I Was Only 17
2 weeks after “Sins of the Mother”
She panted hard, her vision blurred with exhaustion. Blood dripped from her bruised, cut up hands as she clawed her way up. Feeling the smooth exterior of a window she smashed her aching fist through it. The glass shattered easily and she pulled the stray shards away as she climbed in. Fatigue disrupted her balance, causing her form to come crashing onto the floor.
Barbra flipped the light on, her sticks ready in case an intruder had climbed all that way. Seeing something that appeared to be human, she gasped. Moving to the form quickly, she was mortified to find the lump of blood and mangled flesh possessed a familiar face. Racing into the bathroom, she returned with a few towels, antibiotics and bandages. After dousing the carpet with blood stain remover, she began cleaning the woman’s wounds. “What did you do this time?” she whispered to the unconscious female as if she could reply.
Once every wound was cleaned and bandaged she quickly cleaned up the blood and pulled the woman onto her bed. Settling her in, she turned her CD player on. Perhaps the music would help her sleep.
“I was only trying to keep the walls from closing in. I was only waiting round for something to begin,” the CD player emitted softly.
The redhead glanced at the CD player, almost glaring at it. Why did it have to be THAT song? She hated that song. She looked back at the woman and noticed she was starting to fall asleep. Sighing, she put the song on repeat. Damn Dinah and her teen pop music. Staring at the clock she realized she couldn’t get back to sleep.
“I was only seventeen. I told you that it didn't mean a thing,” the song continued.
Rubbing her eyes, she leaned back in her chair. Hearing those lyrics took her mind back to when she herself was only seventeen.
~<>~ Feels like a million years ago ~<>~
Walking down the hallway, she kept her head down. She could feel the stares as she passed the popular crowd. One jock stepped out in front of her, causing her to bump right into him. “Hey four eyes, watch where you’re walking,” he laughed as she walked away.
“Hey, pick on someone your own size asshole!” someone growled from behind him.
He turned around and stared down at the feisty blonde who’d yelled at him. “Like you? Please, you might break a nail,” he sneered.
Barbra paused, looking over at them.
The blonde narrowed her eyes. “Look jackass, I don’t like you and your stuck up clique condemning people because they’re different. So stop now or I’ll have to break your face. Are we clear?” she hissed in his face.
~<>~ Small town where everybody knows everything about everybody else ~<>~
He gently pushed her away. “Check it out, the dyke bitch is sticking up for her little girlfriend, the Commissioner’s niece! You couldn’t hurt me if you. . .”
Before he could finish she kneed him in the balls. “Are we clear?”
He muffled a yes as she ran over to the shocked redhead. “Hey Babs, what’s up?”
“What’s up? You just hit that guy! You know Principle Fowler’s not gonna be happy about this.”
“Don’t worry so much girl! He’s not gonna tell anybody anything. I mean, if you were a guy would you wanna tell the principle you got beat up by a girl? Anyway, Brandye, Christie and me are going to a rave on Friday, you in?”
“I don’t know. You know how my Uncle is.”
“C’mon Babs, it’ll be fun! I promise to have you back by 1,” the cheerleader plead, putting on her puppy dog eyes.
Barbra couldn’t resist that look. She smiled softly. “Fine. I’ll go with you guys but I have to be home by 1:30 or my Uncle James will flip.”
“I know. Pick you up at six? Brandye’s mom’s making us dinner.”
“I love her Southern cooking! I’ll be ready.”
Later at the Gordon residence. . .
~<>~ Way back when there wasn't you and me ~<>~
She sighed softly, curling up on her bed. Laying on her back she stared at her full body Madonna poster. Tracing the woman’s curves she bit her bottom lip. Looking away she glanced at a picture of her and her Uncle James in the back yard barbecuing. Tears formed in her eyes as she remembered how peaceful those times had been. Now her existence was plagued with confusion, fear and pain. He didn’t know that and if she had anything to say about it he never would.
