He had no business loving me. I had no idea what I was getting into by loving him. We didn’t make sense to many people, but none of them mattered in the long run. Life was only about him and me.
Before him, I dreamed of nothing more than turning out better than my mother. Considering she was a complete fucking loser, my goal seemed attainable.
I lived in a cramped one-bedroom trailer with my mom, Robin Sears. Our trailer park was a classic white trash horror. My neighbors were druggies and thugs. No one watched their kids. People argued day and night. Gunshots went off all the time. I often slept with a pillow over my head to block out the noise.
The trailer park rested on the outside of a rundown town where too few people paid taxes, and too few services were available. Half of the roads in Chesterfield were gravel. The paved roads were riddled with potholes.
Years ago, our library burned down, and no one ever raised the money to rebuild it. My high school smelled like mold, and I dodged fights every day. Most of the kids in my grade couldn’t read the front page of a newspaper. Our sports team never once won anything. In fact, we frequently forfeited when not enough players showed up.
I couldn’t pretend to be too good to live in the shithole. I’d seen pictures of Robin from when she was my age, and she was beautiful. Long blonde hair and big blue eyes, she reminded me of supermodel Christie Brinkley. The world was at Robin’s fingertips, but she was raised by a loser mom and became a loser herself. The pattern was set generations ago. It was in our blood to fuck up our lives without anyone else to blame. My mother was no different than our neighbors, each one embracing the lazy lifestyle
The lane I lived on at the Princess Farms Trailer Park led straight down to a stripper bar frequented by a biker club. While Chesterfield had no “right” side of the tracks, this gravel road was paved with trouble. Day and night, motorcycles roared past our trailer. I grew to hate the sound of Harleys and the men riding them.
I hated a lot of things back then. A world filled with sharp edges didn’t leave me with much to like. My mother drank all day and smoked pot all night. She claimed to self-medicate to deal with her depression and physical ailments. I figured sitting on her fat ass all day would make anyone sore. Fortunately for me, she was a step up from many of the losers in our trailer park. She didn’t beat her kid on the front porch or fuck men in public while on a bender. Compared to several mothers in Princess Farms, mine was a picture of maternal instincts.
By twelve, I was the adult in the relationship. I paid the bills, did the grocery shopping, walked to the laundry mat, and kept the trailer as clean as possible. Childhood never interested me. My goal was to get old fast and gain the power that came with age.
Mom said my father was either a serial rapist or a murderer. The brothers who double teamed her were in prison by the time I was old enough to care they existed.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for bad boys,” Robin said more than once when someone mentioned my paternity. “They were both so handsome and so very fucking bad.”
Since they were brothers, either my uncle or father liked to rape and beat women while they were sleeping. The other one got off on knifing people in alleys.
There was no shaking how awful my bloodline was, so my life goals were small. I wanted to live in an apartment rather than a trailer. I wanted to have a real job. I wanted to spend my money on books rather than booze and pot. Small dreams were attainable, and I planned to make them happen.
The day I met him wasn’t so different than any other day. I woke up early and made sure Mom hadn’t burned herself up on the couch overnight. Making coffee, I noticed a putrid smell coming from outside. The park always stunk from people dumping their trash everywhere and not cleaning up after their pets. This was stronger, and the cause was closer. I looked out of the front window to the dumpy porch where an asshole laid sprawled out in his puke.
The fucking bikers called themselves the Chesterfield Vandals, and they acted as if they owned the park. They fucked women on their bikes only yards away from where kids slept. They dumped beer bottles everywhere. One of our elderly neighbors tripped over a bottle weeks earlier and took a tumble into broken glass. Did they care? Nope. Never. Not even a fucking little.
That was how Chesterfield worked. Big, strong assholes did whatever the hell they wanted. The young, the old, the weak, the stupid, the addicted, basically everyone else, got screwed and lived in fear.
I was sixteen and hormonal in the way only sixteen-year-olds get. I hated the world and its rules. I hated everything and everyone at that moment. Most of all, I hated fucking bikers.
Peering out at the wasted guy on my porch, I noticed a few used condoms on the ground near him. The fucker came to MY house and fucked someone on MY porch. Then he barfed all over, leaving ME to clean it up. Fucker!
We couldn’t afford a gun to protect ourselves, so I used knives and bats. That day with that big lump of an asshole on my porch, I decided to play baseball with his face.
Never once did I consider what might happen afterward. This guy was patched in. He was a big shit in a violent club, and I was taking a bat to him. Right then and there, I just didn’t give a shit about anything.
The guy didn’t even react to the first three strikes of the bat against his legs. Only when I nailed him on the upper back did he holler. Waking groggily, he reached for my bat. I hit his grasping hand. He hollered again. His voice was so damn loud the entire world probably heard him bitching.
His pain made me angrier. The guy deserved a million beatings. A billion! He might never get the others, so I planned to make mine count.
I wailed on him, swinging until my arms hurt. The blows made cracking sounds against his head and back. When he tried to stand, I beat his legs. When he reached for me, I aimed for his arms. His hollering got the attention of my neighbors, but they only hid. Retribution was coming for me, and they didn’t plan to get in the way.
