Craving Vera(4)By: Nicole Jacquelyn
“Me three,” Lily muttered, throwing back her drink as she got up from the table. “And I’m going to need another.”
My son rolled his eyes and slapped her on the ass as she walked away. He still got up to fix her another drink, though. I was pretty sure he would have escorted her ten feet to the bathroom, if she’d asked.
“Still can’t hold their liquor,” Farrah said sadly.
“Where did we go wrong?” Casper murmured, shaking his head as he fought a grin.
“We should have started them earlier, clearly.”
“Why is it just us this year?” Rose asked, throwing her feet up on Tommy’s knees and crossing them at the ankle. “Usually this place is packed.”
“Everyone else had other plans,” I replied.
“Things just aren’t like they used to be,” Callie said. “Probably because of all this inbreeding.”
I choked on my drink and sputtered.
“The hell are you talking about?” Grease asked her, his eyebrows high on his forehead.
“You know what I mean,” she said, gesturing to the table. “Our three families are so intermingled, the family trees are like a damn spider web.”
“That’s a fair assessment,” Farrah mumbled. “We need some new blood. Rose, it’s up to you.”
“Don’t look at me,” Rose shot back. “What about Cecilia? She can get her ass home and marry someone.”
“Yeah, like that’s gonna happen,” Cam said, scoffing.
“You never know,” Trix said as she sat back down at the table. “I didn’t think I’d stick around.”
“Yeah, but Ceecee actually left,” Will said teasingly.
“Cam trapped me.”
“You’re so full of shit,” Dragon said, grinning at our girl. “You wouldn’t have left anyhow. You’d miss your pop too damn much.”
“True,” Trix said, blowing him a kiss.
“Okay, I’m back!” Lily announced, dropping into her seat. “Molly’s puking. Will, you might want to go—”
He was halfway across the room before she’d finished her sentence.
“Amateurs,” Casper muttered.
“So,” Farrah said, leaning against Casper as she turned to look at Amy. “Tell us the story.”
“Should we wait for Will and Molly?” Amy asked, glancing at the archway they’d disappeared through.
“No!” half the table replied, including me.
“Okay,” she said, laughing a little. “The stories were told in bits and pieces, so let me see if I can remember the beginning.”
I was seventeen. Old enough to know better and young enough to fuck up royally anyway.
“Crap,” I whispered, sitting on the toilet and staring at the pajama bottoms that were pushed down around my ankles. I counted back to the last time I’d had my period. It had been too long. Way too long.
“Vera,” my dad called from outside the bathroom door. “What are you doing in there? We’re leaving in fifteen minutes.”
“I’ll be right out,” I called, trying to hide the panic in my voice.
My hands shook as I washed them. I tried to tell myself that I miscalculated. Somehow I’d gotten the dates wrong and I was freaking out for no reason. But as I got dressed a few minutes later, I couldn’t keep my eyes from straying to the calendar on my bedroom wall.
It was July 24th. I remembered getting my period the final week of school. I’d been pissed because the weather had been perfect for Jenny Harris’ pool party celebrating the last day of our junior year and I’d had cramps so bad that I’d missed it. The longer I looked at the calendar, the more sure I became that I was in really big trouble.
I’d known the risks. Every girl knew the risks. But I’d been so sure that it wouldn’t happen to me. I took deep breaths as I slid on my sandals and grabbed my lip gloss off my nightstand. I had to be careful. Hiding out in my room wasn’t a possibility and if my dad had any idea that something was wrong he wouldn’t let up until he figured out what it was. I couldn’t let that happen.
Even the thought of my father finding out that I’d been having sex had me breaking out in a cold sweat. Sex was for procreation. I didn’t know how many times he’d told me that. Outside the sanctity of marriage it was a mortal sin, one that would send me to burn in the pits of hell.
I didn’t know if I agreed with all that, but I did know that pregnancy outside marriage would be hell right here on earth.
“I’m ready,” I called when he knocked on my bedroom door. I smoothed down my light brown hair and plastered a smile on my face before opening the door.