Doing It All Over
10-20-2012, 11:18 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
The next day as Mike and I entered the school there was no Richie Fairview positioned out front, nor were there any of his goon squad. It seemed they'd finally learned the lesson. So I'd succeeded in clearing out a threat to helpless freshmen and sophomores everywhere. Richie would probably fade into joking obscurity, I figured, robbed of his most potent weapon, his reputation. In a way I was somewhat disappointed. I had actually been kind of looking forward to another confrontation with the dumb slob.
Oh well, there were plenty more bullying assholes I could deal with. I was actually starting to see myself as some sort of superhero, fighting for the rights of the oppressed, battling the forces of evil, my very name revered by all. I wondered if I could force Richie to start paying back the kids he'd ripped off. I could picture it, ordering him to give a dollar a day to every kid he'd ever robbed. And if he ever gave them any shit, they could come to the GREAT BILLY for help and justice.
I was standing at my locker, Mike beside me, running these amusing thoughts through my brain when my instinct alerted me to danger. Perhaps it was my peripheral vision, catching just a glimpse of a dark figure moving towards me, maybe it was my ears, hearing the advance of a footstep, perhaps it was some sort of sixth sense, but suddenly all the instincts I'd developed from my years on the streets told me something was coming from behind me. I reacted quickly, but not quickly enough.
I turned, raising my hands into a defensive posture just as Richie Fairview swung at me. I raised my arm to protect my head, automatically assuming that's where he would strike me. Because of that the blow that was aimed at my body struck home, hitting on my left flank and driving the wind from me. My first thought upon being struck was that it hurt, but it wasn't that bad. I was still standing and it was time to play some catch-up.
His right hand pulled away from my body and prepared to move forward for another blow. I stepped forward and grabbed at his wrist just as he started the second swing. I caught his wrist neatly in my hands and started to pull it forward, intending to spin him around and push him against the lockers where I could batter his vulnerable back and kidney region. Maybe I could put the fucker into renal failure. But as I started the maneuver that would have put this plan into motion I looked down for an instant at his hand, the one I was holding.
The hand wasn't empty. There was a buck knife in it. The blade, which was about five inches long, was stained with blood.
The implications of this hit me immediately. I'd been stabbed in the abdomen! How bad was it?
Mike, noticing at about the same time as I did that Richie was playing for keeps, stepped behind him and threw his arm around Richie's neck, choking him, pulling him off balance. His other arm pulled at the knife hand, keeping it well away from me. The priority of the battle had just changed. The goal was no longer to beat the crap out of Richie, it was to get the knife out of his hands and end the confrontation as quickly as possible. I'd been stabbed!
I saw the best way to do it right before me. Richie, off balance and struggling against Mike had his legs spread wide in an attempt to keep his feet beneath him. I let go of the wrist, trusting Mike to keep the knife away from me and stepped forward, bringing my knee up into his crotch with all the force I could muster. I kneed him so hard that pain went shooting up my leg from my kneecap.
Richie squealed so loud I'm surprised nearby windows didn't break. He began choking and gagging, the knife dropping forgotten from his hand, clattering on the cement floor of the hall. Mike, seeing the knife drop, kicked it clear and then let go of Richie, who dropped to the ground in a most ungraceful manner, curling immediately up into a ball. He began vomiting.
I backed up a few steps until I was against the locker. I leaned against it for support, feeling a deep, burning pain in my side now. I looked down at my left side, seeing nothing but a tear in my down jacket and a few feathers floating away on the air currents.
"Are you okay, Bill?" Mike, trembling with adrenaline asked me. "Did he get you?"
"Yeah," I said, trying to remain calm. The halls around me were awash with excited conversation. I saw several teachers heading for us. I unzipped my coat and let it drop from my body. There was a small hole in my flannel shirt, the edges tinged with blood. I lifted the shirt revealing my bare skin.
"It don't look that bad," Mike said hopefully, examining the wound.
"Uh huh," I said, looking at it myself. It was about an inch in length, a slight amount of blood oozing from it, just below the bottom of my rib cage on the left side. Sure it didn't look bad from the outside-stab wounds rarely did-but what was damaged inside?
"You okay?" Mike asked me again, not liking what he was seeing in my face.
"I think I should sit down," I replied, doing so, my mind recalling the structures in that part of my body. The spleen was the first thing to come to mind. If my spleen had been lacerated I could bleed to death in a matter of minutes. My left kidney was also in there. Depending on how deep and at what angle the knife had gone in, it could be in peril. If there had been an upward angle, could he have gotten the left lung? I had been stabbed! My mind kept yelling at me. Stabbed!
"What's going on here?" A teacher demanded after pushing his way through the crowd of kids. He took in the sight of Richie barfing and holding his damaged testes and of me sitting against the lockers with my shirt pulled up and blood oozing from a wound. He saw the knife sitting on the ground about ten feet away. Richie's friends had already made themselves scarce.
"He's been stabbed, Mr. Johnson," Mike told the teacher.
"Stabbed?" Mr. Johnson said, alarmed, shocked. Remember, this was 1982, long before such things became commonplace in schools. "Are you all right, young man?"
"No," I said, looking up into the teacher's face. "I want you to listen to me very carefully, okay?"
"What are you..."
"Shut up!" I told him. "I have been stabbed in the left upper abdominal quadrant. I need to get to a hospital immediately. Please go call for an ambulance."
"Never mind that shit!" I yelled forcefully. "Go call a fucking ambulance. Now!"
That got him moving. By that time more teachers had reached the scene anyway.
The ambulance showed up and I almost got the screaming horrors when I saw who the paramedic was. It was Ken Tully, who would be operations manager from the time I got hired until a national corporation purchased our small company four years later (at which time he would get a severance package along with the rest of the old management). Ken had been the biggest prick on two legs, serving as hatchet man for the owner of the company. It had never occurred to me he'd once been a field paramedic. I didn't think he could possibly be a good one. This was a freaking nightmare.
But much to my surprise and delight, he was competent at his job. He dressed the wound and started two large bore IVs on me on the way to the trauma center. He even had a decent bedside manner, continually telling me I'd be all right, explaining that he was just taking precautions by cutting off all of my clothes and plugging two garden hoses into my veins. If I hadn't been so scared I might have taken time to wonder what would happen to him in the future to make him such a dick.
But I was very scared, shaken to my very core by the incident. I could die from this, I kept thinking. I could be bleeding to death right now. But the thought that kept recurring most was: This didn't happen before! I had never been stabbed. I'd never been close to death. What did this mean? I couldn't die could I? I'd already lived to 32! I couldn't die as a teenager! Hadn't the cards already been dealt?
As I was wheeled into the trauma center resuscitation room and surrounded by doctors, nurses, and various other technicians, as I had my wound poked and prodded, as I had needles jabbed into my femoral arteries to check blood gases, as I had a slimy finger shoved up my ass to check for sphincter tone and bowel perforation, the thought kept recurring over and over: This didn't happen before! X-rays were shot of me, a catheter was rammed up my penis by a nurse who looked old enough to have assisted at the delivery of my father and still I kept thinking: This didn't happen before!
"Billy," the doctor in charge told me, "we're going to give you some medicine that's going to make you sleepy. We need to put you out for a little bit so we can do a little check on you, to make sure you're not bleeding inside your stomach."
"A peritoneal lavage," I said numbly, making the doctor blink.
"Why yes," he said. "Have you had it done before?"
"No," I answered. "Never before. Never."
The doctor gave me The Look for a moment and then said to a nurse, "give him the Versed."
A minute later I began to feel very sleepy and very stoned. It did little to allay my fear. I knew that they were going to put me unconscious, install a breathing tube in me and hook me up to a ventilator. They were then going to cut open my abdomen, squirt saline into it, and then suck it back out again to see if there was any blood. If there was blood I would be taken to the operating room and sliced open where they would attempt to repair whatever damage Richie's knife had inflicted upon me. If they couldn't, I would die without ever regaining consciousness. I was quite possibly experiencing the last few moments of consciousness I'd ever have. No matter how stoned on narcotics you are, that is a scary thought.
"Let's put him out," a doctor said and an anesthesiologist put something else in my IV.
I had time for only one more thought. This didn't happen before!
10-20-2012, 11:18 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
Pain. That was my first waking thought. It was coming from multiple sources. My throat was sore, as sore as the time I'd had tonsillitis. My lower abdomen was sore too, right near my belly button. My dick was burning uncomfortably, like I had to pee and couldn't. And there was a faint ache in my left side. I felt groggy, like I couldn't quite drag myself out of sleep. And someone was calling my name over and over again. What was going on?
"Billy, can... ake up?" a broken voice, fading in and out asked. "... illy? Breathe... this."
Something was sitting on my face. It was hissing and tasted like plastic. Breathing it made my throat hurt worse. What was going on?
Finally I opened my eyes, wincing as my pupils reacted to the bright light. I was looking up at a set of fluorescent light bulbs on the ceiling. A hideous yellow curtain was drawn around the area I was in and a young, pretty face was looking down at me. I realized after a moment's thought that she was a nurse.
"How are you feeling?" she asked.
"Like shit," I muttered, wincing in pain as my vocal cords rebelled at their premature usage.
"Aptly put I'm sure," she said with a smile. "Just keep breathing that oxygen and you'll feel better in a few minutes."
Oxygen? What was going on? Why was someone giving me oxygen? I tried to concentrate and finally remembered what had happened to me. I'd been stabbed! They'd put me out to give me a peritoneal lavage. That was why my throat hurt so badly, from the breathing tube that had been rammed through my vocal cords. Was I okay? How much time had gone past?
"How am I?" I croaked to the nurse, every word an agony, but I needed to know. "Am I going to live?"
"I think so," she told me. "It looks like you're going to be just fine."
It took me a few minutes to come fully awake and they gave me some Demerol to take the edge off my various pains. A doctor filled me in. Apparently the knife had severed a couple of minor veins but other than that, had touched nothing important. My spleen, kidney, and lung were all fine. My large and small intestines were fine. I was, in short, very lucky, suffering little more than a flesh wound. I would be kept in the hospital overnight for observation and released the next morning. After a week or so of taking it easy, I could go back to school. He then suggested I stay away from knives.
"You're parents and your sister are outside," he told me. "But before they come in the police would like to speak with you for a few minutes."
"Okay," I told him, nodding, examining the catheter protruding from beneath the sheets with distaste. How long until they took it out?
The police officer was older. I didn't recognize him. Probably he'd retired before I made my debut on the streets of Spokane where I would, over time, get to know most of them on a first-name basis. He was wearing a uniform that would be changed to a different color and style in a few years and carrying a .38 in his holster, a gun that would be exchanged for nine millimeters soon. He looked me up and down for a moment, his gaze telling me he'd seen it all and heard it all. I was familiar with the gaze. I'd acquired it myself.
"So, Billy," he said, opening a notebook. "Suppose you tell me what happened today?"
I knew what he was expecting. He was expecting me to say I had no idea who had done this to me or why. That I hadn't so much as caught a glimpse of the person responsible. That I couldn't identify them in a line-up. In short, he expected me to act like a typical teenaged victim.
"Well, Officer... Morgan," I said, reading his nametag, "I was stabbed by a kid named Richard Fairview."
"Really?" he said, looking at me.
"Really," I said. "He came up behind me at my locker and just as I turned around, he stuck a buck knife in my side. I fought back and managed to keep myself from getting stabbed twice. In fact, I kneed the motherfucker so hard in the balls that I think I dislocated my knee in the process."
Officer Morgan chuckled. "Well well," he said. "This is different. So tell me, why did Mr. Fairview stab you?"
"Because he's a piece of shit thug and I've been screwing with him for the last few days."
"Screwing with him?" he asked, making a notation on his pad.
"I'm sure you've got reports of his little trip to the hospital the other day," I said. "He's a shake-down artist at the high school, ripping off kids as they come in. Perhaps your department has had dealings with him before?"
"Oh yes," Morgan said, looking at me as if he was seeing an optical illusion. "We have quite a file on Mr. Fairview. Are you telling me that you sent him to the hospital the other day? Because if you are, I think you might want to get your parents in here and have me advise you of your rights. What happened to the gentleman the other day was a felonious assault."
