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Rosie pointed out the dream catcher hung on the window. Beneath the web of yarn an enormous red feather dangled obscenely.
She said, "See that contraption above your head, Davis? It's catching all your dreams."
He lifted his chin, checked it out, laughed. Davis has the sort of laugh that rolls over on itself like laundry in a dryer. I moved nearer to him on the couch. I could feel Rosie watching me.
"Only the bad ones," I said. "The good ones come down the feather."
Rosie shrugged. Her t-shirt was riding up and we could see the pale strip of her belly when she gestured with her arms. She knew. For that matter, she still pulls that move. Sometimes I have to hide a smile in my drink when she flirts because I can see the gears turning behind her tricks.
She made her good-natured martyr face- blue eyes upturned. "What do you think is stuck up there?"
"Nightmares about Mrs. Carter's freaky cats!" Timmy said. We all nodded in agreement.
"Where are those cats, anyway?" Rosie said. Timmy jerked a thumb over his shoulder. She cut a wake through the party and we traveled in it.
The kitchen was its own scene. There were girls sitting on the kitchen counters, ankles crossed and leaning forward to offer views of push-up cleavage. There were boys wearing rope bracelets, pretending not to care, and bouncing quarters into plastic cups. The music thumped.
The lights were off down the hallway and the four of us bumped each other as we walked, sometimes by accident and sometimes on purpose. Davis reached back and pulled me along; his grip was too tight. We read a shit ton of Shakespeare in class because the school was too cheap to buy new books. The way Davis had his hands full of my hands made me think of English 1. We'd read aloud: Palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss
. Nice. And then he asks her to quit all the handholding and make out with him instead. There was a door at the end of the hallway and Rosie peeked inside. "They're sleeping," she said, before pushing through.
Mrs. Carter's show-winning cats slept in crates upon crates in what should have been the office of their house. That room. Piss was the dominant note, for sure. Beyond that, I don't want to know.
"Beast," Timmy said.
Those Maine Coons got seriously enormous — over three feet long. They were oddly fluffy and prim looking and always made me think about fat ladies in ball gowns. Most of them were sleeping, pressed against the cage grilles, their fur stuck through in segments. Rosie knelt and poked two fingers through the bars to pet one. Timmy stared at where her jeans gaped and her underwear was visible. The blue ones. The room was quiet; the sound of the song outside was muffled by the door, and I could hear the breathing of the cats.
"Let's get out of here," Davis said in my ear, and I nodded so he could feel it, my head near his chest. Rosie looked up and I tried to wink, but wound up with my mouth open like a gasping fish. Never was a good winker. I hoped I looked convincingly excited.
"Where you going, lady?" she said, even though she knew damn well.
I shrugged. "Be back in a few."
"Maybe more," Davis said, which made Timmy chuckle.
She hopped up and put a hand on my waist, whispered in my ear, "You don't have to do this, you know." Her hair tickled my face. She could see right through me, but I was going to do this. She didn't know everything.
I wriggled away from her and made a big show of taking her hand off my hip.
"Come on, Davis," I said, and pulled him up the first few stairs.
She called after me, but I kept taking those steps.