Many thanks to Angeline for proofreading and helping me edit this wonderful story and to -phreak and Mythical_ for their comments on the rough version. I hope everyone enjoys this. It's the first story I've managed to finish in over three years. Please read, enjoy and vote.
Kayley Jeffers was, for all intents and purposes, just your average American girl from a nice suburban town trying to make it through those rough young adult years in much the same way as any number of her peers. Namely she experimented with sex, drugs and alcohol while trying to hold down a job that at least paid the rent and her phone bill, kept her in decent clothes and allowed her car to remain legal and running well enough to get by. That way she wouldn't have to rely on her Mom and Dad anymore than necessary.
She was what she, and several more forward people, liked to call "cute." She was fairly short, and fairly skinny, but not quite skin and bones. She had a little bit of tummy and enough fat on her bottom that she constantly caught guys (and a fair share of girls) casting an approving glance her way. Her breasts were hardly spectacular, but they were more than adequate. Nice and perky, as a former boyfriend used to say.
She generally kept her black hair close to shoulder length, but generally tied it up in a short ponytail or whatever suited her mood. Her attire would generally be considered something like casual punk in the sense that she preferred her pink chucks to high heels and well-worn, nice-fitting jeans and a band t-shirt to a skirt or some sorority girl type outfit., but she was hardly a hipster. Cute and relaxed was good enough for her.
At the tender young age of 20 (almost 21) she was doing well so far, though not necessarily in the way she'd always imagined. She wasn't going to college trying to earn a degree in education like she'd always dreamed, but she was enrolled in the local community college, and she was slowly but surely earning a degree in accounting. She hoped that at the very least this would mean steady pay whenever she managed to finish her studies. She was taking some programming classes as back up, just in case.
She had a decent (if not wholly respectable) job working a solid 40 hours or so a week for a whopping 8 bucks an hour at the Short Stop, a local gas station/convenience/liquor store. Her job was slow enough that she could bring her homework and work on it between watching the pumps, stocking the cooler and talking with customers and Sara, her roommate and usual co-conspirator at slacking off at work and so much more.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Kayley was pretty damned happy with the direction of her life. It was hardly perfect, but, really, what is?
A few months ago, however, Kayley Jeffers was hardly what you'd call happy. In fact, she was miserable and it just seemed to get worse and worse.
She lived in a dump with an asshole boyfriend who drank, smoked weed, snorted coke and was more often than not gone "working" or "staying at a friend's house" or whatever new excuse he could manufacture to cover up the fact that he was fucking around on Kayley, and spending as much of her hard earned money as possible in the process. When he was doing any of that, he was generally thinking up new ways to belittle her in front of friends and family, all while expecting her to still fuck him, feed him and keep him in clean clothes and all the other "girl shit" as he liked to call anything that actually required effort
In short, he was the very epitome of a bad boyfriend. Why she stayed with him was honestly beyond even her. Every day she woke up next to his smell and promised herself she'd move out, get her own place and be an independent person, strong and powerful, but of course, she never did for various reasons some sound in their own way, but mostly the sad excuses of someone too scared to realize how shitty her situation really was.
About the only thing left that was any good in any way was the sex, but, honestly, that was so rare at this point that it was almost a non-issue. It also wasn't really all that good anymore, either. Just long and rough. No softness, no concentration, no feeling. She rarely came anymore unless she fingered herself while he fucked her.
Early on in their relationship it had been very different. Back then, a whole six months ago, Andy had actually cared. Now, though Kayley hated to admit it, he quite simply did not.
The what and the why behind the change were beyond her. All she knew was that it hurt to even think about it, so she didn't. At least she tried not to anyway. The weed and what other drugs she could keep and hide from Andy helped a little.
Not much, but a little.
