I’ve added on a lot, so I thought I’d give you a piece of it!
“You doing anything tonight, Kell?”
I called Nicky, walking back to my dorm. “No. Why, you wanna chill with me?”
Familiar warmth filled my stomach. Butterflies resurrected. “I’m on my way over.”
Nicky opened the door, holding a pack of cigarettes. “You look cute, Kell.” She held the pack upside down and tapped the bottom.
I kissed her on the cheek. “What are you doing to those?”
She continued to tap the pack. “This?” The tapping got louder. “You don’t smoke do you?”
I shook my head. “Not really my thing.”
“I’m packing them.” She removed the cellophane. “Meaning, I’m pushing the tobacco down. I flick my cigarettes too hard. Packing them keeps the tobacco tight.”
In front of the mirror, wearing an unzipped dress, Nicky lowered the straps and shuffled her bosoms, which were tightly packed, into her bra.
“Where are we going tonight?” I sat on her bed.
Nicky put a cigarette in her mouth. Her tongue toyed with it, shifting it from one side of her mouth to the other. “Was thinking we could go dancing.” She pulled the straps over her shoulders. “Kell, can you give me a light?”
I grabbed the lighter off of her bedside table. Leaning over her right shoulder, I brought the lighter to the cigarette butt. “Sounds like fun.”
She went over to the open window beside her mirror and sat on the sill. “I’m thinking we could pre game at my friend Mike’s place.” She sucked on her cigarette and blew out the window.
She giggled. The type of giggle where she tilted her head down – chin to chest – and closed her eyes. “Do you not drink either?”
I shook my head. “I’m eighteen.”
Through her smile, secondhand ghosts slipped out. “I started drinking when I was sixteen, silly. Age doesn’t mean shit.”
Nicky’s dress was orange and stopped mid-thigh. The material was tight. She looked like a cinnamon-filled hourglass. I wanted to fill her waist crevice with my hand, before brushing it down to her hips. Her breasts, pushed up by her bra, were doused with glittery perfume. The glitter looked like sugar. She scrunched a handful of her hair and flicked the cigarette out of the window.
“Ready?” She approached me.
“You look great.” I stood up. She smelled like sugar and tobacco: caramel cigarettes.
“Since you’re not drinking, you don’t mind driving do you?”
“Not at all.” I smiled. “I look okay, right?”
She stepped back to check me out. I was wearing a pair of jeans and a green V-neck. “Hmm.” She went over to her dresser and rummaged in her top drawer. She threw me a green beanie cap. “You look so good in hats.”
We arrived at her friend Mike’s right before seven. Putting the car in my park, I felt my phone vibrate from my back pocket. Jacqueline had been texting me.
“You’re not gonna need that tonight.” Nicky took my phone. Opening the glove compartment, she said, “whoever it is,” she threw my phone in, “they don’t need to know where you are.” She giggled before shutting the compartment.
Mike’s house was one-leveled and slanted to the left. The two windows beside the door were covered with blankets. Approaching the door, I could smell pot. Nicky pulled her dress down before knocking on the door.
“Mikey! It’s me.” Nicky put her left arm around my waist and placed her right hand on my chest. “He’s really chill. You’ll like him.” Her voice sounded raspy.
Mike opened the door. He had a full beard, but a receding hairline. The top row of his teeth was spaced; the bottom row was crammed together like a car crash. He smiled when he saw Nicky. “Girl!” His voice was thick with a Boston accent.
Nicky left my side and jumped into his arms. Left hand on her ass, Mike lifted her up. My jaw clenched. His thumb and pointer finger fiddled with her dress’ hem, folding it up and down again, as she stood in front of him.
“This is my girl, Kelly.” Nicky said, returning to my arms.
“Jealous.” Mike said. “I’ve known Nicky since high school, and she won’t even kiss me drunk.”
“I know,” she said, kissing me on the neck. Her lip ring, cool on my skin. “Kell’s a lucky girl.”
