Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

runaway like a prodigal

Title: runaway like a prodigal
Author: Aspen Snow
Rating: R
Summary: Star crossed lovers, they definitely are not. This is the story of a slightly older girl who is perfect, except when she isn't, and the slightly younger boy who is stupid, but only in retrospect.

They work in an auto shop.

She’s the boss’s daughter. He’s a mechanic.

This is how these things always start, isn’t it?

She is the first person he meets with green eyes. He thinks that means something like luck.

She wants to shake his hand when they’re introduced. But he’s barely nineteen and high school is still the world he knows best and he thinks the adult gesture puts her years out of reach.

But then she presses her fingers into his palm and her skin feels more rough than smooth— less perfect than he would have imagined. She smiles and she means something to him already.


He hardly ever talks. Most people think his muteness must mean he isn’t very smart. They’re right, of course.

He didn’t graduate from high school, he doesn’t know the difference between Republican and Democrat, and he can’t read a book without coming across a hundred words he doesn’t understand. And although he is a mechanic he can’t spell things like ‘gasket’ or ‘remanufactured transmission’.

But she talks to him like of course he understands.

“You know,” she says while they’re eating lunch, “this girl in my history class thinks the Roman Empire collapsed because of lead poisoning,” her laugh that follows is almost a giggle, like that is the most ridiculous thing she has ever heard.

“Some people are just, stupid, don’t you think?” she asks and she’s got her head tilted slightly to one side, so that her hair slides across the bare skin of her shoulder that her shirt doesn’t cover. And really, he doesn’t think much beyond that.

But he smiles back and his next breath is almost a laugh and he goes back to eating. So does she.

She is the first too pretty girl—with her blond hair, green eyes, shiny lips—to rather think him smart than stupid.

When he gets home that night his hand trembles so badly when he’s pulling at his zipper that his fingers keep slipping. When he finally gets his pants undone he doesn’t bother with taking them off. He just wraps his hand around himself and in that first stroke he imagines her hair slipping and sliding against his skin.

He doesn’t even think to imagine her as anything but soft.


She always sings along to the radio. Never loud enough for him to hear, but he is forever catching her lips moving to the music— something to do with her lip gloss and the light.

She is the most watchable person he has ever met—she is always, always moving.


He feels a little bold one day and when he sees her sitting in the office—writing in a notebook, foot tapping to music—he asks her what she’s doing.

“Writing my personal statement. For law school,” she says, without looking up.

“What’s it about?” he asks.

She looks up at him then and he sees that she’s wearing green eye shadow. He likes it when she does that. He’d tell her but then she laughs and the force of it all, directed at him, makes his face burn.

“No one ever bothers to ask that question,” she says. He feels like he surprised her. He feels like the only thing in his world is the way she is looking at him. He feels a lot of things when she’s around.

“It’s about Montana and movies and baseball and changing the world,” she says and he feels like there is something important in the way she strings all those words together without hesitation.

But he doesn’t get it.

He wants to linger, in the moment, but then she goes back to writing and he really should go back to work. He thinks maybe he imagined the interest in her smile. If he knew how he’d draw it—curved lines smudged shadows—so he wouldn’t ever forget.


He accidentally hears her talking on the phone one day. He isn’t eavesdropping, but maybe with her he listens a little harder.

“Don’t—Mom,” she says and there’s something wet in her voice, in that break between words, something like tears.

“I can love you both you know. It’s just—he’s my Dad,” and it’s a whisper hushed with such force that her voice goes a little hoarse, at the end.

He learns later that her parents are divorced, have been for too many years, he thinks, because she smiles so often so easily.

This is all wrong, though. He’s pretty sure that in this scenario he’s supposed to be the troubled one, not her.


One day she’s feeling a little bold and plops herself on a stool next to him while he’s got his hands in the engine of a car.

“Ever have a girlfriend?” she asks. She laughs when he drops the wrench he was holding. The sound of it hitting the alternator is so loud and he thinks she must not be the girl he thought she was. Because he’s sure she already knew the answer to that question before she asked it.

He wonders if she’s maybe a little bit jagged, around the edges.

But then she puts a hand on his arm, only the second time she’s touched him, and it burns. “Don’t feel bad,” she says, “I’ve never had a boyfriend. Relationships are really fucking hard to figure out.”

The phone rings and she leaves to answer it. There is a slight indentation left on the plastic cover of the stool she was sitting on and he wonders, for the first time, if she’s lonely.

Because she is so much and she sees the way he can’t talk to her and she talks to him anyway.


When she kisses him for the first time it’s in the middle of the day, her dad’s on a road test and she walks right up to him, puts a hand around the back of his neck, pulls him down, and suddenly he’s got a mouthful of her breath.

