I’m Begging of You… Jolene

Originally posted on Patreon in Nov 2019 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.

On Fridays they were friends. Jolene had figured that much out.

Friday morning they had physics lab together. She and Dolly would sit at the same table, work on their projects together, make jokes together — about the class, about the school, even about Hank. Fridays were pretty good. Jolene held her breath to get through the beginning of the week, but she lived for Fridays.

Tuesdays and Thursdays they had Calc II, Physics Lecture, and Early British Literature together — just the lit with Hank — and Dolly was cool but not mean or nasty. She’d greet Jolene but sit somewhere else, ignore any jokes Jo tried to make, avoid conversation about anything other than class or, maybe, the school itself — and if Jo sat next to Hank, Dolly’s demeanor would get even chillier. (Jo’d tried three times, decided that was enough for a sample, and gone to sitting in the back.)

That, at least, would have made sense, except the way Fridays went, especially Friday nights.

Mondays and Wednesdays, Dolly wouldn’t so much look at Jo. They only shared a single class — History of Eastern Europe — together, and it was a good thing that the class was large, because Jolene could feel the hatred emanating off the other girl from halfway across the room.

She sat in the back, answered only when asked a question, and tried, week after week, to figure it out.

Fridays they’d be back to joking, even the one time Dolly had gone beyond glaring and radiating hatred to make a rather nasty comment, and that was only because Jolene had thought, that week, that maybe Dolly was on some weird meds. And because Dolly’d apologized: “I don’t know what got into me, I don’t, I’m awfully sorry.” And she’d never again, even on Wednesdays, said something that horrible.

Friday nights they went out dancing, the two of them and Hank and usually some of the guys from his floor, usually a couple girls from their floor, but Dolly and Jolene danced with each other and Hank sat and drank beer with his buddies. They pressed against each other and whispered things neither of them could hear, and on Saturday they woke up pressed together in a single bed and kissed until it was time for breakfast.

Saturday afternoon they did homework, and Dolly was quiet and studious, friendly but not friendly, and they mostly talked to the other people in their group.

Hank was there, too — and sometimes he’d sit near Jolene, as if trying something out, and nothing would happen. Dolly would go on working on homework and making bad jokes about their Lit professor and the world seemed more or less — if they had such a thing — normal.

Sundays she never saw Dolly, not once, not even if they’d gone out dancing again the night before.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, Mondays and Wednesdays, blessed wonderful Fridays and strange Saturdays and one Sunday, nearly to finals time, Jolene wandered past Dolly’s room to hear her name.

The door had been left open just a crack, and a crack was all that was needed.

 — your voice is soft like summer rain
and I cannot compare to you
Jolene—

She stopped, just out of sight from the doorway. That — that sounded like Friday night whispers.

Your beauty is beyond compare,
With flaming locks of auburn hair
Your eyes they strip the cosmos bare
your teeth could rip me from my soul
and I cannot submit to you
Jolene

Jolene tensed at the door, for a moment forgetting herself, those teeth showing in all their rending sharpness.

 — Have mercy in this end of days
Jolene —

She closed her mouth. She smiled.

Dolly was praying.

She would have to be more careful. That history lecturer… he saw too much. He revealed too much.

If Dolly wanted her to spare Hank — and she would — maybe she should find out what happened when Mr. Park’s third eye really opened up.

— your touch is like the sweetest blessing
your kiss is heaven, I’m confessing,
And I cannot begin to quit you
My Jolene.

~~*~~This story~~*~~

(this is the meta)

This Story!  It began with the line “On Wednesdays they were friends.  [] had figured that much out.”

And it was meant to, at that moment, be more on calling on “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink.”

But then I was coming up with a name for [] there and I put in Jolene.

And then I thought of this Jolene fhtagn thing I’d come across a couple times.

And here we have the story of Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

Jolene

I’m begging of you, please don’t burn the skies.

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