Mike walked into the kitchen, leaving us alone in the living room. We sat on the brown leather couch with various holes and blemishes on the cushions. Nicky and I shared the same cushion. She held my hand and draped her legs over my lap. I looked over at her.
She smiled and winked at me. “I love you.” She put her arms around my neck and pulled me in.
Our noses were touching. She cocked her head to the left and closed her eyes. Our lips were merely an inch away from touching when Mike walked back in.
Mike put a bottle of Smirnoff and cranberry juice on the table. “How many?” He looked at us. “Three?”
“Kelly’s good.” Nicky laid back on the armrest. “Just two.”
Mike returned with two plastic Starbucks’ cups, each with a cover and green straw. He filled both cups three-fourths with Smirnoff, and the remainder with cranberry juice. The mixture was a dark pink.
Before we left, Nicky had finished her cup.
Mike, driving his own car, took his drink with him.
“Oh my God! I love this song!” Nicky said, turning up the radio. A Chris Brown song was playing; she started to sing along and dance in her seat, swaying her arms above her head.
“You’re so crazy,” I said, idling at a red light.
“Hush, you.” She unzipped her purse and took out a cigarette.
My stomach twisted. “What are you doing?”
“Open my window, Kell.” Cigarette in mouth, she aimlessly searched for the window switch. “Come on.” Trembling, her hand fumbled with the lighter.
“You can’t smoke in here, silly.”
“Please, Kelly?” She removed the cigarette from her mouth and looked at me. Her blue eyes, accented by the black eyeliner, looked like clear skies surrounding the dark side of the moon.
I rolled my eyes and lowered her window. The smoke, being blown out the window, was tossed back in by a gust of wind. An acidic fog filled the car. I rolled down my own window.
We arrived at the club at eight. Mike and I parked in the back lot: a dumpster between us. Nicky flicked her cigarette out of the window and smiled at me. Her lips, painted pink, contrasted with her purple lip ring. “You ready?”
I nodded and turned my ignition off. We sat in the car for a moment, both staring out the windshield. I reached my arm over the console. Nicky folded her fingers into my palm. Her acrylics tickled. “You’re really great.” I said under my breath.
We made eye contact. She smiled with out showing teeth. I did the same to her. I smelled cigarettes. Her cigarettes.
Walking inside, Mike and Nicky ran ahead of me onto the dance floor. His right hand was beneath her ass like a platter. I ventured over to a free booth beside the bar. The seat, shaped like an “L” enclosed a table protruding from the wall. The glass table was equipped with LEDs that changed from green to blue, to red and then back to green. The table looked like a Christmas tree. I sat on the far side of the booth with my back against the wall and legs on the seat. The dance floor was crowded like a mosh pit. Some girls were being passed from guy to guy, others swayed on the sideline sipping their drinks. Through the crowd, I could make out Nicky and Mike who were grinding. Nicky had her ass pushed to his zipper; Mike’s hands were cupping her breasts and then swooping down to her hips. At that moment, I wish I had my phone.
A girl with locks of blonde hair and dark grown-out roots that topped her head like an oil spill, stood in front of the table. She was wearing a blue strapless dress and pink gauges.
I sat up, planted my feet on the ground. “Huh?”
Giggling, she squinted her eyes. “I saw you come in here and nab this booth.” She stepped closer to the table. Her right hip brushed the “L’s” curve. “You with anyone?”
I looked past her at the dance floor. I lost sight of Nicky and Mike. “No.” My attention was drawn to her chest. Above her cleavage was a freckle. “You?”
“With a few friends, yeah.” She reached her hand over the table. “I’m Jen by the way.”
I shook her hand. “Kelly.” I smiled.
“You wanna dance?”
Still holding onto my hand, Jen brought me to the center of the dance floor. We danced across from each other, just a few inches between us. We exchanged some laughs, as we got closer. Jen wrapped her arms around my neck and pressed her nose to my cheek. As she bent down slightly, I felt her rub up against my thigh. Hand hovered beside her ass I felt her hips swing. Our noses met, her lips grazed mine. She smiled. “How old are you?”
