Thursday, September 30, 2010

close range by ivy parker

You know, I thought better of him in the beginning, but I can't remember what I saw now.

I know, its not this. Not now. Maybe we got too close.

Ok, it was summer. I didn't know anybody. My friends were gone and there was Jeremy down at the beach. Just hanging out. Its not like he was a surfer or anything. A loner, perhaps.

But a friendly loner. And of all the girls he could have hung out with, it was me. I worked for my grandfather at the hotdog stand. Yeah, what a lame summer. On the beach, working.

I'd see bikini girls come and go. Wonder if his eye would stray. It wouldn't. He'd be there as soon as we opened up for hot dogs. Sometimes, he might eat up to a dozen a day. Always back for more.

And I'd watch the waves and dream of surfing. But it didn't happen. The only board I had was a skateboard.

Usually, I'd do that sort of thing alone. I mean, its this thing I take personal. I'm not a showoff. Really, I don't like for people to watch me. Only that's sort of hard to do when you're at the beach.

So I'd get in my baggy clothes, become somebody else and head for the concrete after closing time.

Things might have looked dim. My parents in the middle of a divorce. My grandpa who flirted way to much which meant we got way too many high cholesterol casseroles (from his girlfriends) at his place so therefore he slept a lot when he wasn't flirting. It was my board I could depend on.

It took me away from thinking about school, even college. It was just me, the air and concrete. And it was beautiful. At least for a time.

Until Jeremy came along.

At first it was nice, thinking it was an accident.You know, him crossing my path. I'd zoom by, look back for a second and then he'd be gone. Or maybe I'd be gone.

But then I'd see him around the corner. I'd wonder how he got there. What he wanted from me. Nothing. Nothing, I was sure.

I mean, he didn't seem romantic, like that. Sure he'd say hello. He'd talk about the waves, the sun. Nothing special.

But it was like he was always waiting for me to say more. Only I was busy and well, I couldn't.

I was out past the board walk when it happened. When literally, I bumped in to him. When I fell right into his lap.

"I've been waiting for this," he chuckled."He broke my fall and I'm glad he did. It was funny at the time. And his hands grabbed my arms kind of tight. But he let go once I got my balance.

"Waiting for what?"

"You really are sweet sixteen, aren't you?" He squinted a grin and it was then I noticed he was way older than me. Maybe thirty-something.

"Seventeen. I'm not sixteen." I clarified staring intensely into his green eyes.

"You should go out with me someday."

"Like where? A date or something?"

"Something like that?" I should have felt it then, but I didn't. I kept trying to look away, but I couldn't.

"So what do you have in mind?" I know what you're thinking, why didn't I run away then? Why do stupid girls to do stupid things, like this? But it was kind of like I was standing up to him. Not letting fear take a hold of me, and wondering, what did he want from me.

We talked awhile about how the board walk had changed over the years, our favorite Ben & Jerry's ice cream. He made me smile. He wanted to know everything about me. Where I went to school. What I wanted to be. Jim, my ex from my old school never asked me anything like that.

He wanted my picture too. Why was that so important?

I let him think I didn't know what he was doing. That this was more his idea than mine. Yeah, it felt great that I could make him this happy. It made my whole being rush with excitement. That alone was a drug.

And he needed me. First it was just phone stuff. You know, like things I'd say to a D.J. Okay, a little of me was oblivious to the fact that he really liked me. Sort of.

I just liked that tingly feeling he gave me. And it wasn't like I really needed him with me to get as much out of this as he did. But then he had his needs.

It wasn't as good as on the phone. You know, something about being in person takes away the sensation. You just go numb and its not as all wonderful as they say it is.

Sometimes, I wish I was still a virgin. I'd feel better about a lot of things. But everybody has regrets, right?

I just didn't know I'd be Jeremy's regret.

So he had a life, after all. When did that happen? I thought he wanted me. I thought he needed me.

It sounded that way in his edgy voice. It felt that way when he fingered me. He wanted me.

How can something so connected suddenly disconnect? I don't understand it. I don't know how to feel without him, anymore.

And you see, I have to keep calling. I have to keep trying.

But I'm afraid now. I don't like his threats. First, I didn't think he meant them. I wasn't seriously effected by them. We could shake it off with a smoke. He could still be happy.

I'm not at all crazy at what he's become. Its so deliriously funny. But he wants to hurt me.


Syed said...

Sounds like rather an eventful Summer really!

molly said...

very interesting twist at the end.

ellie said...

kind of irry.

meg said...

Very interesting account.

DFF said...

so luv the new header.