The elastic snap of the breaking rubber is a sound that resonates loud and clear in KL's ears. And at first, she doesn't crack. No, she's as calm as a Hindu cow.


"Shit." She says, pushing her boyfriend off of her with a quick shove. Her voice is only a hair louder than a breath. Quiet as a mouse, one would say. Quiet as an empty house, blocking out the sound. "Shit, Jesse."

Her eyes are closed. And she lets the darkness shield her from the outside world.

This is how any girl would act, given the circumstances.

"What's wrong?" Jesse asks, a weakly concerned mask plasters over his obvious agitation. He can't help it. Jesse is a stereotypical American male. He is...horny, as he is expected to be. And this, this break-or whatever the hell-is interrupting his stride.

This is how any boy would act, given the circumstances.

"The condom. It..." KL trails off faintly, gesturing to the area in question, the cursed Bermuda triangle of thought. All logic and rationality disappears in that spot. She keeps her eyes shut tight and gulps. She keeps her mind blank and doesn't sulk.

If you don't think about it, it won't affect you.

If you don't dwell on it, it won't haunt you.

Jesse looks down at where KL's hand is pointing to. His body tenses and turns to ice as he assesses the situation from an arm's distance away. He blinks one time. Two times. Three.

And Jesse, the witted genius he is-Jesse, in all his eloquence says:


"Yeah. "Here is where KL's stomach slips. Once. Twice. She keeps her eyes shut and locked. If she ignores it, she'll be fine. Her closest friends are Ignorance and Naiveté, and she keeps them close to her as she hides so deep in the dark.

If she takes some pills, she'll be fine. She'll be fine.

"I didn't-" Jesse begins to say.

"I know." KL cuts him off. She doesn't want him to speak. She doesn't want to think. She wants to be alone.


Jesse and KL stare at each other without even making eye contact. KL's eyes are glues shut, and Jesse is staring at his bed, but they know exactly what the other is thinking, how the other is feeling. And the mood turns so awkward it's clear no one can handle it any longer.

"I should go." KL says finally, opening her eyes. The light is blinding. The light is...truth that she wants to deny. She squints. She doesn't even look at Jesse.

"Yeah, I guess." Jesse doesn't make any move to suggest stopping her. He doesn't ask to talk about it. He stays silent. KL doesn't mind. She gets off the bed and dressed in a flash. She feels dirty and unclean, perhaps the worst she's ever felt. She knows she's burning red, miserable red but she can't control it. She's already holding so much in. She doesn't want to crack just yet.

Just yet. The dam is holding in the waterworks, oh yes.

"I'll call you later." Jesse says in a poor attempt to act like he cares. He wraps the covers of his bed around himself as KL finishes recovering her stolen dignity, the clothes piled on the floor. He doesn't know how to feel. He's letting the tension rule his emotions and it's leading him to indirect awkwardness.

He is the champion of mankind.

"It's cool." KL blushes again. Not so much from shame, but light, menial embarrassment for Jesse. She stares at the keys in her hand. "You don't have to."

And she means it. She really means it.

"Okay." The floor is so captivating, such a lovely hardwood splendor that Jesse cannot bear to tear his eyes away as KL moves towards the door." Bye, KL."

As meek as a mouse, as docile as a doe, KL whispers in reply, "Bye, Jesse."

And she fades away from his room...

As she walks away from the cursed room, the black hole in her mind, KL gazes at the pictures of Jesse splattered around the house. The old pictures-a young Jesse in a crib, on a swing set, playing t-ball-the new pictures- playing football, posing for prom, wrapping his arms around KL- well, they just make KL sick to the core.

She blanches and she runs away from what's taunting her in the back of her mind.

And she fades from his house...

This could have been avoided and she knows it. She could have been a smart girl. But no, no, no. She had to make that mistake, the one every dumb slut had to make. KL is not used to being so painfully average, so painfully normal...this is not how her life is supposed to go.

She gets into her car and she slams the door. This is the loudest she's been all day. She turns on the engine and as soon as the car roars to life, the water rushes out. It's so fast, she can't even stop it. There are tears, tears everywhere. On her face, in every place. Wet slick, so thick she can't possibly drive. But she needs to get out before she hits bottom, before she crashes hard.

KL shifts gears and she fades away from Jesse's life...