“Oh,” her eyebrows twitched up. “You’re a baby.”
I grabbed her ass and pushed her into me. Her thigh was against my crotch; my thigh was against hers. We swayed together. Her hands dropped to my hips. She started to anchor her thumbs into my belt loops. “Age doesn’t mean shit.”
“So true,” she cocked her head to the left and closed her eyes. Lips were pursed.
I went in to kiss her when I felt someone tug me out of our embrace. My shoulder blade crashed into Nicky’s clavicle.
“Hey!” Nicky yelled.
Jen, hands on hips, glared at us. “The song isn’t over yet!” She yelled back.
“She’s with me.” Nicky slurred her “s’s.” With her mouth beside my ear, I could hear saliva slush.
Jen rolled her eyes before walking off the dance floor.
“I missed you,” Nicky whispered into my ear.
I turned to her. “Where’s Mike?”
“He left. Besides,” she took my hands, “I came here to dance with you.” She pulled me in and shoved my hands down to her hips. As her hips swung, her tits, packed in her bra, bounced. “Have fun with me.” She whispered in my ear before turning around to thrust her ass back onto my zipper fly. Holding onto her hips, I pulled her back. Back flat like a table, Nicky’s ass slammed up against my crotch. Warmth developed within our touch. Everything felt tingly. My legs felt light; my jeans packed with heat. I wanted her so bad. She arched her back up. Her hair whipped me in the face; before she tilted her head back onto my shoulder. Eyes on her profile, I noticed her scarred cartilage. I pressed my lips to it. Her hair smelled of cigarettes and sweat. Nicky hauled my hands to her breasts. She snuck her fingers in between mine. I kissed her cheek. “Ah, Kelly.” Her voice was breathy, sounded like a moan. She lifted her chin up and we kissed. She tasted like tobacco. The lip ring was cool and pinched, like I had imagined. My heart fluttered, legs lightened even more. A Chris Brown song came on. We parted and she said, “Perfect song.”
I held her hand and spun her out. We were now facing each other. Her lipstick was smudged. I smiled and said, “I love this song.”
She brought her thumb up to my lips. “You got a little something on you.”
“Yeah?” I asked, bringing her closer to me. We kissed again. Nicky pressed her tongue against mine. I imagined passing an ice cube through kisses; her lip ring, so cold; her tongue tasted like tangy cranberry juice.
“Kelly.” She led my hand to her inner thigh. “We should go.”
I let my fingers linger up her dress.
“Besides,” she leaned into my ear, “I’m not wearing any panties.”
Nicky tugged my arm over the console. “Touch me.” She reclined her seat back and opened her legs. Her dress slid up.
Eyes on the road, I felt her guide my hand to her clit. Stretching my fingers down, I felt her opening: so wet and warm. Inserting my middle finger, I heard her gasp. She was so tight. More of my finger slid in. So wet, I could hear it. “Oh, Nicky.” Stopped at a red light, I looked over. She had two of her fingers rubbing her clit in a circular motion. As I fingered her, she moaned.
“Kelly!” She grabbed my thigh, acrylics felt like claws.
I parked my car at the entryway of Mike’s house. Keeping my finger inside of her, I leaned over the console and kissed her. Her upper lip, wet with sweat. “You wanna go inside?”
She nodded and then grabbed my wrist. “Wait.” She slowly pulled my finger out. “Shit.” She pulled her dress down. “Fuck, fuck!”
I returned to my seat. “What, what?”
“I think I just started my period.” She slipped her hand under her dress. After a second she said, “Yes, fuck. Yes, I did.” She frantically opened her purse and three tampons popped out. Tampons and purse in hand, she opened the passenger door and said, “I’ll be right back,” before shutting it closed.
