The sun was blistering hot that day, but like always I refused to wear anything but black. I walked out to the bridge by my house and plopped down. My dangled off the edge, and I felt rather morbid for a moment as I imagined myself plummeting into the icy river. I shook the thought from my brain and pulled out my pack of Marlboros. I slid one out of the pack and placed it between my lips. As I lit it, the thick smoke filled my lungs. It was delicious.
The breeze was calm, but not at all cooling. I stared at the water below me, occasionally spitting between my knees. The day was awkwardly silent, my own thoughts silent as well. Suddenly, I heard tires grinding on gravel and I turned to see who it was. His electric blue hair floated in the breeze and the sun glinted off his leather jacket and combat boots. I was awestruck as he rode past me. He slowed down a bit and winked at me as he rode by. I felt my face get hot as it flushed a deep crimson.
I looked down at my cigarette and realized it had burned down to the thick yellow paper of the filter. Was I really staring for that long? I hadn’t felt like this in such a long time I couldn’t even comprehend what was going on. I smiled to myself and lit another cigarette. The cement of the bridge dug into my palm as I stood up. I brushed off my pants, and began walking home.
An hour had passed and I was laying on my bed, Mystery Boy, (his name for now) was all I could think about. His hair was fantastic, but his piercing green eyes were emblazoned in my mind. I sighed and sat up. I had a party to get ready for.
I stood in the bathroom, the bleach slightly burning my head. I rinsed it out, and then blow-dried it, the heat soothed my tingling scalp. I squeezed the dye into my palm and rubbed it throughout my hair. My mind emptied, as dyeing hair was my meditation. I finished up and walked into my bedroom.
The light from my computer monitor casted an eerie glow over my room. It shone like a spotlight onto my Joan Jett poster. I looked around for a bit and saw my clock. I was about to be late for the party.
I pulled on my tightest black jeans and my studded belt. As I went to put on a shirt I remembered the dye was still in my hair. Quickly, I rinsed it out and blew it dry. I grabbed my comb and my trusty hairspray and smoothed it out. Gorgeous, amazing, I thought as I stroked my newly blood red tresses. I then rushed out, threw on a shirt, and smeared on some make up. Then I put on my boots and jacket before I ran down my stairs.
When I got downstairs, there was Mama, passed out on the couch. T.V. remote in one hand, a drained bottle of vodka in the other. An infomercial was on, droning on and on about a fancy mop or something. I sighed, disappointed in my mother. So typical of her to be passed out.
My mother has been an alcoholic for as long as I can remember. It’s not necessarily a bad thing all the time though. She forgets when I do bad things (i.e. smoke cigarettes, go to parties, skip school, etc.) and gives me tons of money. On the other hand, she tends to be passed out on the couch or in her room, and if she’s not there, she’s at some dude’s house or the bar. And if I piss her off, she will kick the shit out of me. I wish I could truly hate her, but there is always that part of you that craves your mother, that begs for her love. So, I guess if there was a way for us to fix things, I would try. But I no longer see any point.
And my father. I hate that word, father. For the past few years it’s been a word full of broken dreams and empty promises. When I was little, he was Daddy. The big strong man that held my hand, took me out for ice cream, and pushed me on the swing. As I got older, I’d say nine or ten, Daddy turned into someone else, someone distant. We drifted apart, and he stopped caring. Except that one night, our last night together. He said he’d come back. He promised. He said he just wanted to get away for a little while. That he would find a better place for us and that he’d come back and take me away from Mom. It’s been seven years and I haven’t heard anything from that bastard. I can’t trust my dad, my mom, or anyone else. Trust is for suckers.
I hopped on my bike, shoved my headphones into my ears, and blasted some Bad Religion into my ear canals. I pedaled to the beat and suddenly nothing mattered except the music and my pedaling. The outside world became a blur of colors and wind. Beads of sweat formed on my upper lip and along my hairline, and my lungs started to burn.
“Damn cigarettes,” I muttered to no one in particular. My brain pounded against my skull and it hurt, yet it was weirdly pleasant.The gravel crunched under my tires as I rolled up to the party. I yanked out my headphones and I could hear the beats blasting from the house. The strobe light radiated from between the curtains and beneath the huge wooden doors. Beer cans and cigarette butts littered the gravel driveway, and I saw a few puddles of vomit along the hedges. I locked my bike up to the railing and walked up the stairs. They smelled new, like mahogany, but tainted with the acrid stench of spilled beer. I opened the door.
