Being More Social – Chapter 7

Actually, the clothes shopping was kind of fun. Luckily for me, Nicole retained her casual, fun-loving attitude the whole time we were there, and didn’t go serious on me again. My entire wardrobe was changed by the time we left, and as much as I hated critiquing my younger self for fashion choice of all things, I had to admit I looked better in my new clothes.

The most painful part of that trip was when Nicole convinced my to cut my hair. I actually loved my long, kind of messy blond hair, but if Nicole said it didn’t look good, I believed her. Once I saw myself in the mirror with my hair cut, half of me was confident, believed I looked good. The other half was scared to admit that I didn’t recognize who who staring back at me.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I hastily agreed to do karate, though. From the second I walked in, I was overwhelmed. People were doing punches and kicks and weird moves everywhere in weird white suits, and what unnerved me the most was that everyone there looked like they knew how to fight. All of them. I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to keep up with that.

I was even uncomfortable standing next to Nicole, who was in her own white suit, tied together with a brown belt. Right as we walked in, the toughest-looking black belt whipped her head around from what she was doing to look at us. She had short, brown hair and a naturally stern look on her face. As soon as she saw Nicole though, her face broke out into an unexpected grin.

“Hi, Nicole!” she cheerfully said, walking over to us. “We haven’t gotten to see you in a while.”

Nicole responded by bowing, keeping her head up, and uttering some kind of noise. It sounded like she was saying ‘ous’, but I’m sure it meant something in Japanese or something. “Sorry about that, sensei.” She continued. “School and other stuff just happened to get in the way.”

The black belt waved her hand at Nicole dismissively. “Of course, of course.” She responded before clapping her eyes on me. “Who’s your friend?”

“This is Adam,” Nicole proudly said, giving me a less-than-gentle push forward. “He was looking for a good outlet, and he could use a little more confidence.”

The black belt nodded and turned to me. “It’s very nice to meet you, Adam.” she said, bowing to me. I just stood there dumbly.

Nicole subtly jabbed me in the side. “Bow back, knucklehead,” she muttered without moving her mouth. Hesitantly, I bowed back.

Class started shortly after. At the start, everyone gathered in a line, sorted by level of experience. I went right to the end of the line, with no experience and no white suit. I found out later from Nicole that she ordered it with the sensei while I was off looking around before class began, and that it would arrive by next week.

Once we were in the line, we did this bow ritual, and luckily the sensei was casual enough to explain it to me personally in front of the class as we were doing it. However, she was still strict enough to damn near scare me as she was doing so. Afterwards, we were all ordered to spread out as one student led opening exercises.

By the end of the exercises alone, I was wheezing and bending over, catching my breath, and naturally, I was the only one. No one else was even breaking a sweat, of course, including Nicole, who casually strode over to me.

“You okay, hotshot?” She asked me with more humor in her voice than concern.

“It… the… I…” I managed to get out between breaths.

She giggled. “You’ll get used to it soon enough. Now come on, back straight. Let’s make a good first impression on the sensei.”

The sensei, now that the exercises were over, was dividing up the class by the time I had the strength to look up.

“Green belts, go with Sensei McArthur, he’s going to go over kicks with you.” The green belts broke away from the group, along with a black belt who sported glasses and a consistently red face. “Orange belts, you’re with Sensei Wise. He’s going to handle chokeholds.” Those poor orange belts, I thought to myself. Sensei Wise looked like he could snap a human being like a twig. He was easily the most buff guy in the room by far, and that was saying something. “Yellow belts, you’re doing the basics with sensei Gratton, white belts, you’re with me, and brown belts…” She stopped and looked around. “It’s just you here tonight, isn’t it, Nicky?”

Nicole, face worrisomely serious, just nodded at the sensei.

“Alright, then why don’t you take Adam?” The sensei asked her. “Teach him the basics, let him know how to bow in and how to behave in line, stuff like that.”

“Ous, sensei Sparrow.” Nicole responded like a soldier, before bowing. She then started to walk off to a corner and motioned for me to follow.

“Do I get to call you Nicky?” I asked Nicole, grinning.

“Fuck off.” Nicole responded playfully, grinning back. That was enough of a ‘no’ for me!

***

The rest of the class went by eventlessly, with Nicole explaining to me the basics of karate, with a lot of manners, some terminology, stances, and a few basic moves. For the last minute of class, though, Sensei Sparrow called the class together and all of the students found their own spaces around the room. I was asked to keep to the sides, since I apparently didn’t know what they would be doing.

As I later learned, they were doing what were known as ‘katas’ – a series of karate moved done in seemingly perfect execution. I was in awe of how perfectly they all seemed to pull it off, in unison no less. I was equally shocked, however, with how the Sensei was constantly barking criticisms as she watched everyone.

“Bart, straighten your punch.”

“Paul, fix your stance.”

“Georgia, other hand should be at your side.”

Nicole, in my mind, was an enigma of perfection, a person who seemed to never screw up, but shockingly, she was actually the one the Sensei picked on the most.

“Nicole, your shoulders are too stiff.”

“Nicole, your timing is off.”

“Nicole, you should know better.”

Sheesh! If I thought Salvador was tough, then this was insane. Nevertheless, Nicole never once talked back, never once did anything but correct herself. It was interesting to see.

After we did the line and bow thing at the end of the class, we were all dismissed by the sensei, and Nicole walked up to me. “So how’d you like it?” She asked as we started to leave.

“It was… interesting.” I said with a small chuckle. We both bowed as we left the room (apparently called a ‘dojo’), something Nicole taught me to do.

“Sorry that the sensei was so hard on you.” I added as we left the building. I noted the black December night sky as we walked back to Nicole’s car.

Nicole gave me a weird look before lightly laughing. “Dude, if you think she was ‘hard on me,’ maybe you’re not so ready for karate.” she told me. “In karate, you’re supposed to accept that you’re not the best. You have to be diligent and learn, leave ego outside the door, and swallow your pride.” That ‘ego’ line sounded like something Salvador would say. She got into the car with me in tow, then added, “And speaking of swallow, I’m hungry as hell. How about McDick’s, squirt?”

Why the hell did everyone in high school feel it was necessary to call it that? “I’m down.” I cheerfully answered.

“Cool.” She beamed as she started the car. Before leaving, though, she reached over and gave me a peck on the cheek.

“What was that for?” I asked her.

“I wasn’t aware I needed a reason.” She replied, winking at me. “But it’s so I can show thanks. For one, I hate how my karate friends are ONLY my karate friends, this gives me a nice change. Plus, even though you were kind of being a shallow prick earlier, it doesn’t change the fact that I was being a bit of a bitch. It means something if you are willing to put up with me like that.”

I shrugged. “Not so much ‘putting up with you,’ more like ‘scared of your tone.'” She playfully punched me in the shoulder, before realizing I was serious. She couldn’t have made that realization more obvious if she tried. Instantly she tensed up and looked forward, focussing on getting out of the parking lot with a suddenly blank-yet-almost-worried face.