My heart throbbed. I brought my middle finger to my nose. I could smell pennies. I pressed on my dome light. Blood had run down my finger and dried up on my ring. “Fuck!” Before shutting off the light, I looked over at the passenger seat. There was a small, dark wet spot.
Leaving the car running, I went into Mike’s. Walking down the hall, I could hear squeaking from one of the rooms. Passing by one of the closed doors, I heard some light moaning that soon escalated into a scream and skin smack against skin. The squeaking grew louder and more frequent.
“Fuck me, Mike!” A girl screamed. Her voice had a thick Boston accent, too.
“Yeah?” He said back, accompanied with a spank.
I quickened my pace down the hall, keeping my eyes ahead, until finally reaching the bathroom.
The tiled floor was sticky. There were hair clippings in the sink and a yellow smudge on the mirror that looked like Vaseline. The bottom of the shower curtain was brown. The toilet seat was up and left un-flushed. Rolled in a ball on the vanity’s corner, was a blue towel. I grabbed it and ran down the hall. I found Nicky lying on the leather couch. Her bottom half was hanging off the side; her knees, bent and bruised, leaned into the coffee table. She looked asleep with her head cocked back: neck bridging the armrest. Towel folded over my shoulder, my arms cuffed her knees, and my hands straightened out her legs onto the couch. Her eyes remained closed.
“Hey, Nick,” I touched her hand. She didn’t budge. “You gonna be okay?” I could hear Mike gain more speed, as the smacking grew louder. I wondered if Nicky was next. The girl’s moans turned into groans. The squeaking stopped. All I could hear was Nicky breathing. Beanie cap off, I laid it on her stomach. The bedroom door slowly squealed open; a similar squeal, like one in a haunted house. I ran out the door. My heart was in my throat.
In the car, I patted the towel down on the passenger seat before driving off.
Stopped at the last intersection before campus, I removed my phone from the glove compartment. It was almost eleven thirty. The last time I checked my phone was seven. Jacqueline had texted me ten times, and called me six. My head pounded, thinking about how much she was going to yell at me. Pulling into a parking spot behind my dorm, I called her.
“Kelly!” She sounded out of breath.
“Hi,” I said, turning my car off.
“Where were you? I wanted to talk but you weren’t answering me.” She breathed in through her nose. It sounded stuffed like she had been crying.
“Um,” I jogged to the front of my dorm, pulling my keys out of my pocket. “Studying.” I bit my tongue.
“Yeah.” I slowed my pace. “In the library.”
“The library?” Her voice deepened. “Did you drive there?”
I laughed nervously. “No, why?”
“Why do you have your car keys then?”
I stopped walking and looked behind me. There stood Jacqueline with the phone still to her ear, and my trucker hat in her other hand. Trails of mascara down her cheek, wisps of hair in her eyes, and I still found her beautiful. “Hi.”
“You had me so worried, you fucking bitch!” She threw the hat at my feet.
“I’m okay, though.” I picked up my hat.
“Why are you lying to me?” She started to cry. Head tucked down, she pinched in between her eyes. “This isn’t a way to treat someone who cares about you.”
I stepped towards her. “You care about me?”
“I wouldn’t have called you if I didn’t.” She lowered her arms. “I felt shitty about earlier.” She rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand. “But when you didn’t answer, I got scared.”
I put my arms around her and gave her a hug. She cried on my shoulder. “I’m sorry I didn’t answer. I was with someone.”
Jacqueline looked up at me. Her eye makeup was completely smudged. “Kell, why do you smell like cigarettes?”
My heartbeat quickened. “My friend smokes.”
“Oh,” she giggled to herself. “I was going to say, I didn’t know you were a smoker-”
I cut her off with a kiss. She tasted like spearmint, so clean and minty.
She pushed me off. “You taste awful!” After wiping her lips with the back of her hand, she looked at it. “Lipstick?” She then looked at my lips. “Were you wearing lipstick?”
I shook my head. She was putting the pieces together and it was too late to lie. “My friend was.”