Luckily she at least had a decent job. Lot's of tips and hours long enough to keep her out of the house and away from her broken, dying relationship made up for the fact that her boss was a complete ass who staffed the place with cute, young girls like her for two reasons: first, he could push them around and second, if they ever bitched about him taking their tips for imaginary offenses, changing their shifts on a whim and rarely saying anything until the very last possible minute or just being a general ass, they could be easily replaced by the next piece of moderately intelligent eye candy that walked through the door asking for an application. Also, in a small college town like Leslie moderately intelligent eye candy was a dime a dozen.
That was actually how Kayley got the job in the first place. In fact, she didn't have to fill out an application. Paul, the asshole in question, just looked her up in down, asked if she was legal to serve alcohol, (she was), if she had any experience (she did, kind of: she'd bussed tables for a couple of months the previous summer) and if she wouldn't mind starting tomorrow (she didn't).
He had then told her to wait a second while he went into the kitchen. About a minute later she heard what sounded like a plate hitting something metal and shattering quickly followed by the sounds of a man and a girl screaming at each other for a minute before a girl maybe a little older, maybe a little younger than Kayley's 20 years, but not by much either way walked quickly from the kitchen muttering curses and wiping tears and mascara from her face before screaming "Fuck you, Paul! You fucking faggot asshole piece of shit" then slamming the door shut behind her so hard she actually cracked the glass.
After all that a smiling Paul calmly walked out of the kitchen told her to bring her identification and whatnot in the next day at noon and they'd start her training. A month of being broke and living off money she'd borrowed from her father and hid from Andy had ended. That was more than enough to make her forget all about the bizarre, almost surreal scene she'd just witnessed and just happy to finally have a job.
It didn't last long. In fact it took less than a week for Kayley to realize that what she had witnessed really should've been a sign that this wasn't the job for her. A night after that, however, she worked her first weekend shift and made more money in tips then she'd ever made in a week at any other job in her life and she endeavored to endure as best she could.
It wasn't easy, but she managed to last a solid five months in hell before the Sunday night that helped send her down a path she never imagined. After five months of near perfect work (a dropped plate here, a drink ordering mix-up there¾nothing big at all, really), she managed to mess up one entree for a three-top of a bad tippers who just happened to be made up of Paul's best friends from college.
It was so minor she barely allowed it to register in her brain as she quickly apologized and tried to make it right by comping the meal and even getting them a free round of drinks which she knew would be taken out of her tip for the night, but whatever it was a good night, no big deal and all three of them seemed more than happy to accept as an apology and even left her a pretty decent tip before they paid up and left.
She was so sure everything was cool that she even smiled as she watched them stop and have a word with Paul as he helped out at the bar while Linda took a smoke break. She didn't see the frown cross his face a second later because she was busy taking the order and politely listening to the jokes and weak attempts at flirting of a five-top of single guys who simply reeked of nerd.
She noticed that frown five minutes later when Paul caught her and another girl, Kinsey or something, in the kitchen and told a very pissed off Kinsey to take over Kayley's section for a minute so they could talk in the office. Kayley barely got "What the fuck, Paul," out of her mouth before she was stunned silent by Paul telling her simply to clock out and go home, because she was fired. Her services would no longer be required.
There was 15 good minutes of yelling and cursing followed by Kayley throwing someone's Cobb salad at Paul's head while he ducked back into the office before the fry cook and one of the waiters managed to get in between them and shuffled Kayley out the door before Paul called the cops. There was a little more yelling after that before they finally got Kayley into her car and on her way home.
When she reached home she sat in the car crying for a couple more minutes before gaining enough control to realize she was being ridiculous. She made a half-assed attempt to clean her face of teary mascara streaks with a tissue before getting out of her car hoping to God her boyfriend was home alone so she could just smoke a joint, cry on his shoulder, go to bed maybe after some angry sex and put the night behind her.
She didn't have much luck with that. As usual Andy was gone. No note, no anything. She tried calling him, but as usual she only got his voicemail. She refrained from leaving a voice mail knowing that would result in nothing. She'd learned a long time ago that if he didn't answer his phone there was a reason and it was never good.
