Chapter 9

Posted: May 29, 2011 in One Broken Wing

Note: Please leave a comment at the end of this page to let me know what you thought of the chapter – thanks!

WARNING: This chapter contains disturbing sexual content that may be unsuitable for some readers. 

Crank was playing their regular slot at the Regis again tonight and I knew this was a show I couldn’t miss because it was the release of their new album, and everyone kept saying this was going to be legendary – one of those shows you look back on when you’re really old, like in your 40s or something, and say “I was there!”

When I got to the club, I locked up my bike and approached Scotty with a happy, “Hi!”

Lemme guess,” he said, flicking his cigarette butt on the ground. “You wanna get into the show.”

Looking at my expectant face, he added, “Not tonight, Squirt. Place is completely sold out.”

But you always get me in,” I whined.

That’s true. And what do I ever get in return?”

W-what do you mean?”

Gimme a break. You think I’m doing this just to be a good guy?

I kinda thought you did it because we’re friends.”

Whatever,” he said dismissively. “You still owe me big time from all those other times I let you in.”

I grimaced. “But how am I supposed to pay you back? You know I don’t have any money.”

He didn’t answer.

I wondered why he’d suddenly become so weird about me needing to pay him back, and tried to remember whether I’d missed some hints in the past that he was getting fed up with sneaking me into the shows. It was now starting to look like I’d have to promise him the moon if I was going to get into any more shows – especially tonight.

Okay,” I conceded, “I promise to find some way to pay you back. Pleeeease just let me into the show? You know I’m good for it.”

He looked at me for a few moments and then a smirk crossed his face, making me believe I’d once again gotten through to the old Scotty. Opening the front door of the club, he peered in, signalling to the bouncer inside to guard the door.

C’mon,” he said, leading me around the side of the building. I always hated this side of the parking lot. It’s way too dark and beside it there’s this creepy forest that looks like it can hide just about anyone… or anything. Still, I felt a thrill go through my veins when I realized he was going to sneak me in through the stage door. I hurried after him, excited about the possibility of running into Adam backstage.

The steel-caged bulb in the alcove above the door was burnt out, which cast the alcove in complete blackness. When Scotty disappeared into the darkness, I had to squint to see him. A faint light began to whiten the sky as a cloud slowly eased itself past the moon. When I glanced back at the alcove, I could now see Scotty’s ring-covered hand, which was agitatedly beckoning me from within. I looked around quickly to ensure the coast was clear and then joined him in the alcove.

He just stood there.

What’s wrong?” I asked. “Is it locked?”

No,” he said, in a quiet, disturbing voice.

Then what…”

My words were halted by the sound of a zipper unzipping.

I panicked. “What are you doing?” In the faint moonlight I could see him fiddling with the front of his pants. Immediately I backed out of the alcove.

Get back here,” he whispered angrily. “You want someone to see you?”

W-what are you doing?”

Come – here – now,” he ordered, enunciating each word.

I…I can’t…”

You can’t what? Get into the show? You’re damned right you can’t.”

I stood there shaking, thinking I should probably just run away. But if I did, I knew there was no way he’d never sneak me into the club again, and Crank always played here. What’s worse is, Scotty was usually one of the bouncers who worked the door at their shows.

The dark outline of his stocky frame lingered in the shadows. Each time he moved, the moonlight caused the badges on his denim vest to glint.

W-what do you want?” I stammered, maintaining a safe distance.

Relax,” he growled. “I just want you to suck me off.”

I gulped hard, feeling the tears well up in my eyes. What did he mean, “relax”? I couldn’t understand why he was doing this to me and why he was suddenly becoming such a jerk. All this time, I thought he was my friend.

Come onnnnn!” he complained from the shadows. I could tell he was getting really pissed off.

The thought of what he wanted me to do made me want to barf. I hadn’t done anything with a guy before. I mean, nothing! I’d never even kissed a guy yet, and here he was, expecting me to do… this. But I didn’t know what else to do. It was this or forget about seeing Adam play ever again.

