Lucy tapped into her phone “where r u” and pressed send. It was the fifth text she had sent Jason in the past five minutes. He was supposed to meet her at Chelsea Pier an hour ago, and, yeah, he was always late, but he would text her. “c u soon, bby” sometimes every 10 minutes, but he would be in touch. Today, nothing. She watched gulls diving at the ice. Could they actually catch a fish in this cold water?
She tried to remember what Jason said he’d be doing this morning, something with his dad. That man was no good. Whenever she went over to Jason’s and his dad was there, which wasn’t often, he was all over her. The last time, two weeks ago, she had no sooner walked in the door than he was up, arm around her, dragging her over to the sofa and sitting her down, then next to her, his arm around her shoulder and pulling her close, nuzzling her neck.
“Jason, you got a real sweetie pie here, you know that?” And Jason just sat over there on the window ledge looking out, not making a move to get her away from this old letch. “Yeah, you’re a real cutie, too good for that sonuvabitch son of mine, if he really is a son of mine.” Lucy kept herself rigid and sent pleas from her eyes, weak little arrows, “get me out of here, Jason, pls.”
Today they were going to go skating at the Sky Rink. Jason was going to teach her some dance moves. There was a competition later in the month, and Lucy had already entered their names, but she hadn’t told Jason yet.
Her phone buzzed. “cnt tdy. dad in jl. need bail. c u l8r” Lucy stared at the icy water in the Hudson. She imagined gulls diving and pulling Jason’s dad, dripping icicles, out of the cold water.