“I don’t like to assume, but that is what I thought. You’re saying that Billy tried to start sex with Angel and Penny together. That just doesn’t ring true with what he said to me or what I heard him say to Angel over the phone, and what I heard in the background.”
“What did Billy tell you?” Papa asked.
“After Mama told me I couldn’t go, I went back and called the shop. I told Billy I couldn’t come and he said that he was glad. He said that he didn’t think it was safe for me to come.”
“If that’s true, how did Angel react to that news?” Papa asked.
“I distinctly heard Billy tell Angel that I was not coming over, then I heard Billy yell ‘OW’ like he was hurt. Then Billy yelled, ‘Angel don’t!’ and then the sound of something striking Billy. I heard Angel shout something but I did not understand what he said. Then it sounded like the phone banging and dangling on the wall. That’s when I ran and got Mama.”
“Billy told you he was glad that you could not come?” Mama asked.
“Yes, Mama. That is exactly what he said to me. He was worried for my safety.”
Mama looked at Papa, “Penny said that you would say that,” she said.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“What she means is, Penny said that Billy called you to make it look like Angel was bullying them and he was protecting you, keeping you away. When Angel tried to get him off the phone, Billy swung that pipe at Angel but missed and Billy yelled ‘OW’ so you could hear it. She said he was grinning the whole time. She said Billy swung the pipe and yelled, ‘Angel, don’t’ for your benefit. They fought over the pipe and that’s when Angel hit Billy. They claim self-defense. Did I leave anything out, Mama?” Papa asked.
Mama shook her head. “Penny is saying that when they got into that scuffle in the school hallway, it was over you. She approached Billy and told him to leave you alone. He told her to go mind her own effing business. She said that you were her business. The way she tells it, he tried to shoulder past her, then she shoved him to the floor.”
“It’s true that they got into it over me, but it was because we thought that Penny was spreading word about my birth defect, about my sex. I know Billy, and I don’t believe any of this. Look, if he wanted a threesome with Penny and Angel, which I doubt because Angel disgusts him, but if he wanted that threesome, why call me?”
“She claimed that you would be his back-up if you heard certain things,” Mama said. I frowned. That made no sense. She fidgeted with her keys in her hand, looked at Papa, then back up at me. “They both claim that Billy is a sexual predator, and he has said that he is out to rape you.”
I laughed out loud. I couldn’t help it, it just burst out of me. I clasped my hands over my mouth. I stood up and went to Mama and Papa and got on my knees in front of them and sat on my heels. I took Mama’s hand in one of mine and Papa’s hand in the other.
“Trust me when I tell you that Billy Carnes is not out to rape me,” I said. My eyes watered. My heart broke and I started to cry a little. “Don’t be angry with me,” I said as my lip quivered some, “but Billy and I went to third base today, almost to home plate, but we stopped. If he were going to rape me, there I was, naked, lying with him, all he had to do was take me! But he said it was best if we waited. He said we needed to have patience. Does that sound like a rapist to you? And you know what? I would give him all he wanted! There would be no rape. He is in love with me, and I am in love with him.”