Read Permanent Adhesives Online
Authors: Melissa T. Liban
Tags: #teen, #romance, #young adult, #alcholism, #coming of age, #friends
A novel by
Melissa T. Liban
Text copyright © 2013 by Melissa T. Liban
Cover design copyright © 2013 by Melissa T. Liban
Photograph copyright © Massonforstock
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This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons, places or events is just mere coincidence.
To my Fiction Writing II professor—the roots of this story started in her class.
I was sitting in the back of my English classroom, tapping my pencil on the desk, while my teacher who was a great beast of a woman, was droning on about something that was just white noise in the back of my brain. Few kids paid attention. Students were slouched down in their chairs, leaning on their arms, and balancing their chins on their pencils. She was killing us. Mrs. Gomez was her name. The fact that she was a Mrs. always made me shudder. Somebody was actually married to her. Besides her ability to comatose students and an unpleasant demeanor, she was built like a linebacker and perpetually wore khaki skirts that were always cinched too tight at the waist.
Due to my mind’s lack of interest on the subject being taught, I was working on the newest page of my webcomic. My heroine Sasha Santiago was in the middle of a battle with her arch nemesis Dranyan, who also happened to be her brother. I was tapping my pencil because I was trying to work out the proper perspective of a kicking pose; the tapping generally kept me focused somehow, but that day I was thrown off track because I noticed the sun was actually shining through the windows that lined the left side of the classroom. It had been a while since the sun made an appearance. Perhaps it came out just to greet us, even though probably for a short period of time. Fall in our city was usually on the dreary side. I studied the sun streaks that filtered in. Dust danced around in them, making the rays come alive. My eyes then followed along the paths the sun made on the worn, wood floor—totally abandoning the foreshortening issue I was contemplating.
One of the paths actually led me to a pair of Chuck clad feet standing in the doorway to the classroom. I glanced up and there stood a kid attached to said Chucks. He cautiously walked into the classroom holding the strap to his messenger bag. Mrs. Gomez didn’t acknowledge him. He nervously looked around and held out his hand which was holding a light-blue slip of paper. She turned and snapped it right from him. She looked at the piece of paper, then at him. I swear a scowl came across her face. “Go sit down,” Mrs. Gomez coldly demanded as she quickly turned her expansive back on him.
The kid scanned the classroom looking for an empty seat. His small, dark eyes darted back and forth, desperately trying to get away from what could have been one of the most unfriendly people ever. His eyes stopped, locked a chair into position, and he started heading for it. It was the row next to mine, two seats up. He walked with his shoulders hanging low, pointing towards the floor.
Mrs. Gomez walked to the podium in front of the class and looked down at her grade book. “What was your name again?” she asked, even though she probably just saw it on that slip of paper he handed her.
He continued on to his seat and mumbled something over his shoulder.
“I can’t hear a thing you are saying.”
“Ewiash Bickwah,” he said just over a whisper.
“Elias Bickler?” she asked.
I kept staring at him as he threw his bag on the ground and slumped down into his seat. His eyes caught my attention. Those dark eyes, where had I seen them before? Did I somehow know him from something? Another class, the bus stop, where? I started racking my brain, but nothing came up. I stared at his back, and as I stared at him, he wrapped his left arm around his waist and started gnawing on the nails to his right hand. He seemed very determined to rip and chew every one of them off.
I studied his profile. It would come to me, where I knew him from. Shaggy, dark-brown hair hung in his face. His nose had that crooked lump thing going on, like people who get their noses broken, but never properly set or whatever, and his lips were nice actually. I think they could have been categorized under sexy with the bottom one being kind of pouty. Where did I know those lips from? It was going to drive me crazy and then right in mid-stare he turned around and looked straight at me. I guess he felt my eyes burning into him. I could have done the look at something else real quick and whistle like I wasn’t staring, but I just kept looking and then BINGO! There it was! Holy crap, I knew I had seen him before. He was the Home Wrecker’s kid. Oh, my God, unfrickin believable, the Home Wrecker’s son was in my English class. What a small stinking world it was!
