Content Warning: Some strong language and adult situations. If you don’t care much for either of these, stop reading now…
We moved in on a Friday. By that afternoon, the neighbor had taken a shining to Momma. He had that twinkle in his eye, like most other men. His voice made my skin shiver; the way he smiled hurt my stomach. By evening, they were having drinks on the back deck, swapping stories of relationships gone awry. I heard him say something about not hurting Momma, something about love.
Saturday I awoke to the sun beating down through my curtainless window. He stood in my doorway, a hand on his chin, rubbing dark stubble.
I pretended not to hear him, closed my eyes and rolled onto my side, legs clamped tight together. This scene played out in my head, like other events with similar traits, each of them involving one of Momma’s fuck toys.
Four steps and he stood by my bed. The mattress sagged when he sat down. His hand on the outer part of my thigh was warm, calloused. Heat filled my face as anger rose in my breasts. I clinched my teeth tight as his hand tickled its way up to my hip.
Eyes opened, I reacted, not waiting for the party to get started. My hand on his, I squeezed three fingers together and sat up. His brown eyes grew wide, mouth dropped open. I could smell the stench of stale alcohol on his breath. It mixed with the aroma of cheap cologne. My stomach turned at what he had in mind.
“Stay the fuck away from me,” I said through clenched teeth. He flinched, tried to pull free from my grip. “If you so much as look at me, Momma and I will move… again.”
I gave him a kick to the hip, shoved him from my bed. He struck the floor, rubbed his hand, then smiled and stood.
“Feisty. I like ’em feisty.”
He sauntered from the room shaking his hand. He gave a laugh and I knew… I knew when Monday came we would be on the move again.
His voice carried down the hall as he sang. No doubt Momma had told him she loved men who could sing. He could not sing.
I closed the bedroom door and tried to shake his touch from my skin. I wanted to shower, but with him there–having apparently spent the night–getting naked and showering was out of the question. I learned that lesson in vulnerability from my dad.
I sat at the window staring out on the world. The wind blew gently through the trees and the grass in the yard was a light green. I guessed in another week or two it would be longer and so much brighter. Too bad we wouldn’t get to see it.
Mom gave a knock on the door.
“Callie,” she said, entered the room without my invitation. “Are you going to come to breakfast? Harold’s making bacon and eggs.”
“No thanks.” I didn’t bother turning to her. I knew the look. Her brows would be lifted, eyes wide in hopes that I would get along with her new dick.
Her hand touched my shoulder. “Callie–”
“You couldn’t get to know him first?” I interrupted.
“You had to fuck him on the first night?”
I turned. Her face was flushed pink. Embarrassed. Good. “He’s just like the others.”
“Give him a chance, Callie.”
“Did he tell you he loves you?”
She said nothing.
I laughed. “I can’t believe you fell for that one again.”
“No, Momma. You listen. By tomorrow morning he will be in my bed and by Monday we will be moving again. You know what’s going to happen, Momma. We’ve played this game before.”
Tears formed in her green eyes. “Unpack,” she said and left the room.
“Gladly.” I unpacked the only thing I would need.
Harold spent the day there. And the night.
Sunday, I awoke to his touch. He rubbed my left breast and it was all I could do not to grab his hand and break it right then. He put one hand over my mouth and fumbled with his pants.
“Wait,” I said, though muffled through his palm.
“What?” he growled, removed his hand.
I smiled, let the twinkle form in my eye. “Give me five minutes and meet me in the shower.”
His eyes popped open, confused. “What?”
“I need to pee and brush my teeth. Besides, I like it in the shower. If you want me, you can have me there.” For good measure I reached down, rubbed the front of his jeans. “What do you say?”
Harold licked his lips and stood. He nodded frantically. “Yeah. Sure. That sounds great. Five minutes?”
“That’s all I need,” I assured him.
He left the room.
The water was hot and it only took a minute for steam to form a gray mist in my small bathroom. My clothes lay in a heap by the toilet and I stepped through the curtain, letting the water sting my skin and awaken me fully.
Not five minutes had passed when I heard the door open then gently close. The tumble of the lock came next. The shower curtain brushed aside and I glanced back, not turning toward him. Harold stood there, naked, his hand at his crotch, lust in his eyes.
“Come on in,” I said as I held my left hand between my breasts, the razor firmly in my grip. His hand touched my ass and I bit back the revulsion tracing through me.
“You want some of this?” he asked, pressed himself against my backside.
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath. Maybe Momma will let me choose the town we go to one day. I turned to him the razor obscured by steam. The shower is a vulnerable place. Dad taught me that.
When Monday comes, I thought sadly and brought the blade across his throat…