Damitttttttt Daria

Chapter Seven

Like Hell I'm Going

"Thats the last one for this haul Max." Nick shouted from the driver's seat of the Tank. The black van guzzled like a drunken tiger when Nick playfully floored the gas pedal, "Come on Trent get in!"

Trent opened the door to the passenger's side, "Careful man. You could be the one to finally bust the engine and something tells me this junk won't pay for a tow."

Daria slammed the back doors closed once she shoved a crumpled box in place. Crinkled packing tape caught on the door hinge when it she gave it the final close. She peered overhead to see Jesse on the roof with Trent's boss Denise.

"Give it here sonny," Denise said when she reached for a fresh roofing tile.

As the Tank drove away Daria went back inside the garage, "Mmrmm Jane?"

"Huh?"

Daria walked over to the arsenal of clay mugs Jane was boxing up from the shelf. A cloud of dust shot into Daria's face when Jane moved a lumpy mug that had 'Dega Street Arts Festival 1989' scratched into the side. Jane could see the grooves of her mom's fingernails where the letters had been haphazardly placed. Daria coughed while she cleaned her glasses with the hem of her sweatshirt, "Are you sure you want to go through with this?"

Jane held the mug, examining the wrinkles in its surface as she turned it over with her good hand. The injured arm lay in a dark sling with velcro straps hugging it to her chest. Daria dropped the loose black fabric and pushed the frames back onto her face before approaching Jane. Lips tightened on both their faces when the noisy velcro of Jane's sling grabbed their attention. Daria raised her arms to the anxious tigress who trembled into the shelf. Daria took the mug from her and cast it aside to the box below. The clay smacked the thick bed of cardboard on its way down but did not shatter. Jane gnashed her teeth when Daria embraced her, "This is not written in stone. No one expects you to keep on a promise even though you made it. It's not the kind of thing to do just to prove everyone right." Jane sucked in a breath as Daria pawed at her back. Jane curled her cheek over one of Daria's shoulders. They ignored the sound of Denise's hammering as Daria awaited a response.

The rafters creaked as Jane said, "my arm broke again. But as for the rest of me-"

She pulled out of Daria's grasp and turned her back.

"Jane that isn't what I meant," Daria called, "I'm-"

"Save your sorries Morgendorffer. Be my guest, you can go on sitting in this rotting old house and feeling sorry for yourself. I have other adventures in mind."

Daria was received by a slamming door when she went to follow Jane inside.

She kicked at a splintered guitar when it caught on her foot. She could remember her first time in the garage with Jane when she saw 'T.C.D.' scratched into the face of the long-forgotten instrument. She heard raging thunder echo back to ten years prior as the pages of an imaginary day-running calendar tore off. She could hear Jane's mock scream when she squirmed at the water running off the inside of the leaky garage door and down the back of her shirt.

"Hahahaha just a little water Daria," Jane said when she ran her hands through her hair as it stuck to her face. Daria grumbled as she took her coat off and wrung it out on the concrete. The water splashed onto Jane's boots and it was hardly a care when considering the ongoing flood at their feet.

"Just like Trent to get too high to go get sandbags at the county station." Jane remarked when the water rose to their ankles,"It's a wonder we're getting dumped with so much rain."

"We are on the east coast. It's bound to happen at some point." Daria said.

"A hundred miles inland is hardly what I would consider on the coast."

Daria raised a brow.

"So how did the call with your parents go?" Jane said.

"Mmm…"

"Are you moving your stuff into Casa Lane then?"

Daria gave a shrug.

"What did your Mom say?"

"It's not important Jane."

"What? Don't spare me Daria, we are in this together. Whether you like it or not you're stuck with me."

"Really it's not-"

Jane nudged her.

"Jane you don't understand. Please don't make me repeat it."

Jane smirked, "Did she call me deadbeat?"

"She says she doesn't care if I'm gay. But-"

"But?"

"She would rather see me matched with someone who showed more potential in life. She referred to you and Trent as having limited prospects and being unbearably under-achieving."

Jane's face twisted, "Since when did Trent have anything to do with it?"

"She considers you both a package deal I guess. Maybe because Trent can barely feed himself in her eyes."

"Oh," Jane's eyes were downcast.

"This is exactly why I didn't want to tell you." Daria snapped.

"Surely there was more? You were in a one-sided phone call for almost half an hour."

"Urrrrgh fine. She said we do not have their blessing and she went on to lecture me about distractions from my college studies."

"Did she get hit on the head or something? She didn't mind when we were just best friends."

