"They hurt!" she whined. "They really hurt."
I shot Mary a sideways glance before I rolled my eyes and walked off.
"They hurt!" She held herself tighter and wailed to anyone within earshot.
Two months earlier, Mary had transferred to Camp Bowie from the Six Flags Mall location. Mary had been the resident "hotstuff." The prettiest, partiest, wildest girl at Six Flags.
How'd we know?
She told us her first day.
Trina, Gilda, Pat, Amy, Stephanie, none of the current females were going to be second candle to this junior debutante. They beamed sunshine and smiles, yet hated the new transfer immediately.
Mary had immaculate, fluffy brown hair and blue eyes. She was verbal, she was boastful, but she wasn't blind. The other girls were pretty. Also confident. They attracted plenty of male customers. She wasn't receiving her share, because stupid managers kept parking her on register.
Maybe if she applied more eyeliner. Darker lipstick. Rolled her blouse higher, inched her jeans lower. In addition to gangstas, frat boys and rednecks, her stomach reveal attracted our weekly newspaper columnist. He crowded 40, but targeted girls ages 18-20, the golden age he still perceived himself as. He apparently had a life membership at a tanning salon. He always looked sunburned. Our beautiful transfer had successfully lured someone older than her father.
The strategy had misfired, and she complained bitterly about the creepy reporter.
Mary already had a steady boyfriend. Often unavailable. Self employed type. She wasn't sure what his business was. His car trunk was crammed with firearms. Something to do with law enforcement. Maybe. Dates were unpredictable. Moreover, she was too beautiful to stay home. Parents' home. When none of the girls suggested dating partners, she pouted to the guys and bored those baby blues into them. Greg, Todd, João, Rob, even Dan, avoided her as rejected goods. And a clinger.
She needed a gimmick to distance herself from the other girls. The teenage brainstorm birthed two stellar ideas. The first, she bounced off her female coworkers. Ink. She would look incredibly sexy with a tattoo, she laughed. There were the parents, however. How would mommy & daddy react? Disapprove, most definitely. The other girls weren't exactly the best sounding board. Screw the parents, that's what they'd do.
Besides, if you're going to be such a scaredy cat, you could always place the image someplace ... discreet. Plus, if it was hidden, it could be more ... adult. Boys liked nasty.
Girls could be extremely cruel to each other.
Mary discarded the tattoo idea. Three of the girls already had at least one. The whole point was to be special. Different.
She got herself pierced instead.
One for each nipple.
Only they got infected.
And they hurt.
They really hurt.