Rose Water

Chapter 11

I throw my controller on the floor and lay down on the bed, staring up at the ceiling. Brad takes the abandoned controller and leans against the bed next to Jeffrey. I listen to the noises of the video game as I reach into my pocket and pull out a cigarette. I light it up and take a deep pull into my lungs. "Did you fucking see the way Tiffany had her skirt on? It was up all extra high and shit. I could almost see her fucking pussy," Jeffrey says as he manipulates his player.

"It's always up high. That girl is a fucking tramp, everyone has had her," Brad says. I scratch the inside of my arm. It's true, everyone has had Tiffany. Hell, I've had her more than a couple times. I take another pull on my cigarette and blow the smoke out.

"Fuck Shaun, do you have to smoke that shit in here? There isn't any airflow in here," Jeffrey says to me. I wonder sometimes why we let him hang around with us. He is a bit of a badass but I think it's more for me and Brad's benefit. I think deep down he is a nice guy.

"It's my fucking room asshole," I say. He grunts a little and slouches down a little further on the floor. He is almost flat on his back with his head propped up against the bed. He cannot be comfortable. "Did you see Taylor when we were at practice today? He is such a fag," I say.

"Now Heather Jenson, that's a first class piece of tail. She is a virgin and everyone wants to be her first time," Jeffrey says.

"He thinks he is so much better than everyone else," I say to them. I don't think they are listening to me. Brad looks over at Jeffrey and smiles.

"Yeah, she is fine, but you know who I wanna fuck? I wanna fuck Daphne, she is fine," Brad says with a wicked smile on his face.

"I talked to her today," I say. They both stop talking to look over at me.

"Yeah right, about what?" Brad asks me.

I see her eyes travel up and down my body before they rest back on my face. "What in the hell makes you think that I have anything significant to say to you?" she asks me. I wince a little. I thought we were getting somewhere. "All you have ever done is be mean to my best friend," she tells me. I sit up and move a little closer to her at the same time.

"I know, but I like you. I think you are very pretty and I was wondering it you would want to go out to the movies and maybe dinner with me," I say to her. I watch as a grateful smile falls over her face. I smile brightly, matching hers. She leans her face close into mine, smoothes her hand across my face and says, "Fuck… you." I watch as she gets up and goes into the building.

"The standard shit. I told her I thought she was hot and asked her if she wanted to go to the movies with me on Friday," I tell them.

"Yeah, and what'd she say?" Jeffrey asks me. I raise an eyebrow at him.

"She fucking said she's think about it. I mean come on, she is not a desperate whore who needs to jump at any invitation she gets," I say. I snuff out the cigarette and sit up on the bed. I move the hair out of my face as I put the ashtray on my desktop. "I told her that just because Taylor and I don't get along doesn't mean that the two of us can't be friends," I say.

"Yeah and I can just guess what she had to say to that," Brad says as he turns his attention back to the video game. "You are so full of shit. You say that you don't like him but you talk about him every ten fucking seconds. Give us a goddamn break," he finishes. Jeffrey just laughs. I get up from the bed and walk over to my door and pull it open.

"Get the fuck out. Go home and bother your own families," I say as they start to laugh. They think that they are pissing me off and they are right. I slam the door when they are both on the other side and listen for the familiar slam of the front door.


"I'm not going," I say softly. Loud enough for him to hear me and quiet enough for him to know that I am not certain.

"Justin, you said you were going to tell her," he says to me as he stands next to the door with his keys gripped loosely in his hand. I sit up with my legs crossed into a pretzel shape. I rest my hands in the small hidden space between them, rolling the apple over and over, gripped by only my fingers. I bite the inside of my lip and demand that my tears stay away.

"I know what I said," I say as my eyes meet his. "I said that I was going to tell her and I will. I really don't want to talk about this right now," I say as I get up and cross over the floor to stand in front of him. I rise up and kiss him on the lips, the apple held tightly in my grasp. I use my free hand to pull him closer. I feel his hand on my wrist and the other one on my chest, pushing me away.

"Either you tell her now… or, I will," he says and I know that he means it.


I can feel his heart beating as I grip his wrist. I can feel it racing with the effort to hold it all together. I hold onto him and wait as he processes what I have just said. "Brian, I said I would tell her," he says as he gently tries to yank his arm away from me.

"You keep saying that but you aren't fucking doing it," I yell. I watch him as he flinches with the force of my words and I know that I am heard in the other lofts. "Do you think I am fucking stupid Justin?"


My name, he used my name. Not sunshine. Not sonny boy. Not twink. Not twat, just… Justin.

"I'm not stupid. I see you carrying that fucking box into the bathroom after we fuck. Every fucking time," he says to me. His tone is steady and strong but I can hear the vulnerability just beneath the surface. Just out of reach. Concrete.

I struggle to free my arm from his grasp but he holds on tightly. He kicks my book bag slightly as the strength of my pulling causes him to step forward. He looks down and my eyes follow his. "It's in there now, isn't it?"

He picks the bag up, holding onto my wrist as he walks over to the kitchen and dumps the contents onto the counter. All my sketchpads, pencils, sharpeners and erasers scatter onto the counter while some seek refuge by falling to the floor. The box hits the marble countertop and the sound echoes through the surroundings. "Open it," he says. I can hardly see him through the anger and tears in my eyes.

"No," I say. He stares at me and then drops my arm. He picks up the box and I move behind him, clawing at the box from around his back. "What are you doing?" I say as he keeps the box out of my grasp. "Brian, give it to me. Brian, please," I plead. He uses one of his hands to hold me back. He raises his hand with the box in it toward the ceiling and with all the strength he can muster brings the box crashing to the ground.

