Three for dinner........sad rating 0.999
Posted by Barbanne on January 24, 2004 at 21:40:42:
THREE TO DINNER.
Lucy studied the opened book of recipes as she chopped, sliced and diced. She did everything with that tongue between the lips sort of concentration that kids show when finger painting at Kindy.
The meal had to be a success.
She so much wanted to impress Chad.
What a pity Elliot was coming too. She could do without him. Chad was the one she wanted to make an impact on. She pushed the chopped and diced veggies to one side of the board, measured spices into small dishes and placed the right amount of rice in a plastic bowl. Crunchy rice salad with toasted almonds, sounded nice. Looked nice in the glossy pics too. Potato pancakes to start and ratatouille with corncakes for desert. Healthy, no meat, and filling, lots of carbohydrates which they all needed. The wine was ready, a South Australian red, she would open it to breathe a little later. The Table was set and looked stunning, red cotton, ribbed place cloths, black Jason placemats with the white heron design, nice crystal glassware, her best Noritake china. It looked good, looked elegant. She looked at her embryo meal. Once again she cursed her mother for never having taught her how to do this. Girls could do this. Its what they did naturally. Not Lucy, not mother's little darling Lucy. Oh no, she would never be allowed to come in the kitchen. She might scald herself, cut a finger, worse still, ruin mother's self sacrifice. (I do everything for that child) "Damn you mother." she whispered.
Having showered, Lucy dressed carefully.
Nice underwear, red, lacy, open, revealing. Very sexy. Neat, sensible, elegant, Diana Ferrari shoes. A simple, figure hugging, red shift with a scooped neckline that opened up the creamy, white, curve of her breasts. Finishing just above the knee, but split to mid thigh both sides, it rode her curves and swellings and revealed her body in a way designed to make a man want to explore more. What it concealed it hinted at and what it revealed it made interesting. She looked in the mirror as she combed her shoulder length, permed, red hair. She looked good and she knew it. She shuddered with the thrill of knowing she was sexy but her tummy knotted with uncertainty. He must like her. He had to. She knew the way he looked when he held her in class. She knew how his touch made her feel. She wanted it to be good. Why didn't you tell me about men? she asked her mother in her head. Damn you mother why weren't you a proper mother to me? Other girls looked confident, certain, knew what they wanted, were at home with the boys. Not Lucy, not stupid, silly, virginal, frightened Lucy.
Lucy checked the oven, stirred the contents of a pot, and lowered gas flames. The bottle of red was opened and breathing. Everything was done.
The doorbell rang.
Her heart skipped a beat and her tummy knotted. Unconsciously she smoothed her dress over her hips and went to the door. Heart pounding, head dizzy, she opened it. Chad stood there. Corn yellow hair flopped across his forehead, Cornflower blue eyes gazed steadily at her. He had on a soft chambray shirt unbuttoned at the throat and for the two buttons below, corduroy trousers, a wide leather belt, suede loafers. His smooth white skin caught her eye and as it travelled down she saw his long white neck, his shoulder blades, the hint of his smooth hairless chest. Her breath caught and she thought of him at company class, in performance...................
......they were dancing "Graduation Ball", Johann Strauss' music. Lucy and Louise as two young ladies from a boarding school at a grad ball for students from a Military Academy. Each girl competing light heartedly, with her dashing partner, to do more fouettes than the other. Lucy and Chad. Louise and Wally. In the fouette, the girl goes en pointe, one leg whips out to the side then in to the knee, the momentum whirls her in a circle. Fouettes could be single, double or even, daringly, triple.
Louise and Lucy did the regulation spins, then Louise did single, double, double. She smiled across at Lucy and tossed her ponytail. Lucy looked at Chad and her heart swelled with pride, with excitement, with a giddy rush. She sprang forward and went up on her toe, single, double, triple! She landed in Chad's waiting arms and stopped as if on a knife edge. The theatre broke into a smattering and then a wave of applause. A wave that crashed over her leaving her weak and frightened.
"Never do that cold to me again" Said Chad and then his face broke into a huge grin. She felt his hands on her waist and she melted inside.......
