Home > Rock Chick Reawakening (Rock Chick 0.5)

Rock Chick Reawakening (Rock Chick 0.5)
Author: Kristen Ashley


Building Castles


“You’re a lunatic!”

“You didn’t think that when I had my mouth wrapped around your dick!”

“That’s because you couldn’t use it to talk!”

“Kiss my ass!”

“Not anymore, babe. We’re done.”

“Like I care.”

“You’ll care when you got no one’s dick to suck to pay your cable bill.”

My eyes were closed. I was lying alone in my dark room, on my back in my twin bed.

My bed was lumpy, seeing as Momma bought it from a yard sale, but I didn’t feel that.

And my room was small and it didn’t smell all that great, this coming mostly from the carpet. It smelled like that from all the way back when, when we first moved in. Momma didn’t bother to do anything and got mad when I complained about it, so I’d tried to clean it myself, three times. But that smell just wouldn’t go away.

I didn’t smell the smell either.

And I could hear the words but even though they were coming from just down the hall, I was somewhere else.

I was building castles.

“Do not go there!”

“Fuck off.”

“I’m tellin’ you, do not go there!”

The door to my bedroom opened and so did my eyes, the beautiful castle I was building melting clean away.

I could smell the smell.

I could feel the lumps.

I could sense the closeness of the room, its thin walls, its fading, ripped-in-places wallpaper, the ceiling light I never turned on because the cover had been shattered on a night I didn’t like to remember and now it made it too bright when I turned on the light.

“Daisy, sweetheart?” he called.

I looked to the door.

He was in shadows, those caused by the dark of my room and the hall. The only light was coming from somewhere else, probably her bedroom, because it was real late.

Tall, he had a beer belly but he also had broad shoulders.

I liked his shoulders. And his eyes. They were always twinkling when they looked at me. Even when he was mad at Momma, he’d look at me and it was like he forced the ugly out so all he’d ever give me was just the twinkle.

And he always used that soft voice when he talked to me.

Always, even when he was fighting with Momma, like just then.

“Get away from that door!” my mother screeched and I saw the shadowed man jolt as she shoved him to the side.

He came back, hand up, finger pointed in her face.

“Chill,” he bit off.

I wanted to close my eyes but I didn’t. I never could in times like these. Times like these, it was impossible to build castles. I knew this sure as certain.

Seeing as I’d tried.

His head swung back to me.

“I gotta go, girl. You need somethin’, all you gotta—”

“She don’t need shit!” my mother snapped.

His head turned to her again. He hesitated and I watched as his body moved when he took in a deep breath.

Then he looked back to me.

“I’m sorry, sweetheart,” he whispered.

So was I.

I was young, only ten, but I understood why he was sorry.

But he wasn’t sorrier than me.

“You tell her you’re sorry. You treat me like garbage and you tell her you’re sorry?” Momma shouted and the shadowed man jolted again because she’d shoved him again.

He reached in, grabbed the knob to my bedroom door, and pulled it to.

He did stuff like this too, a lot, because they fought, a lot. He tried to make it so I wouldn’t see. Coming down the hall and closing my door. Or when they were in the middle of it and I was in the living room or kitchen, telling me quietly, “Maybe you should go to your room, sweetheart, and close that door, yeah?”

But he could never make it so I wouldn’t hear.

With that, he disappeared.

But she didn’t.

Her voice still came at me.

“That’s it? You’re just leaving?”

Nothing from him.

But more from her.

“You can’t be serious. You cannot be freaking serious!”

He didn’t reply.

“You’re such an asshole. A total freaking asshole.”

He wasn’t an asshole.

He was a good one.

The only good one.

Or, at least, the only good one I’d met.

He didn’t hit her. He didn’t hit me. Both of these my daddy did before he took off and we never saw him again. And other ones did besides (her and me).

He didn’t steal her money (Daddy did that too). He didn’t look at me in a way that made my skin feel funny (it was good that Daddy didn’t do that). He didn’t eat all the food in the house and drink all Momma’s beer and bourbon and then complain there was never any food or beer or bourbon in the house and ride her behind until she got in her junker car and went out to get more for him (and yeah, Daddy had done that too).

Those kinds stayed around a lot longer than this one did.

Too long.

But never that long.

They always left.

Like Daddy did.

And I never missed them.

Yes, even Daddy.

But I’d miss this one with his twinkly eyes and his soft voice and the way he called me sweetheart not like that was what I was, but that was what he had. A sweet heart.

No, there were not a lot of those kinds. Not for Momma.

Not for me.

“Stretch!” she shrieked. “You get back here, Stretch! Get back here!”

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