Collision Ch. 01bydamppanties©
This story wouldn't have seen the light of day without the prodding of the charming LaRascasse. He challenged me to write it. I'd just like it on record that all of what follows is his fault.
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collision — n
1. a violent impact of moving objects; crash
2. the conflict of opposed ideas, wishes, attitudes, etc.: a collision of interests
3. physics an event in which two or more bodies or particles come together with a resulting change of direction and, normally, energy
...And nothing can ever be the same.
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Brett lined the nails of his index fingers on either end of the zit and squeezed inward, pressing into his cheekbone. At the same moment the pain got too much and he was about to give up, the little pale pit broke free of the skin and splatted against the mirror.
Brett stared at it, changing his focus from the glop to the image of his face and back. He knew he had to squeeze out the pus some more until the blood came out so that it would be clean and not fester, but he couldn't be bothered.
The whole situation disgusted him. Being eighteen and still having an oily face disgusted him. His whole life disgusted him. He felt like smashing his fist into the mirror, but he knew he wouldn't do it. His fucking impotence disgusted him.
The apathy was a sham. Everyone thought he didn't feel. Didn't feel? Like water off a fuck-up's back? Sometimes all he could do to control the rage when required to sit in English Lit was to imagine ripping Mr. Egbert's head off at his neck and watching the blood spurt up into the air. In bursts, as his heart pumped its dying beats. And then he'd be sent to the principal's office and wouldn't mind it, for once.
He lined the fingers up around the crater and squeezed again. The pale butter-colored fluid seeped out, followed by a pinpoint of blood. There. That was enough. He wiped the remains of the zit off his face and the mirror, holding his fingers under the water for a while. Then he splashed water on his face, looking one last time into the mirror at the ravaged site. The bruise wouldn't fade for a while.
He smelled coffee as he pulled his t-shirt over his head. That meant his mother was in the kitchen, probably in the process of making his omelet and toast. He would go downstairs, sit in his chair, shovel some of the food she had laid on his plate into his mouth while hearing the same lecture he had heard for the last, oh thousand years, about how he didn't eat enough to keep up his strength and he would fall behind if he didn't build up energy, breakfast was the most important-meal-of-the-day, growing-boys-should-eat-to-keep-up-their-drive-and-be-athletic... and on and on and on.
Brett finished dressing, went downstairs, sat at his place on the table and ate half the omelet and two pieces of buttered toast while the din that was his mother's voice danced around his head. He pushed back his chair and walked out mid-tirade, the haranguing receding with every step he took, but staying in his head in unformed sentences all the way to the door -- until he stepped out and was pleasantly surprised by the perfect summer day. A summer's day in late April, a blessing.
The sun hit his bare arms and Brett turned his face up, closing his eyes, quietly worshiping the warmth. He walked like that until he stumbled at the end of the driveway.
That was the exact moment he decided he wouldn't go to school that day. Why waste such a perfect day?
His bike's front tire was still knocked out from the fall he took earlier this week, and of course he hadn't saved up enough to have a car, so going anywhere far was out of the question. He decided to head to the beach. That wasn't far.
He stopped the lazy stride he had fallen into and stood still, letting his shoulders droop and waiting for the voice to catch up to him.
"Hey, do you want a ride to school?"
He turned to look back at Jody. She was just standing at the open door and shouting to him instead of coming up.
"Um, no, that's fine," he half-mumbled.
"What? I didn't hear you."
He hadn't raised his voice enough. "Nah, I'm fine. Don't want a ride," he tried again and started back into his long-limbed gait.
He heard pattering down the stairs and then Jody's voice was nearer.
"Hey, could I, like, talk to you?"
Brett wondered. Jody hadn't really talked to him about anything of consequence for years now. Since she had moved away to go to college. And not even before that really. They hadn't been that close to share confidences anyway. So to seek him out like this now... he wondered what it could be about. Was she in trouble of some kind? Wanting help but unable to talk to the parents? Wouldn't know until she told him.
"Sure," he muttered, and waited.
"Uh, well, we could talk in the car. I mean, wouldn't you be late for school?"
He shrugged. Why was she so intent about the ride? Seriously.
"All right, I'll get the car keys." She ran back light-footed into the house.