I – I can’t… I don’t know how.”

Suddenly his arm shot out and he yanked me roughly into the shadows. “You’ll figure it out,” he hissed. “Just put your mouth on it and suck.”

I could feel my body trembling against him. “No….”

“Would you just fucking do it!” he hissed.

I whimpered. “I can’t. I don’t know what to do.”

Trust me,” he chuckled. “You’ll know when it’s over.”

I stood there, desperately not wanting to do this but still wondering how much of a mess things would get if I didn’t. I thought about my mother and how she’d always told me what a little slut I was even though she didn’t know the first thing about me. Or maybe she did, and is exactly what she was talking about. I thought about all the times she had pummelled me, kicked, burned and tortured me, and wondered whether this could be any worse or any more mortifying. And then I started to cry because it seemed that all I was put on this earth to do was to be a useless piece of crap that people felt they could do horrible things to.

Aww Christ,” he groaned.

For a moment, I thought my crying was finally reaching the good guy inside him, and that he was going to tell me to “just forget it”, do up his zipper, and let me in the club. Instead, he put his hand on the top of my head and shoved me down, forcing me onto my knees. “Open your mouth.”

I crinkled my nose at the sweaty stink of his crotch and felt his pubic hair tickling my face as he held my head tightly and shoved his thing into my mouth. I kept gagging, feeling like I was going to barf.

That had to be one of the worst experiences of my life. And he was right. I knew when it was over.

Satisfied, he zipped up his pants, and then turned to unlock the stage door. After I weakly climbed to my feet, he stuck his hand out like a courteous bellman, inviting me inside. I kept my eyes glued to the ground as I slipped past him, trying not to touch him in any way. As the door sighed to a close, I heard him calling out to me, “That should even things out a bit.”

I stood there for a long time, just shaking and sobbing, squeezing my eyes shut to try to block everything out of my brain, as I took all these deep breaths to calm myself down. The choking mortification I felt made me want to just run back outside and go home – or maybe stand in the middle of the road and scream until I lost my voice. But I couldn’t because I knew I’d just beat myself up later for doing something horrible like this for nothing. Resting my back against the chipped, graffiti-covered wall, I kept telling myself it was over, and stayed there until I could finally psyche myself up enough to go inside.

When I felt a little less shaky, I stumbled into the club. It was so insanely packed it took me a good ten minutes to wind and squeeze my way through the laughing, drinking hoards towards my destination – the ladies’ bathroom. When I got there, it was crowded with gorgeous girls in their tightest jeans, lowest-cut tops and highest heels, all busily putting on make-up and fixing their hair. My ears were filled with the sound of toilets flushing, whispered gossip, laughter, and the sucking sounds of lips on joints from inside the stalls. The air reeked of flowery perfume, pot smoke and hair spray. Patiently I waited for my turn at the sink, but nobody seemed to be in any hurry to move – until a howl went up through the crowd outside, signaling that the band had hit the stage. To let everyone pass, I pushed my back against the towel dispenser and watched the room slowly empty until I was finally alone.

Immediately I turned the tap on full blast and stuck my mouth underneath the flow of water, filling it and rinsing it over and over again. But this did not get rid of his awful, floury taste from my throat.

Not really wanting to, but knowing it was probably the only way, I pumped a big glob of pink soap into my palm and raised my hand to my mouth. Just as I was licking it off, I noticed a reflection in the mirror of an incredibly beautiful blond with feathered hair standing behind me, leaning against one of the stalls, watching me with a queer smirk on her face. Her perfectly-faded blue jeans were so tight they looked like they’d been painted on, and around her neck were multiple strands of silver necklaces, all of different lengths and all with different pendants dangling from them. I looked back at her, wishing I had been born with such a truly, amazing body.

Suddenly the harshness of the soap started to sting my tongue and make me gag, so I jammed my head back under the faucet and took a big mouthful of water. Swishing the evil mixture around, I sucked it between my teeth to make sure that every last drop of him was washed away. I then smeared a tiny mouthful of soapy water over my lips and face. Even after I spat and rinsed what seemed like a thousand times, I still could not get rid of the unrelenting tang of the pink soap. At least it had obliterated the taste of… him.