"He tried to rip me off," I said. "And when I refused to give him money he tried to assault me. I simply took defensive measures. Very stern defensive measures."
"I see," the cop said, looking at me now with something like respect. "Please go on."
"Well, after that I've been making a point to tease him every time I see him." I shrugged. "I guess I went a bit too far and he decided to take action."
"That's a delicate way of putting it," he said. "It's hard to believe a little guy like you did all of that damage to that big asshole."
"I know a little karate," I lied. "Are you going to arrest me?"
"No," he told me. "I ran your record and Fairview's record while I was waiting to interview you. Fairview has got multiple arrests for everything from assault to drugs to attempted rape. He's a pukebag in the making. You, on the other hand, come from a middle-class family, have no arrest record whatsoever, and in fact you're not in our system at all. All of the witnesses, and there was a surprising amount willing to talk about this thing, say that Fairview came up from behind and struck you with the knife and that you were acting in complete self-defense. Your friend Mike confirms your story. Fairview's story is among the most ridiculous I've ever heard. He says that you attacked him with the knife as he walked by and that he took it away from you and stabbed you in self-defense." The cop gave me a sly smile. "He's a couple of rooms over you know."
"Yeah?" I asked.
"Yep." Morgan nodded with satisfaction plainly visible on his face. "Don't tell anyone I told you but you seem trustworthy. The docs say he might lose those testicles, you got him that hard. Even if he don't lose 'em, it's doubtful he'll ever have kids." The cop looked to the heavens. "Imagine that, that little shitbag won't get to breed more little assholes. Goddamit sometimes there is justice in this world." He gazed at me. "So here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna write up your story pretty much as you told it. But I would suggest highly that you profess ignorance to the little incident the other day. You're the only one who has told me about it. Even Fairview himself didn't mention it. So, to avoid complications, how about we just leave that little tidbit out of the story? Makes things much easier for everyone. You don't know why he attacked you by your locker, he just did. Okay?"
"Okay," I agreed, fascinated by the way he was talking to me.
"Good. I'm gonna charge him with assault with a deadly weapon. In light of his previous record he'll get a year or so in juvie. It goes without saying that he'll be expelled from school. So congratulations, hero. You got rid of one first class, A-number one dirtbag. I might put you in for a goddam public service award."
He took another twenty minutes or so to interview me thoroughly about the incident. He thanked me again and then left the room. A few minutes later my parents came in with Tracy in tow. Mom looked as if she'd been crying. So did Tracy I saw. Even Dad looked as if he'd aged since I'd seen him that morning. I felt sorrow and shame for having put them through this ordeal.
"Billy?" Mom said, coming forward and stroking my hair.
"Yeah, Mom?" I asked. "I'm all right, really."
She gulped. "This isn't because of, well, drugs is it?"
10-20-2012, 11:18 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
So that is how I spent the one-week anniversary of my recycling in a hospital bed. They kept me doped up throughout the night but I still found it hard to sleep. My mind kept turning back to the fact that I'd been stabbed in this life but that I hadn't been stabbed in my previous life. The implications of that were starkly frightening. I was not invulnerable. All bets were off. I could just as easily be killed here as I could have in my own when. I could die before I turned 32! Since I'd come back and changed things from their natural order anything could now happen. Anything. The risks I'd taken so far now gave me the shivers. Riding in Raisin and later Mike's car without a seatbelt on with an intoxicated driver at the wheel. Playing games with dangerous bullies at school. Even playing mind games with my teachers. How could I have been so stupid? How could I have really thought that I was safe? Had I actually been thinking of myself as a superhero before Richie had struck me?
I made my second solemn vow since returning. I vowed that I would be careful. I was having too much fun to die.
"Are you sure you'll be okay, Billy?" Mom asked me for perhaps the fiftieth time. "We can still cancel our plans."
"No no, Mom," I insisted once more. "I'm healing up just fine. I get to go back to school on Monday. Really, I'll be fine."
It was Saturday night. I'd been home from the hospital for a week and a half, bored out of my mind, unable to leave the house or do much of anything besides lie in bed and let my wounds heal. Mom had taken off work to take care of me and had fawned over me for the past nine days. I had soup and sandwiches delivered to me in bed. I had sodas brought to me whenever I wished. I was surprised I was allowed to go to the bathroom by myself. I love my mother dearly, I really do, but after nine days she was starting to get on my nerves. Saturday night was the night of her company's annual awards banquet, an event she and dad attended every year and would usually come home from in the wee hours of the morning in a cab they were so drunk. The last thing in the world I wanted was for them to stay home. I needed a little peace.
"Well," she said doubtfully, "if you're sure."
"Absolutely, Mom. Besides, Tracy's here." I nodded in my sister's direction. "If there are any problems, she can handle them."
"Yeah, Mom," Tracy readily agreed, too readily some would say. "I can take care of him."
She seemed satisfied. She headed upstairs and began to get ready. Two hours later she and Dad were out the door.
"Thank God!" Tracy said once their car had disappeared from sight. "How the hell could you stand it having her home all the time?"
"Mom's all right," I said. "It's just parental authority that gets old."
She smiled, not bothering with The Look. By now Tracy was used to my odd sayings. "Whatever," she said. "Can you keep a secret?"
"Of course," I told her, offended she felt the need to even ask that.
"Cindy scored some killer buds. She's gonna bring 'em over and we're gonna get stoned while we watch Saturday Night Live. If you can keep your mouth shut, maybe she'll share with you."
I smiled, knowing I'd made great progress with my sister since returning. I'd never even been aware that she smoked grass in my previous life. Now she was offering to get stoned with me. Sure, it wasn't exactly a blood oath of loyalty, but it was a start. "Suppose I told you I couldn't keep my mouth shut," I asked. "What would you do then?"
She gaped at me for a moment and then laughed. "You're an asshole, Billy," she said, shaking her head. "Do you want to get stoned or not? I've never done it with you before, you should think of it as a privilege."
"It sounds like a plan Trace," I said. "And it is a privilege."
10-20-2012, 11:19 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
Cindy came over at nine o'clock. She was wearing the obligatory tight 501's and a sweater that accented her pert tits nicely. Her blonde hair was tied in a ponytail and her blue eyes sparkled. My loins stirred at the first sight of her, my dick threatening to harden by visual stimulation alone. I'd found over the past week that, injuries aside, my libido was that of a fifteen-year old. I needed to have an orgasm at least once a day. I seemed to go into physical withdrawal symptoms if I didn't. I'd jacked off so much there were actual abrasions on my dick. And Cindy had been a star player in many of the fantasies.
I was heartened by the fact that, after a quick greeting to Tracy, she rushed over to my spot on the couch and planted herself next to me. My dick stirred again as I smelled the scent of her perfume. It was heavy upon her skin but it was feminine and went right to my brain.
"You poor thing," she said with syrupy sympathy. "How are you doing?"
I smiled. "Everything that's important still works," I told her.
She giggled. "I guess Richie Fairview can't say the same," she replied. "Can I see where you got stabbed?"
"Sure," I told her, while Tracy stared in disbelief at her friend. I raised up my shirt, showing her the jagged wound. The stitches had been removed leaving only a healing line on my side. A similar wound, where they'd done the lavage, was just below my belly button.
"Ohhh," she crooned, looking at it. "You poor thing. Does it hurt?"
"Not too bad."
"Well here," she said, kissing her finger and then touching it to my bare skin, just atop the scar. "That'll make it better."
My flesh jumped at her touch, feeling the slight wetness of her saliva transferred from her fingertips to my side.
"You missed one," I told her, pointing at the surgical incision. She gave me another smile and then repeated the procedure for that one.
"Hope that makes them feel better," she said, eyeing the bulge in my sweat pants.
"It does," I assured her. "It really does."
Tracy seemed in shock as she watched her friend openly flirting with me. When they walked into the kitchen to fill the bong with water I saw a quick, whispered conversation that ended with Tracy glancing at me and then shaking her head in disbelief. I was in disbelief as well but fully prepared to take advantage of the situation. Why was Cindy acting this way with me when she'd treated me with quiet contempt before? I didn't really care but I was curious.
"You like to smoke buds?" Cindy asked me as she pulled a small baggie from her pocket.
"I love it," I told her, staring into her eyes hard enough to make her blush.
Tracy looked at us uncomfortably.
Cindy began loading up the bong, which I insisted, in the interests of safety, we take out into the garage to smoke from. I knew the smell of pot lingered in a room for hours and I'd recently learned very graphically that all bets were now off. I was being careful. The girls whined a little at my suggestion but finally agreed to it. So we got stoned amid my father's tools and boxes of motor oil, in the unheated garage where we could see our breath misting into the air.
"Now don't you feel safe?" I asked the two of them once we were back inside. "If Mom and Dad come home unexpectedly now, all we have to worry about is pretending we're not stoned. We don't have to worry about them smelling it in the house."
"Mom and Dad never come home early," Tracy scoffed, taking a swig from a Coke. "You're just paranoid, Billy."
"Tracy," I told her, "if there's one thing I've learned in this life, it's to expect and plan for the unexpected. Sure, they probably won't come home early tonight, but it's within the realm of possibility, isn't it? If you work to eliminate all risks you'll usually be pretty safe. If you go through life assuming the worst will never happen, someday you're gonna get fucked." I stared directly at her as I said this and it was clear she got my message. Her arms broke out into visible gooseflesh and she trembled uneasily for a second.
"I guess you're right, Bill," she allowed carefully, no doubt thinking about the conversation I'd had with her not too long ago.
"That's some pretty deep shit," Cindy said, scooting herself a little closer to me. "Is there anything to eat here?"
While Tracy was heating up some frozen burritos in the microwave, Cindy and I continued to sit on the couch.
"So where's your boyfriend tonight?" I asked her.
"You mean Jeff?" She shook her head and made a sour face. "I'm not going out with him anymore. He's an asshole."
"I could've told you that," I said.
"I made out with him a few times and he was telling everyone he was screwing me. Do guys really think that we won't hear about it when they say shit like that?"
"Sometimes I'm not sure what they think," I replied. "I think that is probably too strong a word for what they do. It seems to me that girls should stick to a general rule when deciding who they are going to, well, have fun with."
"Oh?" she asked perkily.
"The more a guy talks about having gotten pussy, the less pussy he's actually had. Now Jeff probably told you he'd screwed plenty of girls, right?"
"Oh yeah," she said. "As if that's going to impress us."
"Exactly. On the other hand, the guys that never tell pussy stories are usually the ones getting all the pussy. You see, they are smart enough to realize that discretion is the better part of valor. It's a pleasant cycle. You don't talk about it, you get more of it, you get better at it. Your best lovers are gonna be those guys who have never told a pussy story in their life."
"Like you?" she asked, twirling a lock of her hair with her finger.
"Perhaps," I agreed. "But of course there's only one true way to find out how good someone is in bed."
"Really?" Cindy smiled. "And what is that?"
"Extensive personal research," I told her, letting my fingertip glide over the back of her hand. "Do you like to research?"
Tracy's return kept her from replying. She had plates of burritos and fresh cokes in her hands. Her eyes saw my fingertip caressing Cindy's hand and she shot another puzzled look at her friend. I could understand the source of her confusion. Cindy had always gone for the football player types. The good-looking, rich boys from good families, and always older than her. Now she was shamelessly flirting with me, her brother, who was not only not rich, not a football player, and not blessed with the rugged good looks of a Ken doll, but was two years younger than her as well. To Tracy it was probably as if the fabric of existence had suddenly developed a tear.
I got up to go take a leak (and to adjust my hard-on a little, it was bent at an uncomfortable angle). When I returned I could see that the two girls had been discussing something. Cindy was batting her eyes at me and Tracy was staring at me, as if she was seeing a completely different person.
When Cindy got up to go pee a few minutes later, Tracy waited until the bathroom door was closed and then turned to me almost angrily. "Do you know what Cindy told me?" she asked.
"What?" I said mildly.
"She heard you screwed Steph Massie over by the falls last week. Is that true?"
"No," I said. "We took a walk is all that happened. Talked a little. I was trying to get somewhere with her but she wouldn't go for it."
"That's not what Cindy heard," Tracy accused.
