It's pitch dark, we're on the floor, leaned up against the bottom of Alan’s bed, both stripped to the waist. The buttons of her denim shorts are open and my hand is down there, blocked by tightly crossed legs that are unyielding to all titillation. The weird immature nibbling she was doing to my neck has stopped. Now she is crying, and where she’s trying so hard not to she keeps letting out whooping hiccup noises in the dark. I freeze and stop all play. I don't want to remove my hand but I do. I can tell it’s the sex which makes her cry.
What’s the matter? I whisper, What’s wrong?
She shakes her head.
I kiss at her tears, thumb them away from under her eyes.
Hey Boo, I say gently. Hey?
Now she completely breaks down. She rips away and hugs herself into a tight ball of sorrow, her hands clasped around her knees and her head hidden in the space that's left. She's rocking and sobbing. I look at her, bored. I've never seen this before but I feel as though I have. I’m ready to hear how she’s probably been sexually abused, how some bastard uncle from years ago has fucked up her life forever and my life tonight. I don't think I care, but maybe I do. More, I think I care as a wild card entry that may get us back to where we were.
I say Hey, one last time, and put an arm around her. As I do that she topples over into me and lays within my arms, still cradled up as she was, the top back of her head finding its way under my chin. Oh God. I can smell something in her hair, on her scalp, that shouldn't be there, but I don't know what it is. Her reaction to my comfort raises my hope. Once more my hand begins wandering south, re-testing the water, this time over her shorts. Again her clenched thighs bar the way. My finger tips come up dead against the tough denim seam that protects all I'm after. I curse Levi Strauss and his anti-cunt jeans! I don't force none. I can tell this isn't a game of open the locket. I remove my hand and let out a huge pissed off snort and reject her, muttering just loud enough so as she can hear: “Fucking Bitch!” I light a cigarette, slam the packet and lighter down, and sit there smoking as loudly as I possibly can.
Her hiccuping crying starts again. It sounds like there's a fucking bullfrog in the room. I calm down a little but pay no attention to her. Then in the dark I sense something, a slight easing of her sobbing, a movement, now short little sobs and I know something is coming. I turn around just in time to see her face crunch up, her mouth bawl open, and her large milky teeth in the dark: “I’m only THIRTEEN!!!” She bawls “I’m scared.”
Almost as soon as she says that Alan has leapt up and flicked the light on. He done it so fast, I swear, I saw him freeze-framed for a moment in midair as if he'd been lit up by electricity himself. He’d been pretending he was asleep. Laying there listening.
Right, get out, he screams, Get the fuck out!!!
He’s talkling to her, not me.
She’s sitting up in shock, her arms clutched around herself covering her breasts. She’s hardly any breasts to cover. I pass her her jumper and turn away. Her bra is to her other side with tissue paper in it.
I told ya she was fucking jail bait, Alan says.
When she hears that she lets out a huge caterwaul, like her entire life has just been shattered.
I’m sorry! she blubbers. I'm sorry!
I look at her. As the tears wash her make-up down her face the years peel back and drip one by one in black drops off her chin.
19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12????
Right before my eyes she transforms into a bawling child.
Fuck! I say. I feel like I should dress her in different clothes and try to cheer her up.
What time is it? she asks. I’ve got no money, just a bus pass. She must be talking of her free school pass. Jesus Christ.
Alan tells her it’s 3am. Her face collapses again as she thinks of the night and the dark streets and child rapists – of having to wander around alone, miles from home, until the tube starts up.
Do I really have to go? Can’t I stay here until the morning? It's nearly the morning now.
No-one answers. She drops her head and puts a hand over her eyes. She’s crying again, real sopping wet tears. There's a string of saliva connecting her lips. But she’s also playing peek-a-boo. I can tell. Everytime I look her way she whines a little harder. Alan watches her like you'd watch a captured thief.
I need to use the bathroom, She says.
It’s still in the same place, Alan says.
She scoops up all her things – handbag, bra, bits of tissue, strawberry lip balm, 6-inch heeled leather knee boots – and scampers off to the bathroom, her face a mess of cheap run mascara and bright red lipstick.
Alan listens. He's still standing at the lightswitch. As soon as he hears the bathroom door lock he looks a me and says: Fucking pervert! I seethe and flap an excited index finger in mid air, like it was a close call. And don’t call me a fucking pervert, I say. Who was laying there listening and wanking?
Go away, will ya! he says. I’ll come an vist ya when ya doing 20 years for child rape... ya sick cunt.
I didn’t do anything, I say
Not a guilty man ever has , he replies. I told ya she was still in school, did I not?
Well I’m not gonna ask for fucking ID am I? Jesus.
Aye, there it goes again: the nonce case... Uncle Shane!
Alan rests quiet for a moment, listening to the running water in the bathroom. When it doesn't stop he says:
Now tell me, and be honest about it now, would’ya still ride her?
What? She’s only thirteen!
Sure, but if she wasn’t thirteen... if she was nineteen?
Oh yeah. If she was nineteen, why not? But she isn’t.
What if she was nineteen but looked thirteen?
I laugh and wave him away.
There ya have it, boy-O, he says, a good fer nothing sex case!
Our nonsense is cut short by the flushing of the toilet. We get serious again waiting for Her return. When she opens the door and enters she's changed again. Her make-ups been redone, her breasts are back on, her long dark back-combed hair is fixed, and her tears are stemmed by a thick dam of black eyeliner. She takes a little sip from a quarter bottle of Gin, spins the top back on and puts the bottle in her handbag. She’s 19 again and looks it... and more.
I look at Alan, and Alan looks at me. Then I look at her, and she's standing there with her lips a little moist... and maybe this night isn’t quite ove yet.
Posted by Memoirs of a Heroinhead