I change into shorts, a black and white striped tank top, Billie’s leather jacket and a white fedora before pulling on my black converse and grabbing my skate board.
Boarding down the sidewalk towards Mike’s house I continue to take drags from my joint getting weird looks from people standing in their yards watering the grass. I’m so beyond caring. Billie fucking Joe is my boyfriend and life is good. Nothing is gonna bring me down.
No one answers the door at Mike’s house so I let myself in; there’s a key under the mat. I head upstairs towards Mike’s room.
There he is, stretched out on the bed, eyes closed; breathing shallow…he’s still sleeping. Smiling to myself I crawl onto the bed, moving up towards Mike. Slowly, making sure my hair doesn’t hit his face, I lower my head towards him. Then after a seconds hesitation I press my lips to his cheek. This wakes him up.
"Fuck off! I'm trying to sleep asshole!" Mike says irritated, batting at me with the hand that isn’t under his body.
"I love you Mikey!" I whisper in his ear before rolling off the bed, landing softly on the floor.
“Shit, Maria! What time is it?” Mike questions, sitting up, rubbing his eyes.
“Ten,” I reply offering him my joint.
He takes it, inhales then hands it back, “Why are you here so early?”
“I need someone to hang out with.”
“What about Billie your new super hot boyfriend?” Mike jokes making kissy faces.
“He needs his sleep.”
“And I don’t?” asks Mike as he pulls on a pair of jeans lying in the corner of his room. He doesn’t put a shirt on.
“No!” I giggle, resting my head on his shoulder. “Besides I only get to see you like two days out of the week cause you’re always at that stupid school.”
“I happen to think school is important.”
“Yeah, if you need it but you’ve got the band, you don’t need school.”
“I can have both, besides its only two more years. I’m yours on the weekends, Maria, you know that.”
I can’t be mad at Mike for wanting an education but I miss seeing my ‘big brother.’ He’s fun to get stoned with.
I scrunch up my nose, “Fine.”
About two hours later I get a phone call from Billie, what I hear on the other end frightens my.
"Hello," I answer.
"Hey Mia,” Billie says, voice shaky.
"Billie, what's wrong?"
"I... I ... I…."
"Babe what's wrong. Breathe okay? Tell me what's wrong?"
"I need to tell you something important okay, Mia. You have to promise you won’t tell anybody else."
"Billie where are you?" I ask, scared of what might be happening to him.
"I’m at my house, in the closet under the stairs."
At least he’s at home.
"Why are you there?"
"I can't let him hear, or he'll do it again."
"Billie. Who's gonna do what again if they hear?"
"Listen. My step – dad is doing weird shit to me," he says, whispering into the phone.
"I need to see you later so I can tell you. Okay? I can’t let him hear."
"Okay, what time Billie?"
There is nothing on the other end of the phone. This silence scares the shit out of me.
“Babe, I can’t help if you don’t tell me when to get you.”
“Seven, he won’t be here at seven. Please, Mia….”
The line goes dead but not before I hear the familiar sound of the latch of the door under Billie’s stairs being slid open.
I sit for a moment not knowing what to do. I’ve got to go get him later tonight but what am I walking into. A single tear slides down my cheek but I don’t wipe it away.
I turn to Mike who mirrors my worried look. He only heard part of the conversation but he can tell it’s not good.
"Is that all he said?!" Mike questions after I tell him what Billie told me over the phone.
"Yeah," I answer still shaken.
"I have to go with you tonight," Mike says, placing a hand on my shoulder.
"No!" I yell, recoiling from his touch. It’s a habit now; I’m not really very good with physical contact, unless it’s Billie. "Mikey. Listen to me, something bad is going on with Billie. He trusts me with this. If Billie finds out I told you... he'd kill me.”
"He wouldn’t kill you," Mike says. “He loves you. That’s why he told you about it. Billie trusts you with his life.”
I smile at this, placing my head back on Mike’s shoulder, “You can’t come. I’ll call you if I need any help though.”
Mike nods, “Alright.”
I drive over to Billie's house. He’s waiting on the front steps, orange shirt and khaki shorts covering his scrawny body. He walks over and gets in the car.
We don’t speak a word except for when he tells me where to go; the gas station our crew hangs out at on weekends.
I park the car and we both get out.
He literally drags me through the little shop back into the unisex bathroom.
"What has this cruel world done to you Billie Joe," I question as he locks the door behind us.
"He's been doing it for about six months. At first he made me go into a room with lit candles and talked to me about fucking…everything. It’s always in the same room with candles going. I guess that gets him off or some shit,” Billie says his words coming out almost too fast for me to catch. He’s shaking, looking as if he might cry.
“Hey,” I whisper, jumping off the sink, going over to him. “It’s alright. Shh, calm down. I’m here, no one’s gonna hurt you.”
I stand there stroking his hair, one hand caressing his cheek.
Billie closes his eyes, tilting his head slightly backwards, “That’s not the worst of it. He cuts me.”
Billie steps back away from me, peeling off his orange t – shirt. I know now’s not really the time but I can’t help myself. I take in his naked torso. He’s thin and pale but fit.
Taking a step forward I run my hands from his pant line, up over his slightly defined abs then to his chest where I see pale pink scar lines around his nipples. I trace them with the tips of my index fingers causing Billie to moan a little. He’s semi – turned on right now. I can tell from his facial expression.
“Is there any other places, sweetheart?” I question, leaving me hands on Billie’s chest.
“He cut my hips too,” he answers, pulling down his pants just enough for me to see the lines. I go to trace these too but Billie’s hand catches mine. He has tears in his eyes.
“That bastard,” I mumble, pulling the still half naked Billie to me.
I stroke his hair as he melts into me, shaking a little. After about five minutes Billie stands up straight, looking at me; placing my hand on his cheek. I kiss his soft, pink lips, “Stay with me.”
“Forever,” answers Billie with a smile before going at it again, his tongue flicking out, teeth nibbling at my bottom lip.
He’s so full of rage and love and hate; he puts these feelings into our kiss. Just as Billie’s hand slips under my shirt there is a knock on the door.
“Shit,” Billie mumbles, grabbing his shirt off the sink and pulling it on.
“One second,” I call, kissing Billie on the cheek.
He turns to catch my lip but I stop him, “Later.”
Billie gives me a devilish grin before unlocking the door. Together we walk out; both of us smiling widely at the lady who is waiting outside. She looks disgusted. Let her think what she wants, people are way too quick to judge.
I laugh as we get into my car, “Did you see the look on her face?”
“Yeah,” answers Billie, lighting a joint.
“Y’know she’s just jealous,” I answer as Billie hands over his escape.
I take a drag before handing it back.
“Why’s that?” questions Billie.
“Because…she doesn’t have a super hot boyfriend to go in the bathroom with her,” I say, glancing over at Billie Joe.
Instead of answering he smiles at me, his adorable messed up teeth showing, hand resting on my ass. He makes me happy.