Alphabet Soup

a story by kazoua

K is for Kiss

My cheeks hurt.

My mouth hurt.

My face hurt.

My chest hurt.

It... wasn't too painful, though. No. Not, not at all that painful. It felt almost good in a not-good way. Almost good enough, almost not-good enough, to want it again, even with the accompanying sting of a slap.

The smile on my face just made it worse, but I couldn't help it. Not really, truthfully. It. It just stuck there like, like... like some sort of glue. Sticky. Icky.

"Hi Spencer," Miss Laura gently said to me. Her voice was a little cautious, a little wary, but it still held the same kind tone I always heard from her.

"Hello," I answered back easily without even looking up. Childishly, happily, energetically even, I scuffed my feet back and forth against the stiff carpet that covered the floor. My hands were under palm down under my thighs.

Somehow, it distantly reminded me of when I was younger and visiting the dentist. I couldn't exactly remember why, but I had annoyed my father enough for him to publicly chastise me. In order to restrain myself, I sat on my own hands to keep from touching the outdated magazines and old toys.

The painful sting (of Vincent) should have faded away days ago, I was sure. It... didn't. Endorphins and other little chemicals should have stopped soon after, but I think some part of me maybe liked it a bit. Perhaps. Perchance. Possibly. Well, the more masochistic part of me.

How freaky did that sound? Someone hit me and I wanted to savor the pain, the simple elation that rose out of my chest and stuck onto my face in the form of a smile. No no no. Really, sensationalism aside and real life considered, how much of a freak did I have to be to enjoy something like that?

It should have made me angry. But. It made me happy.

I was fucked up. It was fucked up. I was fucking fucked up.

But... I already knew that, didn't I?

"Spence? Honey? You can come on in now." I rose at the sound of her voice, suddenly feeling hot blood travel in my cold oxygen-starved hands, which was comforting in a weird way.

Father and Doctor sounded... detached, at best, when they spoke directly to me. Father, although so calm he could've been nothing more than a fucking corpse, always kept his voice cold. Neutral, sometimes. But, mostly cold. Dry, other times. But, still... mostly cold. And Doctor Bryant, I couldn't blame him, really. Or, I really shouldn't blame him. Because this is his job. Fuck if he doesn't care, because this is only his job.

So, Miss Laura... She was in her mid-twenties, probably. Brown hair, brown eyes, brown skin, average features, average body. Boring to look at. However, when she talked to me, when just told me that Doctor Bryant was now ready for me or the few times when she ever conversed with me, Miss Laura was always... Nice. Comforting in a way that was not purposeful. The comfort, if I could think about it, came from hearing at least a bit of emotion in a voice. That was weird, though, or at least odd. Even I could understand that much.

Following that mentally ingrained path, I shuffled my feet in a lazy manner unlike me until I heard Miss Laura close the door. Keeping my head down, studying my shoes as I went along, and quietly sitting in that familiar setting was all I could hold enough attention to do.

I looked up once, only to glance at Doctor Bryant sitting in his plush chair far away from me.

And, even though I tried not to, I couldn't help but feel a slight sting. It was unlike the good one I was obsessing with, which struck me as something I should have expected but didn't. How careless of me.

… I… did choke him, didn't I? Even if I couldn't even recall doing such a stupid thing, such a violent thing, the fact still remained that my hands made red rings around his thick, pale, fleshy neck. Red rings which later turned purple.

A decent distance separated us, probably only a few feet more than usual. It wasn't far enough to seem suspicious, but it was far enough that it would take me at least a little more effort to cross if Doctor thought I was going to attack him again. This time he would have a chance to call for Miss Laura instead of croaking for help.

As quickly as I felt that sting of childish hurt, it dissipated to make way for the much more interesting, much more pleasant buzz of happiness.

"I went to the hospital two days ago." I spoke so childishly, so excitedly, that I almost wanted to stop my self and ask what the hell I was doing. But I couldn't stop, my legs kept bouncing and my smile stayed constant as I tried as hard as I could to keep 'the feeling' there.

Doctor was writing so quickly and rapidly that he didn't even look up to me as he hummed in acknowledgment and asked me to continue.

"A classmate found me and called emergency for me," I told him. Then, as an afterthought, perhaps, I mentioned, "His name's Vincent."

He nodded again, finishing a few jot downs before asking conversationally, "Did you thank him?"


Why would I, really? I knew I was rude to the point of shame, yes, but why would I thank such a person for 'saving' my life? Because he 'saved' my life?

"Why not?" Doctor Bryant chided softly, pausing in his writing as if he thought my lack of manners abysmal.

The reason left my mouth before I could comprehend it, but I supposed certainty as I spoke anyway. "I don't like him."

"Hmmm…" Doctor murmured a few broken words to himself, "What else happened?"

I shrugged noncommittally and dismissed the question with a simple, "Nothing really." Because, really, if I thought about it with the clarity and determination I almost always lacked, nothing important did happen. There wasn't anything of pertinence to share with the good Doctor.

