Sorry for the long wait! I had this written, but I went back in and revised it a bunch of times. Remember, this is my first time in a long time writing in first person POV, so this is extremely difficult for me to capture a personality through Wendy's eyes/mind/body. Anyway, thank you so much for the reviews and alerts! You guys are amazing!
"Oh, oh, Sheila. Let me love you till the morning comes. Oh, oh, Sheila. You know I want to be the only one..."
The bathroom is warm, dimly lit with tealight candles and smells of lovely rose oil. I tie my hair up at crown of my head and brush back fibers of ochre, chestnut and russet from my brow. The waffle weave bathrobe drops from my body and I stand in front of the bathtub, feeling the warmth of the glassy, foaming water with my toes. When I step in, I glide slightly on the hyaline surface of the bottom of the tub and catch myself on the hollow in the wall. An entire neckband of indecencies echoes through the house and I massage the front sole of my left foot. This is why I only take baths once in a while, they're damn deadly if anything.
I finally manage to lower myself into the pool of spumy, bubbling water without slipping again. Once my entire body is submerged, I relax my muscles against the heat of the frothy bubbles and press my back to the edge of the bathtub, bare bottom touching the porcelain base. As dangerous as they are, I'd take a bubble bath any day over going to school with idiots.
"Oh, baby, it's plain to see. That you're qualified to fill your needs..." I bellow, cupping handfuls of water and bubbles and lathering the olive skin of my legs. "I think you threw an oath on me. Honey, baby, just you wait and see."
After fifteen minutes, the cordless phone rings from the edge of the bathtub. Sighing, because God damn everything I already know who the asshole is on the other line. I pick up the phone and put it to my ear. I've already had so much of Ferris Bueller today that I'm actually considering staying in the bathtub until my parents and brother come home. However, his promise of a 'fucking awesome, mind-blowing' day is way too hard to pass up. I didn't skip school, get choked out and drooled on by my dipshit brother just to sit on porcelain all day long.
"And we say, oh, oh, Sheila," I coo into the mouthpiece.
"Let me love you till the morning comes," he sings to the receiver, his voice deep and warbling.
I laugh heartily and adjust my position in the tub of water. "Give me another fifteen minutes. I've decided to take a bath," I say, flicking a handful of bubbles into the air.
"Room for one more?"
"Ever the charmer, Ferris," I reply dramatically, placing a hand over my bosom. "But, poor, poor Sloane. What'll you tell her?"
He chuckles and I can tell that my act has him grinning pearls. "She doesn't have to know a thing."
Ferris and I have always joked around like this. When we first met each other in middle school, there was an immediate connection because we understood each other's sense and extent of humor. As juvenile and cliché as it sounds, it was friendship at first sight and friendship at its best. Cameron Frye (sullen, anxious sidekick to Ferris), on the other hand, had an extremely hard time warming up to my (as he calls it) "infantile", "immature" — clearly, he's been paying too much attention in my father's AP senior English class — "buffoonery". Eventually, my spirit grew on him and his morose, rain cloud of a personality grew on me.
Believe me, I have no fucking clue how that happened.
Just because he's always got shrapnel tearing through his ass doesn't mean that he gets off without my constant jeering. I always joke with him because he just responds so much more forcibly than necessary. Once, I told him that I was gonna marry him when we were older because we're countering forces and those things are supposed to attract. Right? I said that knowing that he would either A) change the subject or B) start stuttering and sweating through his jersey like a fool. But, what I did not expect him to do was C) bolt away on foot to his car and trip over poorly pruned hedges. I really love the guy, but Jesus H. Christ, he is fistful and then some.
I shake my head. "You sure are a piece of work, Bueller."
"A work of art."
"See you in fifteen minutes," I say, hanging up the phone.
It takes five minutes to blot myself dry, split the curtains, blow out the candles and dress in those khaki shorts, ruled blouse and belt. But then I decide, screw it, if we're going out and this day is going to be 'fucking awesome', I'm gonna look fucking awesome. So I peel off those clothes — mostly because they remind me of my pesky mother and school, who likes that? — and slip into a pair of wine red shorts and a white v-neck with a jean jacket and a black infinity scarf. I run a brush through the large billows in my hair and part it with the bristles at the top of my temple. Satisfied, I pull on a pair of shin-high boots, grab my sling bag from my bedroom and just because I'm a filthy, crafty, conniving, 'gross bitch', I spit a small, frothy wad of saliva onto Doug's bed and conceal it beneath one of his neck pillows. Ha fucking ha.
