Being More Social – Chapter 10

I awoke a good few hours later in the same bed, with the same regrets, and the same junior spooning me. Despite everything bad I had done and every negative emotion I was feeling, I couldn’t help but smile. I was really glad to have Nicole back in my life.

I looked past her to my alarm clock. 11:42am. It was a good thing it was a weekend – I needed the sleep. That said, my parents usually looked for me if I wasn’t up by noon, and I was worried that today would be no exception.

“Nicole,” I said softly, nudging Nicole’s lifeless body.

“Mmm.” She moaned into the pillow.

“Nicole, you have to get up now. It’s almost 12.” I said soothingly.

“No.” She cutely mumbled into the pillow.

“Please?” I asked, my hand remaining on her shoulder.

“I don’t wanna.” She responded, not even bothering to remove her head from the pillow. I wonder how she managed to breathe with her head positioned like that.

“Nicoooooole…” I replied in a sing-song voice. Slowly, she raised her head. Her eyes were half-closed, clearly sleepy yet clearly unamused, her hair was a mess and her face, although I hadn’t noticed last night, was clearly becoming paler due to the winter. Despite clearly looking less conventionally beautiful in the morning, I couldn’t suppress a small smile as I saw her face.

“What?” She barked in a raspy voice.

“You need to get up now.” I said in a soothing voice. “Your parents are going to be looking for you.”

Nicole’s eyes widened, her expression turning grave. “Are they here now?” She asked, looking scared.

“No, no!” I reassured her, rubbing her shoulder.

“Then fuggoff.” She replied annoyedly, her expression changing from what I realized was mock fear to annoyed as her head hit the pillow again. She got me. She certainly knew how to act.

“You’re not going to make this easy, are you?” I asked her as I removed the sheet from the bed and got up, moving towards the dresser.

“I like my sleep.” Nicole lazily replied, grabbing the sheet and pulling it back over her naked body.

“You need to get dressed, Nicole.” I said sternly as I turned away from her, grabbing a pair of pants from my dresser.

“Do I have to?” Nicole whined as I put my pants on.

“Yes.” I said firmly, grabbing a shirt and pulling it over my head. When I turned back around, Nicole was on top of the bed, fully clothed, staring down at her phone.

“Fine.” She said flatly.

“Stop… doing that!” I said, a little freaked out. “You didn’t even bring clothes here last night. How the heck did you do that?!”

“Graaaaade eleven.” She replied nonchalantly as she continued playing with her phone. “So, what’s the plan for today? Good to see you don’t have a hangover.”

“You knew about the party?” I asked her.

She looked up into my eyes. “I know everything.” She assured me, getting up. “For example…” she started, looking around my room. “…You have a pair of speakers in your room.”

I looked at my desk. The pair of speakers, positioned on top of my desk in plain sight, wasn’t exactly hard to find. “Very good, Sherlock.” I replied sarcastically.

“And if you have a pair of speakers and nothing plugged into it, you probably have a music player.” Nicole continued, ignoring me. She eyed my desk drawer and opened it, rifling through it without my permission. “Aha!” She declared triumphantly as she held up my old mp3 player, which I hadn’t seen for a few years. She immediately plugged it in. “Do you have Toto or Soft Cell on this?”

“It won’t have power, don’t bother.” I told her. “Besides, I just put rock music on that. Nothing really 80s.”

As if on cue, Africa by Toto started filling the room as Nicole beamed at me triumphantly. I never even heard of Toto before that day, but at this point, I didn’t even have the strength to be surprised. She started swaying to the music, the baggy hoodie she put on swaying with her. Soon, she began to dance, at which, of course, she was great. Not missing a beat, she began to move her body in time to the music, gesturing me to join.

I shook my head. “I don’t really dance.” I said.

Nicole smiled, still dancing. “You didn’t really do karate before, either.” She retaliated. “The two are closer than you think.” At that, she suddenly stopped dancing, as if she had a thought. “Oh yeah! Speaking of, why’d you stop showing up? You only just started.”

Suddenly, I couldn’t keep eye contact with her. “I…” I slowly started.

Sensing my tension, Nicole stopped the music and sat me down on the side of my bed. “What? What’s wrong?” She asked me.

I couldn’t even look her in the eye as I responded. Breathing sharply before doing so, I quickly responded, “I thought you were mad at me so I couldn’t deal with seeing you.”

“So you didn’t go to karate because you’d feel like shit if you saw me and saw I was still pissed at you?” Nicole asked me. I nodded. Her expression turned unimpressed as she smacked me upside the head. “You doorknob.” She spat annoyedly. “I don’t hate you or anything. What am I, 12?”

“You sided with Phil at the council.” I countered with a small voice.

She sighed. “Yeah, I did, didn’t I?” She asked me. “Sorry, squirt. I was really pissed at what you did, and honestly thought Phil wasn’t like…”

“Jeff?” I asked her.

Something flickered in Nicole’s eyes for just a second. I think it was rare for her to slip up, and even rarer for her to notice, but I think she just realized she said too much. However, she recovered quickly. “What, like the VP?” She asked with confusion in her voice.

I was done beating around the bush. I shook my head. “Jeff Love, your boyfriend last year.”

Nicole’s eyes narrowed. “How do you know about that?”

With a surge of confidence, I winked at her. “Grade 9.” I answered playfully.

“Hilarious.” Nicole replied sourly, getting up off the bed and walking to a corner of the room, arms akimbo, staring at the wall.

I found her actions a little unfair as I considered how she handled things when I was pissed about something. “What, so when I’m upset you can laugh things off and be all playful, but when I do the same I’m the bad guy?” I asked her, my tone shifting.

“It’s not the same.” Nicole said flatly, keeping her gaze fixed on the wall.

“Right.” I replied, my anger building. “This time, it’s you with the problem. Let’s all laugh off Adam, the immature grade nine. His problems are small. But just because I’m older, my problems are somehow bigger.” I paused, waiting for a response that never came. “Damn it, Nicole, at least tell me why.”

“Why?” She repeated calmly, slowly turning around to face me. Her expression reflected an anger of its own, a very calm anger that was more effective than all of the shouting in the world. “Get ready to feel like shit, squirt.”

Nicole, maintaining her calm composure, sat down next to me on the bed. “So, yeah, I was with Phil’s brother last year.” She began. “Great guy. Grade 12, popular type. I was an artistic sophomore nobody. A diligent yearbook worker who had a background in the gifted program.” She chuckled softly. “I didn’t stand a chance.”

“So?” I asked her after a little pause.

She glared at me. “I’m not done, knucklehead.” She snarled. “Anyway, he really uplifted me. Took me to parties, introduced me to his friends. Said he found me genuinely pretty. Really made me feel like I was worth something. Made me popular, taught me how to be cool. It was actually really cool… I was being more social and everything. He made me really happy.”

She coughed, mostly out of discomfort. “But he wanted something, and kept pushing. He wanted sex. I… I just wasn’t ready for it. Around the third time he asked me for it, it was just us in his basement. He asked me if I loved him. I… was stupid. I said yes, and asked him. He said he wasn’t sure, but if we could have sex, if we could ‘share that bond…'” She held up her fingers as if they were quotes. “…then he would be sure, that he’d… wanna be with me forever. I wasn’t moving, but I wasn’t saying no. He just kept repeating these sweet nothings, tugging at my shirt or something. Next thing I know, he was forcing himself into me. I never did anything like that before, and my God, did it hurt.”

She paused her story and looked at me with intent. “Oh, yeah, by the way, if you ever fuck a girl for the first time, it hurts like a bitch. I don’t care what they say. Don’t move for like the first five minutes.” She looked back to the wall and resumed her story.

“I didn’t really know what to do. It was a new experience, a new feeling, and plus, it really fucking hurt, so I just sorta lay there, not even comfortable with it all, and let him take me.” She paused again, and this time I let her take her time. She seemed to have difficulty explaining the next part.

“After… after he came, he may as well have thrown me away with the fucking condom. He laughed at me and said I was a ‘terrible fuck.’ And you know what? I accepted that, I accepted it like a fucking lady. After all, I didn’t know what was going on, I just stayed there, I just figured, fair enough, you know?” At this point, she was getting really flustered, and she was looking straight down. I couldn’t see her face amidst her hair, but I bet she was trying to hold back tears.

“So… So I just sorta went with it. Told him I’d get better. Lied, saying it was good for me, even though the reality was it fucking hurt and he didn’t even have my god damn fucking consent. He had the fucking balls to tell me he couldn’t be with someone who was that bad in bed. Drove me home, didn’t speak with me for a week. I didn’t either. I mean, fuck, I couldn’t even look at him, but I really wanted him to say something. Not even ‘sorry.’ ‘Hi’ or ‘are you gonna fucking be okay’ would do.”

I was starting to piece things together. “So asking me not to be an asshole to May… Always making sure I comfort a girl when she’s upset… getting angry with me for not talking to Megan after I upset her…” I trailed off.

She looked up into my eyes. Her own eyes were red, but she successfully suppressed the tears. She nodded.

Then it hit me. Jeff said she was terrible in bed. “And that’s why you were… I mean, that’s why you’re a…” My cheeks burned as I trailed off again.

She read my mind and chuckled. “A slut? Yup. I wanted to show that fucker I knew what I was doing. So I got me a few practice boys. I was popular at that point, and Jeff was SUCH a fucking gentleman that he didn’t tell the whole school I was a bad fuck, so it was easy.” She giggled to herself. “Hell, half the school knows for a fact I’m not a bad fuck now…”

“Half?!” I asked in disbelief.

She donned a sarcastic smile and punched me in the gut. “Figure of speech, dumbass.” She said, half angry, half playfully.

Silence filled the room. I’m not quite sure for how long. Out of nothing, Nicole spoke up again, her voice more shaky this time. “I felt like shit, y’know. I felt like I was worth something for just about the second time in my life. Jeff fucking destroyed that. So I ran to the one person I could, the one person who would listen.”

I thought about it for a while. “Who?”

She looked into my eyes with a deep sadness, a sadness I saw only once before. That once was last December, when she was in my room explaining what happened. Explaining what happened to Mitch.

She sensed I understood who. “I actually didn’t even run to him. He caught me blowing a dude. He chased the guy out, but when it came time to deal with me, he… he didn’t preach. He didn’t talk down to me. He held me, he stroked my hair… He told me how beautiful he found me, how lucky he was to have a talented little sister…” Her attempts to hold back tears were beginning to weaken. “He asked me why I had to have sex to feel valued. And when I told him, he didn’t stop me from doing it. He didn’t just look after me, he understood me. He accepted me.” She looked at me again. “He loved me, God dammit!”

