Chapter 17 - Two Lost Souls
Someone was knocking on my damn backdoor again! I crawled out of bed, grabbed a pair of jeans out of my top dresser drawer and t-shirt from the middle drawer. I dressed as I walked to the door. I paused when I got there to drag my comb through my hair. I was ready this time for a more violent approach to Dean's shenanigans.
"Damn it, Dean can't you keep normal hours?" I was yelling as I opened the door. Dean was not standing there however; Jill was in his place. To say she looked nice didn't do her any justice. She was wearing jeans and a simple white t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up. She had a pair of white suspenders holding the jeans up and was wearing white socks and white deck shoes. Her hair was pulled back tightly into a ponytail, and she was wearing absolutely no make-up at all which was the way she looked best. Her skin was always flawless, and she had a peaches and cream complexion. The green eyes were the topper though; they shone brightly with an otherworldly luminescence.
She reached up grabbed my face with two hands and gave me a big wet kiss with lots of tongue. After a minute, she let me go and stepped back. " I missed you Danny Wilson. I missed you a lot. Why didn't you call me?"
It took me a while to control my heart rate. I had this conversation all worked out in my head, but the sudden assault on my senses had robbed me of all those words. I was left with, "I really don't know. I was uh.. kind of out of things for a bit..head an all.' I fingered the scab above my eye.
"Poor, baby, " she whispered as she grabbed my head again and kissed me on the scar. Then she leaned back and her voice turned angry, " Well, I'm glad that you are not dead, but I am a little bit miffed that you didn't call me and let me know what happened."
" Well, I was waiting for you to call too."
We both looked at each other sadly. Then she leaned forward and put her arms around my neck, " I'm sorry. I was worried, but I didn't what to do. I was worried that you might have thought that I had something to do with their attack. I felt that if you called first, it would be because you knew I didn't have anything to do with what they did."
There was a note of sincerity in her voice, and it wasn't just the kiss that made me believe her. " I didn't know what to think either. One second I was floating down your sidewalk on top of the world, and the next thing, I was coming to in an emergency room. I'm gonna be honest and admit to you that I had some concern about the fact that the last few relations you've had have ended with some sort of injury to the guy."
She looked pained and leaned the side of her head into my chest. " I thought about that too. It made me even more worried. Those other guys were just jerks. I didn't want for Mickey to hurt them like he did, but I didn't really care either because of the way they acted. They treated me like a slut, Danny. You're not like them. It's different with you." I could see a tear slide down the side of her face.
"I'm sorry. I couldn't bring myself to believe that you had anything to do with it, but I was afraid to call in case you were going to tell me that we were done."
She leaned back and looked me in the face and giggled, " Danny after all that talk that night about Cyrano. Remember, when you implied he was a coward.
"I said that someone else said that. He said Cyrano couldn't bring himself to face Roxanne."
"In case she would have rejected him. That's exactly what you did."
"I have to admit I was wrong. The universe must have overheard our conversation and decided to teach me a lesson about calling people cowards." I paused for a moment and reached down with a finger and raised her chin, " Seems I owe you both an apology." With that I kissed her, and it was the first time I had ever kissed anyone that long and deeply.
Afterwards she hugged me and whispered in my ear, " Apology accepted." She hugged me again.
I hugged her back and laughed, " Now that we got the apologies out of the way, it seems to me that you were guilty of the same way of thinking."
"No way. I never said that he was a coward; that was all you. Besides I caved first, I'm here aren't I, and that's got to mean something."
I took my arms from around her, took her hand and led her into the living room where we sat down on the big, red sofa that occupied the west wall.
We just sat there for a while and let the anxieties of the last two weeks flow out of out bodies. Then she bolted upright and said excitedly, " I forgot to tell you why I came over here."
I was a little nervous because it was way too soon for surprises. "Which would be?" I asked curiously my right eyebrow arched.
"While we weren't communicating with each other, I turned eighteen!"
Her eyes were big and bright and her smile was just as large. " I'm not jailbait anymore."
"Oh, my God!" I blurted, "I'm so sor..." She wouldn't let me finish; she put her fingers on my lips and kept giving me this very sexy, joyful look. I couldn't stand it and had to ask, "That look mean what I think it does?"