"Nothing? At all?" he said with a smooth voice that sounded less suspicious than it really was.

The goodness was overshadowed, just for a moment, by a little anger. Doctor Bryant. Fuck. That nosy lard ass kept staring at me as if he thought I would suddenly crack under the pressure of his gaze. If I were any less prepared, maybe I would have. I knew I did it many times in the past.

I shook my head in one easy, practiced motion.

"Are you sure?"



I was breaking. Damn it. "Nothing important…" I mumbled, looking down at my legs. Perchance, well, maybe it was perchance, that, well, I wasn't really spilling. But anyway. What was there to say? There wasn't anything.

I started to smile. Impulsively? Not particularly. I didn't just do it out of whim. It was more… a feeling. That feeling of happiness was starting to leak back in.

"I see." He didn't see. He couldn't have seen. There was nothing to see. "Why don't you tell me about this? You seem happy today."

"Yeah…" I absentmindedly rubbed my cheek. "Vincent… at the hospital… He slapped me."

Paper crinkled just a bit and I heard more rapid scratches. Nonetheless, I kept my head down and my smile wide. "He hit you?"

"He slapped me," I corrected immediately, as if it mattered. But, it did. Suppose this. After being insulted for acting like a fag, that guy slapped me. It was different that simply being hit or struck at. It was a slap.

A slap. There had to be some connotation on that action, or at least a vague stereotype to be drawn.

Doctor Bryant gave a few tut sounds, "Why would he slap you?" Trust the Doctor to try to root a problem.

My smile twitched, not due to a shortage of happiness but just because of a sharp spike in enjoyment. "Because I punched him," I reasoned, saying it as I would any other statement. Matter of fact. Of course. What other reason was there?

He looked at my thoughtfully, studying me as much as he used to. That was before I leveled out to become the little brat I was. "Hmm… Why did you punch him Spencer? It's quite unlike you to be so violent when unprovoked."

Before I could think, I responded in a happily airy tone, "I choked you."

"Let me rephrase that, Spencer." I wanted to see you try. "You're usually not violent with your peers, with those of your own age group." He reached up to touch the frame of his glasses.

I almost thought he was forgetting the topic, as he sometimes did in favor of chasing me into verbal circles. But he started again, before I couldn't let my demeanor fall into some sort of daze. "Again with the question, though. Why did you punch the other boy?" he said with that same Goddamn reserve in his voice and mannerisms.

"He deserved it," I said at first, "He was being stupid."

"So, are you saying that you hit another person simply on the basis of being 'stupid'?" he almost prevaricated, not-so-hidden implications unraveling. I saw the reasons for the question, and I instinctively thought of several responses that would deter him from further dissecting me.

Yet, I didn't say a thing. My face felt as if it was twitching, but I knew it probably wasn't.


I cut him off without meaning to. "No," I slid my finger along the hem of my shirt, noting the pinkness of my hand against the white cotton, "He wouldn't give me back my cell phone. Then he had to go and…"

ask for a kiss

Shit. There went my happiness. My smile. All dropped in a split second all because of some thought that shouldn't have even ran through my head in the first place. I was trying to forget about that. As good as it felt to have his palm to make impact across my cheek the thought of his lips touching anywhere on my person brought disgusted shivers down my spine.

Way to go, Doc. I was having a swell time at home, with father gone at work and myself just reading old books. Thinking about it more acutely, I would say I was trying to read the books. The feelings and sensations were just too enticing to let go of, and I spent most of my time simply trying to hold onto them. I lasted the rest of Friday and the entirety of Saturday.

I was happy because he slapped me because I punched him because he asked for a kiss because he had my cell phone because I dropped my cell phone because I was having a situation because…



Because. I wasn't well. Yeah. I wasn't feeling well.

Doctor hummed in appreciation, happy that I was cooperating more than I normally did. Because, well, usually, I would simply sit here with a dry frown.

Over and over again in my head I would heed the advice of my friends. Those people I used to call my friends. "He doesn't want to help you. It's all money - just your rich daddy, his pockets, and your problems." "Just ignore the guy if he wants you to talk. It's not gunna help, you know." "Trust me, okay Spence? Just trust me."

I smiled again, a little more elated than I was a few seconds ago.

"… ask for a kiss."

Doctor Bryant scribbled twice as fast as he was doing a couple of minutes ago. A relieved air surrounded him, permeating the room and almost affecting me to the extent that it was exuding off of him.

I glanced at the silver wristwatch I rarely wore (a late present from a not-friend) and noted that I only had another forty five plus minutes before I could leave. My smile dropped. Again.


I hope it's evident, but sometimes I don't know how the readers interpret my stories. Spencer and Vincent are really sarcastic sometimes, so they lie and exaggerate and mock. Often. Just sayin', folks.

AND! I'm reallyreallyreally sorry this took such a long time to get out. I was having an extremely bad slump, the worst slump I have ever had. It was so bad that I couldn't even attempt to write anything without wanting to throw my laptop into singularity.