After spitting that last sentence out at me, Nicole latched onto me in a tight hug, burying her face in my chest. She wasn’t crying, but she didn’t dare move either.

After about a minute, she pulled away. “Sorry.” She mumbled.

“It’s okay. You’re upset.” I tried to comfort her.

“Yeah, but that’s no reason to throw all of my problems at you and latch on to you like the world’s neediest koala every time I remember Mitch or something.” She countered, her casual attitude quickly returning. She attempted to straighten her mess of hair and smiled at me. “So, feel like shit yet?” She asked, more warmly than one would expect.

I returned the smile. “A little.” I admitted. “Sorry.”

She waved me off. “It’s totally fine.” She said, her voice returning to normal. “It’s nice to talk about this with someone who isn’t… y’know… dead.”

“Didn’t you say you have two brothers?” I asked her.

She shrugged. “Spencer and I never really got along. And that’s all for the better anyway. I think he’s in Chicago these days.”

“Chicago, huh?” I asked, trying to keep up conversation.

Nicole nodded again, looking down at the floor then slowly into my eyes. Her gaze gathered intent until she suddenly launched forward, locking her lips onto mine. Her hands grasped around my head desperately as she kissed me with a passion I wasn’t used to. Half of me was trying to pull back, and half of me was trying to keep up with her.

As quickly as it started, it ended as Nicole pulled back, her face flushed.

“You are…” She said sheepishly as she looked away, thinking to herself, pointing at me absentmindedly. “In a… you… Megan. Right.”

I didn’t say anything. I just looked at her, a look of what I was sure was curiosity and confusion on my face.

Nicole tried to read me and shrugged. “I missed you.” she said casually, trying to play what happened off as if it were nothing. “It’s your fault for not talking to me for God knows how long. If you’d just showed up to karate that wouldn’t have happened.”

“I’m in a relationship…” I said slowly and meaningfully.

“Well, I mean, kinda.” Nicole shot back at me. “You said yourself, it ain’t gonna last long. So really, you’re not cheating since you know you aren’t really together, y’know?”

“Not really.” I said forcefully. “I don’t.”

She was silent for a second. “Huh.” She finally said, her calm composure weakening somewhat. However, in an instant she built it back up again. “Well, I don’t expect you to understand. You’re young, hotshot. Call me when you’re in grade 11. We’ll have a nice chat then.” She winked at me then looked at her watch. “Anyway, you’re right. I should probably get going.” She opened the window and waved at me, unintentionally making it obvious she didn’t even want a response. “Later!”

With that, she jumped out of the window, down two flipping stories, as casually as one would walk out of the door. Naturally, I ran to the window to see if she was okay. I was met with the sight of her rolling as she hit the ground, as if she were Bruce Lee or something. She ended up with snow all over her, and I could hear her muttering, “Oh, fucking hell,” as she attempted to shake the snow off of herself.

I returned my attention back from the window and sighed to myself. Some popular assholes, like those stereotypical movie jocks, may have been proud to have three nubile, clearly messed up vulnerable girls in their life. They may have even been proud that they managed to cheat on their girlfriend with two different girls. I could tell though, I was not one of those jocks. First things first, I needed to tell Carson the truth.

***

“And that would be time, class.” Mr. Carrozza’s articulate, strange voice filled the classroom. “Those of you that are done, please turn in your papers. Those who aren’t quite finished, I can give you thirty more minutes.”

I was damn lucky I happened to be good at science. Otherwise, with everything on my mind I wouldn’t have been able to complete my exam. I was too much of a coward to go through with it. On paper, it seemed great to go to Carson and tell him the truth, but when I saw his face, I just… Nope. Nothing. For a whole week, I just couldn’t. I hung out with him, but every time it felt right to bring it up, I just sort of froze. It was too difficult for me to do. I feared for my own safety at the hands of his muscular arms. I feared for his feelings. I feared for May’s reaction, Megan’s reaction. I felt like I was on fire when I was near him. A cold fire. It hurt not telling him, but it seemed my subconscious was willing to settle for that hurt, rather than rolling the dice and possibly experiencing a greater hurt with telling him.

I got up and trudged over to Mr. Carrozza’s desk, handing in my examination. “Thank you very much, Adam.” Mr. Carrozza told me, staring up at me with his bug eyes. He was whispering so as to not disturb the rest of the class. “You were an absolute pleasure to teach this semester. I hope you pursue the sciences at an academic level in your grade ten year.”

“Thanks.” I said, trying to make it seem like I was paying attention to him. “Have a good day.” He went back to his papers, and I exited the classroom. As soon as I did, my back hit the wall and I sighed to myself.

This whole thing seemed so unnecessarily complicated. Like everything blew up, yet it didn’t have to. Like I was making a soap opera out of a little problem. And not telling Carson was just going to make it worse, and make it last longer.

My mind was made up. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my cell phone, texting Nicole, asking her if she could give me a ride later today. I had to tell Carson. I just had to.

***

I wasn’t quite used to walking anywhere after school. Back when school was close to home, I still had a bus. When I got to high school, home was too far away to even consider walking, and quite frankly, I had no friends. So even though I could walk to Carson’s house unannounced after the exam, it still felt weird.

Although, ‘weird’ was the best the situation could get, so swallowing my pride, I trudged through the snow for three blocks to Carson’s place. It felt awkward coming unannounced, but I knew that leaving this whole thing behind me was definitely going to be worth it.

Shivering in the cold late winter air, I rang the doorbell, then waited. No answer. I rang again and waited, my body shifting erratically to cope with the harsh conditions.

The door opened slightly to reveal a conservatively dressed, brown-haired, stern-faced eleventh grade girl.

“Hello, Jenna!” I politely yet nervously began. “Is Carson home?”

“No, he’s not.” She flatly said. “I think he’s still writing his exam. What do you need?”

“I wanted to see him about something. It’s very important.” I replied.

“Very important?” Jenna asked me, still keeping the doorway partially shut.

“Yes. Very important.” I replied with a little more force. I was a little upset about how she was just keeping me outside in the cold, interrogating me, not even being polite enough to open the door more than a crack.

Jenna just stared at me for a bit before sighing. “Tell you what,” She said, as if she was doing me a huge favor. “I guess you can wait in the living room until he comes home.” She opened the door fully and let me in.

‘Was that so hard?’ I thought in my head, although all that left my mouth was “Thanks,” as I entered the house and took off my boots and coat. I walked into the living room, sat down on the couch and immediately covered myself up with a blanket. Jenna followed me inside, sitting herself down on a couch chair with a hot beverage in her hand.

“So what’s this very important thing?” Jenna asked me, sipping her beverage.

“A long story.” I replied, looking down. “That’s what it is.”

Jenna lowered one eyebrow at me. “It’s not like there’s anyone around. You’re in my house. I think I have a right to know.”

“I just don’t want to tell anyone. I’m telling Carson because he’s involved, and that’s it.” I said firmly.

“I’m Carson’s family.” She argued. “What happened? Did he screw you over?”

“No, nothing like that.” I quickly replied, defending him. “He didn’t do anything wrong.”

“So you did.” Jenna flatly stated. I shifted around in my seat and said nothing.

“So he’s pissed, and you came over to clear the air?” Jenna asked. “That may not be a good idea. When Carson’s pissed, you should just leave him alone.”

“No, he’s not pissed. He doesn’t even know about it.” I replied, saying more than I should have.

“Oh, so you did something that would piss him off if he knew about it, huh?” She asked, thinking out loud. “Well, it doesn’t sound like a prank or a rumor you started or something. What did you do?”

“It doesn’t matter.” I held my ground.

“Something that would actually affect him. You know he doesn’t give a shit about anything, yet you’re really scared.” She continued.

“Please stop.” I said, my voice getting quieter. “You’re making me uncomfortable.”

“And how uncomfortable did you make May?” Jenna asked me. I looked up to her face, the color no doubt leaving mine. There was no malice on her face, though – She just wore her eyebrows high on her face in what looked like a condescending half-smile.

“I don’t know what you mean.” I badly lied.

“You’re a bad liar.” She told me. “It’s not too hard to figure out what you did. You had your way with Carson’s girlfriend against her will.”

“Now, hold on a sec.” I said, suddenly finding more energy in my voice, like an adrenaline pipe had been opened. “That’s not what happened at all.”

“Maybe not from your perspective, but you’re a guy.” Replied Jenna, with a tone that let me know she was sure in what she was saying. “Your perception is warped. You did things to her against her will. Maybe she said she was okay with it, but that’s just you taking advantage of her hormones. You took advantage of her.”

“You don’t even know what happened! She took advantage of me!” I protested. “She was drunk at a party and-”

“So you came on to her while she was drunk.” Jenna interrupted. “The evidence is just piling up. I know you don’t understand it yet, but that’s pure misogyny. When you’re older you’ll see-”

“Shut up!!” I yelled at her with enough to make her eyes get a little wider, if only for a second. “This is exactly why I don’t want to tell anyone else! And now you forced it out of me, so since you’re going to hear the god damn story, you’re going to hear the whole thing, without interrupting me. Got that?!”

She shrugged. “Fine, whatever.”

And so, I proceeded to tell her everything, from the first time Nicole gave me a ride all the way up to the party. Her face mostly remained unchanged throughout the whole story.

“And then after that whole thing happened,” I concluded, “she said no one could know about it, so she threatened me. She told me if I told anyone, she’d lie that I raped her.”

Jenna sat in attentive silence for a few seconds. “Is that all, can I speak now?” She finally asked.

“Yeah, I’m done.” I exhaled. “I just can’t believe it. I need to tell Carson anyway, but she threatened to tell people that I raped her. That is just so wrong.”

“It’s because you did rape her. Just saying.” Jenna said, sipping at her drink again.

“How?!” I protested. “She came on to me. I refused. I told her I was uncomfortable. She persuaded me to do things I didn’t want to do, then threatened me afterwards when I wanted to do the right thing.”

“That’s just how you’re seeing things after the fact to justify yourself.” Jenna explained with the tone of a Harvard professor. “You’ve twisted the truth to the point where you’re lying even to yourself.”

“I didn’t rape her!” I yelled at her, not knowing what to say. “Hell, she came closer to raping me.”

