“My Pink and Black Heart” a short story
My adolescent years were the worst ones of my life but it’s strange. Lotsa people seem to want to go back there. I see old guys polishing their garaged classic cars. Listening to the song “Sleepwalker”. And see that they have this thing, a bizarre desire to continually revisit the time when one first became sexually mature. Maybe they had good times then, maybe they didn’t. But they still want to go back there. Like wanting to revisit a crime scene. My teenagerhood was a crime scene literally though.
I killed an intruder in our home. It turned into a straight up nutso media circus and my face was all over the national news and then some cheezeball crime show did a reenactment episode about it. The actress who played me was a lot prettier than me and had no zit scars. I just hid out in my room for a year because there were reporters around outside the house and they followed me to school. Only one person treated me normal during that time, he was the first person who didn’t make me feel like a freak and who I could actually talk about it with.
Here’s what happened: When I was a sophomore, someone broke into our house in the middle of the night. My mom wasn’t home (I just live with my mom. I never met my biological father.) Anyhow my mom was up north visiting her brother and my favorite uncle who’d just gotten diagnosed with diabetes type 2 and she was helping him throw out all the junk food in his house. I was sleeping in my room (I used to sleep in her bed when she was away cuz it’s giant but that night I’d passed out amongst a bunch of books in my own bed after studying for a Bio final). I woke up for some reason, I thought maybe I’d heard a noise.
I looked at the clock and it said 2:23 AM. I lay there for a moment and then I really did hear something. My adrenaline completely spiked because it was the sound of a person and they were upstairs. I heard doors closing. Someone had just opened and closed the spare bedroom door. Then I heard them open and close mom’s door.
For a second I froze in the bed like a frozen bunny. Then I don’t know something just turned in me. I got out of my bed very carefully so as not to upset the books and have them fall on the floor and make a noise. I had to hurry because I could hear him coming down the hall towards my room. Our house is old and has hardwood floors. It creaks a lot when you walk around. I didn’t even have time to grab something- the door was opening as soon as I had gotten to the side of it. All this happened in an instant. He opened the door and I leapt on him. I wasn’t positioned exactly on his back because he was sideways to me in the first place. I jumped onto his back and shoulder and he yelled and then crushed me against the doorjamb. It knocked the wind out of me and I heard something crack in my back. I was going to fall off him but before I did I reached up and dug my fingers into his eyes and hung on. I dug them in as hard as I could and moved them around so I could get past his eyelids and try to rip the balls out. I did get my fingers in their good. I felt the blood and he howled and staggered away from me. I looked around and grabbed my swimming championship trophy from the seventh grade which had a very heavy base with a sharp edge. He had whipped around by now and was lunging for me. I brought the trophy up and smashed it down on his head. He just stood there for a spilt second and then he fell to his knees. I hit him again with it and then he was on the ground. I hit him again and I hit him again and I straight up didn’t stop until his brains were in my hair.
In the movies, the girl always manages to get the attacker good once. Like enough to temporarily immobilize him. But then she just runs away screaming like a dumbass and he always manages to get up and grab her before she gets out of the house. I wasn’t going to let that happen. That’s what I told the cops when they arrived and I could finally talk. I had managed to call 911 and was just sitting on the bed in my room with the guy’s body when they got there. I couldn’t move my left arm or shoulder and I had thrown up. I don’t even remember the rest of that night. And I didn’t ever see the guys face it was too dark, I didn’t see it until they IDed him.
Thirty two year old white male Darren Plaister had a drivers license in his glove box in his truck parked a block from my house in front of our neighbors who have these giant hedges out front. He’d brought a black tactical backpack in with him and set it outside my bedroom door out in the hall. Inside it had duct tape, a plastic laundry line, and a heavy flashlight. They found microscopic amounts of vaginal and anal secretions and blood on the handle of the flashlight. He’d entered my room carrying a hunting knife with a blood gutter and dropped it on the floor during the struggle.
