“This is too much” I screamed at the top of my lungs. “How can any of you handle this crap?” “Come on Tiffany its cool just give it a chance” Rob said sounding slightly annoyed. I didn’t fit in here, this was not my crowd as they say. I still can’t believe he talked me into this. “I think my ears are bleeding.” “Awesome can I see?” Random freak no. 1 asked. “Not literally zed, she means she can’t handle the sound” “hey why don’t we go outside and get some air?” random freak no. 2 asked. “Go? Ok” I followed her through the crowd till we got to the door leading outside.
As soon as we stepped outside I could feel the night’s air blow over my skin; cooling down. Man it’s nice out here “No. 2 said I didn’t really know her but any excuse to get out of there was a good one. “So what’s your story Blondie” she asked while lighting a cigarette. The lights hung from the canapé illuminated the night as well as her auburn and green highlighted hair. “Um, I’m not quite sure I have one really” I said a little bit timidly. “Aw so your one of those. The shy and seductive type, Nice but if you want to score with a guy like Rob you’ll have to lighten up” She said taking a long drag. “Score? Oh hell no, Rob is my big brother” I said shocked. ”No fuckin way, Robs little sister in the flesh. He has talked about you so many times, but you live in Connecticut right?” She said going from punk-rocker chick to chatty school girl in two point five seconds.
I seriously think I may have suffered mental whip-lash from that sudden turn but anyways. “Well yea I used to live in Hampshire Connecticut, but my parents split so I came to stay with Rob for a while till I can find somewhere to go.” I said saddened by the reality. “Split? You mean they just took off?” “Yea just left a note saying it was time to move on. They left an envelope with two hundred dollars and a bus ticket to Springfield” sigh. “Them bloody bastards how can they… oh sorry anyways um, how long have you been here for?” “Just arrive this afternoon, guess I was a surprise for Rob. They hadn’t told him anything either. Just took off.” man my world sucked” you’re staying in Robs tiny little studio? Dude where are you going to sleep under his bed” she said sarcastically. Just then her eyes lit up “hey I know why don’t you come and stay with me for a while? My roommate just moved out so her room is totally open. We can find you some sheets and pillows and shit”. You know looking past the green hair and the dirty mouth she really did seem like a good person.
“Um, I don’t know, I probably should stay with Rob you know.” please don’t kill me please don’t kill me. ” ah, okay but if you change your mind the offer stands and you may want to run it by Rob that at least it’s an option” She said looking a little bit sad. That light had gone from her eyes. I felt a little sad, but I was only sixteen. What business did I have moving in with a twenty something, punk chick I met in a nightclub a few hours after I got off the bus after a 12 hour bus ride? None, none is the correct answer.
We went back inside, I think the music had gotten even louder and more out of tune. Just plain obnoxious noise pumping from hundreds of speakers. We pushed our way through the crowd to get back to the bar where rob and no. 1 were sitting. “Hey Shy, where did you two head off to?” he said a little too drunkenly “we went to get some fresh air, but hey why didn’t you tell me she was your sister?” she yelled back over the noise. “Dude you’re hooking up with your sister? That’s f’d up man” no. 1 said. I am really starting to wonder if he had only half a brain or something at this point. “No, dude I’m not hooking up with my sister. I’m just babysitting for a little while” he said seemingly unsurprised by his idiocy. “Babysitting?” I and no. 2, I mean Shy yelled at the same time.
She seemed just as offended as I was about his nonchalant terminology. “Rob your parents just took off and left her and then she comes all the way out here and you take her to a bar and get drunk off your ass, is that what you call just babysitting?” she seemed furious by the time she finished. Rob just put a bottle to his lips took a big swig and said “yep”. Shy grabbed a beer bottle off the counter and cracked it right over the top of Robs head. Rob falls off his bar stool and no. 1 falls back tripping over stuff trying to get out of the way. “What the fuck Amber?” he yelled standing back up grabbing his head. “You will respect what has happened here and not just blow this off. She is your sister and you are going to act like a big brother and not like a drunken asshole. Do you hear me?” she screamed so loud that she may have gotten louder than the music because people started to turn and see what was going on. She grabbed my hand and led me out through the crowd.
When we got outside Rob and no.1 are right behind us. In the light of the canapé lamps I could see the blood running down robs cheeks. His head must have been gushing pretty badly. He removed his soiled dripping hand from his head. “You cut me you Bitch.” he yelled as he walked towards her. Before anyone could act she jumped up and kneed him in the jaw. He fell knocked out cold. “Darren, Help me get him to the car he’s going to need stitches.” she said in a hurried voice before grabbing my arm and dragging me across the parking lot. We all crawled into her car and we drove to the hospital. Me in the passenger’s seat and the still unconscious and bleeding Rob laying across Darren’s lap in the back.
