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she won't cooperate (she's the last of the american girls)

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that first time, she watches him get high after she tightens the band on her arm and a part of her wonders: what am i doing here?  she’s never seen anyone get high before, and she’s only ever gotten drunk (and this is why he calls her a lameass and a chickenshit).  she knows people that use weed because of course she does, she’s in college, but she’s never been around to see them use it.  and she doesn’t know anyone who shoots up.

or, well, she didn’t before him.

he plunges the needle into his arm and she has to look away for that, but she glances back in time to see the high hit him, watches his mouth fall open and his eyelids flutter as she sits with her arms wrapped around her knees in a pose that makes her seem far more vulnerable than she is.

he sees her watching him and a smug smirk spreads across his face.  “want a hit?” he asks her.  she shakes her head a little and his expression goes hard; he’s still smirking, but it’s not smug, more pissed.  “good. wasn’t going to give you any, anyway.”

there’s silence for a moment, partially because she doesn’t know how to respond to that and partially because she’s not really sure how him shooting heroin is supposed to translate into her getting laid.  it seemed easy enough to figure out before, just get from point a to point b, but now that she’s here she’s suddenly aware of how inexperienced she is.  she knows, in theory, how these things work, knows in theory what she likes, but the last guy she’d tried to fuck hadn’t been able to keep it up and she’d had to spend a full fifteen minutes feeding his ego because he was so embarrassed.

thankfully – she thinks – she can’t see that happening with the guy sitting across from her.

“well,” he says finally, lazily, “you gonna get over here or not?”

she crawls her way over to him, and when she gets close enough he pulls her into his lap and kisses her, mouth open and wanting.  she kisses back as best as she can, trying to figure out where to put her hands –

– he breaks the kiss.

“what are you, a fucking virgin?” the way he says it, she isn’t sure if he thinks she’s lame, or if he’s one of those guys who gets off on being a girl’s first.

“it’s complicated,” she says, settling her hands on his chest, fingers gently touching the worn fabric of his shirt.  his hands are on her waist, squeezing a little too hard, but she doesn’t complain.

complicated? what does that mean?”

she huffs a laugh. “the only guy i’ve ever been with couldn’t keep it up long enough to get his dick in me.”

“you’re kidding.” his voice is flat – he thinks she’s lying, she can tell.

she lets out another laugh. “i wish.  never been less satisfied in my life.”

“well…” and that dangerous grin of his is back, his hands sliding to her hips, “i’ve never left someone unsatisfied.”

--

he is never satisfied.

she learns this quickly, learns the way he gets pissy when he wants to hook up and she’s busy, learns the look he gets in his eyes when he wants to drag her back to bed for round two.  but she knows her limits, and he’s pretty good about abiding by them – probably because the one time he tried to push, she kicked him hard and locked herself in the bathroom for an hour.

the memory of that night is probably the only reason he tolerates how she is when she’s drunk.

she’s had three glasses of wine, leftover franzia from a week ago when she got drunk at a friend’s apartment and watched shitty ripoff disney films, and she is, frankly, wasted.  he’s leering at her, like he’s waiting for her to get the right kind of handsy, but jokes on him because she just wants to talk about linguistics and tell him that he’s really warm and then probably pass out.

(she does pass out, but only after drinking an entire bottle of water and eating half a box of shitty, stale cheez-its.)

she’s tired enough and drunk enough that it doesn’t even cross her mind to be concerned that she’s about to be unconscious in the company of one of the shittiest people she knows, but it certainly crosses her mind when she wakes up in the morning.  thankfully, they’re both entirely clothed, even if he’s sort of crushing half of her body because of they way they’re laying.  it’s not cuddling – it’s not, not with him.  no, it’s more like he just collapsed on top of her, probably after getting high.  one of her legs is asleep and so is one of her arms because he’s heavier than he looks, goddamn.