"Not really, this is somehow consistent of Helen the workaholic-corporate-lawyer. Why would she endorse a relationship like this?"

Jane sighed, "You make a point."

They held hands.

"She wants me to come home and forget about my 'summer-flinging' as she put it. She blamed my youthful hormones."

"Okay now you can spare me Daria," Jane chuckled.

Jane delighted in Daria's budding smile, "I would spare myself first."

"Your mom was never exactly the nurturing type. I am sure she will come around once she starts missing you."

"Can I st-" Jane put a finger to Daria's lips.

"You never have to ask that again." Jane said as she kissed Daria on the mouth.

They pushed against the garage door as they threw their distress at each other. Jane nibbled at Daria's throat and was received with growls of pleasure.

"The lady or the tiger?" Jane said.

"Didn't you say I turned out to be a little bit of both?" Daria replied.

"Whatever you may be at least I don't have to worry about sharing it with the rest of the jungle."

Daria grabbed Jane's hand much to her surprise and guided it under her trusted orange shirt.

Jane fluttered her fingers over Daria's breasts, being tender as a butterfly's wings. The distant thunder roared up on the house, almost in rhythm with Daria's moaning. When they were finished making love against the door Jane honored the occasion by carving the familiar block letters into the skeletal remains of the slaughtered guitar.

"T-C-D?" Daria said with a knit brow.

"Thunder cracked Daria." Jane answered while indulging in the aftertaste with a lick of her lips.

"Oh," Daria blushed.

"Don't worry no one could hear you over the storm. I didn't know your voice was capable of even getting that high."

Daria buried her cheeks in her soaked coat sleeves.

"If that's all it took to get you going like that I would've bought one of those sleep sound tapes from the grocery store years ago."

Daria perked up, "You liked me for that long?"

"Why else would I end up with a jerk like Tom Sloane?"

"That didn't explain the other guys."

"Slim pickings at Lawndale High it would seem. Once I saw you I could not bring myself to put another girl on my arm. Fitting in was an easier way out. At least that way I got to still be around you. You didn't seem to be playing for the softball league when we met so I figured I wouldn't force the issue."

"Obviously," Daria said in her characteristic monotone.

"Disappointed?"

"With what?"

"That we stopped."

Daria pushed herself beyond her comfort zone as she spread her arms around Jane's shoulders and allowed her quivering hands to float on down to the waist of her tigress.

"My lady," Jane said, easing over the shorter woman, "has become the tiger."

Daria hugged Jane to her chest and kissed the soft wing of flesh under her chin.

Daria's lips trailed up to the ruby red lipstick she had longed to mingle with her chalky plain lip balm. Such was the strange feeling of these lips sliding together to form a pattern like the staccato of lightning trails painting the sky outside as each wave of thunder passed.

"Hoaaghhh," Jane cried out when Daria teased her naked navel. They were losing one piece of clothing after another as the rain carried on. Licks of thunder dripped down the concrete crevices between cracks in the floor. Daria's left eye twitched as it followed the crack to a dry space ten years later. She could still feel the lingering press of Jane's body as the weight bucked against her hips. Daria forgot she was not alone in the garage as she stifled a moan at the sound of approaching footsteps. Light sparked into the fluorescent bulbs above as the lights came on.

Daria turned to see Trent by the light switch, "This isn't a great place to rub one off. The bathroom door still locks."

Daria's face resembled the shade of eggplant when she peered up. He raised a brow and closed the door as he went back inside. She stared at the door and raised an arm to approach. She sighed, lowering it back down, "Well, maybe it is time to move on."

"That's what Stevie Nix said but she still tours with that Buckingham goof."

Daria saw Jane's face poke through the door as it went ajar. She found Daria zipping up her jeans beneath a warped poster. The sad poster limped against the wall as a back draft came in from the house.

"We should have a neighborhood bonfire before we leave." Jane said while ripping the last Mystik Spiral poster from the wall. The tattered corner brushed her fingers as Daria replied, "I'll hold a make-an-effigy-workshop."

In order to affirm her point Daria took the poster from Jane and began making a doll out of the shreds. Jane tossed a few empty boxes aside and as she coughed through dust she came upon a boom box covered in band stickers. Her eyes landed on Sneaker Pimps and worked its way down to the Lawndale Lovineers.

"Daria what's a lovineer?"

"I think an engineer of affection?"

"You can't be serious."

Daria heard a click and 'Go Your Own Way' crackled out of the speakers.

"Stevie Nix?"

