a continuing story of a young woman
| It wasn't as hard to get another job as Carrie thought. Beaman's, down the street from Big Barn Burgers, was a drive in that needed car hops. She went through the same process getting hired.
"Why did you leave Big Barn Burgers?" Ronnie, the head manager asked Carrie.
"The head manager didn't like me," Carrie answered.
Carrie figured that Liza told Ronnie that Carrie was a slut, and that was why Liza fired her. That was probably why Ronnie hired Carrie. He did look at Carrie's ass a lot. If being a slut got Carrie a job, so much the better. It was nice to be appreciated for some reason. She knew it would not be long before Ronnie made a move on her. Ronnie drove a Camaro, which was nice. It was a little aged, and he'd probably gotten it second hand, but it was still a hot car. Ronnie had this smile that projected something, Carrie didn't know what. Ronnie was confident and not bad looking. He wasn't a perfect stud, like the guy in the red Mustang, (Carrie never did find out his name.) but it was better not to be helpless in a relationship.
"Whew, girl, I like that ass. Me and you are going to have to hook up," Ronnie said one day.
"In your dreams, Bucko," Carrie answered.
"Well I am going to keep dreaming until we're together," Ronnie went on.
"You forgot to ring up that sale," Carrie told Ronnie.
"No I didn't."
"Yes you did."
"Just hang on to your ass and watch me a while, girl."
Suddenly Carrie realized what Ronnie was doing. Beaman's was owned by a man who had seventy drive ins. He tried to keep the books for all of them himself. Mr. Hart, the owner, couldn't possibly keep the books for all of them. Carrie didn't like fast food owners anyway.
Carrie was increasingly aware of her attractive power. Her curves were perfect, and she looked good from the neck up. She was no longer a helpless little girl desperate for love. Physically, she was a full grown woman. Mentally, she wanted a little payback for the wrongs done to her. People had to pay for their sins, and Carrie felt more sinned against than sinning.
Ronnie made extra money in other places too. The night Carrie went to his apartment Ronnie kept getting these phone calls. He ignored Carrie and concentrated on the phone. Finally, he took the phone off the hook and concentrated on her.
"Ronnie, are you dealing drugs?" Carrie asked.
"You mean Tylenol? Why would I deal Tylenol?"
"You know what I mean, Ronnie. I'm not stupid."
"I'm not stupid either. Let me put it like this: I have enough money to keep us both happy."
Ronnie pulled a couple of hypodermic syringes from a drawer.
"Girl, a whole new universe is fixing to open up for you," he said.
When Carrie shot up she knew that this was what she had been looking for. The satisfaction of every desire came from that needle - every yearning she'd ever had. The needle made life better than she knew it could be. Carrie rode with Ronnie in his Camaro. Most of the time he could make deals quickly, but sometimes they waited in his car for hours while they tried to make a connection. Some of the people Ronnie dealt with looked scary. Ronnie had a .357 at home, but he didn't carry it with him.
"That's just extra charges, baby - illegal possession of a firearm. (The registration number on the gun had been filed off.) We have ways of settling problems in Honington Springs. That gun is just for in case someone tries to rob my home and castle."
Carrie liked being with Ronnie. He often told Carrie he knew what he was doing. She didn't doubt that. The money Carrie made as a car hop was paltry compared to what Ronnie had. He bought Carrie things - good things - like clothes and jewelry. Ronnie had a lot of possessions himself. Carrie asked Ronnie why he didn't save up and buy a house.
"You can't buy a house with drug money," Ronnie told her.
And then there were the drugs. Always lots of drugs. For a while, Carrie was angling to move in with Ronnie, but then she saw that wouldn't work. That was okay. Running up crank was fun.
One night after Carrie and Ronnie shot up they went to a party. Mostly guys attended the party, but Carrie figured a few girls were tucked away here and there too. A guy stumbled out of a room wrapped in a sheet. He left the door ajar as he snorted a line on the bar. He stumbled down the hallway, seeming to forget the girl he was with in the room. Carrie carefully looked inside to see who she was. There was Liza! Lying naked on the bed.
"Hey guys - come here and look at this!" Carried whispered fiercely.
The guys eagerly swarmed around Carrie. They burst through the door yelling "Surprise!"
"No!" Liza yelled.
Liza tried to fight, but she was quickly pinned down. Carrie laughed hard as Liza cussed and screamed. Crank was good! Payback was fun!
Ronnie seemed angry as he took Carrie home. Carrie still laughed about Liza. Carrie wondered what was wrong with Ronnie. They pulled up in front of Carrie's trailer.
"Carrie, you did something very bad tonight. Now I am going to be as nice as I can about this. Don't ever come back to town, Carrie. Just don't!" We can't see each other any more."
"No!" Carrie thought. Just as she found something good it was being taken from her. She couldn't go back to the way life had been before! Carrie was going back to hell! She started crying.
"Just get out of my car. Don't come back."
Carrie was right about one thing. People paid for their sins. She would pay dearly for this one. Her father was asleep in his chair as she came in. She got down on her knees and wiped his face. She tried to straighten him up so his back wouldn't be strained. She went to her room where she knew she would be in hell.
"Liza, I'm sorry!" Carrie thought as she lay in bed. She wished there was some kind of god she could pray to, but she had forsaken that. What she had done was too bad! She could not be forgiven for what she had done. Her life was over. She would never find anything in life but dingy rooms, where the walls were dirty with her guilt. These thoughts filled her mind with great intensity for the next three days. There was no possibility of sleep. First her body was tense, like it would spring apart. Then it was tense like she was cramping. Her mouth was dry and her breath stank, but she was afraid to drink water because she was afraid she would lose control of her bladder and have to lay in her own urine. Finally, on the fourth day she was able to get some fitful sleep. She had no idea if this was real, or if she dreamed it, but the front door opened and her mother walked down the hallway and into her room. In the only act of love her mother had ever given her, Mrs. Overton placed her hand on Carrie and said, "Child, you can get through this. This will also pass."
The tension in Carrie's body eased, and Carrie fell into a deep sleep - nice, restful sleep. She went under deep, and she stayed under. When she woke up Carrie still felt the ache of guilt, but then she would fall back asleep. She could not stop drinking the deep river of sleep. She got up, drank juice and water, brushed her hair and brushed her teeth. Then she went back asleep. She thought she had slept a week before she left her room.
Her father started when he saw her.
"Oh, you're here. I thought you had left."
"I've been here over a week, daddy."
"Well here, there's some mail for you. Looks important."
Mr. Overton held out an official looking envelope with some attorney's return address. Carrie opened the envelope and studied its contents. Apparently, Carrie's mother had died and Carrie was her sole heir. Her estate was in trust. It mentioned "real estate, stock, and other holdings". Carrie didn't know how much was in the trust, but it seemed substantial. Carrie sobbed deeply. God had shown her so much mercy! It was more than she deserved.
"Daddy, I'm supposed to go to Chicago to settle mom's estate."
"Did your mother die? That's unbelievable! I thought she'd be dancing on all our graves! Does it say how she died?"
"No. It doesn't. We'll know soon enough."