A tear slid down her cheek, leaving behind a streak of sorrow. She jumped slightly when she felt a warm, sand paper tongue lap up her liquid misery. She laughed softly. “Hey there Spice, you scared me you silly cat.”
The black, white and orange calico purred her apologies, rubbing against her mommy’s cheek. She knew something was wrong and she wouldn’t give up until her Babs was happy again. She mewed softly as the redhead picked her up, kissed her on the forehead then snuggled her close. She purred comfortingly, her mystic azure eyes meeting emerald.
“You know something’s wrong, don’t you baby? I can’t hide anything from you. It’s kinda confusing but you’re really the only one I can talk to. It’s my Uncle James. Well, not really. It’s something I have to tell him. I don’t know how though.”
‘Just tell him mommy,’ Spice mewed, now confused as well.
“It’s not that easy sweetie. I’m in love. . .with a girl. I’ve known for a while now that I’m not really into guys but I don’t know how Uncle James is gonna take it. I don’t wanna tell him but I know I should.”
‘Is she worth it,’ the calico growled with question. These humans were always getting themselves in messes they couldn’t get out of. Cat life wasn’t like that. You go out, make a name for yourself, stand your ground and hold down the fort. Well, you also had to protect your human’s but that was another story.
“Yeah, she is. She’s so amazing Spice. The way she smiles at me, it just makes me glow. And when she touches me, mmmh, she sets me on fire. You’d really like her sweetie.”
‘When can I meet her?’ the cat purred softly, nuzzling close.
“Barbra honey, are you home?”
“I’m in my room Uncle James.”
~<>~ I guess I was still naive. And the moment was as far as I could see ~<>~
Rubbing her eyes, she looked over the peaceful woman with a smile. Back then she’d been so innocent. All she wanted was to tell the ones she loved how she felt but she hadn’t realized what effect it would have on her life. Knowing that now she desperately wished she could change the past but it was gone and she could never get it back.
“I was only trying to keep the walls from closing in. I was only waiting round for something to begin. I was only seventeen, I told you that it didn't mean a thing,” the CD echoed.
“So, you ready to go Babs? The rave starts in about an hour which is how long it should take us to get there.”
“I guess,” the redhead sighed.
The blonde scrunched her brows. “What’s wrong hon? You seem a little down.”
“I’m just worried about telling my Uncle about. . .you know.”
The blonde smiled. “I know. Don’t worry about it sweetie, he’ll be cool about it. He’s pretty open minded.”
“Yeah,” Barbra gulped, jade eyes meeting sapphire.
After a moment of silence the blonde leaned in slowly, her lip almost touching the other girl’s. Barbra turned away, pulling her friend in for a hug.
‘Why can't you just love me?’ the blonde thought, sinking in sorrow.
~<>~ Please don't push too hard ~<>~
Hearing that nickname made the blonde grin. “No prob B,” she whispered with a quick kiss to her friend’s cheek. “C’mon, lets go.”
Barbra nodded, getting into the car beside her best friend. Looking out the window she felt the car start. They were off to party and even if she had to make herself, she was hell-bent on having some fun.
~<>~ The truth you think you're after might just break your heart ~<>~
Sinking in her seat, she rested her head against Kerri’s shoulder. Closing her eyes, she thought to herself, ‘Kerri, if only you knew. I love you but I can’t be what you need right now. It’s not you baby, it’s me. I think my Uncle would flip and with his connections I don’t want anything to happen to you. I wish you knew, I wish I could tell you but I just can’t. It’s the only way to protect you.’
Half way through the rave. . .
~<>~ Someone who I thought was my friend ~<>~
Yawning, Barbra sat on a large couch with her drink. Sipping it she began to feel a little funny. She eyed it cautiously, setting it aside for the moment. As she looked up she saw her friend Tobias hovering over her. “Hey there pretty lady. What are you doing sitting all alone?”
“Relaxing,” she replied, laying back as she closed her eyes. “So how are you?” she whispered, trying to stop the world from spinning.
He grinned, scooting closer. “I’m ok.”
She sat up, looking at him for a moment. He moved in, kissing her lips gently.
