She wandered into the room. She was usually so careful but even the best of plain girls make mistakes. She knew her error when through the doorway the air became still, hushed. And in between that hush and the next noisy moments; the scraping of chairs and clanking of metal upon metal her entire life was lived; a life, to her surrendered and sighing, full of regret and self-incrimination. It was as if she had already lived through the consequence and looking back to the day her life changed. She was beyond the belief of her own existence that she could have been so careless, so arrogant regarding her own health and psyche.
But the moment was gone, with the first brash word that sounded like a scrape upon an old blackboard, intentional and mean-spirited and shouting.
What did she think she was doing, what right did she have?
Her sister and her friends, all beautiful and flouncing when outside and before crowds of admiring, small town fans had crowded into her sister’s room. Her sister’s room; off limits to such disasters as she. When indoors, behind the secret keepers of wood and curtains, the darlings grew fangs and acquired a foreign language. The door to her sister’s room held their vices in and taunted her when she blundered in. The quick squashing of ill rolled joints smoldering between prettily painted fingertips, the slush of clear filmy liquid capped with rusty sounding metal lids was quickly stuffed away behind flowing, flowering material that draped her sister’s room.
She often wondered if her sister really did like the flounce and prissy look of her room or insisted upon the shape of her things to hide and secret away reprehensible things. She and her sister had separate rooms and upstairs away from her parents. But the second story was no stopping point for those who were limber and in on her sister’s secrets. The laughter, the hushed moans, and the sharp whispers to “shut-up if you want to do this again,” that only she could hear and her parents never fathomed.
And now she was in her sister’s room, in broad daylight, with no more than a direction from her mother to take her sister’s sheets up to her room. Cream and pink with bits of stylish brown woven into the six hundred count cotton sheet. She herself had white by her own insistence. What a thing to think at a time like this.
Makeup smeared and a masculine chuckle and she did not want to look up – if only she thought if only all of her friends weren’t standing around acting as if they had just been disturbed during a private feast. She felt her stomach lurch when she heard someway say cover him up.
And then, then, a faint call, a singsong sort of wavering request from downstairs. She was to come down and help with chores.
Gladly and the escape into cool, clean, air unhindered by thick perfume and too many bodies in a closed-door room. She had escaped into work and cleared space.
“Tell your sister to come down too please.”
“She’s busy,” and she ran out into the yard and down the street, not wanting to be a part of what must surely be coming.