The Austin Tattoo

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 5 (v.1) - Chapter Five

Submitted: October 19, 2011

Reads: 202

Comments: 3

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 19, 2011

A A A

A A A

Chapter 5

 

My mom walks through the open door and into my bedroom. She brought me a cup of green tea with one Sweet ‘N Low packet and a teaspoon of honey. The way I like it. I hope she brought a cup for Him too. He’s watching me from my closet.

I take the olive green cup from her and blow the steam away from its surface. I try a sip. It scalds my mouth. I set it on the table next to my bed to let it cool.

My mom sits on the end of my bed and watches me indulge in homework, papers spilt all over my bed.

“Studious, aren’t we?” she mumbles comically.

I release my lower lip from my mouth and talk. “I joined theatre today.”

Her head pops up from my homework and she gazes at me happily. “Oh! You did?”

I nod. I smile just a little.

“Oh, Violet! That’s wonderful!”

“Um. Yes. I suppose it is. I mean, I’m only a stage hand.”

“That’s still something.”

“Yeah. . . . I guess it is.”

“I want to talk to you about something. Can I talk to you about it now? Maybe we should talk later. You know what? We’ll do that. I’ll just let you finish your work and I’ll come back later.”

“No, no, Mom. It’s fine.” I try my tea again. Now it’s too cold.

“I want to take you somewhere, to meet someone.”

This confuses me.

“Whom will I be meeting?”

“Her name is Rachel.”

“Mom,” I smirk, “that’s not enough information.”

She sighs and scoots a little closer. “She’s a counselor.”

I laugh at this. “Yeah. No thanks.”

“You’re going. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to find it helpful. You don’t have to appreciate me for doing so. But you do have to go.”

“Therapy is a load of bologna, Mom. It is.”

“You’re going.” She hands me an orange sticky note with the appointment time on it. “Her name is Rachel Grovenbach. The appointment is at four on Monday. I have to be here, waiting for a package for your father, so Harry will have to take you. He’ll pick you up from school and take you straight there.” She walks to the door, but turns before leaving, after remembering something. “Oh, and don’t forget about your psychical on Saturday.”

She leaves. I stick the Sticky-Note on my wall, right next to my Hello. My name is . . . sticker.

Hot Guy Adam calls me an hour later. He asks what is going on; that he knows something is wrong by the hysteria in my voice (which I, personally, do not hear).

“I don’t believe in psychoanalysis, I don’t trust psychotherapy, and I don’t think I would have been friends with Sigmund Freud,” I tell him.

“It won't be torture,” he reassures me. “My aunt is a counselor and loves it.”

“Because she’s getting paid to do nothing.”

“Okay, a little too far.”

I sigh. “I’m sorry. Really. So, what’s up with you?”

“I just finished my audition for The Bee and Its Beau.”

“Oh, cool. How’d you do? I bet you did breathtakingly.”

He made a little noise, as if to say, “I’m awesome,” just more humbly.

“I’m really not sure,” he actually says. “I don’t think Mrs. Martinez likes me very much.”

“I think everyone likes you.”

“So, you like me?”

“Well—” I stop. Oh, he’s good. I don’t say anything now. I stay silent.

“Would you like to go see a movie with me Friday night?”

I tuck strands of hair behind my ear. “Uh. Yeah.” My heart screams with joy. “That sounds awesome. What—um, what movie do you want to see?”

“I don’t know yet. How about you? I like basically every genre.”

“I don’t care,” my voice squeaks. People rarely ask for my opinion; I’m never prepared with an answer. “I like any movie, too. I mean, my favorite movies are—but not limited to—Jurassic Park, Inception, The Titanic, Zoolander, and Love Actually.”

“Love it, love it, hate it, love it, not a big fan,” he said, revising my movie list.

“So, you aren’t a rom-com kind of guy?” I ask, smiling as if he could see me.

He chuckles. “Yeah. I lied about liking every genre.”

“At least, now, I know for sure you aren’t gay.”

“You thought I ever was?”

