Sinking Into Myself Chapter 3: "Beautiful Thing"

The young girl, at last, had broken through the demonic shell that held the young man’s heart. With that, she composed a song for him to always remember her by. She wrote it on the finest parchment she could find, dazzling it with multi-colored inks and unicorns that one only does when they feel they are in love:
And now I see,
What must come to be,
O’ the thoughts I have of you and me.
I long to see your face and without you here it’s a lonely place.
And what I want to say
Will go for my days.
And I want it to be for all time,
I want you to be mine,
Forever in love with you is all that I want to be.

She delivered the decree of love to the young man and he took her into his arms and held her tight.
He made promises to never let her go.
Promises to never allow another man or woman to hurt her,
Promises to hold all of his love for her.

They accompanied each other to a dance and held onto their embrace, even though neither one knew how to dance and the taunting that surrounded them. The young girl felt safe and secure as she felt the valiant defender would protect her from harm, even if it meant his own isolation.

Forever, Forever,
Until the end of time and my final rhyme.
Walking along the shore,
With you life is like a dream, forevermore.
And what I want to say
Will go for my days.
And I want it to be for all time,
I want you to be mine,
Forever in love with you is all that I want to be.

But love is not a song, it's not a sonnet. The young man was not one of the classic tomes. The girl was not a princess; but both would be in distress, one that would tear them apart worse than anything the Bard could ever come up with.

amantes sunt amentes

Beautiful Thing

“This is the living room.”
“But no one lives, much less ever goes in it, right?”
“Yeah, I think everyone has that one room in their house.”
“My mom's kind of an artsy deco type of person. She has some infatuation with carousels.”

I had invited Alex over, after spending four hours into the morning talking to him. He stood next to me as we took a slow tour of the house. Truthfully, I was taking a huge risk having him there without my parents being around (as they had gone into Spokane...something about replacing the TV). I took a further risk by taking him upstairs to my room.
It was immaculately clean--a requirement by my parents.
“Now you’ve seen it. I thought I’d get it out of the way.”
“You would never want to see my room; looks like the coliseum after a Pearl Jam concert. I see you’re multi-talented: a cheerleader too?
My uniform laid folded up on my dresser…he was a bit too observant, maybe.
“Second year coming up.”
“Is your team into dance routines?”
“We’re into them, we just don’t do them well.” And by that, I meant myself.
“I was good at dance routines-but, the girls thought I would upstage them.”
“Oh really?”
“Yes, you mean I didn’t tell you that I created several dance steps for our team?”
“I guess that fact must have slipped my mind..you know, head trauma makes one forgetful,” I responded as I turned my CD player on.
“Oh, you’re going to put me to the test? With Move This? That's old hat.”
“I want to see if you’re more coordinated than you were yesterday.”
“You’re brutal.”
"Know your counts?"
"Yep."
"Let's see it, dancing man."

I ran through a simple eight count dance and he copied it with little effort. I then stepped it up a bit and added a flourish...and he copied that too.
"So why aren't you taking a dance scholarship?"
"Electrical engineering pays more and I'd rather eat more than ramen."
"You seem to enjoy it."
"Well, I have a great partner. Do you have anything slower?"
"Can you actually dance?"
"Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot...the Virginia Reel?"
"That's a square dance."
"Ahh, so you know how to do it too?"
"No," I lied as the track stopped. I switched the CD player off and looked back to him. It was not a good idea to have him in my room...not because of what he might do, but because of what I might ask him to do. I had to find a reason to get us out of my room that did not seem like a desperate move.
"Jazeta," maybe we should go back downstairs, I-"
"Okay, umm--"
"I mean, I think I hear someone knocking on the door."

I walked out of my room, turned the corner and looked downstairs to the front door. Kim looked in from the glass, up at me and waved. Tom was behind her.
"Not a good day for this," I thought to myself as I walked down the steps and opened the door.
“Hey, Jazz. Can we hang here for a little while?”
“Umm, sure. Come in.”
"Cool," Tom replied as he walked behind Kim .
Next, came the Q&A session:
"Is that Alex’s car outside?"
"Yes."
"He’s here?"
Yes."
"Where?
"Upstairs."
“Your room?” Kim asked with her pupils so dialated she looked like she had muppet eyes.
“Stop. It’s not what you think.”
"I'm sure it's not."
"Can I talk to you outside, please?" I asked.
"Sure."

Tom, not needing an invitation, sat down on the couch in the library. "You two go talk. Whatever you need to. I'll hang here."
I avoided looking at him as we walked to the front door.
"I'll be right back, babe," Kim called out to Tom.
Alex stood at the top of the stairs.
"One second," I said.
He nodded to me as I closed the front door.

