kisses you. When he drives out of the house's sight, you fiddle with the ring on your finger. It says on the inside: Imagine, believe, receive. Some of the letters are bold and some are not, from the bleach of wearing it so many years. Instead, it says: Imagine, believe, recieve.

I age, Evec.

You think of the solitaire cards in your pocket.

"The King and Queen are always friendly to each other."

You know who made the ring and toss it out the window, which Patch doesn't notice. Tears, for the first time, slip out of your eyes and pour down your cheeks as you think about how faithful solitaire games, dogs, and cold fingers can be. Patch pulls you up next to him as he curves over to the side of the road and hugs you, petting you, humming softly. You try not to, but you do. Your voice is raw in your throat when you gasp out, "Oh, god," and cry all over his black seats. He doesn't care, just hugs you even tighter. Again, you try not to say something, but you do. Nobody decks you in the face when you mutter over and over again, "The King and Queen are friendly to each other, the King and Queen are friendly to each other, the King and Queen are friendly to each other, the King and Queen are friendly to each other, the King and Queen are friendly to each other, the King and Queen are friendly to each other, the King and Queen are friendly to each other, the King and Queen are friendly to each other."

He's Mum's boyfriend, her 'bf', her 'lover', her 'soul mate'. You like him. He listens to weird music in his black Mustang, wears long grey socks in his leather shoes, and kisses you in his backseat when he takes you out to a drive-in movie during the times Mum says you both need 'stepfather-and-stepdaughter bonding time'. Mum and Patch aren't even married. But you don't argue--you like his soft kisses, his gentle touches, and his radio playing Pearl Jam. Eddie Vedder's scratchy voice soothes you under Patch's scruffy chin.He's a 20-somethin' guy that lives up the street. You used to have a crush on him, and used to lie to him about how you were older, but now you don't give a f***. You only say cuss words in your head, never mind that. Don't say it aloud, don't mouth it, don't write it, don't don't don't don't. Evec used to let you cuss in his house, when he asked Mum permission if you could stay over at his house when Mum was working. It was fine with her. He, a very kind gentlemen, appealed to her more than any other guy she had met, although Evec wasn't really interested in her. He just liked you. He acted all cool. He liked your smart-ass side when Mum wasn't around. He liked to talk to you. He liked to show you his music, like Linkin Park and Shinedown and the Stooges and all that random rock. When you sat next to him, he'd squeeze the inside of your leg. You'd tense up. No one ever touched you. But he did. You liked it, 'till he wouldn't stop and you asked him to stop and he would. He would do it the next time, though. You told Mum 'bout it. She hit you with a wooden spoon across the face.Your heart beated for that dog. He had always been your favorite dog, the only pet Mum would ever let you have because he didn't poop on the floor or jump on anybody or sniff into her jewelery. You loved the way he followed you around...like a little puppy. You loved the way he only wagged his tail for you. Not for Newbie. Not for Mum. Just you. You loved the way his big heart beat against your ear when you scooted over next to him in your bed as he sneaked in to sleep with you. When Mum accidentally ran over him, you didn't speak for a long time. What was the difference anyway? You never spoke. She would never let you. She made you bury him; she made you pick him up with gloveless hands, feeling his limp body in your hands, blinking back tears you had never felt once in your life so she wouldn't look down on you. From then on, you built a wall. Never was broken down. Never got a dog again.Church holds some memories, some quartered pieces--of fixing untied shoe laces, of pulling tight shirts over tired chests, of walking across a beaming Sunday morning road, of getting decked in the jaw behind the church. You never did anything wrong. You knew you didn't. But it was okay. Everything was okay--she loved you. You loved her. She let you chat with the youth minister, she let you take care of Newbie in the smaller kids' ministries, she let you get saved. But not baptized. Oh, not baptized. It was unsacred for you. You didn't understand. But you didn't care, either.Your mind drifts off to Dr.Cox on your favorite show--Scrubs. Your small half-brother is a newbie to...everything, you suppose, and crank the volume down when it switches to Snow Patrol. The knob on your computer speakers is grey, dull in between your cold fingers.




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