Brett sighed. What was that? What was wrong with her? Why would she offer to give him a ride? And now he was supposed to endure a ride with his sister? And talk to her? And, dammit, was he supposed to go to school now? Fuck, fuck, fuck. Fucking best laid plans of fucking mice. He was worse than fucking vermin. Caged, frustrated, running around on his fucking wheel. He felt every muscle in his body bunch up with the surge of frustration he was feeling and his body lifted itself up an inch or so from the habitual hunch, and then a second later, let go to settle back down. He let out an annoyed breath and started thinking about how to go with her and still avoid going to school.
The car stopped beside him and Jody called out. "Come on!"
He folded himself into the car, resigned. Jody barely waited until he arranged his legs in the confining space meant for tiny people before moving away. Why did she like this stupid yellow Beetle?
He leisurely shut the door as the car picked up speed.
"Hey, you want to get the seatbelt?"
He rolled his eyes and reached for the buckle. He would have done it without instruction if she had waited till a second after he was done closing the door. What was the fucking matter with her? Why was she so nervous?
"So, uh, well, how're you doing then?"
Oh, so smooth, he thought. God, just drive the fucking car and get to the school. It takes twelve minutes. Shut up for twelve minutes, okay?
"How am I doing about what?" he said out loud.
"Just generally, you know? Life, school, everything. Friends. I don't know...."
"Yeah, fine." Why did she ask if she didn't know?
"So... how are your grades?"
Oh, fuck. Was she serious? Was she going to start about that then?
He turned around to face her, actually turned his upper body around and pulled up a knee to rest it on the seat. "How do you think they are, Jody?"
She stopped to think. Regroup. Something.
"Well. I...just... you know..."
"Hey, don't get mad at me, okay? Mom's just worried about you and she asked me if I could, you know, talk to you or something. Because, maybe we're the same age I guess and she thought I could relate or something. I don't know...."
Brett clenched his jaw and simply stared at her.
"Listen, I just want to help, okay? That is, if you need help or something. I mean, this is your final year of school and, well, if you'd like help..." she trailed off as she realized she was repeating herself.
"No." With that definitive syllable, he turned back in his seat. He didn't intend to say what he said next, but he felt goaded into it and it rushed out. "Actually, would you mind dropping me off at the beach?"
"What? Why? Don't you have school?"
His mouth curved up in amusement as he took in her confusion. To Jody, missing a day of school was just inconceivable. She was the angel of the family. He didn't answer her, just waited to see if she would take the turn to the beach instead of going on straight for the school at the next intersection.
She hesitated as she approached the turn off, started to say something, and then stopped abruptly and took the turn.
Brett turned away from her and raised an eyebrow. He hadn't believed she would do it.
They didn't talk until they arrived and she turned into the parking lot. It was empty at this time of the morning. Jody pulled into a space somewhere in the middle and cut the ignition. She licked her lips.
Brett saw her do it from in the periphery of his vision. He wondered whether to get out of the car and walk away or stay and try to wind her up again. The beach gambit had failed terribly. Maybe he would count up the seconds until he could make her swear at him?
"Listen." She paused and closed her eyes, took a deep breath. "Brett. Look, I'm really not trying to lecture you here, okay? But Mom is concerned about your grades... and you."
He didn't say anything.
"It's your last year of school," she continued. "I just thought that you would, you know, pull yourself together and get a little motivated or something. I mean, it's not like you can't do it if you don't try, Brett. We both know you're smart."
He let the silence build. Making her swear changed into seeing whether she deviated from 'The Lecture.'
Suddenly, she burst out, "Oh, fuck! Why am I even doing this?"
He would have jumped if his brain hadn't instantly stabilized his body in the split second after her outburst. And then he exulted. 'Fuck' and deviation at the same time! He would have grinned if he felt like displaying emotion in his sister's presence. His sister who was scrabbling at the keys now.
"Get out," she said, biting at the words. "I don't care if you destroy your life. Unfeeling, selfish asshole! What's your problem? Why don't you..."
"Hey! What's your problem? If you just stop being the prissy bitch for a minute and try to look without the self-righteous...," he stopped in mid-sentence and took a breath. It didn't matter. "Forget it," he muttered as he reached for the door.