“I didn’t make up my mind about your sexuality either way. What’s that the gays always say? Oh, yeah. Don't judge a book by its cover.”

He laughs, and I join in.

“So, what movie?”

What about In Time?”

“Yeah; that looks good.”

“8:15?”

“Yep!” I answer.

“Okay. . . .”

Well, this got awkward. Fast.

“My brother is going to the movies that night too.” I lie too often. It’s becoming compulsive. “He can take us.”

“Oh, okay,” he says. I can't tell what his emotions are.

“Mhm.”

Adam awkwardly utters, “So.”

“So.”

“Imagine what a chair would look like if our knees actually bowed backwards."

Harry has been dating his girlfriend for eight months. I haven’t met her. He always avoids our family meeting her—we didn’t even know about her until their sixth month anniversary. She is 28 like Harry; her name is Brimlan; and she’s moving to town tomorrow, Wednesday. She has been offered a job at the local newspaper, Keasby Chronicles, as a journalist.

I walk into Harry’s bedroom, just across the hall from mine, after ending a two-hour conversation with Hot Guy Adam.

He is behind me. I bribed him from my closet.

Harry’s bedroom is a mess. Everything is either dark gray or pinstriped. He was laying on his bed, texting someone, while watching Dexter on his flat screen. I’m jealous of him.

No lie there.

“What do you want?” he looks up at me standing like a deer in headlights (except, you know, in the doorway).

“I need a ride to the movies on Friday,” I blurt.

Harry sits up really fast. I think he is lightheaded from all that fast-motion action. “Uh . . . okay,” he says weirdly.

I don’t think he knew I ever socialized. True, though. I’m pretty much a social leper.

I wonder if I can get a doctor’s note and be exempt from gym for that—a form of leprosy that effects high-school-aged prey.

I look down at his rug that is covered in clothes. “Yeah,” I mutter. “Oh, and I told him you were bringing Brimlan, so she kind of has to come along or he’ll get all suspicious—”

He?” Harry smiles, intrigued apparently.

I sigh. “Damn it.”

“Don’t say that,” he tells me.

“Why not?”

“God doesn’t like that.”

“Who’s to say there is a god?”

“I’ve been going to church.”

I choke. “What?”

We went to church once. The day care attendant watching me gave me cheerios. My mom didn’t like that she fed me without consulting her. She stormed out in a huff and we never went back. To any church, I mean. And after what happened . . . The Incident . . . Well, I know this God person wouldn’t let something so tragic happen to people so innocent.

“I am entitled to my own personal religious rights in this house, aren’t I?” Harry asks me pointblank.

“Sure,” I answer hesitantly.

“If there were no God, how does the next Kleenex pop out of the box?”

I have no answer.

“So, who’s this boy?”

I sigh repressively again. I have not a sliver of patience with my brother sometimes. “He’s name is Adam Prevter.”

“I don’t like him.”

“You’ve already judged him? You haven’t even met him!”

“Rearrange the letters, and his full surname spells out Pervert.”

I shake my head, though it is a little comedic. “You are such a colossal weirdo-freak sometimes, Harry.”

“In roll call,” Harry chuckles, “teachers would say, ‘Pervert Adam?’”

 

In history the next day, Wednesday, we learn about a man named John C. Frémont. I think that is a nice, well-fitted name. In geometry, I learn about triangles. Apparently, I didn’t learn enough about shapes in kindergarten. I begin to read Dracula by Bram Stoker in study hall, sit with my newfound friend Charlotte at lunch, and continue Dracula in study hall part II. During English, I watch as Ashton slaps Hot Guy Adam because “there was a bug on his face”. I learn about Charles Darwin in IPC. I already know about evolution. And I paint trees for The Bee and Its Beau in theatre.

Before catching the bus, I use the restroom. The girl in the stall next to mine attenuates herself; I suppose she's bulimic.

I wash my hands as she comes out; it's Girl Wearing the Water Bra. She's greenish.

“Hello, Olive,” I almost say, but the words get lost in my throat.

She wipes her face with a dampened paper towel. She reapplies purple mascara and over glosses her lips. She tosses a piece of spearmint gum into her mouth and tugs at the corner of her Vera Bradley top.