Wait, wait, I know. I need to back up for a minute. Who’s the Home Wrecker you ask? Who would ever have such a name? Well, she was my dad’s girlfriend. Let me do some explaining, so you can understand the exact point in my life I was at while sitting there staring at Elias Bickler. The previous school year my family used to live on the outskirts of the city, where it was still technically the city, but surrounded by suburbs, but anyways, my mom left my dad because he was an alcoholic and all around lousy human being. So she packed up my sister and I, and we moved across the city, well, just a matter of miles really. We moved into a one-bedroom apartment on the first floor of a building that looked like it used to be a house and not a very spectacularly kept one at that, but we could afford no more. My mom took a job working retail, and my sister Janie started going to college and continued working, and I started my junior year. So we’re leading our little lives and then all of a sudden we started seeing my dad around, at like Mount Holy Burger and on the bus and stuff. I always tried to keep a low profile, so he wouldn’t see me. Well, turns out, he was keeping house with this woman, Home Wrecker, and guess where they frickin lived? Pretty much right across the goddamn street from us! I mean it’s a really large city, what were the chances?
I’m sorry if I sound angry, but I kind of was. We didn’t know if it was just one hell of a coincidence or what, but dude, it really burst our bubbles. As a side note right here, so everybody knows, there’s an old woman trapped in me, and she intermittently gets loose and makes me say things that only your grandma would say. So my dad was living with this woman, and we think that he probably met her at the bar he frequented; a fellow patron, not too sure, just my sister’s and my theory. And we knew she had a kid because on occasion, my dad would stumble across the street and beg to sleep over because Home Wrecker kicked him out, and at these moments he would sometimes mention what a little shit wad for a son that she had. Then one day we finally got to meet the little shit wad, i.e.; Elias Bickler.
The one evening my sister, mom, and I were all home at the same time; that rarely ever happened. My mom was in the living room watching TV because that’s all she ever did, my sister Janie was on the couch reading, and I was lying on the floor working on an art project. This was before I really got into my comic, so I had nothing to distract me and actually did my homework on a regular basis then. All of a sudden, we repeatedly heard this loud crashing noise. “What in the Sam Hill was that?” I asked, sitting up from the floor. Janie shrugged, and my mom ignored me.
I got up and looked out the front window. I didn’t see anything, so I went outside to take a look. Janie decided to join me. When we went outside it was like a scene from a movie because everybody suddenly started emerging from their houses and looked around kind of confused. People started cautiously walking down their steps and onto the sidewalk and started forming little clusters of people here and there. Nobody said much of anything because nobody really knew what happened and then my neighbor George, who lived in the basement apartment of our building, came running down the street. He was all out of breath and panting heavily. That was probably the most he ever ran in his life. He had a pretty impressive gut going on. George then started talking, to nobody in general, just whoever was around.
“There was this guy,” he said, then pausing to catch his breath. “And he was drivin’ his car.” At that point, it seemed like a pretty boring story. George put his gold ring covered hand on his chest and continued. “Well, he was goin’ backwards and in the process he seemed to have hit almost every car on the street.” He then wiped his hand across his forehead like he had been wandering in the desert for days.
All the people standing around outside all started to head for the street to look at the cars. Somebody then screamed, “Holy shit, my car!”
Everybody started inspecting the cars, which were pretty messed up. Most of them had these big dents in them, and there was this one with a whole piece of metal pulled back and crunched. As I was taking everything in, I wrapped my arms around myself to try to preserve some of my warmth because it was kind of nippy out.
“Hey,” my sister said, slapping my shoulder. “Home Wrecker alert.”
I looked across the street and there was the Home Wrecker—all in her rat’s nest glory. I had never seen an actual rat’s nest, but I’m pretty sure her hairdo is what one looked like. It was a dark tumbleweed of spilt ends and fly away pieces. She had this sunken face with these plum colored circles under her eyes. Home Wrecker stood there all angles and bones smoking a cigarette. She was wearing an oversized beer tee-shirt that hung pathetically on her body and some purple tight-fitting sweat pants.
“Go ask her in for some coffee,” Janie said.
“You,” was the only reply I could think of to her lame statement.
As we stood there, a kid walked up to her, said something, and she then went inside. The kid, her son I was assuming, looked at us and walked across the street. He had his hands shoved into the front pockets of a black hoodie that he wore. He came and stood next to us. We nodded in acknowledgement. We stood there a little while in total awkward silence, and then he spoke.