Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part Two

Page 17


I was like a reverse Helen Keller.
I plopped on the couch and picked up the remote, clicking through channels.
Doe came to stand in front of me, blocking my view of the screen as she read back my list. “Blow, weed, the last three seasons of American Ninja Warrior, non-shitty beer, Johnny Walker, Jose Cuervo...” she stopped and crumpled the paper. “This isn’t a fucking shopping list, Preppy, it’s a list of felonies.” She threw the wad of paper at me and it bounced off my face, rolling onto the floor. “Give that kind of shit to King or Bear, in the meantime, if you need clothes, or food, or things like deodorant and toothpaste, then I’m your gal.”
“Why are you so pissed off at me?” I asked, taking my eyes from the TV to give her a questioning look.
“Because...I don’t fucking know!” She snapped, grabbing her bag from the counter and swung open the front door.
“Where are you going?”
“The kids are at school and the baby is with King in his studio so I’m going to the food store to get stuff for dinner, and then I’m going to Grace’s grave to lay fresh flowers and then pick up the kids and then tonight I have an appointment to tattoo an entire butt cheek with the face of a tiger. “You can come with me, you know. To Grace’s grave?”
“Nah, I’m good here,” I said, taking a swig of my beer and turning back around to the TV. “Wait, when did you start tattooing?” I called out but she was already gone.
The screen slammed shut and if the sound of her stomping down the steps indicated how she felt about my refusal to take her up on her offer to go to the cemetery, then Doe was most defiantly pissed the fuck off. It took a solid minute of covering my ears and rocking back and forth for those sounds to stop bouncing around in my head.
I rubbed my eyes. “Chicks,” I muttered, sitting back against the cushions.
“She kind of has a point there,” someone said. I turned my head to the hallway as a girl with long pinkish hair and a very big baby belly stepped out from the back door into the living room. She leaned against the wall next to the TV. “You haven’t gone to the cemetery since they told you about Grace. You should go with her sometime.”
“You mean since I found out about Grace,” I corrected her, unable to hide the bitterness from my voice. “No point. Just a box in the ground surrounded by other buried boxes in the ground. Never did make much sense to me to visit people who can’t talk back.”
“Did you know that Ray visits your grave while she’s there too? Brings you flowers and everything. Even since you’ve come back. She’s still been doing it. I don’t know if it’s out of habit or...”
“Or why?” I asked. “What exactly are you getting at oh wise pink one?”
“Or maybe she’s still visiting your grave because she feels like you haven’t really come back yet.”
It was my turn to roll my eyes. “That’s ridiculous, I’m right fucking here...wait, I have a grave?” I again lifted my feet onto the table and expected her to slide hers off to make room. No such luck. Oh she lifted her feet alright, but the second my heels came in contact with the table she rested them across my shins and sighed deeply. “That’s creepy as fuck...and kind of fucking cool.”
“Don’t you want to know who I am?” she asked.
“I was getting to that,” I lied, staring daggers at her offending feet resting across my legs. The girl gave me an eerie sense of deja-vu and although I was positive I didn’t know this her, I kind of felt like I knew about her.
“I’m Thia, Bear’s fiancé,” she offered. “But you can call me Ti if you want.” She patted her stomach and smiled. “This here is Trey. Well, Trey if it’s a boy, or Jackie Marie if it’s a girl.”
“Bear?” I asked, the mention of his name grating against my nerves. The fucker still hadn’t shown his face. “I don’t know a Bear. I mean, the name sounds vaguely familiar but I can’t quite picture him. Sounds ugly as fuck though.”
It would sound more familiar if he showed his fucking face and stopped avoiding me.
Thia rolled her eyes. “He’s giving you time, asshole. Take it as a gift because trust me, you fucking need it.”
“Time for what?” I asked, pushing her legs off of mine and sitting up so I could lean in and better glare at the stranger in front of me. “And what the fuck is that supposed to mean?”
“You’ll find out.”
“Thanks pink haired Dali-lama, I feel much better about one of my best friends ignoring me now that you’ve explained everything. Shit’s all fucking roses again.” I chugged down the rest of my beer and set it harshly down on the table, the bottom of the bottle made a loud SMACK against the glass.
“Why don’t you focus on what’s important, Preppy?”
“And what exactly is that?”
“The fact that Ray is at the cemetery right now putting flowers on your fucking head stone when you’re alive and right here, sitting in her fucking living room.”
“MY living room,” I corrected.
“See? That’s exactly what I mean. You’re not focusing on what’s important.” Thia said, standing up slowly in a series of small motions a lot like a semi truck making an eight point u-turn on a narrow road. “Also, she didn’t want to tell you but she’s been going to see Dre. They’ve become pretty good friends.”
“Wait, what?” I asked, but she too was already across the house. What was with people telling me part of a fact before taking off?
“Chicks,” I muttered again when I thought she’d gone back out the same door she’d entered.
“I heard that!” Thia said from behind me. I jumped and dropped my empty bottle onto the floor.
“You were supposed to!” I said back, picking the bottle off the floor and setting it back on the coffee table. I rounded the couch and grabbed a fresh beer from the fridge, feeling Thia’s gaze on me the entire time. When I sat back on the couch I felt the back of my neck where I could have sworn her stare was burning a hole in my skin. “You sure know how to make an impression,” I said.
“Well, now at least you’ll remember me,” she said, this time making her way to the back door and opening it.