Mommy tells me every day that I am a hurricane. Jacko has long declared me stupid. Daddy has not yet given me a name, but I’m sure he will have one for me just as soon as he has the time to call me that.
So, it was only a matter of time till I justified their feelings COMPLETELY.
I tapped a kitchen knife between my fingers in a challenge. I cut the base of my thumb. I justified their feelings COMPLETELY.
Bloody and fainting, I lay comfortably in Mandy Carter’s room. Next to Alison. And on top of us, stood a very frightened, and very pale Mandy. To call our parents, specially mine, would simply be The End. But NOT calling… would be confessing to guilt. Mandy was in a fix. Her brother got her out of it.
“Yo Mand I’m like-” He came around to tell us he was going out for a while, ‘like a stroll or something’ as he always said, but never did really get to it, that day. What with two unconscious girls in his younger sister’s bedroom, a bloody hand and a knife nearby, a ‘stroll’ would only be slightly inappropriate.
“Holy shit.” were his next words.
He did what any scared teen would do in such unlikely circumstances. Call HIS parents. And they came running. (Or driving.)
Mandy told me all this. And quite a lot of this is her words really, so give her credit for it, by the way.
So they came, and they got scared too and then THEY did what any scared parents would do in such unlikely circumstances, and called OUR parents. “Please just come over sir/ma’am” they said.
My mom came. Alison’s dad did.
They sat in the Carter drawing room, wondering the cause for this weird gathering. Upstairs, Mandy and her brother bit their nails and Mandy cried. I feel the need to mention here that Mandy’s brother, Kevin, is older than Jacko, but not once have I seen him treat Mandy out the way Jacko does me. Just mentioning.
So they broke the news. Two hysterical parents came running. Alison’s daddy and Mandy’s.
Mommy, Mandy said, was such a lady, she didn’t let worry once cross her eyes. Such a lady.
Next I know, I am in my own bed, tucked well in, and it’s night.
My hand is in a thick bandage, which is slipping off at quite some places, out of its right position, but I guess it’s just me tossing and turning in bed. I am feeling all right. Just a little sting at the base of my thumb, at the trough between the forefinger and thumb, like some wet thing burning the gash.
Anyways, I fall back in a sleep again. And the next time I wake up, mommy is changing the dressing, and it’s the middle of the day.
Now I am frightened. Such an abrupt confrontation I am NOT prepared for. But then, I am not awake, right! I shut my eyes again…
…but too late.
“How ya feeling?” Mommy says.
“Alright I guess.” I whimper.
And then I burst out. “I’m sorry mommy, I am. I shouldn’t have played the game, I know. But I just didn’t want to say no to a dare and there was Alison and she was going to tell the whole school about it and Mandy is such a show-off and I couldn’t let her say I backed out. They would call me chicken and-”
“Aright. Go to sleep.” And mommy waked out of the room. I was stunned.
I had let her down. Oh shitty shit.
I banged my head into my pillow, and cursed myself. Why did I have to be such a nut?
Jacko. No, man. Not him too. I peeked. He seemed okay.
“What you doing banging your head?”
“Jacko, I’m junk.” I confided in him.
Jacko didn’t say anything.
“Hey! You think I’m junk!”
“I didn’t say it.” He shrugged. I went back to burying my head in the pillow.
“Okay. Why do think you are junk, Jen?”
“Because I let mommy down.”
“WHY did you let mommy down?”
“She challenged me Jacko! Alison would tell the whole school!”
Jacko nodded. That’s why I told him things. He didn’t attack me with shoulds and shouldn’ts.
“Did you think about violence Jen? He said suddenly.
“Then you ain’t junk. End of story.”
Jacko said goodbye, and he left.
I liked that too.
I swore never to let Jacko down, whatever happens. Because then, no doubt, I would be REAL junk.