"Oh?" I asked. "And what did Cindy hear? And what does she care about Steph anyway? They don't exactly hang out together."
Tracy scowled at me. "Who do you think Cindy got the buds from, you idiot? Everyone knows that Stephanie's brother is the biggest pot dealer in school."
"Oh," I paused, reaching back in my memory. Now that she mentioned it I did remember that little piece of trivia. "Well, what did she hear?"
"Steph told her that you took her into the woods and gave her the best lay she's ever had." Tracy shook her head in disgust. "And believe me, that bitch has had quite a few lays. Did you really fuck her?"
"No," I said. "I didn't."
"Well why would she be telling people that you did?"
I shrugged. "She's just telling dick stories. You know how women are always doing that."
"Dick stories?" Tracy asked. "Girls do not tell dick stories!"
"Tracy," I finally asked, "what possible concern is this of yours?"
"Why are you grilling me about this? What business is it of yours?"
"Because Cindy thinks you're some kind of great lover and she wants to... you know? That's why!"
"Wouldn't that be Cindy's business?" I asked.
"I just think she should know the truth," Tracy said indignantly.
"Okay. Tell her. Get her alone and tell her that I said I've never fucked Steph or anyone else. Tell her I'll deny fucking anyone, anywhere, at any time to my dying day. I'll go to my deathbed swearing that I'm a virgin." I smiled. "Maybe that will get her to back off."
Tracy opened her mouth to say something and then stopped, staring at me, her mind turning over what I'd just said. Her exasperation with me slowly turned into something else. It was the same change of expression I'd seen on the cop's face in the hospital. The expression became one of respect.
"You see, Trace," I continued. "I might try to get somewhere with Cindy tonight. I might even get her to come to my room with me. But I won't get anywhere with her. Even if we're up there for an hour. Even if Cindy comes down and tells you I fucked the shit out of her, that I was the best lover she'd ever had, it would only be a lie. I will never get anywhere with anyone. I guess I'm doomed to just keep trying forever and ever."
"Wow," Tracy whispered, in awe. "Do you know anyone else like you?" she asked.
"Unfortunately, no," I replied. "All of the guys I know get pussy all the time. I should know, they tell me about it."
"A shame," she commented as the bathroom door opened and Cindy emerged again.
"Have you guys been talking about me?" she giggled, seeing the serious expressions on our faces.
"No," we both answered together.
"We were just talking about brother/sister stuff," Tracy added.
We went out to the garage and smoked a few more bowls. When we resumed our places on the couch, Cindy proclaimed she was cold and asked if there was a blanket we could cover up with. Tracy retrieved a large blue comforter from the linen closet and threw it over us. Under the cover of the cover I went to work.
10-20-2012, 11:19 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
While we watched TV my hand found its way to the tight denim of Cindy's leg. I caressed it for a few minutes and, when she didn't object, began to slide it upward. My fingers slowly traced over the material between her legs and continued to the waistband. I deftly unbuttoned the first two buttons of her jeans and slid my finger in the gap this created, the pad of my finger touching the soft skin of her lower stomach. She settled into the couch a little more, opening her legs for me.
I undid the rest of the buttons and slowly slid my hand into her jeans, my fingertips gliding over the silky material of her panties, staying on the outside of them. I probed further down while she spread her legs even wider. Beneath my hand I could feel the cushion of her pubic hair and, further down, the outline of her lips and dampness seeping through the cotton. I found the spot just below her clit and began to apply pressure, rocking my hand back and forth.
Though I kept my eyes on the television and my face expressionless, I heard definite change in Cindy's breathing pattern as I caressed her. I wondered if she'd ever been stimulated like this before. Probably not. The first instinct of a guy when getting his hands down a girls pants is to drive his finger into the pussy and thrust it back and forth. Now there's a time for doing that of course, but the beginning stages of foreplay are not it. Females like a slow build-up to passion, a gradual rise in excitement.
Cindy's hand came sliding across my lap. Her fingers closed around the bulge of my cock through my sweat pants, feeling the length. She gave a little coo as she felt me and I had a difficult time keeping a straight face. She was, to my pleasant surprise, pretty good at what she was doing. My dick was straining, eager for release, and the touch of a female hand upon it felt heavenly.
Next to us, Tracy continued to stare at the television, either oblivious to what we were doing or pretending to be. It didn't really matter. I slid my hand upward a few inches and then let my fingers slide beneath the waist of Cindy's panties. My fingertips felt soft, feminine skin and then kinky, curly hair. I continued downward, having to push harder now, until my fingers were sliding across wetness and slippery warmth. My middle finger curled downward, sliding between an unseen set of lips that gripped eagerly back.
"Ahhh!" Cindy uttered, jumping a little at the contact.
Tracy glanced over at her, a knowing expression on her face. "You okay, Cindy?" she asked sweetly.
"Yeah," Cindy answered, a little breathlessly. "Just a... oooh..." she shivered a little as I began to move my finger, "... a hiccup."
"I should get those kind of hiccups," Tracy commented and then went back to the TV.
Soon her hand crept under the waist of my sweats and was digging through my underwear. Her cool, soft fingertips closed around my shaft and began to glide up and down. It felt great, to be gripped by a hand other than my own, but she was doing it with such enthusiasm that the comforter was noticeably rising up and down. Tracy couldn't have helped but see it, though she said nothing and pretended not to notice. With my free hand I grabbed Cindy's wrist and forced her to slow down a little.
I continued to finger her, feeling my hand get wet from her juices, feeling her jack my aching cock up and down. I was trying to think of a way to get her up to my room when I received help from an unexpected source.
"TV sucks," Tracy suddenly proclaimed. "It's more than an hour until Saturday Night Live comes on. Let's listen to some music."
"Uh, okay," I agreed, not caring if she wanted to put on a polka album at that point.
"You just bought a new album a few weeks ago, didn't you?" she asked me.
I looked at her. Had I? I supposed I had if she'd brought it up, though, of course, I had no idea which band it might have been. "Yeah," I said. "I did."
"Well why don't you go up and get it for us?" Tracy asked. "I've been dying to hear it."
"Uh, why don't you go get it?" I asked.
"I don't want to go in your room," Tracy explained, smiling. "How about you get it. Maybe Cindy can go help you look for it. She can pick out some of your other albums she wants to listen to later." She turned to Cindy. "He's got a great collection."
"Okay," Cindy said immediately, her hand shooting out of my sweats so fast it was like it had never been there. She extricated my hand from her pants and buttoned back up, making no particular effort to hide what she was doing from Tracy. When her pants were fastened she stood up. "C'mon, Billy, let's see your albums."
"And take your time," Tracy said. "Look at them all real carefully while you make your decision."
"You bet," Cindy said, heading for the stairs. She looked over at me. "You coming, Billy?"
I looked at her seductive smile and started to rise, stopping when I realized that my sweats were probably poking out before me.
"Well, Billy?" Tracy asked, looking at me. "Are you coming?"
I looked in my sister's eyes and saw only amusement there. "Yeah," I said, throwing off the covers and standing up. Tracy's eyes dropped to the tent at my crotch.
"Looks like you dropped something in there," she commented. She then gave me a meaningful look. "You owe me one."
"I suppose I do," I agreed and then headed for the stairs. "Even though I won't get anywhere."
Cindy was waiting for me at the top of the stairs. She took my hand in hers and led me to my own bedroom. I was glad I'd taken the time to clean it up. Had it been its former self, the encounter might have ended right there. We entered and she closed the door behind her, she then turned to me. Despite her aggression, her eyes were showing nervousness; her body trembling a little.
"You're very beautiful," I told her, my eyes roaming up and down her form, knowing that I'd be kissing it and tasting it soon.
"Thank you," she said softly. "I can't believe I'm up here with you."
"Do you want to leave?" I asked.
"No," she said, stepping forward, putting her arms around me. I returned her embrace, already giddy at the feel of her against me. She leaned her mouth towards me. "I want to stay."
Knowing I had a reputation to live up to now, I gave her my best. I was helped by the fact that she was a girl I'd often dreamed about, both in my first trip through school, and after my return. I stood near the door with her for more than five minutes, just kissing her, letting her taste my tongue, letting me taste hers. She was a good kisser, much better than I'd expected, although not quite as good as Anita. But she excited me more than Anita, aroused my hunger more. As I began kissing her neck and her ears and undoing the ponytail to let her blonde hair cascade free, she put her hands into the front of my sweats again, grasping my cock, fondling it urgently.
"Come on," she said eagerly. "Let's do it!"
I nipped at her nose and then planted a soft kiss on her eyelid. "Patience," I told her. "This is an experience to be savored." Little did she know that it was taking all of my willpower to keep from throwing her to the bed, stripping her pants off, and pounding away like an animal.
Instead I led her to the bed, or she led me I guess since she refused to remove her hands from my cock.
"Do you want me to blow you?" she asked, kissing on my face, squeezing my cock.
"Sure," I said, kicking off my shoes. Although I hadn't planned on that, I certainly wasn't going to refuse it. And if she could make me come it would give me more staying power for my later work.
Slowly she sank to her knees at the foot of the bed, dragging my sweats and underwear down as she went. My cock popped free, slapping her across the cheek as it was liberated. She giggled and then slowly ran her tongue up the shaft from the base to the head.
"Ahhh," I groaned, pleased at the sensation. I was even more pleased when she took me into her mouth and deep throated me, her lips slowly sliding down until they were nestled in my pubic hair. With exquisite slowness she pulled back up, applying suction as she went. "Gods," I breathed. "Where did you learn that?"
"You like that?" she asked, planting little kisses. "You ain't seen nothin' yet."
She took me back in her mouth and began to bob up and down on me. Her hand locked around the shaft and began to jack with the rhythm of her head. Her tongue swirled round and round, wetting me and sending saliva dripping down into my hair, her mouth applying a pleasant amount of suction. My hips began to rise and fall immediately from the bed. My God it felt good. This seventeen-year old girl knew how to give a blowjob. I would put her up against a twenty-year whore in that department.
She slurped and sucked and made little grunting noises for only a short time before the first orgasm came straining up my spine.
"I'm gonna come Cindy," I warned her, in a voice that wasn't steady.
"Mmmmm," she moaned around my cock and picked up her pace.
I began to ejaculate a large, pent-up load into her mouth. Her hand continued to jack at me throughout it and her mouth sucked my come from the head. She gulped and gulped, swallowing every drop. When she pulled her face from my crotch, my dick was wet and shiny but clean as a whistle. She smiled up at me, licking her lips.
"You're not the only one who has some talent you know," she said, standing and pushing me back onto the bed. "Now what are you gonna do to repay me?"
"I'll think of something," I said, pulling her face to mine and putting my tongue back into her mouth.
I pulled off her sweater and then her bra, baring her gorgeous breasts. There is something sensuous and indescribable about a set of tits that belong to a seventeen-year old. They are so fresh, so firm, so visually stimulating. Could there be anything on earth more appealing? I had to taste them so I rolled her over on the bed and took one into my mouth, working the nipple, teasing it, making her sigh in pleasure. I worked on the other nipple for a while and then stood and reached for her waistband.
She watched me, her face flushed as I unsnapped her jeans and pulled them from her body. Her legs were long and lean, smooth to the touch, with just a few light hairs on the upper thighs. Her panties were dark red with white polka dots. The crotch of them was darker red, made so by the wetness that had soaked in there. I ran my index finger up and down her spread legs a few times, relishing the feel of that soft skin, that youthful skin. Finally I continued to her crotch and hooked the finger through the elastic of the panties. My knuckle was against her lips, feeling damp heat. I tugged and she lifted her hips, allowing me to drag them free and off of her body.
I couldn't have imagined a sexier looking vaginal area. Her pubic hair was blonde, only slightly darker than that on her head. It was sparse, revealing two very swollen lips and one very erect clit. I don't believe I've ever seen a finer one.
"You like what you see?" she asked me, opening her legs more, obviously knowing that her crotch was one that men dreamed of.
"Very much," I said, picking up her legs by the calf and placing them on my shoulders. "I think I'll eat it."
"Ohhh," she moaned as my head went forward.