He was looking at her.
"Oh Chad. Please. Do come in."
He held up a wrapped parcel. "Wine."
"Oh I have some. But thank you, thank you."
She took the wine, showed him into her flat. As she took the bottle to the kitchen, he sat on the lounge.
"Is Elliot with you?" She called.
"No. I imagine he'll be late. He's always late."
She came to the kitchen arch. "Can I get you a drink. Wine?" She indicated her bottle. He picked it up looked at the label. "Oh no. This is much too good. Some of the Vin ordinaire I bought." He smiled and her tummy squirmed. She unwrapped the bottle and opened it and poured a glass. Bought it out to him. "Aren't you having some?"
"Wine? Oh no, I don't drink wine."
"But tonight? You must."
"Oh alright. A little." She went to the kitchen, splashed some in the bottom of a glass and carried it out. Sat opposite him on a chair. She sat, hands in her lap, her fingers entwined, twisting back and forth. Thoughts rushed in and out of her head but she remained tongue tied.
"This is nice." Chad indicated the flat.
"Do you think so? I've tried hard."
"Very co-ordinated. looks like you've spent quite a lot."
"My mother.............my mother helps me with, with money and stuff. She's very co-ordinated so I guess thats where I got it."
"Where do you find time?"
"I don't. Don't always, mother helps.......er, she did a lot......" Embarassment tied her in knots and she faded out.
"Well, my place is a mess. Just somewhere to crash out really. You know, by the time we rehearse, perform, there's just no time."
"Yes, yes, I'm always busy."
"Well it looks really nice."
"Thanks, uh, I'll just check the kitchen." She jumped up and went and fiddled with things. "What's wrong with me?" she thought, "Why can't I just talk to him."
The doorbell rang again.
"I'll get it." said Chad. "It'll be Elliot."
"Will you, thanks." She stood trembling.
The door opened, she heard "Hi!"
She smoothed her dress again and went back. Chad was on the lounge again, Elliot by his side.
"Got anything to drink?" She realised with a sinking feeling that he was drunk.
"Got anything real to drink?"
"Uh, I don't keep, Uh............"
"The wine's nice." said Chad.
"Well if that's all."
She filled a wine glass and gave it to him. She sat on her chair looking at the two boys.
"So, this is the Ice Princess's home?"
She blushed. All over.
"Never seen such a pretty place. Bet everythings nice and comes from DJ's." He turned to Chad. "Not like ours."
"You share?" Lucy's voice was tiny and her tummy squirmed and knotted like a ball of ice had settled in there.
"Oh we share dear, we share." He put his arm around Chad's shoulders and left it there.
"I didn't know."
"Shut up Elliot, your drunk." Chad shook off Elliot's arm. "Lucy's gone to a lot of trouble cooking and I want to enjoy it."
"Lucy, Lucy, Lucy. Lucy who joined us six months ago and already does solos. Lucy who walks over girls with years more experience. Lucy whose mother is so fuckin' rich she snaps her fingers and Lucy gets what Lucy wants."
"Shut up Elliot. You're drunk. How could you come here drunk. Lucy's a very talented dancer. Lucy ignore him. He's drunk and he's being disgusting."
"Being a bitch don't you mean Chad darling. Elliot's being a bitch and do you want to know why?"
"Oh be quiet Elliot."
"Because Elliot may be a bit drunk and Elliot may be a bitch, but Elliot recognises a real bitch when he sees one and Lucy, sweet, sweet Lucy is the queen of the bitches. Aren't you darling?"
Lucy's hands flew to her face. Tears squeezed from her eyes and she felt sick.
"Yes Lucy's a bitch who just takes what she wants and now Chad, lover, she wants you and Elliot's here to fight her for you."
Lucy's face crumpled and her tears flowed. She ran from the room. Ran into the kitchen and grabbing the bench stood there shaking.
"Very touching Lucy. Very touching. Can't have him. Can't have my Chad. You get every other thing you want, so. Can't beat Elliot for Chad though and out comes the water works. Don't pretend you didn't know. Don't pretend you ever thought Chad wanted you. You, with your simpering, eyelash batting routine. Chad's MINE!"