When we arrived Shy ran in and came back out with two guys and a gurney. They pulled rob off Darren’s lap by his shoulders. “Is he Okay?” I managed to mutter. “He’ll be fine once we can stop the bleeding and a possible transfusion or two.” she said a little snarky. “Okay Sam we’re going to need an emergency room like 5 minutes ago.” she commanded “yes ma’am” one of the nurses said without hesitation. She grabbed my hand and handed me a cloth and forced it on Robs head. “Keep pressure on that” she said before running up to the front desk. “Ok, room two o’ four” we rushed down the hallway and pulled into a room where a couple nurses were waiting. “We’ll take it from here Miss Lynn” the older looking of the two nurses said. “Ok Betty, Thanks”
“What are they doing?” I asked “They’re just stitching him up and trying to get him to come to.” She tried to sound nonchalant about it but you could tell she was worried underneath her facade. “Dude, Shy we’ve been here three hours and haven’t heard a thing can’t you go check or something” Darren asked apparently tired of starring at his phone playing games for the last three and a half hours. “Ok, OK I’ll go check” she walks up to the front desk a starts talking to the nurse but I can’t hear them. She turns towards me and gestures for me to come over. I get up and walk over slowly. “Hey, Tiffany, this is Shelly and Sue Ellen” she introduced. “Don’t worry sweetie he’ll be fine, he’s just resting for a little while.” Sue Ellen assured me. Although it wasn’t really all that assuring. A doctor once told me that about my grandpa an hour before he died of a brain hemorrhage.
About an hour later they let us go back and see him. I had fallen asleep in my chair. He looked pretty beat up. His head and chin bandaged up. “He won’t be leaving anytime soon. He suffered a concussion, a broken jaw, and loss of a significant amount of blood. My line of sight looks towards and meets Shy’s. “I’m so sorry Rob” she said breaking into a sob leaning against the side of the bed. He wrapped an arm around her and tried to say it’s ok but you could tell it hurt him to talk. I don’t know how they knew each other but you could tell by how he held her after all the pain she had caused, that he loved her.
I ended up staying over at Shy’s house. It was a very nice house a little ways out of town but I didn’t care I could of slept hanging upside down in the barn for all I cared. I’ll get to that later. I still wasn’t sure how I felt about Shy. I mean she attacked and hospitalized my brother but she also stood up for me and took care of me through it all. Now don’t get me wrong I knew she was crazy but in some strange way I felt safe with her.
A Queer Perspective
In the morning I woke up to the smell of something cooking. I got up and followed the smell into the kitchen. Just as I started to say hello to Shy, I realized it wasn’t Shy cooking it was Freak No. 3, but he didn’t look like a freak, he looked… well not like a freak.“Buenos días, debe Tiffany. Mucho gusto” He extended his hand “mi nombre es Marco”he said as he took my hand and smiled. Oh his smile was so bright and and.. where was i? Oh yea, then Shy walked in “what smells like Cuban and bacon?”she said yawning “oh hi Marco, how are you doing this mourning?” “fine and i’m from Argentina not Cuba.” He sounded a little annoyed. “whatever, Castro” she smiled at me. “do you ever where a shirt? I mean really, we have a guest.” She scolded. “Um, i don’t mind” i said before i thought it through. I wished i could of took it back but, it was already out there. “I bet you don’t” Shy winked with a knowing smile. “but, alas he’s already taken” she said grabbing him a pressing tight against him. She laughed as he pushed her off. “not by you, you Payaso gótico” he said trying not to laugh. “yea but that’s just because you couldn’t handle this” she said pointing at her body head to toe. “She’s right you know. He once told me that exact thing in bed once. I’m just his second place prize” another cute guy said entering the kitchen with a smirk on his face. But he didn’t look like Marco who was tall with black hair and tan skin.he was about 6’ with dyed blonde hair and a lighter tan. Though both looked like professional models for fitness magazines.
“don’t humor her, it just makes things worse.” Marco said “i know” he said as he past him with a quick kiss on the cheek and a hand on his bacon. No really, on the bacon on his plate he just made. And with a quick gesture he inhaled it. I couldn’t help but think about how they kept in such good shape eating bacon. “hey that’s not for you it’s for the ladies” Marco said disapprovingly. “whatever, it’s good. besides, it’s not like Shy needs to gain another pound” his cocky smile said it all. I thought he was crazy though, Shy was not fat like at all. She was no more than a size 5 and was at least 5’7. “Shy stood up from her bar stool at the counter walked over towards him and i started to have flashbacks of last night. When she got to him she gave him a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. “Thanks, that means so much that you would say that” she smiled delightfully at him stealing a piece of bacon and eating it slowly as if she was enjoying food for the first time. “hey what are big brothers for?” he said about a whole second before she responded “absolutely nothing” but loose interpretations of eighties music aside they both seemed really happy. Well all three of them where but i was kinda confused. “Shy” i broke my silents “I thought you said your roommate left?” i said shyly “oh she did but there was no bed so that’s why you had the couch. we’ll find you one today.” She said completely ignoring what i meant.
“What my extremely rude little sister means to say is she did but this is my brother Mike and his fiancee Marco. They also live here, as well does her boyfriend when she’s not bashing him in the head or knocking him unconscious” he laughed. “Ha ha Rob doesn’t live here” she said mockingly. “well he’s here enough he might as well move in” Marco added. “Ex-ex boyfriend” she corrected “don’t listen to these queens. Hey i’ll explain in the car we’re going to go get some real breakfast.”
“don’t listen to them, They’re just jealous.” She had said loudly as we got into the car. “Hey Tiffany you should ditch Shy and hang with us. We’re going shopping” Mike yelled obviously mocking the gay stereotype. Well I thought so. Once in the car Shy started right into explaining her relationship with Rob. They met at a club six years ago when they were my age. They’ve been on and off ever since. They went solid for about three and a half years, but then Rob messed up and started cheating on her. She found out and they broke up for almost a year, but they shared a lot of the same friends. so they kinda had to be around each other. Finally, after watching Rob get dumped time after time. She decided to forgive him and they were friends again. Friends, friends with benefits whats the difference she had asked rhetorically. It seemed obvious to me but I think that was the point. I could tell by how upset she was at the hospital and how he held her that they really cared for each other.
Eventually we arrived at a little log cabin with Manny’s on a big wooden sign over the front door. As we got out of the car Shy started to explain how the couple that owned it moved from Arkansas about forty years ago. “they have the best food in the state” she swore. As soon as we entered I was overwhelmed by the storm of delicious smells. My mouth waters just thinking about it. “I told you” Shy said apparently reading my mind. We sat at a small table in the corner. A short heavyset woman came to take our order, “hey Grandma” Shy said before she got to our table. “oh Amber sweet heart, how are you doing?” she asked excitedly. “I’m fine, oh and this is Tiffany. She’s a new friend of mine” she said with a smile. “oh that’s great sweetie. It’s nice to meet you Tiffany” She said warmly. “so what brings you ladies in today?” she asked grabbing for her notepad. “I wanted to show Tiff why this is the best place to eat in the world. But hey no pressure” Shy joked. “oh I think we can live up to your expectations” the lady said confidently with a wink. She handed me a menu but Shy refused hers. “I’ll just take Stan’s sunrise special” Shy said with a smile. “OK sweetie I’ll be right back to take your order sweetheart. But first what can I get you girls to drink?“ she asked. “Two O.J.’s Please” Shy ordered for both of us. It’s a Good thing I liked orange juice.
I ended up ordering the same as Shy. She was right it was the best thing I had ever had. If not just on the taste alone, then the portion size alone will blow you away. “thank you, it was absolutely wonderful” is all I could say. I was so full I could hardly stand but it had been awhile since I felt like this. So it felt good to me. Shy went to the counter to pay. but, when the lady came back out from the kitchen she was carrying two round containers with foil over the tops. She set them on the counter and smiled at me. My curiosity must have been obvious. Shy tried to hand her some money for breakfast but the old lady wasn’t having it “Amber Shy Lynne I’ve known you since you were a baby, have I ever even once charged you for a meal?” she asked with her hands on her hips. “No, Grandma” Shy said ashamed. “Oh come on over here girl” she reached her arms out and gave Shy a great big grandmotherly hug. “in case you didn’t already know you have the greatest girl in the world as a friend” she turned and said to me. Shy blushed a little, bringing some color to her regularly paled face. That’s when I realized that she wasn’t wearing makeup or dressed nothing close to what she had on last night. This was not a coincidence I thought to myself. “I know” I said with a smile but, I didn’t stop there. “but don’t you think she’d look better with a actual hair color” I asked with a smirk. Nine out nine grandma’s would agree. “you know what Tiffany, Your right. She really would, hmm I’m thinking a solid green would look really good on her” she said answering me diminished smirk with a kind smile. “yea maybe your right grandma. Do you know if Rebecca is in her shoppe today?” she asked curiously. “yes, I believe she’ll be in after 1 or so” She answered. “okay well thank you Grandma, we need to be going. I’ll stop by again soon.” She said giving her one last hug. I noticed when Shy went in for the hug she slipped some money into the pocket on her “Grandma”’s apron. “well it was nice to meet you tiffany” she said giving me a big hug slipping the money into my hand. “Give Amber her money back for me please” she said quietly looking right at Shy. Shy just smiled innocently back at her.