"Holy shit Justin," he says as the box bursts open on contact with the hardwood and the contents scatter all over the floor of the spotless loft.


"What the fuck are you doing here?" Daphne asks me. She steps out onto the porch and pulls her door closed behind her.

"I told you I wasn't going to back down. I really do want to get to know you," I tell her as I smile at her. She leans against her front door and I watch the cool breeze of early winter blow through her hair. I like when she has it straight. "So, what do you say? Want to come out with me?" I ask her.

"If I go out with you…" she starts as she smiles. "… Will you leave me alone?" she asks me. I put my hands in the pockets of my jacket and look into her eyes. They are brown, shining and deeper than the night.

"I can't make any promises, but really, what will it hurt?" I ask her. She holds up her finger, telling me to wait a minute. She goes into the house and comes back out with a thin jacket.

"If you say one fucking thing about Justin, I will kick your fucking ass. You are so damn lucky that I am even agreeing to do this. I must be out of my fucking mind," she says as she shuts the door completely. I hold out my hand for hers and she reluctantly gives hers to me.


"What the fuck is all this shit?" Brian asks me as he bends down to pick up something that fell out of the box. I frantically try to collect all of the items. I crawl on the floor picking up each item one by one. He is watching me.

"I need to get it all. It's tainted. It's all tainted," I say more to myself than to Brian. "FUCK," I scream as I grab onto a razor that has come uncovered in the frenzy. I drop the object from my tight grasp and I don't even see it hit the floor but I hear it. It vibrates through my body, into my veins and down my spine. I sit back on my legs and watch the blood as it pools into my palm and trickles down my arm and onto the floor.

I feel strong arms grab me and move me toward the kitchen sink. 'We wash the dishes here,' flies through my mind. I see the water as it tries to wash the blood away but the cut is deep and relentless. I feel the material press into my palm and as the red soaks into the white cloth, I feel.


"Shaun, I said I would come out with you. I did not say that I was going to make out with you," Daphne tells me. I hear the slur in her speech and marvel at the quick effects of the drug. I ignore her as I move my hand higher up her leg. "I said stop it," she says as she pushes me away from her. She takes the door handle into her hand and pulls on it. I smile as she turns to look at me.

"Don't you just love childproof locks?" I say.


I don't even think he registers the bright white lights of the hospital. "I don't think it's too bad but I couldn't stop it from bleeding," I tell the nurse. I am holding onto Justin's right hand, pressing the blood soaked cloth onto the wound. She looks at the bloody towel and at the blood that is still coming through it.

"Come on back, we need to stop the bleeding," she says. I walk with her into the back with Justin following blindly. I am amazed that she is not asking about my relation to him. She leaves us in the back to wait for the doctor.


I didn't know that an unconscious person was going to be so fucking heavy. I pull Daphne from the car and drag her over to the side of the building. No one ever comes over here by the old liquor store anyway. I throw her jacket down on top of her along with her purse and after one final glance I walk back to the car. I climb into the driver's seat and look at her body as the headlights sweep over her. I drive away from her, never noticing the small amounts of blood that stain the car.


"How did you cut yourself?" The doctor asks me.

"Can't you just fix him without the fucking twenty questions?" I hear Brian asks. I watch the doctor and Brian exchange words and then Brian kisses my head and walks through the curtain. I am alone with the doctor and I feel… open.

"Justin, how did you hurt your hand?" He asks me. I focus my eyes on him and swallow down the real answer.

"I was… I was cleaning a glass and I dropped it in the sink and umm, it broke and I reached in the water to pull the plug out the sink and I must have cut myself on a piece of broken glass," I say. I see him looking at me, into me and I shrink inside myself. I look past the doctor and I see me, I am laughing. I feel the gurney next to me shift and I look to my left and there I am again. I watch myself reach out to touch my shoulder and I flinch.

"Hold still," the doctor says as he flushes the wound. I didn't even notice that he wasn't watching me anymore. "Justin, do you want to tell me how you really cut your hand?" He asks as he puts down the saline solution and grabs the sutures. "This is a double sided wound, the kind you wound get from say a double edged knife or… a double edged razor blade," he says softly.

"You might as well tell him, he already knows," I tell myself. I shake my head no and banish the others from the room. Now it is just me and him.


I am sitting out here holding onto Justin's cell phone, wondering if I should call his mother. I flip the phone open at the same time that it starts to vibrate. I swallow and press it to my ear. "Yeah," I say. I hear a sweet but firm voice on the other line.

"I'm sorry. I must have dialed the wrong…"

"No, you dialed the right number. Is this Jennifer Taylor?" I ask as I move away from the nurse's station. "If he needs me can you just tell him I stepped out to take a phone call," I tell the nurse. When she nods I walk the rest of the way outside and breathe in deeply as I take in the cold air.

"Who is this?" She asks me.

"My name is Brian Kinney. I am Justin's, umm… I have been spending a lot of time with Justin and I think we need to talk," I say.

"What exactly would we need to talk about what Mr. Kinney? Where is Justin? Is he okay?" She rolls off. I run a hand through my hair and watch as a pregnant woman makes her way into the hospital.

"That depends on what you consider okay. How fast can you get to St. Vincent's hospital?" I ask her.


My body aches all over and all I can see is the darkened sky. I place my hands flat on the ground and try to push myself up into a sitting position. I feel my hand slide a little and when I hold it up to my face, straining to catch it in a little of the moonlight, I see blood. I feel myself start to shake and I can hear the moans and feel the tears coming from me. Violation.

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