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Verbrennen: the Writer

Originally published September 2002

Jennifer stood shivering in the autumn rain while Brandon fumbled around for the key to his house. She didn't care really, she thought the water was sexy and knew she'd be warm soon anyway. He shoved the door to his house open and pulled her inside, scarcely making a noise. Brandon quickly determined that nobody was home and led Jennifer upstairs.

Brandon shut the door behind them as Jennifer walked towards the mirror. She stared at her pale face in the mirror. Had she really changed all that much? It seemed like it was a century ago; the summer before last when all of this had started. Her mind briefly wandered back to her memories of that summer. It hadn't been particularly great, all the good times were shadowed by the way it all ended, but somehow Jennifer was glad about it all; glad that college boy from Tennessee shattered her soul into a thousand pieces that would never be put back together. Glad because without it she would have never had been with Brandon. She had lost a lot of friends over her actions following the break-up too, but it didn't matter. Brandon was all Jennifer needed. She had been betrayed and thrown away by friends before, she knew better than to let it bother her.

Jennifer continued to stare deeply into the mirror as Brandon moved up behind her and wrapped his arms around her shivering body. She broke her gaze from the reflection of her own eyes to his.

She said nothing to him, nor did he speak to her; they didn't have to talk to communicate. There was a sub-communication understanding even they didn't comprehend. They both were annoyingly arrogant. They both were wickedly kinky, if not in action then in mind. They both had a criminal record, his for drugs and hers for various cases of violence and civil disorder. They both had dark hair and pale skin. They both spoke German and they both learned it at BHS. His friends had nicknamed him Commie; hers knew her as Dictator. Neither of them actually were communists, just a bit controlling of their surroundings. It was ok. Not just opposites attract.

Stripping off their wet clothes and jumping into bed seemed a bit comedic, as a bed was one of the few places they didn't often have sex. Pools, cars, closets, chairs, fitting rooms at the mall, in the bathroom during work breaks, everything was game, beds were just far too ordinary. But they were both cold, so the warm invite of a cozy comforter was a temptation neither could resist.

There was once a cliché-like saying along the lines of "no true relationship is founded on sex and built to love; it is founded on love and built to sex." However, there is an exception to ever rule, and Brandon and Jennifer were it.

When the relationship, if it could have been called that at the time, began, there was nothing but sex. Brandon was still suffering after a break up and wanted nothing more than a fuck buddy and Jennifer was under the impression that she would never again trust someone enough to have a real relationship. Love was the enemy.

Somehow, through time the past became irrelevant. What was once little more than fucking after school and on the weekends became and actual relationship. Neither of them expected it, yet it was never rejected.

After they had finished and smoked they ducked completely under the covers and giggled in stoned serenity. Jennifer was a giggly-party stoner, while Brandon was simply mellow. She never went much past weed, the occasional skittles or loritab perhaps but never hard drugs. Brandon wanted her to try ecstasy, but he knew better than to try and con her into it.

They had their fun for an hour or so more before he drove Jennifer home. It was still raining outside and the clouds hung like ever-watchful phantoms in the sky. They walked to her door and kissed briefly, then Brandon turned to leave.

"Hey." Jennifer called after him. He turned and waited. "I love you." She finished. He ran back up the stairs, kissed her, and slid something into her pocket.

"I love you to, now go inside before your dad gets pissed." Brandon said, giving her one last kiss before heading back to his car and driving away. Jennifer turned around and stepped through the doorway. She ran up to her room to see what little surprise he had put in her pocket. She smiled. It was Jon Stewart, expertly packed. The door to Jennifer's room flew open without warning. She stuffed it in her pocket lightning fast.

"What the hell is that?" Her father asked in a threatening tone. "And where were you?"

"I was out with Brandon, I left a note and told Parker where I was going." Jennifer replied. It wasn't a lie, she had left a note and told her brother where she was going.

"What's that thing in your pocket?"

"What thing?"

"That thing." He pointed.


"Give it to me." He demanded. Jennifer reached into her pocket and pulled out the pipe. He gave his look. The one look that all parents have, yet it is still impossible to describe. "You are never. Ever. Going to see him again." Her father said in a dangerous voice. "And I will be notifying the police tomorrow afternoon when you get home from school. And both Brandon and you will be charged."

Jennifer was sick with terror. She could face jail, which didn't scare her. She had to see Brandon again. She had to get him out of the state.

That night Jennifer climbed out her window down a rope made of sheets and creeped to her car. She started it and drove away silently, flooring it once she cleared her neighborhood. Tears streamed down her face, because she knew the end of everything was in fact, very close by.

Brandon was pleasantly shocked to see Jennifer on his doorstep at 11:30 at night until he suddenly realized that she had not snuck over for a midnight rendezvous. He sensed that something was very wrong. Brandon extended his hand to pull he inside, instead Jennifer pulled him out into the freezing rain.

"We have to leave. Now." She sobbed. Brandon sighed, figuring that she had been in a simple argument with her parents and just needed to feel loved.