I caught that immediately and tried to break the tension. “And hey, it means ‘something’? It doesn’t mean ‘a lot’?” I was kind of worried I made her upset, so I hoped my tone reflected the playful attitude I wanted it to, not my worry.

Luckily, it paid off as she looked back at me with a sly grin. “Well then, dinner’s on you.”

“I was already planning to pay.” I replied, slyly yet seriously.

Nicole smiled. The car came up to a red light, and we stopped. She took the opportunity and rotated my face to meet hers. Slowly, sensually, she kissed me on the lips. After a few seconds, we broke away ,and she faced the front of the car. She was half-smiling as she bit her lower lip, presumably in thought.

About a minute later, she spoke. “Yeah.”

“Yeah what?” I asked her, not knowing what she meant.

“It does mean a lot.”

***

Full and happy, we approached Nicole’s house around 10pm that night.

“Hope you didn’t mind eating in the car.” Nicole piped up as we pulled in her driveway. “I don’t exactly like going around town dressed as…” She gestured at her white robe. “…This.”

“That’s fine, don’t worry about it.” I replied as we got out of the car.

“So… Wanna hang around for a bit?” Nicole asked me.

“I probably shouldn’t.” I answered her. “I’ve got this lab report due tomorrow, plus I want to be well-rested if you meant that thing about hitting the weights tomorrow.”

“Oh, I was dead serious, squirt.” She said with a chuckle. “But I can help you with the lab report.”

“Nah, I should probably go home to my parents anyway.” I replied.

Nicole looked at her front door, then back to me. “Please?” She asked.

“Why do you want to so much?” I asked. I looked to the door after her – I wondered briefly if her parents ever did have that talk with her. They said they would, after all. Hopefully things were better with them.

I swear it was only out of curiosity, but Nicole’s gaze stiffened, clearly taking my comment offensively. “Fine.” She waved me off as she started to go inside.

Shit. “Sorry.” I immediately blurted out. “I didn’t mean it like that. I just wanted to know if there was a specific reason or something. I can hang around for a little bit, but not any longer.”

Nicole smiled, but shook her head at me. “You really need to learn how NOT to offend girls, you big dumbo.” She muttered at me, still smiling.

“I know.” I admitted sheepishly. “By the way, how are your parents?”

Nicole was about to open the door, but stopped when I asked. “They’re fine…” She slowly answered. “Why?”

“I was just wondering if things got any better with them. Like, if they sat down and talked to you about it or something.”

Nicole shrugged. “Nope. I don’t think that’s gonna happen. It’s just sorta… Oh well, y’know?”

I nodded, although I was kind of angry on the inside. Her parents didn’t talk to her at all.

Nicole opened the door and strode in. “I’m hoooome~!” She sang as she walked in. She dropped all of her stuff off near her shoes and strode right in.

As if I shouldn’t have expected anything different, her dad was sitting in the kitchen, reading Dickens. The Chimes. Hm.

Her mother was getting up to greet her from the living room. “Hello, Nicole! How was your d-” Her sentence stopped right in its tracks when she clapped eyes on me. A brief flash of something that left too quickly to be identified filled her eyes, as she looked back at Nicole and smiled.

Noting the silence, Mr. Baker looked up from his book to see me, doing a double take when he saw me for the first time. He looked me dead in the eyes and cleared his throat. “Um, sweetheart, maybe this isn’t the best time for your friend to be visiting. We have something we’d like to tell you.”

Clearly this wasn’t a common thing. Nicole shot her mom a confused look, before replying, “Um, does it have to be now? Maybe Adam can wait in the other room or something.”

Her mom picked up where her husband left off. “Sweetie, this is a bit of a family thing – no offense to your friend here.” She looked at me. “Sorry, Adam, would you mind?”

Following her mother, Nicole turned to look at me. Noticing her daughter’s eyes were off of her, Mrs. Baker looked me dead in the eyes and slowly nodded. It wasn’t a threat, she was trying to tell me something, and I had a feeling it had to do with my talk with them on Halloween.

“Um… No, I guess not.” I said slowly, trying to identify the situation. Nicole looked back at her mom as I looked at Mr. Baker. He gave me a half-smile (something which looked like it was painful for him to make) and slowly nodded at me. I turned back to Nicole. “Unless Nicole really wants me here.”

“Nah.” She said flatly. “As long as it’s a family thing. C’mon, Adam, I’ll show you out.”

With surprising speed, she led me to the back room. As soon as we were out of her parents’ sight, she pulled me into a tight hug.

“Of COURSE I want you here, you idiot.” She whispered into my ear as she continued her embrace. “I dunno what’s gonna happen. My parents don’t usually get like this.”

I broke the embrace and looked her in the eyes. Her hair was covering one of her eyes, so I brushed it out of her face. “Don’t worry. I think it’s going to be good news.” I was a bit disappointed in Nicole’s parents for needing a prompt, but as long as they were going to handle it tonight, I was happy.

“I’ll text you later?” She asked me, smiling slightly.

“You’d better.” I smiled back. I kissed her on the cheek and grabbed my bag. She waved me out, almost nervously as I left.

I felt really happy as I went back home and greeted my own parents. I was really grateful to have good, understanding parents like these (although granted, they didn’t know I wasn’t a virgin) and I was happy Nicole would get the opportunity to have the same thing, finally.

As soon as I got to my room, I anxiously pulled out my phone. I knew the conversation she was about to have with her parents would be a long one, but I still wanted to check. What I found was a text message, not from her but from May.

Well, shit. I completely forgot. I pulled up her messages. Yeah, I actually would like to talk about it

Oh, boy. I hoped that May was the type of easily forgive. Oh shit, I’m so sorry! My phone died on me. I’m listening. πŸ™‚ Yup, a white lie. It’s official, I was shameless.

Almost instantly, she responded. Oh thats OK. i dunno, Carson is a good guy but it just didnt feel right with him. i felt really lonely around him is all, and now i feel like a bitch because i’m the one who shut him down and i still feel lonely and yeah.

Wow. I totally thought Carson was the one to break up with her. Well I’m here for you if you’re ever lonely. You shouldn’t feel like a bitch, if it’s not meant to be it’s not meant to be. Oh look, there was a break-in at the cheese factory.

Thanks πŸ™‚ but i dunno. he didnt do anything wrong but the date was still bad, like i didnt enjoy myself at all and i dont know why. i really wish i knew why. i feel so bad 😦

I had no freaking clue how to reply. Don’t worry, you shouldn’t feel bad. I’m sure he understands, Carson is a really understanding guy. Besides, you don’t owe him anything. You shouldn’t have to apologize for your feelings. Woah. That wasn’t actually half bad.

Thanks Adam ❀ youre the best friend ever, you really cheered me up :))))))

Ugh, the inner Nicole in me piped up. The dreaded many-mouth Smiley.

