needed to be eaten.
I had my head in the fridge collecting tomatoes when I heard the screen door slam. Figuring it was Dell, I didn’t look up.
“You need help in here?” The strange girl’s voice surprised me and I spun around quickly, dropping most of the tomatoes I was holding onto the floor.
“Oh, piss!” she said, laughing as she scrambled after the tomatoes. “Didn’t mean to startle you.”
The girl standing in the doorway looked exactly like Madonna in her Like A Virgin video. Everything about her was naughty and sexy—from the rosary which hung down between her boobs to her finger-less, black lace gloves.
“Thanks,” I said as she held a few dropped tomatoes out to me.
“You must be Dell’s girlfriend.” Her hot pink lips smiled, showing a small gap between her front teeth.
“Depends on who you ask.”
“I’m Kitty.” She handed me the rest of the tomatoes. “You want help with these or what?”
A couple of hours later, a dozen or so of us sat outside under the stars, joking and laughing, an easy vibe in the air—a calmness I had not felt in a long time. Dell ignored me, as he usually did, most of his attention on Sissy, the dark-haired neighbor girl who’d been over the weekend before to eat some of Dell’s hog.
As people dipped their corn chips into the spicy salsa Kitty had helped me make, not even the mosquitoes seemed to be bothering anyone. Some of the girls sang along with the radio, “Set me free, why don’t-cha babe, get outta my life, why don’t-cha, babe,”while Kitty danced around. I couldn’t help but watch her. No one could. Worley, who sat on the opposite end of the old, wooden bench I was sitting on, couldn’t take his eyes off her. When the song ended, Kitty came over and sat down beside me. Worley scooted closer to us.
“You’re so quiet, Teenie,” Kitty whispered to me. “Are you always this quiet?” Her eyes, darkened with make-up, locked onto mine. Nervously, I looked away. She took my hand in hers and turning it over, placed a small white pill on my palm. “I wanna share somethin’ with you.”
I’d never taken Ecstasy before, mainly because Dell had never offered me any and I’d never asked him for it. There was something in the way Kitty looked at me that made me think there was no better time to try it than right now. Lifting my hand up to my face, I touched the little pill with the tip of my tongue and pulled it into my mouth.
“Your first time to do X?” she asked, leaning in.
“You’re real pretty,” Kitty purred to me, her rhinestone cross earrings sparkling in the darkness.
“You have a pretty mouth, too. Like the kind that want to be kissed.” She laughed. “Can I kiss it?”
“What?” I asked, even though I’d heard her.
“Can I kiss you?”
I didn’t stop to think. “Okay.”
Kitty’s lips touched mine. Her tongue was soft and tasted like Sprite. Forgetting about everyone else, I closed my eyes and kissed her back…everything around us faded away. When we broke the kiss, she smiled at me.
“Cat got your tongue?” Worley asked, snorting.
Looking around, I saw Dell was still not back from taking Sissy and some of his guests for a ride in Bandit. The few people who were paying attention to Kitty and me didn’t seem to care what we were doing, but I was embarrassed. I got up and went inside.
My safe place was the kitchen, so I went there, opened the refrigerator door, and stuck my head inside. I breathed in the cool air as I replayed the last few minutes in my head. The stereo was cranked up in the den, and that girl who sang in malls was carrying on, “…and then you put your arms around me, and we stumble through the crowd, and then we say…”
Kitty slipped her arms around my waist. As much as it surprised me, I’d almost known she would. I turned to face her. She pressed me up against the open door, her mouth covering mine.
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