What’s on the menu for my characters in TRAINWRECK? Um, a dinner date? I decided to write a scene with Ben and Ani before her rape because part of the fallout of Ani’s sexual assault is the damage to their relationship. A relationship that is actually very strong before it is damaged permanently by the events of one party.
“Where to?” Ani asked as she slipped into my jeep.
I shifted my eyes to the side and glanced at her bare legs. Even after three weeks, I couldn’t stop staring at them. My heart thunked in my chest and my palms felt like an overly enthusiastic poodle had licked them.
“Beez.” Ani snapped her fingers. “I’m up here.”
I grinned. “Sorry. Nice legs.”
“Are you going to sit here all night admiring them or are we actually getting food?” Ani crossed one smooth tan thigh over the other. I raised an eyebrow.
“You’re teasing me?”
She smiled and I lost my breath. Still. Three weeks and I was like a third-string basketball player suddenly asked to start.
“Dinner, Beez. I’m starving. Where are you taking me?”
I gripped the steering wheel with my slick palms and forced myself to move. “Zoo.”
She laughed. “Again? You’re taking me to dinner at the zoo again? If I didn’t know any better, I’d think it was becoming our place.”
“I like your mustardy kisses,” I said.
She belly laughed and it circled around me, through me, and made me want to pull the jeep over again so I could make out with her. She leaned over and squeezed my shoulder. “You’re a surprisingly good boyfriend. I wouldn’t have guessed it when we first met.”
She sat back into the crappy vinyl of my bucket seats and sighed in the way girls do when they’re thinking about serious stuff. “Not everyone likes mustard,” she said as she looked out the window. She turned back to me. “I’m glad you do.”
“Is this your Ani way of telling me you really like me?” Please say yes. Christ, don’t let me be the moron who’s fallen too hard too fast for a girl who only half-likes me.
She shook her head. “Of course it isn’t. I think you’ve known me long enough to know I’m not that subtle.”
I snorted and coughed.
She swatted me. “Shut up. You think I’m adorable in my lack of subtlety.” Adorable and amazing and like no girl I’ve ever met.
“So?” I asked her and hated that my voice sounded needy. Idiot move, but there was no turning back now. I pulled the jeep to the side of the road and stared at her.
She licked her lips and blinked. Why do girls do this? Always with the lick-lipping. Surely this is some ploy they learned in junior high to turn us inside out.
“I like you,” she said and didn’t break eye contact with me. “Just as much as you like me. Maybe more.” She grinned and the breath knocked out of me. “Now can we get a move on here? I’m starving and sitting on the side of the road is not getting you any closer to mustardy kisses.”
Christa Desir writes dark contemporary young adult books and is represented by Sarah LaPolla at Curtis Brown, Ltd. She graduated as a theatre major/women's studies minor from Grinnell College and lives with her family outside of Chicago.
Christa's debut novel, TRAINWRECK, was created after she attended a survivor testimonial writing workshop offered by the Voices and Faces Project. Written from a boyfriend's perspective, it tells the story of a girl who is gang raped at a party and the fallout of their relationship afterwards. It will be published by SimonPulse in Fall 2013.