“Girls can’t rape.” Jenna explained to me. “Only men can assert sexual dominance. Girls lack the moral inability, especially since men are used to oppressing women in our society. You see, rape has to do with power, not just sex. It’s a systemic attack men innately use because of their inner misogynistic desire to ‘put women in their place.’ Of course you think rape is just non-consensual sex – you’re going by the dictionary definition of rape, the one that was created by a man.”

I thought about how I would reply to that, trying to use her situation to reason with her why she was wrong. However, as I began to realize something a laugh began to form in my throat.

“What’s so funny?” Jenna asked me, caught a little off guard.

“Of course you would see guys that way.” I explained to her with a smile. “You live with Carson, and have to experience the Carter family. From what I’ve heard… They’re not the best example of guys.” I regained my serious composure. “But that doesn’t mean you can paint all guys with the same brush. If I was a girl and was telling you the same story, you would totally be on my side. That’s a little sexist, don’t you think?”

“Me, sexist?!” Jenna exclaimed, offended. “You’re the sexist one! If you were a girl you wouldn’t have done what you did, because what you did was sexual harassment. Do you want to know what you should do?”

“I’ll bite.” I replied, and was surprised to find that I was actually beginning to enjoy this debate instead of hate the debate, or Jenna, for it. “What should I do?”

“Drop Nicole, definitely drop May, and break up with Megan. She can do a lot better than a cheating rapist.” Jenna fired back, aiming to offend me back after I got under her skin. I kept my cool, since showing I was offended would have meant her victory.

“All three?” I asked, curious. “You don’t think I belong with any of them?”

Jenna shook her head. “Nope. You took advantage of Nicole’s nature for some quick, easy sex, you coerced Megan into liking you just for the sex, and you basically raped May. Do you see a common theme here?”

“They’re all completely different stories from what actually happened?” I quipped.

Jenna ignored me. “They all have to do with sex. I saw this before, with Carson, and you do not want to end up like him. You’re searching for the wrong thing. Sex has warped my little brother.”

“Warped.” I repeated in slight disbelief.

She nodded. “He doesn’t really know what love is anymore, and just confuses love with sex and good conversation. Maybe that’s why it was so easy for you to coerce May.” She paused and took a sip from her drink. “He has a different sense of love and belonging now… A wrong one. You’re kind of inexperienced compared to him, so I feel like you can still be saved. But if you keep hanging around those and keep getting cheap sex from them, you won’t be. I’m trying to help you, you know.”

I’m sure in her own mind, she had nothing but the purest intentions. “And what if I do end up with any of them in the end?” I asked her.

“You won’t.” Jenna replied simply, taking yet another sip from her drink.

With perfect timing, the door swung open after just the right amount of silence had filled the room and in swaggered Carson. He didn’t quite see me at first, and went into the kitchen. I heard him sigh loudly as he fiddled around in the kitchen. “Man, the English exam today was a bitch.” He proclaimed loud enough for both of us to hear it.

“You know I don’t like it when you use that word, Carson.” Jenna barked back at him. He clearly knew how to get under her skin without even trying.

You could practically hear Carson grinning from the kitchen. “Well maybe that’s why I said it,” he smugly retorted as he marched right into the living room, only then noticing I was in the house. “Oh…” He simply said. “Hey… buddy…”

“Hey, Carson.” I replied back, trying to force my nervousness down. “Sorry for coming over unannounced. I just need to talk about something with you.”

“Uh… Sure, cool.” Carson replied flatly, taking a seat. “What do you need to talk about?”

I shot Jenna a look of nervousness. Quite frankly, I both didn’t know how to begin and didn’t want her to be present. However, at the same time, with my eyes I pleaded with her to start the conversation for me, to ease me into the topic so I wouldn’t have to go through with the painful awkwardness of bringing it up.

Unfortunately, either Jenna wasn’t as good at reading minds as Nicole was, or didn’t really want to help, because after about one second of eye contact, she promptly stood up. “Probably something stupid,” she lamely commented as she stood up and walked towards the staircase. No one said anything until she disappeared up the stairs. Soon after, Carson and I heard a door shut.

“Ignore her.” Carson ordered. “What’s up?”

Well, my lifeline was gone. Here goes nothing, I thought to myself. “So, you know the party that happened last night?”

“Yeah.” He replied, disinterested. “May invited me, but I didn’t really feel like going, so I turned her down.”

Almost relieved that the topic was shifting, I sat up, attentive. “You turned your own girlfriend down?” I asked, smiling in slight disbelief.

He shrugged. “I didn’t wanna do it. I shouldn’t have to do it if I don’t wanna. She went anyway, though. I wasn’t worried, though. She was kinda pissed that I shut her down, but in the end she’ll come crawling back to me.” A grin sported his face as he finished his sentence.

Yeah, Carson. By all means, make this more difficult. I inhaled slowly, and exhaled sharply before I told all. The encounter in the hallway, Megan’s interruption (which led to discussing Megan, though I made sure to leave out Nicole), May’s reaction to me being at the party and how she got more drunk and horny as the night progressed. As I explained, Carson’s expression quickly changed from a grin to a serious, disapproving yet glazed glare. After I was finished, a good minute passed before Carson spoke.

“You could have told me you kissed her already.” He simply said.

“I know. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for… everything.” I replied, trembling slightly.

He waved me off. “You’re too dramatic, man.” He said, with a more serious voice than I’ve ever heard him use before. He paused again before continuing. “It’s cool. I don’t blame you.”

“What?” I asked.

“I don’t blame you.” He repeated. “These kinda things happen. I’ve been drunk before, man. I totally get that you weren’t thinking straight. I don’t wanna hold this against you.”

“Oh.” I simply responded. It wasn’t really lying if I didn’t acknowledge it. I was stone sober the whole night, of course, but I guess he didn’t need to know that.

“Was May drunk too?” He asked, with a little more hostility.

“May was definitely drunk.” I said with a slight chuckle. My eyes met his and my small smile disappeared entirely.

He nodded slowly. “Okay.” He said, then softened up a little. “Relax, buddy. You look like you’re going to have a heart attack.”

I became self-aware enough to notice I was two steps from hyperventilation. I started inhaling and exhaling slowly again.

“Hate the game, not the player.” Carson remarked out loud. “It’s cool. As long as you were drunk and weren’t thinking clearly, I’m not upset with you.”

I shifted in my seat and didn’t say anything. Carson accepted it as a continuation of my previous silence and moved on.

“I do need to talk with May though.” He thought aloud. He loudly sighed, then stood up. “Um, listen…” he began. “I need a little time to myself. Would you mind getting out of here? No offense.”

“Uh, sure, yeah.” I quickly said, thanking the heavens that went down as quickly and smoothly as it did. Wordlessly, I stood up and walked towards the front door. Carson didn’t accompany me or anything. I think he went straight to his room.

I was supposed to feel better after telling him, but I ended up feeling worse. I didn’t dare look back – I never really saw Carson so drained like that before, and the knowledge that I caused that made shame burn through my cheeks. Feeling kind of drained myself, I trudged out of the door. I was what I expected to see, a black Ford Focus and a hipster in sunglasses casually eating a granola bar.

“12:30″ my ass.” Nicole bitterly declared as she looked at her phone. “Try 1:06.”

“Carson got home late.” I justified myself. “Didn’t you see him walk by?”

“I was busy doing other things.” Nicole defended herself, her mouth full of her granola bar. “Exam time is actually crunch time for the school paper too, you know. And typing is a lot more difficult in a car.”

“Maybe you just couldn’t see him.” I quipped, pointing to the sunglasses. “What’s with the shades?”

“Snow is bright, bozo.” Nicole shot back, a mischievous smile on her face. “Just get the fuck in the car.”

We got in the car and Nicole started it, beginning to drive without a word being exchanged between us. Almost out of a sense of obligation, I justified myself again. “You could have texted me if you needed to get out of here.”

Nicole stopped at a stoplight before she looked at me, one eyebrow visibly cocked behind her sunglasses. “You stopped going to karate to avoid talking to me. The last time you texted me in who knows how long was because you needed me to be your chauffeur. Want me to hold your fucking hand too?”

I tried to formulate a response, but my blind anger quickly faded to allow my brain to soak in the truth of her words. “Sorry.” I eventually croaked.

Nicole sighed loudly. “I’m sorry too.”

Silence followed. To see if Nicole was still pissed, I looked in her direction, only to realize that with the sunglasses, I couldn’t quite make out what emotion was on her face. Out of habit, my eyes travelled downwards to her boobs. The way they rose and fell with her breath. Memories of sucking on them for the first time arose within me. The little smile she gave after everything we did in her room…

Nope. I was still in a relationship. I wasn’t allowed to be thinking about her that way. My eyes scanned around her car, looking for something new to look at. There wasn’t much – a few empty energy drink cans, an empty bag of fast food, her camera (apparently she needed to take it EVERYWHERE), jumper cables and other car equipment…

“Can’t take your eyes off them, huh?” Nicole commented slyly.

“Yeah, your jumper cables are quite interesting.” I fired back.

Nicole chuckled. “You’re getting better with your comebacks, squirt.” She remarked. Then, even though she was still driving, she worked her shirt over her head. Of course, she was only wearing one layer, and soon my gaze was met with her beautiful boobs, each proudly displaying her large areolae and erect nipples.

Half of me was instantly turned on. Luckily, that was no longer my dominant half, not after the party. I coughed nervously. “Nicole, I’m still in a relationship. You can’t be exposing yourself like that to me. Please put your shirt back on.”

Nicole huffed. “You were a lot more fun when you were single.”

“Why, because I was easier to manipulate?” I retorted. I groaned internally as I made a big realization – We may be talking again, but now there was clearly a wedge driven between Nicole and I.

“Whatever.” Nicole said flatly, putting her shirt back on. “Do what you want, squirt. It’s not like you’re my only option.” She threw me her cell phone. “As long as I’m driving, could you text Brendan Bennett and tell him I wanna hook up?”

I was torn between fuming and laughing out loud at that comment. I did what she asked and put the phone in the cupholder, thinking to myself how painfully obvious it was, what Nicole was trying to do.

“Are you jealous, Nicole?” I asked her finally.

“Yes, Adam. Because I’m completely the jealous type.” Even behind her shades, I could feel her rolling her eyes. “Just accept that I have needs and if you’re not filling them because you’re in some emotional shit with some other girl, I can’t just wait for you two to be done. I gotta take care of my own needs.”

I was expecting her to admit defeat, but I couldn’t make heads nor tails of what she had said. On the one hand, she replied instantly and sounded like she was telling the truth. On the other, I’d seen her lie before, and she was good enough to fool a room full of people.

