Kirby Laine could have been an actress.

She had spent her entire life playing a part.

Her first role was that of dutiful daughter. Then came party girl, hostess, and girlfriend to many. She had been a girlfriend to an athlete (Tom), a musician (Jake), a skater (Zeke), a chef (Mario), a med student (Noah), a doctor (Doug), a slacker (Jess), an actor (Paul), an accountant (John), and a photographer (Craig). Once, for fifteen hours, she had pretended to be a mother.

That had been her most confusing role. She had played house with Jess for months. For once in her life, she was able to eat whatever she wanted. (Oh, the novelty!) She was able to make demands and have them granted without a fight. (She was only 18 and pregnant, after all.) She was enveloped in her own world where someone actually saw to her needs instead of handing off the first credit card they came across in their wallet.

Sometimes it was easy to convince herself that the mother thing really was just pretending. (After all, hadn't Dulcie looked like just a doll?) But every time she had fully convinced herself it had never happened, the pain came back from that one day (practically half a day) when she had been a mother.

Kirby didn't mean like, anguish, but the actual pain of giving birth. That fucking hurt. Pain was so real, it pulled you back into reality.

Reality wasn't for people who had as much money as Kirby.

It was strange once Dulcie was out in the world. She was tiny and beautiful. (Just like Kirby's favorite porcelain doll from when she was seven.) So she was named after a doll. (Dulcie-the-doll was still packed away in a box somewhere. Probably at her parent's.) And then her middle name was that of Kirby's favorite nanny. (Rebecca Roberts who took care of her from the age three to eight.)

She had curly auburn hair. The curls came from Jess. But the color, the color was Kirby's. It was her secret. The one she kept under chemically altered hair. Hidden between the different hues of blonde that mixed so well in her hair.

Dulcie was undoubtedly hers.

And as with everything that could or was Kirby's, she didn't want it anymore.

The game, the pretending, the acting, it had grown stale. It was boring. She wanted to go back to being waited on, to being pampered, rather administrating it. (The most work Kirby ever did for anyone else was a blow job. And that had to be earned.)

Dulcie was like a doll, alright. One that Kirby couldn't control. She slept when Kirby wanted to play with her. She wanted to eat when Kirby wanted to sleep. She wanted everyone to stay awake when Kirby wanted to chill out.

That was only the first day. It could only get worse, more demanding, now couldn't it?

She didn't think much of it. Then again, Kirby didn't think much of anything. So she went to sleep. There on that first night. It was the quietest whimper that had woke her. It was then when Kirby realized she had lost control of her life and she might never get it back if she didn't walk away.

If she didn't go away and erase everything that had happened in the past year.

It was all so logical to her.

She wasn't going to disappear forever. She just needed to be herself again.

Jess would have laughed at her had she told him that.

Jess said she was boring. A worn out cliché. A spoiled brat. Selfish. Childish. A bitch.

But he'd still fuck her.

So there was at least one thing about her that he liked. Most days that was enough for Kirby.

Other days she wished he wouldn't find her attractive. That he wouldn't want to fuck her.

The thing was, she hadn't outgrown Jess after she left. Kirby always hated when something she liked playing with was taken from her too early. The object, the person, became a million times better than they had been in reality.

When she came back, he was gone. Moved back east, their mutual friends said.

But no one was sure, because he had disappeared months earlier. (Before she had disappeared on him.)

She was sad that any chance of seeing him had been taken out of her hands. While she wasn't ready to play mother, Kirby was positive she'd be awesome at the role of big sister. She could dress Dulcie up. Show her off at parties. Play with her hair. Let her in on a few secrets about boys when she older.

All on Kirby's terms and time. It could have been fun.

She did see Jess once more, after she had fled. It just reminded her why she had liked him in the first place. He'd play along with her games. He pretended like they didn't have the past they did. They didn't have a living, breathing link between them. And Kirby reinforced that idea. The reality. The only thing between them was a physical, palpable sexuality they hadn't outgrown.

The conclusion wasn't the one she wanted. But it didn't lead to events she didn't want to happen either.

Kirby was having trouble playing her own games lately. The reality was burning. Fire on dry grass rushing towards her brain. Threatening to overwhelm it. Destroy it.

The truth was on the tip of her tongue (it had never been anywhere close before) during every conversation.

She'd join the drunk games, the ones where you could reveal parts of yourself. It'd be okay, because everyone was drunk. So it didn't matter what you revealed. She wanted to get so drunk the words would fall forward from her mouth like the vodka you tried to drink, but were too drunk to hit your mouth. I'm a mother.

She'd do a line of coke and will the words to release. Forward. Let them trip off her tongue. I'm a mother.

The words wouldn't ever come.