River City Blues – Part VOct 5th, 2010 | By CL Bledsoe | Category: River City Blues, Series | 595 views
A Dog Chasing a Bone
Betsy also had a decent collection of books, and she would send me home with one every couple days and quiz me about them like I was in English class. But these weren’t the kinds of books we read in school. I’d heard of some of the authors, but hadn’t read them, Camus, Kafka, DH Lawrence. Not a lot happened in these books, but I started to realize it wasn’t about what happened, but how it happened.
“Are you feeling tired at all?” I’d ask. “Want to take a nap?”
She would respond with something cryptic, like, “All around me, I see vampires; can’t you tell I don’t have any more blood?” So we didn’t nap anymore after that first time.
Some days, I’d just sit with her while she drank and listened to music. Days like that, I felt like my heart was breaking. I stopped mowing lawns. I’d already saved up enough money for school clothes, anyway. I’d get up to leave in the evening, and she’d act like she’d just woken up, rush over to me and grab me up in a hug. She’d press against me and I’d hold her until we were both feeling sort of desperate. Sometimes, it would progress to a kiss. Sometimes, she’d let me take some of her clothes off and do things with my mouth. I didn’t really know what I was doing; that was another thing she taught me.
Every evening, when we got close, I’d leave feeling great, but the next morning, she’d be distant, angry. I got tired of it, and didn’t show up one day. She came to the door a little after noon. Miss Sandee came to get me; I’d been hanging out in my room.
“There’s a lady here looking for you,” she said.
I came out and there she was, stunning, sitting at the kitchen table drinking tea.
“I thought we had an appointment today for you to clean my pool, Adam,” she said. She handed me some money and I followed her out. She drove me over, quiet the whole way. When we got to the house, she sent me around back to the pool. I spent the whole afternoon cleaning it. Around 4, she took me home. She didn’t say more than two words to me until she pulled up to Dad’s house.
“I’ll expect you earlier tomorrow, Adam,” she said.
She didn’t really have much to say to me for a couple days after that. It started to feel like a real drag. I came early, cleaned or did some other task she came up with, and left. She had me cleaning parts of the house, which was fine because it gave me a chance to snoop. In her bedroom, I found a couple letters from her son, mostly asking for money. There were some legal looking papers from her husband that it took me a while to realize were about a divorce.
I had a good long think about that, and about the way things were going lately, and that evening, when Betsy said it was time to leave, I asked her if I could have a hug. She said yes, and when we embraced, I kissed her long and slow. I stripped her clothes and mine off, and I laid her down on the floor, there, in the living room, and started to make love to her, like we’d almost done so many times.
On the way home, I realized that I’d crossed this same ground probably a hundred times. I knew it, completely. When I got to the house, it looked like it had gotten older, drab. I ate dinner with dad and went to bed in my little room. I had the feeling, before I laid down, that I wouldn’t even fit into my bed, but I just barely did.
The next day, I got to her house early. I felt better than I had in a long time. I felt like something was going to change. I knocked on her door, but she didn’t answer. I wanted to talk to her, to see if things had changed between us, but I got the feeling that since she wasn’t answering the door, that meant no. I went around and cleaned the pool, which didn’t take long. The grass looked a little shaggy, so I mowed it. I killed the morning like that, waiting for her to show her face. I started getting a kind of sinking feeling in my stomach about halfway through the lawn, so when I finished, I went to the sliding glass patio doors and tried them. They were open, so I went in.
“Betsy?” I called.
She never answered, so I didn’t expect her to this time. It was just one of those things that you do. I looked around downstairs. The kitchen was a mess, so I cleaned it up and threw away the fruit that was rotting in the basket. I dumped just about everything out of the fridge. Betsy would refill it, later, with stuff that would sit and rot because she had no intentions of eating it; she just bought it because it pleased her to buy it. That’s how she was.
I went upstairs and knocked on her bedroom door. There was no answer, so I opened it. It was empty. The bed was made, which meant she probably hadn’t slept in it. I looked in all the other rooms, but they were empty. I came back to her bedroom to look for clues as to where she might be. I didn’t really see anything in there. There was a bathroom connected to the room, so I tried the door, thinking I would check to see if her toothbrush was gone which might mean she was on a trip. I pushed the door open and flicked on the light. The first thing I saw was blood on the floor. My eyes followed it to the bathtub, which was full. Betsy was in it, with reddish water up her breasts. Her eyes were closed. The water was still. One arm was dangled over the side with a gash cut up the wrist. That’s where the blood came from. On the tiled wall beside the tub, she’d written “I’m sorry Adam” in her blood.Help Support T21 with your Dollar Donation Today
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