As I was drying my face, the blond approached me. She was smoking a thin, red cigarette in a gold holder, which made her look super elegant. Its smoke tickled my nostrils.

Whatever was in your mouth before this must’ve been pretty disgusting, if this is what you’re resorting to,” she said in a sexy, smoky voice.

I coughed. “It was.” My voice sounded squeaky and dumb in comparison to hers.

I watched her eyes scan my body from head to toe, making me feel like an underdeveloped baby. When her gaze lingered at my knees, I glanced down at them. That’s when I noticed they were both covered in a circular pattern of dirt. In mortification, I brushed it off, worried that she’d guessed what I’d been up to.

She studied me for a moment.

“You okay?” she asked.

I cast my eyes to the ground and shook my head that I wasn’t.

Giving me a nudge, she smiled and offered me a drag of her cigarette. As she did, the silver bangles on her wrist clattered musically against each other. I smiled back weakly and told her I didn’t smoke.

For a few moments she stood there watching me, and then she chomped her cigarette holder between her teeth and started digging around in her massive, silver purse for something, squinting one eye against a plume of cigarette smoke. She pulled out a travel bottle of mouthwash and handed it to me.

This might work a bit better,” she smiled. Turning on her heel, she leaned her bum up against the sink and smoked her cigarette.

Thanking her, I took a big mouthful.

What’s your name?” she asked.

After I’d finished gargling, I said “Catherine.”

Catherine?” she said, raising her eyebrows in surprise. “Really.”

Her reaction confused me because I always thought my name was pretty average.

“I’m Cassie,” she said, extending her hand out for me to shake it. “C’mon – what say you and I go out to the show?”

As she pulled the door open, I just stood there because I was still pretty shaky and wasn’t sure I was up to going anywhere just yet. But I knew the longer I hung around in the bathroom, the more of the show I was going to miss. So I hesitantly followed her outside. To my surprise, she grabbed hold of my hand, which sent a searing jolt of fear through me because I didn’t know where we were going or where she was taking me. I’d only met her like five seconds ago and here I was letting this complete stranger take me somewhere – somewhere unknown. I resisted for a second, but when she gently tugged at my arm, I just closed my eyes and swallowed, praying she wasn’t going to take me somewhere awful… like back outside to Scotty. When she glanced over her shoulder at me and smiled, I relaxed a bit, but my chest stayed pretty tight as she patiently led me through the thick crowd, most of whom weren’t willing to budge an inch and risk losing their spots.

 I was pretty impressed when she managed to squeeze us right up to the side of the stage, and watched in amazement as she tapped two tall guys in jean jackets on the back, both of whom smiled when they saw her and moved aside for us, giving us their prime spots at the edge of the stage. She smiled at them and gave each of their shoulders an appreciative squeeze, then winked at me and nodded her chin towards the stage. Standing directly in front of me was Adam, wailing away on his guitar like a madman. My heart was racing.

I kept my eyes glued on him for the rest of the show. I was in heaven! It was at that moment that I realized that the awful thing I’d done to get to where I was standing now may have actually been worth it.

When Adam played, it looked like he was in another world – like he’d entered his own weird mind-zone and become oblivious to everything around him. His knuckles were already covered in bloody gashes. When he slid from the back of the stage to the front on his knees, it tore two big holes in his pant legs and ripped the skin from his kneecaps. I figured the zone he was in was somehow keeping him from feeling any sort of pain.

If you asked me what any of the other guys in the band were doing, I couldn’t tell you. I was only focused on Adam and the crazy things he was doing, like climbing onto a speaker tower and delivering a wicked guitar solo. He then jumped back down onto the stage from that height, somehow managing not to break both legs. I just stood there in amazement, admiring his body, which had become slick and glistening with sweat. As he played, he shook his head wildly, which sent a wet spray of over everyone near the front of the stage, including me. I licked my lips to drink him in.