She kept on smiling and then nodded her head. She then noticed that my eyes didn't seem to match hers in their level of enthusiasm, " What's wrong? Aren't you happy?" She looked puzzled.
" Baby, it ain't that. This is a big step for us. I just want to make sure that you're ready for it. I don't want to put any pressure on you like them other guys."
Her eyes turned serious for a moment, " Danny. I don't ever want to hurt you, but I have to be be honest. I'm on shaky ground. I really don't know where this is heading, and I'm not going to lie to you and say that I'm not confused about what my feelings are for Mickey." The words hurt me, and she must have seen it, so she leaned in and kissed me. When she pulled back she spoke again, " I woke up this morning, and I had to see you. I ran out the house and speeded all the way over. I don't know about what the future holds, but I do know that right now I want to be with you."
It was a lot to take in all at once. It wasn't everything I wanted her say, but it was more than what I knew yesterday, and things were kind of leaning a bit my way. Why shouldn't I be happy? I kissed her again, stood up, took her by the hand, and led her into my room.
Afterwards, we lay in each others arms, and it was good. No screw that; it was great! I had a poster of Jack Kerouac on the ceiling above my bed. Jill asked me who it was, and I told her. I also explained the quote from Dostoevsky on the poster next to it, "To love someone means to see him as God intended him." When I stapled it there, I had taken a marker and scratched out the hims and replaced them with hers.
Jill laughed gently and asked, " Is that one about me?"
I laughed too, "Truthfully, I think it was just waiting there to be about you." She liked that notion as much as I did.
I suppose it was inevitable that it just couldn't be a great day without the subject of Mickey popping into the conversation. I don't how it happened; it just did. Jill told me that as far as she knew he was dating her Mom's goddaughter. She went on to say that the girl always called her after every date she went on with Mickey. Last night, the girl told her about how some guys who were fishing at the river had thrown beer bottles at their party as they were floating down the river. All of the bottles missed Mickey and No Neck, but one had hit Rigo over the left eye giving him a gash.
The girl had described the guys, and it reminded Jill of someone she knew. "She said one of the boys had long dark brown hair and eyes so blue you could see them from the middle of the river."
I stopped her there, " I was there. I didn't throw any bottles, and I told Dean not to either."
"You weren't out for revenge?"
"Not yesterday. I had calmed Dean down about it too, but Rigo yelled something about his dad's death and that set Dean off. Mickey and No Neck laughed at the joke too. That made Dean act even crazier. One of the bottles hit Mickey's inner tube and deflected and hit Rigo above the eye. Then they started paddling our way, so I grabbed Dean threw him in the car, and we jammed."
Jill looked worried, " Danny you can't do things like that. If they had caught you they might have hurt you some more."
" I wasn't worried about getting hurt more; I was more concerned with the fact that Dean had a machete in the bucket with the beer bottles. He was so mad that Rigo's lucky he's still got a head. It was an old rusty thing, but I noticed yesterday that Dean had sharpened it."
Jill looked up at me and smiled wanly, " What's going to happen, Danny. Stuff like that just fans the flames. I am afraid that something worse is going to happen. Someone's going to get hurt."
"I don't care about the revenge thing, Jill. What worries me is what's going to happen to us. If we can make it to the other side without any confrontation with those fools, I'd be perfectly happy. I just don't put too much stock in it happening that way, but it won't be because of me."
We kissed again. And she put her head back on my shoulder and closed her eyes. Then out of nowhere, I had the strangest sense of foreboding, and the lyrics to a Dylan song popped into my head,
"And I'll watch while you're lowered, Down to your deathbed,
And I'll stand over your grave, 'Til I'm sure that you're dead."
The weird intrusion into my thinking made me shiver. Jill noticed and opened her eyes and looked up at me questioningly. I just smiled and smoothed her hair with my hand, and after a while, she closed her eyes again.
When she closed her eyes, I quit smiling. I was really confused. I didn't know for whom those words were meant, Mickey, Rigo, No Neck, Dean, me, or maybe the part of me what was afraid of change.
Before Jill fell asleep. she asked, " My friend kept saying that one of boys kept screaming the words Aunt Polly at the top of his lungs. What was that all about, Danny?"
I laughed, "Nothing, It was just a joke, a joke that Dean was making."
"Dean? It wasn't about Cyrano was it?"
"No, another story altogether."