They used to think there might actually be something wrong with me, you know. When they brought us in, I was practically comatose. Besides my name, I said maybe three things. But that doesn’t matter. None of it actually matters.
The week after, they called me unmanageable and hysterical. Do you remember when they used to throw girls away, all the time, for hysteria? I don’t, either.
You know how they “cured” it? Masturbation. Honest to God, I’m not shitting anyone when I say that doctors used to force their patients to get off and call the orgasm some kind of relief from the affliction. Sweet Pea didn’t like hearing it, either, when I told her. She thought it was even worse when I said I wished Dr. Gorski would try it on me.
But it doesn’t happen anymore, that was back in the Victorian days. Which, I think, is when they built this place. So, maybe it remembers. It must. Because I can’t stop thinking about it, so something’s gotta be reminding me. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was this awful, old building and its awful, old memories.
Tonight, the covers are pulled all the way up to my chin and, for once, it’s my sister who can’t figure out when to shut up. My eyes are squeezed so tightly, they might bleed, but I know if I say anything to her, she’ll just get upset again. So I pretend.
“They think I’m lying,” she was snorting. Haughtily, of course. “They don’t know anything.” She always knew more than everyone else.
I rolled onto my side, away from her, and my eyes popped back open. They put the new girl in a bed across the way, a few down, from mine. She’s sitting, knees to her chest, maybe studying the threadcount on her sheet. Maybe she notices me watching because she looks up and her pretty, pink lips change shape. The difference is subtle and still full of sadness, but I think she’s trying to smile at me. I slip the hand that had previously been absently playing with my left breast past the waistband of my underwear.
“I know what they want me to say,” Sweet Pea carried on. “They like it when I get teary-eyed. They just want me to talk about ‘who hurt me’.”
It had been months since I’d touched myself. For a while, there, I didn’t have to because Blondie seemed eager to do the work for me - so long as she was getting it, in return, too. But she hasn’t crawled into my bed - nor have I, into hers - in ages. Which suits me just fine, anyway, because I’ve never liked girls who get bossy while fucking.
“Like they don’t know they’re…Rocket?”
I’ve been lazy, maybe, allowing someone else to help, but I haven’t lost my knack. Did the Victorian girls have the same luck? During “treatment”, the doctors were the ones masturbating them. They couldn’t even do it themselves. But things are different now. I’m making them different, even though I know there’s a pile of orderlies just outside the door - Blue and his goons - who’d probably love to drag me back in time and do to me the kinds of things that made me kill a man, once. No. I’m unmanagable.
“Rocket? I know you’re not sleeping.”
Yes, I am, I think, very hard, trying to drown out her voice and focus on the new girl. My new girl. Curling her toes into her mattress. Twirling the end of her soft, white-blond pigtails. Wetting those pretty, pink lips with the tip of her pretty, pink tongue. My hips twitch. I’ve hit a soft spot.
“Are you listening to me?”
No. Shut up. I wouldn’t wish being interrupted by a sister on anyone. Grinding my teeth, I shove her further out of my ears, out of my thoughts. It’s only you and me, baby doll, I think towards the other row of beds. In my fervor, my hysteria, I think I might hear her exhale, which, in turn, gets a rise out of me, too. Despite chomping down on my bottom lip, a little groan escapes.
It was a sleep murmur. I’m dreaming. Go to bed, Sweet Pea. Leave me alone. I hold my breath and not just because I’m starting to feel a dense warmth well up between my thighs.
“…Hope?” she whispers. When I continue to not answer her, I hear the creak of a metal frame and spring mattress arguing with each other while someone, on top of both, shifts. She’s given up.
My eyes flutter, my heart beats faster. Adding a second, then third finger to the mission quickens the pace, but for a second, I think it might go away. Damn it. Ruined. I think of the hysterical girls who came before me, sleeping in the same beds, crying the same tears my new girl cried when they dragged her in. The sensation dissipates and I’m still furiously scrambling to get it back, but I know it’s hardly worth it, anymore.
”Hope.” Startled, I look up, but my beautiful girl is lying down, now. Sleeping. Like I should be. The rest of the room comes rushing back and before I get a headache from all the other girls, from all their other noises, I see her lips part as another breath esacpes. It sounds the same as the ghost voice that didn’t say my name and, quickly, I gasp to draw her discarded air to me. I press on and - AAH - there it is. I contract, quiver, shudder, and sob. Thank you, baby doll.
And when I close my eyes to sleep, she’s already waiting for me, in my dreams.