Instead she just through her phone on the couch and went to get the smoke tray from the bedroom closet, grab the bottle of Ambien from the bathroom cupboard and the bottle of tequila from the freezer and drugged herself into a coma on the couch hoping to forget the last few hours and wake up to a better day 12 hours later.
She woke up the next morning around 11:58 still alone and incredibly groggy. She made an educated guess that Andy never came home, but the unmade bed and the reappearance of the smoke tray (minus half the weed) in the closet told her differently. Again no note, no message on her phone, no anything to inform her of his whereabouts. She would've been pissed if she cared, but frankly she just couldn't be bothered at the that particular moment in time.
She knew his schedule. Monday was not one of his days to work. Ever. He was either out using her drugs to make friends with some other jackass loser or using her drugs to score himself some pussy on the side. Whatever. Fuck him.
Kayley just rolled herself another joint, smoked it and spent the rest of the day moping about the house ignoring her phone while she felt sorry for herself until Andy wandered in around seven and asked her bluntly "What the fuck are you doing here? Aren't supposed to be at work?"
That comment led to a half hour fight about how she could stupid enough to get fired and where the fuck Andy had been all day that ended when Andy called her a paranoid fucking cunt and stormed out the door only to reappear two hours later once he realized he had nowhere else to go.
Not that he said that, of course. No, he was all false apologies and lovey dovey horse shit. And of course Kayley let him back in and they had sub-par session of emotionless make-up sex and they pretended that everything was okay for a couple more days.
Well, not quite that long, really. The cycle kept getting shorter and shorter. By the next morning he was already back to his old ways of not coming home until he felt like it and not answering his phone until the same.
Sometimes she wondered why she didn't just go back home, swallow her pride and tell her mom she was right and it was a mistake, Andy was no good, she should've stayed in school, et cetera. The thought of her mother gloating and treating her like a twelve-year-old for the rest of her natural born life was usually more than enough to quiet those thoughts.
Not that she had any allusions that this was anything close to a permanent situation. Far from it. That was actually what disappointed her the most about losing her job. She had just reached the point where she could seriously consider kicking Andy out without going broke and starving just trying to make rent. She'd even been out looking at apartments for herself lately thinking maybe she could just pack her stuff while Andy was working and disappear into the night.
Whatever worked. She really didn't care. She just wanted it to be over at some point one way or another. The repetitive nature of the fight, fuck, ignore each other ending phase of the relationship was wearing her thin. It simply had to end one way or another and soon or she'd simply snap.
Over the next few days the feelings were strongly reinforced by Andy's complete lack of sympathy for her plight. His only concern was for the sudden lack of money for smoke and coke. Everything else meant nothing to him. She eventually had to hide her bank card from him and think of some new places to stash her drugs so he wouldn't rob her blind while she looked for work.
Luckily that didn't take long. Sadly, it wasn't exactly what she was hoping for. At least not at the time.
She'd actually only put in an application at the Short Stop on a whim, kind of as a safety in case she couldn't get another job as a waitress. As it turned out it was the only application she that got even a nibble on a job.
Of the 10 restaurants she'd applied to absolutely none of them were hiring for anything but cook or dishwasher, and while she was hardly vain she couldn't imagine herself doing either. One was just way to stressful, and dishwashing? That simply was not going to happen as long as she had a single shred of her self respect still intact. Even being a clerk at crappy convenience store was better than coming home wet and disgusting smelling like grease and old food while getting paid minimum wage and being treated like shit by everyone else who worked there.
Still, working at convenience store was not exactly what she was hoping for either, but the owner seemed nice enough. Her interview was more a friendly meeting to get to know her than a job interview. Mr. Reyes was a nice, goofy old dude with a bright and calming demeanor who seemed more concerned with why Kayley wasn't smiling than by her lack of references and experience in the party store biz. He even managed to make her laugh with his casual, non-flirtatious charm. She hadn't laughed sober in months.
