I came home to find the apartment in disarray. A lamp, which was still on, was laying on the floor, shining a spotlight on the half empty bookshelf. The books were strewn about floor and one was soaking up the water that a vase once held, the violets having been trampled.
My Betty was a bruiser, a broad shouldered girl, too tall to ever be comfortable in her own skin. She’d been beaten into shape as a kid by her step-father, that was until she was old enough to kick his ass.
She sat on the kitchen floor with the last of my good bourbon. Unlaced roller-skates, a black skirt, and one of my old white t-shirts. Her tattoos were nothing but shadows under the white cotton, thick black and red lines peeking out.
“We lost,” she slurred and gave me a particularly petulant glare.
I poured myself a glass of water and leaned on the counter of the small kitchen, looking down at her as she rocked the bottle of amber liquid on the black and white tiled floor.
I looked over to the living room and then back at her.
“I couldn’t find a book,” she shrugged.
She took one roller-skate and tried to push off the other with it, failing miserably.
“I couldn’t find a book and I can’t get these stupid things off,” she said, and kicked at the floor with her skate.
At 25, with a messy black bob, a cut lip, and the beginnings of a black eye, she did her best to pout like a little girl. Roller derby was good for her because she needed a healthy outlet for her violent nature. Plus I was there to pick up the pieces after a match.
“Help me get ‘em off?”
Kneeling, I took one of the black leathery boots by the thick front wheel and pulled. She winced as the skate slipped off her sore foot. Her shin looked purple and yellow, she had a scrape on her knee. My eyes lingered up higher to the edge of her skirt, then abruptly back to her other skate. I pulled the second one off and I stood up, holding out my hand to help her up.
She groaned as her sore and swollen joints creaked and then she was holding on to me with both hands on my shoulders, her cheeks red, her eyes glazed by the bourbon, but still shining. Our eyes met and there she was, smelling like whiskey and sweat, the Betty I fell in love with. We were about to kiss, but her knees gave out and she almost pulled me down to the floor with her.
“I’ll put you in bed,” I groaned as I lifted her back up.
“Tuck me in, too?” she teased, smiling and limping with one arm around my shoulder, “you can be the big spoon.”
“I’m sleeping on the couch, Bette.”
“Pshh, I bet you ten bucks you’ll be in bed in ten minutes. And don’t fucking call me Bette, you know I hate that.”
I sighed. I was too old for this.
I was sleeping on the couch because this whole thing just wasn’t working and we knew it. She was all rough and tumble, late night at rock clubs and drunk five nights a week. I was in a PhD program, I had a full time job. My punk youth was long over, though not forgotten. That’s not to say I grew up and became boring, but I just wasn’t in the same world she was in.
That’s one of the many things that can happen when you date a girl who’s ten years younger than you. Even if she is taller than you.
It was more than that, though, and we knew it. We just didn’t click anymore. I was a city boy, through and through and deep down she was a Midwestern farm girl.
She put her weight on my shoulder as I led her to the bedroom. The only light was street lamps coming in from the window. It illuminated tangled sheets and books all over the floor and nightstand.
I sat her down on the bed and she put her arms around my neck.
“I miss you,” she whispered. It made my throat tighten and my heart ache.
“Just get some sleep, Bette, we can talk tomorrow.”
She kissed my chin.
“Don’t you think I’m pretty anymore?” she said kissing my cheek, catching just the edge of my lip.
“I think you’re drunk and sweaty and you have a black eye and probably a sprained ankle,” I said trying to untangle myself from her arms, but she was already pulling me in for another kiss.
“You used to give me black and blues, remember?” her voice was rough, she gave a throaty chuckle, sad and dirty.
“You always end up getting bruised, one way or another,” I started, but she kissed me.
It had been a while, probably three months. She was depressed and her sex drive disappeared. The roller derby brought it back a little, but this was something else. This was goodbye.
I eased her onto the bed, hovering over her. I kissed her bruised face. I kissed her chapped lips. She rubbed her cheek against my stubble. She pulled her shirt off.