Silence filled the car. Finally, Nicole piped up again. “Fucking break up with her.”

“Huh?” I asked in response.

“Break up with Megan. The sooner, the better. You’re turning into a different person, and I don’t like it. You’re losing yourself, I’ve seen it happen before.” Nicole stated forcefully.

“We won’t last forever, but I don’t see how this is any of your business.” I shot back with just as much force.

“I’m not just a walking set of tits with a car, Adam. I care about you.” Nicole argued.

“I asked you to put those away. You can’t use that against me. If you want to show them, fine. But you can’t hold that against me when that’s your own choice.” I argued back.

“See, you’re just focussing on that stuff. It’s like you can’t even see how I care. She’s changed you.” Nicole retaliated. “I miss the Adam I met. We used to hang out, have fun. Now you just use me just so you could share a joke with your friend Carson, and when I try to be myself around you, you tell me to stop it. Break up with her, it’s damaging you.”

A joke?! I fucking wish it was a joke. The real joke was her attitude during an emotional day for me. “Nicole, I get you had some bad times with Jeff, but that doesn’t mean you get to be my personal psychiatrist. Just because you don’t like what he did with you doesn’t mean you get to criticize my relationship. Now step off.”

I had absolutely no clue why I said that. I cringed as soon as I finished. Nicole’s breathing got heavier as she drove from that point onward. She began driving slower and slower, until she parked by the curb. As soon as she shifted the car into park, she turned and looked at me, her breath still heavy.

“Get out. You’re walking from this point on.” She said coldly, full of fury.

I sighed. Fine, I thought to myself as I opened the door and got outside.

Before I could shut the door she spoke. “When you’re ready to talk to me without being a dick, text me.” She reached in to the cupholder and pulled out her phone, dangling it in her hands. “I wanna be your friend again, but you seriously need to get yourself under control and stop having periods so you can have fun and be happy like a normal fucking person.” She paused before adding, “Plus, if I tell you something in confidence, don’t fucking bring it up.” Her voice began to quiver. “Let me know if you come up with some funny fucking jokes about Mitch too, huh?” Her eyes were showed the beginnings of tears. She reached over and shut the door.

I opened it again before she could drive off. “I’m sorry, Nicole. That comment was uncalled for.” I admitted.

“I fucking know it was.” She replied with anger. “Now shut the door.”

I admitted defeat and shut the door. As she drove off speedily, I sighed again. I totally fucked up with that comment. Comparing a forced and painful first time and being treated like crap to being in a fake relationship… I definitely deserved what I got.

As I began walking home, I justified the situation to myself. I’d been forced into cheating, blackmailed, and I still told Carson, which was one of the hardest things I had ever done, all due to the moral code that Nicole herself taught me. Of course I was gonna lash out, especially since she seemed to be begging for an argument today.

Well, one down, one to go, I bitterly thought to myself as my house came into view quite a few minutes later. I told Carson, now I had to tell Megan. And I couldn’t do it at school, I had to tell her at her home. Even though her parents, and Matt…. Oh god, Matt… Would probably be there. Well, tough. I fucked up, and if I was committed to telling her, I had to do it right. God knows who was going to drive me home afterwards, too… On day one of confessions, I had managed to fuck it up again and once more, alienate my ride… No, my best friend. Nicole must hate me, I thought to myself.

Of course, I had thought this without noticing that Nicole was sitting at her window, having eagerly awaited to see me come home for the last half hour, feeling guilty as hell and wanting nothing more than to see me come home safely. I probably would have thought, and done, differently if I saw her at her window, a look of worry replaced by one of relief on her face as she saw me approach, clutching a CD close to her chest – the one I got her.

***

Megan was initially thrilled when I wanted to come over to her place. Frankly, I was kind of glad myself – the school atmosphere felt harsh during exams. Naturally, the fact that I didn’t dare look Carson in the eye during our math exam didn’t help this fact, so it seemed like everything was falling into place. Even so, the sense of inevitability made me sick. I wasn’t going to Megan’s place to chill out and be happy. I was going over there to tell her I was a cheater, and break up with her.

I thanked my lucky stars that her parents didn’t happen to be home. The thought didn’t cross my mind until we were already inside and she shouted up the stairs for them, only to be greeted with silence. There are a few memories about high school people don’t forget. One of mine, for all the wrong reasons, was when she looked at me right after realizing her parents weren’t home, pouted, and said, “Too bad. I wanted them to meet my boyfriend.”

God damn. If guilt had a name…

“Megan…” I sighed, following her into the kitchen and sitting down at their dinner table, “We need to talk about that.”

I could detect an air of nervousness as she helped herself to an apple. “Why?” She asked.

“Sit down.” I offered, gesturing to another chair. She took a seat reluctantly as I continued. “I already told you how we’re a really fake couple and how the feeling isn’t real, right?”

She thought she understood where I was going as she dropped the apple onto the table and grabbed my hand, covering it with hers. “It’s okay, Adam. We can work through that. Love develops, it doesn’t just show up. I’m sorry if it’s a little weird right now but…. I just need this. I’ll get better, you’ll see. You’ll be glad to have me, I promise.”

I wasn’t sure if the guilt was growing or if it already grew so much that I, for some reason, reached that magical point of not caring. Nevertheless, I just laughed softly, looking into her confused, frightened eyes. “It’s not about you, Megan. Don’t worry. It’s not about that.”

Her fright was replaced with more confusion. “It’s not?” She asked me, slowly letting go of my hand. “What’s it about?”

Here we go, I thought to myself. I sighed and my eyes hit the floor. “Megan…” I began slowly. “Remember that party I went to? The one you were supposed to come to too?”

I heard nothing for the first few seconds. Then again, I was still eyeing the floor, not daring to look up at her since I was already through the looking glass. For all I knew, she could have been nodding. “Yeah…” I heard her say slowly, a hint of suspicion in her voice.

“Well… I’m not going to sugarcoat this.” I was going to spin the story a bit, but I wasn’t going to sugarcoat it. “I’ve never really been to a party like that before, and there was booze and people everywhere. It was a bit too much for me.” I justified in my head that if making it seem like I was drunk would soften the blow to Carson, it would soften the blow to her as well. “Before I knew it, one of my friends had convinced me to… I found myself in… We did things, Megan. Like, sex things. I’m sorry.”

My eyes stung. No tears were happening, but my heart was pounding in my ears. “Okay.” I heard Megan quietly say. I still didn’t look up though, and didn’t until Megan grabbed my hand again with both of hers. I looked up slowly to look into her eyes and saw that her face was surprisingly neutral.

“Did you hear me? I said it’s okay.” Megan explained.

Wait, what? “Huh?” I asked her lamely.

“It happens. Every good relationship has its bad moments. You did something bad, but you told me. That means the world to me, Adam.” She said, a small smile forming on her face. She paused, then continued. “I still think we can work. I’ll try as best as I can not to let this change us. Who was the girl, by the way?”

Um… No. This wasn’t supposed to be the result. She was supposed to get angry. Slap me. Argue with me. We’d break up. I’d move on with my life. She’d be more dependent with hers. This wasn’t the plan at all.

“I don’t wanna say.” I managed to say through all of my conflicting thoughts. “It would just cause unnecessary shit.”

Her look grew distant and a small scowl replaced her slight smile. “It’s Nicole, isn’t it?” She asked me.

“No!” I immediately replied, finding more energy in my voice. “It wasn’t her. Nicole wasn’t even at that party. I just don’t think the person was relevant. It was my fault anyway.” I looked down in shame again.

I felt Megan’s finger on the bottom of my chin, pulling my face up. My face was lifted to meet hers as she sweetly kissed me. “We’re okay, Adam.” She softly whispered, going in for a hug. Megan was an interesting character, I had to say. She went from hopeful to sad to gentle in roughly 30 seconds.

I pulled away from the hug. “No.” I said softly. “I just can’t do it. I can’t be in a relationship with you like this knowing what I did.” Half of that was B.S. just used to justify me wanting to break up with her, but the other half found some truth in that statement.

She immediately leaned in to me. “No, it’s okay.” She said frantically, pulling me into another hug. “We’re okay, Adam. We’re okay.” She pulled away to look me in the face. Her face looked very sad. “I just got you. Don’t tell me it’s ending like this.”

“Megan, you don’t want me.” I reasoned, breaking away from her and standing up. “I’m a cheating mess, and I don’t even know who I am anymore. In a relationship you give some of yourself to the other person, and they share it with you. I can’t do that if I don’t even have enough of myself to give. And it’s stuff like that that probably led us to this situation. If we keep going like this, who knows how else I’ll hurt you? I don’t want to lose myself. Plus, your dependence on me kind of scares me. I want you to be your own wonderful person.” I gave her a small smile before continuing. She didn’t smile back. “I feel like you’ll get too used to being Adam’s girl instead of being Megan Schneider if you were with me. That’s wrong. The fact that you can’t even stand up for yourself when your own boyfriend cheated on you is wrong.”

She was silent for a long time. “Who was the girl, Adam?” She finally asked in a small voice.

I sighed. “I’m not going to say.”

“Who was the girl?”

“It’s just going to cause unnecessary drama.” I reasoned.

“Who was she?”

“I don’t-”

“Who was she?!” She asked loudly, jumping up from her seat, then covered her mouth with her hands. She plopped back into her chair, her hands still covering her mouth, and breathed heavily.

I got down on one knee in front of her. “You okay?” I asked her. She nodded. I chuckled. “You don’t yell a lot, do you?”

“Not ever.” Megan said in a timid voice, muffled by her hands. “Adam, I don’t want to lose you. I don’t know how to be…” She paused. “Never mind.” She finished.

“No, please. Say it. I’m listening. Intently.” I insisted, leaning in with interested.

She slowly removed her hands from in front of her mouth. “I don’t… know how to be confident around you. I don’t like myself. I want to be like the other girls and have confidence, have their smile, their bodies, their… I want to be them.”

“Megan, you’re perfectly fi-”

“I want to be Nicole.”

I was taken aback. “Nicole? Why her?”

She shrugged, looking off into the distance.

“Why Nicole?” I repeated.

She pulled her lips together nervously. “Remember the first council, where she kissed me?” I nodded. “I never even thought about kissing anyone, let alone a girl, before that day. She seemed so fun, so full of adventure. So confident. Like she doesn’t care about anyone, she just likes being herself. I want to feel like that. I want to feel like no one is judging me when I walk through the halls.” She thought to herself. “Actually… No. I want to not care when I see people judging me. I don’t want people to giggle when the shy girl turns pink when a romantic moment happens in a book she’s reading. I don’t want people to stare when I’m holding my books really tight in front of me when I walk through the halls. I don’t want people to look down on me. I want them to… To…” She started fumbling with her words.

