Trying something a little different this time. I have lots of pieces I’ve worked on tucked away in files and folders. Maybe they’re things that started off strong and lost their way, maybe they’re things that were fun to write but I don’t want to send out for publication. Maybe they just entertain me. At any rate, as you all know, you put effort into writing something, and sometimes, even if you don’t quite know what you want to do with it, you still just really want it to see the light of day. That’s the case with this piece. It is what it is, I’m not wholly satisfied with it, but it burned it’s way out of my brain and I want to release it into the world. It’s a 5,000 word story so I’m going to break it up into chapters to make it easier to read.
Owen Adams met Amy Wheatman at a party in his freshman dorm room. The one when Owen’s roommate got drunk and pierced his own ear with a cubic zirconium stud he’d taken from the ear of the girl he would sleep with that night. The stud went through the roommate’s earlobe and embedded in his thumb and blood flowed down his face and his wrist. People scattered, but Owen Adams stood up from the couch and cleaned the blood off his roommate with a towel and got a band-aid from his drawer and put it on the roommate’s thumb.
“Thanks, Mommy,” said his roommate as he pushed Owen away and pulled the girl he would sleep with onto his lap. Owen sat back down on the couch and the girl next to him said “You were nice to do that.” She was Amy Wheatman.
She was a slim girl with short blonde hair and dark eyes with candlelight in them and heavy eyebrows that dominated her pale face. She was not beautiful, but thrilling, and Owen, when he looked at her, wanted to keep looking at her.
They talked, sitting there on the couch. They were both from Seattle and though they had gone to different schools, by a crazy coincidence they had Jeff Harman in common and so they talked about him until their common ground was established and they began to veer into other topics and left Jeff Harman far behind. As the night went on, there were even small touches between them. Nothing that could be construed by the outside observer as being intentional, but touches nonetheless: the couch was crowded and so their hips were pressed together and their shoulders and arms brushed as they moved; when Owen would get another beer for Amy her fingers would graze Owen’s as she took the bottle from him; and when he sat down again his body displaced hers ever so slightly. Owen was electrically aware of each sensation of her presence beside him, the warmth of her inside the thin barrier of her clothes.
That party wore on and people began to doze and Owen hoped that Amy Wheatman would choose to doze on his shoulder. He wanted to put an arm around her and smell her hair and feel the rise and fall of her gentle breathing as she lay against his chest. But Owen’s hopes were thwarted by Debbie Arble-something who was Amy Wheatman’s grumbling friend. Debbie had sat all night alone in the straight-backed desk chair behind the couch drinking cokes. But when the room began to quiet and bodies began to couple in intimate poses, Debbie spoke up.
“We should go, Amy.”
Amy and Owen had been talking quietly about Spain and their mutual desire to go there, but now Amy blinked and looked around as though she had been asleep and was waking up. She turned to look at Debbie.
“Not yet,” she said. “Isn’t it still early?”
“It’s late,” Debbie said. She stood up from the chair. Debbie was a short, round girl – as round as she was tall – and when she stood her head did not rise much above where it had been when she was sitting. “We don’t want to stay here,” she said. She put on her coat and pulled Amy’s coat off the back of the chair and held it out to her.
Amy Wheatman stood up from the couch and Owen at once felt cold as Amy pulled her warm body away from him. She took her coat and slipped it on and then looked down at Owen where he sat looking up into her sparkling eyes.
“Gotta go, I guess,” She said.
“If you say so,” Owen said.
“Come on, Amy,” Debbie growled. She was holding the door open and had one foot already in the hallway.
“Debbie says so. I’ll see you,” Amy said as she walked around the couch and toward the door.
And then Debbie Arble-whatever put her hand on Amy’s back and steered her out the door in front of her and the door closed and Owen leaned back against the couch and was alone.