"Come in and let me get my wallet and shit." He said. Jennifer stepped inside and stood quietly by the door. Brandon grabbed his wallet and sweater jacket.

"Get your keys. We have to drop off my car somewhere." She said. He gave her a look then grabbed them.

"Ok, whatever." Brandon said. They drove to the park, where Jennifer got out of her car and locked the keys inside. "What the hell..." Brandon began.

"My dad found Jon Stewart and he said I can never see you again. And tomorrow after school I'm going to be arrested, and so are you." Jennifer said, beginning to cry again. "I can't fucking live without you. Especially not in jail."

Brandon paused. "Get in the car." Jennifer walked over to the passenger side and got in. They drove in silence.

"Where are you taking me?" Jennifer asked.

"I'm not taking you anywhere. We are going to the beach." Brandon replied. "What do you have with you?" He eyed the bags she had thrown in his car.

"All my money, some clothes, a bottle of Jack Daniel's, all the condoms I could find, cigarettes, and my pistols." Jennifer confessed.

"Where in the fuck did you get pistols? And how many do you have?"

"I can't tell you that. I have three, but only two are loaded."

"Well, don't lose them. I need a smoke." Brandon said. Jennifer lit him a cigarette.

After driving for a good four hours, Brandon pulled over at a truck stop. Jennifer was asleep, her head resting on his lap. She had remained there after her sixth time "changing the oil" and Brandon had no intentions of moving her. He slid his hand along her torso and up he shirt where he paused and fell asleep.

Jennifer woke up first the next morning. She gazed wearily at what she immediately recognized as the ceiling of Brandon's car. Sick panic took over as she remembered the events of the previous night. She shook Brandon awake. He swore and blinked a few times before reaching out and turning on the car. "What beach are we going to?" Jennifer asked.

"I don't know, one with not a whole lot of people." Brandon answered. "I am hungry as fuck, where do you want to eat?"

"I don't care." Jennifer sighed. It was the truth; in her entire life she never once remembered caring where she went to eat. All she ever ordered was chicken anyway.

"Mmm...IHOP." Brandon said and parked. He moved to get out of the car, but Jennifer leaned over and pushed the lock down, straddling Brandon at the same time. She looked up at him with cool blue bedroom eyes. He laid the chair back and swung his left arm around, scooping up Jennifer into the back seat and climbing on top of her.

"Grab a rubber from the front pocket of my bag." She requested. Brandon dug around the bag unsuccessfully.

"Aw fuck it." He said. They proceeded to slide off their clothes and shag like there was no tomorrow, for the reality of the situation was there was an overhanging chance there wouldn't be.

After they had been on the road for a while Jennifer spoke. "What are we gonna do at the beach?"

"Lay low for a while."

"I've only got like, sixty bucks."

"Yeah." The silence resumed in the car until Brandon and Jennifer arrived at Panama City in the afternoon. Brandon parked in front of a nice summerhouse that appeared to be shut up for the season. They got out of the car and searched for an unlocked door or an open window. Jennifer finally jacked one of the locks and walked in. The rooms were immaculate minus a small layer of dust covering everything in the house. She dropped her bag on the floor and flung herself onto the couch. Brandon followed and they fell asleep, wrapped around each other in a tight embrace.

When Brandon awoke Jennifer was sitting on the beach in the back of the house, a bottle of wine at hand. He walked over and sat down next to her. "Sunset on a beach. Very sexy." She said.

Brandon laughed. "Fuckin' nympho."

Jennifer sighed. "Cara said that to me once last year 'cause my mood in my LJ is always 'horny'." She paused. "Damn, it just kinda hit me that I'm never gonna see her again. Or any of my other friends. Or my brothers."

"Shit happens."

"The story of my fucking life." Jennifer laughed. "The sun is almost set. We should be fucking right now."

"Right now?" Brandon teased.

"Yes. This very minute." She played along.

"Ok then."

Unknown to both Brandon and Jennifer, a neighbor had called the police reporting a shady vehicle parked in front of the house they had inhabited. At the very same moment, a police cruiser arrived and called in the plate number of Brandon's white Jeep to be checked for theft or criminal ownership.

Back at the house Brandon and Jennifer sat watching TV. Brandon pressed mute, having heard sirens. They stood up just in time to see police cruisers pulling up in front of the house.

"Oh shit!" Jennifer exclaimed. Brandon reached in her bag and pulled out the two loaded pistols and grabbed her hand, pulling her out the back door. They ran behind a dune and lay down in the cool sand. Brandon unlocked and cocked both the guns. Jennifer looked at him, silently crying. He pressed a gun into her palm. They embraced so that they were facing each other, her gun pressed to the back of his head and his to hers. A sob escaped Jennifer's lips and they kissed.

"I'll count it, but you can't back down. This is the way it has to be." Brandon whispered to her. She nodded in response and they kissed one last time. "On three, one, two..."


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