"No, what?" Jody grabbed at his sleeve and yanked him back, trying to make him face her. "What? I want to hear this."
"No, Jody, you don't."
His calm denial fazed her.
"Brett...." She took a deep breath. "God, Brett, why are you doing this?"
"Doing what?" he asked, his anger simmering.
She shook her head, staring out the windshield. "This. Spoiling your life. Being like this. You know, just... all of this." She turned to him, intensity pouring out from her body, her voice. "I want to help you here. You're my brother..."
"Jody, cut the bullshit, okay?"
"What? Why don't you believe that I want to help?"
He shrugged. "You just admitted you're doing this because Mom told you to."
"Well, it's not like I don't care, you know. I wouldn't do it if I didn't."
He curled his fingers into fists and flexed them while the silence built up around them. "Well, are you done?" he asked finally.
She stared at him. "You're such an unfeeling asshole."
It was the calm way she said it that unhinged him.
He whirled around to face her. "Me?! I'm the unfeeling asshole? Fuck you, Jody. You don't even know what... you're just...." Rage poured off him in hot waves, making him incoherent. "I don't feel, huh? All of you seriously think that way? And you say you care?" His body was held in a tautness that bordered on pain. "If you people cared, you would try to understand this, instead of telling yourselves it's all part of growing up. If you cared, you would think of my feelings, my emotions and my problems instead of how convenient it is to ignore whatever's going on with me. If any of you cared, you would try to see what you were doing to me. If you cared, Jody, you would know what it was like growing up in the same house as you!"
She reared back as if struck. "What? I don't understand...."
"No. No, you don't! So stop trying to tell me you do."
"Brett. I never... I mean... what did I do to you?"
He turned to look out of the window.
"It's not easy living with you, okay?" There. He had told her.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean what I said." His body slumped suddenly, all the tension flowing out of his muscles and leaving him weak. "Jody the genius has a brother who's stupid."
"You're not stupid!"
He looked at her in the eye. "But I never measured up, was never as good, never as smart and never enough."
"You know that's not true..." she began.
He shook his head, frustrated. Why was he expecting her to understand?
"Listen. Never mind. You did what Mom asked you to do. Your job here's done." He reached for the handle on the door.
She yanked on his shirt again. "No, wait!"
He tried to shrug her off but she held on.
"Dammit, Brett! Stop it, will you?"
In their struggle, the shirt ripped and she was left holding on to nothing as he escaped. She turned around and scrabbled to open her own door.
"What the fuck did you do that for?"
Brett's face was turned around on his neck, trying to look over his shoulder at the tear on his shirt.
"God, I'm sorry. I didn't know it would tear like that. I'm sorry!"
Jody went around the car just as Brett shrugged out of the ruined shirt.
The rip was big enough to put a hand through. Brett held it up to his face and looked through it at Jody, a wry look on his face.
"Look, I'm sorry," she said, sheepish. "I didn't mean to."
He shrugged thin, t-shirted shoulders. "I know. It doesn't matter. It's not like this was my last shirt or anything." Balling up the shirt, he threw it into her car. "Throw it away, will you?"
He started walking away from the parking lot to the little path among the brush leading to the beach.
"Brett, wait! Where are you going?"
He whirled around, a nasty look on his face. "Why? What's it to you?"
"Don't you have school?" she persisted.
"Oh, God. Look, Jody, leave me alone. I'm not you, okay?"
"What does that mean?"
"It means I don't have this inbuilt need to go to school. I can miss a day if I want to."
That made her pause.
"But... is this the first school day you're missing? You were down with the flu back when I was here last and I know you didn't go..."
"What the fuck, Jody? How old am I? Do I need my elder sister's permission to miss school now? Will you write me a note then? Can I not even make up my mind about this? Am I that dumb?" His face was twisted with a mixture of frustration and defiance.
"I didn't mean it that way..."
"Yeah, you don't mean anything that way."
"Brett, I care for you..."
"Oh, just keep your lies to yourself."
"What the heck? Why do you make it so hard to talk to you, Brett? Why does it have to be so much... work?"
The last word was whispered, like it was coming out after she had already given up trying to do the work. How typical, he thought. Just like everyone else.
