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| Karen’s Room
By Taylor Hensel
Trevor Lewis had been dating his girlfriend Karen Aubrey for eight months
now, and still hadn’t gotten to see the inside of her bedroom.
This isn’t to say that they didn’t have sex, because they did—a lot. They just
never did it in her room. If they were at her house, they watched TV or played
video games until her parents had gone to bed, and then they did it on the
couch, which was kind of kinky and awesome the first few times, but after
constantly having to jockey for position and worry about falling off the damn
thing, it just got exhausting. It got to the point where he insisted she come
over to his house if she seemed like she was in the mood, so they could move
their amorous pursuits to his bedroom, where there was plenty of space, and
there was no chance of his parents hearing. That too had lost its eroticism
after their, “oh my gods” and “oh baby yeah right theres” had degenerated
into desperate “shushing” matches. Plus, sex made him sleepy, and trying to
sleep on Karen’s couch was like trying to curl up in the back of a Volkswagon
Trevor was the only one out of all his friends who had a girlfriend, and he wasn’
t about to make a huge issue out of it, but her stubborn insistence made him
all the more curious.
Which was why, when her BFF Veronica called one Saturday afternoon while
he and Karen were hanging out at her house, he slipped on down the hall to
her bedroom door. Her parents were away on some weekend excursion to
Grand Lake, and the apparent intensity of the conversation with Ronnie
(something to do with either her boyfriend Colton or the upcoming
Homecoming dance, he was sure) had caused her to drift out onto the back
Trevor stared at the door for a moment, surprised at how nervous he was, and
It was a girl’s room like any other girl’s room; in fact, it reminded him quite a bit
of his younger sister’s; the usual posters of Taylor Lautner and Zac Efron on
the wall, a mirror with a vanity below it, the vanity’s top littered with tubes and
bottles of lotion, perfume, and makeup foundation. Directly next to the vanity
and perpendicular to a single window which filtered sunlight through open
blinds, was the bed. It was simple and feminine with a white, slightly medieval
style frame and soft, light green and blue bed sheets. A stuffed duck and
teddy bear sat atop them. The room was immaculate.
Trevor smiled and shook his head as his seventeen year old brain took only
the slightest instant to ponder the quirks and neuroses of the female mind. He
walked across the room to the vanity, plucked one of the lotion bottles off the
table, unscrewed the little plastic cap and sniffed it. The cloying vanilla scent
hugged the inside of his nostrils and immediately brought to mind the sight of
Karen’s soft, flat, naked stomach as he slowly kissed his way down it. He
screwed the cap back on and placed the bottle back on the table as his penis
began to stiffen into an uncomfortable knot in his jeans. He sat on the bed,
knowing she would probably be mad if she caught him, but this only made him
start thinking of something cute and charming he could do when she did. He
could close the blinds, strip to his boxers, be waiting for her when she walked
in. The smell of the lotion had already made him hornier than a goth kid on
Halloween. She would be mad at first, briefly, but then she would laugh, they
could fuck, and then go watch Tosh.0.
He didn’t know what made him look under the bed. Maybe because this was
the only part of the room, besides the bookshelf which contained the usual
magazines and Nicholas Sparks books, that he hadn’t searched thoroughly.
He got down on his hands and knees, lifted the overhanging comforter, and
peered into the dusty dimness.
Beneath the bed was a cardboard box with the words KAREN’S STUFF written
on it with black Sharpie. Trevor stretched his arms beneath the bed and
pulled the box toward him. Inside were three books; The Encyclopedia of
Serial Killers-A Revised Edition, Helter Skelter, and American Psycho. Trevor
lifted the books out, one by one, laying them aside. Resting beneath these
books was a thick, leather-bound scrapbook. Trevor raised it from the box
and opened the front cover. There were a series of newspaper clippings on
each page, each dealing with a local or national murder, along with remarkably
detailed, skilled drawings of various girls (and a few boys) from their school in
various states of torture, humiliation, and dismemberment. She had said she
wanted to be an Art major.
And in the back, past a page with “FUN TIMES” written in pink magic marker
was a page with three more newspaper clippings. A little boy found strangled
in Westminster. An old couple stabbed to death in their home, an apparent
burglary gone wrong. A girl from their school, Melissa Hyerdal, whom Karen
had once described as “really sweet, okay, maybe a little slutty”, found in a
ditch, bludgeoned and sodomized. Beneath the scrapbook a lay a child’s toy
airplane, a locket, and a teenage girl’s bright anklet.
Trevor swallowed, the spit clicking at the back of his throat, as he placed
everything back in the box exactly where he had found it and softly pushed it
beneath the bed. He hadn’t heard her enter the room because, like a clever
girl, she had taken her shoes off. The room darkened slowly and steadily as
she twisted the open blinds shut behind him.
He turned and faced her. He didn’t need to look to know that she wasn’t
holding a telephone in her hand anymore.
Trevor had a moment to think that Karen never looked more beautiful than
when she was angry.