Posted Monday, July 25th, 2005
I’m sleeping over Carly’s, and as soon as I’m through her front door, before I can even say hi to her mom, she pulls me upstairs, shuts the door to her room, and turns to me with a glint in her eye.
“Elyse,” she whispers, “I got a plan for tonight.”
Carly always has a plan. Carly is from a good family, the kind with a mom and a dad and a dog, that goes on vacations in the summer and has dinner at 6 pm on the dot every night, even weekends. But looking at Carly, watching her swagger around, cussing and pulling her knee length skirts halfway up her ass, you wouldn’t know she was from the right side of the tracks, and that’s the way she likes it. She's sixteen years old this summer, and I'm fifteen.
“You know Billy? From down the block?” she asks.
“That kid who’s always grabbing girls in the hallway?”
“Yeah, that one. His parents are out of town and he said to come over tonight.”
Carly’s got that naughty gleam in her eye and I don’t have to ask why. It’s not like she hasn’t been with boys before. She keeps a list in the back of her social studies notebook of all the ones she’s fooled around with and what she’s done with them. She brags that she wants to fill up three black and white composition books by the time she graduates high school and so far, she’s off to a good start.
Billy has a friend over, a boy named Tom who I don’t recognize. He’s older and keeps offering me drinks. I take a beer and sip it slowly. Carly's in the corner kissing Billy. She started drinking as soon as we got here and Billy was drunk when we showed up, so they aren’t exactly being discreet. I watch them out of the corner of my eye while Tom talks my ear off and tries to push more drinks into my hand. She has one leg thrown over him and his hand is up her skirt. Unlike Carly, I’ve never slept with anyone. Sometimes if I got bored waiting for her to finish up with a guy I’ll let his friend kiss me and touch my chest. Once I even let a guy put his hand up my shirt, but then he pinched my nipples so hard they were sore the next day, so now I push their hands away from there, too. Tom wants to touch me. I can already feel his hand on my leg, and I let it stay there for a minute.
Carly gets off Billy and comes over to me, pulls me off the couch and into the kitchen. I can smell the alcohol on her breath.
“Listen, Elyse. I been talking to Billy and he wants to fuck me real bad. But I told him I didn’t want to.”
“Why not?” my mouth feels dry and my head is starting to hurt.
“I told him I was tired of fucking 17 year olds who couldn’t find a clit if it spit on them.”
“You said that to him?”
“What’d he say?”
“He said he could give me something else.”
“Money.” My heart stops. Carly nods.
“How much?” my voice sounds like a stranger’s.
“I told him I had to talk to you first. The girl’s not supposed to name the price, the go-between is. If we’re going to do this, we gotta do it right. Professional. So you gotta go over to him and strike a deal. Tell him I’ll have sex with him for… I don’t know… fifty dollars. See what he says.”
“Carly, I can’t! You can’t -”
“I can. Now go.”
She pushes me into the living room where Billy and Tom are sitting. Billy looks up at me.
“How much?” he says. He sounds bored. My mouth won’t move. “How much?”
“Fifty,” I croak.
“Fifty? For that tired stretched out cunt? No way.” Tom’s trying not to laugh, but Billy's serious. “Tell her we’ll give her sixty, but only if Tom gets a turn after me.” Tom grins. I go back to Carly.
“Both of them? For sixty?” she thinks about it. “Tell him fine, but it’s gotta be one at a time.”
I go back out and tell them. Billy stands up and walks down a dark hallway. Carly follows, winking at me.
Me and Tom sit on the couch, and when he offers me another beer, I take it right away and drink half of it in one gulp.
“That a girl," he says, leaning back. "So what grade you girls in?”
“Been friends for a while?”
“Yeah. Since we were born. Our moms were friends in high school, so we're practically sisters. I mean, I know Carly has real sisters and brothers, but I don't have any, so she's kind of like mine."
“Fascinating.” I try to change the subject.
“What about you? What grade are you in?”
“Me? I’m in eleventh grade. Me and Billy met in boy scouts. We were eagle scouts together.”
I look at him real hard, and I know he’s lying. Eleventh grade boys don’t grow hair on their faces like that, and I was in brownie’s long enough to know that eagle scouts don’t do this kind of thing on the weekends. But I keep my mouth shut and keep drinking the beer. Tom puts his hand back on my leg, higher this time.
“What about you?” he whispers so loud my ear drum pounds like it’s going to war. “You got a price, too?” I push him away and the beer spills into his lap. “Shit!” he jumps up and tries to wipe it up with a pillow. I stare at him and cross my arms over my chest. “Fucking bitch!” Just then, Billy comes out of the bedroom, cigarette dangling from his mouth.
“She’s all yours, man. Go for it.”
“Yeah,” Tom mutters. He throws the pillow at me and misses, then goes down the same hallway, into the same room. Billy disappears up a staircase and I’m alone. I can hear noises coming from the hallway and it sounds like someone is crying. I don’t want to listen so I go out onto the front stoop to wait.
Carly comes out a while later, all wrapped up in her sweater, and walks quickly past me.
“Lets get out of here,” she says. I follow.
We walk three blocks before saying anything. She’s the first to speak.
“Those fucking bastards.”
I want to ask her what happened in the room, but I can't.
“They only gave me twenty bucks. Bastards.” She turns to me just as we step beneath a streetlight and for the moment when we are bathed in yellow I can see that her left eye is beginning to turn black and blue. Then we step forward, back into the dark, and I can’t see anything. “Next time we’ll have to make sure we get the money first.”
I nod my head numbly. Sure, I say. Next time.
Comments [post a comment]
Posted by Thurston Moore on Tuesday, July 26th, 2005 at 12:44 PM
Hauntingly realistic. I'm not sure how it made me feel, but it definately affected me. Less lifetime for women than most of the stuff i've read here. Thank you.
Posted by K B on Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 at 5:45 PM
You are amazing. I can't wait to read more from you. Thank you for sharing.
Posted by Ellen Meister [ email@example.com
] on Friday, July 29th, 2005 at 8:51 AM
Scary. Creepy. Surprising. Good work, Christine!
Posted by debbie ice on Friday, July 29th, 2005 at 9:28 AM
This creeps up behind your back. Chilling. Very nice!
Posted by Leigh Hughes on Friday, July 29th, 2005 at 9:41 AM
Oh holy hell! Oh my God, what a punch in the gut. EXCELLENT, chilling, scary, agonizing story. WELL DONE! Wow. Wow. Wow.
Posted by Tricia Dower on Friday, July 29th, 2005 at 10:24 AM
Fantastic work. Chilling, indeed, and moving. I want to wrap my arms around Carly and take her back in time.
Posted by Elaine Little on Saturday, July 30th, 2005 at 12:32 AM
Damn......wasn't expecting this. Best story I've read in a while. I'm so impressed. Congrats, I hope to read more of you....