They were new to town by a couple of months. Both were from Michigan and had set off to college in California in hopes of gaining adventure. After all anything had to be better than the hick town of Tawas Michigan.
Kat pulled into the driveway of the apartment complex in her dump of a red car. The music was blaring at an ear deafening volume. She shrugged at Krystal as she stopped her car, the car giving an alarming screech. Krystal sighed and took another puff of her cigarette.
“Hi there.” Krystal passed her cigarette to Kat before slamming the door shut.
“Sorry, my boss was having a fatherly speech again, I didn’t know that working in a video store was going to be a shifting career choice.” Kat pulled her wild bleached hair into a tight ponytail.
“Nice. Where are we going?”
“Boardwalk, I heard from Maria at work there is a good band playing.” Kat took a brief pause to plaster another coat of thick red lipstick across her full lips. She checked the rest of herself in the mirror gave a satisfied smile then started the car.
“ You shouldn’t fuss Katie you look nice.” Krystal smiled at her pretty, tall, and newly blonde best friend.
“There’s gonna be some hott guys Kris, we need to be prepared. I haven’t gotten laid in a week.” She flashed a pearly white smile and adjusted her bra so the animal print now peaked out of her black shirt.
Krystal grimaced a bit but pulled out a mirror to check her own image. Two almond shaped hazel eyes gleamed back at her. The change of weather was making her hair frizz again after she had attacked it for an hour with mousse and hairspray. She signed snapping the mirror shut. She hated her hair; it made her look Mexican with it thick uncontrolled waves. Even though she wasn’t.
By the time they had reached the boardwalk, the band’s yelling and loud guitar riffs were everywhere.
“Alright lets get searching for some men babe.” Kat adjusted herself again. “ Krystal stop fussing with your hair. Hey the band is really good!” Kat about dragged Krystal to the hoard of drunken and wild people. They were cheering and screaming at the raging band on the stage. Kat was smiling even broader as she made her was closer and closer to the stage with Krystal in tow.
“See I told you they were gonna be good!” Kat shouted at her.
“They are loud!” Krystal covered her ears from the booming speaker dangerously close to her.
“Krystal relax! I thought you wanted to get out and try new things?”
“I do, I really want right now to get shit faced.” With a scowl on her face she headed for the nearest beer tent. She flashed her id, shoved the guy at the counter a wad of cash and left.
Kat was now dancing with two nameless guys. Krystal came to a halt and turned on her heel back to the tables. She didn’t want to get caught up in a night of escapades. She cursed loudly as a tall blonde male crashed into her. The foamy brown liquid slopped over onto her hand. “Sorry.” She muttered. The man flashed her a smile. He looked out of a rolling stone magazine. “No problem babe.” He smirked at her. Krystal felt his eyes prowling her. She exhaled loudly and rushed off to drink at the nearest table.
She left the rocker male starring blankly at her retreating back.
Kat was now sitting a few seats down from Krystal as the evening wore on, the two men had treated her to cotton candy and a beer. They even were thoughtful enough to buy Krystal a beer, after which she had already finished her third. She was barely buzzed as she slammed back the fourth drink. Krystal turned her gaze back at her friend who was laughing like a hyena. Krystal pondered why she couldn’t be the one to be bold and wild and have numerous men buying her gifts and competing over her.
Then she remembered she was sane.
“Do you mind if I take a seat here?” The stranger asked.
Krystal froze looking into his eyes. She figured she must have been looking like a deer in headlights right now. She had to stop and re play his question. He was talking to her right?
“I’ll take that as a yeah.” He sat his tails from his tux coat swooshing over the seat. He was close to her, really close. His legs covered in tight white pants were protruding into her personal space. He had got past her shield.
“Do you mind” He gestured towards her neglected lighter on the table.
Krystal mind was fuzzy, but it might have been the beer. Slowly she nodded, studying this odd character. He was the one that had bumped into her earlier. He had called her babe.
Her a babe.
He lit his cigarette the flame gleaming in his blue eyes. The same set of eyes that wouldn’t break eye contact from her. “You don’t talk much do you girl?”
