Portrait of a Girl

Just a Bit of Girl Talk

“Right here.” She said as she pulled the car over at a the small river side park. To be honest it wasn’t much of a park it was just a shelter house with three picnic tables and one of the sketchy park grills. She slammed the gear shifter into park and pulled her keys out of the ignition and hopped out. There were already three girls loitering on the tables.

There was the tall brunette Liz, who’s hair was shoulder length with a slight curl. Her pale blue eyes framed with thick eye lashes and expertly applied eyeliner that made her look like a vintage movie star, She was dressed in skinny jeans, a ratty Cheap Trick tee shirt that probably really was from the 80’s and a pair of Chuck Taylors.

“No, Fucking Way!” Giggled the girl with the pixie cut blond hair. I had gone to elementary school with her, her name was Cara, and she had always been bookish and quiet I think those three words were the most I had heard from her in the past 6 years. Her steely blue eyes were piercing and on her nose sat a pair of thick framed black glasses that I always jokingly called hipster glasses. She was dressed in black leggings, with black Doc. Martens, a flannel red and blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up past the elbows. A woven headband accented with feathers graced her yellow hair.

“What?” Liz said snapping her head around to make eye contact with me in the car. I quickly looked down, “No. Fucking. Way!”

“Too good to get out and chill with us?” Asked the tiny wisp of a girl that I knew as Kate. She was going to be co-valedictorians along with myself. She was pale and her skin seemed to have a translucence to it and every blue artery and vein were visible just below he skin. Her small black eyes seemed to bore right though me as if she were reading my very thoughts.

“Come on, Preppy Kidd!” Lillian yelled at me without a backward glance.

I pushed my door open and I stepped out into the late afternoon air. The warmth that the sun had brought was already slowly slipping away, and a mist along with coolness off the river was already creeping in. “Hi,” I said smiling weakly before I looked down at my black pumas and the still dead greenish brown grass I was standing on.

“What are we doing tonight?” Lillian asked her friends.

“I can’t stay,” Kate began, “Prom dressing with Mommy dearest tomorrow.”

“Fun,” Lillian said, “I don’t know when my mom wants to go. But I bet you’ll have fun.”

“Ha! No, you know my mom she’ll find a reason to fuck it up. So I’ll catch you guys Monday, text me if Lillian fucks Preppy Kid,” Kate said as she started walking to her car, while Lillian silently stood with her right middle finger toward Kate. Kate laughed and she hopped in her tiny blue smart car and sped away.

“Fucking cunt,” Liz said.

“Such harsh words, we have a virgin over here,” Lillian said casting me wicked glance.

“I’m not a virgin!” I lied.

“Right,” Liz said not even looking at me, “ What are we doing this weekend?” Liz whined, “We haven’t done anything fun in like ever.”

“Yeah cause its been fucking cold!” Lillian laughed,

“Fuck yea it has,” Liz agreed, “But at least I got some good writing done.”

“Liz, your writings always good,” Cara said with a reassuring smile.

“Don’t kiss my ass!” Liz shrieked.

“Fuck you! Like we’d kissed your ass.”

“Yea, you guys are right your tell me when I write shit.”

“Yea, and you sure as fuck tell us when something we do is shit” Lillian said with a laugh.

“Fuck yea, but its not my fault you can’t a photo in focus to save your life!”

“Fuck you bitch!” Lillian said jovially, “But like for real what the fuck are we doing?”

“Do we want to like scare him with our full weirdness?” Cara asked.

“Or should we ease him into it?” Liz asked.

“He thinks all we do is drink and get high,” Lillian said slightly annoyed.

“So… lets be exciting…ish,” Cara said.

“So… “ Lillian leaning back on the table.

“Booze at the cabin?” Liz asked.

“Booze and Chinese at the cabin,” Lillian said.

“Booze, Chinese, and Pot, at the cabin?” Liz asked

“What’s the cabin?” I asked.

Lillian cast me a sideways glance and said, “It’s a hunting cabin that was built by my grandfather and though a complicated probate court case and law suit with my former uncle, my mother is now the owner of it,” She said as if it were an inconvenience for her to tell me, but she continued,” And that’s our like safe house. You know in case of zombie apocalypse or the Ebola apocalypse, or you like we wanna get wasted and have boys over. I mean we drink at my house sometimes when were gonna be chill, and watching movies, or gossiping and shit, but since we have you we can’t spend the night at my house. Even if we say you’re gay my mom won’t let that happen.”

“Yeah, her mom is cool but she would say that, you saying you were gay was a ploy by you or one we cooked up so she would let you stay, which would be the truth, but, not for the reason she would think, cause we ain’t fucking you,” Elizabeth said with a sly crooked smile on her face.

“Does your mom know what’s going on at the cabin?” I asked slightly confused, “She can’t believe you go camping or hunting that often.”

“First off, its not even close to camping, it’s a furnished cabin,” Lillian said.

“So she like buys you beer and lets you party at her cabin? Great parenting.”

I knew in an instant I had said something very wrong. In an instant the distance between us disappeared. Her pale cheeks were flushed with anger and her green eyes narrowed,“Listen to me you little fucker, you don’t know my mother, and you don’t know me, so don’t presume anything. She has never bought me a drop of alcohol, or a pack of cigarettes,” She paused, her pink lips had became thin with anger, “And I’m pretty fucking sure that your buddy Rod has his daddy buy him booze all the time. And his father knows the kind of shady shit Rod does. But its okay because ‘that’s what teen boys do’.”

“What gives you the right to talk about Rod? You don’t know him.” I snapped back angrily.

“She doesn’t need to,” Liz interjected before looking down and leaning back against the support beam of the shelter house. And then I understood why Lillian knew this. Rod wasn’t a good person, and he certainly wasn’t the Christian he pretends to be on Sundays and at youth group. He liked playing games with girls, and Liz must have been one of his discarded play things. And he was the quarterback of the football team so of course he could get away with it.

“And,” Lillian began speaking again, her anger slipping away, “The game we play is complicated. I’m positive she knows what we do at the cabin. But she doesn’t let us know she knows. And we pretend we don’t know she knows. And she would step in if we stared doing something stupid. But she has confidence in the way she raised me, and part time raised Liz, I mean she was at my house enough to count as another kid,” Lillian said a smile crossing her face.

“Fuck yea,” Liz added smiling, “Your dad called me his other daughter.”

“Aw, shit I forgot about that,” Lillian said laughing, “So, Liz, Cara, ante up, I’ll go to the liquor store…”

I was speaking before I ever realized I had cut her off, “Are blowing the liquor store guy or what?”

“You are an idiot,” Lillian said looking at me discussed, “I have a fake id you moron.”

I watched as money exchanged hands, and we climbed back into the car the early spring sun hanging low on the horizon.

“We inviting everyone else?” Liz called from the passenger side window of Cara’s car.

“Sure invite whoever but I better not see James’s ass there or I might kill, him.”

“Yeah, right!” Liz laughed as her head popped back into the car and we pulled out of the little park and I felt a pang of excitement, for what the evening held. Lillian looked over at me and smiled as the twangy sound of Mumford and Son’s filled her car. The warm breeze blew through the windows, and I felt a strange freedom. It seemed that there were now endless possibilities and that the night was mine.
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