I’m a girl. She’s a girl. Why does she look so much hotter than me?

Why are carrots more orange than oranges?

I shake my head absentmindedly. Girls like her make me understand homosexuality a whole lot better.

“What?” she asks me sharply.

I stiffen. Have I been staring? I lick my lips and try my best to shrug nonchalantly, though my heart is palpitating. It looks more like a seizure than a shrug.

Epilepsy. There’s another note from the doctor!

The Girl Wearing the Water Bra rolls her raccoon eyes and smacks her gum. “Turn off the water, wipe your hands, and move along, Mutie.”

Mutie.

Pet names.

How sweet.

Suddenly, I’m not very scared of her anymore. Typically, anyone who is anybody makes me nervous, edgy, and—let us not forget—mute. But this pathetic excuse for a human being that looks down on those she should look up to (for having enough courage to leave their home) . . . Well, I'm just not intimidated by that.

“Look, hypocorite,” I tell her. “Or should I say hypocoridiot? I’m not mute. I’m not.”

“Oh? Then why don't you speak?” She pounces onto my words as if they are a piggy's back open for rides.

“I don't waste my words away like you waste your dignity,” I answer.

She, breathing in huffs of livid air, turns on her leopard pattern, Coco Chanel heel and marches out of the bathroom.

Charlotte comes out of a stall.

I didn't know she was in here.

"I'm proud," she tells me with a sweet smile. "Really."

I go home and relax on the cushions of my bay-view window, curl Dougal up beside me, and flip from page 41 to page 42 in Dracula.

People say, after murders or suicides, people may become vampires. That would explain why He haunts me all the time.

He haunts me.

“’No man knows till he experiences it, what it is to feel his own life-blood drawn away into the veins of a woman he loves.’”

Someone’s in my room. Since The Incident, I’ve been scared easily. I don’t like this sort of thing. I turn my head quickly to the door where a young adult with kinky blonde hair and icy eyes stands. She smiles clumsily, much like how she is standing.

My heart competes in a 5K, I suck my lower lip into my mouth, and stare at her utter confusion. Maybe she needs help. I’m not one to give advice.

“That’s my favorite quote,” she adds. She’s Australian.

I nod, still lost in whatever is happening, unsure of whom she is. I say lowly, nearly in a whisper, “Mine too.”

“You’ve read it before?”

“This is my third time. It’s sort of my all-time favorite book ever.”

“Absolutely mine too!”

Then it hits me.

I set the book down and cock my head to the side. “Are you Brimlan?”

She nods a little and walks into my room, taking a good look around.

“I’m V.”

“I know. Your brother has told me a lot about you.”

“Well, then. Don't believe what he has said.”

She laughs a petite giggle. She glances at me over her shoulder. “He’s actually rather fond od you. I’m slightly jealous.”

He . . . he’s fond of me? This is informing and startling. When did this happen? My idol is fond. Fond of me.

Brimlan wearing tight white jeans and dark blue, ruffled blouse, probably from Forever 21. “Your brother’s in the shower. He doesn’t know I’m here—in your room, I mean.”

“Are you Australian?”

She says yes. “I moved here when I was eighteen.” Her hands graze the books on my bookshelf until she reaches The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride. She pulls it out and skims the first few pages. “You like to read?”

“Very much.”

She claps the book shut and puts it back in its place. “May I ask why?” Now she peeks at the first page of After by Amy Efaw.

“I don’t say many words, and so I read them.”

Brimlan nods delicately. She comes to me and strokes Dougal’s fluffy, orange, peach-fuzz fur. “He’s darling!”

“Thanks,” I smile a little. “He’s name’s Dougal. I’ve had him for 14 years now.”

“What a sweetie.”

“He’s the only sweet cat I’ve ever met.”

Silence.

“So, you want us to take you and your boyfriend to the movies Friday?” she asks, still stroking Dougal’s benevolent face.

I choke. Harry!

“What?” I gasp.