When we got back to the car, I handed her the money. She took it with a small frown. “That sneaky old lady” she said in a chuckle. Next we went to the hospital to visit Rob but, when we got there we were greeted by a doctor that knew Shy. “I’m Sorry but he had some internal bleeding that we didn’t catch in time.” He said sadly “What?!! How in the hell did that happen?” she screamed with tears developing in her eyes. Then she broke down into a full sob. I helped her into a chair while fighting back tears myself. “He had a small tear in the outer region of his brain ” it was barely visible Shy, there was no telling that it could have been fatal.” He said down on one knee with his hand on her shoulder. Suddenly her bawling became a saddened string of laughter. We all just looked at her bewildered. Why in the hell was she laughing? I started to get mad when she responded. “he just texted me” she said looking at her phone. “it says Sorry I Love You” she said with a slightly desperate smile. We all looked at each other as she showed us the message. “Where are you?” she texted back. “heaven” he responded. “What” she yelled angeredly ”I’m calling him, this is not funny” we could all hear the phone ring and ring and ring. The doctor was slowly backing away as we listened. Then finally his voice mail popped up. Hey Shy I’m sorry but I have to go I can’t stay just know that I love you. Take care of Tiffany for me and don’t let her know.” Shy’s and my eyes caught each others as we heard the message. Shy shot up “Clark! I’m going to fucking kill you: you fucking lying bastard!” she was screaming going up and down the halls but couldn’t find him. Security finally showed up and looked to be very surprised. “Miss Lynne? What is going on? Clark just told me that my boyfriend was dead when he’s not I just talked with him.” The security guards looked over at each other “ Miss Lynne, I mean Shy, Robert did die earlier this morning we escorted the gurney to the morg ourselfs. “Ok then I want to see him for myself” sorry Shy we can’t let you do that. “why the hell not? You need someone to identify the body don’t you?” she said strongly. “Yes, but your not in any condition to go down there. Is there any family members close by that would be able to identify him for us?” before I could say anything She blurted “no, I’m the only one besides I have access to most of the hospital including the morg. so just let me go and see for myself cause I’m going to go anyways ” she said reasoning.
Gone but not forgotten
Well Shy got her wish and dragged me along with her. When we got down to the morg it was really cold. I mean duh! It’s a morg right? But I was still surprised by how cold it was. a doctor down there covered up a body and started to look up Rob’s drawer number. One-zero-two As he started to pull the drawer out my stomach started to turn. “I don’t know if I can handle this” I squealed but it was to late he pulled the drawer out and there laid SOMEONE ELSE!!. “That’s not him ” I said with relief. “Sorry I must have the wrong number hmm wait just a minute” the morg doctor said looking at his notes then walking outside the door. I could see him talking seriously with someone on a wall phone outside the door. “Well there seems to have been a mix up. The body was transported off site to another facility in Austin.” He said firmly “why in the hell would they send him to Austin?” Shy lashed out at him. He didn’t budge one bit.”I do not know why; I just know that he is not here and has been moved to Austin.” The strength in his voice thickened. “Ok now ms. Lynne and ms. I’m sorry I didn’t catch your name.” the officer started to say “Lynne, Kimberly Lynne” I lied. “OK ms. Lynne we need to escort both of you back to the ground level.”
When we got back to the ground floor it was so warm compared to the morg floor. Shy went straight to the front desk. “Hey Betty you know all the happenings going on around here. What’s going on?” She asked rushed. “child, I have no idea things have been crazy today back and forth all morning. Sorry I Can’t help” she said placing her hands in Shy’s”. when she pulled back to release her hands and leave Shy got the weirdest look on her face. I was within ear shot of everything so if something was said it was psychologically transferred between them. Which I highly doubted was the case F.Y.I. Shy hurriedly ran out the door with me in tow. As soon as we got into the car she turned and opened her hand to reveal a note.
“Shy” I yelled pointing towards the hospital entrance doors. We had just got in the car and had only been sitting there for like a minute when I saw the rush of cars. Next thing we saw was Betty with her head down starring at the ground. She was being escorting out by a ridiculous amount of cops and people in suits. “Holy….” Shy started to say but I don’t think she was able to finish. She just started the car and we drove around so that we were nowhere near the swarm of vehicles. Seconds after we pulled out of the parking lot there were three vehicles there to block the exit. Could we of really of been that lucky? Well yea this time we were but with the good came the bad. “What do you think they wanted with Betty?” I asked Shy who was looking quite out of her mind. Staring out at the road , not even blinking she said sadly “to make a point”. “I hope” she seemed to whisper to herself.