I don't know why I wrote this, the first line came to me and the story flowed from there. It is definite a love story, but a very odd one. There is no graphic sex because it does not fit the story. You can thank Vickietern for fixing most of my mistakes in spelling and grammar.
"When are you going to ask me to marry you?" Patty-Ann asked
We were seated in the little coffee shop built into the foyer of the old library building. We were right at the center of the State University Campus. As she spoke, Patty-Ann reached over the table and placed her hands over mine. She gave me a deep loving look, the look she reserved for those occasions when I measured up to the level of devotion someone like Patty-Ann felt she deserved.
I am sure she had no doubt that I was merely hesitating on the brink of matrimony, fearing her refusal. This was her way of moving the ball forward. Giving that little push I obviously needed. After all, time was getting short. Final exams were in three weeks. It was the end of our senior year. We were both about to graduate, and absent a proposal we were due to go our separate ways.
We had been dating since early in our junior year. Patty-Ann was a cheerleader. Now she was the head cheerleader. She was a raven haired beauty with deep green eyes. A girl of average height with an athlete's body due to endless years of cheer practice from grade school on up. She had curves that drove men crazy and a cute, girl-next-door, innocent face that enhanced her burning sexuality. Moreover, she came from a well-to-do family. Her father was one of those guys you see on TV selling cars out of a half dozen different dealerships. In short she was the girl that everyone wanted.
I was a nerd. Not your average nerd, I like to think. I'm tall, six foot two and I weigh two hundred pounds. I have relatively good looks, but I'm way too shy. I'm also what most people would call clumsy. I had dated a little before Patty-Ann decided that we should go out together. Our first date happened at the end of a class on romantic poetry. It was a good course and filled out a humanities requirement for me. Since Patty-Ann was in a teaching certificate program, she needed it as a requirement for her English concentration.
"What you doing tonight?" she said.
"The usual – going to the computer center, hanging out with the guys," I said.
"I'll be at the Poorhouse at seven," she said giving me a smile and a little wave as she departed to her next class.
I'm not stupid. The Poorhouse was a college bar which was rather slack on checking IDs. She wanted to hook up with me there. The question was why? But I went anyway, half expecting some kind of gag. My experience was that cheerleaders do not go out with nerds.
Patty-Ann had a reputation. It wasn't necessarily bad. She dated most of the prominent members of the University's sports teams. She was very democratic. She favored no particular sport and was liberal racially as well. She was not a party girl but attended a lot of parties. She had the general reputation of being a good date and certainly no tease.
After picking up Patty-Ann at the Poorhouse, we had a few drinks and danced a bit. As I said, I'm clumsy and I could tell my dancing skills disappointed her. At the end of the evening, walking her to her dorm, I still had no idea what the evening was about."
"I had a very good time, but I'm not sure why you hooked up with me," I said.
"Well, I had a wonderful time. You are interesting, as I knew you would be from listening to you in class. Is it so wrong for a girl to want to date a good looking and intelligent guy?" She raised her eyebrows in that challenging way she can.
That night Patty-Ann gave me a smoking kiss good night, and from then on we kind of dated. We – or rather she – was not exclusive. She was busy many nights I wanted to go out. It's a big University, but a small world. I heard of and even saw her dates with many of the more prominent men on campus. However, over time she became busy less and less and we became closer and closer.
Sometime last year she began making out with me in a more serious way. The heavy petting soon led to mutual masturbation. But it froze there. This was a girl I was all but sure had bedded many of the athletes on campus, but she was firm about not going all the way with me.
"Sorry Greg, but I'm not ready yet. Do you understand honey?" she would say.
Yes, I did understand. The relationship she had with me was different. Something more, while sexually less, than all the others she had dated. We were somehow more serious, but I did not comprehend why. I found myself falling in love with Patty-Ann. It was not all or even mostly her looks. She had a lively personality that I enjoyed. She was smart, not in an academic sense but in a practical real world manner. In her personal relationships, she was extremely shrewd. I had to watch myself because she could manipulate anyone with no effort at all.
Being with Patty-Ann was the best time of my life. I am not a happy person naturally, but Patty-Ann was like finding Shangri-La. Yet like Robert Conway I remained suspicious. Something was not what it seemed. They say never look a gift horse in the mouth, but I did.
The subject of marriage came up naturally over the Christmas season of our senior year. We spent virtually every moment of the holiday together. I was at her home for a lavish Christmas Eve party and she came by my house for a Christmas day dinner. Her various girlfriends began receiving proposals over the holidays. Every time her cell phone rang it seemed another wedding was to be planned.
Each wedding was another bridesmaid or maid-of-honor gig for my Patty-Ann. Nothing was directly said, but the rings given were discussed. I got the full description of each ring and what she liked and disliked about each. The various prospective grooms and groomsmen found occasion to invite me out. These were not the kinds of guys I naturally hung out with. They used sports terms that were totally foreign to me and could not ever have understood my amusing stories about the workings of computer language. Still, they tried as I did, and they had good information to impart on where the best deals on engagement rings were to be found.
