Shoot by Nanadae
The neighbor boy. I guess he was thirteen. His name was Charlie.His younger sister was Cass.I found out her real name was Casandra, but kids around the neighborhood called her Scag.Daddy told me he didn't want me hanging out with those white trash kids.I swear to God, I always thought we were white trash.Those kids didn’t look any different. In fact, Cass reminded me a lot of my little sister.We were supposed to avoid them. Something about them might rub off on us.All I wanted to do was to sit on the front porch and watch Charlie.Charlie never wore a shirt. Almost naked, he’d wash his Dad’s Camero in the driveway of their house.I roller skated all summer long around our dead end street, listening to Donna Summer I taped straight off the radio.My aunt with the fake boobs got me a pair of neon pink short shorts for my birthday.I wore them whenever I rollerskated.Circling the block, I'd look into Charlie’s bedroom window, trying to be aloof and sexy.I could see him sometimes when the light was just right.He’d be lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling.I could see his gorgeous green eyes all wide and sparkling that day.His hair was slicked back.I didn't even feel myself get up off the tree stump, or run over to his side.All of a sudden I was next to him.I don’t remember him saying anything .My stomach was doing flip flops.Charlie walked me over to the front door of his house and motioned for me to come in.It smelled like the school cafeteria on Sloppy Joe day.He led me down the hallway.I was grinning like a fool."Look what I found."I stared at his mouth, mesmerized by his chipped front tooth.Out of a closet full of stale winter coats, Charlie pulled out a shotgun.I barely got a glimpse of it, but I knew just what it was.My Gramps had been in the Marines and I heard plenty of stories about being on the right and wrong side of a gun.My brain went all into rewind, back to the day Daddy caught me playing with the pistol.He kept it hidden in a dusty old box on his side of the closet.My parents didn’t get home till after six, so I had plenty of time to rummage around the house.He found me fumbling with it in my bedroom."Don't you ever let me see you touch a gun. You hear me? If I catch you, I'll kill you.”He had me by the top of my arm. He squeezed it tight as he took the gun away.I had a bruise there for three days.I spun around on my broken down shoes and ran out of there.Slamming the screen door behind me, I beat it back to my yard and straight inside my house.I heard Momma walk into my room and she found me all curled up with my head buried in my soggy pillow.Now she's not normally prone to tenderness, but she'd had a couple of beers earlier that morning.It softened her up.I cried and cried.It felt like I was never going to stop breaking apart."What's wrong?" Mama slurred.She didn't really want to know. She really just wanted to watch the Price is Right.She would never understand.I hated Charlie.Everything was ruined.He ruined everything.You can't have a crush on some boy whose just put a gun in your face now, now can you?Worse of all, if I told Mama, she’d tell Daddy.Shoot.Ratting out the love of your life is the worst damn thing ever.He screwed up my entire life.I wanted to get him in trouble to tell you the truth, but I hated it just the same.
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