"So, what happened?"
"Well, truth be told, Tom’s mom caught us in the attic."
“Caught?”
“Yep, the whole kit-n-condom. Wasn’t the best scene.”
“Ouch.”
“Yes, I made quite the first impression on her. So we drove over here. Sorry, I know Tom's not your favorite person in the world.”
"As long as he doesn't..."
"He won't start anything with Alex."
I opened the front door to see Tom talking with Alex.
"Tom Petty, how you doing man?"
"Alex Foxx."
“You don't go to Davenport, do you?”
“No, I graduated from Ferris last year.”
"College?"
"I wish...I'm working to try and pay for it right now."
"Where you work?"
"Same place as Kim."
"The grocery store in Airway Heights?"
"Yep."
"I could hook you up with a better job, if you want."
I couldn't see Alex working construction, as I doubt he had the patience to do the work...but, he did say that he dealt with an old lady who demanded a particular flavor of yogurt with a specific expiration date on it.
"Thanks for the offer. It's good to keep one's prospects open."
"Cool."

The front door opened and the four of us looked to see my parents. I was so engrossed on seeing someone talk to Tom without referencing a Metallica lyric or an "In Living Color" sketch I didn't hear the car pull up the driveway.
"Jazz?" My dad asked as he looked towards Tom and Kim.
They quietly moved to the front door, walked around my parents and stepped out.
Alex stood in the living room with his hands behind his back.
"Mr. Daniels-"
"One moment." My dad was a stickler for rules and besides the rule that his daughter was to not be away from home at places with booze and boys--the next rule, of course, was that boys were not supposed to at the house while he was not at home.
"I invited him over."
"Yes, I assumed that," he then turned to Alex. "Come with me."
"Yes, sir,"

The two walked outside.
I walked to the door and tried to watch but mom called from the kitchen.
"Jazeta, could you come here, please?"
I walked down the hall expecting the second greatest tongue lashing I would ever receive.
"I invited him over, school starts tomorrow and I--"
"That's no excuse. Why didn't you call?"
"Oh yes, 'hey, mom, dad, can I have this boy I just met yesterday come over while you're not here?'"
"That's true, I think I'd still say no...Especially after the 'I just met yesterday’ part."
"Well, Kim knows him."
"And that's supposed to make me feel better how?"

The front door opened again with my dad and Alex holding onto a large box--I assumed the TV they had gone out for. So dad didn’t murder him or break his fingers. I was surprised.

The three of us sat together at dinner. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I wasn't Rapunzel, but my parents had me on a short leash. I wasn't given a cell phone for my own personal use, it was for them to keep an eye--ear--on me when I was away from home.
“So, Jazeta, this boyfriend of yours, Alex, what's he like?"
“He's no one really, Dad.”
“If he's 'no one really' then why is he your boyfriend?”
“He's not my boyfriend. He just happens to be a boy who's a friend, who shares similar likes and such...that sort of thing, a boy, friend.”
“Sounds like one to me.” Mom interjected.
And then came the tag team interrogation:
"Where did you meet him?"
“Any scars or tats?”
“How old is he?”
I leaned back, took a breath and responded to the inquisition. “He works at Yokes, I met him there. Not that I know of--but I doubt there are any. Nineteen.”
“Don’t you think he’s a little old for you? Because I do.”
“He’s nineteen and I’m sixteen--only three years. Maybe two and some odd months. I don't know when his birthday is—“
“I still think—“
"I know there are almost four years between the two of you. Mom, you were born on November 24th, 1958. Dad, you were born on June 8th, 1954. Does any of this make sense?"
"Jazeta, this is not about me or your father."
"I know, it's about me. It's always about me. I'm fine. It's been three years, I think--”
My mom looked across the table to my dad, reached into her pocket and pulled a small plastic bag out. Shen then reached in and, using as few fingers as she could, pulled out a small metallic wrapper.
"Please explain this."
“Okay, that’s not mine, I mean, it’s not Alex’s either, I—“
I probably shouldn’t have said that.
“Then where did it come from?”
“Kim and Tom were here. It’s probably theirs.”
Again, another misspeak.
“They were having sex in this house?”
“What? No. No, the two of you arrived less than five minutes after they got here.”
I could feel their eyes burning into my inner being, trying to get at ‘the truth’.
“Can I at least get an attorney?”
“Only in a court of law, not in a parental inquisition.”
“It’s been three years though. You can’t keep me in a plastic bubble—“
“You’re right, you’d suffocate.”
“I’m suffocating now. I know the mistakes I made were-”
“-Yes, Kris Gersmehl was a mistake.”
“I’m not arguing that at all, Mom.”
“But this Alex is different?” My dad asked.
“Well, he didn’t bolt out the door when you came home. Did he?”
“That does place him slightly higher than cockroaches.” he replied. “And we did have a little…chat. He says he’s going to school for electrical engineering and he acknowledged that I could kill him at any time and no one would ever find his body.”
Considering the fact that we lived out in the boonies of Spokane Country and there was a lot of forest area, I never put it past him that he wouldn't actually carry out that threat.
“Like I said, he’s not Kris.”



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This story is 2053 words long.