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"Now! Everyone, now!" Rosie placed her baby down, and the cat cowered low to the ground, as if unsure of what to do. Then it bolted for the forest. Timmy's cat scratched at him. It hissed and squirmed.
"Hey, ow! Cat is rabid!"
"Let it go, dumbass," Rosie said.
He did, and then the others did the same and the whole pack of freakishly large cats headed for the woods and their new feral lives.
Everyone cheered and sucked at their scratches.
Rosie ran to the pool and pulled out a beer. She held it high in the air, proud, her arm streaming water.
"To the freedom of the cats!" she yelled. The partygoers gathered around and toasted.
Hank came running outside then, screaming. "Man, those are indoor cats! What the fuck are you doing? My mom's going to kill me."
Laughing when you're naked is funnier because you can see your ribs telescoping.
"This is wild," Davis said.
He kissed me hard and I turned my cheek. His sloppy mouth wound up near my ear and made the smacking sounds of eating.
"Come on," he said. He set his jaw; despite Rosie's efforts, I wasn't off the hook. Davis's eyes roamed southwards, polar regions, and his hands followed.
You make your bed and then you lie in it. I considered my options. I grabbed onto his wrists and pushed his hands away, too hard. I only meant to show him I was serious, but both his arms swung out, like saloon doors. He lost his balance and skidded on the rug. It must have burned.
"I'm sorry," I said. "I didn't mean to do that."
He was staring and for the first time since he'd undressed me I felt ashamed. I covered my port-wine stain with the flat of my hand. "How about those beers now?"
"Are you serious?" Davis said. He was flushed. "This is fucking bullshit, Sam. There's a word for girls like you."
"I'm a tease."
"That's not the one I was thinking of, but whatever you say." He shook his head as he gathered up his clothes.
As he pulled his shirt over his head he cut a shape-shifting silhouette in the doorframe. Then he went downstairs.
Alone in Mrs. Carter's bedroom, I exhaled more air than I could have fit in my tiny goddamn lungs. So much air. I felt relieved.
I went back to the window and spotted Rosie, drinking a beer alone in a rubber-strapped patio chair. Her hair was bright and several moths hovered nearby, drawn to the flare of it. I whooped and she looked up. She cupped her hands to her mouth and hooted back. It was time to put my clothes back on.
"I'll kill you if you lost my bra!" she shouted between her hands.
I gathered and pulled on my tee shirt and cutoffs. I stomach-flopped on the bed, preparing myself to go back downstairs.
"I love you even if you are unlucky," Rosie said. She had climbed up the latticework and onto the roof of the garage. She was sitting there with her elbows in the windowsill.
I wanted that to be true so badly that a warmth welled up in me that made me want to hold my breath. Because she did love me a little, after all.