What are friends for? πŸ™‚ I sent in reply.

There was still no response from Nicole, even by the time May sent a πŸ™‚ in response. Even still, I waited. I was almost asleep by the time my phone finally buzzed. I checked the screen, and sure enough, it was Nicole.

Holy shit that took way too long. was all it said.

I smirked. What was it about? I asked her, knowing full well the answer. I hope they found a middle ground or something.

Dad just wanted to tell me about his brother’s new job. I don’t get why they shooed you out of the house for that…

Wait, what? That was the reason? That might have made some sense in any other scenario, but they made eye contact with me. They all but promised with their eyes that this would be the night! Without me realizing, I became fully upset, having a grasp on my phone firm enough to start hurting my hand. Did they just say that to get me to leave? They might have been a bit mean to Nicole, but they didn’t seem like they were that big of a bunch of cowards.

Nicole noted my lack of reply and continued. It’s like they just wanted an excuse to get you out of the house.

Son of a bitch…

***

Another good reason to love the holiday season hit me a few weeks later – Christmas. I wasn’t overly religious, but I loved the spirit of the holiday. This year was no different.

Actually, that’s a complete lie. This year was completely different. After the usual festivities at my place, there was always this weird 4-hour gap in-between present opening and Christmas dinner, with nothing but marveling at the new stuff to fill it. Well, this year, like my own Christmas angel, Nicole asked if I wanted to come over.

Not to say I wasn’t prepared. After I cleared it with my parents, I grabbed her present and dashed out of the door.

***

Despite her hatred for winter, I think Nicole loved the spirit of the holidays as well. She was so wrapped up, no pun intended, in the joys of Christmas, she didn’t notice the glares I was flinging her parents every few minutes.

Mr. Baker glared back at me every time I did, challenging me with his eyes. I didn’t stop though. Mrs. Baker, on the other hand, just looked down every time I gave her a glare.

Nicole was practically bouncing around. She showed me the decorations she put up, played me some of her favorite Christmas music, and offered me a few cookies which she baked herself. After a while, her mother cleared her throat.

“Sweetie, do you want to do the present-opening upstairs? I’ve got a little headache coming on and I’d appreciate less noise.”

I could tell from her weirded-out expression that Nicole was as shocked by this as I was, but after a while she shrugged. “Sure, no complaints from me!” She said casually as she started to go upstairs. “Advil’s in the third drawer from the right on the left counter, second drawer down.”

As we closed the door to her room, Nicole shot me another look. “That was really weird…” she said slowly, before grinning. “Mom doesn’t ASK me to go upstairs with boys. Maybe she likes you more than I thought!”

I held my tongue. I wanted to say something, but for some reason I felt like now wasn’t the right time.

“Anyway, your present!” Nicole exclaimed, dashing to her dresser. She rummaged through her drawer for a few seconds before pulling out a rectangular gift, with a hand-wrapped bow on the top.

She bounced back to me, handing me the gift. “Open it open it open it!” She exclaimed giddily. She was really cute when she was excited.

I tried to salvage the bow at first, but couldn’t figure out a way to do so and still open the package. Eventually, Nicole rolled her eyes and undid the bow.

“There! Now open it, squirt.” She said, smiling.

Smiling back at her, I ripped open the packaging to see it was a book. A children’s book, to be exact.

The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein?” I asked her.

Her bubbliness was gone, but she was still smiling as she nodded. “I feel like you could learn a lot from that book.” She told me softly. “You’re a really great guy if you just believe it. I think this book could help make you more confident.”

“Voice of experience?” I asked her, my smile coming back.

She lowered and eyebrow and smirked. “I can’t give you all of my secrets, hotshot.” She told me.

I went forwards and hugged her. “Thank you, Nicole.” I told her. “Thanks for caring.”

“Ugh, too sappy.” She said, playfully shoving me back. That was Nicole for you, I guess. I briefly wondered if she actually enjoyed my sappiness but tried to play it cool, or if she had some sort of reason for disliking it, before realizing only one of us had given the other a gift.

“I actually got you a gift too.” I told her, thinking she had no idea.

“Oh, I know. You need to work on your subtlety, bro. Especially when it comes to hiding this behind your back.” Nicole replied. How did I not see that coming? Oh well. Rolling my eyes, I picked up the gift from behind me before giving it to her.

At first, she just inspected it. Holding it up in front of her eyes, shaking it up and down, even sniffing it once.

“Just open it.” I said with a chuckle.

She pouted at me, which frankly looked adorable. “I have to guess first! It’s tradition.” She inspected it for about fifteen more seconds before shrugging. “Ah, fuck it.” she thought out loud. “You’re not family anyway.” She winked at me as she frantically tore away at the packaging, revealing a CD case.

She laughed out loud. “The Best of the 80s New Wave? She read aloud.

I nodded enthusiastically. “I checked – Tears for Fears is on that CD.”

She turned the CD around and nodded thoughtfully. “So I see! And ABC, Devo… Wow, even Wang Chung!” She looked up at me and smiled in approval. “Congrats, squirt, you hit the jackpot.” She lunged forward and latched herself onto me, giving me a kiss on the cheek. “Thanks, Adam.” She said softly. “I love it.”

She made no effort to detach from me, and just kinda stayed on me. Eventually I lost strength (I was still sore from our most recent gym trip) and fell back on to the floor. She fell with me with an alarmingly loud thud. We both immediately looked at each other to make sure we were okay, and ended up bursting out laughing. I’m not really sure why.

Eventually we settled there on the floor. Nicole gradually cuddled up closer and closer to me until she was basically latched on to me like a baby koala. Over time, her nuzzling became the exploration of her face and hands on my neck, until eventually, she got up and started to take my shirt off.

I could guess where this was going and complied. However, instead of getting frisky, Nicole just nuzzled into me again, still too lazy to even climb up on the bed.

“Wouldn’t the bed be more comfortable?” I asked, breaking the silence.

“I don’t wanna move.” She lazily replied. Chuckling to myself, I accepted my fate of staying on her floor until she wanted to move. Nicole just nuzzled back into me, continuously moving herself around, never seeming to find a comfy position.

After a bit of this, it became clear that she had other motives at work. Before long, her crotch rested atop mine, and every time she tried to get comfy, she would brush up against me. Before long, I started to get hard. If she noticed, she didn’t say anything, although from that point forward, every time she brushed up against me, she would do it with more and more force until it became a shameless grind.

Nicole buried her face into my neck again, only this time her lips opened and I could feel her hungrily licking and sucking on my neck; gently at first, but soon with more ferocity. Her grind lost all of its desire to be subtle as her mouth trailed its way up to mine and soon we were making out, her grinding up against me, my body laying on her bedroom floor.

Nicole broke the kiss and grinned, half triumphantly, half devilishly. “You didn’t really think your gift was just a book, did you?”

