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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


A purple fluorescent light bulb blinked like the flickering of a firefly on a musky hot summer night. Underneath that light lied a young woman with hair the color of martian soil and the skin of fresh blanket of snow literted with specks of soft brown dirt. The freckles on her skin were mirky under the milky white base that attempted to conceal them. Her deep brown eyes flickered from the white light of the screen lighting up her face to the gentle buzzing purple light bulb that lit up her room. The screen flashed with images of different messages on her FaceBook. Her eyes couldn't be focused on the screen in front of her because of the deep purple radiance. “Stupid light.” she muttered. A single tear fell from the corner of her eye and she glanced over to the bulb that was emitting the gentle glow. “If you’re gonna go out I wish you would do it already.” The screen of her laptop clicked with the magnetic base beckoning it as her force brought it shut. She flopped back on her bed smothering her face into the pillow at the head of bed. A groan was emitted from her mouth with the flood of thoughts entering her racing mind.

A dull green eyed boy that sat next to her in her chemistry class was her current obsession. He smelled of the grape flavored Jolly Ranchers that he had constantly sucked on while the professor warned him of the no gum policy. “It’s not even gum!” he would groan, pushing back his greasy caramel colored hair.  He was constantly on her mind and her best friend Lydia teased her about her latest fixation and cautioned her that she would only be hurt in the end. Her mind seemed to only be on him lately and she liked that. She loved the feeling of being fixed on something. Something to take over her endless thoughts and to control her mind in a way that nothing else can. A rush of excitement whenever you see them, a jolt of energy hearing their voice. She was always stuck onto something but this year it just happened to be Doyle.

“Any ideas of where we should chill?” Doyle’s voice echoed in her mind causing a flurry of quick thoughts. She hadn't gotten out much in her life and wasn't super familiar with the city so she had no idea of where they might go. Her quick remarks and cool attitude that she tried so desperately to give off made others think that she might be different than the average high schooler, she acted more mature than she was. The girl that parties on the weekends with an older boy she met on Tinder and drinks alcohol that tastes disgusting to her. Maybe it wasn't as much her personality that gave off this vibe, but the lies she told to her peers. Because in reality that was in no way the type of girl she was. In fact she had only one friend named Lydia that more or less was required to be her friend because of how long they’d known one other. Lydia just so happened to be the only one that knew she wasn't as cool as she put on. The most “getting out” she would do was sleepovers at Lydia’s house on friday nights where they watched YouTube videos and ate way too much fast food.  “Um.. I know a really uh nice milkshake place down the road.” She stumbled. “They have food too but you know we could just get a shake if you want... or not. I mean it’s up to you.” Her sweaty hands gripped the steering wheel tightly while her brown eyes drifted from him to the road in front of her. “Whatever.” he muttered not moving his stare from the light of his phone. Well, what does “whatever” mean? she thought. Should they go or not? God damn it. What a stupid idea.

“Abigail!” a voice that belonged to the girls mother awoke her with a jolt. “Get up you’re going to be late!” She let out a sigh and sprung from her bed and dragged her feet down the carpet stairs. There, she found a bagel smothered with strawberry jelly to which she shoved in her mouth as though she hadn't eaten in months. “Abigail, honey I-” her mother began with a sweet tone. “Jupiter” the young girl interrupted through a mouthful of bagel. “What was that dear?” her mother replied. “I’m changing my name to Jupiter.” Jupiter spoke after swallowing the food. “I don't understand why you would want to change your name, I mean Abigail is a beautiful-” “I told you i’m changing my name to Jupiter because I am a Sagittarius and my planet ruler is Jupiter! And there’s 3 other Abby’s in my class.” she exhaled rolling her eyes. “Just because that boy you have a crush on is into astrology, doesn't mean you have to change your name. This is only a phase dear.” her mother placed her hands over her tired face and let out a frustrated sigh. “If he doesn't talk to me today I’m going to kill myself.” Jupiter mumbled. “Abigail!” her mother scolded causing Jupiter to grin.

