A quick excerpt of my most recent writing. This week, I may send my first two chapters to a New York publishing company. Keep your fingers crossed. Is this worth a read? I hope so. Feedback, anyone?
“Angel, how the hell are we supposed to get out of the front door without anyone seeing us? Aren’t they going to wonder what the fuck we’re putting in my trunk? It’s pretty damn obvious there’s a head and a pair of legs in there. I can’t believe I’m doing this.” He leaned against the sink where the condom wrapper still sat. I grabbed it and threw it in the trash.
“We’ll go out the back way. Just pull the car around. Listen, I’m scared too. I can’t believe this is happening. I can’t thank you enough for helping me, Hugh.” I put a hand on his shoulder and tried to find a crack in my voice. “You know I’m not a violent person. I never would have wanted things to turn out this way.”
I was sixteen when I had my first boyfriend. I had already been sleeping with Mr. Paoli for nine months, but I knew it wasn’t love; only lust. I agreed to slip into his bed each night and he agreed to buy my friends and me anything we wanted; he thought blackmail was a more reasonable sentence than jail time.
Charlie sat next to me in math class that year, and had started dropping his pencil near my desk just so I would lean over and pick it up. While the other girls were sporting the modest seventies fashions their mothers forced on them, my breasts spilled over tube tops and out of push-up bras I bought with Mr. Paoli’s money.
Charlie stopped me at my locker one afternoon, his left hand fingering the lock while he stuttered and tried not to stare at my chest.
“Wou-would you like to hang out with me? To-tonight, maybe?”
I giggled and put a hand on his shoulder. He was shaking.
“Yes, Charlie. I would love to.” I winked and his mouth broke into a crooked smile. “My place or yours?”
I gave Charlie my address and told him to look for light from the candle I’d put by my bedroom window. That night he arrived ten minutes early, knocking loudly on the pane glass. I warned him to be quiet as he slipped into the room.
“What now?” He barely had both feet on the floor. I sighed and reached one hand around to my back, unclasping my bra.
“Let’s get to the point, Charlie.”
I listened for the rough idling of Hugh’s 1975 station wagon and imagined that the dark wooden paneling was one of the reasons he never took any women home. A thin ray of light crept through the single fogged window of the men’s room, bouncing off the trash bag that concealed Steve’s legs and feet. The light began to warm my scalp and a sudden wave of exhaustion swayed me into the sink. I hadn’t slept in more than a day.
“Pst – Angel! Hurry up, I’m out back.” Hugh’s whisper came from the other side of the window, startling me back into the moment.
I looked at the dark heap on the floor then back at the window. “Jesus, I could use some help, Hugh.”I heard him shuffle over the gravel toward the bar’s back door.
“Sorry” he mumbled, as he reentered the bathroom.
Minutes later Steve was in the trunk, Hugh was sweating behind the wheel and I was lighting a cigarette with the early morning wind combing through my hair. We decided to drive to a nearby construction site, where a new apartment complex catering to couples 55 and over was in early production. Miles of dirt and areas of hollowed earth lay before us, still quiet before the start of the work day. We parked by a sagging fence and I scanned the landscape, using my hand to block the sun from my eyes. Hugh rested his forehead against the steering wheel.
“There.” I pressed my index finger against the windshield and pointed towards a ditch by one of the new apartments, likely to be filled in and built upon soon. “And let’s hurry up. It’s nearly seven.”