Red toe nails. Red lipstick on her lips. Red fingernails. And I bet underneath it all, she was wearing red underwear, too. Skimpy and frilly, with a matching red bra. The kind of undoing outfit meant to inspire color coordinated lust in the hearts of men. Or, maybe not their hearts. Maybe just their dicks.
“What did you do this time?” I asked. She was languid. Lounging. Rolling the cigarette between her lips. I could see her tongue working against the bitter filter. Red lipstick marks all over the butt of her cigarette.
“Well, you know-“
“Actually, no, I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking.”
She looked at me with these dopey doe eyes that seemed to be begging for something in some way. What was she begging for? I couldn’t really say, although I could tell that she was trying to tell me what had happened without having the burden of saying what actually happened.
“Oh, well, I was drunk, as usual, I got rowdy, no big deal.”
“No, it is a big deal. Why are all these people calling me asking me about you? Just spit it out!”
She rustled a bit. She didn’t like the question. I could tell by the way she tugged on front of her robe, like shutting the gates to the dignity and the glory of her sexuality. Like some sort of modesty punishment. As though hiding her tits in this crucial moment would add some sort of gravity to her feigned act of innocence.
“You’re talking about what happened to Kate?”
“I don’t know. Am I?”
The blood in my veins bumping and boiling as red as the color on her lips and fingernails.
“I mean, sure, I don’t like her-“
“You know she’s in the hospital, right?”
“Who, Kate?” she tried to act surprised at the news. “What happened?” She leaned over casually and took a sip from her big glass of hangover water. As though that was all she needed to clear up the fog from last night’s misdeeds.
“Don’t play dumb. Somebody said they saw you do it.”
“On 31st Street. You followed her home from that party, didn’t you?”
“Just tell me – did you do it?”
“I mean, I was only trying to hurt her-“
“And you did. You hurt her. You fucked her up. And now she’s in the hospital.”
“With what though?”
“What did you do?”
She looked at me, the doe-eyed dopeishness had evanesced into legitimate fear. She was the type of girl who was very successful at evading consequences, and this kind of situation was clearly unfamiliar.
“Well, I mean, I saw her, and I went up to her, and I don’t really remember…”
“Did you hit her?”
“Well, yeah, but I don’t really remember. She was walking alone, and I just ran up behind her and choked her from behind and dragged her to the ground. She didn’t scream, really, but somehow all I remember is I got on top of her and started hitting her face with my fists. It was like whaling through butter, I wasn’t hitting her that hard.”
“I don’t know. I woke up alone in my bathroom this afternoon.” She chugged at her water. I could see the nausea churning in her stomach.
“Why did you do that?”
“Well, she said that thing about me on Facebook, so, y’know, I had to regulate.”
I got up. I couldn’t handle another minute of the childishness.
“Did you take anything from her?”
“Well they said she got robbed, too.”
“I mean, I left her on the sidewalk, I didn’t find any of her stuff. It’s possible somebody else grabbed her purse.”
“Do you have any clothes? With her blood on it?”
“In the wash,” she muttered. Her gaze floated back to the T.V. It was time for her to check out of reality. And hopefully by the time she checks back in, the consequences will be gone.
“Okay,” I said, sitting down next to her. I grabbed that clammy hand. The red nails and all. “I’m sure it will be fine.”
“I mean, there’s not – the police aren’t involved are they?”
“I don’t think anyone saw you do it. Did she see you?”
“I don’t think so, I came in from behind. And she was wasted anyways. Is she going to press charges?”
“I hope not. I mean, I doubt it, if they think it’s just a regular Oakland street robbery, probably not. Otherwise -“
“Her parents are rich.”
The doe eyed dopiness had returned, “Please just hold me.” She was crying slightly, warmly into my chest.
“Honey, you just can’t do these kinds of things.”
“I know, I know,” she cried. “She – she just – I hate her! She’s just some privileged white bitch with her parent’s money and a college education and she looks like shit!”
“Yeah, we all fucking hate Kate, but you can’t just attack her in the street. That’s assault! That’s jail time!”
“Ugh, please, let’s talk about something else. I just feel absolutely rotten right now. Please.”
I pulled her face up and looked into her eyes.
“Everything’s going to be okay, I promise. I think she just has a broken nose, anyways, nothing traumatic or life threatening. Just some bruises.”
“Are you sure? She didn’t get raped in the streets? Or brain damage?”
“No, you’re tough, but not that tough,” I responded. I couldn’t help but kiss her on the lips. Smear that silly lipstick. It was beyond me why she put on that lipstick just to sit on her couch hungover at home anyways. I could feel her pressing her tits on me, widening her legs a bit and scissoring up my thighs. Ah – maybe that was why she put on the lipstick.
“Just – just hold me,” she said, her hands voyaging courageously across my back. She turned her face away from mine, sinking our necks deep together. Necking – I guess that’s what they call necking. As innocent as it sounds, but we were doing it. Sitting in the dank daytime sunshine of post-party drug haze. I guess we can remedy one disease with another. Replace the booze with sex and hope everything evens out in the end.
I pushed her away to readjust my arm and waited while her robe slipped open. Revealing pinkness of nipples and an untanned stomach.
“Let’s get something to eat.” It was time for me to leave. Kate was probably wondering why I hadn’t visited her in the hospital yet. Her parents had probably flown all the way from Orange County just to visit her in the hospital. As the de facto boyfriend, my absence would be felt.
“Okay,” she said. “Let me get dressed.”
I watched her saunter off to the bedroom. She’s a fucking demon.