“hey,” she says, because she hates saying his name.  saint jimmy.  it’s so pretentious.  half of her hopes that she’ll one day achieve the kind of self-righteous narcissism needed to put the title saint in front of her name.  the other half of her wants to tell him that, and watch him get pissed.  “hey, move it.”

he grunts, shifts a little, but doesn’t actually get off of her.  she heaves a sigh and tries to move her arm, but he’s been laying on her for so long that she actually can’t feel the limb at all – it might as well not be there.  “hey!”

she practically yells it, which finally seems to wake him up.  their faces are very close, which she tries to pretend doesn’t faze her by forcing herself to make eye contact.  “what is it, sweetcheeks?”

only he can make terms of endearment sound so… she’s not sure if she wants to say dirty or apathetic. she thinks it’s somewhere inbetween.

“you’re crushing me,” she says.  he smirks.

“i thought you liked it when i was on top.”

and oh, that makes her blush, and she hates it, but the last time they went at it he’d wrapped his hand around her neck – hadn’t even squeezed, just set it there – and she hadn’t been able to stifle her moan.  and she knows he remembers, and she knows he also remembers every other time he’s been rough and she’s liked it.

“just get up, and maybe we’ll have time for a quickie before i go.”

--

she doesn’t understand why he keeps coming back to her.

the fact of the matter is this: she’s not his type.  she’s not.  she’s seen girls who are his type, girls who are wild and angry and wear too much eyeliner, and she’s not that.  the closest she gets to punk is when she throws on a leather jacket and her red lipstick, and the only pills she ever pops are claritin for her allergies.

(to be fair, he’s not her usual type, either; she likes sensitive, charming boys, especially boys who sing and are kind to others and flirt with her.  she doesn’t go for boys like him, assholes with heavy eye makeup and piercings who do hard drugs.)

but he wants her.  and, yes, maybe it’s just her body that he wants, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re standing together outside this party as he says goodbye, looking like some pastor’s daughter and her dirtbag boyfriend.  well, she’s not a pastor’s daughter, and he’s… well, he is a dirtbag. but he’s not her boyfriend, even if he grabs her ass when another guy checks her out, pulls her possessively closer when somebody winks at her.  not her boyfriend, just an asshole who happens to be a good lay.

she drives them back to his place, but when she goes to get out of the car he grabs her arm and tugs her back.  the door slams shut.  she huffs out a what the fuck and turns to face him, shaking her arm in an attempt to loosen his grip.

“i got something for ya,” he smirks, and reaches into his jacket to withdraw… is that a brownie?  “if you ain’t gonna smoke…”

…oh. an edible.  god, she is a lameass.  thankfully, she didn’t open her mouth and say what she was thinking, because he undoubtedly would have made a smart comment and then she would have slapped him.

she hesitates for a moment, doesn’t just take the brownie, because does she really want to get high right now?  she isn’t sure.

“open up,” he says, essentially making the decision for her because her mouth falls open on his command.  he laughs and she blushes, angry with herself for responding so instinctually and also flustered by the way he leans in far closer than he needs to when he feeds her the brownie.  when she takes a bite of it he laughs again and says “good girl” in a tone of voice that almost makes her spew said brownie directly onto him.

when she swallows the edible, she chokes out: “good girls don’t do pot.”

“well, sweetcheeks, you certainly ain’t a rebel.”

“i could be,” she protests, even though she knows she couldn’t.

he laughs again, that same almost-cruel laugh, and says “rebels don’t smell like bubblegum.”  and then he holds the brownie up again, waiting for her to take another bite.  after a moment’s hesitation, she does.  too late to turn back now.  after she swallows that one he’s back again, until he’s fed her the whole thing and he’s eating one himself.

five minutes later they’re in her backseat, blaring whatever mixtape she’d been listening to last, waiting for the high to kick in.  she’d be lying if she said she isn’t nervous, unsure of what happens next, but truth be told every experience with him is like this.  she’s always a little anxious, knowing that he’ll take the lead but not always certain that she wants to follow him.

she’s already in his lap and making out with him by the time she thinks to herself: oh, this is what being high is like, which is reminiscent of how, when she got drunk the first time, she only realized after she tried to use dispense soap into her hand without putting her hand near the dispenser.  except now it’s the fact that she’s giggling when his hand is around her throat that sets off the whoa! you’re fucked up! alarm in her head – not that she cares.  what she does care about is when his other hand slips up her shirt, at which point she breaks the kiss.