He worked in customer service for a software company the next town over. People at the office said he was a nice polite guy on the phone and in person. He had never been charged with any crime and they never were able to match the DNA on the flashlight with anybody’s, so he was posthumously charged with breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony. I saw his parents in court months later cuz in my state if you kill an intruder in self defense in your own home you still have to show up for a hearing and stuff.
His mom was crying and his dad looked really freaked out. Afterward his dad came up to me and said he was sorry. He was the same height as the intruder but he was nice and I felt compassion for him because he looked like he was in great pain. The mom didn’t say anything to me, she stayed in her chair. I didn’t know what to say to the dad so I just muttered I was sorry too. Which then gave me anxiety because I worried for a split second he was going to blame me for mutilating his son. The news was blaring it all over the place. And there were gag videos of it on the internet. People took scenes from movies where someone gets their head beat in and they took my head and put it on the actor’s head. Then they dubbed in some high pitched cheerleaders voice saying stupid shit. It was like this dumb meme and some of the videos had millions of hits.
It freaked me out really bad that everyone knew who I was and was collectively staring at me. I felt really self-conscious. Some scumbags in the media who just wanted to spew sensationalistic bullshit were saying that I was a psycho. On account of how wrecked Darren Plaister’s body was, like how one of his eyeballs was reported to have been hanging out of his head, dangling by its optic nerve. They went into really graphic detail. But most everyone thought I was an upstanding young American citizen defending her life and home blah blah or they just acted afraid or in awe of me. Either way I got treated like a freak among the denizens of my own age group.
I never had many friends anyway, I was a weirdo to begin with. I was shy with other kids and after the divorce when I was twelve I withdrew more. And then I became one of the unpopular skinny ratso kids in high school rattying around in old black hoodies and pajamas and straight up disfigurement level pizza face zits. I got them freshman year and was in a depression. They went away by the end of it though because I diagnosed myself with a milk allergy and stopped eating dairy. Actually, everyone is allergic to milk I learned.
Milk is a major cause of acne, and lots of other diseases but especially cancer. The countries that consume the most dairy also have the highest rates of cancer. Milk contains growth hormones which are designed to help a baby cow or other mammal grow. But when humans ingest milk, the extra growth hormones cause tumors to grow instead. There is enough growth hormone in organic milk for it to be bad, and then they add even more hormones to the factory farm cows that they treat so horribly. That’s the whole other part of this, how cruel factory farming is. It is so bad for the animals, and for the environment, and our health. But even organic milk is not good for us. And it’s cruel to make an animal lactate for years on end. It’s hard on their bodies and it’s physically uncomfortable.
Big dairy eaters also have the highest rates of osteoporosis. The truth is, you hardly get any calcium from milk, because the body has to actually burn its own reserves of calcium to break it down. Your bones actually get weaker if you ingest it. Dairy proteins are also potent allergens, this is why a lot of folks get bloated and all mucousy in the back of their throats after they drink it. You can ask any singer, they won’t touch milk before a performance.
The solution is to stop dairy. When I did my face finally cleared up. Anyhow to get back to the story, remember how I mentioned there was a person who treated me normal and was real kind? This person’s name was Nick. When I first met him the previous year I thought he seemed like a nice cute guy but assumed he’d never want to actually hang out with me. And then I didn’t think about him again for like a year. We hardly had any interactions. Once we began hanging out though, it didn’t take long for me to get really attached to him. I think the moment I knew I was in love with Nick was when he let me explain all the milk facts to him and he acted interested in them. He was asking questions about human growth hormone instead of what it was like to kill a guy. Of course he asked me that too but by the time he did I trusted him and didn’t mind.
Before he started coming over, we’d only spoken to each other a little bit in a freshman chemistry class a couple times. And we’d smiled at each other I guess. I couldn’t figure out if he was just being nice to me cuz he would’ve been nice to a deformed monster too or what and then it didn’t matter because the class was over and then it was the summer and then the whole freakshow thing happened and I became essentially a shut in.