The bat was high in the air when a hand stopped its momentum. I turned to find another biker behind me. This one was fucking gorgeous, but I still wanted to beat the shit out of him.
“Enough of that,” he said, yanking the bat away from me.
The woman inside me didn’t know how to respond after hearing such a perfectly rumbly voice. He was watching me with dark eyes I wanted to disappear into, and his sexy lips hinted at a smile. The biker took my breath away, yet the pissed teenager in me didn’t care.
Turning away from the sexy beast, I kicked the guy still on the ground. “Stupid fucker.”
The second biker wrapped an arm around my waist and pulled me off of the ground. I kicked and screamed about how I wasn’t done. The rumbly biker laughed at my rage, making me want to kick his ass next.
“Drag his ass to the bar,” he said to two other bikers standing in the road. “I’ll deal with this spitfire.”
“I’m not done!” I yelled again while my feet swung helplessly a foot from the ground.
I watched while the laughing bikers dragged their buddy to safety. I hated them. If I had my bat back, I bet I could make them stop laughing.
“Time of the month?” the rumbly biker asked, setting me down on my porch.
Turning to him, I balled up my fists and prepared to attack. I planned to mess up his brilliantly fucking handsome face.
“Cigarette?” he asked, lighting one.
His voice soothed my rage. The anger faded as curiosity took its place. Would this sexy biker kill me now? Could I punch him the face before he ended my life? Did I forget to turn on the coffee pot? My thoughts were all over the damn place.
“Yeah,” I said.”
“Yeah about the cig or your period?”
“He puked on my fucking porch.”
“I see that.”
He handed me his already lit cigarette before lighting a new one. I took a hit from his leftover and thought about our lips meeting in this indirect way.
“Are you gonna kill me?” I asked defiantly since my rage hadn’t disappeared completely.
Unsure now, I realized I was wearing my pink flannel pajamas in front of this sexy man. I might hate bikers, but this one was appealing enough for me to let things slide.
“Is that guy gonna kick my ass later?” I asked, not wanting him to leave yet.
“He seemed mad.”
“A little girl beat the shit out of him with a bat. That’s not going to make him happy.”
Taking a hit on the cigarette, I thought to complain about the “little girl” part of his comment. I kept my mouth shut because the reality of dying before eighteen had set in.
“I’m not a morning person,” I finally said after he stared at me for too long.
The guy laughed in his rough voice. “No kidding.”
“Jodi?” my mom said from the trailer.
Hearing my mother’s half-asleep voice and thinking about her getting hurt because of me, I became fully aware of my temper’s bad decision making.
I opened the door and told my mom everything was fine. She turned over on the couch and returned to sleep. After I shut the door and focused on the biker, I found his dark eyes still watching me. He was older than the other bikers, yet a million times better looking.
“I’m sorry I busted up your friend.”
“No, you’re not.”
“Well he had it coming, so no, I’m really not.”
“Don’t give me shit, kid. Just tell me your last name.”
“No, and don’t call me kid. And what’s your name? Can I have your social security too, while we’re at it?”
The guy grinned. “Your mama did a fucked up job raising you.”
“And your mama was such a fucking prize?”
“No, she’s a doormat married to a wife beater.”
The guy shrugged. “You didn’t introduce them.”
“I might have. I’m a busy person.”
He grinned really nice at me. I suspected this was the same smile he used on people he planned to kill. I bet he told them it wouldn’t hurt too much. Did he have them close their eyes and think of Jesus too?
“Jodi Sears,” I said, giving him a little with the hope he didn’t take everything.
“I’m Kirk Johansson,” he said, handing me a card with only a phone number on it. “That’s my beeper number. Next time you have issues with those guys, you contact me. No more vigilante shit, okay, kid?”
“Not if you keep calling me ‘kid’ even when I asked you to stop.”
“You didn’t ask, kid. You told me what the fuck to say, and I don’t get bossed around by bitchy women.”
I glared at him again. “Give me back my bat.”
A moment passed between us. He was the big shit killer capable of making me disappear. Hell, he could make my entire family disappear. I was nothing and nobody. I had no power to do anything to him. Yet I didn’t back down. For whatever reason, I couldn’t let him win this battle. I was willing to consider it a tie.
“Please give me back my bat.”
Kirk handed me the bat, and I knew he was waiting to see if I swung it at him. I didn’t, of course. My stupidity faded the moment my temper did.
“Nice manners. Now get inside and put on some clothes before a pervert gets any ideas about you.”
“Anything else?” I growled.
“Yeah, don’t be stupid. I’m serious about you asking me for help next time.”
I realized he hadn’t called me “kid” and I considered this a win. Kirk might have realized what I had because I saw him second-guessing his decision. Had he been too nice to the crazy bat-wielding bitch?
Before he changed his mind about our truce, I hurried inside. Despite every urge, I didn’t look back at Kirk. Even so, I prayed that wouldn’t be the last time I ran into the sexy beast.