Preppy the life amp deat.., p.7
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       Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part Two, p.7
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         Part #6 of King series by T. M. Frazier

  But pride couldn’t stop the selfish thought that nagged at the back of my brain that missed when Dre was a junkie and a mess so that I could somehow come to her rescue again. There were two problems with that thought.

  One, she didn’t need to be saved.

  Two, I was in no fucking shape to be anyone’s knight.

  Fuck, she was so beautiful.

  Dre didn’t need a stitch of makeup. Her long lashes and plump pink lips made her a flawless natural beauty. The new glasses were like a nerdy bonus that brought more attention to her big dark eyes.

  I wondered if she still wore the fifties style clothes, the heels, and my fucking favorite...the red lips.

  I rolled onto my back and slid my hand down into my pants as I thought about those lips. I remembered what they felt like against mine. I regret never having had the chance to see them wrapped around my dick. I remember what her pussy tasted like more than I remembered what coffee tasted like. The noises she made when she was about to come assaulted my memory. That memory gave way to our first time. The way she fought back against me but loved every fucking second of it when I fucked her by the train tracks. It was then I realized she was almost as sick as I was. That moment of my life was better than any porn reel and over the years it had been my number one mental image to jerk off to. Yet after a few minutes my dick was still flaccid.

  Not a twinge. Not a fucking spark.

  I tugged on my balls and rubbed the sensitive strip of skin underneath them. I then brought my hand to my shaft and ran my palm over it, willing it back to life. I took a deep breath and thought about the way Dre’s tits bounced in my hand when I fucked her from behind. The way she moaned and tensed her thigh muscles when she was about to come.

  Not a motherfucking thing.

  I might have been alive, but my cock was still fucking dead.

  I released my useless dick and let my head fall back against the carpet releasing a growl of frustration. It may not have gotten hard but I needed to come, to release. It was the only way I knew how to rid myself of the lingering bullshit in my brain and try to clear some space for all the other shit floating around up there.

  You’re still healing, asshole. Get a fucking grip. I told myself.

  When the sun was high in the sky and I could feel the heat of its rays through the closed window I finally gave up on both sleep, and a hard cock.

  I made my way out into the living room.

  The second I took that last step down I was assaulted by light. I shielded my eyes with my forearms from the onslaught coming through the front window. Using my palm to fight against the blinding rays, I shuffled over to the wall and reached out for the metal string so I could close the blinds, but it wasn’t there. Peeking through the slits in my eyes I realized the long off white plastic blinds that used to clank together when the air conditioning kicked on were no longer there. In their place was a more modern wooden shutter. I found the crank and turned it, sighing in relief when I again found myself in the comforts of the dark. I blinked rapidly to get rid of the stars still dancing behind my eyes.

  I thought I was alone until I spun around to find Doe looking up at me from the kitchen. She gasped, covering her hand with her mouth as she looked me up and down, taking in my shaved head and hair free face for the first time. When she realized she was staring she averted her gaze down to the messenger bag she was organizing on the counter and cleared her throat. “Um...do the clothes I brought you not fit?” She zipped up the bag and lifted her eyes to me, doing a better job of hiding her shock at my appearance, only her dilating pupils gave her true feelings away.

  “I’m good,” I said, glancing down at my t-shirt and sweats. “I don’t need much. When did you guys remodel?” I asked taking in the new wood floors and fresh paint. Even the cabinets were the same but had been sanded and painted a bright white. “Looks like adults live here now,” I said.

  “Which is funny because it’s overrun by kids,” Doe said with a smile. She pushed up the strap of her tank top that kept falling off her shoulder.

  “Preppy, if you don’t like the color of the shirt or bow ties I can get you different colors, or you can come with me to pick out your own. There’s this new store called GENTS across the causeway with an entire wall of bowties, but it’s only open during the season so we’ll have to wait to go there when it’s open again in November. We might have to fight off some tourists for best pick of the new stuff they put out, but it could be fun.”

  I shrugged. “Jeans would be good.”

  “Remember when you bought me that dress for our ‘date?’” she asked, using air quotes when she said the word ‘date.’ “It fit perfectly and you didn’t even know my size. Shit, I didn’t even know my size. The skirt I was wearing was from the hooker ready section of goodwill and whatever hooker wore it before me had an ass that went on for days.” Doe lamented with a laugh. “That was a long time ago,” she added.

  “To me that was yesterday,” I said.

  The smile slowly fell from her face and she changed the subject. “Did you make a list of things you needed?” I loved that girl like a sister but the way she looked at me like I was a sad puppy dog with a broken leg was starting to piss me off.

  “It’s on the counter.” I opened the refrigerator and grabbed a beer.

  “What the fuck is this?” Doe asked, waving the list around in the air.

  “You asked me to make you a list of the shit I wanted.”

  “I meant like groceries,” Doe jutted out a hip.