But one day he actually came up to my house and rang the frickin doorbell and when my mom answered he introduced himself as my friend! She was just thrilled I had a visitor and came running up the stairs and banged on my door that a friend had come to see me. I acted all hermity and yelled through the door that I had no friends. And then I stiffened in fear. Who was it? Could it be some bitch I knew from school ten years ago and who wanted to be able to tell her friends she’d been to Jamie Madsen’s house?
But my mother sent this person up with some sandwiches and despite my anxiety I let him in! I guess I was lonely and also really getting bored with my own self. There’s only so much television you can absorb each day plus my homeschool homework was laughable and sad and I don’t even think they noticed if you did it or not. I wasn’t embarrassed to let a strange boy in my room because I keep it very neat and impersonal like a hotel room. You weren’t going to see anything gross in there like dirty underwear or stuffed animals.
This Nick was a handsome guy and after I let him in and shut the door behind him I regarded him like he was an alien specimen. He was about five ten and muscular in a lean way. He had nice light brown hair and symmetrical features and clear eyes and was still the same cute boy from school. He set all the food and stuff down on my desk and introduced himself as Nick, my old chemistry classmate. I asked him what he was doing here. He said he’d heard I’d turned into a recluse. And I was taken aback by his directness. I was unaccustomed to teenage boys being direct yet civil with me. Before all the stuff happened they just ignored me or occasionally asked what I had underneath my sweatshirt.
So I answered him directly and asked him how come he cared? We’d only talked a couple times. And he said that he thought it sucked I had to drop out of school. I just looked at him with a fishy look on my face, basically the kind of look you give someone when at first they sounded cool but have now switched to being full of shit. And then he said that he liked me and wished he’d said so last year.
I didn’t have anything say to that. I just was quiet. And then he asked if he could sit down and I said okay and he sat on the floor next to the bay window that opens up to a big sycamore tree and overlooks the backyard. And we just started talking. It was different than when we were in school. We made small talk for a while. He acted really comfortable with me, and it set me at ease. Just all natural and no one’s a weirdo, everyone here is completely OK and how’s homeschool homework going? I told him it was busy work.
He asked me if I was going to hide out in my room for the rest of high school and I said maybe. He said my room was pretty cool and I said thanks. I asked him how many brothers and sisters he had and he said he had a little sister in middle school. His parents were divorced too and he lived with his mom and stepdad, whom he said he really liked.
Then he asked how come I’d worn my pajamas to school every day. He laughed and said it was funny because I was wearing them right now too. I got embarrassed because I was aware he was looking at my body through the flannel. Then he said you know, I think what you did was really brave and I don’t think it should be a big deal beyond that.
I didn’t say anything about that and just asked if he wanted to watch TV and he said sure and we spent the next hour and a half doing that. It was decidedly strange because we didn’t say much. It was far from relaxing because my stomach was so nervous with acid butterflies on account of him being cute but I had already talked so much more to him than I had to anyone in the last year that I was happy and relieved he was cool with just watching tv.
I told him he could have clicker control if he wanted and he sat on the floor and I sat on the window seat and we both watched some cartoons and shit like that. He got up to take a pee once and I did too and I got him a drink of water and some for me and that was that. When it was dark outside he said he had to get home and I asked him how he got here and he said he drove. And then he asked if he could come over the next day and I said sure.
And he did come over the next day! My mother looked at me with her eyebrows raised and I just ushered him quickly up the stairs. That second visit he couldn’t stay long cuz he had to work and then he asked if he could come back later that night and I said I wasn’t sure if the mom was going to be hovering around in the hallway if he did that and he said he could just sneak in by climbing up the tree outside and turn it into a cinematic entryway through my bedroom window.
“You sure you could do that?” I asked because its actually a good three feet from the window ledge and he said no sweat. (And in case you’re wondering, that wasn’t how the perp got in. He jimmied the lock of the back door which opens into the kitchen and got in that way). So anyhow Nick came back that night. This time I gave him some dinner leftovers and we talked about what we were going to do after high school. And he asked if he could have a glass of milk and that’s when I told him why that was a bad idea and he truly really listened. I think he still wanted some but he was really reverent about whatever information I had to convey.