I lock the door on my way out of the house and cross the street to Ferris' greensward where he lay supine on a lawn chair. He tips down his sunglasses and locks eyes with me, observing my upright form. "Well?" he says.
"I could use some company."
"You could use a brain."
"Oh, ouch, Wen. That hurt."
"When you were dropped on your head?"
"Yikes. That's a zero on the scoreboard for Ferris Bueller."
"Zero? Are you counting the number of brain cells you have left?"
Ferris just chuckles and lies back onto the chair. I can't tell if he's looking at me or the sky through his sunglasses. "Strip down and lotion up!" he shouts, grabbing a bottle of sun screen from the table adjacent and holding it out to me.
I shrug my shoulders nonchalantly, placing my sling bag on the lawn beside the empty chair. The shoes come off first, everything else just gets tossed into a messy pile on the sod until I'm left in a bandeau and matching panties. I grab my sunglasses from the sling bag and the sun screen from Ferris' grasp, relaxing against the grating material of the bolster on the lawn chair. "Nice view, eh?" I ask, knowing that Ferris' eyes are roaming my skin.
"Sure is," he drawls from beside me, taking a long swig of his lemonade. He looks indefinitely to the sky and I look at my skin, deciding that a gentle tint on the olive plane couldn't hurt, so I place the sun screen beside my sling bag on the lawn. Ferris hands me his sweating glass of lemonade and I take a small sip before handing it back.
A comforting silence ornaments the sward like a duvet of sorts, one with dendritic designs, feathery insides, and no sibling DNA on it. I touch my throat and thinking about Doug's hand around my neck doesn't make me want to spit on his bedding anymore, it just makes me want to shit in his pillow case.
"Is Cameron tagging along on this escapade?" I ask.
Ferris picks up the cordless phone on the table, dials a number and puts the receiver to his ear. "Hold that thought."
I roll my eyes and sneak a sip of lemonade from the cup on the table between us. Cameron is an easy boy to read. I already know from years of friendship that he's not sick and he's lying in bed with the eiderdown pulled tight over his head.
"Cameron!" Ferris yips into the mouthpiece. "What's happening?" There's a pause for Cameron's response. "How do you feel?"
I lie back onto the lawn chair (which is irritating and feels strangely clad in homespun) and put the back of my hand to my forehead. My tongue lolls lazily across my bottom lip and a small rivulet of saliva rills from the corner of my mouth. Yes, I'm taking jabs at Cameron and his extravagant exaggerations. He's an easy target and I'm an ass, so it's a perfect match.
"Yes, Wendy's here. Yes, she's making fun of you." Ferris puts his hand on the mouthpiece and turns to me. "He says to knock it off."
I put my hands up defensively.
"Is your mother in the room?" Another pause. "I'm taking the day off, come on over." Another pause. "That's all in your head. Come over."
I get up from my spot and squeeze in beside Ferris on the rough-hewn material of the bolster on his own chair. He moves the phone to the other ear and holds it outward, allowing me more room to press my ear to the side of the receiver. There is still no space at the end of the lawn chair for both of our gangling legs, so I cross mine and throw them atop Ferris'.
"I feel like shit," Cameron's voice crunches in the receiver like cellophane wrap. "I can't go anywhere."
"I'm sorry to hear that," Ferris replies. "Now come on over and pick us up."
"Wendy has a car."
"Yes, my dear Cameron Frye, but my car is a piece of shit and herein lies the problem."
"Ferris says my car is shit too. Two equally shitty cars. I don't see the problem in driving yours."
"Ha! I pray for what is to come hereafter if I have to deal with your quick wit again. You see, my dear Cameron Frye, your car may be shit, but my piece of shit is shittier tenfold."
"There is duct tape on the windshield for fuck's sake, Cameron! Now get your hypochondriacal ass out of bed and come pick us u—He hung up."
Ferris shrugs, dropping the phone into my lap and folding his arms behind his head. "Call him back."
So, I comply and punch in Cameron's phone number. A continuous, low hum crackles the line and I press the receiver to my ear when Cameron picks up on the other end. "Cameron, love? It's Wendy," I say. My tone is sweet yet sly, I can feel Cameron's general air of malaise through the receiver.
"Hey, Wen," he replies wearily.
Ferris presses his ear against the back of the phone. "I'm sorry that I screamed at you."
I lift my shades to wink at Ferris, then mouth 'piece of cake' into the mouthpiece. "Come out with us, Cameron. Please?"
"Oh, please. You two only need a ride."
