Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes
They drove down Grant’s Lorry Road, fast enough they took that bump at speeds that sent their stomach’s dropping. Casey huffed and ground the pedal down further when they turned down Old Sycamore Road, the canopy above their heads barren, clawing, like dying dryads, and the road slick and overrun with icy water in the worst of places.
Chilly wind whipped in through the millimeter gaps where the rubber pulled off the windows and Casey’s iPod sang glory rock through crackly speakers.
“She’s nothing but a cow. Been handed through every guy on the varsity lacrosse team and some of the JV as well. Can’t believe he’d let a slut like that catch his eye. Idiot never could keep his liquor.”
“You’re not really mad at Evelyn,” murmured Brendon, but he stopped short of defending her. He should have, he realized later, but fear kept his filters up and his throat closed down.
“She’s not worthy of me being mad at her,” Casey agreed. “Fucking Robbie though.”
“Why’s it matter?”
“Because he looks down his nose at us, like we’re nothing but dirt.”
“Have you talked to him?”
“Why the fuck would I talk to him? He’s beyond talking to. Beyond anything. All he wants is his rich little posse and girls with trust funds the size of my Dad’s beer stash. Bet that’s why he slept with her. Thought to get invited on her next ski trip like some fake yuppie wannabe.”
“So it’s not that he slept with her…”
“What? No. It’s cause of…everything else.”
Then Casey turned up the radio and sped them through a turn that sent them skidding across the street and tearing against their seat belts. Brendon grasped for the door. Mud splattered across the windows in a sheet of pock-marked splatter. They ground to a halt, the back end dipped and threatening to lurch into the ditch.
The old wipers skidded across the windshield, a bit of rubber trailing off the tips.
With a white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel, Casey huffed, groaned and set his forehead resting against his fingers. Outside, the slush came down again, gently at first, sploshes against the mud, then more viciously, smacking, exploding, the sounds of their bombardment hiding the vague whimpers escaping Casey’s throat.
“You know,” whispered Brendon. “You can’t let him get to you like this forever. You’re giving him a lot of power over how you feel. And…” He looked out the window to watch the mud drip and the pines shiver. “And there’s some of us who’d never hurt you like that.”
Casey reached out, fingers plucking at the edges of Brendon’s sleeve.
Next Chapter Coming May 5th!