When the band had finished their second encore, Adam hoisted his blood-smeared guitar with the devil horns into the air as he left the stage, which caused the already cheering crowd to let out an appreciative whoop. Immediately the house lights were switched on and an indecipherable piece of music started to play. I leaned against the side of the stage and sighed, feeling so lucky to be one of the ones who got to see this show.

A few months ago, after listening to the cassette tape of Crank that I’d found on the bus, I had another one of my visions. This one was about the band. In it I saw that they’d be big… no, mega-huge. Right up there with the Who and the Rolling Stones. In the vision, it felt like I was looking out on an empty stadium from behind the stage. All of the house lights were on and a whole whack of band equipment was set up on stage, ready and waiting to be played. A massive cannon sat in the middle of the stage, and at either end were two large statues of horses on their hind legs with illuminated, red eyes. I had no idea where this stadium was, or what the cannon and horses were for, but deep inside me I just knew that this was a pre-show vision of Crank’s first major concert after they’d finally made it big as a band.

I felt a tug on my arm, and looked to find Cassie smiling at me. “C’mon,” she said, cocking her head.

Where are we going?” I asked, obediently following her to the back of the club.

When we reached a set of stairs that led up to the backstage area, she smiled up at the bouncer who greeted her warmly. “Hey Cass,” he said, offering her his hand to help her up the stairs. I just stood there in disbelief that I might possibly be next.

This is my friend Catherine,” she told him.

He held out his hand for me. “C’mon up.”

Really?”

He laughed. “Yeah, really!”

Cassie pushed aside the thick piece of black velveteen fabric that acted as a drape and motioned for me to go in first. My knees were shaking so bad I could barely walk.

Hello sweetheart,” a deep voice said. “Bring that over here.” Cassie was immediately swallowed up by Wick’s arms and lips.

As he tore her away, I stood there like a dork, not knowing what to do, feeling like I was just in the way as sexy girls and busy roadies with sweaty bodies pushed themselves and equipment past me. An arm hoisted a beer towards me, which I took even though I didn’t want it. Immediately the beer man disappeared into the backstage crowd as quickly as he’d appeared.

I put the bottle down on an amp and scanned the room for Adam but couldn’t see him anywhere. Cassie was now sitting on Wick’s knee and the two were all over each other, necking like crazy. I felt so out of place. Too shy to talk to anyone, I decided it was probably best if I just left, so I headed towards the stage door. It was propped open with a cinder block and there were a few people outside drinking beer, laughing, smoking and loading the band’s gear into an awaiting, black van, which sat there expectantly with all of its doors open.

As I stepped outside, I was greeted by a blast of fresh air and a familiar voice.

Hey!”

I turned to find Adam leaning against the club’s brick wall. He was shirtless and held a sweaty pint glass of ice water as he smoked a cigarette. He flashed me a goofy grin.

What are you doing here?”

I smiled back, feeling my entire body getting all warm, just from being around him.

I met this girl Cassie… and she kinda brought me backstage,” I said. “I um, looked around but I couldn’t find you.”

Yeah,” he said, “I’m always out back after a show.” Leaning his head back, he took a long drink of water. I watched as his Adam’s apple bobbed under his glistening skin and wanted desperately to go over to him and put my head against his chest, just to feel his body against mine.

I’m completely wiped after we play. Gotta grab some air to cool myself down.”

You were amazing,” I said, casting my eyes down, too shy to look at him.

Thanks.”

We stood there for a few moments in silence.

So, uh… you know Cassie?”

Um, not really. We just met in the bathroom. She’s really cool. Is she… Wick’s girlfriend?”

Fiancée, actually,” he replied, taking another deep swig of water.

Oh,” I said, trying to hide my disbelief.

 Scotty once told me that Wick’s sexual exploits were pretty famous, and that quite a few of the band’s songs were about that. I wondered if the rumours were actually true, and if so, how Cassie could even stay engaged to him. Maybe she just pretended it wasn’t happening because she had to have known. I wondered if I’d be able to put up with that, or if it would bother me so much that I’d break up with any guy who did that to me.  Sheesh, like I’ll ever have to worry about that happening in this lifetime!