“Respect you?” I offered.

“Want me.” She said flatly, shocking me. “I want people to look at me and think, ‘Gosh… I want to be with her.’ And when I saw you and Nicole, I got so jealous. She had that too. She got to have you. And even May had it. Yet another cute boy, and when I tried to talk to him, I come off as too shy and he doesn’t care.”

“So you seduced me.” I concluded.

Megan bit her lip and nodded nervously. “I wanted you to want me too. You were cute and you seem to really care about people. So I took a big risk. I figured if it didn’t work, there was no point trying for anyone anyway, so it’s not like my reputation would matter anymore…” She laughed sadly, which turned into quick breaths, which I gathered was her attempts not to cry.

“Hence why you were so upset when I didn’t hold your hand?” I asked her.

She shut her eyes and quickly nodded. “It backfired. You wanted me, but only because I offered sex.” She continued, her voice quivering. “But you couldn’t accept being with me in public. I thought something was wrong with me. Then when I saw you with May, I wondered if… If you just saw all girls that way.”

I coughed in expectation. She looked at me and softly smiled. “I know, it was different with her.” Her smile gathered tears. “It always is with the other girls. You even cheated on me, and don’t think I’m worth enough to know her name.” The tears started flowing.

Yup, I was a jackass. A complete and total jackass. I was going to say something, but she continued. “I get it, though. I’m not right for you. I don’t think you cheating was part of a plan or anything, but it created a good opportunity to break up with me, didn’t it?”

“The truth?” I asked. Trying to curb her crying, she nodded. “Yeah. It did create an opportunity. But I promise, the cheating, I did not… I wouldn’t normally…”

She took my hand yet again. We stared into each others’ eyes for several seconds of silence. “We’re okay.” She finally said, and hugged me.

The hug lasted forever. By the time we broke away, the redness in her eyes was fading. “So, I guess we’ve broken up now, haven’t we?” She asked.

I made a sad, sympathetic expression and nodded. “I meant what I said about finding your own person, Megan.” I said. “It’s the best thing for both of us right now. But I’m glad you told me everything.” For the first time, I took her hand in mine. “I’m glad I got to learn about what you want. And boyfriend or not, now that you told me, now that you were honest with me and being your own person… I care about you. I’m not judging you. I’m glad you’re my friend.”

Megan broke into a grin. “Is it weird for exes to hang out and be friends?” She shyly asked.

I returned her smile. “I sure hope not.” I replied.

A sudden slam of the front door broke us from our trance. Megan, immediately nervous, got up from her seat and stood in front of me, as if to block me from someone’s view. When Matt emerged in the kitchen doorway, I understood why.

Upon seeing us, his eyes flashed with confusion, then anger. “You…” He began menacingly. “What are you doing here?” He turned to Megan. “What is he doing here?”

He had a look that could burn a hole through a man’s face. Before I could speak up, Megan did it for me. “Matt, it’s okay.” She said soothingly. “I invited him over. We just wanted to talk, that’s all.”

“Talk?!” Matt sputtered. “Meg, last time you two wanted to ‘talk,’ he convinced you to blow him, then made you feel like shit afterwards. Did you forget that? I don’t want this slug in my house.”

Megan turned pink. I guess she didn’t have the talk with him about me, despite her promise. “Matt…” She began shyly. “He didn’t make me fellate him. I wanted to.”

I had never seen a human being with a bigger look of bewilderment on their face than Matt at that moment. As a matter of fact, I never saw a human face mimic the look on his face before. It looked like drawing a shocked face on a marshmallow then putting it in the microwave. “Excuse me?” He finally managed.

“I wanted to fellate him.” Megan repeated, a bit more nervously this time. Presuming Matt knew what the word meant (I certainly didn’t, but I think I could guess), he was even more appalled the second time he heard this. “What are you saying?” He managed.

Megan shrugged and her stance lost confidence. Her shoulders moved inwards and her knees moved together. Her gaze lowered down to her shoes. “I wanted someone to want me, so I seduced him. He accepted, but misunderstood, and thought I only wanted his… you know. So I got upset and lied to you about him. He’s a good guy, I just got upset. Please don’t get angry at him.”

Matt’s face was twisted in a combined look of confusion and anger. Frankly, I don’t blame him – if someone were explaining me something I didn’t know about, and they explained it like that, I’d be confused too. He took a few seconds to stomach what she had told him, and his face dissolved. “Is that so?” He finally asked calmly.

Megan nodded. “I’m sorry for lying to you, Matt.”

He shook his head solemnly. “No, you shouldn’t feel bad for lying.” He sidestepped so he could look past her, right into my eyes. “You should. You’ve trained my sister really well, haven’t you? I thought you were a good guy. Man up and face the truth. Don’t use my own damn sister to pull the wool over my eyes.”

I could practically hear Megan rolling her eyes, despite not being able to see her. “Matt, don’t make him the bad guy just b-”

“Shut up.” Matt fired fiercely at her, his eyebrows met in a V.

“Okay.” Megan weakly conceded, sitting down.

“And you.” Matt continued, pointing at me. “If you cause my sister any more trouble you’ll be sorry you were ever born.” He moved his finger from pointing towards me to the door. “You aren’t going to spend any more time around my sister. You’re not going to talk to her any more. You’re going to make good on your promise to me.”

Megan turned around to me. “Promise?” She mouthed.

“I’ll explain later.” I mouthed back. She lowered an eyebrow and cocked her head in curiosity, but shrugged and turned back around.

“And you’re banished.” Matt finished.

“Banished?” I asked him.

“Banished from this house. You’re bad news, Adam. I thought you were a good guy, but you let me down. You’re nothing but bad news, and now you’ve dragged my sister into all this. Now get out.”

I remained unmoving, not quite challenging him with my eyes, but eyes locked with him all the same. He lowered both eyebrows and narrowed his eyes. “Get out!!” He yelled, repeating himself.

I understood defeat. Matt intimidated me. I had to leave. Standing up, I wordlessly told him, ‘okay.’ Megan immediately launched forwards towards me, wrapping her arms around me in a desperate hug.

“Cut it out.” Matt interjected, a little more calm than before. Softly yet forcefully, he separated us with his arms. Megan, now a good few feet away from me, managed a small smile. I returned it as I sighed and left.

Matt followed me to the door. He nodded as I opened the door and stepped outside to the snowy porch. “Good boy.” He said sternly. “Now stay away from her, and don’t cause any more trouble. Make Phil proud of you.”

A shot him a look at the mention of Phil’s name as Matt closed the door. This time, I had no ride. I sighed as I started my journey back home through the snow. By car, it would have been fifteen minutes, so I probably had three hours of walking ahead of me. As I took my first few steps, I felt a vibrating in my pocket. I took out my phone and turned on the screen.

I’m so sorry. ❤

It was from Megan. Sighing, I gave my phone a small smile. I didn’t feel like texting her back, but I think I did need to text a certain someone. Searching for Nicole in my contacts, I found her and brought up the messages screen.

You were right. I broke up with Megan.

I hoped that would soften her disposition towards me somewhat. Though, as I expected, she didn’t text me back for the rest of the day. Although, that didn’t stop me from being disappointed for every second as I made the multiple-hour-long journey home.

***

It’s kind of funny to look back on the exams of my grade nine year. They were the first exams I ever had in high school, and objectively, should have been very important to me. But the most important things in my life were happening outside of school. People say that school is important. Teachers say that school is important.

“And I bet you of all teachers think the most that school is important.” I continued my rant. “But it’s important for all the wrong reasons. All this drama… Like, high school drama, not theatre drama… all this unnecessary crap… I don’t want it to be important.” I paused, and scoffed. “I bet you’re gonna say that I’m undermining the exam I have tomorrow. But I just can’t shake the feeling that all this crap happening around me is more important, but I don’t want it to be.”

Mr. Salvador looked up at me from the papers on his desk he was marking, his eyes made bigger from his glasses. “It’s as important as you make it.” He told me. “And you’re right.”

“What, that it’s unnecessary?” I asked.

“You are undermining the importance of tomorrow’s exam.” He told me. “You’re a very passionate person when you want to be, Adam. I see potential in that. But you’re putting your feelings in all of the wrong places. Undermining drama, sensationalizing… well, sensationalizing bullshit, and casual sex… None of it is needed.”

It didn’t even register to me that a normally professional teacher used a swearword in front of a grade nine. I was too busy processing the information I was given.

He continued nonetheless. “You need to put your passion into your work, and you need to let go of the personals. Leave ego outside the classroom. You can’t let who you are and how you feel blind you to what is actually important. You keep refusing, clamming up, and you will not do well. Do you know how tough this exam is? Only one person in my experience has managed to ace their grade 9 drama exam.”

“Who, Paul?” I scoffed.

Mr. Salvador was slightly taken aback. “It’s no business of yours, but Paul actually did quite poorly in his grade nine drama year.” He explained. “And his tenth. He only got his act together around grade eleven. He didn’t find himself before then.” He paused. “Why did you think Paul?”

“I mean… his acting… He’s…” I managed.

He chuckled. “I actually see a lot of Paul in you.” He went on. “You both undermine like crazy, but you both have potential.” He paused again. “Let’s hope you actually use yours.”

“He’s okay!” I defended him. “He’s good at figuring out people. He’s kind. He helps people.”

“We’re talking about Paul Stevens, right?” Salvador quipped. “Well, don’t ever talk to Brianne Lynne with that attitude.”

“Why?” I asked, suddenly intrigued.

“Paul and Brianne were in a relationship last year. There were a lot of feelings. Teen love, as you might call it. These feelings got in the way of class, and the school play they were both involved in, but those were minor offenses compared to the things Paul did during that relationship. The way he made her feel.”

“What things did Paul do?” I asked, heavily invested.

Salvador blinked twice. “Wow.” He remarked. “I’ll give you this, Adam. You know how to make me break character.” He gave me a short smile, followed by a completely serious face. “It’s not my place to gossip about students.”

“Well, the genie is out of the bottle, you might as well go on.” I encouraged, disappointed that it would end here.

“If you’re going to ask, ask him yourself. But this conversation didn’t happen. When you walk outside this office, you’re going to forget what we talked about. So am I.” He said seriously. “Are we done?”