I grinned back, but didn’t say anything. After another round of our tongues battling for victory, without breaking the kiss, I got up, lifting Nicole off of me so I could get up without stopping what the both of us were so keen on doing.

Naturally, she broke the kiss anyway. “Wowie, hotshot!” She exclaimed. “I think those visits to the gym are already taking effect!”

I didn’t respond, I only pinned her down to the bed, before she lifted me off of her.

“The bed is boring. We’ve done it here too many times. Christmas gift time, squirt! Anywhere in the house, as long as we can shoo my parents away. Where do you wanna do it?”

The mere mention of her parents was enough to make me angry again, when I realized where I want to do it. “Your parents’ room.” I confidently said.

Nicole looked shocked. “Wow, you’re kinkier than I thought…” She started. “Why there?”

I thought about making a bullshit excuse, but the truth just kind of spilled out. At least, part of it. “Fuck your parents.” Great start. “They don’t accept you for who you are, and they should have cleared the air with you a long time ago. It would be no less than they deserve.”

Nicole didn’t say anything at first. She cocked one eyebrow and looked to the floor, and for a second, I was worried if I had said yet another thing out of line. “Well, isn’t someone passionate.” She finally said, looking back up to me. Her tone turned seductive as she added, “I think I’d like to see just how passionate you can get.” With that, she took my hand and opened the door, leading the way to her parents’ room.

Once we got there, we were a mess of removing clothes, unable to resist our hands roaming all over each other in the process. At first, we focussed on nothing else other than our hands and mouths. Nicole’s tongue probed my mouth as I fully explored her body, not daring to leave any one area untouched, without my worship. Soon it was my turn to explore her mouth as her hands went from clasping around my neck to tracing its way down my chest and stomach, feeling every muscle on my body.

Even after our kiss had ended, her fingers still remained, roaming all over me. didn’t see it, but I felt her faintly smile. “Not too shabby, Watson.” she softly said, almost in a whisper.

I couldn’t wait any longer. Grasping her firmly by her shoulders, I gently coerced her to the bed, which she all-too-eagerly accepted. Nicole lay down on the bed, her body poised like a Renaissance painting, leaving me wondering if I should have rammed her at that moment or just stood there, appreciating the sheer beauty that lay before me.

My lust won me over as I crawled over to her, my hand lingering behind me so I could make sure she was ready for me. At first contact, I could tell that Nicole was ready for me. As I felt over her slit in such a gentle fashion that she moaned in frustration, I could feel her wetness and her engorged slit, which spoke for themselves, supplemented by her moaning. However, I did not stop, but instead just pushed hard enough so that my fingers barely entered her, rewarding me with a small, frustrated moan from her. With an agonizing slow speed, I pumped my fingers in and out of her while my thumb found its way to her clit and gently started rubbing.

Nicole was squirming at this point, and I loved every little motion she would make as I continued my teasing. Every little expression her face made displayed a mix of sexual frustration, ecstasy, and all-around beauty. I could have watched it forever, but it was time to move on to the main event. Slowly taking my fingers out of her, I crawled up to Nicole and gently kissed her lips, placing my hands on opposite sides next to her head, positioning myself. She reached down and grabbed my shaft, all too eager to guide me in. Breaking the kiss, I smiled at her.

“Are you sure you want this?” I asked her softly. It may have been a dumb question, but I figured it was a good policy to always ask the girl.

She playfully frowned, but I could tell she was glad I made a habit of asking. “I definitely want this.” She responded quietly, yet with power. I nodded as I started to push forward, guided by her hand. I was met with resistance but, watching her face to make sure I was never hurting her, thrust forward until I was fully inside her.

She winced at first, and sensed my panic. “Don’t worry, hotshot.” She said, her voice reflecting that she was still in a bit of pain. “I’m just naturally tight, and you’re not exactly small. Just gimme a sec.”

Despite my lust, I waited until her expression eventually softened and she opened her eyes to look at me. Nervously biting her lower lip, she simply nodded at me, giving me her consent to continue.

It’s true, Nicole was incredibly tight. Being inside her was a sensation that was not easily describable. It felt incredibly warm, like it should have hurt but instead just gave me an amazing sense of pleasure. Her love tunnel seemed to have its own way of caressing my manhood as I slowly began to pump it in and out of her.

“Oooooh, Adam…” Nicole moaned. “That’s good, that’s so good.”

Nicole was lost in her own world of euphoria almost immediately. Every slow stroke of mine into her was savored, by myself and by her. Each and every one was met before long with a small thrust of her hips that quickly evolved into becoming a bigger thrust, though I noticed Nicole was being quieter this time.

While pumping in and out of her, I also observed her for a bit before noticing that she was definitely holding back. “Are you okay?” I asked her, stupidly not stopping as I did so.

She opened her eyes and smiled at me, still lightly panting. “Yeah, I’m good.” she answered breathlessly. “I’m just trying not to moan too much. Mom and dad won’t be able to hear the bedsprings but they would totally hear my moaning from their bedroom.” She emitted a moan without warning before continuing. “That would make for an ugly situation. Now fuck me harder, dammit. Are you really that worn out?”

Was that a challenge? I narrowed my gaze, a small smile brewing on my lips. So Nicole was trying to hold back her moaning, huh? Suddenly, all of my concern for our secrecy went flying out the window as I suddenly picked up speed and power.

Nicole, not expecting me to go quite so hard on her, let a small yet loud moan escape from her lips before she covered her mouth with her hand. I made no effort to slow down, let alone stop, as I continued to drill Nicole’s pussy, each thrust seemingly more powerful than the last.

Nicole was really struggling to hold back her moaning at this point. I took this as a sign of my victory as I doubled my efforts, causing Nicole to literally bite her tongue to prevent her from moaning. Her hands desperately clung to my back to cope with my increased efforts as I pumped in and out of her with even more ferocity. I was getting o the point where my muscles were starting to cramp, but some sort of power kept me going.

Maybe it was the fact that I, for once, had power over Nicole, and just wanted to enjoy it. I certainly was not about to give it up. Despite my pains and cramps, I found the energy to go even faster, to the point where my shaft was a blur drilling Nicole for all its worth. I felt her fingernails digging deeply into me. It probably would have been painful if I wasn’t so engrossed in pounding the hell out of her.

Before long, Nicole started to say something, but her words kept devolving into moans due to my ferocious assault on her pussy. This continued for about a minute until I finally slowed down to let her speak without alerting her parents.

“You made… your point… you jerk.” Nicole panted out. I could tell she wasn’t really angry, though. “Slow down… but keep…. giving it to… me deep. I’m getting close…” She snarled in a hungry fashion.

I complied. I slowed down to just below an average pace but went deeper with each thrust. I think I went deeper than I ever have before. Nicole was still attempting to hold back her moans, though the feeling in the room changed from animalistic lust to pure passion. We were no longer just screwing, it was… something else.

Despite going slower, I was sliding in and out of Nicole more easily, which meant her fluids were coming in waves. Nicole was close.

