Chapter 1: Ian and Bernie and Moving
Copyright© 2014 by Coaster2
Erotic Romance Story: Chapter 1: Ian and Bernie and Moving - Ian never had a girlfriend until his second year of college. Not by choice, but by circumstances. It was a tortuous trip from youth to adulthood and a career, but he persevered. This is the story of that journey.
When I was growing up in Toronto, a bunch of us kids at Lord Kitchener Elementary used to hang together almost every day. We lived in the west end of the city, near a golf course. In the summer, we played on the school grounds ... usually baseball. In the winter, when it snowed, we often took our toboggans to the golf course and slid down the hills. It was fun growing up in our neighborhood. Even when we had to go to school, we had fun.
Most of my buddies were guys, of course, but one of them was Bernie ... and she was a girl. I suppose you'd call her a tomboy, but back then, she was one of us. In fact, Bernie was my best buddy. Her real name was Bernice Kucera, and she lived behind our house, over the lane on the next block. Most days we walked to school together, meeting up with some of the other kids along the way.
I don't remember when I first met Bernie, but I think it was in the second grade. Usually we ignored girls like the plague, but she was different. First off, she didn't throw like a girl. She had a great arm and swung a mean bat, too. I talked the guys into letting her play one day, and after that, she was a regular. She was tough, too. She didn't cry or whine like a lot of girls. If she scraped her knee, she might yelp once, but then it was forgotten. Nope, Bernie was one of us.
I'm Ian Kiernan. I have a brother, Kenny, who's almost three years younger than me. He was a dork. I'd hoped he would grow out of it. He wanted to be part of our group, but no way was he getting in. We didn't let just anyone in our gang.
My dad worked at a magazine company downtown. He was an art director ... or something. I was never sure exactly what he did, but I guess he liked it and was good at it. He was also an artist, he called himself an illustrator. He could draw anything. Mom didn't do much except cook and clean the house and do the laundry and stuff. Anyway, we had this nice house and a fairly new car and went on vacation once a year, so we were pretty lucky, I guess.
Everything went along just fine until we were in the last year of junior high school. They call it middle school now. It was grade nine and I would be fifteen in December and Bernie would be the same about a month earlier. I noticed a change in Bernie that I hadn't seen before. She started to get boobs. I was already scoping out some of the older girls I saw around the high school, but now Bernie was changing into one of those girls. Yeah, hormones were circulating a little more rapidly in my body too.
Bernie didn't hang out with us quite as much anymore. It wasn't like she wasn't around, but she had some girlfriends now that she didn't have before. By the time we got to high school, Bernie was really changing. For one thing, she was maybe six inches taller than a year earlier. And those boobs ... they had grown too. Grown quite a bit. In fact, my former best buddy was turning into a real looker. So much so that she was attracting the attention of some of the older boys.
It took me about a week to figure out that the old days were gone forever. Bernie was now a blonde babe. Cheerleader material. Worse, she was taller than me. I hadn't had a growth spurt. I got acne and braces instead. Yeah, that was the end of that. I watched Bernie from a distance. It hurt to see her change and become such a hot looking babe. I should have known it would happen, but I guess I was living in dreamland and hoping it wouldn't.
The next three years of my life went from glum to ordinary. I had grown a bit myself, now getting close to my Dad's height, but still nothing to write home about. I was pretty skinny and couldn't make the football team. They'd have killed me if I'd tried. I wasn't good enough for the baseball team, so I played some soccer. At least I had a team and a uniform that I could say was mine. What I didn't have was a girlfriend. What I didn't have was Bernie.
I had been going without a girlfriend forever. I still had fond memories of Bernie, even though she was long gone from my life. We'd known each other for ten years, but for the last two we were just acquaintances. She had matured into a very beautiful young woman and was the object of every teenage guy's dreams. Oh, we still said "Hi" to each other when we passed in the hallway or when we shared a class. She would ask how I was doing and how my parents were, but that was about it. I think it might have been better if she'd just ignored me. Her friendliness just reminded me of what I had lost. I doubt she even realized how she affected me.
I got through high school okay. It wasn't anything to boast about. I was a C or a C+ student, and satisfied with that. My parents wanted me to go to college. My dad couldn't afford to when he was younger, so I would be the first in the family. I was okay with that, but I had no idea what I wanted to be in my adult life. I was about to register at a local college when Dad and Mom told us we were moving to Vancouver. Dad had this new job that meant he would be using his art talents, and he was really keen on it.
I hated the idea at first. I would be leaving all my friends: Stu, Boner, Billy, Black Jack, and Tony. More important, I would probably never see Bernie again. I had been thinking that maybe, when I got a little older and looked a little bit more mature than some teenage doofus, I could find her and maybe we could get together. Now it wouldn't happen. We were moving nearly three thousand miles away. I wouldn't know anyone in Vancouver. I heard it rained every day out there. Why the hell would Dad make us go all the way across country to get wet? But since I wasn't yet able to live on my own or support myself, I packed up my stuff and got ready to move.
I will say, the move gave me a chance to see a big part of North America. My dad got a new car, a 1997 Ford Crown Victoria. It was big and it was quiet. Mom really liked it. She said it was real classy. We left Toronto for the last time just after Kenny and I got our final report cards. I missed my graduation ceremony. We headed for Sarnia to say goodbye to Aunt Hilda and Uncle Stan.
My dad's brother was an artist too, but not so successful from what I could see. He and my aunt lived in a little one bedroom apartment that was filled with all kinds of art stuff. He did his drawings and paintings in the living room, for Pete's sake. Anyway, we said goodbye to them and headed across to Port Huron, then south on I-75. We went through a lot of cities that I'd heard of but had never seen. Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock, Dallas, and all points in between.
