Forty-Two Dollars

Without a word I brought my fists down hard over and over until they were bruised and the skin was broken. I threw the box off the bed, CDs crashing to the floor. The bathroom door slammed behind and the shower curtain after that. As I stood in the cool, dark, shower breathing heavily and trying not to scream, I realized what I’d done. 

I was so embarrased I had acted out. But I was still angry.
I walked back into the bedroom and packed all the CDs back up. I said some choice phrases, “I don’t need you.” “I can do this by myself.” “You’ll get your money.” Before slamming the door and nearly jogging to the bus stop, white hot anger in my tears.
The day was so nice. It was calm, it was an even temperature, warm sun, cool breeze. It was the second day of November.
I walked into the cd store, door jingling behind me. The man behind the counter checked each case to ensure they all held the correct cd. He evaluated the stacks of at least 60 well taken care of CDs and said, “I can do forty.”
I needed forty-seven to break even on the rent so I said, “Forty-seven?”
He sighed, “Forty-two and no higher.”
I stared down at the CDs. Years and years of memories and stories flashed through my eyes
It’s my fifteenth birthday, I’m sitting in a park with a boy who I know is my best friend but I’m not sure if he’s my boyfriend, he hands me a copy of Swoon by the Silversun Pickups I listen to it on repeat the rest of the summer;
I’m eight and obsessed with a song I hear on tv so I beg my mom to buy me the album. It’s the first cd I go out of my way to aquire.
I’m fourteen and staring at my ceiling, kind of wanting to die, kind of wanting a boyfriend, Siamese Dream is in my boombox and Billy is singing, “…Spaceboy I missed you, spinning round my head…”
I’m nineteen, again staring at my ceiling kind of wanting to die kind of wanting a boyfriend, and someone sings about a blue guitar over the speakers
It’s present day, “I’ll take it.”
He counts out the money and hands it to me, says thank you and expects me to leave.
I stand and stare at the CDs for a moment longer, tears welling up in my eyes and then stalk out the store.
I cry all the way to the bank. I take out the rest of the money I need for rent and I head home. I don’t feel like waiting on a bus so I just walk down Washington. I’m just past second street when I see a familiar face in my peripheral vision. He pulls into a driveway before I realize it’s him. Concern on his face, he waits for me to get in the car.
As soon as the door closes behind me I’m crumbling into his lap as he hushes me and holds me. I’m apologising over and over. He says he looked for me at the record store, he wanted to stop me, but he had just missed me, so he went where he thought I’d be and that’s when he saw me.
It’s moments like this that I realise how much we love each other. Loving someone means loving them even when they’re the lowest of the low, and he’s proven he can definitely love me at my lowest.

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