Thursday, October 1, 2009
Kayla is a new character. She is coping with a sick mother who isn’t always available, and at the same time with a huge crush on a popular boy who doesn’t seem to know she’s alive. I like Kayla’s honesty.
I told my mother -- I was crying and everything -- I told her that everyone has their belly button pierced, and if she didn’t let me then it was her fault if Brian Kepler didn’t like me, and it was her fault if I didn’t get invited to his party this weekend, and you know what she did? She laid there on the couch with her eyes closed, doing her deep breathing thing which nobody else’s mother does, I mean really, and then she said “Party?”
I was kinda stuck then, because I would never lie to my mother, I just wouldn’t, because she always said that would be the worst thing I could ever do, but on the other hand, I couldn’t tell her deets about the party because Brian’s parents were going out of town and that’s why it was such a big deal – there were going to be no adults and a keg and the pool and everyone who mattered was going to be there, and my friend Rain said she was going to lose her virginity Saturday night, and if Brian were to ask me, I would too, only he won’t ask because my mother won’t let me get my belly button pierced –
“Just a party. You know Brian, Mommy! You know how much I love him. Please, Mom!” I said, adjusting her pillow.
She winced when I moved her, but then she sighed, so I her neck was hurting more than usual. Her pain was bad, I knew it, because otherwise she’d totally be sitting up, leaning forward on her hands, looking into my eyes for the truth –
And then, I never could’ve lied, but all of a sudden it seemed easy, because she was lost in her world of hurt, and so I said, “It’s his birthday. He invited me specially. It’s almost like a, like a date!”
“Are you asking if you can go?” She was happier than she was letting on. She really wanted to believe someone like Brian Kepler would ask me out. She was crazy that way, thinking I was totally popular and everyone liked me, and all the boys loved me, when actually the opposite was true.
I started rubbing my mother’s foot. She sighed with relief, and I said, “So I can go, right?”
“I don’t know, Kayla, it’s not a good time—“
“It’s never a good time with you!”
“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry—“
Okay, so sue me – she was weak and I needed to get my belly button pierced, and I knew if I kept at it, kept pushing her, she’d give in, if for no other reason than guilt over being sick and being afraid that that made her a bad mother. I knew how she thought. I didn’t want to take advantage of her, but my love for Brian was so real, so powerful, it was all I could think about, it was like a hot knife in my heart. I knew I could get him to like me if only -- and so I said to my mother, “Can I get my belly button pierced before the party Saturday? I have the form you just have to sign and Rain’s mother will take us.”