A horn was sounding outside of Jupiter’s house, someone laying against it in order to get an reaction. “Shit. Lydia’s here. Bye Mom!” She shoved the last bite of her bagel in her mouth as she grabbed her lilac backpack and flung it over her shoulder. “Jupiter. Your clothes.” Her mother warned. The girl looked down only now noticing that she was still in her pajamas pants. She quickly ran up the stairs and threw on some jeans and a t-shirt that had been lying on her bed. With a flash she was out the door to find a red car waiting for her with an obviously angry Lydia inside. “I have been out here calling you for 20 minutes. You know I have to be there before 8am if I want to complete Mr. Landgrab’s extra credit assignment.” Lydia groaned as she was pulling out of their driveway. “I mean it’s not like you need the grade.” Jupiter mumbled under her breath while looking out the window. “Excuse me, I need every grade I can get, it’s not like I’m just going to slack off just because- Hey! Put your seatbelt on.” The tiny red light flashed with a slight ding reminding Lydia that Jupiter had yet to put on her restraint. She grabbed the gray belt and wrapped it around her body and pushed it in to fasten it.

When they arrived at their school the parking lot was nearly empty because of how early Lydia wanted to arrive. Jupiter had expressed how much she hated arriving to school early but her friend brushed off her complaints and hurried to her class. Jupiter sat down on a bench and pulled out her cellphone to find a notification that sparked her interest. It read, “Doyle K. has accepted your friend request” causing a grin to spread across her face. She held down the buttons on her phone to screenshot and send to Lydia. She typed a quick message that was a jumble of letters to express her excitement. Jupiter than opened the notification to reveal Doyle’s profile. She wanted to be bold for a change so she decided to click the message icon and send him a greeting. “Hey” read 8:13am She smiled when he immediately read her message and she saw the typing bubble. “Do I know you?” his response  caused her heart to sink, he didn’t even remember her? “Oh i’m Abigail from chem, I just changed by name to Jupiter because Abby was too basic.” She sent. Read 8:15am “Oh hey, sweet name.” causing her to emit a slight squeal of excitement.

The air was cold outside of the diner causing her to shiver all over with chill bumps. The neon sign above them read “Constellation Diner” with stars and planets revolving around the name with flashing lights. Doyle opened the door for her and she scooted in. They waited for a few minutes by the chill of the open door until a waitress greeted them. “Hi! 2 please.” Jupiter spoke folding her arms across her chest. The pair was led to a booth that was shining silver with multicolored emblesments scattered on the teal headrest. Constellation Diner was lit with a dim purple light and decorated with visuals of the galaxy and solar system. It was a Saturday night and the restaurant was packed with customers. Waitresses sped by on fuschia roller skates wearing short blue dresses. Jupiter cleared her throat. “Busy.” She exclaimed trying to start up a conversation. “Yeah. Interesting place.” he replied in a monotone voice. They picked up their menus and looked through the choices of drinks. Mars Bars Shake. Blueberry Blast-off. Astronomer’s Acid. Gravity Grape. “These names are wack.” Doyle said with a chuckle. Jupiter grinned. “Yeah… For sure.”

Jupiter had a long day at school of peering at clocks on the wall anxiously waiting for the time to hit 3:30. She was longing for that moment to come so that she would be able to go over to Lydia’s to tell her about the conversations Doyle and her had been having. So as soon as the bell rang Jupiter quickly sped out of her classroom to meet Lydia at her car. The familiar cherry red honda struck her eye but there was no sign of Lydia around the car. She always had to talk to the teacher after class about something. In the meantime Jupiter glanced down at her FaceBook messages to see if there were any new notifications. Her last message had turned a deep purple indicating that it had been read. She groaned and looked beyond the parking lot towards the school to see Lydia walking out of the door. “Hurry up!” Jupiter yelled with her hands cupped around her mouth. “I’m coming, I’m coming” Lydia called back jogging closer towards the car. Lydia reached in her pocket and clicked a button to unlock the doors.

When they arrived at Lydia’s house, the typical after school haven, Jupiter immediately burst through the unlocked door. “Hi Mrs. Sanders!” Jupiter yelled as she ran up the stairs past Lydia’s mother. “Hey Abigail” Mrs. Sanders hollered back up the stairs. “Hi Lydia, how was school?” Lydia smiled. “Great my physics teacher gave me extra credit on my project because he was so impressed.” She boasted, her mother eating it up. “Oh that’s wonderful honey, how about we take you out tonight after-” “Lydia hurry up!” Jupiter yelled down the stairs. Mrs. Sanders laughed. “... after Abigail goes home.” “Yeah that’d be great.” Lydia said walking up the stairs. When she got into her room she saw a giddy Jupiter sitting on her bed, she sat down beside her hovering over the phone Jupiter was tightly grasping. “Ok so we’ve been talking on messenger all day and I just gave him my number and now we’re texting.” Jupiter grinned shoving the phone into Lydia’s face, with the messages application open. “Ab- I mean Jupiter, you hardly know this guy don't you think it’s a little weird to be giving out your phone number so easily? I mean he’s 3 years older than you, he’s only in your class because he failed it the first time around.” Lydia said lowering the phone out of her face. “Lydia, come on dont be like that. I’ve talked to him all day-” “9 hours” Lydia interrupted. “You’ve talked to this guy for 9 hours and you think you know everything about him. He just sounds like a real loser to me, I just want the best for you.” Jupiter sighed looking down at her phone. “I’ve lived 16 years without dating a guy, kissing a guy, or even having a guy interested in me. I just am looking for a chance Ly and I think it could be him. And you know even if it isn't I just wanted to give it a chance.” Lydia glanced up at Jupiter whose eyes were glassy with tears. Lydia placed her hand on her knee and patted it twice. “Just be careful.”

