See the previous three installments of this series here.
When the guy at the ticket counter asked where two young pretty girls like us were going on a school day, I almost wanted to tell him whatever train got me to Newark Aiport the fastest. Then it would be a five hour flight to LAX, or maybe John Wayne. Then what, another hour or so before I could be on the outskirts of Anaheim, watching the faces of my brother Jeff and my dad as I ran into the house. Yeah, right. Nice fantasy and all, but I probably couldn’t pick Jeff out of a lineup these days which – from the brief overheard fights I can hear my mom having in the study these days – he’ll actually be a part of soon enough. Just another fantasy about getting the hell out of Connecticut and the stifling suburbs.
Instead, I flipped my hair back and smiled and asked for two tickets to New York. And even though I was a vegetarian and I heard that gelatin was made from cow’s feet, I made sure that Stacey could see me pop half a bag of Skittles in my mouth. “Take that, you midtown bitch,” I said.
“What?” Stacey cocked her head, distracted by the bag of bright candy in my hand. The candy stuck to the roof of my mouth; I could feel it eating away at my teeth, and I never had wanted a glass of water as badly as I did then. I was almost choking on liquid sugar, but I made sure Stacey saw it when I poured the rest of the brightly lit confections over my stained lips.
“I said: Our gate is which?” If I was back in California right now, I’d be on a beach. There would be palm trees and tanned boys. Our Mexican cleaning lady Rosita would bring her handsome son around to pull the weeds in our garden, even though technically that would be Jeff’s job. I would watch the two of them horse around from the roof, where I could be lying and getting a tan.
Instead I was going to Grand Central Station to visit Stacey’s relatives, who hopefully kept a huge supply of EpiPens around. The way she was sneaking around with the sugar these days, playing Russian Roulette with her diabetes, she’d need them. Too bad the supply she currently kept somehow got unpacked from her bag. I wish I could take credit for that one, but honestly Stacey’s been such a junkie these days on a perpetual sugar high that I think she actually forgot them on purpose. Hey, if she has a death wish, that’s kind of a bummer, but ultimately not my problem. New York girls are high-strung and high-maintenance. And if Stacey kept trying to pay her parents back by getting herself sick, that was her problem.
And if Kristy and the rest of the gang thought she was bad now, just wait until she got her period.
(Bret Easton Ellis is the acclaimed author of American Psycho, Less Than Zero, and Rules of Attraction. His books have been published in over 40 languages, and banned in 8 countries. This is his first attempt at writing young adult fiction.)