Though she was a teenager, her smell was of a woman. Sharp and musky, dripping with pheromones. My dick sprang back to life as her odor hit me. Her taste was tart as I slid my tongue between those pouting lips and plunged it in. I drove it in and out, drinking from her, enjoying my feast, feeling those soft blonde hairs tickling my nose. When her crotch began to rise and fall and her fingers began to pull strands of hair from my head, I attacked her clit, taking it between my lips. She screamed as she came in my mouth.
When her gyrations stopped she hooked her hands into my armpits and pulled on me. "Fuck me!" she commanded.
"I want to eat you some more," I told her, trying to pull back.
"Fuck me!" she growled. "Fuck me now! And then, after you come, I want you to eat me again."
So she had fantasies. But I imagined it would not be as enjoyable as she imagined since I intended to wear a condom. "I need to get a rubber first," I told her, trying to get up.
Her strong arms pulled me back down. "I'm on the pill," she told me. "Now fuck me! And then eat me!"
"Are you really on the pill?" I asked, hesitating.
"Yes Goddamit!" she whined. "I've been on it for a year now. Now fuck me, Billy! Fuck me now! Get your ass up here!"
I figured, through my haze of lust, that she probably wouldn't lie about that. So I climbed aboard, sliding up her sweaty body and putting the head of my dick against her wet lips.
"Do it!" she yelled, putting her legs around my ass and pulling with them. "Fuck me!"
I thrust forward into her tight slit, going in in one smooth, gripping motion. We sighed together as our pubic bones met.
"Fuck me hard!" she panted, thrusting her hips up at me. "Come on!"
I fucked her hard, pounding into her body and establishing a rhythm that got my heartrate well into the aerobic exercise category. Sweat began to form on my face and drip onto hers. When the droplets landed near her mouth she would lick at them. She kept chanting "yes, yes, yes, fuck me" as my cock assaulted her tight pussy, making wet, squishing sounds and pouring her juices out onto the bedspread.
I angled upward with my thrusts, making the shaft rub forcefully against the top of her vagina, where the clitoral nerves were. I made sure my pubis ground into hers with each thrust, which served both to pleasure her, driving her towards orgasm and served to pleasure my cock. I squeezed her tits, tweaking the nipples. I felt her tight ass as it moved beneath me. I gave her my fingers, allowing her to suck on them. I felt vague pain both in my side and in my stomach as my wounds were stretched and pulled by my frantic action but it was unimportant, overridden by the pleasure her young body was giving mine.
She came again, screaming into my ear and then biting down on the lobe. I was right behind her, pumping out another load into her gasping chasm.
My thrusts had barely stopped before she pushed me downward. "Now eat me," she said. "Please? Eat my pussy now that you've come in it. Please?"
Obviously this was a long-held fantasy of hers. Though she had definite experience, I doubted she had ever gotten someone to do this act for her before. Teenagers and even college age men would be disgusted by the very thought. Hell, most fully-grown and matured men were. Though it wasn't one of my favorite activities, it wasn't repulsive either. It was something I'd done before (I'd found that many women shared Cindy's fantasy of having sperm licked from their vagina). My policy had always been to do whatever it takes to insure future copulation. I gave her a smile and then slid down her body. I spread her sweaty legs wide and looked at her pussy. It was drooling juice and sperm, oozing it onto the bedspread. I hesitated just to make her ask again. I didn't have to wait long.
"Come on?" she begged. "Do it, please?"
I lowered my head and went to work.
It took her only a short time to come again but still I ate her until yet another orgasm came through. I then rolled over onto my back and pulled her on top of me. With a few adjustments her pussy was soon clamped down on my cock once more and I was thrusting up into her. She didn't want me to come in her pussy again though. Instead, she pulled herself off of me and took me into her mouth once again. She put her impressive blowjob abilities to work and soon I was blasting another load down her throat.
She crawled up onto my body and collapsed atop it, kissing my cheeks and my lips. "God almighty," she proclaimed. "That was the best sex I have ever had. Stephie was right about you."
"Stephie?" I asked. "Do you mean Stephanie Massie?"
"You know damn well who I mean, Billy." She smiled, nuzzling me a little. "She told me you could eat a pussy like there was no fuckin' tomorrow. And Goddam if you can't."
"I certainly wouldn't know how she would know that," I told Cindy.
"You're full of shit," she said affectionately. "She gave me every stinky detail. You fucked the shit out of her."
I shook my head, smiling a little. "Nope," I said. "I most certainly did not. She let me kiss her a little but she wouldn't let me do anything else."
Cindy stared into my eyes, trying to read what was behind them. "Are you for real?" she finally asked.
"As real as I can be," I said, sitting up. "But you know what? You and I didn't do anything either."
I shook my head again. "Nope. We looked at records, I tried to put a move on you, and you shot me down. Hell, you can't blame me for trying, can you?"
She looked at me grinning. "I guess I can't."
"But if you're ever with groups of girls and you want to tell them some dick stories about how Tracy's little brother ate your pussy until you screamed, or about how he fucked you until you clawed marks in his back, or about how he licked his come out your still-twitching pussy afterwards," I licked my lips. "Well, there's not much I can do about that now, is there? I'll deny it of course, but you know how girls love to listen to those dick stories? Hell, people believe everything they hear, don't they?"
"I guess they do," she said teasingly. "But I'm not that kind of girl. Suppose I promised to keep my mouth shut about what happened here today?"
"Oh I don't expect you to," I said. "I guess I'll just have to live with the reputation your lies will give me, won't I?"
"I guess you will," she said, giggling now. "It's a tough life, isn't it?"
10-20-2012, 11:19 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
Time continued to go on, as it does. I was pleased to see that it passed at an adult's pace instead of a child's or a teenager's. I went to bed each day and I woke up each day still in my new life. Gradually I became convinced that I was there to stay, that I wouldn't suddenly wake up again back in 1999. This was an idea that used to terrify me once I became used to being back in my teens.
Of course there were things I missed. Modern music for one. I longed painfully sometimes to hear a little alternative rock or modern heavy metal instead of what I considered to be golden oldies. I missed some of the conveniences I'd become accustomed to in the nineties that weren't commonplace in the early eighties. Video recorders and rented movies were a prime example. My parents would not own a VCR until late in 1984. Even then video stores would not begin to crop up until early in 1985. But most of all I missed Becky. There were times I cried in my bed at night as I lay sleepless, feeling condemned to the knowledge I would never see her again, never hold her again.
As I'd vowed after Richie Fairview put his buckknife into my side, I was careful what I did. I went to school each day but I did not torment any more bullies. Of course if they had decided to come looking for trouble with me I would have returned it to them in spades but none of them did. My encounters with Richie forever sealed my reputation as someone you did not fuck with. The bullies had much easier targets than I to occupy their time.
I tormented no more teachers as I had my history and A&P instructors. I replied politely to their questions when I was asked with whatever answer they were looking for. I brought up no controversial subjects to them. I did my homework each day the moment I got home from school (except on those days that Anita had something for me to do; something that began to happen with increasing frequency). As the school year wound on and as winter became spring my grades improved greatly all across the board, dramatically some would even say, unbelievably a few uneasy teachers even noted. By the time the school year ended my grades were straight A's and my overall average had moved up considerably.
I similarly took no further chances with my skin. As a paramedic I used to shake my head sadly at how stupid teenagers were, assuming their own immortality. After Richie I realized that I'd been even worse than they were. At least normal teenagers will acknowledge the possibility that they can die, even if they think it won't happen to them. But I had assumed that I couldn't die, that I was safe until 32. That, despite eight years of scraping up the broken remains of idiotic teenagers off the streets of Spokane. I still shudder when I think of how easily I'd climbed into the car with Mike that night of the kegger, of how easily he might have drunkenly driven over the edge of the levee, dumping us both into the Spokane River. How ironic that would have been, for me to come back and save Tracy from that fate only to suffer it myself, to put my parents through the same grief with a different child.
I avoided riding in cars with teenagers when I could. When I couldn't, I snapped on my seatbelt and pulled it tight. Most of the time it was the first time the seatbelt in question had ever been fastened. I could tell that the driver's and other passengers of these vehicles wanted to deride me, call me a pussy, and apply the other forms of peer pressure that teens use for their bizarre purposes. But they never did. Again, Richie Fairview kept them from speaking their minds. Occasionally someone would ask however, why I was doing it.
"Well suppose we crash?" I'd ask.
"We ain't gonna crash," was the inevitable reply.
"Probably not," I'd say. "But it's possible, isn't it?"
"I guess," they'd say with a shrug.
"Well," I'd theorize, "if we do get into an accident, I won't get hurt as bad if I have this seatbelt on. It doesn't inconvenience me in any way to have it on. It doesn't hurt, it doesn't restrict my movement, so why shouldn't I have it on?"
They usually had no answer for that and would let the subject drop there. But they never put on their own seatbelts in response. They didn't want to be called a pussy when I'd gone.
One thing I absolutely refused to do was to get into a vehicle with someone who'd been drinking and/or getting stoned. And since I didn't enjoy walking home from places like the falls, I just avoided going with anyone where that was a possibility.
This policy led to problems between Mike and I, and we already had more than our share of problems. Our relationship had changed since my return and Mike didn't care too much for it. I was no longer his trusty sidekick, willing to go along with everything he wanted to do. I no longer smoked pot with him on the way to school because I wanted my head clear for classes. He tried every form of peer pressure he could think of to get me to change my mind but when I continually refused he blew up at me one day and stormed off. He didn't speak to me or walk to school with me for three days and surprisingly, though it had been a childish outburst over a ridiculous subject, I was very upset by the episode.
I cared for Mike and I desperately wanted to pull him off of the path he was on. My conviction to do this became even stronger after the Richie Fairview incident. He had jumped in, without the slightest hesitation and grabbed hold of the hulking asshole, pulling him off of me. He had done that despite the fact that he'd been terrified of Fairview and that Fairview was holding a knife at the time. He had cast aside his self-protection instinct to come to my assistance and I could not forget that. Maybe if he hadn't done that, maybe if he'd simply stood there during the attack unable to move, I could have simply let the friendship die and let him go about his life. But he hadn't. He'd jumped in there without a second thought. Goddamit I owed him something. I had to try!
As was his nature, he offered me no apology for his outburst. He simply showed up at my door for the walk to school the following Monday and acted as if nothing had happened. He pulled out a joint as we went along but did not offer any to me. I suppose that was as close to saying sorry as he could come.
So I continued to walk to school with him each day even though I didn't really have to. Cindy, who had her own car and who took Tracy to school each day, had offered to give me a ride if I wanted. Her invitation did not include Mike, who she couldn't stand, and so I declined it.
After school I would go over to Mike's sometimes or he would come over to my house and then, if I'd finished my homework, I would smoke some pot with him. I learned to drop myself down to the level of a sixteen-year-old during these times and even managed to have a good time. I did not, however, go out on weekends with him anymore, always pleading other plans, which was usually true. I'd found some interesting ways to spend my weekends that did not involve putting my life at risk with intoxicated drivers. Anita figured heavily in these plans most of the time. So did Cindy.
Mike always seemed upset that I wouldn't go out with him on the weekends but didn't make a big deal of it. A status quo developed in our relationship, one that was due to break before long.
In April of that year Mike's dad, a mechanic, fixed up a two hundred dollar Volkswagen Bug and gave it to Mike to drive full-time. I remembered the car well. It was a 68, the heater didn't work, the upholstery was ripped and shredded, and the engine would constantly require attention from his dad. Mike and I had had some good times in that car during my first trip through. We would go to keggers, to parties, just out cruising. We would use the car to cut school with, driving to the river to go fishing.
Though I had no plans to do most of the stuff we used to do in the car, I figured that simply driving a few miles to school would be safe enough. I was wrong.
Mike's driving in that Bug used to scare me even before being recycled. It absolutely terrified me afterwards. It only took me one trip with him to realize I was never going to set foot in it again. He picked me up for school the first day he had it and as soon as we were out of sight of my house, he pulled out a joint and lit it up.
"You sure you should be doing that while you're driving?" I asked nervously.
"Doing what?" he replied with genuine confusion.
I pulled my seatbelt tighter and braced myself.
