An Adult Conversation

by JD Mayrant

This is your fault.

Immediately I chastise myself. Thats no way to begin an adult conversation. If Im being truthful, thats all Ive asked forall Ive really wanted. An honest, adult conversation between me and my Johnny.

My one good foot feels like lead and it presses all the way down on the accelerator, propelling the Charger faster down the nearly empty highway. Absently I rub my rapidly numbing left leg. I should be feeling some pain from the blood pouring from the wound in my thigh, but I dont feel anything but the need to have this conversation out between me and Johnny. Bet you never thought this was how your night was going to end, huh, Johnny Baby?

I dont know why I bother speaking. Like always, Johnny ignores me, his lips slightly parted, his gray eyes wide open. As usual, its as if hes actively trying not to see whats directly in front of himor in this case, beside him. Still, I apologize before taking a much-needed drink from the IPA in the cup holder. I dont know why I said that, Johnny Baby. We both know the truth. This was me. I pause and take another pull from the bottle. No. I refuse to take all of the blame and I look over at him. This was you, too. This was the both of us, Johnny Baby.

Glancing down at Johnnys bruised and bloodied knuckles, I drain the bottle before tossing the empty out of the open window. The action causes the Charger to swerve across three lanes of road before I can straighten her out again. Johnnys body jerks to the side, his head bouncing hard off the passenger side window before slumping back towards my direction. His seatbelt is the only thing keeping him from falling all the way over into my lap.

Swearing under my breath, I reach over to the glove compartment and yank it down. The plastic compartment bangs hard against Johnnys knees, but he doesnt protest. In fact, he doesnt say anything at all as I rummage around, my hand wrapping around a sterling silver cigarette case.

Did she taste like sunshine, Johnny Baby? I ask while lighting the tapped cigarette between my lips. Johnnys head is now practically on my shoulder, the grays of his eyes slowly glazing over to a murky white. His usually full lips are cracked and thin, stretched across his teeth. Because thats what you say I taste likesunshine. You said it was your favorite flavor.

Still, he says nothing, giving me the time to get everything off my chest. Its so unlike him. I go on. If it wasnt sunshine you were chasing, what was it, Johnny Baby? Why go to her when you have me? Im both frustrated and elated that he doesnt reply because for the first time, Im not interrupted. I get to say what I need to say without him distracting me with his words or his body or his fists.

I didnt want to be your girl at first. You know that, right, Johnny Baby? I smile at the memory, catching a glimpse of myself in the rearview mirror. I look away quickly, not recognizing the woman with the bruised eyes and broken nose and bloodied lips in the reflection. You pursued me, Johnny Baby. I smile despite how much it hurts. You chased me for months and I kept saying no because I knew you were still hooking up with that Foster girl.

I inhale and exhale deeply on the cigarette, the mixture of cocaine and nicotine racing through my blood at a blind pace, setting my heartbeat at an unnatural rhythm. The heady elixir brings me back to a few short hours ago, my fist banging against Melanie Fosters front door, screaming for Johnny to come out and talk to me.

The box cutter in my hand was more an afterthought. A necessary afterthought after being met at that Foster girls door with her pathetic ass .22. A tiny hole in my leg was nothing compared to the blade in my hand. I scared the shit out of her, I say to Johnny. You let that bitch shoot me and let me push my way into that fucking double-wide.

I bite my lip before taking another drag of the cigarette. You wanted that, didnt you, motherfucker? You wanted me to fight for you, right? A mirthless laugh escapes my lips. You got your fucking fight, didnt you, Johnny Baby?

No offense, but your friend was unnecessarily combative, Johnny. I take another drag and let the wind take away the ash, rather than fill the ashtray as I confront my unfaithful lover. I obviously didnt give two shits that she was your wife. She had nothing to do with us. I just wanted to talk, Johnny. To have an Honest. Fucking. Conversation.

More silence. Always silence when he doesnt feel like talking about the important shit. Frustrated, I snatch the bottle opener dangling from the rearview mirror and open my last bottle of beer.

I swear, dropping the cigarette between my legs, causing the car the swerve across the highway again as the bottle sprays the inside of the car. Sorry about that, I apologize, righting the car again, noting the needle on the speedometer has passed the 110 mph mark. Though restricted by his seatbelt, Johnny still crashes from side to side, the right side of his head cracking against the windshield, the thin layer of skin still connecting his head to his body finally snapping.

Like a broken Pez-Dispenser, my Johnnys head rolls off his neck, before bouncing off his shoulder and rolling onto my lap.

Johnnys head is surprisingly warm, the wetness from his congealing blood seeping into the center of the lap of my jeans. Fucking pervert, I swear, looking down at him before taking a long pull from the now half-filled IPA. Even dead you still find your way face down in my pussy.

Needing to take care of this mess I created, I ease off the gas pedal until Im flying just below the speed limit. The next exit provides four different options for gas stations. Its past three in the morning. Odds are that at least one, if not all of the stations should be relatively empty. I am in no mood to discuss my wounds nor explain the excess blood coating my clothing.

Were not done with this conversation, Johnny. I right his head so that hes once again looking at me. One way or the other Im going to learn why you were warming that bitchs bed instead of mine. I slow down even more and use my turn signal to merge off the highway onto the winding exit. The cargo in the trunk thumps heavily. Its the first time shes made noise since she's been in there. If you wont tell me, do you think Ill get it out of the Foster girl?

Johnny doesnt have time to respond. Red, white and blue lights sprout up behind me, blinding my eyesight in the rearview mirror.

You have got to be fucking kidding me, I mutter underneath my breath. Can you believe this shit, Johnny? I pull over to the shoulder, Johnnys wide eyes staring back at me, a smirk permanently etched onto his face, seemingly gleeful of my current predicament.

I run my fingers over Johnnys smoothly shaven scalp, before caressing the overgrown scruff on his chin. This isnt over, Johnny Baby. You and I are going to have this talk. His silence speaks volumes this time, telling me that hes ready. That hes open and receptive to giving me what I want.

An honest, adult conversation.

I run my hands across his cracked lips and smile back at him. Thats all Ive ever wanted.

A flashlight bangs against the base of my open window before a blinding light shines in my eyes, momentarily taking away my sight. Looking away quickly, my eyes readjust to the illuminated colors flooding the car.

License and registration, maam. The officers voice is booming but shaky all the same, as if this is his first time pulling someone over.

Having neither of his requirements, I shield my eyes and look up at the unconfident man dressed in police blues at my window.

And I laugh.

To be continued

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