Last time with Helene Troy:

They woke up together. Helene was relieved to be in her own bed this time, on her left side, with her right arm draped over Xander’s chest. His phone played Social Distortion’s Far Behind as an alarm. She pulled her arm away and sat up. Xander turned the alarm off and whispered.

“I’m sorry about this Helene. I have a 10 o’clock art history class.”

Helene suppressed her ill morning temper and stood. Her t-shirt was tucked under her bra. She felt his eyes.

“Clever ring tone, Xander. At least it’s not Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.”

Her sarcasm was lost in the stress of what her day held. Band practice in two hours, a conversation with her landlord about keeping the apartment, a meeting with The Manager about opening for The Golden Apples, and a half-dozen other problems that the bottle of Jack Daniels on the dresser might solve. Xander stood behind Helene and put his large, soft, soothing hands on each of her shoulders.

“Helene, I had a great time with you. I felt like you let me in a little. It was sexy as hell.”

Helene smiled and moved her head backward to feel his hug. He was tall and strong. She turned around and put his arms around her waist. She leaned in and moved her full lips over his nervous mouth. The kiss was awkward. Xander barely opened his mouth. He seemed to recoil in fear. Helene narrowed her green eyes.

“What is it?”

Xander tried to embrace her. Helene took a step back and crossed her arms.

“I’m sorry, Helene. I didn’t want to, you know, make you think…”

His stammer made Helene seethe.

“Be a big boy and use your words, Xander. I stopped drinking, let you draw on my wall, listened to you prattle on for an hour about Jackson Pollock and let you cop a feel or three then sleep in my bed. What the fuck is it? I’m not good enough for you?”

Xander looked hurt. He walked out of the bedroom. As he reached the stained green sofa in the living room he turned and yelled.

“I like the beauty more than the beast! A lot more! You surprised me! I didn’t want you to think I was trying to fuck you! If you don’t want me to come to the show tonight, let me know!”

He slammed the door as he left.

Helene choked back tears and went to the bottle by the bed. She took a drink then texted Ramona.

“I have an hour to kill. You want it?”

Helene walked into the bathroom, placed her phone on the counter then washed her face. As she applied makeup, a text came through. It was from Xander.

“I’m a damn good kisser and I’ll prove it to you.”

Helene typed back.

“You’re on the list.”

She grabbed a duffel bag from under her bed. Next to it was a plastic bin with a blue label that read “concert clothes”. She pulled out a pair of brown leather pants, two tank tops, and a couple of other shirts. Ramona called.

“Honey, I have an hour, maybe an hour and a half. I could take you by the Soho loft where you girls practice.”

Helene let out a deep sigh and fell on the bed.

“What’s the sigh for, Leney? Is everything all right?”

Helene wondered if letting Ramona know her problems would just create another. Her loneliness clouded her judgement.

“You know ‘Mona. Every guy lies or belies. Between eviction from this place and dealing with dudes like Case Hill and the manager tonight, I’m just kind of tapped out on bullshit.”

Ramona made an offer.

“How much do you need to stay in that apartment? I could pay you for the studio work up front or lend you the money.”

Helene needed Ramona’s help but couldn’t bring herself to ask. She leaned down and pulled out a cigar box full of cash she’d saved over the past several weeks.  

“I couldn’t take your money, ‘Mona. Right now I just need your friendship or whatever we’re doing.”

Ramona was silent for several seconds. For a moment Helene thought she’d hung up.

“You have that in spades, honey. I’ll pay you for two months studio work. That should help get you out of hock with your landlord. If it doesn’t, tell me and I’ll make some calls. You could stay here until…..”

Helene grimaced then responded.

“No fucking way, Ramona, I couldn’t live there. You’d hate me after a week.”

Ramona laughed.

“Sigh no more, Leney. Men were deceivers ever, one hand on our hearts and one in a whore….or something like that.”

Between mutual laughter, Helene started packing.

“I’m coming over ‘Mona. You can help me dress for the show.”

****blogger’s note***

This is a new Helene Troy story episode. You can read the rest of the story, so far, here:

 For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Crosshavenharpist challenged me with “Your inspiration for the week:
“Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more.
Men were deceivers ever.
One foot in sea, and one on shore,
To one thing constant never…”
from “Much Ado About Nothing”, II:III by Shakespeare.” and I challenged The Last Astronaut with “Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change.”

If a song was ever created for a character it would be Seether for Helene. She embdies it’s attitude, sarcastic delivery, and message. Here’s Seether by Veruca Salt