~<>~ But sometimes people just pretend ~<>~
She pushed him off. “Tobias, don’t.”
“Get your hands off her Toby, she’s not into you.” Kerri appeared in front of them, her eyes narrowed with fury. Taking Barbra by the hand she led her outside to one of the boat houses.
“For what B? You know I’ll back you up whenever you need me to. Toby’s a jerk anyway. Enough about that, how are you feelin?”
“Like I’m floating. I think he slipped something in my drink.”
“Shit. Is it having any bad effects on you babe? I could get Brandye to drive you to the hospital if you need it,” Kerri offered, concern apparent in her voice. “I mean, I’m pretty high myself but that’s by choice.”
“No, I’ll be fine. I just need to lay down and relax,” the redhead replied, laying back. When Kerri joined her she snuggled close, looking up at the stars.
“They’re beautiful, aren’t they?” the cheerleader whispered, meeting the other girl’s eyes.
Barbra stared longingly into the cheerleader’s eyes as she pressed their lips together. They parted, still staring at each other. This time it was Kerri who placed a soft kiss on her friend’s lips. They kissed for what seemed like forever, each kiss becoming more passionate, more lustful. Their hands slid up the other’s sides and they both paused.
“Barbra, are you sure?” the blonde whispered, her seductive tone smoother than honey.
The redhead shivered slightly. “I’m very sure Kerri. Make love to me,” she purred, hunger lingering on her lips.
The blonde captured her friend’s lips, her experienced touch removing what clothes she could. Their tongues dueled as they shed clothes. Kerri pulled a blanket over their bodies as she pressed her hard nipples onto her lover’s. The slightly younger teen moaned softly as her eyes slid shut. The cheerleader parted her lover’s thighs with one of her own, pressing her knee against the girl’s sex. When she saw the perplexed look on the redheads face she grinned. “What?”
“I didn’t know girls could do it this way,” she replied sheepishly.
“Ohhhh, but we can,” the blonde groaned as she moved against the girl’s leg.
Babs moaned louder as her lover’s knee rocked against her throbbing center. She was getting very wet, very needy. She was dizzy with lust though release hadn’t become vital yet. Then she felt Kerri’s powder soft lips against her pulse point. She let out a moan, her mind now in overdrive. They rocked against each other, so close to ecstasy they could taste it on the other’s lips as they kissed feverishly. Barbra began to quiver first, her body vibrating against her lover. They both cried out the other’s name as they reached the point of no return.
~<>~ And I would never be the same again ~<>~
A moment passed as they snuggled. Kerri checked her watch, realizing it was time to take her lover home. Looking down at the girl she found her asleep. Smiling, she gently broke away from her and got dressed. Dressing the other girl, she carried her to the car. “Hey Brandye, can you give us a lift to her place then mine?”
“Sure thing Kerri.”
Morning. . .
Bitterness rose with the sun, evil intent dormant within its rays. Light shone upon her, piercing her senses as beams of liquid chaos woke the teen from her restless slumber. Sitting up she found confusion and regret swimming in her thoughts, plaguing her very being. Last night had been all she’d ever wanted but what havoc would it bare on her existence?
~<>~ I was only trying to keep the walls from closing in ~<>~
The phone’s shrill cry broke her thoughts, throwing her back into reality. Picking it up, she mumbled tiredly, “Hello?”
“Hey sweetie. Listen, I need to see you Babs. We need to talk.”
~<>~ I was only waiting round for something to begin ~<>~
“Ok, where should I meet you?”
“Be there soon,” the redhead whispered before hanging up.
She stretched before getting dressed and heading downstairs. Walking into the kitchen, she grabbed a bagel and put it in the toaster. When it was done she buttered it and took a bite. Turning around she smiled. “Morning Uncle James.”
“Morning,” he replied gruffly. Meeting her gaze, his features became stern. “Barbra, I heard about what happened last night.”
“What did you hear?”
“I heard about you and that. . .that. . .dyke! I won’t have that here, do you understand? I don’t want you parading around with that perverted little tramp,” he growled, knowing full well she knew what he was talking about.
