Home > Bayonet Scars #2 - Thrash(4)

Bayonet Scars #2 - Thrash(4)
Author: J.C. Emery

The engine grumbles to life as reluctant as ever. She’s on her way out, I can tell, but she’s got to hang in a few more years until I can figure something out with my brother. I make a mental note to take her by the shop in Willits. Hopefully she makes it that far without issue. Backing out of the driveway she practically wheezes, then makes a grinding sound as I cut the wheel. I grit my teeth at the thought of having to take her to the shop in town— the only shop in town— Forsaken Custom Cycle.

I haven’t been on Forsaken property in almost two months— not since the night I decided it would be totally cool to act like an idiot and sleep with Duke. Not since he all but claimed me, something most Lost Girls pray for, and then totally disappeared. Not that I give a shit-- or rather-- not that I’m trying not to give a shit. He’s been back in town from wherever he went for weeks now. I’ve seen him ride by Universal Grounds enough times just like he always has. He never stops in, never checks on me. I spent weeks making up excuses for why he’s been absent-- weeks where I let myself think that bullshit where he claimed my pussy was anything more than punishment for making him wait so long. But now I’m done and fuck him.

He knows where I live, and he knows where I work, and still-- nothing. Like a moron, me believing him, and him being Duke and being untrustworthy, I should have seen this coming. But no. Like a moron I avoided the clubhouse because the Old Ladies don’t spend much time at the clubhouse. It seemed like the right thing to do, if I was going to take myself off the market. And even though I knew it was going to hurt when he eventually got tired of me, I set myself up for the prospect of spending more time in Duke’s bed, and maybe even a little time on the back of his bike. But he never showed up and now I’m left with a bad case of embarrassment.

I make the drive through the straight-up blue collar residential side of town and into downtown in less time than I’d like. I’ve tried to consider the best course of action in explaining my continual disappearances to my boss, but so far, I’ve got nothing. It’s not easy having to apologize for your fuck ups again and again.

Pulling up to Universal Ground, I check my red lipstick in the rear view mirror, gather up my purse, and pull my tits up high as I can in my bra. Downtown is pretty much dead today, which doesn’t bode well for the next few hours. With my purse over one shoulder and my long blonde hair pulled over the other, I pull open the heavy glass and wood door to the front of Universal Grounds. Inside, the air conditioning is on at a lower than comfortable temperature— all a ruse to encourage patrons to drink more overpriced coffee— and the place is spotless. Courtesy of the two patrons inside and my co-worker Mindy, there’s light chatter being thrown around keeping the shop from sinking into a dead silence.

Leaning over the counter with a rag in hand, Mindy nods her head full of strawberry blonde curls toward the back room. She knows exactly why I’m here because she’s the one who was cool enough to cover for me this morning when the principal of Jeremy’s high school called to ask me to come pick him up. Mindy’s cool and totally anti-Forsaken, so I’m thinking we might be able to be friends which is totally up my alley at this point. But then she’s also kind of a prude, so I don’t know what we’d even do if we did hang out.

“Thanks, Min,” I say, crossing the shop and squeezing behind the counter on my way to the office that’s in the back. I blow out a few heavy breaths and psyche myself up for the conversation, but don’t have much time. As I round the corner, I see the door to the office is open. Universal Ground’s owner, Eileen, is at her computer, typing furiously. I give a soft knock on the door frame before stepping into the small office. It’s more of a broom closet, really, but it serves its purpose.

Eileen looks up, her natural gray hair is pulled back in a low ponytail and she wears a sad smile on her face. She waves me in and I close the door behind me. I don’t even have to ask. We’ve been here before.

“Nicole,” she says as pleasantly as her mood will allow. “I assume you’re here to talk about why you left your shift early?”

Inwardly, I cringe. Setting myself in the chair across the desk from her, I nod my head and say, “Yes.” She waits as I collect my thoughts to present the most compelling argument for not writing me up.

“Principal Beck called, asking me for an immediate meeting and to pick Jeremy up for the day,” I say, figuring she’ll find out eventually. It’s near impossible to keep anything a secret in this town, and it really doesn’t help that Eileen’s youngest son is in the same grade as Jeremy. She’d likely find out by dinnertime even if I didn’t tell her.

Thoughtfully, she nods her head and leans back in her chair. She’s dressed in her usual attire— clean cut khakis and a colorful polo shirt. My eyes dip down to my ripped jeans and tight blank tank for only a moment before I stop myself from comparing us any further. She’s the epitome of class in a soccer mom uniform, while I’m… not. She’s always been good to me which is one of the reasons I hate ditching out on her so often.

“I’m sympathetic to your family situation, Nicole. I understand that occasionally things will come up when you care for a child. I’m not interested in making you feel any worse than you already do, but we need to figure out a way to limit the number of times you have to run off for a family emergency.”

“It won’t happen again,” I blurt out, knowing it’s a lie. Eileen knows it, too. I always tell her it won’t happen again, but then it does. Jeremy hits some kid in the hallway, or he’s been caught cheating on a test, or even worse, he’s at the police station for truancy. It’s one thing after another and no matter how hard I try to keep him in check, it’s useless.

“Okay. Let’s let Mindy finish out this shift. You can resume the rest of the week as scheduled,” she says in a kind voice. I mumble an incoherent “thanks” and stand from my chair and slink out the door. I’d thought I would ask if I could finish my hours this afternoon, but it doesn’t seem like a good idea to push it now, especially since she’s made up her mind about it already. Sympathetic or not, she kept the conversation short and to the point. Plus, I’m not in any position to be asking for favors right now.

Heading out of the backroom, I run into Mindy as she’s turning the corner. With a perky smile on her face, her eyes widen, and she gives a giggle-laugh. Between my boss, the soccer mom, and Mindy, our resident Barbie doll, I’m ready to just throw in the towel. Mindy ducks around me, mumbling something that has the words “silly” and “goose” in it. I try to ignore her despite the fact that her quirks are really fucking cute. What grown woman actually calls herself a silly goose-- Mindy, that’s who. I sort of envy her. Anyone who says shit like silly goose can’t be all that fucked in the head.

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