Ferris grunts in amusement. "Piece of cake," he mock-whispers.
I gasp in disbelief. That reasoning is only half true! "I can't believe you would say that! We love you, Cam! Now move that cute little tush from your bed into the front seat of your ca—What a dick! That son of a bitch hung up on me again!"
Ferris snatches the phone from my grasp, dials Cameron's number and puts it to his ear. "You're not dying. You just can't think of anything good to do." Then hangs up and stretches an arm behind my head, pulling me into his side.
I punch his midriff, to which he recoils slightly and folds his arms over his middle. "Not on your life, Bueller."
Cameron finally arrives fifteen minutes after receiving another pestering phone call from Ferris and I. The tires of his car screech noisily on the mended flagstone as he pulls into the drive edging the house. The automobile steadies in front of the steps and quietly purls until Cameron (forcibly and violently) kills the engine. Damn, his car really is a piece of shit.
"We should greet him at the door," Ferris says, righting his tie. "Be good friends, ya know? He is sick after all."
I filch a wedge of pancake from my fork and shoot Ferris the most heavy, earnest look I can manage. "The little shit made it this far without help. He'll be just fine to open the door by hims—CAM!" I run for the door and pitch myself into Cameron (who seems to have seen this coming and already has his arms raised for me).
I may be extremely mean to my boys all the time, but they know that I love them to death.
"Wend—oof!" he grunts, trying to righten my bulging anatomy in his arms. "Geez, the plate doesn't ever leave the hand, does it?"
I look down at my hands: plate full of pancakes in one, fork moistened with saliva in the other. Cameron is on the receiving end of a sharp, yet canny grin and I place the fork down atop the tower of mangled pancake scraps. "Never has, never will." Then I snake an arm behind him and squeeze his butt.
All at the same time, an acute shriek punctures the air and Cameron's hands fly to his backside. I swear to all that is holy and sane and mighty, I have never seen the boy jump so high in his entire life. His eyes widen to saucers and his cheeks redden to fire brick, all the while, Ferris is crooked and bent over in laughter. Like I said, easy target.
Cameron's eyes darken for a moment before he grabs the plate from my hand and dumps everything into the garbage can. I gasp, "Asshole!" He hit me right where it hurts: my empty stomach. I'm blistering with rage, but even I have to admit, it's awesome payback.
He brushes past me to the front door, his hand seemingly scalding on the knob. "I'm leaving. You guys only called to piss me off." Cameron's not gonna leave. He's a bullshit liar and even he knows it.
"Okay, bye!" I say, at the same time Ferris bellows, "Wait!"
"Let him leave if he wants to," I reply. "Bye, sourpuss!"
"Wendy," Ferris warns in a cautionary tone. "Don't get bent out of shape over spilled pancakes—Cameron, get back in here."
Cameron rolls his eyes at the door, now hanging ajar on the hinge. He closes it and meets Ferris at the telephone in the kitchen where I have my elbows leaning on the edge of the marmoreal island in the center. Cameron glares in my direction while I flash my winning smile and wink at his slightly downturned lips.
"We need to make a phone call to Rooney. So," Ferris gestures to the both of us with his upturned hands. "Apologize to each other."
"What is there to apologize for?" I ask, shrugging. "Cam has a nice butt and my hand was just showing its appreciation."
"Oh, cut it out, Wendy!" Cameron says.
I laugh, "Well, you'll have to get used to it. That fine backside of yours is gonna be mine when we get married."
He pales to a floral white and quickly reaches for the telephone on the wall. "Rooney should be in his office right now..." he mutters, punching in the phone number to Edward Rooney's office.
Ah, Edward Rooney. The man is a gem. No shit. He's crazy nice to me. Although, I know it's only because my father works in the next corridor over and would surely hand Mr. Rooney's ass to him if he was anything but courteous to me. Everyone once in a while, Mr. Rooney will call me down to his office just to have a friendly chat to see how I'm faring in my classes. He always exalts my grades and gasses me up with hopes of being the valedictorian of my graduating class.
Of course, he knows that I'm best friends with Ferris Bueller and Cameron Frye. When something is amiss in the school and shithead Bueller gets called down to Rooney's office, he calls me as his witness to testify on his behalf. My personal favorite excuse is "Ferris, Cameron and I had a movie date last night at my house when (said incident) occurred." When I use that one, I get to explain an entire movie premise rather than explaining the Declaration of Independence or mathematical growth models. Sounds gross, but I'd rather sit with Ed Rooney in his office for an hour and a half than fall asleep, dribbling over my text book in economics.
