I was tagged by alayna for a flashback. & well, I thought..how did Bella really meet Gordy. I know I'd said she'd given him a note at lunch and that's when things got started..but there was this time before......
Bella remembered it like it was yesterday. When she was 15 and not so sure of herself. There was always Joy to make everything better, who was a year older and always wearing what everyone couldn't nor shouldn't. Joy told Bella how to dress. Always had someone driving them places. She was Joy's sidekick. It was after all, a little daunting. And yet she'd been chosen. It was as if Joy had a legacy of some kind to leave behind.
"Hang with me and good things will happen, and then everyone will want to, um, be us." That was Joy's theory, anyway. She knew which places to go to. She knew everything.
Of course, Bella felt pushed to the side and left with Dean for the most part. Dean who had the car. Who might have been more demented than they knew. Joy said he was gay. Bella wasn't so sure. Not the way he looked at her. Not the way he spoke to her. Especially, when everything ended in a sentence with, "suck me."
Naturally, she had as little to do with Dean as possible. She didn't speak to him. Didn't want to know him. Even if their was something forebodingly cool about him. Black hair, pale skin. He smelled of sweet weed mostly and now she got the picture just why Joy hung with him.
So that was the only way to get along with them. Smoke. Of course, they'd get in arguments sometimes about how Bella needed to stay skinny. It always felt as if they were talking about her, but never to her.
And soon that's when Bella found she was on her own at those parties. Finding a way to get away from them. And that was the first time she saw Gordy. She knew who he was. She knew how girls at her lunch table eye'd him when they found him in English behind the glass window opposite of the lunch hall. There was all sorts of speculation about him. He was a mystery. Giving no one the time of day for the most part. Someone said he was gay too, but Bella really didn't think so. Just shy. Very shy. And it made her smile as if maybe she might be the one to crack the code. Some day. When it came to Gordy.
At the moment though, he was sloshed with beer over the front of his plaid flannel shirt. Some drunk girl had bumped into him laughing and left him with a mess. Bella had smiled at him and he'd just looked embarrassed. He didn't say anything, but instead carried his blue plastic cup of beer into the next room where someone was playing a guitar.
Bella mingled a bit. Some jock gave her his phone number after he squeezed her ass. Bella thought she might move from the kitchen to the living-room to see if she'd catch a glimpse of Gordy, again. He was meshed between two couples kissing. Sitting there with his beer as if were his friend.
He didn't belong here, she thought. Of course, she did. She'd made out with most of the guys in the room. OK, some of them. Some she didn't even know why. It just happened. Suddenly, it bothered her what he might think if he saw her that way. Had he seen her that way?
Someone was trying to play a tune from THE WHO, but was botching it up badly on an electric guitar. Finally they belched and got off the thing to go to the kitchen for something. That's when she saw Gordy pick up the guitar and start to play. He played Rush's Tom Sawyer, perfectly.
She smiled then, wishing she knew him, yet hoping he never came to one of these parties on the river, again. People had been known to end up floating in the Missouri on these sort of occasions. He was above this. He needed to get out of here while he could.
Bella found her way to the restroom. At least no one was asleep in the bathtub yet. She supposed it was some-body's home. She took a look through the toiletries and found a tampon or two to put in her bag. There was some cough syrup too. Of course, she didn't always use that for medication. Sometimes, it was just nice to have. Just because.
And as she was about to close the medicine cabinet above the sink, she felt Dean rubbing up against her from behind.
She made a face as she stared at herself in the mirror and saw his cold hands touch her shoulders. She gritted a bit then and pushed her elbows into his ribs. "Get off!"
"You know you want me," he sort of smiled, and it just disgusted her more as she turned to push him back hard.
"Not really." She said coldly, wishing she could find another ride home.
"I don't kiss and tell if that's what you're afraid of." He grinned, but she knew differently. That's exactly what he did. He took pictures of everything and had a way of sending bad images to girls' parents if they didn't always...well, put out... she guessed. But he had nothing on her. And she wanted to keep it that way.
So she ran, swimming through the crowd of soured breath and screaming idiots. Just as she was going out the front door, she found Gordy staring into space all meek and perhaps numb by fear of just the beer. She was taking him with her. She grabbed his hand and jerked him through the bodies swaying to their own beat. They might as well have been zombies as far as she was concerned.
"Do you have a car?" She wanted to know.
"Yeah, but I shouldn't be driving." He took a sip from his cup.
"How much have you been drinking?" She wanted to know.
"A lot." He said. "Two." He thought for a moment, "One and half. Some of it got spilled on somebody. I think."
Bella just gave him an ominous stare. She held out her hand. He gave her his keys. "Now you have to tell me which one is yours."
"Its my Mom's car." He cleared his throat.
"Those are the best kind." She told him, "But which one is it?" It was dark. Cars were parked all the way down the dirt road. He blankly stared about into the crisp starry night.
"Its my Mom's car." He sort of laughed then. "Its a Honda." He squinted. She walked with him in the direction she guessed he knew best. They walked for some time.
He spoke of his best friend Floyd who he was going to go with because he was the one who wanted to go. "Then he got grounded. Said I had to go for the both of us." His car was near the very end.
Bella was ever so glad to get in the car. She sat there in the driver's side, and he just sat there looking straight ahead, so sleepily.
"I'm drunk. Right?"
"I kind of doubt it. You haven't started puking your guts out or anything." She told him.
"That sounds so gross." He just said as if he might barf, thinking about it.
The next thing she knew, his head landed in her lap as his body stretched across the front seat. He looked up at her dreamily. And when his hand pulled her toward him, she was so sure it was perhaps the most awkward kiss she'd ever had. And yet it worked. It was one she'd never forget, but she doubted he remembered.