And I listened to him too. Nick didn’t say much so when he talked I really paid attention. He told me how his parents didn’t have much money and he helped them out working at a garage as an apprentice mechanic. That was how come he had a car, he and his cousin worked on it together. He said he and his cousin had plans to open up their own auto repair shop specializing in electric vehicles. I said I thought that was really cool. He asked me what I was going to do and I said I didn’t know. “Do you think you’ll come back to school? Or just go straight to college?” he asked. “You’re really smart.” I told him thank you but that I thought college kinda sounded like a corporate scam. He laughed. I didn’t say anything else. I didn’t want to talk about school or the future anymore. Finally he changed the subject and asked me if I liked dogs. I said I really did and when I got my own place I wanted to adopt a big one (couldn’t have one now because my mom was allergic).
Nick said he had a dog, a girl dog named Lucy and she was old now but he loved her and she slept in the bed with him. He said she picked up her own toys and put them back in a wicker basket when she was done playing with them. I thought that was really cute. Then we didn’t say anything for a little bit. Then Nick made a move and we ended up having sex. He just reached over and put his hand on my shoulder and I leaned in and we started making out. And then we dry humped for a while and it was delicious feeling his hardon digging into my pelvis. Then I got the condoms out of the sock drawer, and we did it a bunch of times.
We were quiet because my mom was home but we didn’t have to be ultra silent cuz she was watching tv in the den which is on the other side of the house and she turns the volume up very high. I also put some music on kinda loud. Me and Nick fucked for hours. He ate me out and I gave him a blow job and I don’t ever spit I always swallow- it’s mean to spit. Some cum does taste gross but his didn’t, because he’s strong and healthy and doesn’t eat a lot of garbage food. He made me come the first time we did it and I was surprised because it had taken way longer to happen with the other guy I’d done it with. I guess I just felt comfortable with him. And I was so grateful, it was like getting to order a cock pizza and have it delivered right to your door. I’m sorry that’s kind of a jock thing to say but I had never expected I’d have sex while I was a recluse!
“I’m so happy you’ve been visiting me” I told him. He said he really liked me. And from then every night he’d climb up the tree, jump from the branch through the window like a spider monkey, and then we’d hang out and talk and do it. My room has its own bathroom and there’s a bathtub in it. This room used to be the master bedroom of the house, but in the seventies the previous owners added another master bedroom down the hall.
I loved that I had my own bathroom. Before, me and my mom we lived in a tiny apartment with one bathroom. My mom is a nurse and she’s excellent at her job but it doesn’t pay awesome. What happened was one her friends pretty much gave her this house. They’d inherited it from a distant family member and for tax purposes they decided they wanted to get rid of it and help my mom at the same time. It’s got some quirks and needs a lot of work but it’s still a really neat old house. And it’s ours.
I thought that after the break in I wasn’t going to want to live here anymore but I never got those feelings. It didn’t even feel weird that I was fucking Nick in the same place that a year ago had been covered with blood. What I did still have was some nightmares though, and some jumpiness. I slept with the lights on and when the house creaked I got stressed out sometimes. I hadn’t told anybody this not anybody because I was embarrassed. But I told Nick.
We were taking a bath together in the big old clawfoot tub. I liked leaning against his chest feeling his dick against my ass and he would touch me from behind. Oh my god he was sexy! We tried doing it in the tub one time but the water sloshed all over the sides and I slipped and hit my chin so instead we were just hanging out in there, listening to Elvis. He’s one of my favorites.
We were listening to him sing “Blue Moon” which is an awesome kinda creepy version. I told Nick I loved Elvis. And he said “Yeah?” I said “Yeah. Did you know Elvis’s favorite colors were pink and black?” “That’s cool” he said. I said “Yeah they’re mine too.” Then we were quiet listening to the song.