In the course of the short drive to school he weaved recklessly in and out of the morning traffic. He rode up on the rear of vehicles when he had no room to weave, getting so close to them that, had they stopped, he would not have had time to even apply his brakes, let alone stop in time. He ran through one red light and three stop signs, giving only a careless glance as he did so. He smoked on his joint the entire time. By the time we pulled into the school parking lot I was trembling with fear.
"You okay, dude?" he asked, looking at me with his stoned expression.
"Yeah," I said, feeling like I should kiss the ground.
"Hey," he said, "how about we cut out after my lunch? We now have freedom."
"Uh... no," I said, shaking my head. "I got a test today in English."
He gave me a sour expression, one that I was getting used to from him.
"All right," he said indignantly. "But you might have to walk home. I'm not gonna stay here all day just because you wanna go to your classes."
"That's cool," I told him levelly. "I can get a ride home from Cindy and Tracy."
"Oh," he said weakly. "Whatever." He went storming off.
I sighed, watching him go. I could not, would not get in that car with him again. So what was I going to do now?
As he'd promised, Mike and his car were long gone when school ended that day. I found Tracy and Cindy without much searching and they gave me a ride. Cindy elected to stay for a while once we got home. She asked me if I'd acquired any new albums since her last visit.
Since our first encounter I'd screwed Cindy ten or so times, always to our mutual satisfaction. We were never publicly seen together and both of us knew the rules of the relationship. It was a sexual relationship only. Our euphemism for it was looking at albums in honor of our first time.
Even though I'd purchased nothing new since my return, I told Cindy I had bought something the other day.
"Well let's go take a look at it," she smiled, standing up.
"Sure." I smiled back, following her.
Tracy watched us go, shaking her head.
Cindy and Tracy drove off to the mall later that day. After they were gone I picked up the phone and gave Mike a call. I wanted to get together with him and have a talk, to try to get him to see my point of view a little. I had a speech all set up in my mind.
"What's up?" he asked bluntly when he came to the phone. I could already hear hostility in his tone.
"I was wondering if you wanted to come over for a little bit?" I asked. "Or maybe I could come over to your place."
"I got things to do," he said. "Did you get a ride home today?"
"Yeah," I answered. "Cindy gave me..."
"Cool," he interrupted. "Do you want a ride tomorrow, or is she going to take you then too?"
"That's kind of what I wanted to talk to..."
"You want a ride or not, dude?" he demanded, an unmistakable ultimatum in his tone. "It don't matter to me."
"No," I said. "Cindy will give me a ride. But..."
"Whatever," he said. A second later the phone clicked in my ear.
I debated calling him back but didn't. I knew it would do no good. Though I still maintained some hope for Mike, I couldn't shake the feeling that I'd failed.
The school year continued to roll on. I caught rides in the morning and in the afternoon with Cindy and Tracy in Cindy's Chevy Caprice that her daddy had bought for her when she got her driver's license. Two or three times a week Cindy would develop a burning desire to go check out some of my albums. I never turned down the opportunity to show them to her.
Mike kept his distance from me. He didn't call me anymore, he didn't come over. Before two weeks went by I would see him driving around a couple of freshmen in his Bug; kids he'd always made fun of before. Whenever I saw him he wouldn't even wave at me, wouldn't acknowledge my presence in any way. I would feel sadness whenever I saw him.
I began making a habit of eating lunch with Nina Blackmore through that year. It was less than a week before I stopped doing it out of simple pity or simple repentance for past sins or for simple attempts to change the future personality of a future bitch. I began eating lunch with her because I really enjoyed talking to her. I began to look forward to lunch each day so we could have another stimulating conversation on literature, life views, or some other topic. She was intelligent and pleasant once you broke through the years of torment she'd endured. I guess Life has a way of forcing certain people to grow up faster than nature intended. The way her eyes lit up when she saw me approaching her in the lunchroom always let me know that she was glad to see me too.
By the time Mike abruptly ended our friendship Nina and I were quite close and able to confide pretty well in each other. As I entered the lunchroom the day after my telephone conversation she immediately noticed my upset expression.
"What's wrong?" she asked, giving me her shy smile.
"Oh," I said, sitting down and opening my lunch bag, "you know my friend Mike that I've told you about?"
"Yeah," she said. "The guy who likes to smoke pot all the time."
"Right," I agreed. "Well yesterday..."
I poured out the whole story to her, omitting of course the part about how I'd once been a 32 year old and couldn't relate to a sixteen year old very well anymore. She listened without interruption and then, when I was finished, looked at me thoughtfully.
"You seem like you're blaming yourself for this," she said.
I shrugged. "We've been friends for a long time. Maybe I'm being a little hard on him. Is it that much for him to ask for me to drive to school with him each day?"
"If you're putting your life at risk it is," she answered. "It sounds to me like he is the one to blame for this, not you. He is the one willing to end a friendship over something so stupid as who you drive to school with and whether or not you smoke pot with him."
"Yeah, I know," I agreed. "But we've been friends a long time. I can't help but feel I've let him down or something."
"If you've been friends a long time," she said, "don't you think he'll eventually grow up a little and realize how stupid he's been? He'll come around."
"It might be too late by then," I blurted.
She looked at me puzzled. "Why do you say that?"
"Oh, just ignore me," I told her. "I can be awfully bleak sometimes."
I left the lunchroom that day feeling better about the situation. Though nothing had changed I always felt better after I'd talked to Nina.
I also got into the habit of checking the business section of the newspaper each day. I would look through the stock market report, memorizing and tracking various stocks. It became such a routine at the breakfast table each morning that Dad quickly stopped asking me why I was doing it. In my former life I'd followed stocks only as they related to my 401k plan. Now I was trying to get a grip on the market, to begin the process of understanding it and eventually mastering it. If I could master it I knew, I could master everything.
Summer break began. When I brought my report card to my mother I actually feared she was going to faint as she stared at it.
"Straight A's, Billy?" she asked, looking at it in disbelief. "You?"
"I guess I just started to take all that stuff you're always sayin' about how education is the most important thing, seriously, Mom," I responded.
An extended version of The Look followed this.
"Do you think you can make your tacos tonight?" I asked next.
"Sure," she said numbly.
The summer went by quickly in a haze of hot days and sexual activity. Although Mike no longer hung out with me I found new companionship with Cindy and Tracy. My relationship with my sister had improved to the point where she was confiding secrets in me. She began telling me her hopes and dreams; that she wanted to go to law school, that she wanted to marry a nice man and have children, that she wanted a nice house and a nice car. These were things I'd never known about her since her life had been cut short before we'd gotten out of the teenage rivalry stage.
She also no longer seemed to have a problem being seen with me. Maybe something I'd said, something I'd done had given her a little kick in the head, but she treated me that summer as a friend and companion, taking me with her when she went to parties, either with Cindy or with one of her other friends.
She'd also developed a similar aversion to being in a car with an intoxicated driver; an aversion she'd managed to share with Cindy. Whenever we went out one of the girls would stay sober enough to pilot the car safely home. They developed a designated driver rule long before that buzzword caught on. I always suspected my little speech to Tracy that one night had a lot to do with it.
It was from Cindy and Tracy's ranks of friends that I chose my sexual companions. They were both part of the popular crowd, members of the elite, and in my previous life I would have been intimidated as hell to be at a party with them. But now things were different. I could not bring myself to be intimidated by teenagers, but oh how I lusted after them. I rarely left a party without using one or more of the condoms I carried with me at all times. I got to sleep with girl after girl from my fantasies and it was usually they who would approach me thanks to an underground reputation I had developed among the females.
The guys at these parties, who were for the most part older than I, either seniors or college freshmen, were oblivious to what I was doing. Despite my reputation with Fairview they considered me harmless, even as I was taking their girlfriends out for a little walk while they were playing a game of quarters or having someone pour beer down their throat with a beer bong. They wondered what I was doing there of course. I was inevitably the youngest male in attendance and none of them ever chose to converse with me. That was fine with me. As long as they saw me as no threat when they spotted me talking amongst the girls or having a private conversation with one of their girlfriends.
Tracy told me once that many of them thought I was gay. They didn't tease me about it because of Richie Fairview but that seemed to explain why I chose to hang out with the girls instead of trying to come over and talk football or cars. I never tried to convince them otherwise although the queer logic of this amused me to no end. A guy wants to hang out with girls so he must be gay.
I had careful rules about my relationships during that summer. I generally didn't sleep with anyone more than once and I made it clear that I desired no sort of commitment or ongoing relationship. I was in it for the sex and the sex only. Most of them understood this. They were in it for the sex too and happy that I was happy to keep my mouth open while it was on their pussy and closed afterword. I had two exceptions to this rule however: Cindy and Anita. I continued to sleep with both of them on a regular basis. It was nice. They both understood the rules, especially Anita who had no desire to have anyone find out she was boffing a teenaged boy. They were also both on birth control so I didn't have to wear a condom with them. It was nice to sink bare flesh into bare flesh for a change of pace.
10-20-2012, 11:20 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
Except for the rift with Mike and except for the absence of my discussions with Nina, which I missed, it was quite a pleasant summer. The best one I'd ever remembered to that point.
I got my learner's permit that August when I turned fifteen and a half. Dad then 'taught' me to drive.
"You've caught on to this remarkably quick," he said, looking at me with something close to suspicion the first day. "Tracy hasn't been letting you drive, has she?"
"No, Dad," I assured him, expertly changing lanes, feeling ecstatic to be behind the wheel after, how long? More than six months? "I guess I just have a knack for it."
"Some knack," he said. "I guess we won't have to go out all that often, will we?"
September brought the start of my junior year and Tracy's senior year. I had a whole new slew of classes and subjects that I'd chosen a few weeks before. I was particularly pleased to find that I no longer had to take PE. My first period class was Introduction to Molecular Biology. Mrs. Crookshank taught it and it was a subject I knew little about. I'd taken it so I could relieve some of the boredom of school by learning something new. I walked into class the first day and Mrs. Crookshank greeted me stiffly.
"Billy," she said. "It's nice to see you again this year."
"Nice to see you too," I answered.
"Do you like to read about molecular biology too?" she asked me next.
There was a hint of teasing sarcasm in her face. "No, Mrs. Crookshank," I said. "I'm an MB virgin."
Before she had a chance to reply I turned to find a seat. I saw that Nina was in the class. She was sitting in the front row and all of the desks around her were empty. She gave me a weak smile, perhaps wondering if I was going to speak to her or not after the summer.
"Hi, Nina," I greeted, walking over and taking the seat next to hers. "How was your summer?"
It turned out Nina was also in my third period class; Geometry. I sat next to her there also. When the lunch bell rang we walked together to the cafeteria. We found our normal seats and began to talk as we ate. After only a few minutes it was if we'd only done this yesterday.
"So you still want to be a doctor?" I asked her as we waded through the cafeteria's version of stroganoff.
"Oh yes." She nodded. "That's why I'm taking molecular biology. You have to be heavy in the science classes to get in. Especially if you want to get a scholarship."
"Where is it you want to go?" I asked her.
"Anywhere they'll take me," she said. "But I'd prefer the University of Washington at Seattle. It's a top rated school but close enough so I could commute home on vacations. If I get a good car that is. My parents don't have that much money."
"Mine either," I agreed. "I keep trying to get my old man to invest in the stock market but he won't do it. I don't think he trusts my predictions of good stocks."
"Do you still want to study business?"
"I don't really want to," I said. "But I think that I should. I think that's where my fortune lies."
She giggled, an action she would have been incapable of a year before. "Still gonna make that fortune huh?"
"I think I'll have a good head for investment," I predicted.
We ate in silence for a moment and then I asked, "Do you follow all that molecular biology crap? I mean today was only the intro but it seemed pretty deep to me. Quite a change from A&P."
"Yeah," she said. "I've read up on it a little over the summer. Trying to get myself a little edge you know? But you know what confused me?"
"The geometry. It sounded like he was talking in Latin."
"He was," I affirmed. "But I think I got that handled. It's mostly just memorizing formulas it looks like. The actual math part is the algebra we learned last year. If you can memorize the formula, you got it nailed."
"You must have a head for numbers," she told me, taking another bite.
"I never did before," I muttered.
