The wind ruffled his hair as he picked up speed. He wondered what she would think of it. The bat winged Buick Convertible turned heads. It had been his dream to own one since he saw the Go Go’s video. The only difference was his was white rather than red. It was the ultimate midlife crisis car. And he certainly was in one.
All his life, he had gone by the mantra “I can’t fix that”. It was an attitude that allowed him to miss more than one female train wreck. Chipmunk Face was different. It was something he could never explain. Both vulnerable and confident at the same time. She claimed she was 19. He knew better and never crossed the line.
The phone chirped. Another text from her. Daddy was drunk. Could she crash at his place? It had happened before. He replied I’ll pick you up in a few minutes. A hole opened up in the lane to the right and he exited toward the park.
The bio-units were not deserving of the title parents. On the surface, it was a typical upper middle class family, nice house, nice cars in the garage. But like so many families, the inner workings were different. Dad, when he was around, was drunk or high, slapping her for no reason. Mom lived in her own little world, denying her precious husband could be so cruel. Most of his time in the last month had been stepping over their drama. It was a losing proposition. But something kept him around, the mutual comfort for stability in the game of life.
When he got there, the sky was dimming to a deep purple with yellow streaks and humidity was rising. A half-moon peeked over a cloud bank in the opposite sky, colorless rainbow curling around the edge. The horizon blinked, thunder a long way off. A lineman was working on a cellphone “pine tree” across the parking lot. The neighbors demanded the disguise of the grey monstrosity. Planting dead trees for the living. That’s cute. Would they plant a living one when they were dead?
With a clunk, the door opened and closed. The sound startled him.
“Hey, Baby.” A snake-like grin covered her face. “Cool car.”
She had on a full length faux fur coat, flowered halter dress peeking between the flaps. A modern version of Belinda Carlisle she was pleasingly thick, blonde hair restrained with a butterfly barrette. The nose ring was an afterthought of rebellion. A monstrosity of a purse was slung over her shoulder. It could pack enough stuff to keep her for days. Tonight was going to be different. It would be a vacation and he’d hang for it.
“The story about Daddy wasn’t true, was it?”
“No.” Looking out the window at the workmen, she said with a smile. “I just wanted a touch of gray.”
They drove off toward the storm.
The liquor store stop didn’t take long. Cuervo Gold. Maybe some fine Columbian. Nah.This would be enough to erase the nerves. The dude behind the counter leered at them as he paid.
When they got back in the car she leaned in close enough to smell the perfume off her neck. Yeah. It was time. Lightning flashed over the house, illuminating the roofline.They got inside just as the rain began to fall.
The coat landed on the couch as she slithered around the room.
The liquor turned off the mental noise. Hands went around the pale body just above her waist as she rose to meet his lips.Guiding him to the couch, she tugged the shirt over his head and massaged his shoulders.Freezing her hair, he brought the barrette up her face. Kissing first it, then him, she stood up and untied the dress. There was nothing underneath. He leaned back for a good look. She enjoyed seeing him wince.
After it was over, the warm washcloth blotted away the evidence. But the warmth wasn’t as good as hers.
Three brush strokes and a flick put the hair back in under the butterfly. The girly gear went back into the big bag. He always wondered why she took so much stuff. As she picked up the bag, she blew him a kiss.
“Don’t lose your sparkle, Baby.”
And she was gone.
Pic Rebecca Revels
Pic guesses: Snake (in blog), slithered (in blog), tempter, coral, pavement, rattles, road kill