“Mmmmmm…” She couldn’t help but let one moan go. “Adam, just a little faster.”

I complied, leaning down to kiss her on the forehead as I did so.

“That’s good that’s good that’s goooood…” She groaned. “Now harder. Go harder.”

I pushed into Nicole until it hurt. I prayed that she would come soon, because truth be told, it was starting to take its toll on me. Taking my mind away from the pain, I focussed on my pleasure and found that I was really close as well. Servicing myself, I picked up speed and started to thoroughly screw Nicole again, and continued to do so until I felt a stirring sensation. I was going to cum.

My warning came in a barely audible exhale, but Nicole picked it up.

“Me too, Adam. Do it now.”

I started to feel weak and pleasure filled me in waves as I felt myself empty into her. At the same time, Nicole stiffened and and let out a satisfied ‘Mmmmm.’ We just came together.

“Oh, Adam…” Nicole blissfully sighed. “I love you.”

There it was again. “What… did you say?” I weakly asked, still trying not to black out.

“I said I love you, god dammit.” Nicole repeated firmly yet lazily, her eyes still closed while in the throes of her own orgasm. Well, confirmed: I didn’t just hear things last time. She definitely said that she loved me.

I started to respond but, realizing how out of breath I was, I collapsed on top of her and began to catch my breath. In response, she just held my head and stroked my hair while my breathing finally returned to normal.

For a while, we just lay there. Even after my breathing returned to normal, we just lay there with me on top of her and her stroking my hair. Eventually I pulled myself up off of her and managed to plop myself down next to her.

“Oh, by the way, your back is kinda bleeding.” Nicole said nonchalantly.

“Wait, what?? How?” I asked frantically.

In response, Nicole showed me her nails. I got up from the bed and inspected my back in the full-length mirror her parents had. My back was covered in scratch-marks, most of them oozing blood. Nicole shyly walked up behind me.

“Did I do thaaaaaat…?” She asked in a comical nerdy voice. I just gave her a confused look. She blew me off and walked back to bed. I followed.

After laying in bed for a few more minutes, she broke the silence. “This bed is a lot comfier than mine.”

I nodded without saying anything. She responded by shifting to face me. “Say something.” she ordered.

“Huh?” I asked, shifting to look at her.

“Well, I mean, I’m saying stuff, and now I’m out of stuff to say. Your turn.” Nicole responded flatly.

“So basically you feel awkward that we just did it in your parents’ room and what me to break the tension?” I asked, poking her playfully in the ribs and smiling.

“You know me too well, hotshot.” She replied, poking me back. “Now go.”

“Okay, but you asked me to.” I warned her. “So you totally said it again.”

“Said what?” She asked me.

“I love you.” I quoted her. “You totally said it this time.”

“I don’t recall.” She replied, feigning a look of confusion. “Do you just want to hear it so much that you’re imagining things?” She asked, winking at me.

“I got you to repeat it, Nicole. C’mon, don’t play dumb.” I said, a little more forcefully. “You even added your trademark ‘God dammit’ to the seconds one.”

Nicole sat upright and thought for a second, then her eyes lit up. “Ooooh, THAT time I said it.”

“So you admit you said it?” I asked, wondering if we were opening a can of worms here. After all, it may have been mostly my orgasm talking, but I was definitely about to say it too.

“Yeah, of course I said it. But I only meant as a friend.” She explained. “Duh. I figured you would assume that much. Maybe I need to get you a book on street smarts too, squirt.” With that, she playfully messed with my hair and lay back down on the bed, facing away from me.

Well, at least she and her parents had something in common. I didn’t get her.

***

With Carson and I becoming better friends, I had definitely wanted to hang out with him over the Christmas break, but I had no such luck. Over most of the Christmas break, he was away visiting family. I, of course, had to find out from his dad. I’m not sure why I wasn’t expecting anything else from Carson.

However, on the final day before school started up again, I was lucky enough to catch him on a day he wasn’t busy.

“Fuck, am I ever not ready for school.” He said glumly as we finished another Halo match. “It feels like yesterday the break began.”

I laughed in agreement. “No kidding. You still owe Mr. Graves, what, three assignments?”

“Whatever. I don’t care.” He said disinterestedly as he put down his controller.

I followed suit. “You know, it was really kind of him to give you those extensions. Maybe you should finish them.”

“Yeah, I should.” He replied. “But I won’t. Not my fault his assignments are boring as shit. There’s no real reason for me to do them.”

“You seem kind of bitter, dude.” I noted. “You okay?”

He waved me off. “Yeah, I’m fine, buddy. I’m just tired. I only just got back.”

“Oh, right.” I said flatly. “How’s the rest of the family?”

“Y’know… They’re family.” He said in a tired manner.

“Well… Did you do anything cool while you were down there? Meet any cool people?”

“Nope.” came his reply. Sometimes, as much as I liked Carson, it was really hard to have a conversation with the guy.

“Well, looking forward to school?” I asked him, hoping to find some kind of topic that might rekindle his energized spirit.

“Classes? Fuck no. I mean, maybe for May, but that’s it.” he replied.

“Wait, May?” I asked him. “I thought you two had broken up.”

He nodded. “Yeah, we did. She just wasn’t ready. But being away from home for a while gives a guy some time to think, and I’m not ready to give her up. I’m gonna keep trying, and I’m gonna get her.”

“You sound certain you’re going to end up with her.” I noted, trying to hide the bitterness in my tone.

Carson nodded. “I always do.” He told me.

Our conversation died out as we picked up the controllers again and resumed our game. A few minutes later, the door opened. I had assumed it was Mr. Carter at first, but someone completely different entered.

It was a girl of maybe 17, possibly 18, with brown hair flowing right down to her ass. I had to admit, she had quite the shapely figure, a very adult one, like she looked older than she was. A serious, almost stern yet still beautiful face helped supplement this look. She was carrying several heavy-looking bags, travel bags or something, with her into the kitchen. “I’m home!” She announced, unaware of my presence in the house just yet.

“You’re late.” Carson dryly replied. “A few weeks late.”

“Well, what if I didn’t want to see the rest of our family? Maybe I’ve got more important things to do. Let me guess, you’re playing Halo right now.” she snapped back. Even her tone was naturally stern.

“I don’t think they’d want to see you either.” Carson replied in an annoyed tone.

“You are such an asshole.” The girl snapped back. “I’d rather hang out with Craig than you.”

“Yeah, so would his new girlfriend.” Carson shouted back across the house, now with more of a humorous tone in his voice.

The girl was removing things from her bag as she continued. Clearly, these two were not used to having the good manners of talking face to face. “Are you shitting me?! Poor girl.” She grabbed her bags and went upstairs, not even noticing me.

“Who was…?” I asked Carson, gesturing to the staircase.

“Jenna, my sister.” Carson explained. “Decided she’d rather hang out with mom over the Christmas break than with the rest of us. Good riddance.”