"Nothing," I answered, an idea suddenly striking me. "Listen, maybe we can help each other out. Why don't we get together and study a couple times a week? You can help me with the biology and I can help you with the geometry?"
She looked up at me, speechless, her face reddening.
"You okay?" I asked, wondering what I'd said to embarrass her.
"You want to... study with me?" she asked.
"Sure," I said. "Why not? We can either do it at your house or mine. You don't live too far from me, do you?"
"No." She shook her head. She gulped. "Are you sure we should do that?"
"Study together?" I asked, confused. "Of course I do. What's wrong with that?"
She looked at me hard for the longest time, various expressions crossing her face-fear, doubt, elation, disappointment, determination. "Nothing," she said finally. "When can we start?"
"I don't know," I said, still confused. "How about whenever we get stuck on something. It's probably gonna be often the way I see it."
Her face cleared a little bit and she seemed more composed. She giggled a little and shook her head.
"What's wrong?" I asked, nearing exasperation.
"Nothing." She chuckled. "Just thinking weird thoughts."
"I get those a lot too," I told her, still wondering what had gone through her head.
I saw Mike in the halls of course but he didn't talk to me, didn't approach me. His locker was no longer next to mine. It seemed he had a new group of friends to hang out with, the freshmen kids from last year. They all looked as if they worshipped him. I sadly guessed that that was what he needed. I also knew he would drop out by the end of this year and I was powerless to stop it. I tried to approach him a few times and he simply walked away.
Nina and I started studying together on a regular basis and our friendly relationship deepened to the point that we became intimate friends, able to judge each other's moods with a glance, able to say nearly anything to each other. I became closer to her than I ever would have thought possible. I was closer to her than I'd ever been to Mike. After all, Nina didn't always try to top whatever story I told or try to convince me about all of the mythical dick she was getting. She didn't try to get me to smoke cigarettes or cut school or get stoned. There was also no underlying sexual tension with her as there was with most of the other girls I knew. We just enjoyed being together, talking together.
She met Tracy and my parents on her first day studying at my house. It was somewhat awkward since Nina was very shy before new people and my parents were very curious about this girl I chose to have meet them. Though I was boffing nearly everything I could get my dick into at that point, I'd never introduced anyone to them. I thought it kind of ironic that the one they were meeting was the one I had not had any sex with. Nina uttered monosyllable replies to Dad and Mom's inquiries about where she lived, what she planned to do, etc, and finally they left us alone. Tracy had only uttered a polite greeting and had retreated to her room.
After she'd left, and after I'd answered my parent's interrogation and explained that we were only studying together, that we were only friends, and that they should not start compiling a wedding list, I went upstairs to put my books away.
Tracy was doing some studying of her own, this time to the accompaniment of some heavy metal. She looked up as I passed and called me into the room.
"What's up?" I asked her.
"Have you no shame at all?" she demanded of me.
"What are you talking about?"
"It's bad enough that you're screwing all of my friends but isn't that enough? Have you gotten bored with that and decided to start knocking off the shy egghead girls too? You are serious scum."
"I'm not screwing Nina," I said, looking at my sister aghast. "We were just studying. She's my friend."
"You don't have any girl friends," she accused. "You have fuck partners. Are you seriously telling me that you invited that poor girl over here to study? You didn't take her upstairs for a little private session before we all got home?"
"No," I yelled, shaking my head. "My god, am I that bad?"
"Are you that bad?" she laughed. "Do you know how many relationships you've broken up in the last few months? Do you know that more than four of my friends have dumped their boyfriends after they fucked you?"
"No," I said, and then, "Really?"
"Really." She nodded. "It was kind of cute at first, how all these girls were trying to maneuver to you, to get you to notice them. But you're getting out of hand. I've got girls coming up to me and pretending to be my friend just so I'll introduce them to you. Of course I have to keep it quiet they all say. I just wanna meet him, talk to him a little. Did you know that they all talk about you in the locker room and in the bathroom? Do you know what they say about you?"
"What?" I asked.
"They talk about you the way your friends talk about chicks like Steph. You're a male slut, Billy. They describe what you do to them and how well you do it using the most disgusting terms I've ever heard. They've even asked me if I've done you. Me! Your fucking sister!"
"I'm sorry, Tracy, I never..."
"But you know what they never say about you?" she went on. "They never say how nice of a guy you are or how respectful you are. They never come up to me and say, 'Gee Tracy, your brother is such a sweetheart'. All they talk about is how you'll eat their pussy like a goddam vacuum cleaner or about how you'll fuck them until they scream. They never talk about how they'd like to take you home to meet their mom or about how they'd like to be your girlfriend. They talk about how they can manage to get over to your house again for another session."
"Wow," I said, unsure what to think. Though I'd known that I had a reputation among the girls I had no idea they talked the way Tracy was telling me. I was also disconcerted at my sister's anger about this. The last thing in the world I wanted to do was have her pissed off at me.
"Wow," Tracy mocked. "That's pretty goddam profound."
I sat down on the edge of her bed, setting my backpack full of books down. Tracy turned down the stereo a little.
"I'm sorry, Tracy," I told her. "I didn't know that what I was doing was affecting you. I thought I was just having some harmless fun. And I assure you that Nina and I are just friends. I haven't slept with her and I have no intention of doing so."
She stared at me for a moment. "You know the damnedest thing?" she asked. "The damnedest thing is that you are a nice guy and you are a sweetheart when you want to be. If you were an asshole it wouldn't bother me for girls to talk about you that way but you aren't. It bugs the shit out of me to hear people talk about my little brother that way. You would probably feel the same way if you went into the locker room and the guys were saying how well Tracy sucked dick or how she'd fuck anyone who asked, wouldn't you?"
"Well, yeah," I agreed. Would it bother me? I would want to kill whomever I heard saying that.
"That's how I feel when I hear that," she said. "And I can't even defend you in front of them because it's true. You do fuck anyone who asks."
"I'm sorry," I repeated. I couldn't think of a thing to say to her. I surely wasn't going to say that I wouldn't do it anymore because that would have been a lie.
"Look," she said, "I'm just your sister. I'm not gonna ask you to stop fucking girls. I know you wouldn't do it anyway. But can you maybe tone it down a little? Cut it down to one or two a week? Or maybe hit up some of the other ones more than once?"
I laughed, shaking my head. "I'll try, Tracy. I'll try. But remember, I'm fifteen. I'm at my sexual peak you know."
"Fuck you, dickhead," she laughed back. "I'm sorry I yelled at you, but you deserved it."
"I suppose I did," I agreed.
"You're really not fucking Nina?"
"I'm really not."
"Maybe there's hope for you yet."
So for Tracy's sake I toned things down a little. Also for my own. I wasn't sure I liked being referred to as a male slut. I stopped pursuing women with the vigor I'd exhibited before, instead simply waiting for them to come to me. I also began giving more repeat performances. By the time the snow flew I had, in addition to a new best friend, a small circle of girls that I regularly had sex with instead of a constant stream. It was enough and when one of the girls got tired of the relationship or met someone they wanted to have for a boyfriend, I would covet someone else.
To my surprise Tracy and Nina actually became something like friends. Nina would come over to my house twice a week or so to study and my sister, curious about the type of girl I would choose as a friend, made a point to talk to her each time she was over. Nina was slow warming up to my sister. I knew that this was due to her past treatment by other girls, which was both crueler and longer lasting than the torment she'd suffered from boys. This was something I never would have suspected had she not told me and it disheartened me to think that the fairer sex could be even crueler to their own then boys were.
But gradually Nina lost her shyness before Tracy and even Cindy, who was also a frequent visitor to our house. The two older girls took Nina under their wing and taught her the finer points of fashion, talking her into replacing her plain clothes with more modern ones. They taught her how to put on make-up, accenting her facial features. They taught her how to fix her hair into something other than a ponytail. The change in her appearance was actually startling when you saw it. I was able to see the attractive doctor that she would one day be, although without the perpetually bitchy expression and mannerisms.
10-20-2012, 11:20 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
And then came the day in early December when a cold winter storm was blowing across the Spokane area. Snow was being driven through the air by gusting winds that registered more than forty miles an hour. As I walked out to the school parking lot towards Cindy's car the snowflakes hit me in the face like little shards of steel, stinging me and making me pull my hood and my scarf tighter around me. Snowdrifts were already more than ten feet high against some of the buildings and the ground was covered in white. If it had been snowing like this in the morning they would have closed the school. Unfortunately the storm hadn't geared up until late morning.
When I got to the place where Cindy's car had been parked I looked up to find nothing. I looked around the parking lot, wondering if I was mistaken about where she'd parked. The wind cut into my face like a knife as I tried to locate the Caprice. It was nowhere to be seen. Other kids were rushing to their cars in groups of two or more, some of them slipping and sliding on the slick pavement. I saw no Cindy or no Tracy though.
"What the fuck?" I muttered, wondering where in the hell they'd gone.
It took me only a minute to figure out that I was stuck here with no other prospect but to walk home. I wondered if I would freeze to death before I got there. And then I spotted Raisin heading for his Falcon. I ran after him.
When Raisin dropped me off in front of my house fifteen minutes later the sight of Cindy's car parked at our curb did not improve my mood. I thanked Raisin and bade him farewell, trudging through the thick snow on the driveway to the front door, uttering foul things under my breath about sisters and friends that left brothers abandoned in a freaking blizzard.
The door was locked so I used my key, stepping into the warmth of the living room, prepared to chew out the traitorous girls. But they weren't there. The television was off, and on the stereo turntable one of my albums was spinning silently around at 33 and 1/3 revolutions per minute, the arm suspended above one of the tracks. A quick glance at the coffee table gave me a pretty good idea what had happened. An opened bag of nacho cheese chips was sitting there along with the remains of some sandwiches and a few candybar wrappers.
They were getting stoned! They'd left me to freeze to death in the snow so they could go home and get stoned. And they'd probably smoked all of the pot before my arrival. The bitches! Where were they now? I began stomping through the house, looking for them.
When I approached the door that led out to the garage I heard girlish giggles coming from the other side. Fumed, I grabbed the handle and pulled the door open. What I saw on the other side made me freeze in my tracks.
Cindy and Tracy were out there all right. The smell of greenbud came wafting over me and there was an actual haze in the confined space. But the surprising thing was who was with them. Nina was there, her mouth applied to the neck of the bong, sucking a hit up through the water while Cindy held the lighter and cheered her.
"That's the way, girl!" Cindy encouraged. "Hit that shit!"
Tracy looked up at me, her eyes half-lidded, a shit-eating grin on her face. "Hey, Billy," she haled. "Glad you got home okay. You want a hit?"
Nina, hearing my name broke off what she was doing, leaving smoke curling from the bong. She saw the dumbfounded look on my face as I stared at her. She held my stare for a moment and then burst out into hysterical laughter, expelling a large cloud of fragrant smoke from her mouth and nose. Tracy and Cindy instantly joined her in hysterics. They were pointing at me as they doubled over in laughter.
They laughed for nearly three minutes as I stood in the doorway and simply stared. I could not believe that they had actually gotten Nina stoned. I could not believe that she'd gone along with it. What were they thinking?
When their giggles and chortles dried up I walked over to them. Nina started to say something and then burst into laughter again. Cindy joined her.
"You got her stoned?" I asked Tracy, who was the only one not laughing. "And you had her cut school?"
"We didn't have her do anything," Tracy told me, picking up a baggie and loading another hit into the bong. "She asked us if we had any pot. She wanted to try it. It seems all those stories you told her about smoking out made her curious." She giggled, jerking a thumb towards Nina. "As you can see, she seems to like it. Why didn't you ever smoke any with her?"
"I didn't think she'd want to," I said, watching Nina's face. She would start to calm down a little and then would look at me and burst into fresh laughter.
"I guess you were wrong," Tracy said, handing me the bong and a lighter. "I think there's a lot of things about Nina you don't know."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Later," she answered. "Have a hit."
Oh well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I flicked the bic and put my mouth to the bong.
