Posted on November 7, 2014 by Patricia Ann McNair11.7.2014 Journal Prompt Photo by Christine Osinski November 7, 2014: At her house… Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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At her house there was no rules. Her mom was always out and her pop kept to hisself out back. He had a shed there and he was working on the engine of a car he’d taken apart. Sometimes he called up for a cup of tea, ‘milk and two sugars, mind,’ but apart from that we had the house to ourselves.
It’s Penny’s house I’m talking about. I reckon as how she’s the prettiest girl in school and if I stand next to her, as close as close, then maybe the boys’ll think me pretty, too. She’s got long black hair, black like a starless night, and she smells of violets and lemons, and her eyes are dark as coals.
Up at Penny’s house, like I said, there’s no rules. There’s beer in the fridge and she can take one if she’s a liking to. And there’s cookies in a jar – Penny calls them cookies in her house; we call them biscuits, but I like the sound of the word ‘cookies’ better. And we can play music as loud as we want to, so loud it makes my ears ring, and we dance like crazy people in Penny’s bedroom, with the windows thrown wide so the whole world can hear.
And we try on her mom’s clothes some days, her dresses and her skirts. Penny’s all soft curves where I’m thin as a stick. The clothes are bigger than we’d buy, but they always look good on Penny. I fuss over her hair and I paint her lips with her mom’s lipstick and like that’s she’s so pretty I want to kiss her. We take pictures of each other with an instant camera and we pin those pictures up around Penny’s room and I ask her if I can take one home with me. I get to keep a picture of Penny laid back on the bed in nothing but her underwear.
We’re allowed boys in Penny’s house and we charge them small silver for a kiss. I watch the boys kissing Penny and something in me stirs and I hate those boys then – not because they’re not kissing me, but because they’re kissing Penny. We do that most days and there’s this one day I remember more than the rest.
‘Milk and two sugars if you please,’ shouts up her pop from the garden and Penny’s busy with the kissing and so she asks me to see to the tea. I don’t know if her pop likes his tea strong or if his two sugars are heaped teaspoons or level or if he likes a lot of milk or maybe just a spot. I do my best and I carry the cup down to his shed, being careful not to spill it even though I am outside and a bit of spilled tea in the garden would not matter.
‘Thank you, sweetheart,’ he says.
He makes me blush.
‘You girls ok?’ he says when I step into the darkness of his shed. It smells of grease and sweat and cigarettes in there. I tell him we’re just fine thank you. He says I’m so polite and he likes that.
I hand him the tea and I apologise if it’s not the way that he likes it. He says it’ll be grand so long as it’s hot and sweet and wet. Then he puts his pursed lips to the cup and sucks. He makes a noise that my mom would scold us for. I watch him. He’s sort of pretty like Penny, and he’s like Penny in the dark of his hair and his eyes. I watch his lips and I think of Penny kissing the boys up in the house and I wonder what it would be like to kiss Penny’s pop. He smiles at the end of his sucking and he looks at me funny, like he knows what’s in my head, and I think maybe there’s some rules after all and I head on back to the house.