If I had free moments they would be dedicated to Strange Bedfellows, which is this close to being finished. Free moments are naught to be found this month, so instead here's some more shit that happens to Grant. If you don't know who Grant is, click here.
Screw Ryder Vance. Never in my eighteen years had anyone ever messed with my head like that. My brain had that day at the park on loop, playing in high definition clarity during quiet moments. Ryder’s voice became a dubstep beat: “Get on your knees and give me a fucking blowjob.” “Have you ever been fucked?” “Come on my cock.” Once I found myself rapping it aloud on the bus. “Give me a, give me a, give give give give gimme a fuc-king blowjob.” Good god.
Thankfully Ryder was rarely in school, and when he was, he and the other delinquents would be smoking in the bathrooms or doing coke behind the bleachers. I did not see him Monday, or Tuesday, and by Thursday my shoulders had started to relax. This did not make me feel any less weird about what had happened; every time that loop of Ryder's voice started so did the series of what-ifs. What if I hadn’t hit that homerun? What if that car hadn’t been parked there? What if I had been more insistent on finding a nonsexual way to make up for the damage? What if I had just run away? That scorpion bitch, Reality, always reminded me that what-ifs could never change last Saturday.
So had I changed teams?
I watched gay porn online. Some of it was hot, but I could still get off to straight porn, lesbian porn with nary a dick in sight…Maybe I was just a teenage stereotype, and like my dad said, anything could turn a teenager on. Ryder had caught me at the end of a weird exploration phase, and now that I had explored I could return to my regular habits of lusting after cheerleaders and dreaming of threesomes with blonde, big-breasted twins.
Another weekend went by, then a Monday and a Tuesday, and the world was starting to feel right again. I had just barely pulled my hand out of my locker when someone slammed it shut. I jumped about a mile high, and who should be leaning against the lockers but Ryder Vance. He had those eyes that always looked like he was planning some mischief—almond shape, long dark lashes, dark irises of indeterminate color. He smelled like cigarettes.
“What do you want?” I asked, sounding exactly as surly as I felt.
“A shitty blue Oldsmobile showed up in the shop yesterday,” he replied evenly. “It needed the entire windshield replaced. Almost five hundred in parts and labor.”
Aw, man. “Whose was it?”
“That girl who carries that oxygen tank everywhere.”
That made me feel even worse. She had terrible something-that-ends-in-osis and her family was almost as poor as mine. Now they had car repairs to deal with because of me, and I know her mom took a third job just to pay for doctor’s bills.
“Did you tell them I did it?” I asked a little more quietly.
Ryder gave me an are-you-stupid look.
“Well, thanks for letting me know,” I said, increasingly uncomfortable.
Without a word Ryder walked off. I couldn’t really watch him through the crowded hallway, but it was kind of amazing how quickly even the jocks got out of his way. No one wants to mess with the guy who spends nearly as much time in juvie as in regular school.
Somebody at the park last Saturday was a blabbermouth.
“You’re gonna get your ass over to that autobody, and you’re gonna pay for that fucking windshield through blood, sweat, or tears. I don’t care which.”
My dad’s words rang in my ears, but my ears also were just plain old ringing when I reached Vance Auto Body Plus. Dad had not been happy about that baseball accident; even less so when he learned about it from Mandy’s father before I even had the chance to tell him on my own. So after the requisite smacking around he had called Mr. Vance, who had agreed that six hundred dollars worth of labor could make them even. I didn’t know a damn thing about motors. I could check my oil, fix a flat, and drive a stick, but I wasn’t particularly interested in anything under the hood. Nevertheless, someone needed to act as receptionist and wash the cars before they went out to the lot or back to customers.Ryder was manning the front desk, as I had expected, thumbing through a magazine full of glossy pictures of new cars. Although I had also hoped to avoid him as much as possible, he would likely be the one to show me the ropes. Ryder’s dark eyes looked me over, resting on my brand new shiner.
“What are you doing here?”