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Fiction SUMMER 2012

Jillian Grant Lavoie

GIRLS LIKE BETSY (IN 50 WORDS)

“Here’s the thing about girls like Betsy,” my brother says. “Girls like Betsy like boys like Big Brad. They don’t want small-town boys with small-time jobs, you understand? Girls like Betsy are looking for a way out. They’re looking for a big ticket, a leg up. Brad’s got big money, what have you got? A job in a kitchen? Betsy’s looking for a way out of the kitchen. She stays here, that’s all she’ll ever have. She knows how it goes.

Betsy’s got big-ticket legs, but she knows it’s a matter of time. She’s gotta get Brad and get her way out. Girls like Betsy with big-ticket legs get big in small towns, you understand? Big girls don’t get boys with big money like Brad. It’s a matter of time, brother; Betsy doesn’t have it for boys like you.”

My brother had a girl like Betsy, with big-ticket legs and big-time wants. She wanted out of the small-town; she wanted a boy like Brad.

“You want Betsy?” my brother says. “Get yourself out of here: out of the small-town, out of the kitchen. Get a big-town job; get big-time money. Get yourself a girl bigger than Betsy.”

 UP AGAINST THE KEG CRATES

In the back of McGinty’s, up against the empty keg crates, Danny was feeling like the luckiest guy on Earth. Claudia had double D’s and legs for days and, tonight, only eyes for him. Stroke her hair, kiss her neck, tell her she’s bodacious. Def Leppard was pouring sugar out the speakers while he was getting lucky under neon

lights are low in the back of the bar. Nobody saw them slide in here, next to the keg crates, up against cold brick. Kendall’s got her phone in her hand just in case things go too far. This kid’s rubbing on her breasts like they’re not attached to a body, all grabby hands and sleazy come-ons. He doesn’t know she’s only

sixteen and now knocked up, blowing chunks on the brick wall. Claudia was holding onto keg crates, trying to keep steady while the music pumped. Danny said he’d marry her, keep her in high-tops and hose. Crap, here comes another

round ass, smooth skin, hands tucked under his belt. Claudia doesn’t kiss like that anymore, this girl’s got a gift. Tell her that she’s sexy, make her feel safe, lean her up against the keg crates and

fuck that prick, Kendall thought to herself. Dad was over by the keg crates kissing some slut. Mom was at home waiting up, TV on loud, two babies in their bed. She thinks he’s working late; oh he’s working all right. What a lousy piece of goddamn

shit, that’s my daughter. Danny buttoned back up. Left the slut against the keg crates, popping her gum. Kendall was out the door and down the street on long legs just like her mom’s. Night was cold, his coat was gone, but he was sweating into his

hands were moving up her skirt. Claudia wasn’t so sure. She’d never gone all the way before, but Danny was awful sweet. He had a car out front, was saying all the right things, and his smile sure was

cute enough, but anyone will do. Kendall lets his sleazy hands move fast. Dad’s been gone for almost three weeks now. Mom’s been crying all night long, TV on loud, two babies in her bed. Now she just needs to

feel that kick? That’s your daughter in there. Danny’s heartbeat was going faster than the bass. Claudia was lit up like neon, smooth skin, hands on his. Up against the empty keg crates, he sure was the luckiest guy on Earth.

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Jillian Grant Lavoie has a BA in Creative Writing from Hunter College and an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut with her husband and owns a graphic design/paper goods company. She writes stories about the secret side of suburbia, for which Greenwich offers plenty of inspiration.