“someone might see us,” she gasps as he lets go of her neck.  he grins at her, that stupid cocky grin that straddles the line between hot and terrifying.

“so what?”

fuck it, she thinks, grinds her hips against him, and pulls off her shirt.  his smile widens, and next thing she knows she’s laying across her backseat in a position that can’t be comfortable for either of them, with him on top of her.

she’s giggling again.

--

“what am i doing here?”

it’s one of their many mornings after, and she’s getting dressed when the question hits her.  she watches him stir; the mattress creaks as he moves around. “you don’t have class this morning,” he says, and she tries not to dwell on the fact that he apparently has her class schedule memorized.  it’s surprisingly easy, considering how she’s going over the past – what, month? – in her mind, wondering how she got here.

 “not here right now,” she says, because she knows he’s still half-asleep and probably misunderstood her, “just in general. what am i doing here? with you?”

he rubs his eyes in a way that shouldn’t be endearing, and he regards her with a blank stare: “you wanted a fuck and i wanted a fuck.”

“yeah, but your original offer – you wanted someone you never had to talk to again.” for a second she hesitates, contemplates forgetting all of this and just crawling back into bed, considers allowing herself to get lost in him.  instead, she pulls off his white t-shirt and drops it on the ground, reaching for one of her own tops. “yet here i am, weeks later, watching you get high and letting you fuck me even when you’ve been smoking cigarettes.”

“so what? i happen to like fucking you,” he says, sitting up with a shrug.  she turns around, mind racing; she knows what happens next.  it’s a fast decision to make, but she knows it’s the right one.  “where do you think you’re going?”

home,” she says curtly.  “i don’t know why i…” she cuts herself off, sighs, and turns back around to face him.  she’s searching for the right words to say – if there are any right words for this situation – and finally settles on this: “you aren’t my type.”  and i’m not yours, she adds in her mind, crossing her arms.  that’s not what this is really about, but she doesn’t know how to articulate what she really feels right now.

“not your type?” he echoes, and he’s rubbing at his eyes again. but when he’s done, he looks at her with the beginnings of rage in his eyes.  she’s upset him.  “that’s not what it seemed like when you were on your knees, or with my hand around your neck begging for my – ”

stop,” she says.  she knows what he’s going to say; she feels her cheeks heat up at the thought of his words.  “you were a good lay. i’m not denying that. but i’ve never been able to do things like this without…” she makes a vague gesture, one that she hopes comes across as getting insecure and/or developing feelings because i’m a needy bitch.

“if you’ve got a crush on me, sweetie, just say it.”

god, she hates him.

(that’s a lie, one of the bigger ones she’s told herself.  she should hate him; most days she’s pissed or annoyed with him.  but she’s never hated him.  she’s envied him for having the guts to do shit she never could, for being self-righteous and narcissistic and careless enough to shoot up and smoke and do everything she’ll never do in a million years.)

“i don’t,” she says, and she’s only mostly sure that it’s the truth, which is why she adds: “but it might not stay that way, and you are the last person i want to have feelings for.”

 “why?”

he knows the answer.  she knows he knows the answer, so she doesn’t know why he’s asking, doesn’t know why he wants to drag this out when it’ll only end in him more pissed off at her.  she doesn’t understand why he’s pissed, when this was what he wanted: a girl that he could fuck and never talk to again.  so she doesn’t answer, just picks up her purse & slips on her heels. 

“goodbye, saint jimmy,” she says.

she has a feeling it’ll be the last time she says his name.

--

weeks later, she goes to put on her red lipstick, and she hesitates.  she’s off to a party, ready play designated driver, and for a moment she wonders if she’ll see him, and what will happen if she does.  she remembers the way he used to kiss her when she wore it, always a little harder than when she wore a different shade.  it’s her best lipstick, one that has always stayed no matter what she eats or drinks or does, and she wonders if that’s why.  she wonders if the thought of something he couldn’t control pissed him off.

after another moment, she puts down the dark red and reaches instead for a bright metallic blue, applying it carefully and looking at her reflection as the liquid sets.  she’s wearing more eyeliner than usual, and the combo makes her feel dangerous, wild.

she doesn’t know if she’ll see him, but she knows that if she does, she won’t look like the girl he remembers.