I looked at Adam standing there in all his amazing hotness and I wondered how many girls he’d slept with – and then wondered why he was even bothering to talk to a loser like me.

 “Haven’t seen you in awhile,” he said. “I see you got your cast off.”

 I loved his voice. It had a low, deep timbre, and everything he said was wrapped in a warm, relaxed friendliness.

Yeah, finally,” I replied. “But it’s kinda strange. Every now and again I find myself holding that arm a certain way, or doing something only with the other arm only like this one’s still in the cast.”

He didn’t seem to be listening to a word I was saying. He just looked at me with a weird expression on his face, and as soon as my eyes met his, he cast his eyes down.

Hey, uh – I wanted to thank you,” he said. “Heard you came over when I had a fever.”

I blushed. “It was nothing.”

Not from what I heard.”

An awkward silence followed.

How old are you, anyway?”

I hesitated, wondering if I should lie and tell him I was older than I was. “I’m uh…seventeen,” I mumbled.

Get out.”

I looked at him. “No really, I am.”

“Huh,” he said, doing one of those pouty, disbelieving things with this bottom lip.

At that moment, I was super relieved that I didn’t lie about my age or I’d probably be feeling like a major gomer right now.

So, um… how old are you?” I asked.

Before he could answer, two guys came outside and started talking to him, positioning themselves like a wall between us like I wasn’t even there. One of them was Steve, and the other guy was someone I didn’t recognize who seemed way too well-dressed to be in a place like this. I felt like such a putz standing there looking at their backs. I knew that if I looked all sexy and rock n’ roll like Cassie, they probably wouldn’t have done that to me – and even if they did, they would’ve at least apologized for it.

I glanced down at my plain, dull outfit of fake, discount store polyester jeans, a blue flowered shirt, and brandless running shoes and immediately felt like some stupid knob who didn’t know how to dress herself. Embarrassed, I turned to leave.

Hey Catherine – hang on a sec.”

I turned my head to see Adam peering around the two talking to him. Both guys quickly glanced over their shoulders at me disinterestedly before continuing their conversation. I stopped and stood there in the middle of the parking lot awkwardly, knowing that I would do pretty much anything he asked me to do. Well, almost anything. After what happened to me tonight, I knew I had to be more careful with my promises from now on.

When it looked like they weren’t going to finish talking anytime soon, I headed to the far end of the parking lot and sat down on a chipped, concrete parking block that was sloppily painted bright yellow, and killed time by kicking pebbles into a puddle of oily water. When I glanced up to see whether they were finished, I noticed Scotty leaning against a wall by the front of the club, smoking a cigarette, just staring at me. Seeing him again turned my stomach and I quickly looked away. How could I be so idiotic to think I could come back to the club any time now and not be totally repulsed by the guy? The thought of being anywhere near him again made me want to barf. I guess my mother’s right – I really am a stupid whore.

In shame, I cupped my palms over my eyes, trying to rub away the memory of what had happened.

Suddenly I felt somebody sit down beside me. I stiffened, afraid it was Scotty. Relief flooded over me when Adam’s voice said, “Hey.”

I looked up.

Sorry about that. Had to discuss a bit of business there.”

My relief was followed by the thrill of feeling the hair on his arm brush against mine. I was a bit disappointed that he was wearing a T-shirt now, but his chest still looked amazing, even underneath it.

I can’t even remember what we were talking about,” he said.

Me neither,” I replied with a giggle. I was kind of surprised that he actually came over and sat down beside me. We sat there for a few moments in silence, but it was not an uncomfortable one.

Can I… ask you something?” I said.

Sure,” he replied, pulling a cigarette out of the pack with his lips and then lighting it.

How come you’re talking to me when there’s so many amazing girls inside?”

He shrugged. “I dunno. I kinda like you. You’re sweet.”