By the time I'm out of my own thoughts, Ferris has already filled Cameron in on the plan. The first part of this plan involved me calling the school nurse and telling her that Sloane Peterson's grandmother had passed. Now, I'm all for getting the pretty little brunette out of school to hang out with us, but what I don't condone is the whole 'grandma-had-a-heart-attack-at-the-wheel'. It's because of Ferris' genius ideas that I end up getting severely bitten by karma.
Cameron pulls his jersey over his head and sets it down on the marmoreal island. I take it before he can object and tug it down over my breasts and around my body. It fits like a dress because Cameron is a whole foot taller than me.
He rolls his eyes and draws his serious face. "This is George Peterson," he says in a voice ten thousand octaves higher than his own. "Ed, this is George Peterson." A pause. "Well, we've had a bit of bad luck." Another pause. "Yeah, it's been a tough morning. We've got a lot of family business and if you wouldn't mind excusing Sloane, I'd appreciate it." Cameron gulps and his eyes widen as he scratches the nape of his neck nervously. "Ed, I'm sorry. Did you say you wanted to see a body?"
"What the hell is he saying?" I ask.
I hadn't realized until now, but Ferris is gone. Probably to another phone to call the office.
Cameron puts a hand over the mouthpiece and shakes his head in disbelief. "He wants to see a body. A damn body! Can you believe it?" he half-shouts, half-whispers. He puts the receiver back to his ear and clears his throat. "Oh, uh, no. My wife's mother." I guess Mr. Rooney says some whacked shit because Cameron's jaw unhinges in disbelief.
I rush over to the telephone and listen in with Cameron, catching a snippet of Rooney rudely reeling off. "—you can come down here and smooch my big, old, white butt. Pucker up, Buttercup...what?" Then he puts the line on hold for a moment before returning more abashed and solemn than before. "Mr. Peterson, I think I owe you an apology."
Cameron lightly shoves me away from the telephone's receiver and presses the mouthpiece to his face. "I should say you do," Cameron replies, back to his strange voice. "Well, I think you should be sorry for Christ's sake! A family member dies and you insult me! What the hell is the matter with you anyway?" A pause. "Well, pardon my French, but you're an asshole! Asshole!" Another pause. "This isn't over yet, buster. Do you read me?" Another pause. "Call me sir, goddamnit!"
Aggression sure is attractive on Cameron Frye. I fan my face with my hand and point to him. "So hot for you," I whisper, smirking and winking at him again.
That air of malaise is back again as he turns away from me and shouts into the mouthpiece. "That's better. You mind your P's and Q's, buster, and remember who you're dealing with."
Ferris glides across the linoleum, coming to a stop and fixing his tie. "Bueller, Ferris Bueller."
"Yawn," I say, rolling my eyes.
Ferris waves me off like a foul scent in the air.
"Now, I'm scared. What if he recognizes my voice?" Cameron asks, covering the mouthpiece and receiver with his palms.
"Impossible, you're doing great," answers Ferris, absentmindedly adjusting his cuff links.
Cameron smiles, putting the phone back up to his face. "Rooney! Rooney, calm down!" A pause. "I don't have all day to bark at you, so I'm going to make this short and sweet. I want my daughter out in front of the school in ten minutes. By herself. I don't want anyone around—" Ferris shakes his head and smacks Cameron on the arm, who covers the receiver and mouthpiece. "What?"
"Out in front by herself? It's too suspicious! He'll think something's up. Cover it."
Cameron appears panic-stricken in his white tee shirt and suspenders. He grits his teeth nervously and holds the phone out towards Ferris. "You do it!"
Already angry, Ferris waves his arms and points to Cameron. "Talk!" he orders.
"Oh, for fuck's sake!" I say, throwing my hands up. I gather the greatest rasp in my voice and snatch the phone from Cameron. "Is this Edward Rooney?"
"Yes, yes," he replies. Christ, he sounds more unnerved than Cameron. How is that possible? "Is this Mrs. Peterson?"
A short sniffle. "This is she."
"Mrs. Peterson, I—I know that you've heard of my...outburst. And, I am so, so, so sorry."
"You should be!" I shriek. "Is your mother still alive, Mr. Rooney?"
"Uh, y—yes, alive and very well."
"I'm glad, I pray for her health. But, how would you feel if I asked you to conga, waltz and tango her dead body over to my house?"
"You'd feel angry and offended! Right? Angry and offended and hurt and—" I let out a pained wail and sob violently into the mouthpiece, my own mock weeping crunching in the receiver. I look at Cameron and gesture him to the telephone with my head, never letting go of my lost composure for one moment.