“I talk.” She shot back at him.
He faked a surprise look. “Oh I see. My names Paul.”
She stared at him; he was waiting for her to answer. She cranked her head back to in hopes of catching Kat’s eye. She wanted to leave.
“Krystal.” She spat with no emotion.
He took her rudeness as a challenge. “What a beautiful name for a beautiful lady.” He smiled taking a quick drag from his cigarette. He began to hum a tone that sounded much like the same Areosmith song Kat had been blaring in the car.
“There are tons of girls named that.” She realized he wasn’t one for breaking eye contact. So she did instead, a ting of color burning her checks.
He laughed. “You can’t take a compliment can you Krystal?”
“No,” she looked back at him. “Not when the compliment is coming from-“
“Hey Krystal!” Kat slurred her friend’s name. “I’m gonna run to the video store and pick up my work schedule I meet you at the car. Is that alright?” Kat had a mischievous grin on her face that looked a lot like ‘ I’m gonna go have sex’.
“Yeah whatever.” Krystal was hoping she’d pick up on her sarcasm. But judging by the shriek of happiness and peck on her check she didn’t.
She was alone with Paul.
“You know I won’t bite.” He stared at her this time without a smile.
“How do I know that? I don’t know you.” She frowned at him.
“I’m Paul your Krystal and you are new in town. And I do believe your friend just aboundon you. So what do you say we go do something?” Krystal raised her eyebrow at him. “Not like that, I mean to kill some time and live a little. How about a ride?”
Paul smile returned, she was playing smart. “Okay have it your way. How about another beer?”
She hesitated, “okay.” Her voice was small as she answered. He was intimidating, even though she was well aware he was gorgeous.
By the time Krystal had her sixth beer she was dancing on the line of being intoxicated. She had also become rather a chatterbox oddly enough and had blurted things about herself out to Paul.
He was turning out to be a charming, and funny guy.
Perhaps it was just the beer.
“So you are here on a scholarship?” He inquired.
“Yes, but I think I may loose it. There are many distractions in Santa Carla.” She smiled happily.
“Like me?” Paul was enjoying her company and smile, the few that she did offer.
Paul studied her for a moment and smiled. He couldn’t resist it. He took the chance a planted a soft kiss on her lips. He thought at first she hit him, but instead she simply pushed him back. “I’m sorry. I’m trying to take advantage of you.”
“I’m glad you our honest.” Krystal laughed softly. It did feel good to laugh.
“ It’s just you are beautiful.” Paul gave her a warm smile, genuine to the core.
He had called her beautiful. Kat was beautiful also.
Her mind mentally screamed. “Kat”
Paul was caught of guard. “What?”
“Kat. I was supposed to meet her at the car. I forgot, I should go.” Krystal Sprang to her feet. The dizziness hit her like bricks; she grasped the table to keep herself steady.
“You are in no condition to go on your own, especially alone. I’ll help you to get there.” Paul stood up and took her arm and wrapped it around him.
Krystal was about to protest until she realized she needed him. He led her towards the parking lot that had emptied considerably. When her and Kat first had arrived it had been jammed with cars. They had been forced to park in the far back. Which now was almost completely empty. As they approached Krystal stumbled over an unforeseen object and landed with a thud.
Paul looking rather shocked pulled, her up from the ground. “Are you okay beautiful?”
Laughing at her clumsiness she picked up the worn shoe she had tripped over. “Hey this is Kat’s. I wonder if the ninny had a good time. Here kitty Kat where are you?” Krystal released Paul and stumbled over to the car. She wondered if she had fallen asleep. Sure enough Kat was slumped over in the back seat totally out. Krystal smiled at her as opened the door. “Hey girl wakes up!”
Paul was behind her, frozen eyes locked on the two young women.
“Kat?” Krystal pulled the hoody that was a make shift blanket from over her friend. “Boo!”
There was no response. Krystal stared at her friend until the realization hit her. The blood was smeared all over her friend’s chest. Krystal didn’t know what to do. Her knees gave out from underneath her and the next thing she knew was her head hitting the cold hard pavement and Paul’s retreating form.