Otherwise Entertained (10)
After doing chores and a quick shower on Friday morning, Morgan decided to go shopping at Winn-Dixie. She needed to pick up a few things in case the guys showed up that evening. She limped outside and got in Katie. It was the first time she had driven since injuring her ankle, but she had suffered such things in the past and thought she could handle it.
When she arrived at the store, she grabbed a buggy in the parking lot and hobbled inside. She put some chips, dip, orange juice, lettuce, tomatoes, Catalina, Ranch, and Thousand Island dressings, mushrooms, bell pepper, cucumbers, Froot Loops, milk, eggs, bread, hot dog buns, hamburger buns, butter, cheddar cheese, bologna, hot dogs, sliced ham, ground beef, grapes, oranges, strawberries, a bag of ice, Diet Coke, Sprite, and Coca Cola in the cart. While waiting in line she leafed through Cosmopolitan magazine, and glanced at the cover of Vogue.
The woman rang up her purchases and she checked the total. She realized she had enough money to afford the magazines and asked those be added to her bill. She paid with cash and pushed the buggy out to the car. There was plenty of room for everything in the cavernous trunk.
She drove home carefully, wincing when she had to stop at signs and traffic signals. Luckily, in the small town there were not many of those on her route. She unloaded the car and put all the groceries away. She noticed the spaghetti Tony had made several nights earlier was beginning to mold, but she was busy and forgot to throw it out.
She was a little nervous about what might happen that evening. She knew Kelvin said they would be there, but there had been no calls to confirm and she was not sure which of them would actually come over. She had not been able to concentrate very much on making up a new game scenario. Her mind kept wandering back to the magical moments in the woods. She marveled that one kiss could so disturb her equanimity.
Tony had been distant all week, as had been his demeanor for some time. She did not mind it so much, because her mind was elsewhere anyway. They did have sex a couple of times, but he was not tender or loving. It was just something to satisfy his physical needs. He had not been willing to take her to the hospital, so she was not sure how badly her ankle was hurt. He did nothing to make accommodation for her injury. When they went out, he had walked swiftly and left her behind him.
She took a second shower, enjoying the caress of the hot water and the sweet smells of soap, shampoo, and conditioner. As she toweled dry, she wondered what she should wear. She picked out a ruffled white shirt, black jeans, and a belt with a large Celtic buckle. She had never worn much make up, but she did her face carefully that afternoon. She highlighted her hazel eyes with an extra bit of mascara and curled her long straight auburn hair. As she applied the deep red lipstick, she wished her lips were thinner. She could not help remembering the taunts of her peers who called her nigger lips. Fortunately, the bullying had ended when she left school. She did not miss it much, although she always enjoyed learning new things. She thanked Jesus again that she no longer had to wear glasses, but had contacts that made the world much clearer than ever before. She decided to leave the bandage off, not wanting to draw any attention to her foot by going without her shoe. The Nikes were comfortable and she thought she would be fine. She should probably be using the crutches, as she had most of the week, but that was something she did not care to do in front of the guys, especially Kelvin.
Tony came home around 6:00, and said, “What have you been up to today? I see you cleaned yourself up nicely; too bad no one cares what you look like. You are basically useless.”
She replied, “I bought groceries and cleaned up around the house. You know your clothes do not pick themselves up off the floor and deposit themselves in the hamper. The bed would be a mess, as you left it, had I not made it. The dishes and the floor would still be dirty without my cleaning them up. I hope your day went well.”
He said, “Another day of endless packages, but I guess it could have been worse. I could have spent hours waiting on you to do something.”
He went to the bedroom and slammed the door. In a few minutes, she glanced up and saw him walk naked to the bathroom. He slammed that door and she heard the shower come on soon afterward.
When he came out, he yelled, “Why don’t you come bring me some clothes?”
She went to the bedroom and laid out an outfit she liked. He frowned at her, but did not complain. She was glad because she did not wish to argue over clothes.
About 7:00, there was a knock on the door. She opened it and found Kelvin, Ramsey, and Wagner waiting. They had their gear and some food. Wagner brought in a twelve pack of beer.
Tony said, “Thank you for bringing that buddy. I have had a rough day. An Olde E will go down good.”
Wagner said, “Yeah, I thought it would lighten up the evening.”
Kelvin took the twelve pack and put it in the refrigerator then passed Tony, Ramsey, and Wagner each a beer. He began arranging the food they had brought on the bar. There were nuts, a box of doughnuts, and a loaf of banana bread.
Morgan said, “Let me get that, you go sit with the others and relax. How was the day at school?”
“Ah, same old, same old. You know I am ready for it to be over. You were lucky to meet your requirements in the first quarter. You have always been extremely smart; it was not hard for you. I will be happy just to graduate on time,” he said with a rakish grin.
