Looking back, I was such a cliche. I wanted a family, but I hated my own. I lashed out at my siblings, physically and emotionally. I hit my own father, who had done nothing but provide for me. I only had my mother on my side, and I pushed her away at every opportunity. And I created my own family, one of my own choosing.
I met Willow shortly after I ran away from the Farm. Her bright blue hair a beacon for my hopes. And her personality matched. A firebrand. Crazy. Fun. But also the most compassionate person I had ever met. But with an edge.
“What?! You haven’t heard of them? Oh man, you have a fucking treat coming for you!” She had been telling me about this band she loved, The Untaxable Bracket. I only pretended to care because Willow was so enthusiastic.
“Oh lets go out! They’re probably playing at the The Blue Velvet tonight, you HAVE to hear them. I’ve been a bouncer there for years and they’re the dopest band that has ever come through town. No shitting you.”
So many thoughts went through my head at that moment.
Of course she is a bouncer!
Only she can say ‘dopest’ in that unironic way and it doesn’t sound ridiculous.
Absolutely, let’s go!
We met up with a bunch of her friends at the bar. Most of them, despite fading in and out of my life for a few months, I don’t remember well.
Most of them were men. Handsome men.
The pretty one-time screw.
The jacked daddy.
The bad boy.
The lead singer.
“Aren’t they just the shit. I told you, man. You’re gonna be obsessed” And I was obsessed, but with her.
She was so intense, but never cruel. She smiled when she called you a stupid bastard. She had an energy that could captivate you and never let you go. I wanted to be her, but I’d settle to be around her.
She introduced me to new pleasures of life. Things my parents would shudder to think about, even though they were hardly the worst things I could be doing. I thought we were just so damn cool for lighting one up in the bathroom.
Or behind the bar.
It was new and fun. It made me relax and giggle with Willow like school girls. I felt, for the first time in years, at peace.
I moved in with Willow shortly after. I got a job as a dishwasher at the Blue Velvet so that Willow could take me to work when she went. And on our off days we hung out with her friends, who slowly became my friends.
And that’s how I met Lucas.
He was a bit of bro. Well more than a bit really. But he was cute and cocky and so sure of himself. I hated him and I loved him.
Our relationship was hot, fun, and fleeting. Within a month of first meeting him, he disappeared. I asked Willow if she knew where he had gone but she hardly gave me an answer. I had neglected our friendship since I met Lucas, but I think it was more.
I knew for a while, looking back. The little hints.
The lingering stares.
The way she would scoff at the interest I showed in all her friends.
How she changed. When we first met she was happy all the time, but after a while she was only happy when it was the two of us.
And sometimes I do wonder what might have happened…
if only I wasn’t pregnant.