“Yeah, that’s all I’ve got for today.” I said, getting up. “I just hope I made the right decision breaking up with Megan.”

“You’re missing the point,” He retorted, going back to his papers. “You made the right decision when you decided you’d care about her feelings once you listened to her story.” He resumed marking exams from the class before. I nodded and started to leave the office, when he added, “Not everyone is going to tell you their story like that.”

I didn’t even respond, or say goodbye. I think Salvador was rubbing off on me.

Once I was out of the doorway, I sighed to myself in the empty hallway. Three exams done. Feelings vented to Salvador. No girlfriend. I was sitting pretty. Then again, for my first year of high school, I think I was seeing entirely too much action in my day-to-day life.

“Adam Watson, you bastard.” I whipped my head around to see the source of that statement, May Stevens. She had a look on her face so angry it could melt steel. This alone could have been considered too much action for me.

I looked desperately back towards Salvador’s office. The door was closed, locked from the outside, and I knew that room was soundproof. I knew he wouldn’t be any help at this point. Already emotionally spent from my visit with him, I frankly didn’t have enough energy to care anymore at the sight of May. “Hey, May.” I greeted humorously with my arms out, Mafia-style. “What’s up?”

“What’s up?!” She asked me with gritted teeth. “I can’t believe you fucking told him. I had a perfect relationship, but since you couldn’t have me, you decided to ruin it.”

With every word she took another step towards me. I laughed in her face. “You came on to me, May. I told my own girlfriend as well. It was the right thing to do.”

“Did she break up with you?” She spat at me. “I hope so. Carson made a big fucking show about breaking up with me.” She stopped looking so angry and shivered. “He never yelled at me like that before.” She looked back at me and resumed her fuming expression. “I don’t cheat. But now I look like the cheating bitch. All because you couldn’t keep your mouth shut!”

“You cheated on Carson, May. It happened, and you suffered the consequences.” I fired back, my voice gaining volume. “Get over it.”

“You-!” May yelled out, before pulling her arm back, getting ready to punch me in the face.

Instinct took over. Right as she was about to punch me, I moved right out of the way in the nick of time. Her hand sailed past my head as, without thinking, I grabbed her arm with one hand and twisted it slightly. With my other hand, I grabbed her upper arm and secured it in position. It was enough to immobilize her, but not enough to cause her any pain.

At first, she resisted. Finally, she realized that I, quite literally, had the upper hand and stopped struggling, Her voice considerably weaker, she finally squeaked, “Are you going to hurt me?”

One thing I was proud of about myself (just about the only thing) was that I never did believe in violence. If I had a way to solve a problem without causing another person pain, it was not only my right, but my responsibility to avoid any violence in my life. Armed only with that information, I leaned in close to her ear and whispered as meaningfully as possible, “I never would.” I released her arm and backed away.

May looked at me. The next thing I knew, she was crying. She had completely broken down, falling to the floor in some kind of pile, sobbing her eyes out. Out of instinct, I pulled her up from the floor and helped her to the wall, where she sank down anyway. Feeling more pity for her than I probably should have, I sank down next to her.

“I’m sorry.” She choked out in between tears. “I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know.”

At this point, my rational side told me not to give her the time of day, but Nicole’s voice, the voice calling out to me to be chivalrous at all times, won me over. “What do you mean?” I asked.

She cried for about a minute solid before she could get her voice steady enough to answer. “I don’t ever ch-cheat. I-it’s not something I do. I’ve always been completely against it.” She swallowed a few sniffles. “But I’ve only ever had a couple of sips of beer before, and I thought, ‘I wanna see what getting shitfaced is like.’ ”

Was ‘shitfaced’ seriously a word that actual human beings use? “Didn’t like it?” I asked her.

“I loved it.” She confessed. “But before I knew it, I was getting greedy. I only did things that made me feel good, without thinking of what might happen. Next thing I knew, I had cheated. The one thing I swore I would never do.”

Even though I was listening intently, I was starting to feel some sympathy for Paul and Mr. Salvador. I think this made it three self-exploring exposition sessions in a week, all by different girls. It was getting hard to sympathize when the only conversation I took part in from girls was either really misandric, or yet another sobstory.

“I’m sorry, Adam. I shouldn’t blame you. I was just… scared. I’m scared. I don’t even know who I am anymore.” She continued, before scrunching her knees together and putting her head in between them.

“That’s kind of what high school is for though, isn’t it?” I suggested, trying to comfort her. “I don’t think I know myself yet. None of us are perfect. Maybe only now are you discovering who you actually are. Maybe the no-cheat shy May is just an act, and you’ve actually been suppressing what you really believe in all along.”

“Isn’t that bad?” She asked me.

I shrugged. “Maybe. But it’s also honest. If you keep trying to hide who you are, eventually it can just make you feel like crap from the inside. I know that May cheated. And now, I’d rather get to know the May that did the cheating than the mask of the goody two-shoes she hides behind. We may have had our moments of bad times, but I mean this when I say it…” I scooted my butt so I could look her in the eye. “If you were completely honest to everyone, faults and all, and someone told me that they loved you… I wouldn’t have to ask why.”

Jesus. My life was turning into a cheesy 90s sitcom. Although, I will admit, the way May’s face turned from a crying scowl into a big, dumb grin warmed my heart a little.

She eventually scoffed and turned away. “Who am I kidding? Adam, you’re too sweet to me. But people won’t see me that way.”

“All people won’t, no.” I admitted, then winked at her when she looked back at me. “I live for the ones that do.”

Without needing to announce it, we both stood up in unison, and she stepped forward to hug me.

“Thanks, Adam. You’re more sweet than I deserve. I’m sorry for trying to punch your face.” She said when she let go of me.

I chuckled. “I would have been creamed by the best, Ms. Stevens.” I winked at her. Without another word, she just nodded and left, leaving me alone to my own thoughts.

That went well, I thought to myself. That could have been really ugly. Maybe Nicole was right. Maybe I was becoming an altruist. If my world was becoming a cheesy 90s sitcom, why couldn’t I be Tim Allen or Bill Cosby or Harry Anderson?

Trying to tuck my pride away, I glanced at my watch and groaned. It was past noon already, and as I found out yesterday, it would take more than three hours to walk home. I decided to wait for my bus, which unfortunately, came at the regular 3:30ish time. Slumping back down in the hallway, I was left alone to my thoughts.

***

It’s kind of funny how quickly the important things in my life shifted from what happened in the classroom to what happened outside. I guess that’s why parents encourage their kids to join extracurricular clubs and have friends and stuff.

It barely registered with me that the drama exam even happened. I definitely didn’t ace it, but I did really well while not even having to try. Quite frankly, I had other stuff on my mind. I’m sure Salvador noticed, but I’m also sure that at this point, I didn’t care. There was too much B.S. in my life going on to make me want to care about actual school obligations – besides, it was grade nine. I got straight 80s anyway.

The most important part of the day to me wasn’t the exam, it was the mandatory Student Council meeting that took place right after. Salvador was great in many regards, but apparently notorious for not doing so well in the short term time management department, so the exam was over a bit later than we intended it to be. It was a solo performance exam that took a lot of practice, yet all the same, I wouldn’t remember it down the line. I was sure of that. As I exited the aud, I thought back to an earlier time in the year, when that little object-imitation performance was the most important thing in the world. Boy, my attitude towards school changed quickly.

May brushed past me, and turned back, smiling quickly yet genuinely at me. Even now, I couldn’t shake off that smile. It’s like angels had carved it, and it melted my heart every time. As quick as it appeared, it disappeared, along with her, as she went down another hallway, leaving me to my thoughts.

The thoughts turned dark as I realized that I would have to face both the council and Nicole. The council was pissed at me and frankly, I had hurt Nicole. For a second, I debated just skipping the meeting altogether. After all, everyone at the council hated me.

***

“There he is!” Phil triumphantly declared as I stepped into the council room and prepared for the worst. With his trademark cheesy grin, he approached me and clapped an arm around my shoulder. “You know how I can tell when people are right for the council?”

“H… How?” I timidly asked.

“When they listen.” He simply answered. “When I asked you to make things right and clean up your act, you really fuckin’ listened. I mean, the way you made it up to Megan… That’s a story for the ages.”

Jeff joined in. “The part about the flowers and the signed card was the best. I was wrong about you, man. Welcome back.”

Well, this was a stupidly lucky break if ever there was one. There was no doubt a look of confusion plastered on my face as this all went down, until I spotted Megan standing behind the other council members, looking me in the eye. Shyly yet excitedly, she flashed me a huge grin that told me she came through on her promise to make the council like me again, even though it clearly meant some kind of elaborate lie.

I managed to process what was going on in time to see both Phil and Jeff, as well as many of the other council members, looking at me expectantly, waiting for a response. “Uh… yeah.” I managed. “The flowers… I just figured… Y’know, flowers.”

Phil shared a hearty laugh with the other council members as he strongly slapped me on the back. “Slick, man. Real slick.” He winked at me, then dropped his grin and leaned in close. “Nah, but seriously, what you did was great.” He said seriously, only loud enough so that both of us could hear. “I’ve never seen Megan come out of her shell and feel welcome here like this before. You’re representing the school well. Keep it up.”

“You’re not even mad about what I said about you and Nicole…?” My big mouth opened up and talked before I had a chance to stop it.

Phil looked physically uncomfortable at its mere mention, but quickly recovered and smiled again. “Nah, bro.” He said reassuringly. “Nicole told me the whole thing, and I totally get it. Like, if I came by at the wrong moment, I totally would have gotten that impression too.” Another lie. I was starting to detect a theme. Wait, was Nicole not pissed at me anymore?

Phil leaned in close again and added, “Keep this to yourself, but Nicole and I aren’t exactly tight right now. I know you’re her friend and all, but don’t talk to her about it. We’re in this ‘involved-not-involved’ thing, but I wanna be her boyfriend again.”

“Mum’s the word.” I said to him, smiling, feeling my stomach churn.

He grinned again at me and rejoined the crowd. I looked over and scanned the crowd to find Nicole. Her eyes were fixed on Phil, and she sure as hell looked uneasy. There definitely was something going on between them, and it was also obvious that she talked him down, but didn’t fully break up with him. Or something. She never looked at me, so despite her clearing my name with Phil, so I couldn’t tell if she was okay with me or not. When could I ever, I thought to myself.

