“Okayokayokay,” one of them spat, “it’s my turn again!”
“Oh, enough!” he finally shouted in a rough voice. The girls snapped towards him; the more dominant (the one with the worst stories, goddamit) glared at him with the unrelenting ire of a seventeen-year-old girl who still wasn’t’ quite sure if she and her boyfriend had done The Thing yet, who told all her friends that she was wise in the ways of the world, but also told them that of course she was still a virgin, what was she, some kind of slut? Another face glared at him in much less impotent rage; if he tried anything, she’d mace him, and then stab him, and cut his balls off, oh yes she would, it was all right there in her purse (with its chains and spikes, which she’d use if she had to), And then he’d never hurt another little girl again, now would he? Another face stared at him in fear; he was probably a cannibal-rapist with a taste for gingers, oh god, don’t let him take her first—no, if he was going to take them, definitely her first, or maybe second, but don’t let him take them at all! A fourth stared at him, trying to glare, trying to be one of the Big Girls, but really she was afraid; not of him, he was just some smelly indie guy, probably knew how to play the guitar but not very well, no, no, he was safe, or at least irrelevantly dangerous (and kinda cute anyway); no, she was afraid of the Big Girls, the ones who would make her go away any minute now, and never let her hang out with them again. The fifth one stared at him through cloudy eyes; she just wondered if he was going to share some of his hooch or pot. She could totally go for another hit of something. And if he had something he’d share he couldn’t be that bad. He was going to share something, right?
“You girls don’t know what fear is. You’ve never been afraid of anything real in your life.” He paused, hiccupped, and added “Don’t know how to tell a fucking story, either.”
“Yeah?” The first girl said. “You ever been through high school?”
“Bitch,” he shouted, “I ‘been’ in college, and that’s not even the scariest part.”
“College isn’t scary,” the fourth girl, Mousy he’d call her now, said; she finished her admissions essay last night, and with a GPA of 4.5 was sure she wouldn’t get in, oh gawd, and she’d end up at McDonalds instead of… of… in college.
“Not on its own but—look, I lived in—Dammit, I’ll tell you, and you’ll sit there and listen, you got it?”
Something in his voice made all five of them nod. Just nod.