I'll Never Be Your Sweetheart

A riot grrrl story - - work in progress, critiques appreciated if possible.

Chapter 1

Riding (almost) Solo

I was sitting in the middle of a future memory. I was in a "let the world burn" mood, fluctuating between pissed off and giddy; wanting to party or riot, whichever came first that night. Not that it matters, but this was a typical Tuesday night for me. I was sitting next to him, staring at the stars, thinking about what a bizarre existence we have as humans, and how it can be so amazing, and yet it doesn't actually matter. We think we do, that we're somehow important and destined for greatness and it's already set in stone that we will, but if that were true we wouldn't look at drug addicts or homeless veterans as failures, because if we were truly great, they would be too. And something inside us tells us that no, they're not as worth it as others. So we're really not all great, and that's what makes the poor and weak disgusting, and the rich and celebrated so pure. I hated that. I hated people.

I looked at him, the one with shards of glass in his stare and sandpaper in his soul. "Have you ever felt like you weren't destined to live here?" I asked,

"Every damn day." He replied coldly,

I let out a bitter laugh that comes from being let down in life one too many times. I didn't mind sitting with him, but even he and I didn't share that many things in common, it's hard to relate when you mostly sit quietly unable to read each other. I started crying as quietly as I possibly could. I didn't want him to notice, he didn't deal in emotions and right now I had a surplus. I felt like life was mostly a lost cause by the time my generation came along. I was to be an unsung hero who tried my best and still managed to become warped. I'd probably die for the villain, in a last feeble attempt to change people for the better.

"You're terrible at hiding things." He said. The dark rings around his eyes from an apparent lack of sleep seemed to darken by the hour, but his mood was steadily somber.

Pull yourself together, Lace. I bitterly thought to myself, What would mom think of you, sitting on a cold rooftop and sobbing like that? She would think I was a perfect idiot, that's what. But it didn't matter, now did it? She wasn't here. I wiped my eyes anyway. "Maybe I just don't like to hide."

He shrugged, "That's admirable enough."

"Admirable enough for you?"

"Anyone. It's not about me."

I didn't know what to say to that. I just felt bitter. I looked down at the parked cars in the apartment lot, with their broken windows covered in trash bags and busted fenders and fading paint. I hated everything about this city. The state. The entire Midwest. It was a disgusting hole for scum to sink into and fester.

"How is it that you always know what to say?" I asked,

"I don't, I just say what I think, as I think it." He said, "and sometimes it's just good enough."

It was always good enough, though he probably didn't see it. I didn't know whether I should kiss him, or plunge him straight off the roof. Life's conflicted sometimes. I didn't feel any strong emotions towards him as a person, but more I wanted to kiss him in hopes that I could suck the words from his lips and then for once I could say something that made people feel like I knew what I was doing. Whether or not I could pull something like that off, I admired Howie.

Later I lay in bed staring at the alarm clock that read 5:00 a.m. wondering why I let the world bring me down. I was never going to be that benevolent dame they wanted, because all too often I found myself tugging at heartstrings simply because it was fun. I'd be at one end playing tug-of-war while some poor sod carried on about how a fish hook hand him caught and bleeding. And I'd continue as long as possible because I never took their feelings into account.

Because sometimes it's fun to hurt people. But why, why is it enjoyable? Some girls do it to to other girls out of spite. I didn't feel spiteful. Some girls did it to guys because they wanted to be the player for once. That's not what I wanted.

The world turned on an axis of confusion and I felt trapped in a downward spiral. I buried my face in a cat shaped pillow and heaved out a sigh of hot air. This was probably my future. I had social anxiety that would worsen and instead of getting anything real i'd suck at life harder than before and become the crazy cat-pillow lady. I'd collect pillows shaped like cat faces and never actually buy a cat. I'd die alone with my butt cushioned and feet slightly elevated. It would happen and I wouldn't even stop it. You're pathetic and full of apathy. Yet you hate apathetic and pathetic tendencies in others. You are what you hate.

I perked my head up and looked around. My bedroom hadn't changed much since I was thirteen. I cringed. It made me understand why people committed suicide. I looked down at the kitty pillow. Then up again. My parents had pretty much given up on me. My school 100% had, which was why I was no longer a student. Hell, some of my friends had too. Would I jump off my own band wagon? No. I had the round-trip ticket.

I hastily stood up as the boiler inside my head blew and fire grew behind my tired eyes. I wanted to murder the walls and reshape them according with the wishes of my third eye but instead I ripped the old calendar off the back of my door. The one with baby animals sitting in teacups and wearing hats. That wasn't me. I didn't appreciate calendars as gifts and at this point it was a year off date, so it had to go. I picked it up and walked it to the trash bin full of other things that were dead to me. Was I freeing myself of junk, or was my insanity just beginning to fester? It didn't matter. It made me feel better. Nobody's here, it's just me by myself. I turned on my stereo in hopes that some music would erase my emotions for a while and fill them with someone else's color. Some shouting woman to make me somehow feel at ease with this eternal torment called life. Or not eternal, depending on how it all goes down in the end. But no matter how I feel about that, I could always be wrong.

I sat in my bean bag chair for a moment and stewed.

I looked at the stack of magazines on the floor. The subscription had been from a family member. All the "hottest" trends that I could never afford. I stood back up and swept over them like the shadow of Death himself and they joined the calendar in the trash.

You don't have to take what you're given. I thought to myself.

And it's true, I don't. And I won't. The room was about to become a blank canvas for me, myself, and I. My room, my art, my rules. Soon this would be a haven for the inferno phoenix that was my soul.

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