This was a story I started a few months ago but I am having such a hard time finishing it. I wanted to post it nonetheless. If anyone has read the book or seen the movie or is just interested in reading it, it is a story about Bonnie Lisbon, the middle sister, and Parkie Denton, one of the neighborhood boys in love with the Lisbon sisters. This is still considered to be a WIP but like I said, I have no idea if it will ever be finished.
Bonnie – the middle Lisbon daughter – had been in love just once in, what turned out to be, her very short life.
He was sweet and charming and every time she saw him, she felt her cheeks flush and a bundle of knots twist in her stomach. His name was Parkie Denton and she fell in love with him when he and some of the other neighborhood boys came over to their basement for a party.
It was, what turned out to be, a horrible night to fall in love but before Cecilia leapt from her bedroom window, Bonnie spent the evening watching him in his suit jacket and tie, drinking that horrible red, too-sugary fruit punch that her mother had made and trying to meet Mary’s eyes from across the room. It didn’t surprise Bonnie that Mary caught his attention first.
They weren’t individuals but more of an entity and to keep them straight, others had come up with one-worded descriptions to remember. Therese was the smart one, Mary, the beautiful one, Lux, the outgoing one and Cecilia, the weird one. Bonnie was always known as the shy one but that night, she wished she could be more like Lux. If she was, she would go right up to Parkie and say something that would have an equally profound realization of her that she had had of him.
She had introduced herself to them as they arrived but other than that, she hadn’t been able to say another word to him. A part of her hated herself for that.
Bonnie knew she wasn’t pretty. Her neck was too long – something she would use to her advantage months later – and she had always been the chubbiest of her sisters and she always seemed to have spots of acne on her chin, though Mary tried to teach her how to cover it up with the makeup from the sock she had hidden and taped beneath the sink so their mother wouldn’t find it.
Lux caught her staring at her reflection in the mirror and laughing slightly, asked what she was doing. She closed the door, locking the two in the bathroom and then closing the toilet lid, she stood upon it and lit a cigarette, exhaling out the small window.
“Am I pretty?” Bonnie asked because she couldn’t help herself.
“Yes,” Lux answered and Bonnie knew she could believe her because though they were sisters, Lux had always been forward and blunt. “I love your hair.”
“Really?” One of Bonnie’s hands lifted to finger one of the braided pigtails she had pulled her short blonde locks into that day.
“It’s thick. Everyone wants thick hair. If I was to cut my hair like yours, it would look horrible. Mine is too thin.”
Bonnie stared at Lux for a moment before looking back at her own reflection. She stared at herself in the mirror for so long, soon her eyes became too blurry to focus and she didn’t even recognize the person who was staring back at her anymore.
School started and everyone was staring. Everyone was whispering. Everyone was walking around them as if they had a constant presence of broken glass at their feet.
Bonnie saw Parkie in the hallways between classes but she was always with one of her sisters and she wouldn’t have the courage to go up to him anyway to speak. She felt that as if she looked at him too long, he would be able to see all of the silly dreams she had at night while she slept involving him.
Just the night before, she imagined them living in a place of their own, far from her parents. She would make him spaghetti for dinner because it seemed like the easiest thing to make and she didn’t know how to cook and though he would tease her for the sauce being too watery and the noodles not cooked all the way through, Parkie would eat everything on his plate and then ask for seconds. He would laugh and she would smile and then he would kiss her, tomatoes and garlic on his tongue.
She never saw him looking at her. She was the Lisbon no one ever looked at.
Somehow, Trip Fontaine convinced their father to let him take Lux to Homecoming as long as the three other sisters were allowed to go. Bonnie watched as Lux took a pair of her underwear and wrote Trip’s name in black marker just as she had done with Kevin, the garbage man. The result would be the same. Their mom would find it and bleach out the Trip but for that night, Lux was going to be smiling because of her little secret.
When the boys arrived, Bonnie was being placed in front of Parkie before she knew it and for the first time, she looked at him and he stared right back, his eyes locked with hers, a mixture of hope and disbelief in his gaze. She licked her lips nervously before glancing down the line at her other sisters, all nearly on the verge of giggling with excitement.
Bonnie gasped in surprise when she suddenly felt the tips of his fingers brush across her clavicle through the material of her dress and watching, barely breathing as he did so, he carefully pinned the white flower corsage on her, the faint sweet scent wafting into her nose. He didn’t poke her with the pin like Kevin Head did to Mary. From the corner of her eye, Bonnie saw Mary flinch slightly.
Parkie noticed it too and when they looked at one another, hesitant smiles bloomed across their faces, and she felt herself instantly relax.
When they walked to Parkie’s Cadillac parked on the curb outside of the house, he reached out and took her hand. She prayed that her palms weren’t sweaty.
He tasted like peaches and something foreign that had never been on her tongue before. They sat beneath the school bleachers with Lux and Trip, the schnapps passing back and forth between their mouths and for one eternal minute, Bonnie closed her eyes and tried to think of a more perfect moment than kissing Parkie Denton. She couldn’t.
She didn’t know what she was doing. She wasn’t like Lux, who had always seemed to be born with a maturity of a grown woman who never had to deal through the pains and humiliations of doubting oneself, especially when boys were concerned.