“The smoker?” She crossed her arms.
I just nodded and crossed my own arms.
“You two kissed?” Her voice went in and out. Her eyes regrouped more tears. I was breaking her heart by the second.
“Yeah. We went dancing.”
“Oh. I didn’t know -”
“Friends kiss.” We made eye contact. “We kissed. Right, Jac?”
She dug her hands into her pockets and looked at the ground. “Yeah.”
* * *
Nicky skipped Chemistry class on Friday. I went to her room afterwards. Her dress from Wednesday night was left unzipped and wrinkled on the floor. She was lying in bed when I showed up. Her feet poked out from the blanket that wrapped her body like a towel. Her shoulders, strap-free, made me wonder if she was naked.
“Come here,” she said, keeping her head down. Hands clasped over her chest, she looked like a princess. All I wanted to do was kiss her.
I sat by her feet. “You feeling okay?”
“I’m still hung-over.” She sat up, keeping the blanket over her chest. Pressing her forehead onto my shoulder she said “had so much fun with you though.”
I kissed the top of her head. Her hair still smelled like cigarettes. “Me too.”
Nicky turned to the bed’s edge and stood up, dropping the blanket onto the floor. Turning to me, she pulled her bra straps over her shoulders. The bra cups were decorated with multi-colored skulls.
“Nice match.” I said staring at her purple panties.
“Huh?” She pulled a cigarette from her pack.
“Your panties and lip ring, silly.” I watched her bring the cigarette to her mouth, wishing her lips were on me. “Purple is my favorite color.”
“You don’t say?” Blowing out smoke, she lifted her left eyebrow. “We hanging out tonight?”
“Aren’t we hanging out now?”
She bit down on her lip, staring at the floor. “I have class in twenty minutes.”
“I have a presentation.” Secondhand ghosts lingered to the bed. “I’ll text you when my class ends, k?”
Nicky texted me two hours later.
Sauntering up the stairs, skipping two steps at a time, to Nicky’s classroom, I bumped into Jacqueline. She stopped at one of the landings; I continued for the stairs.
“Kell.” She was wearing my t-shirt: tied in the back, showed off her midriff.
Foot on step, I looked back. “Jac-”
“Can we,” she dropped her gaze, “talk or something?”
Students loitered our conversation: stepping beside, behind, between us.
“I don’t know.” I went up a second step. “I’m busy now.”
“Tomorrow?” Her eyes widened: irises were minty green. Looking into them, I could taste her kiss.
“I’ll text you.” Stepping down, I grabbed her hand. Her fingers were cold; tips were callused. “Shirt looks good on you.” I leaned in and kissed her right cheek. Shoulder to her chest, I could feel her heart race.
Nicky drove us to the park near campus. We stayed in her car with the windows rolled down. Nicky reclined her seat and lit up a cigarette. I too, reclined my seat and planted my feet against the glove compartment. Her purple thong peeked out from her jeans; her bra was visible through her white shirt. She sunk down in her seat and rested her hand on the wheel. Her legs slowly opened, pushing the thong farther up. Tapping her cigarette on the window’s lip, she looked over at me. “You good, Kell?” She shifted her attention to my legs and giggled.
“What?” I put my feet down. “Sorry,” I rubbed off the dirt my shoes left.
“No, no,” she sucked on her cigarette. “It’s not that.” She threw her cigarette out the window and blushed.
“Then what is it?” I nervously untied and then retied my shoes. “Are you blushing?”
She nodded and brought her hand up to her lips, holding back a laugh.
“I’ve never seen you blush before.”
“I don’t usually get nervous.” She smiled without showing teeth. Her cheeks dimpled.
“What’s up?” I leaned into the console and smirked.
Her attention shifted to my lips. “You’re really cute, stop.” She shoved me back. “I kinda have these weird obsessions.” Our eyes met. “You know what I mean?” Her tongue played with her lip ring, twisting it back and forth.
“I guess.” My cheeks felt hot. I dropped my head slightly, hoping she wouldn’t notice me blushing.
