Jackie – chapter 2
We emptied the bottle. But it was still so damn early. Jackie talked me into walking around the corner for another bottle.
I picked up two bottles. One for the rest of the night. One just in case. I also grabbed up a 12 pack of Italian beer and it reminded of the hole in my heart that may never heal. In the liquor aisle, there was a beautiful young lady. She was looking for whiskey. “The selection here isn’t much to write home about.” I said. This caught her off-guard. She glanced over at me, quickly assessing any threat. Guess she figured she could handle it.
She said, “I know. But it’s too late for beggars to be choosy.” She looked freshly scrubbed. Her hair was down and parted through the middle of her scalp and was still wet from the shower. She wore khakis short-shorts that showed a lot of leg and a white basic tank top, no bra. Her breasts were small, but were eager to be handled. She wore black flip-flaps, her toenails were neatly trimmed and painted a powder blue. I wondered about what was beneath her shorts. Was there a dirty blonde nest, or soft, sweet smoothness? Would I find her moist and mustily fragrant? Or, would it take some work, some kisses to her neck and some hot and dirty words breathed into her ear? She had decided on a bottle of Irish whiskey.
“You can’t go wrong with that, I guess.” I told her.
“It’s good, but I’ve had better.”
“That’s what she said…” She laughed. Her smile was wide and genuine. Her eyes caught mine. She could see that I was already a little drunk and it made her feel comfortable. She headed for the check-out. I followed. There was a couple of people ahead of us.
She turned to me. “Going to a party?” and nodded toward my bottles and beer.
“Well, not exactly. It’s been one of those lives. Tonight it’s just me and the cat on the back porch, sharing drinks and stories.”
Her face softened and a brief look of seriousness waved through her eyes and she said, “That sounds nice.” If she and I happened to have been better friends at that moment, she’d have leaned in and kissed me on the mouth in front of the whole world and she would have told me that she loved me.
I smiled and said, “It is nice. And you should meet Jack. He’s my cat. He’s black, but he can’t help it.” She laughed and playfully slapped my arm. Of course she wouldn’t know what I’d be thinking, but I was thinking how sometimes the world is a perfect thing. It’s those tiny moments like the one that wonderful girl and I shared that give me the hope that someone up there just might give a shit.
She didn’t have her shopping card. I let her use mine. It saved her almost $7. She waited till I paid for my things. We walked out of the store together. She commented on the two bottles of tequila. We got to her truck. I offered her a swig. She said she would only accept a trade. A drink for a drink. We were standing in the parking lot. Her truck was a clean and bright red Ford. She let out the tailgate for us to sit. I handed her a bottle of tequila. She gave me her bottle of Irish whiskey. We toasted, “Here’s to living our dreams.” she said and tilted the bottle back. I only took a light drag of the whiskey. She pulled on the tequila like it was Gatorade. I handed her bottle back. She passed me mine.
I took it from her and welcomed it back by kissing the bottle, “Did you miss me?” I said to my bottle of tequila. “Shhh.. So how was it? Is she a good kisser?” I asked my bottle.
She punched me hard in the arm. “You’re funny. I bet you get lots of girls.”
Fuck. The punch hurt. Kind of killed the moment. She read it on my face and laughed out loud and heartily. She kissed me on the cheek. Her mouth was cool and wet. It reminded me of when I was a young boy, being kissed by young girls.
I balled up my fist and gritted my teeth at her. She only laughed harder. Her tits jiggled. She mussed up my hair and told me that she was sorry, but she just liked me. She said that she was a Marine and she’s home from ‘over there’, but this isn’t really her home. She was from Oregon. She came here because of a guy. The guy ended up not being shit. I told her that so few of us are. The smile left her face as she admitted that she knew it too well.
I took her by the chin and kissed her. I told her to give me a ride home. She said that she better not. She said that I could find my way just fine without her. She said that I was too good at talking and kissing for a Marine like herself, so far from camp as she was. She said that she had to be up early the next morning anyway.
I told her that I was glad to have met her. I was happy to drink her whiskey. And that I would write about her some day and that I might never forget her.
She kissed me again. It was different than the first. Stronger and deeper. We were in over our heads, for two strangers making out in a tired old parking lot. She broke the kiss to come up for air. She’d begun to cry. I opened my mouth to kiss the tears that rolled down her face. I tasted the salt and her sweet skin. I told her that she was beautiful. She told that I was too. And kissed me one last time on the mouth. “I gotta go.” She said, and hopped off the tailgate of her truck. She wiped her eyes.
I jumped off too and mussed her hair. I said, “Semper fi!”
She chuckled. A blob of snot flashed from her nostril. She was embarrassed. She said, “Hoo-Rah!”
I fake punched her in her jaw. She got in her truck and was gone. I was still standing there alone in the parking lot. She will always be in my heart. If there is a heaven, I expect to be seeing her again, if they let me past the gates.