Cameron takes the phone from my hand. "I think that's enough, dear," he says, his slightly guttural voice losing its throatiness. "Let go of the phone, honey."
"That bastard! How dare he?" I shout, mock weeping and walking over to Ferris' fridge to check for juice boxes. No luck. All I find is an opened carton of carrot juice with the lapels folded and creased against the sides.
Cameron clears his throat and puts his mouth to the phone again. "Look what you've done, Rooney. You've angered me and upset my wife. She's in tears and wailing for Christ's sake!"
I think that's my cue for another ear-piercing shriek. I grip the marble island and release the most pointed, pained scream I can manage and pretend to dissolve in my own tears when all I really want is a damn juice box.
"I've changed my mind! I want you out in front of the school with her! I'd like to have a few words with you, by God!"
Ferris slaps Cameron in the face and the phone jumps out of his pining hands. He winces and the telephone cracks against the linoleum tiling of the kitchen floor. Both boys scramble to reach the phone, but it is Cameron who snatches it and clears his throat against the mouthpiece. "On second though, I don't have time to talk. We'll get together soon and have lunch!"
Ferris kicks Cameron in the butt just as the phone is hung on the wall. He rubs his backside and narrows his eyes at Ferris. "Why'd you kick me?"
"Where's your brain?"
"Why'd you kick me?"
"Where's your brain?"
"Where are the damn juice boxes?" I mutter, positioned with my knees braced on the counter, pillaging the cabinets.
"Why'd you kick me?"
"Where's your brain?"
"I asked you first."
Ferris sighs, "How can we pick up Sloane if Rooney is there with her?"
By now, I've settled for a bottle of lukewarm soda pop. "Ferris has got a point," I say, pointing the neck of the bottle at Ferris.
Cameron shoots both of us a defeated look. "I said for her to be there alone and you freaked!"
"Oh," I drawl, leveling the collar of the bottle in Cameron's direction. "Cam's got a point too."
I put my hands up defensively. "I calls 'em like I sees 'em."
Ferris slaps his forehead. "My, God, you're so stupid!"
"Remember who you're talking to, Bueller," I warn, grip tightening on the bottle.
He rolls his eyes at me. "Not you!" Ferris paces the kitchen floor with his hand against his forehead. I find amusement in his nervous stature; I can even hear the anxiety in the clacking of his loafers. "I didn't hit you, I lightly slapped you."
"You hit me," Cameron replies. It sounds a bit childish. If I was Cameron Frye, I would've put an end to Ferris Bueller forever. "Don't ask me to participate in your stupid crap if you don't like the way I do it!" Ferris seems incredulous at the moment, as if he's contemplating slapping Cameron again. Cameron sighs and runs a hand through his hair. "You make me get out of bed, you make me come over here—" Goddamnit, Ferris. Why'd you get him so riled up? "You make me make a phony phone call to Edward Rooney?" he asks. "That man could squash my nuts into oblivion. And—and—and then, and then, you deliberately hurt my feelings."
"I didn't deliberately hurt your feelings," replies Ferris.
"Really, really. No, I didn't."
I thought shrapnel only came out of his ass, but the way that he glares at Ferris leads me to believe otherwise. Even I have to scoot further down the counter because if looks could kill, Ferris Bueller would surely be lying with Sloane's grandmother right now.
"Okay," Cameron says, starting on his way out of the kitchen. I don't realize that I'm still wearing his jersey until he reaches the den.
"Where are you going? What are you doing?"
"Bye, Wendy. Ferris, see you later, pal. I'm going home, have a nice life."
I shoot Ferris a fierce glare and gesture to Cameron with my bottle. "Fix it!" I whisper, my tone almost acidic.
"Cameron, wait a minute! Cameron!" Cameron turns around, stopped at the aperture in the kitchen. "I didn't mean to lose my temper, I'm sorry. That was uncalled for."
"Yeah." He pushes a mug of some swarthy fluid across the island to Cameron, who grateful takes a pull from the ceramic cup. Ah, my boys. Those two can never be mad at each other for more than ten minutes. I, on the other hand, have no problem holding malice in my heart for an eternity and than some. "You did screw up, though. Right?" God, Ferris, shut the hell up. "Not that it was completely your fault. Although, Wendy did bring the shovel to dig you out of that hole."
I throw my head back and cast my arms into the air. "Wendy, with the assist!"
"To fix the situation, I'm going to have to ask you for a favor..."