by Tony Lindsay
The house is down the block and across the street from The Bailey Boy’s Home. At the house he has seen the mother in her bra and panties. And on the fourth of July the daughter flashed him. The house is where older boys from The Bailey Boy’s Home go when they want to get some.
He’s fifteen now, and the older boys at the home say it’s time for him to get some. They say if he doesn’t go get some dudes are going to start calling him gay.
When he knocks on the door of the house the mother answers wearing a stocking cap and a short white terry cloth robe, the robe is barely covering her bulbous breast. When he looks up from her cleavage he sees her silver capped front tooth, but she’s not smiling.
She looks tired. She tells him, “Go to the room in the back. I’ll send Tasha back there.”
He walks by the first room and sees the neighborhood mailman stretched across an unmade bed. There is a blond wig mixed in with the tangled covers and the mailman. When he gets to the room in the back the door is open. He walks into the small windowless beige room with only a bed for furniture. He sits on the maroon sheet covered bed with no pillow just as Tasha, the daughter, comes into the close room.
She is in a long pink t-shirt and her feet are bare. Her pink t-shirt has brown and white teddy bears on it. She looks at him and sighs. She closes the mahogany stained door behind herself. Walks over him and sits beside him on the bed.
“I hope you got the money. You know I don’t usually do it with real retarded boys like you who cain’t talk and stuff. And I hope you understand that just because you cain’t talk don’t mean you get a discount. It’s still twenty dollars, not fifteen, or ten you got to have the whole twenty. You got the twenty?” She asks looking into his face while pulling her purple and bronze extensions back into a pony tail.
Larry has the twenty, but he is thinking about what Aaron the night time home worker told him. ‘Try to get it for ten or fifteen in you can’.
Aaron told him to give her a ten dollar bill first. If she complained he was instructed to add a five. If she refused the fifteen, only then was he to give her the whole twenty dollars.
He reaches into his state issued khaki pants pocket and pulls out a ten dollar bill. He puts it on the bed between them.
He watches her looking down at the bill. Her eyes seem tired like her mother’s. She says, “That ain’t but ten dollars. See that’s why I don’t do it with you real slow boys. I said T W E N T Y not ten. You got to have twenty dollars. Dag, don’t they teach y’all anything down at that Home? It cost twenty.”
She is a small soft looking person, but she is talking really hard to him. She stands from the small maroon sheet covered bed and walks back to the door.
“You got to go if you ain’t got the whole twenty dollars.”
Looking at her hardening non-smiling face, he pulls a five dollar bill from his pocket and puts it on top of the ten. Both bills are crumbled but new, and on the maroon sheet the green crinkly bills look impressive to him.
With fifteen dollars he usually buys three whole packs of Oreo cookies, a liter of strawberry pop, and bag of Ruffles’ chips with dip. Fifteen dollars goes a long way in his world. He looks from the bills to her.
“Is that all you got?” She asks from the door with arms crossed across her chest, and her eyes straining to see the denomination of the bill he placed on the bed.
He nods his head yes.
“Tssk,” she sucks her teeth, sighs, and uncrosses her arms.
“They keep all y’all money down there at that Home, don’t they?” He nods his head yes again.
“If I do it for the fifteen you got to start coming down here every week. Understand? Every time you get money you got to bring it down here to me, and we will do it. Do you understand?”
Larry understands, but he isn’t sure he agrees. This week he wouldn’t have Oreo cookies, strawberry pop, or Ruffles’ chips with dip, because the older boys at the home said it was time for him to stop being a virgin. After he wasn’t a virgin anymore his plan was to go back to buying his Oreo cookies, strawberry pop, and Ruffles’ chips with dip.
He watches her pull her long pink t-shirt from over her head.
He sees her nude body and thinks, Titties! Standing up from the bed he extends his arms in her direction with fingers twiddling. Aaron told him to rub her nipples first before he kissed them.
She walks from the door to him.
“Baby, do you understand that you have to come down to see me every time you get money?”
She isn’t talking hard to him anymore, and he likes her calling him baby. She is standing right in front of him naked. He sees coochie pie hair and titties. The two things the older boys at the home are always talking about. She and her nudity are close enough to touch, but he doesn’t because his eyes stray from her nakedness to the fifteen dollars on the maroon sheets.
His hands drop to his sides. When he looks down at the bills he doesn’t see a ten and a five. He sees three packs of Oreos, a strawberry pop, and a bag of Ruffles’ chips with dip.
He thinks about how crunchy fresh Oreos are, and how good the strawberry pop taste rinsing down the Ruffles’ chips with dip.
“You going to like what we do baby,” she says caressing his cheek.
Her fingers smell like bleach, and that causes him to think about it being Saturday, washday and movie night.
If he gives her his fifteen dollars all he will have left is his five dollars wash day money, which means he is going to have to watch the movie night movie, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, without snacks.
He steps to the side of her and her caressing fingers, exposed breast, and coochie pie hair. He bends to the maroon sheet and snatches up his fifteen dollars.
“What’s wrong baby?” She asks, and sniffs at her underarms.
He shakes his head no. Larry stuffs the fifteen dollars back into his khaki pant’s pocket and flees the small beige room with the maroon sheet.
He doesn’t stop running until he gets to the corner store two blocks away. When he gets there he sees a big blue sale sign for Oreo cookies plastered on the store window, and he grins from ear to ear. So what if he is still a virgin, he is a virgin who will have snacks for movie night.