Jane sang like a strangled chicken:

"Loving you Daria

Isn't the right thing to do

How can I ever change things

That I feel

If I could

Daria I'd give you my world

How can I

When you won't take it from me

You can go your own way

Go your own way

You can call it

Another lonely day

You can go your own way

Minnesota

Go your own way

New York

Tell me why

Everything turned around

Packing up

Seattle

Shacking up's all you want to do

If I could

Daria I'd give you my world

Open up

Everything's waiting for you

You can go your own way

Wiley's Pick-N-Pack

Go your own way

Good Times Chinese

You can call it

Another lonely day

Lawndale Medical Arts

You can go your own way

Dragon's Fiery Belly

Go your own way Daria."

Daria quirked a smile and felt her face muscles stiffen.

"Are those your Mom's tapes?"

"Yeah, want to listen to Joni Mitchell or Joan Baez?"

"I'll pass on burnt-out hippie tapes."

Jane went back inside to retrieve packing tape and mailing labels. The box of tapes was beaten with a rag as a cloud of dust rose.

"I don't think your Mom needs more junk in South America."

"I got a call from her and she says Dad and her are staying in Nicaragua next. I'll mail these tapes there and be done with it."

"Trent's old boom box too? Won't he get mad?

"That's my boom box, it'll go with us Daria."

The door opened again with Trent emerging to help Jane as she shook the packing tape roll with one arm. He stopped the pitiful sight by taking the tape from her and Daria approached from the floor. Trent frowned at the sight of his band poster doll. The garage rumbled open when he clicked the wall side switch. Jane clutched at Daria's hand leading her away. Several steps and they were inside. A casual breeze from the oven brought thoughts of Denise's homemade mac-and-cheese. Daria liked that the crust was made of crumbled potato chips and bits of bacon melted in place by crisp layer of cheese.. Denise was washing walls with bleach in the kitchen. The ammonia was barely overpowered by the oven. Jane and Daria gasped at the same time when they saw the fridge. The inside of it was cleaned out with nothing left but a crusty ketchup bottle and a carton of chocolate milk. They found the odd collection of cheap beer in the vegetable drawer. Jane threw away the ketchup out of respect for the fridge. Denise looked up, "Help yourselves ladies. Plenty of food warming in the oven."

"Thanks, will do." Jane said.

Daria got to work pulling out plates and utensils before Jane had a chance. They could hear Trent and his friends loading up Tank with a fresh pile of junk while they ate where the table had once been. Now there was a set of milk crates in its place for anyone to sit on.

"Denise can you check on Trent?" Jane called out when most of her food was gone.

"He's fine Jane. Let him handle it."

Jane's face twisted as Daria watched her eyebrows point to the garage door.

"I see. I'll give you two a minute."

Daria kept eating when Jane rose from the crate she sat on. Only the back of Jane showed to her when Jane searched through the cabinets for a folded piece of paper.

"Daria you can go your own way."

Jane tossed the mysteriously off-white paper onto Daria's lap.

"Please don't sing again." Daria replied as she stared at the stained paper folds. She saw multiple coffee rings and hard cheese melted into the fibers. There were also scribbles of crayon to finish off the look.

"You drew that didn't you?" Daria pointed to a curly blue line that looked like a bird.

"Daria I've had a lot of time to think about this."

"About what?"

"Open it."

Daria did as she was told and at the top she found a date, 8/1/1976, under a coffee ring. The signatures of the Lane parents were far below at the bottom.

"Its the deed to the house?"

"Yeah I want to offer you the house Daria."

"That's nonsense."

"You can stay here in Lawndale and do as you like."

"Go my own way?"

"Stay here and you don't have to change."

"Why are you doing this Jane."

"Daria we've been through hell and back together but I don't know where you are right now. It's like you're not home and when you are you're getting drunk in the tub."

"Jane please we've been together ten years."

"You have until tomorrow night to decide. There's a seat for you in the Tank once we pull away from the driveway. But with that seat you agree to get out of this funk you've been in ever since we got in that accident. I need you Daria and I know you're still in there."

"You want me to just shove all this under the rug and what?"

"I want you to let go of your guilt. You wear it like a suit of armor."

Daria's eyes watered at the signature space where the deed would be turned over to a new owner.

"Does Trent know you're trying to do this?"

"No."

"So you'd go behind his back like this and forfeit all the money from selling the house?"

"He wants me to break up with you."

"An ultimatum then?"

"Call it what you like but I am giving you a choice. Choose to leave the past behind or don't? I'll love you no matter what you choose but I need a woman to share my life with and you've been acting like a girl."

Jane left the kitchen.