"You don't have to work at trying to talk to me anymore. Just leave me alone, Jody. That's all I want. That's clear enough, isn't it? Please, just go."
Brett turned and walked away.
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A teardrop slipped out of his eye, snaking down the side of his nose, coming to hang for a beat just at the end and then dripping down on his pants into the dark patch already there from earlier tears. Brett sat with his legs drawn up, arms on his knees and his forehead on his hands, staring down at nothing in particular.
He wasn't crying. He didn't cry. It was just his body coming down from the high emotions of the confrontation. He felt drained, like his skin could hardly hold all of him together. If he just relaxed his arms a bit, he would pool down to the ground, a shapeless mess of bones and mass and skin and air.
Jody's face at the end there troubled him. She had looked sad and defeated. Like he had let her down. But more than that, like he had hurt her.
But it hadn't been like that, had it? It was her own fault for coming too close. He had tried pushing everyone away, and most of all, her. God, he had tried. But he failed. Again and again and again. He always failed. He always fucked it up. He could never be what they wanted, never live up to their expectations, never give them happiness. He was a fuck up and they would be fucked up if too the longer he was in their lives.
Most of all Jody. He needed to put distance between them. He knew he had hurt her just now. He should never have said that she was lying. Maybe Jody did care for him in some sort of way. She cared for everyone else, so why not him? He was her brother after all. She'd definitely miss him if he wasn't there.
Maybe she wouldn't though.
He chuckled to himself humorlessly. Maybe that was the solution. Maybe he should just kill himself and put everyone out of their misery. They shot rabid dogs, didn't they? He was just as infectious, spreading his wretchedness to every life he touched. Even Selena last year had left him. His first girlfriend, and she had ditched him within a few months of their starting to date. But then, good for her that she had detached herself from his worthlessness. In just half a year she had known him fully for the loser he was and gone looking elsewhere. How could he blame her? He should be happy she had been spared.
His family though, they could hardly kick him out. He was theirs and they were his by a stroke of fate and they all had to live with it. Well, unless he killed himself. But no, he couldn't even do that. He knew he couldn't. He had tried. When the time for the final deed had come, he had been afraid to kill himself. Fear of death, fear of retribution, fear of what was on the other side. He was such a coward.
A breathless sob escaped him as he bunched a fist and brought it down hard on his thigh, grinding his knuckles into the bone.
How fucked up would someone need to be if they couldn't even kill themselves?
He sighed. There was no point going on about this. Today's incident would soon be forgotten. It was a common enough thing -- 'Brett always acted out.' His family was used to it by now. Jody would get over it quickly enough so there was no use torturing himself for what he had done.
But her face still haunted him. He hated himself for making her feel that way.
He always wanted to think of her smiling. Jody. Shining, with that faint halo around her head. His angel. Everyone's angel. Everyone that came into contact with her saw her genuineness of spirit. Family, friends, teachers, neighbors, everyone loved her. He loved her more than anyone else. And he would never tell her that.
Everything about her was beautiful -- her dark blue eyes, the round face framed by dark hair, her soft pink skin paling to a creamy white down her chest and stomach, but budding to a ruddy rose again below the dark patch....
Brett shook his head savagely to stop that train of thought from going any further. He had promised himself he would try not to go down that road. This was shameful, this kind of obsession. He knew that she meant the world to him and he worshiped her every quality, but to think about his sister that way? His hatred with himself took him over as he realized just why he couldn't let her come too close.
But he couldn't stop himself from looking. One last time then. He pulled out his phone and accessed his secret folder. Her pictures started to flood his screen one by one as he slid his thumb over the screen, over her face, her body, her breasts, her....
Heat flooded his face and pooled in the lower part of his abdomen. His cock came to life and twitched. He settled his left hand absentmindedly on it and started stroking himself through his clothes.
One by one, as each picture slid by, it showed his angel in pose after delicious pose. Spread on the bed wearing just panties. Looking into the camera with a naughty look on her face, the tops of her breasts just visible in the frame. Lying on the bed on her stomach, her naked bottom in the air. Sitting up, both hands holding her breasts, offering them to the camera. He flipped through, each one better than the next, finally coming to the last one of her moist pink privates spread open. That was how he thought of them, her privates, because anything else would be... shameful.