The smell of sweat hit me in the face like a brick wall. Smoke poured out like a waterfall. Definitely not cigarette smoke. I was surrounded by music and sweaty, intoxicated teenagers. In the flashing of the strobe I saw the familiar electric blue of Mystery Boy’s hair. I pushed my way through the immense heat of people dancing and grinding against one another towards Mystery Boy, but he is moving further and further away from me. Most likely to the kitchen.
I go to follow him, but suddenly my path was blocked by an average sized, but still very irritating boy.
“What’s up Cheyanne?” he said flirtatiously.
“Move out of my way, Tyler. Don’t be a dick.” I said angrily, as I attempted to push him out of my way. I didn’t want him near me after what had happened. He pushed me back, harder. I almost fell, but I continued to try to get past.
“C’mon baby, you know you want some of this.” He gestured toward his genitals. I dry heaved, I was so over him. But I figured I play along for my own amusement.“You know what I want more than anything right now?” I said in my temptress voice, my words dripping with sex appeal.
“What do you want baby?” Tyler smiled at me. I grabbed his shirt.
“To shove my boot down your fucking throat, now move out of my way.” Tyler clung to my hips.
“You know you’ll never get any better than this, now come on.”All I saw was red as my fist swung up and made contact with his nose.Blood gushed down his face. As he opened his mouth to scream in pain and fury, the crimson liquid oozed between his teeth. Tyler tried to grab at me but I ducked out of his range and punched him straight in the temple. He went down hard and landed on his side, then rolling over, trying in vain to catch his breath. I waited a moment before I knelt down next to him and whispered in his ear, “You will never, ever have this. You’ve tried before, and we both know how well that worked out.” I stepped down on his junk as hard as I could before I made my way to the kitchen.
I swung open the door and there was Mystery Boy, pumping beer from the keg into a red plastic cup.
“Hey,” I said nervously as I walked towards him. My feet felt like lead and my heart was pounding in my throat.
“‘Sup.” he said nonchalantly without even turning around.
“I haven’t seen you around here before. You new?” I asked.
“Um... Yeah, actually, I am.” he turned to me. I saw his eyes look me over, and I blushed furiously. Well, it felt like I did.
“Is that... Blood?” he asked, gesturing towards my arm. I looked, and apparently the powerful gush from Tyler’s nose had spattered me.
“Uh... Yeah. Yeah it is. Not mine though.” I laughed nervously.
“Here,” he says sweetly, “let me help you with that.” He grabbed a towel from a drawer and wiped my arm clean. I blushed again.
“Thanks.” I said, smiling.
“I’m Andrew.” he said, offering a hand.
“Cheyanne.” I said, shaking his outstretched hand.
“I dig your hair.” we both blurted out simultaneously. We laughed, and he offered me some beer, which I politely declined.
We went out onto the back porch. “So,” Andrew inquired, “who’s blood was that if it wasn’t yours?” I laughed.
“Just this douchebag, Tyler.” Andrew’s eyes widened.
“What does he look like?” I thought for a moment, trying to get the hate out of my brain in an attempt to be unbiased while describing him.
“Well, his hair is dark brown and curly, his forehead is a bit larger than what is considered normal, and his nose has no curve in it, it’s totally straight.”Andrew jumped off the railing quickly. “Is he all right?” His eyes looked wild and vicious in the moonlight.
“Um... I’m not sure. I only punched him twice but I think I broke his nose. Why do you care?” He glared at me, his prominent brow furrowed in anger and worry.
“Because Tyler is my best friend, has been for years.” He stormed off inside and slammed the door.My heart stopped. I had never felt like such a horrible person before. I began to panic as Andrew stormed off into the crowd. What if he never talks to me again? I thought, my mind racing, What can I do to fix this? I raced back into the house, attempting to follow him, but he was already walking out the front door, Tyler draped over his shoulder like a wet towel. I shoved through the crowd, trying to follow him.
“Andrew!” I screamed, faces and bodies made contact with my hands as I moved through the crowd.I finally got to the door after what seemed like hours, but was most likely mere seconds. I flung open the door and rushed out onto the porch. Andrew was in the drivers seat of Tyler’s car and already driving away.
“Andrew!” I shouted again and I ran after the car. Andrew sped off into the night, leaving me behind in a cloud of dust. Tears began to well up and I cried for the first time in months. I sat down on the bottom step of the house, and tears fell down my cheeks, spattering my pants, making them even darker. Sobs heaved through my chest and I had no idea why. I just met this guy, I thought, why is it such a big deal?Suddenly the door opened and a stumbling, drunken mammoth of a boy came out. He sat down next to me.
