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

Page 6


Ray tapped the spot on the lower right corner of the page over the official county stamp, one that would be a raised on the original. It wasn't something I put there.
Ray continued, “I got this copy from the County Clerk’s office this morning,” she said. “And according to’s very very real.”
"Shit," I swore, turning the page around like it could tell me something more by inspecting the blank side. "That makes us..."
"In the eyes of the State of Florida? Married," Ray finished for me, flashing me a wink. "Congratulations, Dre. You’re Mrs. Samuel Clearwater."

PREPPY A thousand hopeful whispers breathed over my body. Little bursts of air peppered my skin as someone gently lifted my arm and two fingers pressed firmly on the inside of my wrist. I was tucked and untucked in varies stages of cocooning, wrapped in unfamiliar softness. The air around me was fresh and light with none of the sticky dampness I'd become used to clinging to the inside of my throat and lungs, the kind of wet air that threatened to choke me with the thick stench of mildew and decay.
The sound of heavy rain pelting against a window overhead rang in my ear drums. A clap of thunder boomed, rattling my aching bones. A burst of bright lightning immediately followed, flashing in front of my closed eyelids as if it was somehow announcing my new semi-conscious state to the world.
Or maybe, just to me.
“Look, his eyes are fluttering again,” A female voice stated. “This could be it.” For a second I envisioned the dark haired girl with black eyes and red lips. The one I thought about so often I started to question if she was even ever real or just part of a fantasy I’d created to pass the time. But when the voice kept talking the image of my girl faded and recognition took hold.
My adrenaline surged as well as the immediate need to get the fuck up and join the world around me, the world I’d missed with every cell of my fucking being and the one I never thought I’d have the pleasure of existing in again. It was like it was Friday night and all my friends were going out to do something balls to the walls amazing, and I had to stay home and hear all about it in the morning, feeling shitty and left out.
It was like an extended night out, except with ass rape and constant beatings. Either way, there was a lot of catching up to do. But then I remembered that all wasn’t always what it seemed. I paused and took a brief second to remind myself that what I was feeling, the voice I was hearing, it could be a product of my imagination just like all the times before. That the likelihood of NO ONE being there when I opened my eyes, or that it would be the fucking devil himself, was much greater than the possibility it being my friend.
I could be dead. Or it could all be some sort of fucked up hallucination.
Someone squeezed my arm. If it was the devil, he had tiny hands and used moisturizer.
But it wasn’t.
The gesture was gentle. Friendly. Reassuring.
Nope. Not the devil.
Although that simple touch felt as if all the bones in my fingers were being crushed, it was also the greatest fucking pain I’d ever experienced because it told me that it all might be real.
I tried to open my eyes but it was like prying apart a frozen sandwich with your bare hands. All I could see were colors dancing behind my lids like a light show taking place behind a screen.
When I attempted to speak I choked on my own saliva, and for what seemed like a span of forever, a stream of erratic coughs was the only response I could muster.
“Maybe he’s not ready yet,” an unfamiliar female voice chimed in. “He might just need more time.”
“No,” Doe argued. “I know he’s coming around. I just know he is. I can feel it. He can hear us. It’s different now.” Her voice was confident, albeit desperate, like she was trying to convince herself as well as whoever it was she was talking to.
“Have you two considered the possibility that he’s just being a fucking pussy?” King boomed. There was no mistaking his voice. The fucker sounded louder than thunder amongst a drizzle of rain. “Maybe he’s fucking with us. I wouldn’t put it past him. Shit he could have been up for days already but just wants us to wipe his ass some more.”
“Shhhhhhhh!” Was the response. I wanted to smile. To laugh. But nothing I wanted to do, things that were easy before, was happening. What used to be a natural reflex, something I never had to so much as think about, was now a massive struggle to will my muddled brain and somewhat useless body to get together and make the SS Preppy functional again.
“Fuck that shit. I’m not gonna be quiet. This isn’t a fucking library. We’re hoping he wakes the fuck up, so let’s wake him the fuck up! He likes the attention, you know that. Miss Priss over here isn’t going to open his eyes and grace us with his presence until he knows he’s got all of our fucking attention.” There was a pause and then I felt King’s breath on my forehead as he leaned in close. His shadow fell over the light as he spoke to me just inches from my nose. “We’re all here. You can cut the shit now, Prep.”
“Stop,” I started, barely scratching out the word. The room felt silent except for a few gasps. I felt like someone took a tiny sharp rake and ran in down the inside of my throat. I wet my lips with my tongue and started again. “St...”
King leaned in even closer until his chest was against mine. “What was that, Prep?” His facial hair bristled against the bridge of my nose.
“Stop...” My eyes finally cooperated and opened slightly, although it still felt as if they were being held together with superglue, prying them apart was like pulling my eyelashes out by the fucking roots.
I peered through a blurry slit and found myself staring at the top of King’s dark head of hair. Motherfucker was trying to cuddle with me.
It was fucking adorable.
“Prep, try again. We can hear you, but we can’t understand you. Speak louder,” he demanded, enunciating each word as if I was deaf and dumb, the volume of his voice kept changing between a muted tone and a megaphone blast. He leaned down even closer until I was positive he was trying to lay down on my fucking face and his ear was against my lips.
“Stop...trying to make out with me,” I finally managed to say. “I’m not into facial hair.”
King stood straight and I felt the immediate relief that his body was no longer crushing me. He leaned over me with a satisfied shit eating grin on his ugly ass face. Doe was on his left with tears in her big icy blue eyes. The girl I didn’t recognize was obscured from my view. She took a step back to allow King and Doe more space next to the bed.