Chapter 22 - Concert Cutters
"Ashley your friends are here!"
I was desperately trying to make my hair stand on end to look like the band. The hairspray kept making me cough and I looked like a Mexican Einstein with too much eyeliner. I swore softly to myself and grabbed my brush, yanking it through my hair and using hair jel to make it sit flat. Great, now I look like a hobo.
"Just a sec!" I called, pulling on a plain white t-shirt. I knew by the end of the concert it'd either be stained or torn, so I decided not to wear any band shirts. I thumped down the stairs and swung out the door, just as Sandra's brother blew the horn at me. I covered my ears and got in.
"Took you long enough, Fonzie." he said, revving the engine and pulling ahead. Sandra punched him in the arm before securing her seat belt.
"We gotta get C and Ashley's lady friend." she said, looking over his shoulder. He swung the car around a corner, nearly missing another car and screeched to a halt infront of what I guessed to be CC's house. He blared the horn again, causing CC to dart outside a second later. I saw a girl who looked exactly like him hold up her middle finger as he raced across the lawn.
"Lets do this!" he screamed, jumping into the seat beside me. The car was an old cadillac, the windows big enough for someone as twig-skinny as CC could fit through in a single leap.
"Hey Ash wheres your lady friend at?" he asked.
I handed him my phone, showing him the message that Kina's address is. He peeked at it quickly before jerking the car forward again and heading toward that neighborhood.
Kina came out dressed way too nicely for the occasion. She wore a skin tight red dress and white converses. Her fake eyelashes were clear in the darkness and...were those hoop earrings? Did she want to get killed? CC climbed over me so I could sit next to her. She opened the door and slipped in, keeping her legs crossed. She smiled at me for a second before noticing everyone else staring at her.
"Girl, what the hell are you wearing?" Sandra asked, leaning forward to see around CC.
"What? I can't look nice for a concert?" she asked, flipping her hair behind her shoulders. She had a feather braided in it too.
"At least take out the earrings?" I asked, flicking one of the golden circles. She sighed and picked them off her earlobes, stuffing them in her cleavage. Sandra's brother rolled his eyes and continued down the road, taking the highway to the concert house the show was it.
As we filed out of the car Sandra's brother yelled warnings out of the car. Keep away from any mosh pits, alcohol or perverts. I took Kina's hand as we walked in.
The house was packed with people. Music blared loud enough to make the weak go deaf and the vibrations hit you in the chest like a trainwreck. CC and Sandra were already shoving their way through the crowd, CC dragging us two with.
Kina squeezed my hand and I saw her lips move. She looked around fearfully and kept talking. I couldn't hear her since the music was so loud, so I lent down so she could speak into my ear.
"I didn't think there would be so many people!" she called.
I grinned at her. "Thats why I told you to take out the earrings "
She looked to the stage, standing on her tip-toes to see above everyone's heads. I could barely see either, since every tall person in the city seemed to have come here and everyone had their hands in the air. The bodies somewhat muffling the deafening music.
Just after the headliner left the stage, Kina elbowed me. I turned to look at her and realized the front of her dress was soaked and it smelled like beer. Her hair was wet too and she looked upset.
"Wheres the restroom?" she called, cupping her hands around her mouth. I bit my lip and looked over heads to the door, somehow thinking a sign would be there leading us to it. Honestly, I've only been to this house once and I have no clue how to get around.
"Good question" I took her hand and shoved through the crowd, making way toward the exit door and out into the dull lobby, covered with neon green paint and graffiti. As my eyes darted around for the sign, Kina tugged me to a hallway. I saw the white makeshift signs leading to the restrooms and followed her. I had no other choice but to go to the girl's room.
It was empty except for someone passed out in one of the plastic chairs they had. I grabbed some paper towels and handed them to Kina, letting her wipe herself off. She dragged the brown towel through her hair, which was getting knotted up. Her eyeliner was smearing too. She bent over the mirror and tried to finger comb her hair.
"Are you okay now?" I asked as she straightened up. I kept glancing at the door, hoping nobody would come in. She turned around and pointed at the spot on her chest.
I forgot to mention Kina had the biggest breasts in the whole school, from my point of view. I held out another paper towel for her, but she merely smiled softly.
"You can do it if you want." she said softly, coming closer to me. I raised my eyebrows as she backed me against the wall.
"R-really?" Ashley quit stuttering
She nodded her head and took the hand that I clasped the brown paper-like towel in and rested it on her chest. I patted gently, the fabric making a soft zipping sound as I rubbed slowly. Kina ran her free hand over my gelled-down hair, stopping at the back and pulling my face closer to hers until our lips touched...
It hit me like a train. That same feeling, only in a different place. My room, lying next to Andy. His lip ring pressing between the crack of my lip, his hand roaming over my privates like what Kina is doing now.
I broke off the kiss, ducking under her arm and backed up a good 6 feet. She turned and looked at me baffled. I was breathing heavily and one of my fists was clenched. I ran my other hand through my hair, causing it to stand up in back.
"Whats wrong?" she asked, her voice squeeking in innocence. I shook my head, keeping my eyes down and holding back tears that were threatening to explode out of me.
"I can't." I said. "I can't do that stuff yet."
"Why not?" she asked again, crossing her arms.
"I just...can't." I said "Maybe some other time."
"When is some other time? God this must be what its like to date a girl..." she turned away from me.
"Well looks like you'll be dating a girl then. I'm sorry...I just..."
"You just what?" she watched me through the mirror. "You saw someone else, I bet."
She was right. For a second I saw Andy in her place, his piercing blue eyes staring at me through the reflection, the chains dangling from his belt and swaying softly, the ever-lasting bruises on his cheeks too. I blinked and it was back to Kina. Blonde, curved, and not even close to him in beauty.
"Who did you see?" she asked, her voice breaking. I shook my head again, looking down at the white tile floor. Shes popular, if I tell her the whole school will know by Tuesday. I turned and walked to the door, kicking it open and going out of the concert house. Kina didn't stop me, nobody did. I found the nearest bus stop and paid for my ride.
"You're home early." Auntie commented as I came in. I ignored her and ran upstairs to my room, shutting the door and locking the chain lock I had nailed into it. I kicked my shoes at the wall and collapsed on my bed, letting the tears spill out and sobs shake my body.
I broke the promise. I broke the promise that I'd wait for him, he'd never forgive me for it either. He'd yell at me, demand why, then go home and probably hurt himself again. The image made me cry harder.
Hurting himself. If seemed to work for him, he hadn't killed himself and he was usually happy. Does it actually work? I wondered, sitting up and pacing around my room. Bleeding to feel alive? Thats what I guessed it would be, I didn't see any other reason.
Reluctantly, I went to my dresser and pulled out the first drawer. Inside lay a bunch of bandannas and old Mardi Gras beads. Under the colorful necklaces I knew lay my switch knife which I use to open things or cut my bangs. It was small and black with two sides, one teethed and the other smooth like a razor. I carried it to my bed and stripped off my pants, looking down at my thigh. I stared at it for a long while before placing the blade down, smooth side pressing to my skin.
Slowly, and painfully, I slid it across the flesh of my thigh.