“This is going to sound really weird.” She started to pack her cigarettes. “I’m kinda obsessed with your calf muscles.” The packing quickened, almost sounding like a smack: the smack that chimed in between Mike’s pumps.
Heels up, I flexed my calves. “My calf muscles?”
“It’s weird, I know.” The smacking stopped. “I noticed them the first day of class. You were sitting at your desk with your legs open. Your feet were tucked under the seat.” Her cheeks were still colored. “I was sitting two desks behind you, but no one was between us. So, I got this clear view of your calves.” She laughed hysterically, a whole-hearted laugh, a burst of laughter. Pulling the trigger to release uproar, she cocked her head back. I had never heard this laugh before. She was releasing herself in front of me. The laugh continued. She brought her hand to her chest, as if to push out more, as if to open up more, sharing her mini-orgasm.
“I love your laugh.”
Her laugh died down and converted to a cigarette cough. “I hate my laugh.” She cleared her throat. “It’s so loud.”
“It’s so you, though.” It took everything in me not to tug her over the console and kiss her. I sat back in my seat, my nails digging into the seat.
“I got kicked out of a movie theater once because of it.” She tee-hee’d and looked out the windshield. “I was sitting in the back row with some of my friends, and some asshole sitting five rows ahead of us stood up in the middle of some scene all like, ‘Will you shut the fuck up?’ I get embarrassed so I start crying. My friends start yelling at him.” She looked over at me. “It was such a mess.”
“I would have kicked that guy’s ass.”
“I bet you could, with your awesome calves and all.” She packed her cigarettes against her thigh. “Sorry, that was wicked cheesy.”
“Better than anything I could come up with.” I felt my phone vibrate. Jacqueline was calling me.
I rolled my eyes and went to re-pocket my phone when Nicky said, “You can take that. I need some air anyway.” She took another cigarette from her pack before leaving the car.
“Kelly?” Jacqueline was crying. Her breath shook like she was having an anxiety attack.
“What’s wrong?” I could feel my heart, already pacing over Nicky’s laugh, quake in its cage.
“I really need someone to talk to.”
Nicky sat on the hood of the car. I could see her thong as her shirt rode up. Smoke spiraled over her head like a halo.
“Where are you?” Jacqueline asked.
“I’m not on campus right now. Where are you?”
“My room.” She coughed. “Are you busy? I’m sorry.”
“I just,” Nicky turned to look at me with a smile. All I wanted to do was mount her on the car’s hood. Let the cigarette burn like incense and feel the cool metal on my lips again. “I just got off campus. I don’t really know when I’ll be back.”
“Are you alone?”
“Yeah. You wanna talk now?” I smiled back at Nicky and rolled my eyes. I could hear her laugh.
“No. I want you to come here, Kelly.” She sounded frustrated.
I sighed. Nicky sat back in the car. “I’ll be there in ten.”
“Thanks for the ride.”
We idled outside of Jacqueline’s dorm for a few minutes. I knew it had been far more than ten minutes, but I didn’t want to leave. When Nicky reached over and snuck her fingers in-between mine, I knew she felt the same.
“Is your friend gonna be okay?” Her thumb massaged my knuckle.
Nicky twisted my thumb ring. “You wanna come over after?”
“That was my plan.”
We stared into each other’s eyes. My nose brushed up against hers. My stomach felt heavy: a weight pressing down on my nerves. Her fingers were still fiddling with my thumb ring. Each twist tickled. “Kelly,” she sighed my name. Her breath, tangy with tobacco, was so warm.
“Nicky,” I whispered back.
Through her speakers, a Chris Brown song came on low: “I should have kissed you, I should have told you how I feel.”
Nicky’s cheeks bloomed pink. I leaned in and kissed her on the cheek. She then kissed me on the cheek, keeping her lips on me for a little bit longer. The cool touch from her lip ring, turned warm and comfortable, something I could get used to.