Cindy and Nina both left shortly before Dad arrived home from work. I worried about the two of them on the snowy roads with a stoned driver at the wheel. I wouldn't stop them from leaving but I made them promise to put on their seatbelts. I knew Nina would and I also knew the chances of them being in a fatal crash were slim. Most fatal accidents occurred during the summer months, when the weather was clear and when the drivers could barrel along at suicidal speed. During snowy weather everyone drove slow. While there were more accidents, they tended to be minor. You simply couldn't generate enough kinetic energy to kill during a snowstorm. If Cindy got in an accident it would probably be a fender-bender. But then nothing is absolute so I worried.
10-20-2012, 11:20 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
After dinner and dishes, while the household began to wind down for bed I found my way to Tracy's room once again. Outside the wind was still howling against the windows, making the storm-shutters rattle and bang. They would have cancelled school the next day except for the fact that it was Saturday. Tracy was lying on her bed, reading the latest (for that time) Stephen King book. She was wearing her standard pajamas, a long T-shirt.
"What's up?" she asked as I tapped on the frame of her door.
"Can I come in?" I asked.
"Sure," she said, setting the book down and sitting up.
"Earlier today," I started, "while we were smoking out."
"Yeah." She nodded. "Wasn't that some killer shit? I was droning all through dinner. Do you want to smoke some more? I still have a little left."
"No," I said, shaking my head. And then I amended. "Well, maybe tomorrow. But anyway, while we were smoking you said that there's a lot of things I didn't know about Nina."
"Yeah?" Tracy smiled a little.
"What did you mean by that?" I asked.
She gave me a very adult look. "You really don't know, do you?"
"Don't know what?" I asked.
She took a deep breath. "Nina's in love with you, Billy."
"Not just infatuation, not just attraction, not just puppy-love, whatever the fuck that is, but love. L-O-V-E. The big one. The ultimate like. She's head over heels in love with you, little brother."
I was stunned into silence for a moment. Finally I said, "Did she tell you this?"
"No," Tracy said, "she doesn't have to. It's pretty plain to everyone who talks to her. I've known it ever since I started getting her to talk to me. She thinks you're the shit." She shrugged. "God knows why."
"Wait a minute," I said. "I think you're mistaken. We're good friends, we like to talk to each other, I can see how you would think..."
"I'm not mistaken, Billy," Tracy said firmly. "You can accept it or not accept it. I'm just supplying information for you. She is in love with you. No doubt about it. And she's terribly afraid that you don't love her, that you'll never be interested in her, that you'll break her heart someday."
"Because I'm a girl," Tracy answered before I could finish asking. "We know these things. She knows you could hurt her bad and she also knows she is powerless to prevent that if you decided to do it. She loves being around you but she wants more. She's not getting more but she stays around because of the hope that someday she will. She'll stay as long as the slimmest hope remains of that. The only way you'll get her to stop loving you is to destroy her hope completely. She may or may not recover from that. She's kind of a fragile girl, as you may have noticed, and I tend to think that maybe she wouldn't. I'm not telling you all of this to scare you or anything. I just want you to know what you're dealing with here. She loves you. You are God to her. So you need to tread carefully with her because you're playin' with her fuckin' emotions. Do you understand?"
"No." I shook my head. "I do not." I became angry. Here I was 32, almost 33 years old and a seventeen-year-old girl was telling me about love? What the hell did she know about it? She was probably reading all kinds of things into Nina's conversations based on the romance novels that she obsessively read all the time. "Nina and I are friends. No more than that. That's all we'll ever be. She likes me, she enjoys my company, but she doesn't love me. I used to tease her in grammar school for Christ sake! You've got your signals crossed."
She picked up her book again. "Believe what you want, Billy," she told me, dismissing me in a non-verbal way. "But I'm not wrong about this."
Winter went on. I got straight A's again in the first semester of school. Second semester began with Nina and I in three classes together. We continued to study together a few times a week. I always watched her carefully, listened to her words carefully when I was with her. She liked to be around me, that was for sure, as I liked to be around her. She valued my opinion as I valued hers. She joked with me, revealing a quick and witty sense of humor beneath her shyness, a sense of humor that I knew no one but me ever saw. We enjoyed being together. We were friends, very good friends, best friends even. But love? I thought not.
On February 10 of that year, 1983, I went down to the department of motor vehicles with my dad after school. I took the written test, passing with 100 percent. I then climbed in Dad's Dodge Diplomat with a crusty old driving tester and took my driver's license test. The instructor was impressed with my abilities, stating she'd rarely seen a new driver that operated a motor vehicle so well. She gave me a 96 on the exam, marking me down a point because I hadn't parallel parked terribly well, something I'd never mastered. I returned to the DMV office and had my picture taken. I was now a licensed driver.
As I drove Dad home that day he congratulated me and gave me a brief lecture on safe driving. Doing his fatherly duty you understand. When he was finished I turned to him.
"I'd like to get a job, Dad," I told him.
"A job?" he asked, looking at me.
"Yeah," I confirmed. "I want to start making my own money. You know, so I can buy my own car and start putting money away for college. Stuff like that."
"Well that's admirable, Bill," he told me, taken aback a bit. "I certainly am not going to stop you."
"Could I use the car on weekdays after you get home? If I find a job that is?"
"I suppose," he told me. "As long as we don't need it for anything. Of course you realize our insurance rates are going to go up now that you and Tracy are listed on the policy. Also the gas is going to go up. And then there's Tracy. She likes to use the car too."
"I'll pay for whatever the increase is," I promised. "And Tracy and I will work something out."
"Yes," he said thoughtfully. "I suppose you will. You and your sister have been getting along pretty well this last year."
I shrugged in the way of teenagers.
"Much better than you used to. In fact, there was a dramatic change in your relationship and even in your personality some time ago." His eyes bored into me. "It was shortly before you got stabbed that time."
What was he saying? I felt suddenly nervous under his gaze. Dad knew something had happened to me but he didn't know what. Did he? Was he simply probing for information? Or did he suspect the truth? The truth was nuts wasn't it? He couldn't be suspecting it. Could he?
"I guess I just got my shit together, Dad," I answered nervously. "Tracy too."
He continued to stare for a moment and then gave a slight shake of his head. "Don't say 'shit'," he finally responded. "If you want to get a job and if you and your sister can work out the car, then you've got my blessing."
"Thanks, Dad." I told him.
I certainly did not want to work in one of the sweatshops that was a fast food joint so I didn't bother applying at any of them. I had nothing but time I knew so I bided it carefully, only putting in applications at places where I knew I would be able to stand the pace. You have to understand that I had spent eight years as a paramedic. For all the gore we have to put up with, for all the responsibility that we are instilled with, for all of the abuse that we have to take, the job was anything but fast paced. On a twelve-hour shift we would respond to an average of six calls, each one taking an hour or so to complete from the moment of dispatch until the paperwork was dropped off at the hospital. That left six hours of downtime on each shift. Sometimes, on slow shifts, it was even more. I knew I would not be able to handle working on a burger assembly line for hours at a time.
It was a pizza joint that eventually ended up hiring me in early March. The manager had granted me an interview and had started it by saying that he probably wouldn't hire me since he generally only offered jobs to those with previous experience.
"Well, sir," I told him, "I can respect that opinion. And I understand it completely."
"You do?" he asked, mildly amused, checking his watch for his next interview.
"I do," I said. "But I'll tell you something. If you hire me you will not be sorry. In fact, I'd venture to say that it would be the best hire you'll ever make. You know why?"
That got his attention. "Why?" he asked.
"Because my father has instilled in me a solid work ethic. He's taught me that employment is sacred in this life, a thing to be cherished above all but the family unit. If I am given the position you will receive complete loyalty from me. I will show up each of my scheduled days on time and ready to work. I will do whatever jobs you see fit in whatever manner you see fit to do them. I am not your typical teenager who will call in sick when he hears that a good kegger is going on at the falls. I will put aside my personal life in order to fulfill my responsibilities to this restaurant and hopefully you will move me up the ladder of advancement as reward." I gave him my sincere smile. "Hire me and you will not be sorry."
He hired me. I started the following week making pizzas in the back and washing up dishes on Friday through Monday night from 5:00 PM to 10:30 PM. I did my job well, showing up on time, as I'd promised, and completing all assignments given to me without complaint. After all, I had an adult's work ethic. The manager was quite impressed with me. He often commented how mature I seemed. The pay was a pittance, $3.25 an hour, which was minimum wage for that time, but it was income none-the-less and, as a kid, I had no real expenses to speak of. We were paid once a week, on Friday. My schedule entitled me to $71.50 each paycheck. Uncle Sam and Aunt Washington took $12.00 from this, leaving me with $59.50 in cold, hard cash.
In my previous life I'd been a horrible financial manager. I lived paycheck to paycheck, never maintaining a savings account except for my 401k, which was automatically deducted. I'd run up a considerable debt with credit cards and car payments, not to mention alimony and child support. I'd been in the rut familiar to many Americans, that being that you owe so much that you could only afford to pay the minimum payments on anything. This of course left you in exactly the same place each month, each year, since the interest on these things accumulated as fast as the minimum payments reduced them. Even before Mr. Li entered my life, even before the Spokane Fire Department began threatening to take my job from me, I'd always wished that I had my financial history to do over again. Well now I did. I made another solemn vow. I would manage any money I got wisely, utilizing the brutal lessons I'd learned before being recycled. I would not live beyond my means ever again. It was un-American of course, but I was going to do it.
I took $10.00 of each paycheck for personal enjoyment type things. $5.00 paid for the gas I used in my dad's car and another $5.00 went to insurance rate compensation. That left me $39.50 each week that had nowhere to go. I opened up a savings account at a nearby bank. I was amused and slightly offended to find that I had to have my dad's permission before the bank would open it for me. My God, what chaos would erupt if minors were allowed to open bank accounts without regulation? I began putting this money in there each paycheck. The interest on the account was a pittance, a mere two percent, but that was okay. The savings account was just a holding tank until I built up some capital. When I accumulated enough money, I had a better place in mind to store it.
My parents watched all this with interest, not surprised at my work ethic, which I'd learned from them after all and which they'd expected nothing less than, but with my frugelness. You see, my money management skills in my previous life I'd learned from them also. My parents, through my childhood and teenaged years had managed their money about as well as I did as an adult, which was not well at all. I'm certainly not blaming them for my later troubles just explaining the fact that they were wondering where I'd learned my money management. They watched my savings account grow each week (they had to co-sign my deposits) with respect and admiration and more than a little confusion. God forgive them, they even suggested I take some of that money out from time to time and enjoy myself a little.
"I'm saving for college," I would tell them. "And maybe a car sometime soon."
"I see," they would reply. "That's very wise, Billy."
My work schedule put somewhat of a kink in my sex life since the weekends had been my traditional boffing time. But it was only a minor kink. The girls that really wanted to experience my skills would find the time to be with me on weekdays. I would generally have them come over immediately after school where I would take them to my room, show them the pleasure they were seeking, and send them on their way before Dad got home from work. On most of these days Nina would come over after the latest girl had departed and we would study together or just sit on the couch and talk, drinking soda and munching on chips or something, maybe watching some TV. Mom and Dad were under the impression that Nina was my girlfriend, which actually struck me as somewhat funny. They had no idea that I was screwing the brains out of various teenaged girls before they got home. They even expressed pride that I still went over to Anita's and mowed her lawn or cleaned her windows or babysat her kids or put her storm windows up or took them down. They had no idea that their dear friend was paying me for these services in something more valuable than mere money. I don't believe even Tracy knew what the score really was between Anita and I.
The months went by. The frigid chill of winter gave way to the spring of 1983. I heard through the grapevine that Mike was leaving school to go to independent study classes. This rumor filled me with dread and reminded me that I still had a piece of unfinished business. Independent study was one of those state-sponsored atrocities that accounted for more dropouts than anything else. I should actually say is, since the thing still existed before my recycling. What happens is a poor student is encouraged to leave mainstream high school and go to a separate campus for study. They are required to be there only twelve hours a week and are given various assignments to complete at their own pace. They and their parents are told that they can graduate this way if they only complete the meager amount of work that is supplied. What inevitably happens is that the student in question finds that even twelve hours a week is too much and they eventually leave it for the abyss of dropout status. The whole thing is nothing more than a false hope for parents and a dead-end for students. Mike was no exception. He would be in independent study for less than two months before leaving school behind forever. He would eventually pay money to be crammed for his GED so he could get into the Air Force where he would ultimately be dishonorably discharged for marijuana use.