My shoulders sank. I didn’t want to be sweet. Or innocent. Or anything like that. I wanted to be like Cassie.

He smirked. “What’s the matter? You look disappointed.”

I don’t want to be sweet,” I complained. “I want to be a Valkyrie, able to bring men to their knees and cause horses to flee in fear. Okay well, maybe not that. Maybe something more in the middle.”

 He looked at me in surprise and then threw his head back and laughed. Turning red, I cast my eyes down in embarrassment, wondering how I could let such a boner thing escape from my lips. I was blowing it… big time.

From the corner of my eye, I saw him drop his cigarette and butt it out with the tip of his boot. I was sure he was going to get up and leave because I’d made such an idiot of myself. Instead he leaned in towards me. Sliding his hand over my cheek, he turned my face towards his. We held each other’s gaze for a few moments, which sent a jolt of hopes, nerves and fears through my body. Slowly he leaned in, and to my surprise, kissed me softly on the lips.

I melted.

For a moment he paused, as if to check whether it was okay to continue. The look I gave him said it was. I closed my eyes when I felt his warm, wet mouth against mine. His tongue gently probed its way through my lips and slipped into my mouth. My body dissolved against him, and I became completely lost, feeling my skull tingle as his fingers entwined themselves in my hair. The sounds around me softened into a muffled hum like we’d both sank deep underwater. He nibbled on my bottom lip, which made me moan. I don’t know how long we were there for, but if felt like forever.

Wonderful forever.

A voice called out, shattering the moment. “Adam!”

Disappointed flooded over me when he stopped kissing me and looked up.

C’mon, man – we gotta split!”

He stood up and brushed the dust of the butt of his jeans.

Hey, sorry,” he said. “I gotta take off. You, uh, need a ride somewhere?”

No, um… it’s okay. I got my bike.”

Oh yeah?” he brightened. “What’re you riding?”

I wondered why on earth he’d want to know something stupid like that. “Uh, it’s just a crappy old 10-speed.”

He laughed. “Oh, that kind of bike! I thought you meant…”

The voice shouted to him again. “Fuck man, c’mon!”

Gotta go,” he said and began to walk backwards away from me. “Hey – if you want to drop by the house next week – I’m in Sunday night.” Before I could answer, he waved to me, and then turned and sprinted towards the waiting van.

Okay,” I said meekly, to no one in particular.

I sat there for a few moments, watching sadly as the van belched black puffs of smoke from its muffler, which hung from the bottom of the van with a coat hanger. As it left the parking lot, its tires let out a squeal and it sped off into the night, its rear lights glowing red in the distance. When it had finally disappeared from sight, I sat there trying to drink in everything that had just happened.

Touching my fingertips to my lips, I smiled. He kissed me. He actually kissed me! Excitement shot through my veins and I squealed in disbelief. Springing to my feet, I sprinted happily towards the lamp-post where my bike was chained.

As I was fumbling with the lock, I heard a pair of big boots approaching and then stopping behind me. The smoking butt of a cigarette whizzed past my head. I watched it roll into the muddy ditch.

You’re a busy girl tonight.”

Keeping my gaze averted, I stood up and began to uncoil the chain from around the stem of my seat.

“Leave me alone, Scotty. You got what you wanted.”

He sneered. “From the looks of things, so did Adam.”

A wave of embarrassment washed over me when I realized he’d been watching us. Ignoring him, I climbed onto my bike and pedaled out of the parking lot as fast as I could to get away from him, desperately trying to hold back the bile I could feel rising in my throat.

As I was riding home, my anger peaking the whole way, I made a decision. There was no way I was going to let that jerk ruin this night for me! I made a decision like this awhile ago about my mother – but now decided I needed to apply it to every damned person I knew. From now on, I wasn’t going to let anyone think they could have the satisfaction of stealing my soul. They could heap whatever abuse they wanted on my body because cuts and bruises heal. But nobody was going to take away my happiness or my dreams. No one can have those things! They’re mine and mine alone.