She set her bagel down, staring at him in slight shock. “I. . .she’s my best friend. What happened last night happened. Nobody can change it. I. . .I love her.”
“No, you don’t. This sick mind game ends now or I will have her arrested!”
“For what? Corrupting your niece? You know that won’t stick!”
“No it won’t but I’m sure I can think of something. You’re not allowed to see her after today. If you do you’ll both regret it, understood?” he threatened angrily.
~<>~ I was only seventeen ~<>~
Barbra felt as if her heart had been ripped out. Bowing her head, she whispered, “fine. I’ll be back later.”
Meanwhile. . .
Angry fists made consciousness unbearable, their shouting barely drowning out blood curdling cries of anguish. Sending the quivering body to the ground, the group stood proud. “What do you have to say for yourself now, huh?” their leader sneered.
“You. . .you can try to tear me down, beat me to the ground, I will hear you screaming,” a weak voice hissed back.
They surrounded their prey once more, anger overcoming their shallow stares. Each let out a growl as they took turns attacking the weakling. Flesh ripped at flesh, screams echoing in the morning air. The furious mob of bodies moved as one, wounds of fury gushing berry red life as they tore into her. Like vultures they slashed at her feeble body, their thoughtless game now a bloodbath.
The group looked over at the female officer and scattered. “Stay away from Commissioner Gordon’s niece you fucking dyke!” one warned, spitting on the girl before fleeing as well.
The officer raced over to the heap of wounded flesh that lay in the center of the parking lot. Kneeling by the girl, she met her eyes. “Are you ok?”
The girl coughed, spitting out a mouthful of blood. Panting heavily, she winced as she pushed herself up. “I. . .I’ll be fine. I have to get to the docks soon,” she rasped, attempting to take a step forward.
The officer grabbed her by the arm as she began to fall. Holding her up, she whispered tenderly, “Lets get you cleaned up and I’ll drive you there, ok?”
Kerri smiled. “That would be great. Thanks.”
An hour later. . .
Barbra sighed, standing at the entrance to the dock they were meeting at. Staring at the other girl she wondered if she could really do this. She knew she had feelings for her but she also knew that if she pursued this she’d lose everything. Her family, her other friends, her life. Bowing her head, she hoped for the courage she needed to proceed with this. Walking over to the girl, she sat beside her. “Hey.”
“Hey,” Kerri whispered weakly. What she needed right now was Barbra’s arms around her and that sweet voice whispering comforts in her ear but she could tell that wasn’t where this was going. Something was wrong. She could sense it. Meeting her lover’s eyes she waited.
Barbra gasp, gently touching the blonde’s face. “Kerri, what happened?”
“Your Uncle’s boys gave me a good morning kiss. Look Babs, I know this is gonna be hard but I love you and I’m willing to fight for you, if you’re willing to stand by me.”
~<>~ I told you that it didn't mean a thing ~<>~
The redhead broke eye contact, trying her best to be heartless. “Last night didn’t mean anything Kerri. I was curious and you were there. We had sex. Nothing can change that but don’t get attached.”
“Why can’t you just love me?” Kerri whispered, swallowing hard.
“Please don’t push too hard. The truth you think you’re after might just break your heart,” Babs replied cryptically.
“What do you mean? I don’t understand,” Kerri sniffled, barely holding in tears.
~<>~ I'm sure there are things you would rather keep inside ~<>~
“I’d rather not get into it, ok?” the redhead growled, the demon within more irritated with her than the other girl. How could she do this and why did Kerri have to be so persistent?
“Look, I just don’t wanna talk about it. What’s the big deal anyway? I was trying something new and now I’m being badgered about it. I won't ask you about all the things you've tried, so don’t ask me why I slept with you. I think that’s fair, don’t you?” Barbra reasoned, her inner voice screaming at her to stop. This was all wrong. She had to keep lying and acting cruel to get her point across and that just wasn’t like her.