“Don’t like her?” I asked him humorously.

“Oh my God, have you SEEN her?” Carson asked with a renewed angry energy in his voice. “To everyone else in the fucking world, she’s just another grade 11. But no, to her, she’s queen of everything, and everyone else is just a piece of dirt under her foot.” He scoffed. “Every once in a while, she stays at dad’s for a week, to gloat about the newest mediocre thing she did in bio or something.”

“She can’t be that bad…” I trailed off.

“Dude. She hung out with mom instead of the whole freaking family because she figured we weren’t worth her time. Seriously. Fuck her.” He angrily grabbed his controller. “Are we gonna play or what?”

When Carson was angry, he found a way to complain about everything in the first twenty minutes of his tantrum. The next twenty minutes was just silence. Then the trough hit, where he wouldn’t want to do anything but just sit and stare at a wall for the next half hour.

During that trough, Jenna came back downstairs, and sat down in the living room. When her eyes clapped on me, she did a double take.

“Oh. Hello.” She said formally. “Who are you?”

“Oh, sorry! I’m Adam, Adam Watson.” I reached forward to shake her hand. “Nice to meet you.”

She made no effort to reach her hand out to meet mine. “Jenna Poursanidis. Pleasure.” She said disinterestedly. “Carson, don’t you have to do all of your chores before having guests over?”

“I did all of my chores, Jenna.” Carson replied, his anger quickly building again.

“The dishwasher’s full.” Jenna replied condescendingly. “You’re supposed to empty it.”

“I already emptied it today!” Carson exclaimed, annoyed.

“Well, it’s full again, so empty it.” She replied, annoyed as well. Right in that situation, I wanted to shrink and leave under the door. I felt awkward as all fuck.

“Then I guess dad filled it twice today. It’s not my job to empty it twice in one day. If it’s bothering you so much, you do it.” Carson replied bitterly. “Could we please not do this while I have someone over?”

“Well, at least you’re not trying to have sex with this one.” Jenna replied, eyeing me up and down. “As far as I know.”

“Oh my God, I can’t fucking deal with this.” Carson said, putting his head in his hands.

I took over, a rare occurrence for me. “Dude, it’s okay.” I said, clapping a hand on his back. “Dishes can wait. Do you wanna watch The Avengers? I’d be down for that.”

I knew Carson pretty well by this point, and knew he was never not in the mood to watch that movie. It was like his Bible. Instantly, he perked up, but not by much. “Sure, yeah, whatever. I’ll go get it.” He replied, still clearly upset but hopefully on the path to getting better. With that, he trudged off to his room.

As soon as he was out of eyeshot, I sighed and made my way to the kitchen. By now, I had a vague idea of where things needed to go, and hated conflict, so I opened the dishwasher and started to put stuff away. Jenna followed me.

“That’s not your job, you don’t have to do that! Don’t just cover up for Carson because he’s lazy.” Jenna said. Her words were condescending, but I noted her tone reflected actual care. Did I have a gift for tone or was the rest of the world stupid? Maybe Nicole was rubbing off on me.

I turned back and smiled at her. “Yeah, but if I don’t put these away, it’s never going to get done. Besides, Carson forgot that last time I was here, I hid The Avengers under his bed.”

She smiled back. “Well, thanks. Let me help.” She went right to work, helping me put the dishes away.

“So, Poursanidis? Not Carter? If I may ask.” I asked her.

She nodded. “Mom’s last name. I always took after my mom more anyway.” She replied. “You didn’t hear this from me, but the Carter family is rude, stupid and misogynistic.” She sighed, holding a plate and not moving while in thought, before continuing. “Especially my out-of-state family. I feel sorry for whatever girl Craig is dating. Unless Carson’s lying, and that wouldn’t be a surprise.”

“Damn, you guys hate each other.” I thought aloud.

Jenna was silent for a second. “Not hate.” She said finally. “Carson just needs to get his shit together. He needs a major attitude shift. Then again, all grade nines do.” She realized what she just said and whipped her head so her eyes could meet mine. “No offense.” She quickly added.

I would have said “None taken,” but that would have been a lie. Eventually, the dishwasher was done, and as Jenna closed it, I followed Carson into his room.

“You going to take forever?” I asked him as I approached his room.

“I can’t find it!” He said desperately. I walked into his room, reached under his bed, and pulled out the DVD.

He looked up and noticed, and his eyebrows met in a V shape. “Oh, you just suck.” He said, half-joking, half-serious.

I just laughed as I handed him the DVD. He held it in his hands for a few seconds before speaking. “Yeah, I just feel like May is the one for me. Not Natasha, not Tara, not anyone else.”

Woah, where did that come from? “Those are your past flings, I assume?” I asked him.

He shrugged. “Natasha is, yeah.”

“…And Tara?” I asked.

He shrugged again. “I dunno. Random name I made up. Just making a point.” He rolled his shoulders and started to make his way down the hallway with me in tow.

“I mean, you have to admit, on top of everything else, May is fine as hell.” He added.

“Oh, trust me, dude, I know.” I replied. Even now, the thought of May still gave me the warm fuzzies and made me smile. I still would have given, and was giving, everything to become the type of guy she would want.

“What does that mean?” He stopped walking and turned to me, grinning. “You got a thing for her too?”

“Well…” I said, looking down at my shoes.

“Aw, buddy!” He said excitedly, punching me in the arm. “No way! The race is on, bro!”

“Race? What race?” I asked him.

“May the best man win, dude!” He answered. He started to walk back towards the living room as he added, “It’s cool you like her and all, but I’m totally going to get her first.”

“Ah, great, treating a girl like property.” Jenna interjected, sneering at Carson as we all entered the living room at the same time. “I’m sure she really appreciates that. Just like every other girl you pick up, bang, then never talk to again.” She shot me a ‘See what I mean?’ look and went off up the stairs, presumably to her own room.

“Ah, screw her.” Carson said, blowing her off. “We appreciate May. She just doesn’t get it.”

“Right.” I said, but only half-heartedly.

***

Going back to school after the break was actually easier than I had thought. I was on top of all of my classes so homework wasn’t an issue, and I actually enjoyed my classes and teachers.

As well, it was an opportunity to catch up with old friends. Carson and I reconnected of course, and May was in three of my classes. The one I didn’t get to reconnect with was Megan. She didn’t even show up for the first student council meeting of the new year, even though Matt did. Matt himself was eyeing me throughout the whole meeting. Not menacingly, but almost more so out of curiosity. It still creeped me out.

Tuesday was a much better day than that Monday. During first period, May and I continued a developing habit we shared – texting in class. It was a great way to spend boring class time as well as getting to know her, plus the little giggles she gave when I sent funny texts were priceless.

class is so boringggggg was the text she sent me about halfway through the class. Yup, her grammar was far from perfect.

