Mae-Lyn fucked like a ninja with a terminal case of hiccups. The first time we got horizontal all I could think was: do I sound like that? Do I sound like anything? And I couldn’t get off because I started cataloguing the various noises and sounds all the other girls I’d been with made and had to blame my lack of performance on beer. I got over it after that.
She lay on her side, sucking a durrie, tattooed body slick and aglow in the golden light. I wanted to spend what was left of the day lost in the artwork on her body, forgetting how I’d screwed up yet another exam.
Then my phone rang.
“That’s one persistent fucker, Will,” Mae-Lyn said and reached across to tap the ash into the bourbon can on the bedside table. “Answer it before I make it do the reverse transformer.”
I slid out and rummaged through my satchel. H flashed on the screen.
“It’s poor little Helena, isn’t it?”
I didn’t reply. I refused to talk about Helena in Mae-Lyn’s bedroom.
“Answer it? Can’t stand her ringing every five minutes for the rest of the fucking night.”
“Hello,” I said, trying to sound casual as I sat on the floor, back against the bed.
“Why the fuck doesn’t anyone ever answer their phone? I’ve been calling for two fucking hours.” A different kind of hysterical pulled at her words and I braced for what came next.
I didn’t expect loud, tearing sobs.
“Hey, hey… Helena?” I picked out ‘Ben’ and ‘cancer’ from the mess that was her simultaneously crying and talking. “Ben’s got cancer? Shit, Helena.”
“Skank… London… she’s got.”
Then it hit me. “Ben dumped you?”
From the howls on the other end of the phone I knew I was right. I wanted to say, told you so. But I didn’t.
Mae-Lyn slipped her arms around me, hands migrating south.
“Hang up,” she whispered into my other ear. “She’ll have found someone else and forgotten about it all before the weekend’s over.”
I wanted to deny the truth in Mae-Lyn’s words but her lips were on my neck, then back on my earlobe and I lost all ability to decipher Helena’s yammering sobs.
Eventually Helen said, “Ohmigod, I’m sorry, Will. Ben’s making me insane. I’ve been a shit. Can you come home? Please.”
And like draining bath water the crazy went out of Helena. She hiccupped half-sobbed breathes and waited for an answer. I squirmed out of Mae-Lyn’s hold.
“Okay, but I’m in the city. It’ll take me a bit to get home.”
“That’s okay,” she said brightening, “just as long as I know you’re coming.”
I dragged on my sleep pants and t-shirt and laced up my trainers as Mae-Lyn’s seething recriminations silently burnt into my back.
“Liar,” she said finally. “You haven’t told her about us, have you?”
I ignored the baiting.
“You wanna hear why you haven’t told her?”
“I’ll see you at band practice.”
I was almost out her door when she called out, “When are you gonna admit you’re in love with Helena?”
The next part of 24 willl be available here at 8pm.