Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Part 122

"Carp!  I told you I could take care of it myself!  Give me back my shirt!!"

"Hold still and stop wiggling.  You act like no one has ever seen you without clothes before."

I swear if I had had my bat right then ....

"I don't exactly make a habit of it.  All you doctors are alike.  You just like to embarrass people and point out their shortcomings."

She stopped poking all the bruises and checking my ribs and stood up and looked at me.  I mean really looked at me.  Looked at me until I couldn't look back.  "OK Pip ... let's get one thing straight.  We watch each other's backs.  No one ... and I mean no one ... gets to touch or even see any of us unless the person being touched or looked at is willing."  She sighed and after a brief hesitation said, "Josie ... Josie got used pretty bad when she was little, before she was adopted.  She ... she can be a little rough around the edges and you making friends with those boys so fast ... I think she thought you'd had the problems she'd had and then when you didn't act ... well, when you started acting differently than expected ..."

"You mean just because I was talking to a couple of boys my age you all thought I was some kind of hoochie momma or something."

She looked at me for two seconds then snorted.  "No.  Definitely not a ... uh ... hoochie momma ... but maybe a something."

My feelings are not hurt.  They're not.  But I was ... well ... offended.  Yeah, that's what.  I was offended.

"Well for your information I'm not like a something ... or anything else either ... it's gross and nasty.  I wish people would just stop talking about it!  Just because I learned to deal and live with perverts and freaks to survive doesn't mean that I am one or that I want to be one!  It seems like only two types of people have survived all this carp going on.  Really nice ones or really carpy one.  Go ahead and think what you want, you opinion doesn't mean ... doesn't mean jack to me.  Got it?"

She snorted.  "You're too short to pull that attitude you have off.  I'll relay the info.  Give Josie some breathing room and she'll come around."

"Give her breathing room?!  She's the one that's been all up in my face.  I don't even get why.  I don't go around using my carpy life experiences as an excuse to chew on people like a puss brain.  I'd be happy if they'd all leave me alone.  I'll do the job I signed up for ... but I didn't sign up to be babysat or make a bunch of friends either."

"Then why're you hanging around them boys.  Even had that redhead back after hours."  Josie had come in behind me and I tried to jerk my shirt up and on by she yanked it out of my hand.  "Where'd all them marks come from?" she demanded.  "You into pain?"


Josie looked at me and shook her head.  "Something wrong with you girl.  You sure you're sixteen?  You don't look it."

Growling and getting tired of having to explain myself to complete strangers I snapped, "I ... was ... a ... preemie ... ok?  Is that a crime?  Something happened and I was like a failure to thrive in the womb baby.  I was sick for a long time and I just never caught up.  But I finally got boobs and all of the other stuff ... I'm just kinda skinny right now.  They'll come back."  Even I heard the stupid desperation in my voice when I muttered, "They have to.  I refuse to look like a boy for the rest of my life."

It was Lucy's turn to walk in and embarrass me by saying, "Being flat chested isn't so bad.  Look at me.  Saves trying to find bras.  And no back aches.  Shelly has back aches all ..."

"Shut up Luce."  Sgt. Shelly had arrived to complete my humiliation.  "She ok?"

"I'm like right here.  You don't need to talk over me like I can't hear you."

Ignoring me with a grin Gayle said, "She's about to explain where all the scars she has come from."

I groaned at the inevitability of it.  "Look.  I'm only going to say this once and then we are completely done sharing.  Got it?  I was just fourteen.  Mom and I had gone into the city to get my first grown up party dress.  Then ..."  I gave them a brief explanation of my life.  I finished by saying,  "Life is just carpy.  I take care of myself now.  Sometimes I do a good job and sometimes not so good.  Sometimes things happen that aren't my fault either way.  End of story.  No more questions.  Now give me my shirt!"

I grabbed it from the extended hand that held it and put it on and finished getting redressed.

I was tucking everything back in when MSgt. Shadwell stuck her head in and asked, "She in one piece?"

"Yes!" I said before the others could answer.  "You got anything you need me to do?"

Lucy drapped her arm over me and said, "We're gonna have to teach you not to volunteer.  You see the trouble it has already got you into."

All the touchy feely stuff was turning my stomach.  I looked desperately around for an escape route and MSgt. Shadwell saw it and said, "I need to clarify some of the timeline Pvt. Peterson gave me."

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