We’d been hanging out for three months by then. He told me some private stuff, like that got anxiety sometimes. About money and stuff. Worried about his folks. He said sometimes he felt like he wasn’t going to be good enough, accomplish what he needed to accomplish. I told him he was really smart and strong and could do anything. I meant it. All that was true. I could feel him smiling behind my head.
In light of him telling me private stuff like this I felt comfortable enough to tell him I still had some nightmares. Nick was turning the hot water spigot on and letting some cold water out and then he stopped. “What happens in them?” he asked. I said “I just know he’s in the house or whatever and then I wake up.” He was quiet. I squirted some water out of my palms. And then I shifted over to the other end of the tub so we were facing each other and our knees were sticking out.
“And I have ones where I’m sitting at school in class and I can see the reporter vans parked outside and then I’m back in my room but it’s all brightly lit, its so bright I can’t even see and it’s not my room. I just mostly feel like everyone is looking at me at school” I said. “I know” said Nick. “They probably are. But if you came every day and they just kept seeing you eventually they’d get bored and not care anymore” he said.
“Huh” I said. But that actually hadn’t occurred to me that they probably would get bored after a little while and not care at all anymore.
“You know some slimey publishers approached me and want me to write some teenbop true crime book” I told him. “I told them no because that seemed cheezer and really invasive. I didn’t want strangers knowing anything about me.” Nick didn’t say anything. “And you know,” I said, “it is true, his eyeball was dangling by its ocular nerve” “So?” he said, “That fuck deserved it. I would’ve ripped his face off too.” And he got his angry jaw line. Nick would’ve too. He’s been in a lot of fights and he won them.
What I liked about Nick was he really didn’t think I was a weirdo. It was like he had a life so much bigger than all the other chodes. He wasn’t all fascinated by the lurid aspect. Nick really helped me chill out.
So get this. I went back to school the next year. And I took the book deal. I decided to on the condition that I could write whatever I wanted in it. They agreed and me and my mom got a 60,000 dollar advance. And I wrote about milk allergies and acne and I was really happy to do so because I hoped a lot of teenagers would read the book and then they’d know all they had to do was get off dairy and their pizza faces would improve.
I even wrote about reincarnation and karma. I’d read some things about that stuff and I thought it made sense. I put this whole metaphysical section in my book. This one brilliant spiritual teacher said “A being is the sum of it’s incarnations”. I did more research into what that could mean and found all kinds of stuff, like that there are souls have a lot of empathy and wisdom and skills because they’ve had many incarnations to develop this stuff, they’ve gone through a lot more karma than a less experienced soul. I looked up what “karma” meant and basically it’s cause and effect. Whatever you do comes back to you, and it’s not the Universe’s sick idea of revenge, it’s just a teaching tool. It’s how people learn lessons. And the people that do the most fucked up shit are going to have pay some serious karma and, as a result, they will evolve too.
I wasn’t sure if anyone was going to read all this and I decided who cares, I might as well write about the stuff I’d want to read and maybe someone else will too. I entitled the book “My Pink and Black Heart”, as a nod to Elvis.
I am all healed now. I can honestly say what happened isn’t a big deal now. No one knows who I am and even if they did they wouldn’t give a damn. I’m not so isolated anymore. I actually have a couple friends. I’m in pre med and have so much stuff to read but I am making time to teach myself how to meditate. It really helps with getting rid of fear and staying in the Now. I tried to give Nick some of the money from the book but he wouldn’t accept it. Good things have been happening for him too. He’s not an apprentice mechanic anymore and is starting to make good money. The owner of the garage asked him and his cousin to be partners and wants them to buy him out in the next couple of years.
And Nick and I are still dating. Last month he asked me to move in with him. He already had an apartment he picked out he wanted to show me. It’s kind of a funky loft space in a warehouse district but once we got inside I laughed. Right in the middle of the kitchen is a big old bath tub. It’s a good omen. We’re moving in in a few days. Being in the Now is sometimes really great.
Copyright © 2013 by Kim Campion
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