She laughed, “I am only a C student. I was just determined and I left my electives toward the end so the study was not too hard at the finish. The math in my sophomore and junior years almost defeated me. It was doubtful I would pass at times. Those D grades blew the rest of my average.”
“Yeah, you would say something like that, always humble,” he said.
“Not so much, just realistic. Now go sit, and enjoy yourself,” she said gently pushing him toward the others.
He grinned, grabbed a beer from the fridge, and took the few steps to where the others were seated.
There was a knock at the door, and Kelvin jumped up to open it. Cade, Jason, and Max poured into the room. They sat down on the bunks and Kelvin grabbed a few beer from the refrigerator. Morgan noticed he paused and shot her a puzzled look before closing the door. He handed out the brews without saying anything to her.
Tony finished his beer and told her, “Mix me something stronger. I want J.D. on the rocks.”
She took out a tumbler and fixed the drink. Tony snatched the glass from her hand and frowned at her.
“Can’t you move a little faster wench,” he growled.
She saw frowns on several faces around the room, but only Kelvin spoke, “Hey man, come on over here and chill out. Everything is cool.”
Morgan set up her game gear, but Tony said, “Just put on some music. I don’t feel like you managing my life tonight, even if it is only imaginary.”
Wagner said, “So we’re just going to drink until you are satisfied? The rest of us came to play the game.”
Tony spread his arms and said, “My house, my rules. You don’t like it you can get your asses out of here.”
Morgan put Black Sabbath on the stereo and moved back behind the bar. Things were not going as well as she hoped, but she thought a salad and sandwich might appease Tony. She fixed the food and took it to him because he had not had supper.
“You going to be rude and offer food to no one else. What a bitch!” He said and almost tumbled the plate and bowl from her hands.
Kelvin said, “The rest of us already ate, but there are plenty of snacks. Enjoy your meal.”
The album reached the end of side one and Ramsey turned it over. The tension in the room was palpable.
Some of the others got a second beer and took snacks from the bar. The chips needed refilling, so Morgan poured some in the bowl.
Cade said, “Tony, what if we play in Ambazzar tonight? I am sure Ramsey is prepared for some gaming.”
Ramsey said, “Sure, if that is okay with you, Tony.”
Tony nodded and said, “Sure, I just did not want to play in her world. I have too much of her in my life already.”
Ramsey pulled out some papers and asked the others, “Do you all have your characters?”
There was a unanimous chorus of yeses around the room.
As they played in the dungeon, Morgan handed out more beer and fixed drinks for those who wanted something stronger. She noticed Kelvin and Ramsey were nursing their first beer of the night. Some of the others began to show signs of inebriation because the liquor was flowing too.
She limped to the bathroom and locked the door behind her. After she washed her hands, as she was drying them, she heard the door rattle and Jason stumbled into the room. He stopped and locked the door, then turned to face her.
She backed up and he reached out for her. He said, “I’ve come for you, Morgan. I have been waiting for a long time. I’m going to take you to Hell.”
She screamed, knowing the others were only a few feet away. He grabbed her shirt and she slipped out of his grasp. She almost fell as she backed into the tub. She screamed some more, but there was no answer. Jason grinned at her and his eyes seemed to blaze.
As he came closer to her once more, she said, “Get thee behind me, Satan! The blood of Jesus Christ saves me. You have no dominion over me. Leave now!”
He shuddered, turned, and left the small bathroom. She crept out of the tub. When she looked in the mirror, she realized she was deathly pale. She straightened and buttoned her shirt where his hands had rearranged her clothes.
When Morgan limped back to the front room, Jason was laying sprawled on the floor fast asleep. No one else seemed to know anything untoward had happened.
The game broke up a while later and the guys drifted off. Max and Cade woke Jason and supported him as they walked to the car.
Before Kelvin left he asked her, “Is Tony working tomorrow?”
“Yes, he said he had a full day. Why?” She said.
“I just wondered, he may have quite a hangover the way he has been drinking. You have a good night and take care. We’ll see you soon,” he said and left.
As she began cleaning up, Tony said, “Leave that, it can wait. Come to bed with me. I want you.”
When she stepped in the bedroom, he grabbed her roughly and almost bruised her mouth as he kissed her. His mouth tasted strongly of whiskey and she tried to turn away.
“You whore, don’t try to act innocent with me. Please me. You know how I like it. Do it now.”
He tore her shirt and pushed her onto the bed. He pulled her clothes off and undressed himself. She focused on the owl across the room as he took her repeatedly.
After he fell into a satisfied sleep, she got up and showered herself off. It did not seem to wash her clean though. She went into the front room and cleaned up the mess of the night. There were beer cans and glasses to be collected. There was not much food left, but the dishes had to be washed and put away.
When she was done with that, she sleeved the albums and put them in the rack under the stereo. She sat down at her desk and took out her journal. Thank God, no one ever read it. There was no way anyone would believe this night.
© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Monday, November 4, 2013