Special Victims Unit
My first semester of high school was a haunting remix of Clueless, KIDS and Girl Interrupted. It all began with my new friend, Allissa. She was flawed in a way that was hard to explain but beautiful none-the-less. One of those, complicated, emotionally tortured types. Once, I was trying to convince her to ditch school with me and grabbed her wrist to pull her along when she resisted letting out a tiny cry of pain, shamefully raised her sleeve to bare her arm and it was immediately clear that this girl was far more complicated and tortured than I could have ever imagined.
Old scars, bloody residue and fresh new wounds decorated her otherwise flawless and frail arms. Some cuts were as thin as a needle or razor blade and others, so disturbingly deep that it was hard not to visualize her pushing down on her skin with the medical scissors she stole from her mom’s job. Much later in our friendship, Allissa revealed to me that she suffered from bi-polar personality disorder and was diagnosed with depression in middle school. From the outside looking in, she was perfect. Easily compared to one of the sweet valley high twins, except there was one of her. With stick straight, long blonde tresses framing her porcelain face and shadowing every move she made as if there were color trails from the best acid trip ever, following her around, Allisa wasn’t one to be ignored.
She was friends’ with all the “cool kids” at school. Some of them, I’d known from previous schools I’d attended but most, I’d only heard of through rumors that taught me things like the definition of a “snow blow” or “candy flipping”. Drugs were a pastime, rules were a challenge and boys suddenly rose to the top of our priority list. I was finally living the life I’d seen in movies, which meant more to me than it should have since I came from a family of pseudo intellectuals that minored in overprotection. Allissa and I lived one of three ways at all times that semester, either unpredictable, irresponsible or both. Like most weekends that fell under the ladder, Saturday afternoon we found ourselves at the nearest mall. Bored and looking for excitement, we’d shoplift useless items for our own entertainment. Key chains for our backpacks, matching windbreakers in a windless city, lip-gloss, body splash, it didn’t matter. We had the cash to pay for it but what fun would that be? After our fill of Cinnabon and accumulating useless accessories we came up with a spontaneously brilliant scheme to go get our tongues pierced. Once the brutal realization that we weren’t old enough to get pierced without a consenting adult, hit us, we figured it was time that we took our talents outside of the limiting mall.
Nearly seven city blocks into our first attempt at hitchhiking, a long black, stretch limousine pulled over ahead of us gaining our undivided attention. As a hand extended from the drivers side window, we walked in the direction of the luxury vehicle and noticed a pale, heavy set arm, waving us over. We ran towards the limo with excitement. A slightly overweight and middle aged man with beady eyes and less than attractive face rolled down the driver side window just enough to let out a few words. “You two need a lift?” he said in a friendly voice as we walked by. “Um…Hell yeah” we responded in unison as if we were reading a script. Before he could introduce himself Allissa chimed in “We’re going to this tattoo shop” she said as we scooted in the backseat. She handed him a business card that she’d gotten from some ink shop lackey at a house party the weekend before. “All the way by the airport? You two really should be careful. It’s dangerous for the two of you to catch rides all that way.” he said. “Good thing for you then” Allissa responded. “I know that’s right. I’m Greg” he added. We let out the standard “Nice to meet you” and told him our names. “I’m Brennan and this is Allissa.” I said. “How old are you guys if you don’t mind me asking?”. “Sixteen”! Again, we replied in unison. It was her favorite number and we always thought that fourteen sounded repulsively young. He didn’t seem to notice we were lying.