He kisses her back when she bites his bottom lip—just barely too hard. Their kiss becomes a rough mess of lips and teeth and not quite steady heartbeats. His hands fall to her waist, his fingers press into her hips so hard he feels bone.

He doesn’t really want this to end. But then she’s pulling away and her hands are falling off his neck.

“You better be careful,” she says with her fingers on her lips, “or you’ll always taste like this place.”

A door slams shut, papers rustling in its wake—he remembers five o’clock this morning, doing push-ups with the TV on, something about a high wind advisory— and she’s running back to the office opening up doors and straightening papers.

The pressure of her skin is still on his fingertips and doesn’t know why he thought he would always be the gentle kind.

This is where it should end. But it doesn’t. He’s far better, you see, at being stupid.


The next time, her dad is out of town and he leaves her in charge. She wears a skirt to work, like she never does. He spends most of the day distracted by her thighs.

At lunch time she goes across the street and comes back with a hamburger and fries for him and an ice cream cone for her. She has a lot of work to do, she tells him, and she goes back into the office.

From his tool box he can just barely see her and she isn’t, at all, working. Rather he discovers something else.

She licks so, slowly.

It occurs to him that it’s not quite hot enough for ice cream cones.


Days go by and he’s almost certain he can smell her perfume—vanilla, or something warmer—even when she isn’t standing right next to him.

He’s at the sink in the corner of the shop washing his hands after pulling in the cars and closing the bay doors when he realizes she is, in fact, standing right next to him. She’s still wearing a skirt. Her dad is still out of town.

She licks her lips before speaking. She’s never done that before.

But then she doesn’t speak, just grabs his wrist and before he’s got a chance to figure out what’s going on she’s pulled them both into the bathroom and shut the door. And locked it. He can feel his heart beating in his skin—this might be something.

He wants to tell her that he has, before, imagined this moment but he can’t find enough air to say the words.

She grabs the front of his shirt, pulls him to her a little roughly so that the weight of him pushes her back against the door and whispers “its ok,” into his mouth.

Of course she would know that his silence was sort of an apology. Because he is less than what she deserves but with her forgiveness in his mouth his hands find the back of her knees, lift her up and her legs go around his waist, her heels into his back and his forearms against the door.

Her skirt has ridden up and she isn’t wearing any underwear because he can feel her wet against him, through the zipper and the cloth he can feel her and the friction is so hot.

Her hips crash into his or his into hers and he’s pushing and maybe she’s pulling because he keeps falling into her—her thighs spread wider and his mouth keeps sliding across her pulse, out of control and so fast against his lips.

And he’s trying to figure out what to do with his hands but she’s more interested in getting his pants off than letting him touch her. When she pushes them down over his hips and her hand closes around him inside his boxers he shudders so hard he swears his bones shake.

She pushes herself down onto him and she is so tight. Her breath stutters against his ear and it’s never like this when he’s in the shower using his hand and hot water and memories of her biting the cap of a pen.


This is where it actually ends. With her nails in his back and his heart splattered on the bathroom floor.

She doesn’t even say good bye, when she leaves.


She’s remarkably good at pretending that nothing happened.

Her fingers don’t even tremble when their hands accidentally brush—his do, of course.

The reason why she is good at this escapes him, though he feels like it shouldn’t.


She goes off to college then and her visits to the shop are few and far between. But he can understand that, really, because when she does visit her dad always approaches her with something like dread.

“Does your— ,” he starts.

“Mom doesn’t know I’m here, don’t worry,” she says and she stopped hugging her dad years ago so she just smiles at him.

There’s a world of hate there, though, that she keeps between herself and everyone else and he wonders how she was able to get through it all to him.


The end of the year finally rolls around and he feels like he’s lived an entire lifetime, already.

She gives him, for Christmas, a box of peppermint patties—dark chocolate. On the tag she writes you’ll love these, I do.

Later, he’ll look for something faintly bitter in the taste of all the girls who come after her.


Years after she stops coming by and her dad sells the business he gets his GED, starts taking night classes at the local college.

Words like ‘denial’ enter his vocabulary. Other words are quick to follow. Like ‘avoidance’ and ‘catharsis’.

He understands her more clearly, now that he has definitions.

‘Retrospect’ is another word he learns.

She was a mystery, before he knew better.


Theirs was a story that could have been epic.

She was the sad little girl. He was the stoic little boy. Their affair was forbidden and misunderstood and only half lived.

But really, the world moves too fast for love stories like that anymore.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2008 07:50 am (UTC)
This is absolutely gorgeous. I love the idea of these two, and the way you draw each character even with subtle lines like the one about the ice cream and how it's not hot enough.