“Alright, everyone here?” Phil’s friendly, booming voice asked us all. I looked around the room to see every council member. Two of them were looking at me in the face. The first was Megan, sitting with an innocent, yet clearly less shy-than-usual smile on her face. I smiled back, and saw the other person looking at me with my peripherals. It was Matt, and he clearly wasn’t as persuaded by Phil’s recounting of Megan’s story as the rest of the council was.

“Great.” Phil broke me out of my trance. “Okay, so, great job on a successful first semester, everyone. But you’re not out of the woods yet. Second semester is fast approaching, and that means we got more work to do. Although this year we’re gonna shake it up a little.”

Yeah, sorry, Prezzy, I didn’t really care. In the fashion I had gotten used to from so many meetings in the past, I got ready to doze off without closing my eyes again.

“…And Adam over there…”

After what felt like a measly two minutes, I was being called upon. Great. I snapped to attention. “Yes?” I asked.

“You got in here by asking around. Seeing what people like. That was a cool idea. I’m gonna have you doing that for the next week. See what you can find out – what people liked, what people didn’t, how we can improve, stuff like that.”

“You got it.” I obeyed, still a touch off-guard from being directly talked to during a meeting. The last time that happened, I was being reprimanded for a blowjob in a public place. Ah, how times change.

It kicked in with me a few seconds later that I actually had an obligation. A unique one. I got this weird sense of empowerment from that, like I was being recognized for being me, rather than just weighed down by sex scandals, a theme that pretty much consumed this semester. I could get used to switching themes.

***

“Any other business?” Phil asked the council after another half hour. After being met with silence in response, he continued. “Great. I’ll forward the plans for the talent show to Mr. Scott, and Natalie and Eli, you’re in charge of making sure Mr. Williams adheres to the music council’s budget.”

Eli and the dumb redhead nodded in unison.

“Great.” Phil beamed. “Other than that, I’ve got nothing. Hope exams went well for you guys. Enjoy your week off! I’ll see you all in hell.” As if on cue, everyone started filing out. Clearly, everyone couldn’t wait any more than I could for the well-deserved week off.

However, I wasn’t about to leave so quickly. My potential ride home, and more importantly, my good friend was still in the room. Steeling myself for her strongest reaction, I walked over to her and cleared my throat.

To my surprise, she beamed when she saw me. “Hey, hotshot.” She said happily, getting off of the table she was sitting on to hug me. She broke the hug to look at my face and grabbed me by the shoulders. “Yeesh, what’s with you? You look like you got hit by a train.”

I chuckled slightly, mostly in relief. “I didn’t know whether you were still angry at me.” I explained.

“Are you stupid?” She asked me, one eyebrow cocked. “Of course I’m not.”

“Well, even after I sent you the text saying Megan and I broke up, you didn’t respond…” I started.

She blinked twice. “Yeah, except I did.” She rebutted. She picked up her phone and started thumbing through her messages. “See? Here, after you – aw, shit.”

“What?” I asked, trying to look at her phone.

She held it away from me, but continued. “Fucking service cut out.” She explained. “I didn’t notice. Sorry about that.” She pushed on her phone’s screen and smiled triumphantly. “There! Sent it.”

As soon as she said that, my phone vibrated in my pocket. I pulled it out and turned it on. And it turned me on right back.

Well, now that you’re single… 😉 Was all it said. It didn’t need to say any more – attached was a full-body selfie. Spare a small pair of black socks, Nicole wasn’t wearing anything, and her assets were on full display. I realize it was only days after I had broken up with Megan, but still, the mere sight of Nicole’s beautiful breasts, each crowned by an overly large areola and beautiful erect nipple was too much for me to bear, let alone her beautiful, puffed-out pussy, complete with its trademark erect clit, poking out towards me, begging for me to touch it. No shame was seen on Nicole’s face in the picture. In fact, nothing was visible but mischievous delight with an added hint of lust. Her hand was placed on her hip, which was perfectly cocked to bring my attention to her beautiful, hypnotic hips. Even so, her chest was doing its best to attract my attention, with her arching her back forward, shoving her beautiful breasts in my face.

“Holy shit.” I breathed aloud quietly.

“Tada.” Nicole said with a wink.

“You don’t like to waste time, do you?” I asked her, managing to tear my eyes away from the picture so I could look into her eyes.

She flashed me a mischievous smile mildly reminiscent of that she showed in the picture. “Hey, as far as I know, you’re single now. And apparently, you get all tight-assed when you’re taken, so I’m gonna take it when I can get it.”

“And you’re so sure that I’ll just crawl back to you?” I asked her with my own little wink.

“Call it a hunch.” Nicole responded and broke into a grin. She was right – I missed the way we used to talk. Being able to talk freely like this felt nice. Really nice.

“Hey, Nicole.” Phil cut in. “How’s it going? Could we talk?”

“Okay. Hi!” Nicole said flatly, with no emotion, as she looked at Phil with a blank expression.

“…Like, alone? I just wanna talk with you in private.” Phil responded. He looked at me. “Not to interrupt or anything. No offense, bro.”

I waved him off, reassuring him it was fine. Nicole, however, was not so generous. Coughing once out of discomfort, she said, “Well, sorry, but I’m already talking with Adam here. Can it wait?”

“Well, it would mean a lot to me.” Phil said, with a hint of pleading in his voice.

“Interesting.” Nicole replied sarcastically. “So can it wait?” She was noticeably getting more hostile with each sentence.

Phil sighed loudly. “Yeah, sure, it can. Whatever.” Dejected, he walked out of the room, with the rest of the council, leaving us two to ourselves. Interesting, I thought to myself as I noted Nicole’s inability to be real with Phil. I was definitely going to ask her about this later.

As soon as the last person left, Nicole launched forward, latching her lips onto mine. Her hands clawed desperately around my back as she kissed me passionately. By the time her lips let go of mine, she was breathily heavily.

“You have no idea how much I was holding myself back before.” She chuckled. “Now that you can’t get all whiney about how I can’t kiss you.”

I gave her a look that let her know that while I found her humorous, she could can those jokes whenever she wanted. “Yeah, yeah,” she waved me off. “Need a ride?”

“I’d like one, if that’s okay.” I smiled. She smiled back, and we back to walk out of the council room together. I could definitely get used to this.

“So, looking forward to semester two, kiddo?” She asked me.

“Kiddo?” I asked. “What happened to ‘hotshot’?”

She laughed. “I’m trying out some new stuff. You can’t be ‘squirt’ forever.”

“Sure I can.” I argued. “And I wouldn’t complain.”

Nicole shot me a look I can’t describe. The best way I could describe what was written on her face was ‘perplexed, slaphappy curiosity.’ As she walked down the hallway, she opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out. She closed her mouth and cleared her throat, concentrating on her thoughts. As she opened her mouth again, with intent to speak, another voice interrupted us.

“Adam! Nicole!” I turned around to see Megan excitedly following us. Nicole turned around soon after, and upon seeing Megan hurrying towards us, looked back at me with some kind of smug smile with raised eyebrows.

“Hey, Megan.” She purred as Megan caught up to us, only looking away from me to look at her once she had finished her sentence. “What can we do for you?”

“Hi, Nicole.” Megan said, a little shyly. “I was just wondering if Adam could help me put up posters again.” She looked me right in the eye. “You know, like last time.”

…Excuse me? Was Megan coming onto me, literally right after we broke up? Was she so dependent on me that she couldn’t go a few days without some kind of release? I eyed her with a look of slight worry in my eye. Her smile didn’t wane.

“Sure, Meg, no problem.” Nicole said smoothly. “Want us both to help you? After all, I’m sure you wanna get out of here as much as we do. Three sets of hands can put up as many posters as two.”

Posters. She emphasized the word posters. I shot Nicole a look and saw she never wiped that smug look off of her face. Did she know? What the hell was she trying to do?

“Um…” Megan said hesitantly. “I don’t think that would be the best thing to do. I mean, Phil… He showed me a new way to distribute the posters along the halls, and it would take too long to teach you. Adam knows, though.”

Wow. Megan was… The worst liar ever. Her eyes kept shifting back and forth as she talked, she started nervously playing with her hands, and when she had finished talking, she didn’t dare make eye contact with either one of us, instead keeping her gaze locked on the floor.

Nicole slapped her head. “Oh, of course! The new poster design thing.” She said, lying with a lot more expertise. “Yeah, Phil talked to me about that. Yeah, fair enough. I wanna get some chips at the corner store anyway. If I come back right after I get them, will that be enough time to get the posters set up?”

At first, Megan just stared at her. Eventually, she comprehended that Nicole fell for it (or, you know, ‘fell for it’) and beamed. “Yeah, I think so.” She said both shyly and excitedly. “But we’d better start soon. C’mon, Adam.”

I looked at Megan incredulously, then turned to look at Nicole, who had a cheeky grin of her own. I opened my mouth in protest, but before I could speak, Nicole added, “Don’t worry about me. I’ll still pick you up after you two are finished. Now go make the school proud, squirt.

Three-fourths internally laughing and one fourth pissed, I broke finally and just sighed, giving Nicole a smile of absolute contempt. She took it as a victory, her grin only becoming wider. “See you later!” She sang to us as she turned her back on us and sauntered down the hallway with a little more pride than I remembered in Nicole’s walk.

As I shook my head at Nicole’s back, I felt a hand grabbing mine. “C’mon, let’s go.” Megan cheerfully said as she practically dragged me down the halls.

“So guess what.” She said giddily as she led me down the hall.

“What, Megan?” I asked with feign innocence as she kept walking.

She turned to me and grinned. “I made the whole thing about the poster distribution was a lie! I lied so I could get you alone.” She giggled.

“No!!” I exclaimed, pretending to be taken aback.

She nodded enthusiastically. “And now that I have you alone…” She reached behind her and opened a door to what looked like a janitor’s closet. It wasn’t grubby, but at the same time, it wasn’t exactly Don Corleone’s luxurious estate.

“Um, Megan… I have several questions about this whole thing.” I told her, looking around.

“Yeah?” She asked casually, closing the door behind me as I hesitantly walked in. “Like what?”

“Firstly, not to kill the mood or anything, but didn’t we break up? Doesn’t that entail… not this?” I gestured towards her, who was already already working her sweater over her head.

She blushed, but smiled nonetheless. “Weren’t you and Nicole just having intercourse on the side?”

