I walked slowly back to camp, trying to keep my mind focused. Trying to keep it from wandering toward a place that confused me immensely.
Why couldn't I stop thinking of him? How come at random moments, his face crept into my mind? Scenes of us laughing together. I spent too much of my free time deciphering every word he said, every expression on his face, trying to figure out what's on his mind. Why did he fascinate me so?
His voice jolted me out of my thoughts. I looked over, and the five of them were gathered around what looked like a...communication device?
"So that's the story, Factored Denominator," Kobra said into it.
"Well, what do you think, babe?" a nasally voice on the other end replied. When he got no reply, he said, "Acidic Bombshell...?"
Despite myself, I snorted. Factored Denominator sounded like a total nerd, and yet, his wife was "Acidic Bombshell"? "Right," I said out loud.
"Is that her?" Denominator said. Heat flared inside me. They had been talking about me.
"Yeah, that's her," I said. "And for the record, I know what's going on here. You guys are asking this smart guy what you ought to do with me, right?"
Kobra and Ghoul developed a sudden interest in their shoes.
"Yeah," I growled. "That's what I thought. Well here's what you should do with me. You should trust me. I hate BLI and I only found out about them yesterday. Korse is the world's worst boyfriend. And I'll do anything to oppose him, even if it means being a girlfriend to him." I was on a roll here. "The first time he hit me was when he told me that I couldn't leave the building ever. I said that I didn't give a shit about what other people think and turned to leave. He dug his nails into my arm and turned me to face him before slapping me across the face. 'Do what I say' were his words." I could still feel his slap, and I hated that I remembered it so clearly. I could feel tears pooling in my eyes. Everyone was just staring at me in awed silence, and even Denominator and Bombshell were stunned silent. I didn't care. I needed to get this out of my system.
"The next time was less than a week later. We were laughing and joking around, and he said that he had to shave his head tomorrow. I didn't get why he had to shave his head so I said, 'Why do you shave your head? It looks kinda dumb.' He slapped me exactly 24 times in my face till I bled. 'Don't ever say that again,' he had whispered menacingly. My reply was a meek ''kay...' amid my sobs." How had I remembered the exact number of times he hit me, I don't know. It was sad.
"Another time I refused to have sex with him. I was mad at him for hitting me." What else? "He forcibly fucked me and threatened to kill me." This elicited a gasp from Poison. "He raped me a lot." The tears finally spilled over.
"It continued on like that for a year. Every time I had said something remotely annoying, he would slap me and kick me and break me. Until one night, when he told me we were moving. I was so happy that I screamed and hugged him. He threw me off him and into a wall and told me not to 'scream in his fucking ear.'" My shaking fingers barely managed to air quote. Tears were freely flowing down my cheeks now, and I was struggling to keep my voice from shaking. "I told him that I had had enough and that if he didn't stop hitting me, I wasn't going with him. He finally gave in and said that he would stop."
"But he LIED!" I screamed. My tears turned to tears of rage. "He lied to me. He said he would stop and he DIDN'T!" I paused as a sob wracked me. "A week later, after we moved, he hit me over and over for 'moving his shit.'" I air quoted again, purposely imitating his voice poorly. "HE. LIED. I ran away, and I met the killjoys." I looked at Poison. He was looking at me, his expression a mix of awe, sorrow, and sympathy. I looked back down at the communication thing as another sob overtook me. I couldn't see for the tears. "And now....I finally feel like I can stand up to him." I couldn't talk anymore. I was crying too hard.
Party Poison's POV:
Listening to her, I was mesmerized. The way she said 'Don't ever say that again' in a perfect imitation of his voice was incredible. I felt like I was seeing her for the first time.
"He forcibly fucked me and threatened to kill me."
Despite myself, I gasped. How could he? No one deserves that. We killjoys need to fight that kind of shit.
"It continued on like that for a year. Every time I had said something remotely annoying, he would slap me and kick me and break me. Until one night, when he told me we were moving. I was so happy that I screamed and hugged him. He threw me off him and into a wall and told me not to 'scream in his fucking ear.'" I could feel tears spilling over. She deserved so much better. "I told him that I had had enough and that if he didn't stop hitting me, I wasn't going with him. He finally gave in and said that he would stop."
I sobbed silently. Why must anyone go through what this girl has gone through? It wasn't fair.
"But he LIED!" She screamed. "He lied to me. He said he would stop and he DIDN'T! A week later, after we moved, he hit me over and over for 'moving his shit.' HE. LIED. I ran away, and I met the killjoys." Perhaps subconsciously, her gaze flickered over to me for a second. "And now....I finally feel like I can stand up to him." She was wracked by more sobs. Kobra Kid reached over hesitantly and patted her shoulder.
She sniffled, and started to say something else. Acidic Bombshell cut her off. "It's okay, hun. You don't need to say any more."
"No, Denominator. Can't you see that this is hard for her?" I could almost see her head shaking. "She has great reason to hate BLI. Look, even Poison and Grace are crying."
Shit. How did she know? I then realized that I hadn't been crying as quietly as I thought...
Wait, Grace is crying?
I looked over to find that she was right.
Meanwhile, everyone else looked at me. When Sweetheart Gift looked over at me, I felt myself blushing. I wiped away my tears furiously, feeling like an idiot.
Denominator sighed. "Fine. Sweetheart Gift, you are a true killjoy," he said in defeat. "Factored Denominator, over and out."
Jet, Kobra, Ghoul, and Grace started talking really fast. Grace didn't look all that into it.
Gift stood up shakily and walked over to me. "Those were my stories," she sniffled. "Why did they make you cry?"
Shit. Fucking SHIT.
"Uhmmm..." I quickly made up a lie. "I was just thinking about my....wife. She...died. You remind me of her." Her face fell, so I guess she'd bought it. I'd never had a wife.
"Oh." She looked over at the fire. Her expression was...disappointment? That can't be right.
"Those were my stories," I said, sitting down next to him. "Why did they make you cry?"
"Uhmmm...I was just thinking about my...wife. She...died."
Wife. Why did my heart sink like a ton of bricks when he said that? I felt like this was the true end of the world...
Despair gripped me, and I felt my face fall and crash to the floor. I wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out.
"You remind me of her."
I didn't know what to make of this. "Oh," I sighed.
"So what happened to your family?" he asked shyly.
Had I had a family?
I racked my brains, through every memory I had, and came up with nothing. Why couldn't I remember my family?
"I...can't...remember..." I murmured.
Something was very wrong here.
"You can't remember...anything?" He looked concerned.
"No," I said. "The earliest memory I have is...a coffee shop...back in Battery City..." I looked him in the eye, trying to come up with an explanation. "Where I first met Korse."
I love all of your reviews, you really make me want to write!!! Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to update very often because of a) stupid writer's block :/ (b) stupid school and (c) stupid other shit. If I'm lucky, I'll crank out an update sometime this week. If not, then expect at least one this weekend!!!
Also, a lot of you have been asking why Frank is such a jerkbutt. All I can say is this: go back to chapter 2 and pay close attention to every insignificant thing Gerard says. Got it? Chapter 2. Gerard. Or you can just wait and it will be fully explained. I promise.