“Your brother mentioned some date—”

“For crying out loud—he’s not my boyfriend!” I yell. Then I stop and add hastily, “Sorry! I didn’t mean to yell at you. I’m thinking you're Harry. He’s all . . .”

She put her hands up. “Say no more! I have three older brothers.”

“How’d you survive?”

Brimlan shrugs. “Just barely.”

“Brim!” Harry burst into my room. “I told you not to interact with Violet.”

She smiles at me and rolls her eyes comically. “Well, that’s my cue.” She walks to my brother, across the room by the door. “It was great meeting you.”

“Same to you,” I call after her. “Oh, and, Harry, Adam is not my boyfriend!”

He replies, “Sure. Whatever you say, Mrs. Pervert.”

Why is the world little so big, and the word big so little?

 

You know, I wasn’t always like I am. I used to be friendly. I use to babysit, I used to hang out at the mall with friends, I used to dress in accessories from Forever 21 and live in Ulta.

Sometimes, I like to close my eyes and remember.

Remember my favorite outfit: White ruffle skirt; pink-maroon, dainty top; brown Sperry’s; knit bag from Pacsun, kissed by the rainbow. I got so many compliments on that outfit. I felt like a princess those days.

Remember my favorite song (before I liked Indie): Fefe Dobson’s I Want You. I had danced to that song at Katherine’s birthday party just last March.

Remember my favorite dessert: Great Wall of China at The Cheesecake Factory. Now I stick with peppermints and lemon drops. Everything else is too merry sweet.

Remember my favorite word: Festive. I thought that word had been beautiful. It spiced up anything and everything. It cheered up the rainiest of parades. And now, well . . . now it’s nonexistent. Because that’s all I think about. Not existing. What would happen? Would the world go to sleep, or carry on like everyone else’s has since The Incident?

Remember my favorite instrument: Guitar. I never heard a guitar sound sad. Now I like pianos. They seem to go both ways.

Remember my favorite country: England. Everything there had been perfectly priceless. But now, I wonder why I ever wasted those minutes travelling.

Remember my favorite name: Amber Lyn. I found that name to be charming and dashing and everything a name should ever be. I don't think about names now. Why would I? It isn’t as if I’ll ever love, or if I’d ever bring an innocent being into this shitty sphere.

Remember my favorite day: I always liked November 19. I thought it sounded stable. What could go wrong on that day? Now I know that anything can go poorly on any given day. Gosh, I was so naïve. If only I could go back.

Remember my favorite senior: Bennett Knight. He had brown hair and gorgeous chocolate eyes. They were like Dove Chocolate. Or The Great Wall of China cake. He smiled at me once, and my heart fluttered. He was probably just laughing at how I was staring, I realize that now. But then, gosh, then it meant the Milky Way to me.

Remember my dream hair color: Ginger. No, I don't like my lackluster hair. But I’ll survive with it. I wanted to be a ginger, though. Prove the world that some can have a soul. Now, I wonder if there is such a thing as souls.

Remember everything I had: Him.

Remember everything I don't: Him.

Remember everything I want, I’ll never receive: Him.

And then I pull myself into a ball and cry for hours.

 

Thursday and Friday go by rapidly. I go to school, learn nothing, speak at a minimum, come home, do homework, read, and then sleep.

Repeat.

“So,” Harry says as he and Brimlan drive me to Hot Guy Adam’s house so we can pick him up. “How was school today, Violet? Have any mean teachers, cool janitors, cruel subs, manipulative principals?”

Why so actively involved in my academic habits?

“What did you learn today?” Brimlan adds.

I learned that The Girl Wearing the Water Bra is the only girl that can order her boyfriend around without the general public calling her an explicit.

“Like I pay attention,” I answer shortly.

“Come on. You learned something,” Brimlan says. She still hasn’t met my parents. That’s what we are doing tomorrow—Saturday—night. “What do you have for homework?”

“In English I have to write a poem about a color.”

“What color are you writing about?”

Harry smirked, “Of course it will be violet.”

“That’s because I know things about violet already!” I object.

“There’s nothing wrong with that,” Brimlan assures me.