Yeah, where are the interesting classes where I can just talk face-to-face with you all class and get graded on that? πŸ˜‰ I replied. As I had come to realize, I was totally Megan – especially with the ‘competition’ thing Carson had mentioned, every text was basically a disguised plea to get May to know me better.

Luckily for me, though, it actually worked. lol, im not busy lunch. πŸ™‚

My heart flew into my throat. Hell yes. I got to have some time alone with May freaking Stevens. The girl who can make all of my troubles go away with her smile alone. This was going to be awesome. I could barely hide my smile or control my fingers as I typed my response.

Great! πŸ™‚ Where would you wanna go?

how about the small hall near the caf? πŸ™‚ she replied. You mean the one that used to be for vending machines, but is now basically uninhabited now that they were moved? You mean in a hallway, alone together, where no one else goes? Sign me the fuck up!

***

It went off like clockwork. After second period math, I met up with May in the little vending machine hall. I didn’t dare tell Carson during math, since we were in the middle of our ‘competition,’ and he might try to use the fact that I’m meeting alone with May against me.

“Hey!” I said as casually as I could when I turned down that hallway and saw that May was already there.

“Oh, hey.” She replied, giving me a huge smile, outlining every beautiful feature in her face. Her hazel eyes dancing, her beautiful little freckles, her perfect white teeth, just everything. “Thanks for doing this.”

“Are you kidding?!” I blurted out. “Thank YOU!” I sat down next to her, and we began to make small talk about our lives as we ate our lunch.

For the next twenty minutes, we talked about everything: Classes, parents, friends, drama class, my new interest in karate, how she was thinking of getting an agent so she could get a head-start on her TV acting career, etc. Eventually ,as it always does with teenagers, the conversation turned to relationships.

“So why don’t you like Carson anyway? He’s a pretty good guy.” I figured by complimenting another guy in front of her, she might go for me in the long run. At the very least, it might disguise my motives.

She sighed. “I don’t know.” She said simply. “The date went well as far as dates go. It’s just… I don’t think I like that kind of guy. You know, all flashy and stuff. I like people who are confident, but I guess he was… too confident?” She sighed again. “I don’t know if I’m making sense.

“No, you’re fine.” I smiled at her. “Go on.”

“Well, Carson is really cool, but he seems like he’s just sort of… ‘that’s all,’ you know? I felt like I knew him from just our first date. I knew who he was, I knew what he wanted, I felt like I knew everything about him. From there on in, it just wasn’t interesting.”

“You feel like you know him already?” I asked. “Well, you’re one up on me.”

She laughed. “You two know each other well?”

I nodded. “We’re friends.”

She nodded, then looked down at her lunch. After a bit, she sighed again and started putting her lunch away. “I don’t know. I just feel like a bad person. Like, there’s nothing wrong with Carson. He’s a great guy, but I want a guy who is less… cardboard. More like he can really appreciate me as a real person. Someone who is a cool guy, but at the same time, I feel like I want to get to know more, not less.”

“Someone like who?” I asked her.

She shifted around in her seat, clearly nervous. “Someone like…” She started nervously, looking me straight in the eyes. “Someone like you.”

Nope. No way. Absolutely no freaking way. I was midway between having one of my increasingly rare panic attacks, and having Handel’s La Rejouissance playing throughout my whole body. Truth be told, I didn’t even get why the only females in my life all found me attractive, but especially in this case, I sure as hell wasn’t complaining!

May. May Stevens. Liked Adam Watson. The shy nobody. I still couldn’t believe it. Breathlessly, I managed to choke out, “Really?”

May nodded, tracing her eyes down my arms. I think she noticed the lifting I had been doing. I guess even a month in, it was starting to show. God damn, I was just loving life. The girl of my dreams, the one who made my heart sing like never before, said she liked me.

“So you… L-like me?” I managed. May showed a small smile, and nodded again.

“Do you like me too?” She asked quietly.

Even if I wanted to use words, I couldn’t find any in that moment, but something in me just told me to go for it. In one motion, I put my arms around her and pulled May, May Stevens, in for a kiss. I just had to. In that moment, it felt so incredibly right.

As soon as our lips touched, I swear there were fireworks. I had never felt so happy in my entire life. If May hadn’t melted in my arms, I definitely would have melted in hers. The feeling was so intense, you could hear the air crackling. I may sound like a sap, but I could have honestly stayed there forever.

As our lips departed, our eyes slowly opened as we stared into each others’ eyes. no words were said. No words were needed. May and I did it. We were finally together.

Both of us were staring into each others’ eyes in a daze before a loud cough broke us out of our trance. I turned my head down the hallway to see the one person I hope I wouldn’t: Megan Schneider.

Megan had always looked sweetly innocent in the past, but right now she looked pissed. Like, full-on angry. It was something I had never really seen before, and it intimidated me like hell.

The fact that she spoke calmly while donning such an angry face intimidated me even more. “May, do you know what you’re doing?” She asked May calmly.

I groaned internally. This was NOT going to be good. “Excuse me?” May asked in an offended voice. “This is none of your business.”

“He kissed you, didn’t he?” Asked Megan, folding her arms.

May stood up and proudly stuck out her chest. “What, jealous?” May challenged her. “Yeah, he did. What are you going to do about it?”

I looked around. Of course we would happen to be in the only hallway in the school that only had one exit. The other way was pretty much a dead end, and Megan blocked my only exit. I would just have to power through this.

“Nothing!” Megan proudly, almost arrogantly, declared. “I just thought you should know who he really is.”

May snuck a look back at me and surveyed my expression. “What do you mean?” She asked Megan in a less confident voice. Megan was playing her cards right – the status quo was shifting.

“Just a few weeks ago, your precious Adam was getting blown by me in the nutrition room.” Well, wave good-bye to the shy Megan Schneider; I officially had no idea who I was dealing with at this point. “You can’t trust him. He can’t commit and he manipulates girls to get his way.”

Anger boiled up from within me and erupted like Vesuvius. “That’s a lie and you know it!” I yelled at Megan, taking some of her confident attitude down. “You tricked me into going into that room. You told me you were going to blow me and didn’t take no for an answer, even when I initially refused. You said it was no-strings-attached, then only after got mad at me because you couldn’t handle your own emotions. You manipulated me, Megan! YOU manipulated ME to get your way. Then you got mad at me and apparently, blabbed to…” I trailed off. Do I say ‘my girlfriend’? Nah, that would be too presumptuous. “…May, just so you could get some sense of twisted satisfaction!”

Megan was taken aback at this point, and I was glad to see from her expression that May was, at least, somewhat back on my side. However, I could tell this was far from over when Megan regained her former confident attitude and folded her arms again.

“Oh really? Do you have the same excuse for Nicole?” She challenged me.

The color visibly drained from my face. She knew about Nicole and I? Since when?!

May turned back to look at me. Potential hurt was in her eyes. “The camera girl?” She asked me weakly. “You said you were just friends.”

I challenged Megan with my eyes. She was just guessing. She had to have been. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I told her stiffly.

