Well it's [fiction friday] again. Today's prompt is A Coming of Age Tale.
At college, Jenny is away from home for the first time. She’s just old enough to buy her first pack of Marlboro's, but not old enough to buy that bottle of vodka sitting on her dorm room desk. She pours some orange juice and tips the bottle into the glass, splashing vodka and juice all over her daisy bedspread and dousing her copy of No Exit lying open on the bed. Jenny downs what's left in the glass, leaving it in the bathroom sink. She grabs her backpack, opens the door, and starts the half mile walk to Chemistry.
Jenny pushes open the lecture hall door and searches for her friend, Emma. Not here yet. She finds her regular seat. Brad comes in right behind her and settles himself in Emma's chair.
"Hey, that's Emma's seat," Jenny says.
Brad runs his hands through his short, black hair. He gives Jenny a puppy dog pout.
"I can't sit here?" he says.
"Sure you can."
"What are you doing tonight?"
"Oh I don't know. It’s Thursday. I'm sure there's a party somewhere."
"Come to the Sigma house." Brad says.
"Oh you know you want to."
Jenny gives Brad a flirty smile just as Emma starts climbing the stairs.
"Emma, you wanna come to the Sigma house tonight? Jenny's coming," Brad says.
"I am?" Jenny says.
Emma's face lights up as she tosses her bag on the floor next to Brad.
"We'll be there," Emma says.
Jenny rolls her eyes, knowing she'll end up at the Sigma party. Brad stands up. Flashing Jenny a smile, he winks before heading for the door.
"Can I make you a drink?" Brad says.
Jenny plops down on the couch and straightens her blue tank top, pulling the edges down over her worn jeans. She easily gave in to Emma's begging. Jenny was willing to let Emma have this night. She knows what it feels like to have a serious crush and Brad was definitely crush worthy.
"Yeah. Something that tastes good." Jenny says.
"I'll just have a coke." Emma says.
"All right, be right back."
Brad disappears into the kitchen, while Jenny and Emma settle into the plush couch. Twirling her hair, Jenny looks around at the crowded room. There's a couple in the corner chair going at it like there's no tomorrow. Jenny laughs and nudges Emma. The two giggle.
"Here you go." Brad hands Jenny a tall glass full of pinkish clear liquid.
"What is it?" she asks.
"Oh just a little something special I made just for you," Brad says.
He tosses a coke in Emma's direction. She catches it and pops the top.
Jenny takes a sip of her drink and smiles.
"Tastes great." Jenny says.
"Wanna go out and have a smoke?" Brad says. He reaches out his hand.
"Sure." Jenny says. She grabs Brad's hand and he pulls her up fast, almost spilling her drink.
"I'll be right here," Emma says. The frown on Emma’s face almost stops Jenny, but she really wants that cigarette. Too bad Emma hates smoking or maybe Brad would have asked her along.
Jenny and Brad navigate through the crowded room to the door. He opens it and waits for Jenny to go ahead. She steps outside and Brad puts his hand on the small of her back, guiding her to a bench at the corner of the house. Brad hands her a cigarette and lights up his own. Jenny takes a long drink.
"Really, what is this?" Jenny asks.
"Some rum, club soda, and a little grenadine," he says.
"It's so good." Jenny turns the glass up again.
"Whoa!" Brad says and takes the glass. He sits it on the bench next to him. He puts his hands on Jenny's waist and pulls her close. Jenny's fingers start to tingle. She concentrates on the drag of smoke filling her lungs. She slowly exhales and watches the smoke waft between their faces.
"That's sexy," Brad whispers.
Jenny giggles. He silences her laughter with a kiss, pressing his lips against hers.
Jenny can feel her heart start to race. A mewing sound escapes her throat and she pulls back. Swaying in Brad's arms, she notices the dizziness and her legs begin to give way.
"You okay?" Brad says. He pulls her down onto his lap. She nods and lets her eyes close.
Head pounding, Jenny wakes. She looks around and doesn't recognize the room. Pulling back the rough blanket, she sees that all she's wearing is a man's white t-shirt. She sees Brad sleeping soundly in the bed next to her. Jenny hurries out of bed and starts picking through the mess on the floor to find her things. She finds her jeans easily, but the tank and her bra are hiding under Brad's corduroy pants. She gives up on finding her lacy, black panties. Jenny slowly opens the door and looks out into the hall. Hoping it stays empty, she tiptoes on the hardwood floor looking for the bathroom. Finding it, she hurries inside and locks the door. Jenny starts dressing and then looks up at the girl in the mirror: long brown hair tangled and hanging around her face in a mess; eyeliner and mascara bleeding under her eyes; clammy white skin forming chill bumps on her arms. What happened? she thinks, I’m a virgin. She whispers it out loud, “I was a virgin.” Jenny combs her fingers through her hair and wipes the running make-up from under her eyes. Tossing Brad's tee on the floor, she makes her way back to his room.
The sun is shining a ray of light through the opening in the dark blue curtains. What time is it? she wonders, I'm going to be late to my nine o'clock seminar.
"Brad. Brad." Jenny shakes Brad's shoulders trying to wake him.
"What?" he snaps.
"I need you to drive me back to the dorm," Jenny says.
"I have a class. Can you please just take me home? Emma drove last night and I was supposed to ride back with her."
Jenny wonders why her friend would leave without her, not even asking if she wanted a ride back to their dorm. Or maybe she did ask and Jenny just can’t remember. She waits while Brad pulls on his pants and picks through the shirts on the floor. Jenny tries to remember the night before but gets stuck on the bench. She remembers a kiss, but that's all that will come to her.
"Brad, what happened last night?" Jenny says.
"Oh you know what happened last night, baby," Brad pulls on a black t-shirt with the Phi Kappa Sigma logo scrawled across the front. "I made you a woman. And you loved it." Brad flashes her a sinister grin. The smug look of satisfaction on his face is terrifying.
Tears threaten to escape Jenny's eyes, but she holds her breath and waits for the feeling to pass.
"Come on, I'll take you back to your dorm so you can get to your precious class," Brad says.
He grabs Jenny's hand and she instinctively recoils, jerking her hand away.
"Whatever, Jenn," he says, "Let's just go."