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by Branden Hart
"I don't buy it. I don't buy it for a single second."
What Melissa's mother doesn't buy is Melissa's assertion that I'm just a friend from school who had a misunderstanding with his parents and needed a place to crash.
"You're trying to say this isn't one of your fuck buddies?" asks her mom, looking between the two of us.
"Fuck buddy?" I ask.
"MOM!" Melissa yells.
Ms. Cantrell just laughs. "Hey, I told you before, if you want to slut it up with whoever walks down the street, that's your choice. I'm not paying for no baby or no STDs though."
I look at Melissa—her head is in her hands. "No Ms. Cantrell, you don't get it—I'm her boyfriend."
This time, Ms. Cantrell shrieks with body-shaking giggles. "Boyfriend? Oh that's rich. Now don't tell me this girl actually convinced you that you were the only one."
I just stare.
"Well hell—I guess she did. Maybe I should give my daughter more credit in the future."
"Are you saying…"
"Don't listen to her," says Melissa, "she's just being a bitch."
"Woo hoo hoo!" says her mom. "Just a bitch, huh? Let me tell you something," she says, turning to face me. "You ain't the only one I've caught like this. You're the first one I didn't catch naked in Melissa's bed, or in the shower, or on the kitchen table—that's for sure. But you aren't the first."
"There was that guy a few months ago. Jesus, I could hear them going at it when I pulled up in the parking lot. So loud they didn't even hear me walk in."
"Then there was that girl I found her with in the shower. That was a weird one."
"Or what about that guy last week? She had his cock so far down her throat she almost gagged when I walked in."
"STOP IT NOW MOTHER!"
My eyes are filled with tears. Ms. Cantrell swivels her head from me to Melissa, me to Melissa, then smiles—an evil smile. "Oh dear. I've said too much."
Melissa is staring at me with a pleading look in her eyes. "I'm sorry," she manages. "I didn't want you to find out this way. I was going to tell you."
"I need to go," I say, feeling the pain in my chest begin to throb. My heart starts beating faster and faster. I reach to pick up my watch on the table, but my hands are so sweaty it slips from them, as if I'm grasping for air.
"I'm coming with you," pleads Melissa.
I rarely yell at people for things they have done to wrong me. With the amount of time I've spend worrying about what I've done to other people, I've never felt it necessary to put them through any grief over their mistakes. Which makes what I say next so surprising.
"No, you aren't. You can stay here, find some more dick to suck. Another girl who wants to mess around in the shower. Find someone else to fuck you in the ass, to pull your hair. Someone else to call you 'daddy' when you're bucking on top of him like a professional bull rider. Moreover, find someone else willing to listen to your problems, someone else to sit and listen to you bitch about your mom. Find someone else to watch you at a party, to make sure you don't get so drunk you end up naked in a pool. You can just stay here and find someone else, cause that someone sure as fuck isn't going to be me."
Her mother's ghoulish laugh fills the air as I storm out of the apartment.
Melissa catches up with me in the parking lot, as I'm walking away, trying not to cry, and trying to ignore her shouts insisting I stop so we can talk.
"Wait," she says, grabbing my arm and turning me around. Her face is coated with tears—her hair clings to the wet spots, and she pants heavily as if she's been running for hours. Or fucking for less.
"I'm sorry. I have a…problem."
"We all have problems, Melissa. But for most of us, those problems don't involve the inability to keep sexual organs out of various bodily orifices."
Her face changes to one of anger and disbelief. "Oh yeah? Is that why you were fucking your foster mother and me at the same time?"
She laughs deeply. "What, you think that's a secret? You think nobody at school has heard about your foster parents? You aren't the first guy to live with them, you know. A couple of perverted fucks, those guys. Mom fucks the guys cause Dad likes to watch."
"Likes to watch, yeah. You think he didn't know?"
"If he knew, why would she have killed herself?"
Melissa shakes her head. "Most guys they kept used to come to school and tell stories. 'Man, you won't believe this crazy bitch. She lets me fuck her up the ass while her husband crawls up in the attic where he can watch us through a hole in the wall. But fuck, what do I care if some old pervert likes to watch a kid fuck his wife.' "
"Then there was the guy who actually wanted her husband to join in. Husband kicked him out when he heard that."
"But you—you aren't like those guys. You didn't even know that there was a difference between sex and fucking! You were naïve, you were innocent, and most importantly, when you found out all about sex, it seriously fucked you up, didn't it? That's why you didn't want to have sex with me for so long, I imagine. She didn't kill herself because she fucked you. She killed herself because of what happened to you after she fucked you."
"Melissa, it was…"
"So don't you lecture me about appropriate bedroom behavior."
We stand for a few moments, just looking at each other. The scent of bread floats through the breeze from the bakery down the street.
"Who was he?" I ask.
"Who was who?"
"The guy with his cock in your mouth."
"What the fuck do you care?"
I look her in the eyes. "I care, because I'm going to kill him."
I turn and walk away. When I finally venture to look behind me, to see if she's still there, I'm greeted with an abandoned parking lot.
Back on the hill, they are both conscious. Melissa coughs a lot, and the bastard she slept with continues to whine and protest. The pools of blood around them have grown larger. They shine black in the moonlight, stretching so far across the dirt between them that they almost touch.
"Is this the guy?" I ask Melissa.
"WHAT GUY?!?" she screams in a blood-soaked voice.
"The guy—the one with his dick in your mouth."
At this, the guy laughs. "Buddy, that's a pretty long list you're looking at there. We've all had our dicks in her mou…"
The blast deafens me for a moment; the instant light blinds me. When I regain my senses, I see blood bursting forth from the hole in the guy's head. I hear Melissa screaming, or at least, trying to scream. But above all that, I hear Rationality—a Rationality that has taken on a morbid life of his own—asking me over and over again:
"How many bullets left?"