First Blood

High school savages are ransacking the place. It’s like a fog machine went off in my basement. Cans lay everywhere, the whole house smells faintly of cherry. My brother just finished putting out his disco ball, trying to impress all his little friends. The thing starts lighting me up in pinks, blues, and yellows every time the bass kicks. I take another hit. I’m like a stoned Christmas light that can’t make up its mind.

A cute blonde is putting her hands all over me. Isabelle is her name. She’s practically sweating alcohol. My brother and his friends are laughing in the corner, pointing. It’s the Isabelle they always talk about. I should’ve known. It’s the end of December and she’s dressed like the trees, nearly bare.  So I give my brother a wink, he shakes his head, and I start talking about college. She’s into it. Why wouldn’t she be?

I put my arm around her waist and I’m not disappointed. She’s got a nice body, and I’m thinking this little shindig is about to turn into a real party for me and her. She keeps touching me lower. She’s now on my thighs.

“It’s big,” I whisper. She laughs, acting all coy, like she doesn’t know what I’m talking about.

She’s leaning in closer and closer, telling me something or another about a basketball game. She’s a cheerleader. I like that. Pretty soon, her face is almost against mine. Her mouth opens and I kiss her. It’s sloppy, but good. She likes it. She’s not resisting.

Someone yells that we should all go upstairs to watch the ball drop.

I tell Isabelle I’m not really feeling it. The ball drops every year, but this moment is now. We’ll never get it back. She laughs. She’s always laughing. She’s loving it. I give her my hand and we go up and keep going, leaving everyone behind.

I throw her onto my bed and we’re making out again. I’m on top of her, she wants me to kiss her neck. She’s moaning and so am I. We both know what we want.

Sitting her up, I throw off her shirt and take her bra off in one motion. I doubt she’s had a pair of clumsy high school hands do it that quickly. I’m already halfway done with her pants, I want to keep impressing her. Black panties. She’s practically begging for it.

I unzip my pants and her head perks up. “Wait,” she says. So I take off my shirt. “Happy?” I smile.

It was great, she felt amazing. She closed her eyes and bit her lip the whole time, the way a girl does when she’s really turned on.

Then I look down at the sheet. It’s disgusting, and some of it is on me.

When I come back from the bathroom, she’s already gone. Surprising for a high school girl, not wanting to cuddle afterward. Maybe she’s really a woman in disguise. It’s over and there’s minimal mess. The party is still bumping downstairs, but I’m done with it. I go to bed.

Later, my brother tells me she acts a lot differently ever since that night. And I can’t blame her. He says there’s even a rumor going around that she’s had sex. Or told someone she did. Something like that. Either way, she does online schooling now.

It wasn’t until I was on my way back to school when I wondered: Will she think of me as her first, or the person who made her bleed?


Room 213 in Hawthorne Hall

Room 213’s door in Hawthorne Hall is constantly opening and closing. Darryl never lets any student go by without first being positive that they knew he saw them. Because of this, he’s constantly looking out the peep hole, waiting for the next friend to pass by. And Darryl is always dressed in something flashy – first impressions matter.

His roommate, and twin brother, Joseph – fraternal twins, though, they look nothing alike – is making new rap playlists on his laptop. They brought a couple amps and the bass is always rattling their door.

It’s just like home for the two of them. It’s almost comforting in a way.

“Play a fast one,” Darryl says. The door rattles even more violently. He looks over at Joseph and he smiles. Everyone will absolutely know they’re home. They almost always are.

When Darryl looks back out the peep hole, he gets excited, gives Joseph a thumbs up, and opens the door. Joseph hops out of his chair and jumps over to be at Darryl’s side. This time will be different.

“Hey, girl,” Darryl says. The girl’s eyes bulge, but she keeps looking ahead and doesn’t break her stride.

“You’re lookin’ fine today,” Joseph tries to get her attention. “How was your classes?” But she only nods and says thank you.

Darryl says, “Come on. Let’s talk, girl. Come over here, give me a hug.”

The girl unlocks her door quickly and slams it shut. The door relocks.

Immediately, the hall becomes silent again. Barren. Except for the rap music still thumping violently against the whole building. Darryl almost forgot it was even playing. He inhales deeply and Joseph pats him on the back.

“No one, Joe. Not one. I really thought maybe she’d want to…”

“I know, I know. It gets hard sometimes.”

Darryl starts to say that it really does get hard, but he chokes up and his words transform into tears that stream down his cheeks. He tries to speak again. Only a growl comes out. Joseph pulls him in. Darryl wraps his arms around him and shoves his eyes into his shoulder.

They stand like this for a long time, in the threshold of their open door, with their music still playing.

Even after several minutes, Darryl can’t regain control over his throat. Everything he tries to say just makes him cry harder. So he whispers: “Aren’t we trying hard enough?”

Joseph never gives an answer.