Megan chuckled menacingly. “Oh really? What, you don’t remember fooling around with her in the Student Council office, or trying to hold her hand afterwards?”

Son of a bitch. Fuck. FUCK! I KNEW I was paranoid for a reason. She was watching us the whole time. I tried to formulate a response, but nothing came out.

“Adam… Tell her she’s wrong.” May’s ever-weakening voice piped up.

I looked at her, my face slowly turning sadder. She cleared her throat. “Tell her she’s wrong, Adam.”

I couldn’t do it. She was taking it completely out of context, but I simply couldn’t do it. I couldn’t say she was wrong.

I could see May’s eyes welling up. “Please, Adam?” She begged. “You’re not that kind of guy, right?”

Megan immediately went over to her and put a hand on her shoulder. “It’s okay.” she comforted her. “You didn’t know. I just figured you should know before anything else might happen.”

“Fuck you!” I yelled at Megan. “You’ve turned her against me. You’ve taken everything out of context.”

“So you admit it’s true!” Megan spat back.

May slowly looked up at me. “Adam…. I just shared my first kiss with you. That’s something really special to me. Now I find out it’s worth nothing to you. That I’m worth nothing to you. You ruined my first kiss.”

“May, you’re worth a lot to me! I swear!” I protested. “You’re special to me!”

“Am I?” She asked, her sadness turning into anger. “I thought you loved me. I thought you loved me for me. But no, I’m just another notch in your bedpost.” Convincing herself Megan was right, she got angrier and angrier until she bolted forward and pushed me into the wall, suddenly very angry at me. I was able to steady myself against the wall, but May looked like she wasn’t done. “Damn you, Adam Watson!” she yelled as she bolted forwards again. “Damn you to hell!”

“Woah, woah, woah!” A random grade 12 guy with long hair almost covering his face stepped forward, grabbing May by the shoulders and pulling him back. “No need for that stuff in this school. Keep it together, you two.” He turned to May. “I don’t know who this guy is, but he’s not worth it. Just calm down, go to the washroom if you need to, to freshen up or something. Classes start soon.” May threw herself from his grip as she stomped away. The grade 12 approached me. “What’s the story?”

“A lot of stuff. Out of context. Private stuff.” I simply answered, barely able to process what just happened myself.

The senior nodded. “Alright, I get you.” He simply said. He actually looked kind of familiar, but I couldn’t place where I last saw him. “I don’t know what you did, but watch yourself.” He cautioned me as he walked away, leaving Megan, myself, and the small crowd we managed to gather.

With her still staring at me, I gathered my stuff together and pushed past Megan to get to my next class. I stopped and turned back to her to see she was still facing me. “What is wrong with you?!” I angrily asked her.

She almost looked sorry, but held her ground. “I said nothing but the truth.” She simply said. “You used Nicole for intercourse, you’re using my feelings for intercourse. You would have done the same for May too. You think you care, but-”

I didn’t want to listen anymore. With her in mid-sentence, I stomped away, not unlike how May herself did. Megan was wrong, and rash, and downright mean. And it cost me my dream girl.

The only thing I felt was anger at Megan until I remembered something May had said. I had ruined her first kiss. Just a few months ago, I was mad as hell at Nicole for basically the same reason, and this situation was much bigger. Of course May was angry with me.

God dammit, I ruined May’s first kiss. I understood what that felt like. No wonder she was so angry with me. I was fooling around with multiple girls, and even though Megan blowing me wasn’t even my fault, I managed to screw up everything.

How? I wasn’t even THAT much of a dick… The universe just must hate me, I reasoned with myself. If Megan wasn’t there at lunch… Or if Megan just kept her feelings to herself… Or if she hadn’t even blown me when I told her no! It was Megan’s fault, really.

***

The last two classes went by awkwardly as hell. I wouldn’t dare look at May in either class, which was a real challenge in drama class. I managed to do it, but I was caught in this weird state between self-blame and anger towards Megan. I had no clue who to be angry at anymore, all I knew was that I was angry. And sad. Eugh… Everything was screwed up, and it all came from nothing. How did everything turn to shit so fast?

At least I still had Nicole. No matter what, I wouldn’t lose Nicole. Hell, I could even tell her about the whole thing and she’d know just what to say. I was so grateful, more grateful ever at that moment, to have Nicole. I was truly blessed to know that she was still there for me, and wouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

***

After school, Nicole was waiting outside the weights room for me. When she saw me, she cheerfully waved.

“Hey squirt! How was your day?” She asked me chipperly as she opened the door to the empty weights room and flicked on the light.

“Well-”

“I’m just kidding, I don’t care.” She told me with a wink. I got in and threw my stuff down. God, how was I going to tell her?

When she closed the door, meaning just the two of us were in there, her mood visibly shifted. Suddenly, she was a lot less chipper. Almost… Worried. Conflicted? I couldn’t tell.

“You okay?” I said shakily as she eyed the floor.

She looked up at me with a somewhat glazed expression. “Hm? Oh, yeah, sorry. Long day. A lot on my mind.” She reached into her bag and pulled out the CD I got her for Christmas. “I figure some music might help cool the nerves, huh?” She gave me a small smile as she walked over to the CD player in the weights room and popped in the CD. After she pressed play, Poison Arrow by ABC filled the room.

“Ready to start lifting?” She asked me. “If you wanna do the set, I’ll spot you.”

“Actually…” I began slowly, not quite knowing how to form the sentences I wanted to say. “Actually, before we start, I’ve got some news.”

“Uh oh.” She said, only half playfully. “Do you have news or do you have news?”

“…What does that even mean?” I asked her.

“Never mind.” She said dismissively. “Actually… I’ve got some news too.”

I definitely needed that distraction. Hopefully, she would forget I even said I had news. I so desperately wanted to tell her, yet at the same time, I didn’t know how I would phrase it. I had never been such a complicated mess of negative emotions in my life, and while I wanted to expel them all, I also wanted to keep them bottled up… I don’t know why. Perhaps in fear that they would unleash something awful, or make her sad, or start something bad… well, worse.

“Oh, okay.” I said, a little too eagerly. “You want to go first?”

“Sure.” She shrugged, becoming noticeably more uncomfortable. “You sure you wanna hear it?”

I nodded. “You help me with all of my problems. I might as well at least listen to yours.”

She smiled at me. “Thanks, squirt.” She said warmly. “Well… I… uh…” she started fiddling with her hands.

I’d seen Nicole nervous before, but never this nervous. Whatever this was, it sure was causing a battle in her mind. “C’mon, Nicole.” I humorously said. “You were the one to teach me to just man up and say it.”

Nicole nodded seriously and cleared her throat nervously. “Well… The thing is…” She paused to take in a breath. “Today, a big thing finally happened. And I dunno how to feel about it.”

“What happened, Nicole?” I asked, suddenly concerned. Was she hurt? Was she okay?

“Phil kissed me.”

____________________

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