It’s superficial, but I’d miss her tattoos most of all. It was the main physical trait that would define her in my mind. As I kissed her shoulders, my lips traces the minute raised skin of the thick black letters and all the little symbols and secrets. I remembered every story, every detail. I still remember the why and where of all of them.
Her kisses grew wilder and so I held her down. Given time every action turns cliche, but just then it seemed more like nostalgia. That was until she started to fight. This wasn’t a little wilting flower, this was a tough girl who could take most people I know in fight. This wasn’t submission, this was making me earning it. I held her down by the wrists with all my strength and all my weight.
I pushed her legs open with my own and pressed against her. She writhed, she bit my lip when I tried to kiss her again. I let go of one of her wrists and she immediately pushed at my chest with her free hand. I pulled the cups of her bra down and sucked at her thick brown nipples, I bit down just enough to make her yelp. Her hand was in my hair, pulling me to her and pushing me away at the same time.
The haze of a long day at work and the sadness of the whole situation were gone for a moment. I was strong and she was hungry. I reached down, pushing away her skirt. I found her panties and pulled hard, ripping them, but not enough. She raised her ass, trying to push me away and trying to get more of her clothes off. I pulled again and came away with most of the fabric.
She was gasping and moaning. This wasn’t playful roughness, this was the death throws of our love. This was the only thing keeping us from crying. I pulled at my belt, I pilled at my zipper, I pulled out my cock. I had to concentrate on her, I had to bury my face in her tits and kiss her copper tasting lips just to get hard. I had to do anything but think.
Still reality was there, in the background, and as I held her down, my fingers moved to the bedside table. There was a little ceremony in that motion, in the creak of the drawer. Familiar squares of foil right where I left them. I remembered these same motions a hundred other times, in the salad days, in the laughing midnights.
She eyed me, ceasing the fight long enough to let me me slip the condom on. Then she smiled as she arched her back in my moan and my cock pressed against the coarse hairs of her sex.
She was wet, I could smell it, strong and tart. It smelled like Betty. She was fighting again, but her hips were bucking up, her legs open, her moans turning into needy whimpers. I rubbed against her, I slipped against her, and then I pushing into her.
Sex with Betty was always a quick affair for some reason. Maybe that was one of reasons it was going to end. I liked to draw things out. I liked to tease and play. She was impatient and deep down very ashamed of it all. All that wanting went to waste with her.
She needed to be hit and be needed to be held down, but she could never talk about it. Those secret moments of violence, when she pulled my hands to her neck. Electric and forbidden and lost once they ended.
All I ever wanted to do was remember and record it all, but that was me. I over-thought it, or so she said. If I tried to make her beg she would grow cold, and really, for me, the begging was the best part.
All that fluttered through my mind as I fucked her. Looking down, her eyes were closed and she bit her lip. She was wet to the point that I could feel it on my thighs. The muscles of her sex were tight; her powerful legs were wrapping around me and pulling me in.
She didn’t want foreplay and she didn’t like her clit played with. It all bored her, she would slap my fingers away. Going down on her was occasional and for my benefit. She just wanted to fuck and she wanted it to hurt.
As I fucked her I remembered that first time in a motel. She was strong and wild, so different from other women I’d been with. It was awkward, because I didn’t know how to top her the way she needed to be topped, I didn’t know if I was strong enough physically or emotionally, at least not in that moment, in that motel room, both of us drunk and high from a concert.
As I fucked her that last time, I felt myself grow more and more detached. She was lost in it, though, and I watched as her body went through the motions and cycles. Her blush spreading down her chest, her breath growing faster. When she came she came hard and punched and then clawing at my shoulder, needed something to hold on to as I fucked her through it.
After the waves of her pleasure broke, I lost my drive. The moment had passed and I grew soft. I just pulled myself off of her and she didn’t seem to notice that I hadn’t come. She rolled onto her side, our bodies no longer touching. I couldn’t tell if she was asleep or crying. I crawled off the bed and pulled the blanket onto of her.
I cleaned up the mess in the living room and wrote through the night, knowing the next day she would leave, and knowing I had to get the memories down before they were tainted or gone.
After that it was all packing and crying and the long days of uncertainty. I came out better in the end. She moved back west and found another boy to hurt her, one way or another.