****Last time with Helene Troy****

It was almost noon and Helene was just coming home from then previous night. The door was open. Darcy’s key’s were on the floor with her shirt and and jeans. A stench of vomit emanated from the hallway. Darcy hadn’t made it to the bathroom the first time. Helene struggled to be sympathetic. She had two hours to meet with the manager to talk about Slipper Socks Medium’s future then make it to work for a 12 hour shift at Mickey’s.

“Darse, can I get you anything? Look, I’m not cleaning that up. Seriously, it’s awful. So, you ok?”

Darcy walked out of the bathroom, ashen, holding a pink washcloth to her forehead. Her thin black hair was matted to the left side of her gaunt face. She forced a childlike smile.

“Good afternoon Leney. It must have been an epic night.”

Darcy fell onto a futon in the middle of the room that acted as a couch. Helene saw the bruises on Darcy’s arms.

“Darse things can’t go on like this. You need to get it together or go home to Jersey and see if your sister can help. I love you, but me and the girls scored a meeting with The Golden Apples manager. It’s in about an hour. It can’t include you, not like this. I know Raleigh is bringing you down, and that thing last month hurt but…”

Darcy rose slowly from the futon and threw the damp cloth at Helene, missing her face but landing on her shoulder. She got within a a few inches of Helene and pointed her skinny finger.

“If it wasn’t for me, you don’t ever meet Case Hill and that stupid band! My boyfriend isn’t some rockstar I fuck to get ahead. He’s a misunderstood artist who won’t rat on his friends. You’re such a bitch! You were going to sign with that manager without me?”

Helene didn’t hide. She shook her head yes and took her verbal beating. Darcy continued to hiss.

“Fuck you Leney! Fuck Case Hill! Sadie and Mara won’t do this to me. I know them. They won’t sell out a friend.”

Helene made a choice. She looked at the puddle of puke in the hallway, the dead cockroach next to the fridge, and realized she wouldn’t have a place to live in 3 weeks.

“Get clean Darcy. You do that and I’ll promise you whatever you want. We’re not the New York Dolls or Guns N’ Roses and it’s not 1973 or 1987. It’s 2008 and we’re just a chick band in the city that no one wants to see strung out. Sadie and Mara are with me. They want to play music to more than 10 people a night for beers and kicks.”

Darcy walked into the kitchen and found a dingy pink towel. She liked the color pink. She stomped to the hallway and wiped up the offending mess. Still on her bare knees and beat up hands she started to cry. It turned to sobbing. Helene never moved from her area next to the kitchen. Darcy rose and tears streamed down her worn face. She looked ten years older than her age of 25.

“Don’t do this me Leney! I need the band so bad! I know I haven’t shown it because of Raleigh’s shit but I want Slipper Socks Medium so bad. I’ll do better!”

Helene’s put aside compassion and gave Darcy what she thought she needed; stark truth.

“The drugs are talking right now. I know I’m being a big fat hypocritical bitch because I got liquored up and slept with my ex boyfriend last night but I still pay my bills, show up to work, and stay sober during gigs. You can’t do any of that. That might be cold but it’s not just the two of us. There’s other people to consider plus tomorrow and the next day to think about. You can’t get Raleigh clean if you’re not clean. I’m going to meet with the manager. It’s the best thing for Slipper Socks Medium.”

Helene walked past Darcy into her the bathroom. She turned on the shower and began to undress. Darcy pushed the door open. Helene didn’t look back as she climbed in, feeling the water bounce off her face. Darcy stood outside the opaque curtain sobbing again.

“You’re doing what’s best for Helene Troy!”

Helene hurt inside. She knew she was right and Darcy was right. For two years, she struggled to make everyone else happy. With an opportunity to make something happen with her music, she was being nakedly ambitious.

“Darse, I don’t have time to come back here. I’m going straight to Mickey’s after the meeting. If you want to come by and talk, cool. You can even sit in with me for set, I’d love that. For now, this meeting with the manager is what is. I’m sorry.”

Darcy didn’t respond. Helene finished her shower and stepped out. She walked without a towel into her bedroom, dripping water on the creaking hardwood floors. There was no sight or sound of Darcy in the loft. Helene dried off and dressed. She walked into the foyer next to the kitchen to get a hairbrush from her bag. Next to the bag she saw a polaroid picture. On the back was the date, July 4th 2006. Two years and almost two months earlier, new friends, Helene Troy and Darcy Bridges, met at an early gig for The Golden Apples. That night,  drunk Helene took stoned Darcy into her band. She flipped the picture over to the front. Looking into their inebriated smiles she understood why Darcy needed her so bad. It was drunk Helene that promised stoned Darcy rock stardom. Helene crumbled the picture in her hand and tears filled her green eyes. She smoothed it back out and put it in her bag.

********blogger’s note*********

This is a new story episode of The Ballad of Helene Troy. There’s no prompt. The story so far can be found here:

Today’s song is really old but it’s really good. It also is a nod to International Talk Like A Pirate Day because the band is Paul Revere and the Raiders. My dad and I used to listen to this song a lot when I was a little kid. The bass line is great, the singer is spot on and the anti-drug message fits the storyline. Here’s Kicks.

8 responses to “Kicks

  1. Wow. This story moves like an express train. I read it so fast. You do a wonderful job with dialogue. It captured these women so well and so quickly.

    Also, the tension and the emotions were powerful. I felt for both Helene and Darcy. Yet, I was pleased that Helene didn’t give in, even as I felt the pull to do so.

    This is great writing. Thank you for sharing it. I’ll look for more of this story at your site:~)

  2. I love, love, love Helene and the tenderness she showed at the end. yes she is tough and has to do what has to be done to get what she wants. But when I see her heart it makes me root her on even harder. Go girl!

  3. Pingback: Ruby Soho « My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

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