Lucy clutched at her throat. She was going to faint. "I didn't.........."
"You rotten............you're drunk Elliot. Get out. Lucy...." Chad pushed Elliot away and rose from his chair.
"No!, No!" shrieked Lucy, "Go! both of you go." She rushed into the bathroom slamming the door.
She clutched at the cupboard, found the vials, the syringe. She could hear their voices raised, angry, shouting. She sat on the toilet, found a vein, filled the needle and plunged it in, depressed the plunger and watched the fluid flow into her. She felt the peace, felt the secret place opening up, slipped into her safety and security, went away. The voices faded.
Chad looked at Elliot.
"Elliot, you're a jealous, vicious wrecker."
"Lucy's a conniving little bitch."
"Don't talk about bitches. What do you think you are? Elliot, drunken, evil, super bitch."
"I'm not sorry, she's a bitch and if she didn't know we're gay she's dumb stupid and she's not that stupid. No, she's a bitch and wanted you just so she could prove she'd done it."
"Bull shit!" Chad was coloured and angry. "Where's she gone? We can't leave it like this."
He walked into the kitchen and turned things off. He went to the bathroom door and knocked. "Lucy? Lucy it's Chad."
"Oh come on, let her sulk. Let the queen sulk in splendour. Come on home."
"I can't hear her.'
"She doesn't want to be heard."
"Come home Chad."
"Thats what she wants."
"I'm going in."
"Don't be stupid."
Chad opened the door. It wasn't locked. He pushed it wide and entered. Lucy was slumped between the toilet and the wall. Her head and shoulders wedged at a funny angle against the tiled wall. Her red hair spread wide. Her body was twisted and her legs were at awkward angles. Her skirt had rolled back on its slits and her panties just showed. One shoe hung off. Her arms were at strange angles, her elbows bent inside out. The needle had fallen from her spread fingers. Froth whitened her lips. Her eyes were mere slits in half closed lids. Chad crossed to her. Felt for a pulse at her wrist, touched her breast, listened at her lips. He stood slowly.
"She's dead! My god she's dead!"
Chad lay in his darkened bedroom. Elliot had staggered off to his bed drunk. Drunk already, when he arrived at Lucy's, the events there had shaken him and he'd taken more drink to forget. Now he was wrapped in a stupor of alchohol.
Chad thought of the night, the dreadful night. Bitterness,washed through his stomach. Sick, bitter sadness overwhelmed him.
He had rung and called for help. Ambulance officers and then the police had come. There was nothing they could do for Lucy. She had knowingly or by accident, given herself a lethal hit, and as he looked at her crumpled there he knew it was his fault. Well, her inability to cope with ordinary stuff had killed her, but he hadn't realised what he meant to her, and his failure to handle it properly had finished her.
The ambulance people could do nothing. Two young girls. They were pretty upset by it and had waited quietly until the police doctor came. The doctor examined Lucy where she lay and then had the ambulance girls get her out and lay her on the floor. He was a big guy in his forties and to Chad he was uncaring and unsympathetic. He partly undressed Lucy to get at her chest and her ass and inserted thermometers and listened and looked. He declared her dead and wrote down the time and stood discussing it with a policeman about his own age.
Lucy looked violated. Her clothing disarrayed, her legs stretched out, feet bare. Her mouth was partly open and her teeth were bared in a grimace. Her eyes were mere slits of flat nothingness. He looked at her bare legs and feet and remembered the times those feet had twinkled, those legs had flashed and pumped and people had cheered and clapped. "Oh Lucy you did have talent."
The girls got her on a stretcher and covered her over and she was carried out. Her bare feet stuck out from beneath the cover. Chad felt a choking tightness in his throat.
Now he lay sleepless in his bed.
