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“The carpet…Aaron, are you seeing the carpet? Oh my god, I don’t even… This s***, man, it’s amazing.” Carla’s fingers grazed the carpet as she stroked it, her alert eyes transfixed on the floor. “It’s like water,” she paused and looked up at me, her eyes engulfed by her pupil, spilling out into her pale green irises that I loved, stretching them into a delicate, thin, ring. “It’s like f***ing water!”
Carla was small, pixie like, so skinny that she was comfortably sitting on my body, folded so her back was against my knees, and her feet were on my chest. Next to us, I set up a Monopoly board, with neat rows of untouched pastel money on either side. I didn’t mind our set up. She was cold. Her spine was cold, she said. So we sat on the floor of my room, stacked together, and I protected her from herself.
Two days ago, she approached me. Throwing her narrow hips wearing another little one of her tank tops, she stood with her eyes the same level as mine when I sat. She just wanted a teeny tiny favor. Her short, bleached blonde hair was pulled back in a perfectly messy bun, her fringe swept across her eyelashes. Her eyelashes her were so dark, against that hair. She wanted to do acid, but her parents never left her alone, and she didn’t trust any of her other guy friends to watch over her. She thought I was just a nice guy, but really, I’m just a coward.
“Aaron, Aaron, you don’t even know where I am right now. I’m like, going to circles…” she tumbled off my lap, the blanket used to smother her chills left behind, I took advantage of the fact that her face was mashed in the carpet, muffling her neurotic laughter. I scoped over he body, my eyes lingering at the little patch of skin on her lower back. If she were mine, I thought, I’d have the nerve to flip her over, tickle her, and kiss her. She rolled over again and stared at the ceiling.
I heard my mom trying to subtly climb up the stairs. She hated the idea of having a girl in my room with the door closed, especially a girl like Carla. I didn’t care. I whispered commands at her, as if she were a toddler, to sit in from of the board game. Just when she had finally crawled into place, looking relatively normal, my mom swung open the door without knocking.
“Oh, sorry guys,” she said, pounding through the room with a laundry basket balanced on her hip. How convenient, I thought, she spontaneously decides to do all my laundry for me. She silently took all my clothes from my hamper and placed it in the basket, taking her time to thoroughly check through every pocket. Occasionally she’d try to subtly throw some sideway glances at us, but Carla kept quiet with her head down to hide the smile struggling to stretch behind the cover of her small hand. When my mom finally left, Carla exploded in manic laughter.
“Oh my god!” she hissed, forgetting that she didn’t need to whisper anymore, “you should see what your mom looks like when her face is melting, it’s hilarious!”
I nodded, standing up to lie on my bed. She eventually fell back again, her fingers grabbing on to her toes. She rocked on her back, marveled by my room. I looked where she was staring. I saw a blank, white ceiling. A basic wood desk in the corner with a monitor humming atop it. The hamper next to my closet door that my mom robbed, windows with the blinds pulled down. It was all so normal, so boring. The only thing that was out of place in my room was Carla. I squinted at that digital clock on my desk. I’ve been watching her for two hours.
“So how long is this supposed to last?” I knew how long LSD lasted. But maybe it was wearing off on her…then we’d be able to actually spend our time together doing something.
“Uh what? Dude, like, eight hours or something. How long have I been here?” she asked, crawling toward my desk.
“A few hours”
“Seriously?” she twisted in my direction. “It feels like I’ve been sitting in this room for like a billion years!” she gingerly climbed on the foot of my bed and sat on her hip. Her petite frame was hunched; her narrow shoulders slouched inward with her wrists crossed. I watched her, and she seemed to forget I was two feet in front of her as she situated herself so her legs were straddling my bed. She was transfixed on a spot on her hands, and her wide stance opened a pathway through her very short shorts to her underwear. My eyes weren’t very good, and I wasn’t wearing my glasses, so I strained my eyes to scope and zoom in on her inner thigh. I could see the dainty band of her underwear, pleaded with tiny half circles of what looked like lace, that hugged her body just tight enough to hide the skin that lie underneath. My eyes flicked at the door, then to the chair that was under my desk. I leaped from the bed and lifted it across my room, in fear of my mom hearing me drag it. I tucked the wooden edge under the doorknob, securing us as best I could.
When I threw myself back on my bed, Carla was still staring at her hands, her bottom jaw detached and hanging from the rest of her face.
“Carla,” I whispered, my knees shaking the bed as I shifted toward her. “I wanna do something,” my stomach was being raped by butterflies, and I don’t think my heart has beaten this fast since freshmen gym.
“Wha?” she was soft and detached, in her own reality. I scooted closer to her until our knees… They almost touched. She seemed to noticed I was still on the bed, kneeling so close to her, because she blinked her eyes away and up at my face. “Whoa,” she breathed. Her eyes we so wide, strained and rimmed with aching pink lids. I didn’t think she’d be able to close her eyes, but I didn’t care. I was tried of always watching her from what seems like afar, tired of being the quiet friend. I leaned into her. The stretch toward her was long, and I felt the pull in my lower back. As I got close enough to her, I saw her nearly colorless eyebrows furrowed together. I pulled myself back at the last second.
I cleared my throat was looked around the room while I scurried away from her. Maybe she didn’t noticed. She was probably way too high to notice. If I acted casual, she wouldn’t notice that I tried to kiss her.
“Did you just try to kiss me?” F***.
“No! I, um, I, you know, with, um…” Casual indeed. “Look Carla, look at the carpet! Doesn’t it look crazy?” I used the back of my hand to wipe the sweat that seemed to be cascading down my forehead. She wasn’t looking at the carpet. She was looking at me, and a wry grin was crawling over her face.
“You just tried to kiss me,” she sang, folding her legs so her feet were planted together. She leaned back and started her babble and giggle, her big dopey eyes glazed, and high. I felt the heat spread from the back of my neck to my cheeks. I tried to ignore my blush (acting casual) but my heart kept throbbing and pushing these globs of blood at my face, so it was impossible. She was laughing so much. Maybe she wouldn’t remember this tomorrow, but right now she was laughing so goddamn much, and it wasn’t the laugh I loved when she was laughing at something that was actually funny, she was laughing at me. She was the idiot, I thought over these maliscous laughs, she was high and I was not so I should have the upper hand. I should be laughing at her for acting so stupid, for hiccupping and laughing and babbling like a baby. But she just kept laughing.
I waited. I waiting until my cheeks weren’t so hot, but my heart was still pulsing, hard. Carla was starting to control herself and choked her mockery until we were both quiet. She slithered off my bed and strode around my room. I couldn’t even look at her bony, underdeveloped body. I felt awkward because from the corner of my eye, I could make out her throwing her hip around when she walked, like an overgrown three year old pretending to be a teenager.
“I think I have to take you home now,” she stopped trying to walk and spun around to face me.
“No, you really don’t,” she shrugged, “I’m not done tripping.” She plopped down on the bed again, and fell back. “And Aaron,” she taunted, “I know you’re just a little embarrassed about…Well, you know, before. But just don’t worry about it now. Just relax…”
“I’m not embarrassed about before,” I said dryly. “I’m taking you home.”
“Aaron…” she whined, “Why are you acting like this?” I stood up from the bed and went to the drawer to get my car keys. Her eyes followed me as I dangled the keys in front of her face.
“Because I’m sick of babysitting you.”