“What’s the matter girl? He slurred drunkenly. It was a sweet gesture on his part.
“Nothing, just guy drama I guess.” I said sullenly, not looking up from my tear- splattered pants.
“Well,” he hiccuped, “Guys are weird, man. They just don’t like showing people what they want, because they’re so afraid it’s gonna be taken away.” I pondered these words of wisdom for a moment, and right as I was about to respond, he puked all over my legs. I screamed, but I didn’t get mad at him. He was a sweet guy, but he was wasted. I wiped his mouth and got him some water.
“Thank you, random boy. That was a very smart comment for someone whose blood alcohol level is probably around 2.4.”I hosed myself off, and got on my bike. This party was kinda lame anyways. As I pedaled home, I contemplated what the drunkard had said. Was he right? Is that really how boys thought about things? I could never be sure because I knew none of them would ever admit it. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was giving me a wise insight to the male brain, or if he was just severely intoxicated.
I got to my house and put my bike around back. I practically crawled up the back steps because I was so tired. My hands fumbled around in my pockets, looking for the house keys. I unlocked the door and stepped inside. I walked into the living room, and hauled my butt up what seemed like eight thousand stairs, and a white blur flew past my feet. “Bandit!” I said sternly. My little white ferret reluctantly climbed back up the stairs.
“C’mon buddy,” I said, “let’s go to bed.” I flopped down onto my cheetah print comforter, Bandit in my arms. As I started to doze off, Bandit curled into a little ball between my neck and my shoulder. My eyes closed.
My eyes opened slowly and I was hit with the pain of some bright, ten in the morning summer sun. I could see dust particles floating around in the brightness of everything, and I blew out a bit of breath. The particles scattered and appeared to be dancing. I smirked. I smacked my mouth open and closed a few times. It was obscenely dry, and it tasted like I had licked an ashtray in my sleep or something. My ears were still ringing from the music that was blasting last night. I lit up my morning cigarette, my last cigarette. I wonder if Ma will loan me five bucks so I can go buy a pack... I go downstairs, and she is gone. A note and a twenty dollar bill lay on the coffee table.
Went to the liquor store and over to Adam’s house.
I sighed, but I was happy that she left me money. I walked down to the store, and bought a pack of Marlboros. The steady rhythm of my cigarette packing echoed down the street. I kept walking and walking for about an hour, maybe more. I wasn’t sure. All I remember was that I saw Andrew’s bike, the silver Mongoose with the monkey-bars, and I was pretty sure I saw a glint of electric blue. I threw my cigarette and started running.
I got up to where his bike was. It was locked up to a tree in front of this huge house, bigger than I’d ever seen. I realized that I had just run to the “good” side of town. I took a few nervous breaths, and then walked up the steps onto the massive porch. There was a giant swing next to me, covered in frills and fluffy whiteness. It looked like a marshmallow. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to eat it or sleep on it forever. I shook the thought from my brain.
I knocked on the door and waited patiently. Andrew answered, opening the door. He took one look at me and attempted to close the door rudely in my face, but I stuck my boot in the door before he could do so.
“Andrew, please. I just want to talk to you.” He looked me over, and opened the door a little more.
“Why? Why should I talk to the girl that beat up my best friend? especially when she’s on his property?”Ohhh... I thought, I knew this couldn’t be Andrew’s house... I looked around a little more, and I could see Tyler’s essence in this house. Cocky, spoiled, rich. It was new, because he had lived a few miles away a couple months ago.
“Well...” I said, “I wanted to talk to you mostly, but I did kind of want to apologize to Tyler.” (No, actually, I didn’t, but I felt like I should, just for good measure.)
“Really?” Andrew said, his eyebrows raised at me.
“Well, yeah.” I said. “But I wanted to talk to you first...” I blushed.
“About what? Are you gonna beat me up too?” He said, smiling.
“No... I just wanted to say that I did have fun with you, and I think we should hang out again sometime.” I smiled now, “Can I talk to Tyler for a second?” I asked nervously.“Hm, I don’t really know Cheyanne. I’m worried that you’re just here to wail on him again,” he said doubtfully.
“No, I really just wanted to apologize, please can I talk to him?” I looked down at my feet sadly. Andrew sighed.