Jan. 3rd, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! These two characters own me.
Jan. 3rd, 2008 08:50 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed this!
Jan. 3rd, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thanks for reading!
Jan. 3rd, 2008 09:30 am (UTC)
I guess that means I officially file you under the very, very, very few authors I would actually read original fiction from :)

I love how you drew it. I think with original stories the biggest issue is always how you set the scene and whether you can get people to "see" the characters (or even care for them) in such a short time period. I think it worked here. The story has a certain... trickling effect for lack of a better word, where at first it sort of trickles along, gets faster and just sucks you in and takes you along to wherever it is leading. So yes, it worked :)

I have some random boring meta stuff in my head about the dynamics and styles of fanfiction vs. original fiction, but my head if way too confuzzled to post it and that probably wouldn't be the right place anyway.

Either way, I'm so happy to see you writing :)

Random fave quote:

Words like ‘denial’ enter his vocabulary. Other words are quick to follow. Like ‘avoidance’ and ‘catharsis’.
Jan. 3rd, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
Awww. You know, I really think I missed your comments. =)

I know I've been gone from LJ for forever, but the Prison Break was lacking any inspiration and I didn't even start watching Season 3 until a couple of days ago. But now that my life has calmed down and my hard drive replaced I finally have time to write and, as it turns out, I missed it so much more than I realized.

I really appreciate you reading this despite it being original fiction-- your feedback is always so well thought out.

Dynamics and styles of fanfiction vs. original fiction would be an interesting discussion I think.

Anyway, thanks for reading and posting and I certainly plan on writing more!
Jan. 3rd, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC)
Phew :) I'm so glad. I was getting worried that we were scaring you, swarming in with our comments.

I think it's wonderful when somebody goes into Original Fiction (in my head, that's always what I picture people doing when they don't post much). I'm definitely rooting for you :D

Dynamics and styles of fanfiction vs. original fiction would be an interesting discussion I think.

I hope we'll have it one day. Once I get my thoughts on it in order. Though I fear I know way too little about original fiction, especially short fiction and poetry, though reading original stuff like yours makes me wish to read more of that again.

I'm so listening to Il Divo right now. Because seeing you post reminded me that I don't have any of their songs on my current laptop and that I haven't listened to them in a while and I had to rectify that; Pour Que To M'aimes Encore)
Jan. 3rd, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
Scared? Heck no. =)

Original fiction is my passion, if only because it is all mine.

And seriously, Il Divo. Gah, I miss them too. I just got a new iPod and I don't have them on it at all. And now you've got ME furiously downloading their album. Lol.

Edited at 2008-01-03 09:32 pm (UTC)
Jan. 3rd, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
î>And seriously, Il Divo. Gah, I miss them too. I just got a new iPod and I don't have them on it at all. And now you've got ME furiously downloading their album. Lol.</i>

Heh, glad to be of service. :)

I think it's always harder to keep up people's interest in original fiction especially online (with fanfiction I think the progress of the show, the longer bond people have with the characters probably does half of the job of keeping people's attention). So everybody who writes original fiction even though it might be a potentially thankless business, just for the love it, has my complete respect and admiration. You guy rock :)

And I say that with a guilty conscience because I know I suck at that as well, after all, I don't really read any original fiction online if it wasn't written by one of the fanfiction authors I particularly love. So I'm guilty of it too.

Either way, fanfiction or original, fiction or no fiction, I'm glad you are around :)
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 3rd, 2008 07:51 pm (UTC)
You made my day with your ridiculously wonderful comment. And then of course the referrals-- oh how I have missed writing for people like you.

And trust me. I will be writing more-- I've missed it terribly and it seems to be all I can do these days. =)

(Deleted comment)
Jan. 3rd, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I am constantly re-arranging words when I write and its lovely to know that its appreciated.

Thank you again, for reading and taking the time to leave a comment.
Jan. 3rd, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)
ms_vacant pointed me in your direction. This is a really great piece of writing. I love both these characters.
I feel like I've just read a great tragedy.
You should write more often.
I'm definitely going to hang around here to see if you update more...

Jan. 3rd, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
I have a thing for tragedies, you see. There is nothing more appealing to me, as a writerm than something tragic.

I will definitely be writing more.

Thank you so, so much for reading!
Jan. 3rd, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
I'm another one sent over by gatheringlight. I thoroughly enjoyed this, I like your writing style very much and may have to stick around a bit and read some more of your fic.

I love that the guy in your story went to college and learnt words to describe his feelings. And he's such a sweetheart.
Jan. 3rd, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
I would love it if you stuck around. =)

Thanks for reading!
Jan. 3rd, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
recycledfaery led me here
I absolutely love the last paragraph. beautiful
Jan. 3rd, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! =)
Jan. 3rd, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
i followed <lj user="miss_vacant>'s link here, and though i rarely read original fic, i really enjoyed this!
Jan. 3rd, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
Well I appreciate you reading this, despite being orignal fic and I am incredibly glad that you enjoyed it too!

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )