Coda

Jun. 8th, 2012 12:04 pm
i_17bingo: (Default)

previously...


She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door. She led us down the hall, away from the library's study room, and whispered, "What's up?"

"Where have you been?" I asked. "I've been calling you all week."

She sighed.

I was only eighteen, and my experience with breakups was limited. On one hand, I had my one-and-only personal breakup, which had consisted of me walking in on my girlfriend being groped by my oldest friend. On the other hand, I had movies and TV, in which such breakups were merely the prelude to the actual romance. On a third hand, I had the ongoing histrionics of my high-school friends, all of which were pretty stupid, and none of which plumbed the emotional depths I thought I'd had with the girl I'd once loved. The idea of a couple splitting up with minimal drama was one of those things I knew existed but had never witnessed--like a blue whale or a quark.

And yet I recognized that sigh.

"Oh, Bupkis," she said.

"My name is Max." If I was correct about where this conversation was going, she had given up all rights to affectionate nicknames.

"Don't ruin this."

"Ruin what?" I asked. "You're the one who's dumping me."

She flinched. "Bupkis..."

"Max."

"I want to remember how much fun we had together," she replied, "not how it ended."

"Why does it have to end?"

"For starters, you're a freshman, and I'm not."

"So?"

"We have different priorities."

"I don't have any priorities."

"There's that," she said. "And the fact that I'm going to grad school next year."

"We could do long distance."

"Really?" She closed her eyes. "Are you really thinking that far ahead with someone you've only been sleeping with for three weeks."

"But we're so good together!"

"Which is why we need to wrap this up," she told me. "Before it gets complicated."

"But complicated is good, right?"

She averted her eyes. "Not for me it isn't."

"I don't get you," I mumbled.

"There's that too."

Neither of us looked at each other or said anything for a long time, until she concluded, "Look, I have a final tomorrow. Can we talk about this later?"

"Do you really want to talk about this later?"

She shook her head.

I then uttered what was probably the smartest thing I'd said since the moment I'd walked into the building. "Then don't worry about it."

"Thank you."

My mind, stalled and adrift, ceded control of my body to my feet, which shuffled me through the exit doors of the library and to a bench just outside. The December chill tried to remind me that I'd forgotten my jacket, but I wasn't paying attention.

If the loss of my high-school sweetheart was the back story to my personal narrative, then what was I to the woman I just walked away from? Just another chapter? Was that what she was to me?

In the midst of this identity crisis, I barely noticed the figure who appeared beside me. "Can I sit here?"

I nodded.

My new neighbor settled down with a peripheral rustle of wool and a whiff of cigarette smoke. "Aren't you cold?"

I shrugged, turned to the owner of the voice, and blinked at a pair of sharp eyes, a set of smiling lips, and a hint of soft curves that squirmed at the touch of the frozen concrete slab we shared.

You know, you can cram a lot of chapters into a novel.

"Hi," I said to her. "I'm Max."

i_17bingo: (Default)

previously...


"It's Bupkis," I said to the pixie-haired, bespectacled woman who answered the door.

She replied, "I remember." Her face then twisted into a frown. "I never told you where I live."

I shrugged.

"I never even told you my last name."

I shrugged again.

"Well?"

"I know an art major who I'm guessing has a promising future as a police sketch artist," I explained. "Given the fact that you could legally buy alcohol, I asked around in the hangouts where junior and seniors go--this took a while, by the way--and then headed to the registrar's office and cashed in a favor."

"You're putting me on."

Again, I shrugged.

"You know," she said, "in some places, that's considered stalking."

I smirked. "But not in this place."

She smirked back. "What can I do for you, Bupkis?"

"I was considering... acquiring some beer and sharing it with you." I had no idea how I would acquire said alcohol, me being eighteen and all, but I had time to work it out. "After Thanksgiving, of course, if that's okay with you."

"Hell, you can share on Thanksgiving if you want," she said. "I'm not going anywhere."

"Seriously?"

It was her turn to shrug.

"Come on over to my house for dinner then," I told her. "My parents never turn down a stray."

She blushed. "I couldn't."

"Yes, you could."

She pondered this for a minute. "You live close?"

"More or less." I clarified, "Right on the border of Arizona."

"Close enough." Not really--it was about a five-hour drive away. Regardless, she asked, "You got a car?"

"More or less."

And so, the next day, we sat in the back of a bus. We'd managed to fill about a hundred and thirty-five miles with small talk before she grinned and shook her head. "You're really paying attention to what I'm saying, aren't you?"

"Why wouldn't I be?"

She looked at her legs, which had somehow draped themselves over my lap without me noticing. "You tell me."

"That," I agreed.

She studied me. "I can tell you're not gay."

"I most certainly am not."

"You must be a virgin then." A disappointed pout momentarily drifted over her face.

If there was ever a call for a spit take, this was it. It was a good thing I wasn't drinking anything. "What?"

"It's okay, you know. You're only a freshman. Lots of guys wait until they're older," she told me. "And lots of guys lie about being a virgin too."

"I'm not lying," I said.

"About what?" she clarified. "That you're a virgin, or that you're not a virgin?"

I shrugged and pulled my arm back, and with it, my fingers. They came to a stop at the top of her knee. My thumb, however, rested on her inner thigh. I pressed my nails into her leg--just hard enough to get her attention, and began dragging them upward toward the hem of her skirt.

She squirmed, but she didn't retreat.

As soon as my hand felt fabric, it came to a halt. I leaned close to her, my gaze resting on her cheek and her neck. "Go on..." My lips brushed against her ear. "... guess."

"Why would you do that?"

"I wanted to show you I'm not inexperienced."

"I mean," she said, "why would you stop?"

"Good question." My thumb followed the outline of her underwear, where it met with the inside of her leg. She moaned. And when it slipped underneath, she sat up and kissed me. It wasn't so much the romance of the moment as it was she needed to keep herself from crying out.

I don't know how much time had passed--based on the throbbing ache building up between my legs, it must have been a day and a half--by the time I asked, "Are we supposed to fuck on a bus, because I don't know if I'm brave enough for that."

"Just keep... doing... that."

I stopped moving my hand and instead ran my tongue from her collarbone, to her neck, and to her ear. "Doing what?"

"What you were doing?" she whimpered.

Her hips tried to do the work, but I kept pulling back, just out of reach. "Say please."

Suddenly, her nails dug into the back of my skull, her eyes seared mine, and she growled. The voice that poured out of her clenched teeth didn't even sound human. It said, "I am so close to fucking coming right now, and if you don't fucking go back to fucking fingering me again, I will fucking kill you."

I did as she asked. "Like that?"

"Oh," she grunted, and, after two more gasps, she lunged forward and bit my shoulder with enough force that, even if it didn't draw blood, it was going to bruise.

It took her a while to breathe again, and when she could, she giggled, "So you're not a virgin."

"Yeah, but only barely."

"It's a zero-sum game, Bupkis," she told me. "You either are or you aren't."

"I guess I'm not."

"How could you barely be a virgin?"

I shrugged. "There was only one girl."

"Really?" she asked. "You learned how to do that from one girl?"

"There was a lot of build-up," I replied. "Lots of time together in cars. Lots of groping. Lots of oral sex. You know--practice."

"Are you trying to tell me you went down on your high school sweetheart?"

"Doesn't everybody?"

She threw her arms around my neck, laughed, and kissed me, for real this time. "Bupkis," she said, "this is going to be a long vacation."



to be continued...

Bupkis

Mar. 2nd, 2012 12:31 pm
i_17bingo: (Default)

"This is what I don't get," the clerk said. "You are standing there, telling me that you can get me anything I want, in exchange for two cases of beer." He added, "And, because that's not hilarious enough, you want to pay for the beer?"

"I'm not sure what's so hilarious about this."

"If you could get anything," he said, "then why don't you just get your own beer?"

"Were you a philosophy major when you dropped out of school?" I asked the clerk.

"I graduated, jackhole," he replied.

"I see that worked well for you," I replied back.

"Insulting the guy with the stuff you want isn't helping, you know."

"Respecting the guy with the stuff I want wasn't helping me either," I told him, "so I guess that leaves me at square one."

"You got balls," he said, "I'll give you that. You just marched in here and told me you were eighteen without giving me any bullshit about a lost ID or even a fake."

"That would mean a lot more to me if it came with a liquor purchase."

"Well, it doesn't."

"What does?"

"A valid driver's license or state ID with your real date of birth of more than twenty-one years ago," he told me.

"Then we're at an impasse."

"No," he clarified, "You're at an impasse, and the chick behind you who's probably not a minor is also at an impasse. Me, I'm right where I belong."

I smirked and raised an eyebrow. "I was right! You really were a philosophy major!"

"Get the hell out of my store."

"If I do what you want, will you let me buy the beer?" I asked, just in case.

His voice went up a couple of extremely frustrated octaves. "Are you fucking serious?"

"Only a little bit," I admitted as I obeyed and whispered a quick apology to the chick behind me, immediately averting my eyes from hers, which were stunning, amber, and hidden behind thick-framed glasses.

Shrouded in frustration, I'd made it nearly a block and a half before a voice called out from behind me, "Hey, Bupkis!"

Since I didn't remotely look Polish, I ignored it and returned to pondering my line of attack for the next gas station.

"Bupkis!"

I looked around for a Mr. Bupkis and realized that I was the only person on the street--other than the owner of that voice, of course.

"Why are you yelling Bupkis at me?" I shouted back at the shadowy figure strutting up to me.

"Because your name is Bupkis," the figure replied, stepping into the light.

"Why?" was pretty much all I could choke out at that point. That was because I finally got a decent look at the woman who had been behind me in line, with her black, boyish haircut revealing a neck that sloped from her jaw all the way to the collar of her jean jacket, which both concealed and hinted at the snug T-shirt beneath, with a hem that didn't quite make it to the waist of her just-as-snug jeans.

"Because that's all your incredible ballsiness got you," she replied.

"My name's actually--"

"Don't tell me," she interrupted with a grin. "Bupkis is cuter."

I blushed.

"Hi," she said, "I'm Mac." After a moment of silence, she added, "Mackenzie, in case you were wondering, but I'll be fucked if I'm going through life with a cutesy Scottish surname like that."

"Hi," I squeaked.

She held a case of Sheisse-Haus Lite to eye level and said, "Pay up, Bupkis."

"Really?"

"I wouldn't buy this shit for myself, that's for damned sure."

I handed over a wad of cash and reached for the case, but she yanked it away. "That just covers the beer," she informed me. "For me getting you the beer, you owe me one or two."

I'm not stupid. I knew what she meant by that. Unfortunately that's not what I heard.

What I heard were eight-month-old sounds, which were echoes of sighs and moans coming from the only comfortable spot in the car graveyard just outside the boundaries of my trailer park back home. What I smelled was weed, which was perfectly normal in this private, hidden location. What I saw was the misshapen lump of a hand underneath a T-shirt, cupping a breast, which was also perfectly normal in this private, hidden location. What I tasted and felt was bile burning the back of my throat, because that breast belonged to my girlfriend, whom I loved hopelessly, and that hand belonged to my oldest friend, whom I loved like a brother.

"Well," I replied in the present, "I was, uh, planning on using it to, uh, bribe this guy in the theater department for..."

"That's fine," she said. "I can't stay up too late tonight anyway. Classes and all." Her eyes never found their way back to mine by the time she turned and wandered away.

That's right. I was Bupkis.



to be continued...

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Jeremiah

January 2013

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