“Don't let yesterday get in the way. Why can't we just start from where we are?” she questioned, tears now streaming down her cheeks.
~<>~ I was only trying to keep the walls from closing in ~<>~
Barbra stood, looking at the blonde one more time. “Goodbye Kerri,” she whispered sorrowfully as she walked away.
~<>~ I was only waiting round for something to begin ~<>~
“BABS! WAIT!” the cheerleader cried.
~<>~I was only seventeen ~<>~
Babs paused, closing her eyes. “I told you that it didn’t mean a thing,” she whispered, leaving the girl alone and cold.
A week later. . .
~<>~ Why can't you just love me? ~<>~
“Are you serious?”
“Yeah, they were making out in the girl’s bathroom!”
Barbra froze when she saw her. She walked with grace though misery was concealed within. She stopped in front of the other girl, staring into fearful jade eyes. “I’m leaving Gotham City and if you want to say goodbye then show up at the airport tomorrow morning,” she whispered, then walked off.
“Barbra, are you ok? What did that whore say?”
“She’s not a whore. She just said she’s leaving,” the redhead growled sharply.
“Well, good. That way she won’t be here to ruin your life.”
“Yeah,” Babs replied, sinking with guilt and remorse.
The next morning. . .
Yawning, the Commissioner’s niece started her car. She had to drive to school today since her Uncle James had to go to work early. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she backed out of the driveway and headed toward the school. There was an event at school today and she wasn’t looking forward to the three hour long riot known as the Gotham High Pep Assembly. Stopping at the light, she heard her conscience call. Approaching the next light she changed lanes and took the Gotham City Airport exit.
She checked her watch as she got out of the car. Running in the huge building, she found the gate to go to. She rushed through security, making it there just in time. “Kerri!” she squeaked.
The blonde, who was waiting for them to call her row, stood up. “I’m glad you made it Barbra.”
“Kerri, there’s something I have to tell you before you go. I. . .when we were together that night you made me feel things I still can’t describe and I don’t just mean physically. I’ve realized that I do have feelings for you but we both know now’s not the right time. I’m sorry things got in the way but that’s life. Maybe if you’re ever in the area, you could stop by. I’m not going anywhere,” the teen confessed, pulling the blonde into a hug.
“You mean that sweetie?” the cheerleader sobbed. Caressing red tresses, she whispered, “maybe when I come back we could try again, hmmm?”
~<>~ Please don't push too hard ~<>~
“I’m not making any promises because it all depends on what happens with my Uncle but I’ll keep hoping,” the redhead sniffled.
“Babs, you need to think about what’s more important, your life or pleasing your Uncle. When you know what you need, I’ll be here” she whispered, placing her hand over Barbra’s heart. “Goodbye Barbra.”
Kerri pulled out of the embrace and boarded the plane without looking back. Barbra fell to her knees, threads of sorrow stinging her eyes and staining her cheeks. She hated herself for what she had done and now there was no redemption. Or was there? Standing, she wiped her tears away. She watched as her first love vanished into distant skies. Heading back to her car, she sighed. Looking at the clock, she almost laughed. Her life was a blur of confusion, regret and pain and the day had just begun.
Sunrise. . .
Pastel orange rose in the sky as she stared into the abyss. Salt burned behind her eyelids as she realized something she’d never wanted to admit. She loved Kerri and she’d hurt her. She’d taken what could have been the best love ever and thrown it away for a man who never appreciated her. Feeling warmth sliding down her cheeks, she headed for the bathroom.
~<>~ The truth you think you're after might just break my heart ~<>~
Running some warm water, she splashed it on her face. Sitting there for a moment, she regained her composure. Hearing the woman wake, she returned to her room. It was almost time to get ready for school and she knew Dinah would come knocking if she wasn’t out there first.
Stopping beside the bed, she hushed the other woman. “Get some more sleep, ok? I’ll tell Alfred to keep an eye on you but don’t make too much noise. I don’t want Helena to get suspicious when she comes over this afternoon. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
With that she got dressed then headed to Alfred’s room.
~<>~ TBC ~<>~