If only there was a way she could be the old Debney, she would take the chance in a heartbeat. But nothing was the same with her. She was sullen, angry and critical. She wished she could turn back the clock, delete the consequences from the party, erase the certainty of her parents’ deaths and resume living the miserable existence she had grown up in. The wretched drudgery and the daily knowledge of being unwanted and ignored were ten times better than living without her family.
Of all the wishes to come true, why did she have to be granted the wish for them to die? Out of all the wishes she’d made within her entire life, the desire to eliminate her parents was the only one she now wished hadn’t come true. When she'd first realized she might be pregnant and wished for it to be a mistake even that had been denied. Slipping from her bed, she tiptoed out of the room and into the kitchen. The child wasn’t born yet and already it had established an eating routine. It was four in the morning and time to feed the baby. Every two to three hours the baby demanded feeding, its miniscule movements squeezing and knotting her insides relentlessly until she would either have to eat something or succumb to being ill. After making the mistake and ignoring its demands a few times and suffering for it through nauseating, porcelain-hugging results, she now made sure to follow through with its commands.
Debney grabbed a banana from the counter on her way to walking through the sliding glass doors to the patio, where she sat in the nearest chair and released her breath in a deep gush of relief. The warm, gentle breeze of the early morning air stirred the water of the pool. The six plastic chairs bobbed gently on its surface, comical and calming to her spirit. Looking around the deck she laughed a little at the sight of the scattered overturned chairs. She was never any good at playing games. As illogical as it would sound if voiced out loud, she blamed playing games for her present position. If it hadn’t been for the stupid idea of seducing Gianté or joining the game the boys wanted to play at her birthday party, she wouldn’t now be forced to eat a banana at four in the morning. Shaking her head at the memory of that night, she berated herself for not sticking to the plan she and Nadine cooked up together.
They’d both known what she felt for Gianté went way beyond the friendship realm and that it was time to do something about it. As kids, they'd all hung out together like the Larry, Moe, and Curly of the TVland reruns, spending their days joking around and trying to make people laugh. To Nadine and Gianté, it had all been in fun, but to Debney it became her lifeline to sanity. When her parents went off on vacation and left her behind, she'd felt as if the line had snapped and only raw anger was left in its place. She wanted to do something to hurt them as much as they had hurt her. What possessed her to want to sleep with Gianté she didn’t know. It could have been the combination of almost always being together and the immense change in him.
It could have been the actuality of one day her childhood friend, who was just a giant of a boy, returned to school after a summer away at football camp, built like a god and lusted after by every girl on campus. Or maybe it was the stupid promise the three of them made to lose their virginity only between themselves. Seeing the daily parade of hoochie girls vying for Gianté's attention, she knew it wouldn’t be long before he succumbed to their wiles so she decided it was time he kept his promise. And it was no surprise that when she told Nadine what she wanted to do, Nadine jumped right on board.
Nadine thought of it as a big, romantic adventure and gushed through the entire planning of the night. Together they decided Debney would invite Gianté over on the pretext of celebrating her eighteenth birthday and they would have a romantic dinner before she and Gianté would toss their virginity away. In the end, the two girls and Gianté sat together watching a movie in the guest house and planned the night step by step. On the afternoon of her eighteenth birthday, Debney held out clothes for inspection as Nadine lay on the bed in Debney’s bedroom.
"You keep looking at me and saying 'we' oddly when you talk about what’s going to go on tonight. You’re not thinking of having a threesome are you, Debney? Because it’s not gonna happen. I’m not ready to have sex yet." "No girl, that’s gross," Debney laughed. "I automatically think of us all as one, but this is going to be between me and Gianté tonight. When you’re ready then he’ll be there for you, of course. What do you think about these shoes with this skirt?"
"It’s fine. Why do you need to get all dressed up? Just meet him at the door stark naked. No one else will be here and then you can get it over all the quicker." "Are you crazy? I want my first time to be memorable. Hold on let me go get something." She ran into her parents’ room and came back with a huge pair of diamond earrings. "What do you think of these?" She held one of the earrings to her ear and her hair up and out of the way. "I’m going to twist my hair up so he can see them sparkling in the candlelight."
"Your mom will kill you if she knew you were even touching those." Debney laughed. "She would probably write me out of her will….as if I want anything from her." "You may as well wear her jewelry if you're going to do the do in her room." "I sure am and I'm going to leave the room a mess so she'll know exactly what went on. Bed unmade, earrings in the linen." "You just got that revenge thing all planned out, huh? What about what your dad will say?" "Hopefully he'll get over it."
"Give up on it. No man wants to know his daughter had sex and especially not in his bed." Debney laughed. "He'll be alright. He doesn't sleep with her, anyway. Hasn't for--"
"Whoa." Nadine held up her hands and waved them vigorously in the air. "Hey, that's way too much information there. I don't wanna know about their love life, let's just stay on you. Are you going to have candles and protection?"
"Yep, of course I’m ready. I have the dining room all set. It will be just me and him here. If he wants he can stay all weekend or at least come back and forth. I know his mom will be watching from her perch at her living room window to make sure I don't do anything out of hand."
"Are you sure he’s going to come?" "Yeah, I reminded him I was having a birthday party for myself because my family was going to be out of town and he'd better not let me down. He knows the full plan. I didn’t see a reason to hide anything."
"So why does he have to stay the entire weekend? I thought we were going to take your new car to the beach and talk girl to girl."
"I just thought it would be nice. We can go on Sunday afternoon, just me and you. On Monday, I have to take a stupid trip with the school. I’ll be gone two weeks and then there's the trip with Gianté's family--"
"I know. And by the time you come back I'll be gone with my family. Your mom was really mean to pull that trick and not take you with them. I’d be really pissed."
"I am beyond pissed at her. The last time I saw that woman I told her if I never see her again my life would be glorious. At least my dad cared enough to buy me an awesome new car. I’m still a little pissed at him for not standing up to her, but that's no more than expected. The car almost totally makes up for it. It's beautiful." "Sure is. My mom says your dad must really love you to spend money on a paint job like that. I've never seen a car with lace etchings." "He called it my chariot. It is gorgeous. As a matter of fact, let’s take a quick trip to the mall and show it off, then I’ll come back and get ready."
After rushing to straighten the linen on the dining room table for the thousandth time and running back up the hallway and to the door in fear of having missed the ringing of the bell, she was a nervous wreck. At seven o’clock, too afraid to move far away from the door, Debney was anxiously pacing in the foyer waiting for Gianté to ring the bell. When she heard footsteps on the porch landing she swung open the door, freezing Gianté in the act of ringing the bell.
He was not alone.