He thought of Lucy going to the morgue. Lying there in the cold and the dark. How she would have hated that. They would come and strip her. Her naked body would be cut open and pieces taken like trophies and then she would be crudely sewn up and that would be it for her. Tears squeezed from his eyes. They had had to tell her mother. How she had reacted. Screaming, crying. Broken, distraught. Soon she would come and take home the parody of cut, sewn, flesh that had been Lucy.
Chad lay there, eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling.
The next day was dreadful. The company was in shock. All the kids stood around and muttered together. Louise went home in tears.
That night Chad argued with Elliot.
A bitter, spiteful argument that ended in his storming from the flat.
Elliot was so bitchy. He still blamed it all on Lucy. Said the stupid, spoilt little witch had brought it all on herself. Chad was not so sure. Lucy had loved him. Why hadn't he seen that? Why hadn't he done something to ease her down? The way it had happened with Elliot's attack had pushed her over the edge. He had liked Lucy. Could he have loved her a little? He did love Elliot. He had certainly been very fond of Lucy.
Elliot's words had made him boil.
He went down the street in a fury, seeing nothing.
Then he was in the bar. His friends were there and he took comfort from their presence around him. He saw the boy looking at him. A golden youth. Like Chad himself, a farm boy. Strong, wiry, fair, muscular and so very, very, beautiful. His long lashes drooped over brown eyes like translucent pools of the emotions. His long, brown hair fell in waves around his face, long on top, shaved at the sides. His chest strained his tee shirt and soft fuzz lined his forearms. He looked at Chad and Chad looked at him. Looked at the bulge in his jeans.
The boy came to him.
They talked. It was easy, as though they had been friends for a long time. The boy's hand on his arm and then hand in hand they touched while they talked and Chad saw the longing in the boy's eyes. A longing he knew was in his own eyes. Without words, they left together and walked hand in hand to the boy's room. They undressed and fondled each other and Chad pressed the boy to him. The boy was very young and his body was smooth and sculpted and just a man and hairless and golden. The lightest downy fuzz making his form gleam in the reflected street lights. They kissed and it was perfect and then they made love.
Chad stared at the boy's face and knew he loved him.
Then he saw Lucy's eyes in the boy's eyes and he cried out.
Much later he walked home through the park.
He didn't see them until they surrounded him.
Four, five, maybe more.
"Hey man! Want some fun?" A leather clad man opened his fly and flopped out his penis. Hands grabbed Chad.
"I said want fun.....Faggot!"
Something struck him from behind and he started to go down. The hands clawed at him and hit him and then they were all over him. He was struck repeatedly and went down. The hitting went on and he was kicked again and again. Steel on boot caps, baseball bats.
When it was over he lay in agony. His spine felt as though razors were scraping it, but his ankle was worst. It was excruciating and he knew it was shattered. Maybe some day, after a long time, he'd walk with a limp, but he knew his dancing was finished.
Chad came from the rear of the shop. The new range of fabrics had come in last night. The ladies with Volvos would be in soon to paw them over. The shop catered for interior design and refurbishment for those with real money. As always they'd be swamped. He caressed Elliot's back and whispered in his ear. "Look after the hordes, darling, I will be with class this morning."
"Huh!" Elliot was still Elliot. "Talentless, porky little girls with a lot of Daddy's money and Mummy's driving ambition. I don't know why you do it."
"There's always a chance Elliot."
"One day, through my door............"
Chad went up the stairs to the big open room, flooded with light from the sky light openings. Girls were there already. At the barre. Limbering up. Doing warmups. Still changing, applying leg warmers, grinding toe shoes in rosin. Marty was playing a few riffles on the piano.
Chad's classes were expensive and always over subscribed.
"Alright girls!" he clapped his hands.
A sound made him turn. The door opened and she came in alone.
Small, pale, white skinned, a sprinkling of freckles, she was dressed in her leotard and shoes already. A great mop of red hair crowned her head and framed her elfin face. She looked embarassed, dropped her eyes. He watched her, his breath suspended. She looked up and smiled. A frightened, charming little smile full of wanting and needing.
"I.......I, my mother...........ummm."
He extended his arms.
She nodded. Full of desire and need.
"Come in my darling, come in."
She ran to him.