*To clarify the year is 1967. They are in high school. The lyrics to the song are in italics.*
On the days after these incidences, I just tried to sleep as long as possible. It was a Saturday and not having school was the best after a hard night. Even though it was the weekend my parents still worked. They were gone so often I couldn't even remember the last time I saw them, but I didn't mind. I loved being alone because it was the only time things were real. And when I was alone I couldn't get hurt by anyone else.
I pushed myself out of bed and looked at my clock. It was already 12. Then I caught sight of my arms that were uncovered by sleeve since I was at home. They were all there; old scars that had faded slightly over time. Fresh ones that still had spots of dry blood around them. They littered my arms like cigarette butts on the sidewalk. Cigarettes. I had my fair share of cigarette burns too on the same surface.
I realized I was about to flashback into last night and shot up from my seated position. I went quickly to the records and decided on Frank Sinatra. He was my absolute favorite and I knew that would cheer me up.
The soft hum of Call Me Irresponsible filled the room. I inhaled it deep into my lungs like it was my Dior Diorling perfume. It made me want to dance with Sinatra himself. After all, he was incredibly handsome.
Then I heard the doorbell sound. Its chimes rung long and hollow in the empty house. I walked slowly down the stairs. Who would show up at this hour? Who would come and see me anyways without calling first?
I opened the door to see Chris Chambers. Why the hell was he here? I had never talked to the kid once in my entire life and now he was standing on my front step like we were old friends. If anyone even saw him in this neighborhood he'd be chased out with pitchforks. And it was for this reason that I casually invited him in.
"Get in here before anyone sees!" He walked quickly in and I slammed the heavy front door behind him and locked it with finality.
He stood awkwardly in the foyer, rocking on his heels like a small child.
"Why are you here?" I said bluntly because seriously why was he? This was probably the weirdest thing that happened to me... ever.
"Well... I just... I mean... After that day with Ace... I thought maybe..." he trailed off and I clenched my fists at the meaning of Ace. Then I remembered. The day he saved me.
"Oh yeah. Thank you for that. I'm glad you came by then. I didn't get much of a chance to say anything."
"Yeah it's fine." Then we were back to awkward silence. I didn't know what to do. Could I just throw him out? Or would he be alright just to hang around for awhile? After all, he did save me. It was the least I could do.
"So do you want to come up or something?" I gestured up the stairs.
"Sure." Chris followed me up and I assumed he was taking it in because he didn't say a word.
The record had switched over to It Was a Very Good Year by now.
"You seriously live here?" he looked around with wide eyes.
"Yes. Why? What's so hard to believe?"
He blushed slightly. "Oh, it's not hard to believe you live here. It's hard to believe people live like this at all."
We sat on the floor and he said nothing again. Chris seemed nervous or something but I didn't know why he would be.
"I'm really sorry about what everyone was saying in class too. Jack's kind of a jerk. I don't even know why I go out with him sometimes." This wasn't true at all. I knew exactly why I did. It was mostly because I couldn't leave.
"I hear it more often than you'd think," he said simply; almost like it didn't even matter anymore.
"Is it true?" I said quietly. I had never known if it really was. For all I knew, it could just be a rumor. "If you want to say, that is."
"Yes. It's true. And that day wasn't the worst of it. People just... think it's funny. Maybe because everyone thinks we're scum. Anyone else the cops would have been called in and it would have been settled. But not me. Nobody cares what happens to me."
Just as quickly as I thought it, he noticed it. "What's wrong with your arms?" he grabbed one and turned it further to see and I flinched. Chris' eyes met mine with total concern.
I ripped it back. "Nothing," I tried to say coolly but my voice wobbled.
Then a tear slipped from my eye. I had held it in for so long; had never told anyone. I had to get it out.
I started to cry harder and Chris moved closer. "Ace a-and The Cobras... they-y-y rape me. Sometimes I've tried to get away. That's wh-wh-at the marks are from." I was sobbing now and he took this as a cue to put his arm around me.
"It's okay. It's gonna be okay," he said soothingly while rubbing my shoulder with his hand. "They can't hurt you right now."
"I-I've never told anyone either. They wouldn't even care. So please d-d-on't say anything."
"I won't. Just try to avoid them. I'll stay by you whenever I can."
"Th-th-ank you, Chris. It means a lot. Especially when you don't even know me."
"Well it looks like we'll be getting to know eachother then," he smiled.
My record changed to my favorite song, The Way You Look Tonight. It got me to relax because it was the perfect song.
"I love this song," I told him.
"Really? Huh. I never pegged you as a Sinatra fan."
"Do you like him? Sinatra, I mean."
"He's the best... Would you like to dance?" he said in an over exaggerated tone.
I laughed. "Why certainly, dear Chris."
We got up and we slow danced in my bedroom. I could hear Chris humming the song under his breath.
"And that laugh, that wrinkles your nose. It touches my foolish heart." Chris sang softly and I laughed. He was actually a good singer.
I knew this wasn't what I was supposed to be doing. He was a Chambers and I had a boyfriend and his older brother and Eyeball's friends had raped me on numerous occasions. But I felt safe with him. Even thoughts of trying to live unscathed through another night simply disappeared from my mind. It was like he could protect me from every bad thing that could ever happen.
As quick as it entered my mind, I knew I had to do it. I reached up and put my hand on the back of his neck and kissed him. He fumbled. I could tell it was his first kiss because he had no clue what he was doing and also because I knew no one would go out with a Chambers let alone kiss one in fear of getting a disease. But I continued kissing him anyways because it didn't matter. I just had to feel it, to feel him in the moment.
It was very different than being kissed by say The Cobras or even my boyfriend. It was comfortable and sweet. With them it was all about force and getting on to the next thing whereas I could tell he would just stay doing this forever, as would I.
Then I pulled away. Lovely. Never, ever change. Keep that breathless charm. The song continued on and Chris stood stock still, shocked.
Won't you please arrange it? Cause I love you. And the way you look tonight.
And I grabbed him again because I couldn't take the empty feeling. This time he knew what he was doing. He fell into it and it felt like we never came up for air but we didn't need to.
If anyone caught me, I would be dead but for some reason I didn't even care. It didn't even cross my mind. We were kissing so passionately it felt like no one else existed.
Oh how I wished that were true.