It’s Thursday…you know what that means…NEW chapters for THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING.
You can download the new chapters here: The Girl Who Would Be King Chapters 9 – 12
Or just read below.
If you want the entire story thus far, head over to THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING page and download or read directly from the site.
I grow tall. I’m six feet when I pack my single duffel bag and walk to the front desk to sign out on the morning of my eighteenth birthday. It’s Peg who hands me the pen to sign myself out. She’s worked here since I was about nine and as I sign the papers she says “Goodbye Bonnie” in the funny way that people who know that you won’t or can’t answer back always say things.
“Goodbye Peg,” I say simply, handing the pen back to her politely. Her mouth drops open like a fish.
“You? You…you can talk?” she stammers.
“Of course I can talk,” I say, smiling and picking up my bag. “I could always talk.”
Peg stands up and calls to one of the others on staff and then looks back at me. “Why…why didn’t you ever say anything?” she asks, clearly baffled. I shrug.
“I didn’t have anything to say,” I shrug walking out the front door without looking back. I can hear her talking animatedly with other staff even once I’m outside. I hadn’t meant to shock them, but it feels kind of nice. I like being underestimated. There’s some power in keeping what you can really do to yourself. I’ll have to remember it.
Being free of the home is a beautiful thing. I hadn’t expected how much I would enjoy being outside those walls and fences, and I promise myself never to go back, there or anywhere else where I’m not allowed to just open the door and walk out as I please.
I could have run away years ago I realize, standing there on the brown grass outside the gates, but it hadn’t occurred to me. Despite myself, I seem to have some very clear lines drawn in my head about what I am and am not supposed to do. I’m still not sure where I get these ideas. Sometimes I fantasize that they come from my mother, but I was so little when she died that it seems impossible. I still feel she has some connection to it, but when I really look at how the lines feel in my head they feel as if they were drawn there when I was being built. When I was growing eyes and teeth and little fingers, like while my brain was shaping itself these lines just laid down and took root. I like the lines though; they make me feel more comfortable about some things that I think are still going to come in my life. I breathe in deeply the fresh free air and look around.
I have no idea where to go or how to do anything, but somehow it’s all okay, and there’s only one thing I want to do anyway. It’s the only thing I’ve wanted to do for twelve years. Find Jasper.
It’s funny how quickly I become a part of them. I meld into them, folding myself perfectly into the space they have provided. It’s nice. There are problems too, but in general it’s nice. It’s not like having a parent because mostly I get to make my own rules, but it’s a bit like what I imagine having a whole mess of brothers and a sister would be like. They’re annoying a lot of the time, but it’s a comfortable annoying. And it’s good to know someone has my back; that someone gives a crap what I’m up to.
And then of course there’s Adrian, which is a whole different kind of nice.
I make him wait longer than he’s probably ever had to wait for a girl. With that smile, I doubt he usually waits too long. But I’m still worried about getting played, still anxious about what he might take from me when I’m not looking. And if I’m real honest, I’m nervous about having sex for the first time. I can do so much that is seems like it shouldn’t be a big deal – but it is – it feels like everything will be different after, like, I will be different after.
And so I hold out as long as I can.
By the time we get to it I’m itching for him in parts of me I never even knew existed. In the end part of what helps me wait is my fear. Having never had sex before I don’t know what to do, probably like any virgin, but more importantly, as we draw closer to it, I grow more and more concerned that I’ll accidentally hurt him. Sometimes I catch myself not knowing my own strength, or not being able to focus it and so I wonder what happens if I finally give in to him and let go. For weeks before we actually do it I have terrible dreams about my fist going right through his abdomen or throat by accident. And then he’s bleeding all over me, parts of him in my powerful hands, light going out of his eyes, the word ‘why’ just hanging on his perfect lips. I wake up nearly in screams for weeks.
It’s one of these dreams that gets us started actually. We’ve fallen asleep in my motel bed watching movies and eating Chinese food and I shoot up out of bed, breathing hard, the image of Adrian’s blood and broken bones covering my hands, still stuck to the back of my freaking eyelids. Adrian reaches out for me sleepily.
“What’s wrong baby?”
“Hhhhh,” I breathe, wordless. He wakes up a little more and puts his hand on my sweaty back. My damp t-shirt makes him alert.
“You okay Lo?”
“Hhh. Yeah,” I say, still trying to catch my breath. Keeping my eyes open wide so as not to see the images plastered to them when they close. He pulls me toward him, in spite of my sticky skin and rolls me into him like sand filling a shell. Before I even realize it we’re kissing and pieces of clothing are falling away and in moments his skin matches mine in sticky sweetness. He’s inside me almost flawlessly, not like I’ve imagined; awkward and strange, foreign and obvious. There’s a pinch of pain, but mostly it’s like sticks of butter melting into each other rather than a stick of butter being stabbed with a knife as I’ve kind of been picturing. I can’t help but feel like it’s this way because he’s who he is and I’m who I am…that maybe it’s like the butter and knife when it’s not the right person. It seems like a silly idea, but soon I can’t think about anything, even sticks of butter melting into each other.
We lie together after, curled into one another, with no covers on. He’s sleeping, breathing softly into my hair in a steady rhythm and for some reason all I can think about is Delia. About what her life had been like when she was my age. I’m wishing hard now that I had asked her some things before I killed her. Wishing I at least asked who my father is or was, and if she’d loved him the way I love Adrian. Hopelessly, desperately, almost violently.
I wonder afterwards if that’s how it is for every girl, super powered or otherwise.
Thinking about how much I love Adrian ends up confusing the hell out of me though. I’ve been me long enough to know that there’s something wrong with me. I mean, assuming that bad equals wrong, or that wrong equals bad, or whatever, then am I bad or wrong or both? And most of the time I think I’m honestly okay with that, whatever the answer is. I don’t really feel I have a choice about it, like maybe Delia couldn’t help it either. That we just are the way we are, deep down in our blood, and no amount of feeling bad about stuff or trying to be different can change it, like it’s a disease that never goes away, like Aveline said in her letter. But I don’t understand how love goes along with all the other things I feel most the time. It makes the feelings I have for Adrian seem like an alien inside of me. Like a creature not welcome on an alien planet. Does the fact that I feel like I’m betraying some ancient part of myself by having tender feelings for him mean something?
Usually I can block all this out. Push it from my mind. Except when things are like this, like…happy. It’s feeling happy that does it I guess. Feeling happy is the trigger. It feels wrong inside to feel happy.
I feel like I get a raw deal sometimes. Superpowers or not, a person should be allowed to be simply happy, without feeling like it needs to strip off its skin
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