In less than 15 minutes found herself going home with a smile and a job. Simple as that. She started next week on Monday, 3:30pm. She didn't even have to take a piss test. At worst it would be a decent source of rent and smoke money until she could get something better.
She was actually quite happy about the whole thing and was all set to share her joy with Andy when she pulled in the driveway of their place and saw his car very much not there and the smile left her mind. The bastard had ditched her. Again.
The night before, in a pretty uncharacteristic act of kindness, Andy had actually apologized for his overall lack of sympathy and selfish attitude since Kayley had lost her job and had promised, again contrary to his recent attitude towards her and their shaky relationship, that after her interview he was going to take her out to dinner and then have a quiet evening at home getting fucked up and fucking like rabbits in heat.
Something inside her at the time had told her it was all bullshit. After all, it came right after a long argument about his decision to "spend the night at a friends house" the night before, but frankly she had been tired and at that point they'd been yelling at each other for nearly two hours, so she gave in.
Then they had fucked and for the first time in a couple months the bastard had actually done more than just use her as a wet hole to blow his load in. It was amazing. It had actually reminded her of why they first got together. It was almost enough to make her forget why she often wished he'd just go away.
She tried not to freak out right away and instead grabbed her cell and called him. When it kicked right to his voicemail she quickly slammed her phone shut, cursed under her breath and then slowly made her way out of her car and into their apartment. Over the next two hours she called him three times and never got even a single ring from his phone. Just three straight kicks to voice mail. After that she gave up.
An hour later she was adrift in a deep, narcotic sleep. It was only seven at night, but frankly it didn't matter. Asleep and unaware was better than awake, angry and depressed.
Andy showed the next day, as usual, and immediately picked a fight with her. Kayley took the bait somewhat begrudgingly if only to help the cycle along its way. These shouting matches were pretty much the only way they communicated anymore aside from the hate fucking that generally followed after he pushed her a couple times and she threw some things at his head.
It was boring game, but frankly it was all they had. Fight, apologize, fuck, betray, repeat. Over and over and over again, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum, ad infinitum. Mindless repetition at its worst.
And, of course, that's how it went. Kayley gave in eventually after what seemed liked hours of tiring arguing. Andy left only to come back a few hours later to apologize and once again she let him have his way, but this time she didn't care if she came. She just waited it out and went through the motions until the bastard came inside her and rolled off of her to fall asleep while she got up to wash away his stink. She didn't even bother getting herself off. Frankly, she just wasn't in the mood.
When Andy woke up he made his usual promises to make it all up to her before making up some excuse to get out the door and go do whatever (or whoever) he did when he was out. He "promised" to be back soon and Kayley did her best to pretend to believe him, then went back to watching the L-word and wishing she could be like that. No men and all the baggage that went with them
Actually, she was, in a way. Before Andy, and immediately after her high school boyfriend Carlos had left for college with the promise of maintaining their relationship even though they'd be three states apart (only to renege his commitment less a month later), she did have a brief relationship of sorts with her then best friend Maddie.
It all started one night after a party after Carlos had called to blow her off. By what turned out to be a happy coincidence, Maddie's boyfriend had done pretty much the same thing by fucking Maddie's step-sister at another party a few days before. Both girls had dates with some local frat boys who turned out to be walking dicks with entitlement complexes and they both decided pretty much at the same time to dump the guys and split.
Somehow Maddie had managed to drive back to the apartment they shared at the time even though they'd both had had more than their share to drink that night. So much in fact, that Kayley still had a hard time remembering exactly how everything went down after that. All she really remembered was rolling a blunt while Maddie grabbed a bottle of tequila she'd previously talked her step-dad into buying for her, and while they smoked and drank they bitched semi-incoherently about guys and then one of them( she thought it was Maddie, but Maddie always swore up and down it was her) mentioned that wouldn't it be great if they could be dykes or muff divers or some other unflattering term, and somehow one thing led to another. The next day they found themselves hung-over and naked in the same bed, heads still between each other's legs.