Jerry was one of the prospective bridegrooms. He was engaged to Kelly, who was Patty-Ann's BFF. He was an All-American intercollege wrestler, shorter than me and lighter, the most nearly ordinary human of the group. Jerry and I became fairly close. He was intensely loyal to Kelly and, therefore, Patty-Ann. I decided he might provide me with what seemed the missing pieces.
"What do you think she sees in me?" I asked.
"Patty-Ann," I said.
He gave me a funny look and then started laughing.
"You can't be that stupid," he said.
"Maybe I am. Enlighten me."
"Well, she loves you. Frankly, that seems rather obvious."
All he could do was shrug. He must have said something to Kelly because the next time I got together with Patty-Ann she was not fooling around.
"Seriously now! I know I have said it before, but you do understand that I LOVE YOU!" she said.
"Yes, you say it, but it is a little hard to accept," I said.
This only frustrated her.
"You are a big dumb oaf, but you are my oaf and I love you."
This seemed to end the conversation as far as she was concerned.
Just before spring break Patty-Ann began ramping up the sexual pressure. The girl sure knew how to turn me on. She also knew how to leave a guy hanging. I could see this last was not something she enjoyed. She was no sadist, but she was working toward a goal.
"Baby, I want you so much," she said.
"You got me, let me make you happy," I said.
"I need to know that we have a commitment," she said.
It was clear that to go further I had to propose. She said she wanted to. I just needed to say the words. They didn't come and we went on in this frustrating way.
It was after spring break we were getting down to what might well be the final curtain on this rather odd play. I called her to go out Friday.
"SORRY, BUSY," she said.
"BUSY. See you next week."
Saturday, I got a call from Jerry to go out for drinks and he would not take no for an answer. The conversation that evening was about nothing in particular until we just happened to run into Patty-Ann on the arm of a tall black man. Jason Somes was a point guard, whatever that is, on the State U conference champion basketball team. He towered over Patty-Ann as they both said hi to me.
I guess I was supposed to do or say something, but I just smiled at them. As far as I was concerned I had been vindicated in my suspicions. Jerry was very solicitous and was full of helpful ideas for me to get Patty-Ann back.
"Why would I want her back?"
"Don't you love her?"
"Of course, I love her more than anything. Yet what does that mean? Should we be together? I don't think so. Look what happens the minute she does not get what she wants. She doesn't have to look hard to get whatever she wants elsewhere. Sorry, that's not a marriage. It's a time bomb waiting to go off. There is no Shangri-La," I said.
All Jerry could do was give me a funny look. After that he could not get away from me fast enough.
Two days later Patty-Ann called begged my forgiveness and swore that it was only a date. "I must have lost my mind. I was angry and I did something stupid. Please forgive me," she pleaded.
I did forgive her. Why not? It was only what she had done when we first dated and for all I knew many times since. This time she'd just made sure I saw it. I guess I was supposed to get jealous. I did get very jealous, but I was also resigned to the idea that as a couple we did not work. The choice was between livable pain now and unbearable pain later.
"I'm not going to ask you to marry me," I said.
"WHAT!—Can I ask why?" she said
"I don't believe it would be in my best interest."
"Are you crazy? Where do you think you will find another girl like me?"
"Well, I won't, but if I do she won't be on the arm of a big dumb black jock a few weeks before she expects me to propose," I said.
"But that was just—and you forgave me."
"I did forgive you, but even though I love you I am not dumb enough to marry you."
With that, she began to cry and then fled the coffee bar. I was left with a room full of people staring at me like I was some kind of creep. Maybe they were right.
It was three days later I was coming across the Quad when I was backed against one of the benches by her girlfriend Kelly and two other cheerleader types.
"What is wrong with you? Are you some kind of stupid SOB to dump a girl who's fucking beautiful and way too good for you?—Not to mention crazy in love with your stupid ass?" said an irate Kelly.
"Look I agree with you, but to be frank about it I don't want some jock's leftovers." I realized as I said this that the words were too harsh.
It was as if I spit in Kelly's face. She folded her arms and I had the feeling that if it was her decision she would just as soon beat me to a pulp right there and then. She got control of herself and very calmly said, "The thing with Jason was a put up. If you had a brain in your head you would know that. Jason Soames is a good friend of Patty-Ann's. We asked him to escort her that night just so you could run into them. Jerry was in on it. He was to convince you that if you went to her and asked her to marry you she would come back to you.
"I don't know how a stupid fiancé fucked it up, but it went wrong. If you don't believe me ask those two. We were all waiting outside in the parking lot. You were to come running out after Patty, but you never showed."
All I could do was sigh. Her silly admission was more or less what I expected, but they still didn't get it.
"Let me ask you a question Kelly. What makes Jason Soames, the NBA hopeful, such a good friend to Patty-Ann?"
"She's a cheerleader, they know each other."
"They ever date?"
"Once upon a time I guess."
"You think they shared a bed or maybe the back seat of a vehicle once upon a time?"
"Maybe, but not the night you saw them – that was strictly a put up favor between friends."
"You still don't get it. Your good friend Patty-Ann has had sex with many of the jocks like Jason on this campus. She was doing that until very recently, even while she dated me. Today you say she loves me, but what about her past? Why should I accept that?"