“Who do you usually drive around in this thing?” Allissa asked. “Women” he responded. “Yeah but are they just rich for no reason? What do they do?” I said curiously. “Men.” He responded nonchalantly. I pretended not to have a reaction while Allisa was more than interested in all his raunchy and most likely exaggerated tales. After more awkward conversation that included the rates that his go to prostitutes charge and the ins and outs of the West San Fernando Valley escort services, we finally arrived to the tattoo shop. I was the only one that got a piercing that day. Ironically, I foresaw lying to the shop manager about consent and pretending to call my parents as a full proof plan. Allissa’s mom was pretty cool. She was a medical assistant for a plastic surgeon and even let Allisa get her lips plumped occasionally, so we assumed her mom would okay the idea on the phone and wound up finding out otherwise. Walking out of the shop with a fresh new silver barbel topped with a swarovski crystal through the middle of my tongue, I was really hoping that Greg wasn’t waiting for us although he said he would be. As soon as we stepped on the sidewalk, he opened the door for us to get back in his car. I didn’t have much to say on the ride home and not just because my tongue was swelling up too big to speak. Before I knew it, he pulled over into a deserted parking lot. The past fifteen minutes, he and Allisa were going on and on about the women he picks up and drops off and what they do and how long it takes. She’d gotten all the dirty details. Greg turned the car off and joined us in the back of the limo. I immediately attempted to exit the car upon his enterence. At least, earlier there was a partition keeping his creepiness at a certain distance. He quickly slammed the door closed “Where are you going, honey?” There was suddenly a very Law and Order SVU vibe about him and I wanted out and NOW. “I need water,” I mumbled with a swollen tongue. He handed me a tiny travel size bottle of water from the cooler in the limo “Here, you go, you have to stay in here.” he said as he put his hand on my leg. It sent a shiver up my body. This guy was easily older than my dad. Allissa took her shirt off while he and she began to negotiate on compensation for sexual favors. He, like every other guy that had seen her topless was hypnotized and I must admit, even I knew she had some of the best tits at our school. He unfastened his belt, unbuttoned his slacks and pulled out his flaccid penis. I’d never seen one in real life and where were his balls? I moved to the other side of the limo as she positioned herself between his legs and began sucking his dick. “Jesus Christ, Liss, you’re such a slut” I said under my breath, irritated, disgusted and over it. “I’m getting paid aren’t I?” she replied as if it solidified what she was doing. Typical Allissa, she could rationalize anything. Apparently negotiating wasn’t her strong suit, considering she settled on sixty bucks for a blowjob. I would’ve paid her more than that to get the fuck out of there. I dazed off while they were going at it right in front of me. I felt it was most appropriate to not to stare. I gazed out the window, imagining that I had a pair of Allissa’s stolen medical scissors in my backpack and that when Greg extended his arm out to touch me, I ran the blade of those scissors straight through his hand and we’d run off. In reality, she ended up fucking him, they cleaned up his gross giz and he quietly dropped us off at the mall for our parents to pick us up. None the wiser.
The whole fiasco was etched in my mind and I couldn’t sleep that night. The next day at school I was a shell of myself but of course in true teenage girl fashion it was all our group of friends could talk about. “The exciting adventures of the hitchhiking limo ride to the tattoo shop.” When school let out I noticed a black stretch limo parked on the corner by the football sign. It again, sent a chill up my spine. It couldn’t have been him; he didn’t even know where we went to school. This was impossible. My dad’s car was ironically parked about 3 vehicles in front of the limo waiting to retrieve me from school, per usual. I walked straight to my dad’s car, cool, calm and collected from the outside looking in. While inside I was frantic and freaking out. What if my dad can tell that something went on? What if Greg tries to speak to me in front of my him? Limo or not and free will or not, my dad would gladly go to jail over it. He would have killed Greg right there on campus, had he known just for exposing me to such dealings.
I didn’t say a word and Greg didn’t exit his car, so I thought I was in the clear. I guess he didn’t notice me with all the kids around. I got in and could see the limo in the side view mirror of my dad’s car. I then noticed that not just Alissa but five of our other friends followed her inside of the limo. Lacey, Tricia, Jen, Jess and even Jill who was considered the “goody good” of the group. I was in shock. Sick to my stomach with a side of confusion. Was he trying to have a prepubescent orgy? What kind of twisted shit was this guy into? Greg came back every day for the next few weeks.
My friends started turning up with new tattoos, new clothes, fancy jewelry, money to blow and stories to tell. I’m not sure where most of them ended up. Allissa became a pornstar turned porn producer turned YouTube sensation. Naturally, at the time, I distanced myself from that particular group of friends. Although, I’ve stayed up countless nights since, wondering how many days of disorder it brought to my once best friend with those cold medical scissors and her sweet, scarred wrists.