He hardly spoke a word to anyone that night. That’s the first thing I remember. His eyes scoured the crowd with a predator-like hunger laced with a flavor of intense cynicism. That’s the second thing I remember. The third? How badly I wanted to get with his blonde friend.
The whole thing began with a simple walk up the hill to the water tower that once was the main feature of the small town of Braxton. Beth, The only woman who responded to my craigslist ad looking for a local roommate, walked next to me carrying a cooler full of beer. even in the darkness I could see her hunched over with the weight of it. I offered to help, but she was determined.
“You’ve got to be tough to survive around here,” she said. “If you’re going to be a lazy ass girly girl, you may as well pick up a job stripping and fucking for money at the local watering hole.”
I smiled at her candor. I really couldn’t have planned it better myself. I had to weed through dozens of very graphic ad responses from the local men before I found hers. She was a breath of fresh air just for her tact, and even more so when I met her, her dark skin gleaming with tattoos, her nose ring, lip ring and eyebrow ring convincing me that maybe I had found my soulmate.
Her small innocent face peaked out from behind the short bob cut that framed her cheeks as she huffed up the hill. The sound of voices and music was starting to carry down the hill to our location and fear and anticipation boiled in the pit of my belly. As we reach the water tower, I could see the lights and a few people hanging on the edges of the party. I cracked my knuckles, ready to face my new life.
Beth threw the cooler to the floor and faced me. “Okay, Ches, just need to clarify one thing before we go in there,” she said.
I looked at her, eyebrows raised.
“There are two things required to survive in the oil field. One: you can’t be innocent. Please tell me you fucked at least a few guys before and had at least one one night stand. If you’re looking for a commitment, there’s a chance you might find it, but first you’re going to have to weed through all these other assholes first.”
I laughed and clapped my hands together. I had estimated Beth was about ten years younger than me, probably 25 or 26. She seemed far more experienced than most post-undergrads but there’s never a match for ten years in the real-world. This girl was about to get the full 101 on life chez-Ches. “First of all, I’ve always been more interested in deep personal conversations than sex. That said, deep conversations typically lead to sex. And guys who like both deep conversations and sex, have a tendency to show up at my door with engagement rings, pools of tears, slit wrists, and in some cases all three. I’m here because I’ve heard that I can skip the deep conversations and go straight to the sex. Capische?” Okay, I was exaggerating a little – I’d never been overly sex-crazed but this place has a reputation and I needed what it purported to offer: no deep connections or excessive emotion, just casual, detached fun. And any girl can handle some good sex along with it.
Her dancing eyes combined with her pursed lips told me she approved. “You may be the most well-informed woman who has ever entered this city,” she commented. “Can I assume there is no long distance boyfriend then? Because that’s the second no-no. I mean, it’s fine if you do, but you will cheat on him so you need to be aware of that.”
My mind wandered back to Briggs and the look of devastation on his face when I told him I was moving 1000 miles away and that I wouldn’t likely be coming back. He was such a sweetheart, so perfect for me in every way, really. But so not my type. None of them ever were.
I shook my head. “No boyfriend.”
She placed her hand on my arm. “Well then, my friend, you and I are going to have a lot of fun with a lot of different dicks.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. I wasn’t so interested in gratuitous sex; I was just getting away from the cluster fuck I created back home. I know, I sound like an insensitive slut, but the whole thing really transpired before I even knew what was going on. I should’ve known I was poisoned from the moment I had my first kiss at fourteen years old. But everyone makes mistakes and this was my chance to start over.
I gestured toward the party that was gaining momentum on the other side of the water tower. “Lead the way.”
Beth hauled the cooler back in her arms and nodded towards the music. “Don’t worry, I’ll give you the low-down on everyone. Who to get with, who to avoid like the plague, and which ones will make you breakfast in the morning.”
She brushed past me with a wink.
I could tell this was going to get fucked up fast.