We pull up to Adam’s house, just a few streets from mine. It’s similar to my home, Victorian. Except, his is white-paneled and the porch is much more faded than mine is. The roof is dark charcoal and it has a rooster weather vane on the top.

I ring the doorbell and he answers three beats later. He is wearing brown faux-suede pants and a dust-gray, short-sleeved casual button-front shirt. We almost match. I’m wearing a blocked dress, the bottom half being floral with a brown background, and the top half being light gray. I found it hanging on the clearance rack at Target. I won't tell him that.

“Hi,” he smiles. Adam’s brown hair falls perfectly above his sap green eyes.

I can't help but grin in return. “Hello.”

My Heart decides to join the conversation. As if It’s eligible. “BOOM. BOOM. BOOM,” It shouts loudly.

I sincerely hope Adam doesn’t hear.

“Ready?”

I nod. I can't speak. His looks are threatening.

We walk to the car. I introduce everyone to Adam, and then we go see the movie.

 

 

It’s a good film. I enjoyed it. Especially because, every time I jumped in fear, Adam brushed his hand over mine. Yes, he snickered lowly while doing so, but still . . .

“The night’s still young,” Adam says as we wait for the movie Harry and Brimlan are seeing to end. “You want to, like . . . hang out or something?” He reaches his arm back and scratches his head. He flexes. Buff.

I start off with a slow nod, but pick up pace before I’m done. “Yeah. I do. You want to . . . just . . . come . . . chill at my house, or something?”

He makes me nervous. A good nervous. But still, I could do without the moist palms and fluttering heart.

“Yeah, that sounds good.”

So, when Captain America ends, we drive home, watch TV, and just . . . talk. Yeah, I found talking entertaining for once.

“What are you doing for your English poem?” Hot Guy Adam asks me. We’re both sitting on the floor of my bedroom (with the door open, of course. Parents.).

“Violet,” I answer. “Of course.”

He guffaws. “I’m doing green.”

“Like your eyes?” I don’t know what came over me as I asked this; however, I just began to fiddle with my hair and speak in a . . . flirtatious manner.

“Um. Yeah. Like my eyes,” he smiles. He remembers something suddenly. “Hey, what are you doing tomorrow night?”

Two dates in a row?—V! It is not a date right now!

I shrug. “Nothing that I know of.”

“Okay, well Tomas Jeffree, McGraw Pentilten, Brooks Ivry, and Bryson have a band. They call themselves Cheap Transportation. They’re playing a gig tomorrow night at Rowlock Café. You want to go?”

“Totally,” I say.

Truth is that that doesn’t sound fun. But . . . it’s Adam. At this point, I’ll do a lot for him. Maybe even yell loudly in public.

“His mom’s here,” my mom informs me as she pokes her head in my room.

We say goodbye. I go back to my room after walking him out only to find Him sitting on my bed.

Why is He here?

I have to start on my poem. I take out a piece of paper and list what violet is:

  • Represents harmony in Chinese painting
  • The City of the Violet Crown: Austin, TX
  • Rumored aura of occultist
  • Worn by Roman Catholic priests at requiems
  • The color of Christian Lent
  • The flag of the second Spanish Republic

 

“Violet is wrong,” He snickers. “Violet creeps into spaces in between the wooden panels of the floor boards. She squeaks when someone steps on her. She wants them to know she’s there.  She wants to scream out loud. Violet is to blame.”

I ignore Him. I scribble a draft of my poem and put it on wall above my bed, next to my other stickers and notes, with a tack. I’m tired by now. It’s 2:03 a.m. I decide to sleep.

Goodnight, World.

 

 

Vivid Violet

Harmony,

Occultism,

Requiems,

The City of the Violet Crown is the center of the world,

Sacrifice,

Freedom,

Soothing,

Violet is serenity,

Calming,

Gentle,

Placid,

Violet is love

Violet words, when spoken, give me hope

They replenish my soul,

They fill my dreams with vivid colors,

Violet is meaning


© Copyright 2020 Megan B. All rights reserved.

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