Once they were done with their Gravity Grape and Blueberry Blast-Off milkshakes, Jupiter reached for her wallet and began to pull out the cash to pay. “I got it.” Doyle said laying a bill on the table. Jupiter smiled. “Thanks.” They then got up and walked beside each other towards the beaded curtain that stood in front of the door. The curtain was bright red and had larger orange beads with a design that Jupiter assumed was designed to look like Mars. Doyle stepped in front of her and opened the door that was beyond the curtain and Jupiter slipped through. Jupiter crossed her arms around her chest as the cold air hit her. “I think the cars just through there across the street.” She said pointing towards the small parking lot in front of them. They looked both ways before running across the street and walked towards the silver car. The car was actually her mom’s car but she would sometimes let her borrow on the weekends to go out with Lydia. They opened the doors and entered the car, each of them pulling the restraints over themselves. “So where did you wanna go now?” Doyle questioned looking over at her. “Umm I don’t know. I wish the weather was nice so that we could walk around outside by the river.” she said with a sigh. “Yeah but it isn’t.” He laughed in response. “Yeah, I know I was just saying ya know.” There was a long and awkward moment of silence. “There’s some Christmas lights downtown, we could uh go look at those I guess.” Jupiter suggested only to hear silence from Doyle in return. Jupiter rolled her eyes, annoyed, she just wanted the night to be over. She had quickly learned throughout the night that he was just plain rude and constantly acted like dick.

After they had been driving in silence for a while Doyle finally spoke up. “Um where are we even going?” Doyle questioned, deciding now was the perfect time to look up from his phone and actually pay attention to her. “I told you, to look at Christmas lights downtown.” She paused. “I don't know what else we could do, If you have any better ideas let me know.” Jupiter said. “We could just go back to my apartment.” She looked over at him confused. “Apartment?” She questioned, causing him look away. “Oh yeah, I moved out. I mean honestly I was sick of my parents and they were sick of me so they paid for an apartment in the city.” He confessed. “Really? You’re parents just paid for you? Do you work?” She asked. “No since I’m still in high school they don't really care about that. They don't want me to work until I’m out of college but I doubt I’ll even go.” He said grinning. The thought of this disgusted Jupiter, he was really just a spoiled brat. To think she worked every weekend, all weekend just to try and buy herself an old broken car and he could get everything he wanted for free and still be ungrateful. She wanted to snap back, to scream at him, to call him out for everything she thought of him. “So where’s your apartment?” she asked.

