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Kymberlie Ingalls is native to the Bay Area in California. She is a pioneer in blogging, having self-published online since 1997. Her style is loose, experimental, and a journey in stream of consciousness. Works include personal essay, prose, short fictional stories, and a memoir in progress. Thank you for taking a moment of your time to visit. Beware of the occasional falling opinions. For editing services: http://www.kymberlieingalls.com/p/editing-services.html

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Original Sin

The curves of the road were as dangerous as those of her own figure as the fog deepened into a mist across the windshield of the Firebird.  More curves.  Her hands gripped the steering wheel as a racer would – ten and two, prepared for anything on the road immediately in front of her  Balls to the wall speed with the power to stop on a dime.

The stereo blared around her, pulsating from the speakers with a woman’s mournful wail.  “Baby, do you understand me now?  Sometimes I feel a little mad – but don’t you know that no one alive can always be an angel?  When things go wrong, I feel bad..”

A lock of raven hair fell to the side of her face.  Distantly, she realized there was a touch of wetness where it brushed her ivory skin that caught the pale glow of the moon.  A tear that must have fallen from the emerald that flashed defiantly at this sign of weakness.

She was remembering a time of being young, when her brother seemed to care about her; patiently teaching his little sister to read, and being so proud that at three years old she did so quite well without needing him anymore. 

Perhaps that was the moment that changed things.

Now they stood divided, at war with their father in between, over things that should have been forgiven long ago, that never should have become a battle to begin with.  It tore at her heart to see them both struggle with loving her.  Both had walls taller than her own. 

It would seem that she had a long habit of making liars out of the best of men.  The worst of them fed on her own lies; the delusions that she laid out like bricks around her.  As far back as she could reach into her memory, people lied to her.  It was the men, however, who told lies with layers of love, lust and resentment bleeding through the cracks.

She was fifteen years old when the man who worked for her father touched her.  She didn’t know to be offended.  There was only confusion, and curiosity, colored with a bit of shame.  He had twenty-five years on her, and she didn’t understand why Mike would be interested in the slightest.  She didn’t dare let on to her father that not one, but two of the men at his shop were hitting on her – one was even married. 

Her uncertainty continued as she grew older.  She was seventeen when she visited Mike one night in his shack behind the warehouse.  In the dingy light, she fumbled that she’d been in the area and just wanted to say hi.  It was the beginning of experimentation for her.  Wanting to understand the language emanating from his stare, despite her uneasiness.  Fear caused her to back out of the door when he moved toward her.

She was nineteen when Mike came stumbling to her apartment door.  It was three in the morning, and she’d been asleep after a double shift.  Pounding on the latched door just outside her window, she heard him fall to the cement walkway in a drunken tumble as he called out for her. 

“What the hell do you want?” she hissed through the thin door, refusing to open it. 

“Fuck if I know.  I want you, but I don’t know why.  You’re kind of a bitch, hell you’re not even that attractive.  But I can’t stop thinking about you.”  He was silent for a minute, and she was scared.  “Let me in.  I want to be with you.”  He pleaded quietly.

”Go home, Mike.”  She went back to bed, listening to him still talking to her from outside.  She peeked out from behind the sheet that hung across her window in a makeshift curtain.  He was sprawled against the plaster wall.  It wasn’t until after she fell into an uneasy sleep that he managed to get up and leave. 

Those words echoed as she maneuvered between men.  None could ever seem to speak to why they wanted her, they just did, but their disdain was often apparent.  She took them, but didn’t always want to.  Her long, tall legs caught many an eye, but her unkempt hair and cheap clothing didn’t match the crystal eyes and a figure that girls deluded themselves into calling ‘voluptuous.’ 

It was the eyes that kept them coming.  Eyes that she kept downward, but they betrayed her just the same.  If they could soften those eyes… foolish men always challenging an angry bull. 

Green eyes that glazed over as she drove.  The chill came through the open window to the side of her, and whispered against her sleeves.  She breathed in deeply but the air rushing in was sharp and burned her throat. 

Faces flashed before her, in a hazy collage with the red stream of lights ahead of her and the white dots speeding past.  Faces of the men who wanted what she had to give.  Her body was a weapon that she used to get what she wanted from them, that then turned and self-destructed.  There was a wildness in her shadow that men longed to tame.  She sensed it, even if she didn’t know how to harness it. 

She willingly let them lure her in with their lies like a shiny red apple in reach, but then bolted as a colt runs for open space.  She left behind her own dusty trail of misdeeds.

Then the lies stopped one day.  Promises were made, vows spoken.  She was safe, shrouded in a blanket of honesty.  He wouldn’t lie to her.

He certainly hadn’t meant to.

A truth can give birth to a lie without ever being seen by the naked eye.  As the intimacy between them faltered, as she lost hope of ever feeling his touch again, she felt lied to.  Her aging body, her jaded mind – he’d promised to love all of her, as a lover as well as a friend.

Then there came a bloody night that nearly took her from him, and everything changed.  Their fear knicked away at the bond they shared.

As the gap widened, she clung tightly with one hand holding his in desperation while the other beckoned the liars to come to her once again.  But she was mortal now – she had felt hope, and love.  She now believed when another dangled such things in front of her blazing, hungry eyes.  Staring back at her from the mirror was a ghost who’d taken the form of a vibrant woman – someone who, in the light of a distant moon, even believed when the men talked of her beauty that glimmered like the gold in her ring. 

She thought of Mark.  They began innocently enough, nearly two years ago, and could hardly be called an affair.  Like men before him, Mark said things that she needed to hear as their internet friendship grew into a tangled mess of what could and could not be.  He gave her truths that quickly tarnished.  Feeling numb from the neglect of her husband, she gave without caution.  She danced prettily for him, until her needs grew, and he bailed on her.  Left her holding letters of intimacies between them.  Left her aching, raw and blindsided. 

And alone.  She couldn’t confide in anyone. 

With the hurt came an awakening of something buried deep inside.  Something that clawed at her soul, breathing fire in her blood.  Smoldering embers that fed the wild child lying dormant within – the child who acted out when she didn’t get her way. 

She saw a different kind of want in the men around her.  They wanted to possess her as a diamond that’s been mined from jagged coal.  Tom, who didn’t want to share her.  Saul, who finally confessed what she now didn’t want to hear.  Benjamin, who pulled her close in a passionate dance of words only to push her away again and again.  Stephen, who loved her quietly.  Nick, who was all too willing to share her.  At last she’d harnessed the power of her words, and those damned eyes, using them to create this garden of original sin. 

As their faces swirled and twirled in the dark, her foot pressed a little harder on the accelerator.  One face stared sadly at her.  The face of the one she wanted most but couldn’t reach. The speedometer climbed slowly, the car hugged the reflective dashes that curved this way and that.  One slip and the Firebird would slide headlong into the nearest tree.  That would be something she could feel, wouldn’t it?

Would that be such a bad thing?  Would these men mourn the loss of her, or simply move on? 

Would the lies die with her?

“The truth about lies is that we don't always know when we're telling them.”

Angry words that she had written on a hot, lonely night. 

She slowed into her shadowed driveway, sighing heavily as the music faded and the car rolled to a stop.  Home, to the one she loved, until she took to bed those who loved her.  

“If I seem edgy, I want you to know that I never mean to take it out on you.  Don’t you know that I’m only human; I have thoughts like any other.  I’m just a soul whose intentions are good.  Oh, Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood…”



© Kymberlie Ingalls, December 30, 2011 

Quotes: 
Love The Way You Lie / Kymberlie Ingalls
Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood / Cyndi Lauper

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