  “What do you think that is?” I popped open the beer on the corner of the counter and cringed, holding a hand over my right ear until the echoing faded. I cracked my jaw like I was popping my ears on an airplane but I knew that a little jaw popping wouldn’t be enough to cure me of my aversions to sound and light.

  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.

  “Pregnant girl with pink hair, no filter, and boundary issues. Don’t think I’ll have any trouble remembering who you are,” I said, raising my beer to her in a mock cheers before taking a long pull from the bottle.

  She paused and smiled brightly. “Well, if you do find yourself a little sluggish on the details and you can’t quite remember who I am there is one tiny thing about me that might be able to jog your memory in a pinch.”

  “Oh yeah?” I asked, “Lay it on me Thia. What is it that will make you so memorable?”

  She winked. “You can just remember me as that chick who killed Chop.”

  CHAPTER EIGHT

  PREPPY

  I was beginning to think the excuses that everyone was giving me about Bear’s absence was utter bullshit until he finally showed up, standing in the doorway on the front porch, his massive frame taking up every inch of available space. He peered into the living room. “Prep?” he asked, taking a tentative step toward me.

  “About fucking time, bitch. Get your big ass over here. You can’t catch what I have although if you could I wouldn’t put it past you to already have it.” I paused as he entered the room because pure panic rose in my blood. The deep blue eyes, the freckles, the size, the posture, everything about him screamed RUN to me.

  I straightened my spine and set my feet into the carpet, pushing back against the cushions of the couch until I tipped it over on it’s side. I stumbled over it, not able to take my eyes off the figure moving toward me. The one that haunted me. “No!” I cried as I shuffled against the wall to find the door.

  He’d come for me. I needed to escape but it was too late. Before I could reach the door he was on me, his hands on my arms holding me in place. I closed my eyes tightly and braced myself for the blow, for the pain, because that’s what always came next.

  The pain.

  Only it never came.

  “Preppy! It’s me, it’s Bear. I’m not my old man. I wouldn’t fucking hurt you like that cock sucker did. Do you hear me? I WOULD NEVER. FUCKING. HURT YOU!” he screamed.

  Something familiar in his voice triggered me to slowly come back to reality and open my eyes. Much to my relief it wasn’t Chop standing there with concern written all over his face. “You would never hurt me,” I repeated slowly. Bear nodded, his breath ragged. He loosened his grip on my shoulders.

  “Never,” he said.

  I nodded slowly and he released me, taking a step back. I leaned over to compose myself, shaking off the adrenaline coursing through my veins. “Never.”

  “Never.”

  The fog cleared and I stood up straight, looking over my old friend, “Even if I fucked your girlfriend?”

  “Never. I mean, I’d fucking kill you, but I wouldn’t hurt you. I’d make it real quick though. You know, ‘cause we’re brothers and all.”

  “Awe. You’re such a romantic, Care Bear,” I was still trying to catch my breath.

  “And you’re such an asshole, Prep,” Bear said, shoving his thumbs through the belt loops of his black jeans.

  “Well at least now I know why you didn’t come sooner,” I admitted. “And I was motherfucking you to everyone who’d listen.”

  “I know. I heard.” Bear smiled. “Now come here you alive, motherfucker.” He pulled me in for one of the only hugs Bear has ever voluntarily given me and the need to make fun of him lingered just under the need to be reunited with the other half of the duo that made of my best friends.

  There we stood, in the middle of the living room, hugging it out, each trying to hold back our tears until our need to cry outweighed our need to be the manly fucking men we were and we were no longer able to hold in the tears.

  “I’m not fucking crying,” Bear sobbed.

  “Me neither, you fucking pussy,” I sobbed back as my old friend held me tighter and we hugged and punched each other hard on the backs until I was sure we were going to give each other bruises, and if it went on much longer, probably some broken ribs. When he finally let go of me we quickly wiped our eyes and noses on our t-shi
rts, because real men don’t fucking cry, and that’s when I noticed the new tattoo on the back of Bear’s neck.

  “Bear?” I asked, as he pulled a pack of smokes out from his cut. “What is that?” I sang, pointing to the very reason why I’d be able to make fun of Bear for the rest of his fucking life. “Is that what I think it is?” I stepped behind him to try and get a better look.

  Realizing what I was gaping at he quickly covered the back of his neck with his hand and stepped back against the wall. “That ain’t nothing.”

  “No, Bear,” I said, slowly approaching him. “That’s a tattoo that says PREP. It’s...EVERYTHING...”

  Bear dropped his hand and rolled his eyes. He smiled as he retrieved his lighter. “Fine, motherfucker. I thought your ass was dead so I got a tattoo of your name on the back of my neck. I realize that you’ve probably thought of a thousand dumb shit things to say about it already, but can we just skip that part for now? There will be plenty of time for that later. Besides, I’m going to get it covered up with like a dragon or a tattoo of Chuck Norris or something really fucking manly.”

  I looked him in the eye and held up my index finger. “You get one pass. Just this ONE. And it’s TEMPORARY.”

 
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