His apartment was in the middle of the city, so of course there was no parking anywhere. The only option was to parallel park on the side of the road, something that Jupiter was not very skilled at. Despite the directions that were being fed to her by Doyle she still wasn't able to park in a way that didn't leave her car half way in the road. He got really frustrated with her and demanded for her to get out and let him park. He turned the wheel back and forth, put the car in and out of reverse, but he wasn't able to park it right either. This made Jupiter laugh, he was so determined that he could do it and then he failed just as badly as she did. Once he decided that she could just leave the car at an angle, they walked into his apartment complex which was littered with college kids laughing and screaming. She followed Doyle in the elevator and he pushed the button to floor 6 and soon they arrived in his musky dim apartment. It was lit only by a couple of lamps that had bulbs that emitted a orange glow. It wasn't very glorious, it housed only a small twin bed, a desk, and an inflatable couch that was half deflated. There were two sliding chairs on opposite sides of the room and Jupiter took a seat in one by the bed. “You can take your jacket off.” Doyle told her sitting in the chair in front of the desk. “No I’m fine.” She replied as he opened his laptop that was sitting on his desk. He shrugged his shoulders in response and opened up Spotify and began to play music. “So, what do you want to do?” This question rang in her mind over and over. It felt as though it was haunting her. From the time she had first picked him up until now that question had been asked so many times that it made her feel numb. She didn't know what she wanted whatsoever and that is how she ended up here in the first place. Doyle was just something that gave her a feeling that she lacked, and now she didn't know if she ever needed it. “I don't know. Just talk I guess.” She responded spinning back and forth in the chair. She could feel his gaze upon her, a burning stare. “About what?” He replied almost demanding an answer. She felt a pressure on her chest, her heart speeding up, her mind racing, the chaotic sounds of the music and the college kids and the burning of the orange bulb echoing in her ears. “Anything I guess.” There was a long pause, everything that she heard had blurred into one sound and Doyle’s gaze seemed to be burning holes in her. She talked, she rambled on and on asking questions in between awkward pauses because she didn't want to hear the noises anymore. During every pause everything she was feeling and hearing and seeing faded into a single emotion that tightened her chest forcing her to talk about something else. He responded, but barely, everything he said came in short sentences or usually only one or two words. He constantly brought up the question, “What do you wanna do?” to the point where Jupiter didn't know whether it was a hallucination or if the question was actually being asked. The many times she was asked, however, she would respond with an “I dont know” and then begin to talk about something else. How cold it was, the view from the tall building, school, her family, anything. But then he posed another form of the question implying that he actually had an idea. “Do you want to do something?” He asked, his chair moving slightly forward. His gaze pierced into her like sharp needles all over her body, each one leaving a chill bump. She wasn't afraid of needles, but these hurt like nothing she had ever felt before. “Like what?” she replied, still refusing to look at him. “Make out?” he said plainly scooting his chair closer to her. She swirled around, “Uhhh, I don't know.” Her heart started beating faster. “Come on, why not?” The voices and laughter in the rooms around them got louder. “I’ve never actually kissed anyone.” The burning of the orange bulb turned to a fiery red and emitted a loud buzzing, like a screaming alarm, sounding as though it was going to explode. “There’s a first time for everything.” Doyle scooted closer until their knees were touching, he grabbed her hands and placed them on his thighs with a grin. He quickly leaned into her, melting against her cold, lifeless body and met his lips with hers. It was violent, he grabbed at her and kissed her as hard as he could. His lips felt hot, burning like fire, and he kissed her so long and so hard that they began to feel numb. His hands felt like pitch forks sticking into her sides, every time he grabbed her he left a wound so deep and large that it would never be healed. “You can take your jacket off now.” He instructed her and she reluctantly obliged, beginning to feel smaller than him.  It was as though his body grew 10 feet and he was as wide as the room as he engulfed her entirely. His body was all around her, his voice echoed in her mind, his mouth touched every place on her body. He bit her lips and her neck and her chest as though he was sucking for her blood. She tried to enjoy it, tried to lean into him, and convince her mind that this was something that was suppose to happen and she was in the wrong. She’d seen it in movies, watched it on TV, all the other kids at her school had probably done this. But no matter how hard she tried to convince herself that she was okay, her mind was screaming back at her to leave. His mouth left her body for a moment and his voice would forever echo in her mind. “You sure you’ve never kissed anyone before?” He grinned before bringing his mouth back to hers, crushing her lips against his. He began to pull at the end of her shirt, it felt as though he was physically dragging her down into the deep unknown. He pulled and he pulled, leaning harder into the kiss, until he finally decided to lift it over her head. She sat there in her bra, feeling completely naked. Her body felt as though it was going to disintegrate into thin air, never to be seen by anyone again. All of her skin felt as though it was burning and being gnawed on by pests and demons all around. In this very moment life felt like a living hell. No one had ever seen her like this, no one had ever felt her like this. And if it was going to happen she didn't want it to be like this. He grabbed her breasts, bringing his mouth to them, hungry for more blood. She pulled away. She brought her chair back and bent down to grab her shirt that was now forever dirty from the ground. “What’s wrong?” he asked, confused. “I just need to go home.” She replied putting on her shirt and standing up. He stood up too and walked over to her and brought his arms around her. He hugged her so tight, his hands gripping her butt, she thought for sure she would be crushed under his grip. “See you next week?” He asked. “Yeah.” She replied pulling away from the hug and heading towards the door. She didn't want to look back, but she was sure it wasn't Doyle behind her anymore.


Submitted: May 09, 2018

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