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Last Girls, Chapter Six


  01:03:00 am, by Nic Wilson   , 902 words  
Categories: Last Girls

Last Girls, Chapter Six

?Oh,? Kelly said, realizing that Lark was the only one sitting beside the fire. ?I should maybe go,? she said, turning towards her tent. She stopped, realizing that she and Lark were sharing a tent; there was no getting away from the woman.
?Fire's coming along nicely,? Lark said, poking it with a stick. ?Nice and warm.?
As if to punctuate the cold, the wind kicked up, reminding Kelly of the chill in her bones.
Angel had pulled several large stones around the fire, to sit on, and Kelly lowered herself onto one ninety degrees removed from Lark. ?Everything okay?? Lark asked. ?You've been weird around me all day.?
?I think I've just been weird, period, since I found out.?
?Yeah,? Lark said.
?And knowing he cheated, it's not just knowing he was willing to go behind my back the one time, it's knowing that I can't trust him, or anything we've had. Who knows how many other times he violated my trust??
?Or with whom,? Lark said. ?It's an ugly place to be. An ugly head space.?
?You've been cheated on??
?Yeah. Once. Though, technically, I guess I was cheated with. You remember our center??
?Only by his tight end- though I assume there was a corresponding name and face.?
?Yeah. Waiting for the snap... I still have dreams of just his butt in my face. Not like close, or naked, or-?
?That took a turn...?
?But a high school athlete in tight pants bent over... I was never in that for his name or his face. He was dating the, not the head, but apparently they had like a lieutenant underneath her, but dating her for like all of high school. I sincerely think they started in middle school and realized in high school that that was weird so they lied about how long they'd been together. They broke up for about a week around Homecoming, too late for him to even pretend to look for another date. And we agreed to go as bros. Only... I don't think he does with his bros the things we did in my Jeep.?
?After the Homecoming dance? I remember you disappeared pretty quickly.?
?After. Before. During; we snuck out for a quickie when they started in on the electronica. I'd spent a couple years staring at his ass, and I think we were just both pent up. Only... they got back together after, and it seemed to slip his mind. So yeah, after she confronts me with half the pep squad as back-up, I got the trifecta. Being accused of helping him cheat, knowing he lied and having everyone else know I bought it, and also having it aired he was cheating on me with his ex. Homewrecker and homewreckee all in one. Aside from that time I nearly broke my ankle running in a touchdown, it was my darkest moment.?
?Sounds rough,? Kelly said flatly. ?Though having been through that, I don't know how you could...?
?How I could... what?? She smiled. ?Alan? Ew. No offense. But I don't think he's man enough for me. Or I'm too much man for him. Or both.?
?But you were... on his lap.?
?That? Oh. I'd kind of hoped you were too busy driving, and distracted by Bets' mother-henning to notice. But I was trying to interrogate him.?
?With your butt??
?Throw him off with just a little playful flirting, so he doesn't realize that I'm not just one of the guys. I mean, it shouldn't matter to me who it is-?
?But it totally does matter,? Kelly said. ?I don't know what answer I could ever hope to find, you know, if him cheating with someone with an obvious flaw makes me feel better or worse- but it's like I've heard the set-up to an awful joke, and hearing the mean-spirited punchline couldn't hurt nearly as much as not knowing.?
?Yeah. Maybe we can just have Betsy kick his ass. Ooh. That's the stick. The carrot is we'll flash him when he does, but it's up to him whether or not Betsy's beaten him until his eyes are swollen shut.?
?I like the violence. I'm not sure about the carrot.?
?Okay what if the carrot is her kicking his ass. Then the stick is just sticking him with a stick??
?Now we're talking. Help me find a good gnarly, nubbly one from the pile.?
Kelly laughed to herself, but it trailed off quickly. ?If I'm honest, it's really not about Alan. It's something my mom used to say to me. She was a vindictive cunt, but even the most ridiculously shitty thing, repeated often enough, can worm its way into your brain. She always told me I was going to die alone. And when we got knocked off the road... that flashed before my eyese. The thought of all of you dying when the Bronco rolled, me surviving just long enough to crawl away from the wreckage, crying out for help, but everyone who would have helped, would have cared to try, was already gone.?
?Hey,? Lark said, and grabbed Kelly's arm. ?We aren't going anyplace. We're here for you. And even if it isn't really about Alan- at least not entirely- that doesn't mean we can't take it out on him. Cheater deserves whatever you give him, I say.?
?Yeah,? Kelly said. The thought warmed her bones even more than the fire.

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