“Do you promise you won’t hurt him? Also, you can’t say anything mean,” Andrew looked and sounded more stern than I had ever seen him.
“Yes, I promise,” my eyes glisten with wholesome innocence, or it felt like they would have if I was in a cartoon or something.
“Fine, but remember, you promised,” he turned back and screamed, “Tyler! Get down here dude!”
I heard bare footsteps on the glistening marble floor. Tyler turned around the corner of the door with bandages on his nose. His hair was tousled and messy like he’d been laying in bed all day, which made me feel kind of bad. He was a nice guy, I just couldn’t forgive him for the things he’d done to me while we were dating.
Dating Tyler was a strange time in my life, but it felt right for some reason. He was the rich, popular boy that every girl secretly wants, even the outcasted girls, like me. It was secret at first, our relationship based merely on texts and late night dining in fast food restaurants. Tyler realized that he could manipulate me into his perfect little doll by subtly buying me things like earrings, necklaces, skirts, and makeup. Soon, I looked like one of the popular girls, with my tight pink sweaters and little plaid mini- skirts. He began bringing me around his friends, and for some reason, I thought I was happy.
Then that fateful day came. His eighteenth birthday, I decided to swing by his place and surprise him with a cake that I had made from scratch. He said he wouldn’t be home ‘til 5, so I grabbed the spare key and unlocked the door.
There was Tyler, on the couch. Well, actually, he was on a girl on the couch. The only noise was the sickening smack of their lips as he destroyed our relationship.
“Tyler?” I said shakily
“Shit! Babe! Uh... This isn’t what it looks like...” He fumbled over his words, getting lost in his own lie.
“Yeah, um, we were like, studying,” said Melanie, the dumb, blonde bimbo that my now ex-boyfriend was still laying on top of.
“I’m sure, and Tyler, you can forget about ‘studying’ with me from now on,” I dropped the cake, and shards of the porcelain plate, frosting, and cake crumbs flew across the floor. I threw all the jewelry I was wearing that he had given me at his face, and ran out of that house faster than I had ever ran before.
Tyler slowly looked up, his eyes filled with a mixture of shame, fear, and humility. It was strange seeing him like that instead of up on the high and mighty pedestal his rich daddy kept him on. I felt bad for the guy. He may have money, but the only family he’s ever had is the nanny that his dad had hired when he was a child. Tyler’s eyes widened as he realized that I was the one standing on his porch.“No way dude! I’m not talking to her!” He defensively covered his nose and backed away quickly, knocking over a very expensive looking vase in the process. “She’s gonna punch me again, Andrew! That sucked and I do NOT want to go back to the doctor, man!”
“No, no, no that’s not what I’m here for,” I said timidly, “Honestly, I wanted to apologize.” I stepped a little bit closer, trying not to look intimidating, while also relishing the fact that I could intimidate him.
“Really?” Tyler asked, taking a small step forward as well. “I’m surprised. You don’t really seem like an apologetic person Cheyanne. At least, you didn’t used to be.”
“I know I don’t, and usually I’m not. But I felt like I should anyways, because that was a little harsh. I was in kind of a bad mood and you were the one thing that made me snap. Just too much shit going on man. Plus you know, our history,” I said. Andrew looked confused. I felt strange, but I shot him a look which clearly stated I’d explain later.
“Well, I’m sorry dude. I was into you, and you know it, but I’m over it now. Since you, like, broke my nose,” He stepped closer and offered me an outstretched fist, “but don’t worry about it. We’re cool.”
We both smiled and I bumped his fist.“Cool.”
After we had a few laughs, Tyler excused himself to go take a shower because, as he put it, he smelled like some gym socks a homeless man had vomited on. Andrew and I were left alone on the porch. I glanced at him cautiously, and a small smile appeared on his lips and in his eyes.
“What?” he said, chuckling under his breath.
“Nothin’,” I said quietly. Andrew leaned down and kissed me on the cheek.
“You’re a cute kid, you know that? C’mon, let’s go inside.”“Um... Be right there. Give me a second,” I said, my hand caressing the spot where his lips touched me. “Alright, door’s unlocked for ya,” he winked, and his eyes glimmered like emeralds. Butterflies formed in my stomach and I let out a happy squeak and did a little dance as soon as he closed the door. I sat on the beautiful marshmallow swing and lit up a cigarette. I had a feeling this summer was gonna be pretty awesome. I exhaled, and smoke billowed out, and drifted into the clear blue sky.