Al’s fingers are doing the wave—round and round—on my left breast as the camera’s flash goes off. We’ll all have demon eyes in the print out. His girlfriend Penny is on his other side, and later he’ll probably get off on the fact that he was groping us at the same time. It makes me nauseous.
I can’t scream or cause a scene because then I’m a crazy psycho stalker bitch who can’t take a compliment or a joke. But I can’t do nothing. And that’s when I make my first mistake.
I tell her over red solo cups in the kitchen. She sneers. Says, “You wish.” Says, “Girl, you need to get laid.” Pours herself Wild Turkey. Penny was molested by her dad and thinks anything other than that is not a big deal (NBD). People have trouble holding someone else’s pain. It’s a hot potato, and no one wants to be left holding it in the end. I was naive to think she’d never NBD me. I thought we were friends.
I should be a good Catholic girl and turn the other cheek, but I’ve turned it so many times that I’m lost in the woods itching for Judgement Day. Letting assholes run rampant unchecked doesn’t feel like the Christian thing to do.
It isn’t hard to get Al to leave with me. I press my chest against him during a hug and smile like he isn’t disgusting, like I like him and would let him do things to me that even Penny wouldn’t allow.
Glancing back over my shoulder, Penny’s wet eyes can’t place me, like she hasn’t spent endless hours talking at me like I’m her unpaid, over-worked therapist. Like it shouldn’t be possible for someone like me—a sidekick, a secondary character, the less hot girl she lets stand next to her—to steal her boyfriend. NBD right, Penny?
In my car, I switch the radio to the current hits station. That shit is always horny. Al’s hand rubs my knee in ovals. My jeans barrier keeps me from screaming. I keep up my energy like we’re totally going to fuck in my car behind the liquor mart. But first: liquid courage.
After Al shuts the passenger door, my boiling blood slows to a simmer. His Razr had slipped out of his pocket and onto the seat. As he pays, I wave to get his attention. I smile sweetly while flipping him off and hitting the gas. Almost crash into an incoming car. He races outside screaming obscenities I can’t hear over the radio. Fucker would have to find his own way home.
I drive for a while on roads framed by McMansions on huge plots of land, releasing my adrenaline out the window. When that runs out, my body starts shaking. I still feel his hand on my knee, on my breast. Unwanted tentacles I can’t rip off. My eyes land on his cell. Reaching over, I flip it open and toss it outside for someone to run over. I roll up my window. It’s not enough.