Of course she would use the word ‘intercourse.’ Without waiting for me to respond, she continued. “You’ve been on my mind constantly since we last did it, Adam. I don’t even care if we’re not in a relationship. You’re right, the feelings were fake. But what we did… This…” She walked forward, putting her hand on my crotch and rubbing gently, “…This is definitely real.” She gave me a small, slow kiss on the lips, and I saw her shyness leave her eyes. It’s like I woke up something in this shy girl, and damn it if I was actually thinking this, but I really liked what I was seeing. “Any other questions?” She asked me boldly, grinning as she worked her t-shirt over her head. Well, that did me in. She won me, hook, line, and sinker. Any and all of my inhibitions about screwing my ex flew out of my head as she stood in front of me no longer wearing anything above the belt except for a bra, even though I still had questions.

“Yeah, I do actually.” I said, gesturing around the room. “What’s with the closet? I mean, I complained about doing it in a classroom before, but now it doesn’t look so bad.”

She chuckled. “This isn’t a porn story, Adam. I need to be realistic.” She explained. “It’s exam time. I’m pretty sure that means classrooms will be filled with teachers marking their exams.” She reached behind her and undid her bra, freeing her B cup breasts and revealing just how erect her nipples were already. “So, anything else or do you want to remind me why I missed you so much?” She asked me, posing provocatively.

Chuckling internally, I reached forward, and began to caress her breasts as Megan exhaled in pleasure and arched her back slightly, trying to fit as much of her chest in my hands. Her hands flew to my shirt, trying to work it over my head. I stopped my massage to help her, and as soon as both of us wore nothing from the pants up, I reached forward again, this time with my mouth, and started playing with her areolae with my tongue. Of course, as I always did, at first I teased her, barely touching her nipples with my tongue, occasionally keeping her interest spiked by flicking her erect nipple with my tongue. With each flick, her moans grew more urgent as she played with the nipple I wasn’t occupying.

“Please…” She eventually moaned, as my tongue circled around her nipple for the millionth time that very session.

“Please what?” I asked her tauntingly as I took my mouth away from her tit so I could look her in the eyes, wrapping my arms around her back, pulling her in close as I felt the hot skin of her back. I savored the feeling – it was, as I had earlier said, like hot silk, and the innocent, doe-like eyes hiding an insatiable lust added to the feeling. I wanted her to make the first move, but I ended up making it myself, kissing her with so much passion I could tell that both of us were surprised by it.

Our hands were in a fury, and we were too abnormally horny teenagers to begin with. By the end of our kiss, although neither of us quite knew how, both of us were completely naked. I gazed over Megan’s body and gained a new appreciation for what I saw – the beautiful, blonde curls, the way her eyes shone in their own special way, even without her glasses (which she just took off), her fair, even, soft skin, and the way her chest heaved and her cute face gained this look of longing when she was very turned on.

“We only have a little bit of time before Nicole comes back.” Megan all but whispered.

I grinned mischievously. “Then turn around and bend over at the wall.” I commanded.

Megan moaned involuntarily as her dream of getting fucked by her ex became more of a reality by the second. She immediately obeyed, putting her bare hands on the wall, pushing her beautiful butt out at me. I caressed it as I got behind her – it was a bit of a tight squeeze, getting behind her, since the janitor’s closet wasn’t exactly roomy, but it definitely worked.

“You ready?” I asked her as I rubbed my erect member along her pussy. All Megan could do was moan and push towards me desperately in response, and it was enough of a ‘yes’ for me. Taking in one last breath, I lined my dick up with her entrance and pushed my way in.

“Oh my goodness…” Megan exhaled with delight. “I missed this.” I gave her a second to accommodate to me, and in response, she looked back at me. “What are you waiting for?” She asked me. “Take me. You know I like it rough.”

Who was I to argue? Immediately, I started to pump in and out of Megan. Moaning in pleasure, she slammed right back in to me, using the wall as leverage. The room was filled with a loud slapping sound and the sounds of Megan’s heavy breathing as we began going at it like rabbits, my hands poised around her curvy ass to give my movements even more speed.

Megan’s erratic moaning became one consistent moan as our bodies became a blur. “F-faster.” She panted. “P-please.”

There was no room for gentleness or subtlety in this encounter, as I found out. I wasn’t even sure if it was possible for me to go faster. After a few minutes, it even began to hurt. To convey how I felt, I reached up with one hand and smacked Megan’s ass, hard. Somehow, she seemed to get the memo and in response, she arched her back harder, allowing me better access to slide in and out without sacrificing comfort. I thanked her by going faster, an action I have no doubt she noticed.

Soon, her moaning became this panicked breathing, and I could tell she was close. Knowing what she liked, I began to slap her ass again, and uttered dirty phrases I was surprised were coming out of my own mouth at her, all of which just turned her on even more. Her breathing became more and more erratic until it reached an apex, and with her climax came her juices. As soon as I felt the first gush of her fluids, I pushed in all the way and let her bask in her orgasm, which she appreciated with a steady repetition of ‘Ahhh’s.

It took her longer than usual to climb back down from her high. I pulled out of her and stood by her, rubbing her shoulder as she tried to catch her breath. When she could breathe normally again, she panted, “Gosh, I needed that.”

I laughed. “Megan, you can swear if you want.”

She laughed herself and turned pink. “I don’t think so.” She simply said. “Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but you haven’t climaxed yet.” I didn’t respond, but my smile grew wider. “We’ll have to fix that, won’t we?” She asked me, grinning seductively.

From outside the room, I could hear footsteps. Footsteps I recognized. “Adaaaam…” Nicole’s voice sang through the hall as the footsteps grew closer.

“It’s Nicole.” I whispered to Megan. “She’s back.”

“Keep quiet.” Megan told me. We huddled together as we heard the footsteps go right by the closet, disappearing down the other side of the hall.

When I figured she was far enough away, I turned to Megan and whispered, “I think I’ll take a rain check on that.” I winked at her.

She smiled at me. “I hope you will. I don’t want to stop doing this any time soon.” Megan told me. “I don’t care if you’re my boyfriend or not. I like it when we do this.” Her expression turned more serious. “And you care about me. Thank you for that.”

I kissed her slowly on the lips. “Whatever makes you happy.” I told her. We both smiled in unison.

We both gathered our clothes and put them on. Luckily, Megan’s discharge never got on them, and I think janitors were accustomed to their closet floors being wet with something or other, so I didn’t think they would notice. As soon as we figured the coast was clear, we opened the door and went out together, discovering then just at how lucky we were when we were met with just the empty hallway. As we stepped out, I checked my phone for any new messages, and as I suspected, I found one from Nicole.

Hey! I couldn’t find you around school. The posters you put up look great. 😉 I’m waiting in the parking lot.

Yup, thought so. It was gonna be interesting dealing with her on the way home. I turned to Megan. “Well, I’m gonna go find Nicole. I bet she’s in the parking lot.” I pseudo-lied. Kissing Megan on the cheek, I traced my hands down her body in an effort to tease her. She playfully pushed me away.

“Text me.” I told her, holding up my phone as I turned to walk down the hallway.

“See you later.” She cheerfully said, clearly back to her shy from now that her lust had been slaked.

***

It wasn’t hard to find Nicole’s car in the parking lot for a number of reasons. Number one, I had memorized that it was the only black Ford Focus I think I had ever seen. For another, it was blasting Take On Me by AHA.

“Hey, thanks for waiting.” I said as I stepped into the car.

“Hey, squirt.” She said, beaming. “Cigarette?”

I didn’t respond, I simply buried my face in my hands. “Alright, alright, guilty.” I said, defeated. I knew by now not to challenge Nicole on matters like this.

She laughed. “I’m surprised at you, hotshot. You sure have come a long way.”

“What do you mean?” I asked her.

“Well, doing it with the ex you just broke up with in school is one thing.” She reasoned. “But a janitor’s closet? That’s a new level of kinky.”

“You knew?” I squeaked, feeling my face go pale. “How?”

“It’s Nicole. She’s back. Keep quiet.” Nicole monologued over-dramatically, breaking into a smug smile when she finished. “You guys seriously don’t know how to whisper.”

“Ugh.” I moaned, throwing my head back into my hands.

“Hey, it’s not so bad.” Nicole said comfortingly, putting her hand on my shoulder.

“Why not?” I asked her, peeking my head out from my hands.

“Well, for one thing, I got both regular and sour cream and onion.” She said triumphantly, holding up two bags of chips.

I chuckled. “Good call.” I said.

“My place?” She asked me, smiling. If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought I detected hope in her tone.

“Sure. Why not?” I answered happily. Her smile grew wider as she started the car. “But keep your shirt on.” I winked at her.

“Right. You’ve seen your share of tits for the day. I forgot.” She retorted, giving me a wink of her own.

“Oh, shut up.” I weakly, yet playfully, responded. She gave a little laugh and started driving.

“Why are you so okay with Megan and I now, anyway?” I asked her. “When we were together, you hated it. Now, you’re practically giddy knowing that I fucked her.” I didn’t mean to use such harsh language, but it kind of spilled out. I think I was starting to adopt to Nicole’s way of talking around her, like I was another me around her – a type of me that felt comfortable being open and swearing.

“It wasn’t her. I just don’t like it when you’re in a relationship. Especially a BS-y one.” She answered. “You can’t tell, but you were a lot more serious and dramatic when you were with her. It wasn’t any fun.” She made a mock pouty face towards me.

“Eyes on the road.” I told her dismissively. “What about you? Your attitude towards Phil today was… interesting, to say the least.” She only lowered one eyebrow in response. “I’m guessing you two are Splitsville too?”

“Oh, totally.” Nicole answered immediately. “I don’t know why the hell I thought this relationship would be different. Guys suck, no offense.” She shifted uncomfortably in her seat. I felt like she had more to say.

“Go on.” I told her.

“Huh?” She asked me. She reached a red light and looked at me quizzically.

“It doesn’t sound like you’re done.” I told her. “Like you have more to say.”

“Phil’s a bad kisser?” She joked.

“Lucky I won’t ever find out.” I joked back. Nicole certainly was a master at making me feel at ease with certain themes. “But do you want to say anything else?”

She chuckled uneasily. “Not want, no.” She said.

“If you want to say anything, say it.” I told her. “But I won’t make you say anything you don’t want to.”

Nicole nodded with a smile, then fixated her gaze back on the road. A few minutes of silence, besides the Wham! playing on the radio, filled the car before she broke. “I can’t deal being around Phil. I don’t wanna. It makes me feel… weird. Uncomfortable.”

“That’s understandable.” I said sympathetically. “So what are you gonna do about it?”

“I’m quitting Student Council.” she said, tensing up and trying – failing – to hide the look of sadness on her face.

_____________________

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