It was a great trip for me. We collected post cards and Mom and Dad shared the driving. Things got a bit boring after Texas, but El Paso was cool. We were right on the Mexican border. We stayed overnight before heading west to New Mexico, then into Arizona. From Phoenix to Los Angeles was a long day, but when we saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time, that was something special. Dad found us a hotel near San Pedro and my brother and I were really hoping to see some navy ships. We found out that the government had closed the navy base and what was left of it would soon disappear.
From Los Angeles to Vancouver was a four day drive. My Dad decided to take the coast route and not the interstate. We stopped in San Francisco, Crescent City, then Newport, a neat little town on the Oregon coast. From there to Vancouver was our last two days on the road.
I won't say Kenny and I didn't get bored now and then, but we played Punch Buggy now and then, and spotted license plates from different states and places. I had some magazines, but Kenny couldn't read in the car. It made him sick. We stayed in motels mostly, and I decided that hotels were better because you could go exploring. It took us almost three weeks to travel from Toronto to Vancouver. It was a kind of vacation for us, I suppose, but I was glad when it was over.
We stayed in a nice hotel in Vancouver for a few days until Dad and Mom found a place to rent. They were going to buy a house, but needed to look around and decide where to live. I guess prices were different in Vancouver than they were in Toronto. We stayed in an older house in Vancouver, not very far from where Dad was going to work. Mom was okay with it, but she often said that when they found a house to buy, it would be better than that one.
It was early July when we moved into our rented house. Mom registered Kenny at the local high school. He was going into grade ten. I didn't know what I was going to do. I planned on going to university, but I didn't know where or which one. There were two at that time. There were also a couple of community colleges if I couldn't get into one of the big ones. To be honest, I didn't care, but it turned out that Mom and Dad did.
"You'll be going to UBC, Ian," my mother said one morning. "You need to go out there and register for your fall term. Here are your school records from Toronto. Don't lose them. Let us know how much the tuition and books will cost and we will pay for your first year. After that, you are on your own."
It wasn't a suggestion, it was an order. I didn't really mind. UBC was a very big university and must have had twenty or thirty thousand students on campus. That was as big as a lot of universities back in Ontario. On top of that, as we travelled around the city, looking for a place to live, I could see that Vancouver was a big city too. Very different from Toronto. Toronto didn't have mountains, or an ocean with lots of big ships anchored in the harbour. The other thing was it didn't rain every day in Vancouver like I thought. In fact, the weather that summer was really nice and Kenny and I spent a lot of time riding our bikes out to a big beach called Spanish Banks.
The scenery was something too. Sure, the mountains were nice, but the scenery I was talking about was lying or walking on the beach, usually wearing a bikini. This place had no shortage of very hot looking babes. Yeah, I was thinking I could get accustomed to this new home pretty quickly.
First year at UBC was hard. I didn't know anyone. I almost flunked out at Christmas, but hung with it to get my grades up. It was a big change from high school. I had to do it all on my own. If I needed help, I had to go find it. If I skipped a class, no one noticed or cared. I had to change my ways just to scrape through the first year. I made it by the skin of my teeth. I had no time for a girlfriend. I did hang with a couple of guys, but I was pretty much a loner that first year.
In the spring of my first year, Mom and Dad found a house they really liked on the North Shore. That was right across English Bay from Spanish Banks. The house was on the mountainside, and that meant two things. Dad had to get a second car for Mom, and I needed to get into a car pool to get out to the campus. We moved in when Kenny finished his school year.
Mom loved the new house. It was in West Vancouver, and apparently that meant something special to her. I guess it was a prestige address or something. It took me a while to figure that out. But if Mom was happy, Dad was happy. He didn't love the commute across the Lions Gate Bridge each day, but it was a great home and a nice neighborhood. The view from the front window looked out to Stanley Park and the bridge in the east, and all the way to Vancouver Island in the west. There wasn't any house in Toronto that could top that view.
Sometime between the end of high school and my first year of university, a couple of things happened. First, I saw the acne gradually disappear. That alone made me feel much better and more confident. The other was I quit growing, now six-foot-one, although still pretty skinny. At least now I could present myself to some eligible young ladies and not be embarrassed with my appearance or stature.
The two friends I'd made that first year, Bruce and Wayne, talked me into trying to ski. I went up Grouse Mountain with them a couple of times and rented skis and boots to try it out. I did okay, but it didn't grab me as a sport. I decided to stick to intra-mural sports and played some soccer and worked out in the weight room at the gym. I'd put on some muscle over the summer and I was adding to it with some guidance from one of the instructors.
My Dad had played golf when he was younger and one of the benefits of working at his new job was a membership in a club in North Vancouver. He took out a social membership for Mom and she was over the moon with it. She now was a club member, and that meant a lot to her. She had come from a very modest home with very few luxuries. Now she was a "somebody," married to a "somebody." Life couldn't get much better in her view. She even got a job part time in an art place in Park Royal shopping center.
Dad used that golf membership to help me get a summer job. It was at a diesel engine distributor and service business on the North Van waterfront. A lot of their business involved boats, so we had a dock at the back of the shop. It wasn't very often that it was vacant. We got to work on tugs, yachts, stationary generators, portable generators, and the like. I really liked the job and worked hard to please Mr. Maxwell, my dad's friend. He said I did well that summer and if I wanted to work there again I'd be welcome. Well, that was a big boost for both me and Dad. It also earned me enough money for my tuition for my second year along with some walking around cash.