I had to take a shot at preventing this. I simply had to.
That week I had my dad deposit only $24.50 in my savings account, keeping an extra fifteen bucks for myself. Naturally, since this was a break in the routine, he questioned it.
"Swaying from your convictions a little?" he asked as I handed him the deposit slip.
I shrugged, grinning sheepishly. "I guess you guys are right," I told him. "I should enjoy myself once in a while. I thought I'd just blow fifteen bucks on something this time as a reward."
"Well good for you," Dad told me. "What are you going to spend it on?"
"No firm plans," I lied. "Maybe I'll just spend it all on video games down at the arcade. You know, Space Invaders and all that?"
"Well you deserve it," he told me, putting his signature next to mine.
The following Monday at school I found Steph wandering through the halls. She was glad to see me.
"Do you think maybe your brother can get me an eighth of some good greenbud?" I asked.
"Does the Pope shit in the woods?" she answered. "You got the cash?"
I handed her fifteen bucks-a ten and a five. She took it from me and then peeled off the five and handed it back to me. "For you it's only ten," she said, smiling, "if you let me bring it over to your house today to deliver it personally."
I looked her up and down, remembering what her body had felt like beneath mine. And it was five bucks. I'd certainly made worse deals in my life. "You're on," I told her. "Just show up right after school. I have to work today."
"I'll be there," she promised, stuffing the ten into the pocket of her jeans.
She was there. She handed me a plastic baggie of pungent pot and then we retired to my bedroom. I enjoyed her body in as many different ways as I could imagine while she enjoyed mine. She left with a smile on her face.
I stuffed the pot she'd given me under the center of my mattress and headed for the shower. I had to be to work shortly after Dad got home.
The next day, Tuesday, I found Mike wandering through the halls between third and fourth period. I took a deep breath and then walked up to him, matching his pace when I was beside him.
"What's up, Mike?" I asked carefully.
He looked over at me, his face registering instant hostility, obviously debating whether or not to speak to me. Finally he said, "Nothin'."
"Haven't seen you in a while," I commented.
He shrugged. "Been busy."
I nodded wisely. "Yeah," I replied. "Me too. Workin' and everything. Listen, I was thinking that maybe we could get together after school today. Bullshit a little you know. Just like old times."
"Naw," he said instantly. "Got things to do."
I nodded again. "Okay," I answered, knowing that I was resorting to dirty tricks but it was a desperate situation, wasn't it? "Too bad. I just scored an eighth of some killer greenbud."
His eyes lit up like pinball machines. "Really?" he asked, his disinterest dropping away instantly.
"Yeah," I said. "But it's cool. If you got things to do..."
"Well I can prob'ly come over for a while," he put in. "You know, we haven't hung out in a while."
"Cool," I said, suppressing a smile. "I'll see you after school then."
On the way home from school I asked Tracy and Cindy if they maybe wanted to go to the mall for a few hours before Dad got home from work.
"The mall?" Cindy asked, lighting a cigarette. "I was hopin' you had some new albums to show me today."
Tracy gave her a look of annoyance and then turned to me. "What's the matter, Billy, you getting' shy about your study sessions with our friends?"
"No," I answered. "Not at all. I have something important to do today. Mike's coming over."
"Mike?" Tracy said, disgusted now. "That fuckin' hoser! I thought you'd wised up and stopped hangin' out with him."
"Please?" I said, not offering any explanation. "This is important. If you guys go out for a while I'll smoke some of the bud I scored with you later."
10-20-2012, 11:21 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
That did the trick. I'd long since learned the barter power that the possession of a little marijuana held in a teenaged society. Cindy let me out at the curb and roared away shortly afterword, Tracy in the passenger seat, with a promise not to return until Dad got home.
Mike pulled his Beetle to the curb soon after.
Our conversation was cautious and casual as we went to the garage and smoked ourselves into oblivion with Tracy's bong. By the time we re-entered the house we were well into the stratosphere. I hoped I was coherent enough to speak my mind effectively through the drug haze. My own intoxication was countered by the fact that Mike, in his stoned state, would be extremely susceptible to suggestion. We watched some TV for a few minutes while we munched on some food we'd found in the fridge. By the time we went to the garage for our second set of bonghits, we were comfortable speaking to each other despite our months of separation.
"I hear you're going to go to independent study," I said as I dumped the bong water down the sink and rinsed the chamber.
"Yep," he said, obviously excited about it. "My parents put in the application the other day. The counselor says it'll be approved and I can prob'ly start next month. After only six months of it I'll graduate."
"Six months huh?" I said. "And you only have to go twelve hours a week?"
He nodded. "Isn't that fuckin' cool? And I get to schedule my own twelve hours. I can go six hours for two days and take the rest of the week off, or four hours for three days, or three hours for four days. Whatever I want."
I carried the bong upstairs and replaced it in Tracy's room. Mike took a seat on the couch while I was gone. When I returned I sat next to him and took a sip out of a soda.
"Mike," I asked, "do you realize that you're being encouraged to drop out of school?"
"What?" he replied, looking at me with renewed hostility.
"The system is encouraging you to drop out of school. Independent study is nothing but a joke, a joke designed to allow people to drop out with some measure of self-respect intact. First they offer you something that sounds appealing: you only have to go to school twelve hours, you work at your own pace, you'll get to graduate early. It's an offer too good to be true."
"What the fuck you talking about?" he asked. "It's not too good to be true. That's how it works."
"Really?" I continued. "How many people do we know that have gone through independent study? Let's see there's Rodney, Steve Kale, Michelle Beckenwood, Stacy Smith. Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. None of them graduated, not a single one."
"Yeah, but they were stupid," he said defensively. "I'm different."
"No you're not," I told him. "You're being used by the system. I'm sure the counselor spouted a bunch of bullshit to you and your parents about how this will help you. They're lying. It doesn't help you, it helps them. They've marked you as a likely dropout in the near future so they're trying to get rid of you before that happens. They don't give a shit about you or your future. They want you to drop out. But they want you to do it this way because it doesn't go on the school's statistics as a dropout. You'll go down as a transfer to another school. That way they don't lose any of their budget money or have their teaching methods audited by the state board of education.
"So off you go to independent study where you're encouraged to fade politely away. Do you know how they get you to drop out with this program? Do you know what the kicker to it is? It's that flexible schedule you were talking about. Come whenever you can, you only have to be there twelve hours a week. But you see, if you offer a teenager a deal like that, they'll abuse it and those fuckers know that. You get up on Monday and say to yourself, 'I don't have to go in today because I only have to go twelve hours. I can knock out some hours tomorrow.' Then Tuesday rolls around and you say the same thing. After all, you don't have to be there on Monday or Tuesday. Before long you'll find yourself at Thursday without any hours built up. By that time the thought of spending six hours is too much to take. So you cut for that week; after all, anyone they send to independent study is an accomplished school cutter, aren't they? Before two months go by it will be too much trouble to go at all. There will be no paperwork done, nothing that says you've officially dropped out, but you will in effect have dropped out. Just like they planned for you."
Mike had simply stared at me during this speech, absorbing what I was saying without expression.
"Where did you come up with all that shit?" he asked me finally.
"My dad's a teacher," I told him. "He works for the damn school district. Believe me, that's the way it is."
"What the fuck are you tellin' me all this for?"
I took a deep breath. "Mike, you're my friend. We've been friends since we were kids, right?"
"Yeah," he agreed carefully, "but what's that got to do with anything?"
"Friends try to help each other. Remember when Fairview stabbed me? You grabbed him off of me. You helped me. That's what I'm trying to do for you. Help you. You're about to make a big mistake, a mistake you'll regret for the rest of your life."
"How do you know I'm makin' a mistake?" he shouted. "Even if I do drop out what makes you think it's gonna be a mistake? What do I need a fuckin' diploma for anyway?"
"What do you want to do with your life, Mike?" I asked him.
"What do you want to do?" I repeated. "What would like to do for a living? What would be a dream job for you?"
"Man," he said, dismissing me, "fuck this shit. Let's talk about something else."
"Look, Mike," I said carefully, "like I said, we're friends and I'm trying to talk to you as a friend. Nobody else is here, nobody's gonna hear what you say. I'm not putting you down or anything, I'm just trying to help you because you need some help. You're on a path of destruction here and I'm trying to steer you off of it. So tell me, what would you like to do for a living? What would be a cool job?"
For a minute I didn't think he was going to answer. Finally he said, "I don't know."
"You don't know?"
He shrugged. "I never thought about it before. I can't picture myself in five years, I don't know."
"Maybe that's part of your problem," I said. "You don't have any goals." I looked him up and down for a minute, an idea occurring to me. "You'd probably like a job where you get a lot of days off each week, wouldn't you?"
"The more the better," he agreed.
"A job where even when you are at work, you get to spend a lot of time sitting around on your ass."
He scoffed. "Yeah, like there are jobs like that."
"There is, Mike," I told him. "There is."
"Yeah?" he said cynically. "Name one."
There was only one that I could think of. It was one that was well within reach of Mike if he would only graduate from school. "A fireman."
"Yeah," I told him. "Firemen work twenty-four hour shifts ten days a month. That leaves twenty days off a month. When they're on shift they have beds, TVs, lounge chairs to sit in, all the amenities of home. They get to sleep while they're on the clock. And they make damn good money, much more than they deserve to."
He was turning the idea over in his mind. I could see him doing it and I felt the first ray of hope. Was I finally getting through to him a little?
"And you know what the best thing about being a fireman is?" I asked.
"The public fuckin' worships you. You can do absolutely no wrong. And women dig firemen in a bad way. They'll practically drop down and give you head right there."
He was definitely interested now.
"The requirements are that you're eighteen and have a high school diploma. You also have to be able to pass a physical agility test, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem for you. You're in good shape."
"Are you sure about this?" he asked.
"Dude," I told him. "If you can just graduate you'll be in."
"No shit," he said softly.
"Look, Mike, if you just work through this year you'll have it made. The school has a work-study program for seniors and fire technology is one of the classes. If you can hang in until then and bring your grades up to a 2.0 average you can go to the ROP classes. That means you'll just have to take three classes each day and then you'll spend the rest of the day hanging out at a fire station somewhere. You'll get to go to calls with them and watch them work and it'll look damn good on your application after you graduate."
He soured a little. "There's no way I'll get my grades up to a 2.0. I'm workin' on straight F's now."
"I'll help you with your work," I promised. "Just come over after school." I paused and then amended, "well, after my dad gets home that is, and I'll help you with your work. You can do it if you just go to school each day."
He shook his head. "I haven't spent a whole day in school for the last year. I'm not sure I can do it."
"You can, " I insisted. "Dude, you're only seventeen years old. You have the rest of your life in front of you. How hard will it be to spend six hours in school for another couple of months? If you work at it we can bring your grades up and you'll be almost free next semester. A year of ROP and only going to three classes and you'll graduate. You start applying at fire departments and one of them will take you. It's not that long and it's not that high of a price, is it?"
"I guess not," he said.
It was touch and go for a while. Mike told his parents his decision to stay in school and they accepted it dubiously. However when his parents told the school counselor to withdraw the application for independent study they met some resistance. According to Mike, she tried her damnedest to get him and his parents to change their minds. She nearly begged he told me. But in the end he stuck to his guns and his parents stuck to theirs. The application was withdrawn and Mike stayed in high school.
As I promised, I helped him with his homework. There was some friction at first when he discovered that I wasn't planning to do his homework for him but to help him do it. There was also some friction when he didn't show up a few times so he could go get stoned with someone. I talked to him plainly about this, explaining that I would only continue to help him if he showed up each day. He was morose about it but agreed. His attendance at my study sessions improved remarkably.
His attendance at school also improved. Though he whined about it to the point of genuine annoyance on my part, he faithfully showed up to classes each day, only occasionally cutting out for a session with a marijuana pipe or something.
By the end of the first month of our studying together, study sessions in which Nina was a frequent participant, he began to catch on to his work and actually began to complete more of his assignments in school. I felt I'd done well with him and my satisfaction was great.
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