Little Alice Mahoney was a very agreeable girl. She was the eldest daughter of John and Mary Mahoney and was an "A" student at the recently opened Andersonville Junior High School on the North side of town.
Alice was not a very pretty girl. She was certainly attractive enough to most of her many girlfriends and she was held in high regard by her teachers and most of the adults who came into contact with her parents for one reason or another. But, in all honesty, she did not have that sort of flair that made boys look at her in an unmistakable way that spelled physical attraction.
Since Alice was only 16 years old, she was not yet to that age that she considered her lack of pizazz to be a problem. She was much too preoccupied with important things like her grades at school, her badges in the Scouting program, the prospect of an upcoming riding exhibition, her efforts to induce the neighbors to be more involved in the "recycling" program recently started by the Andersonville City Council, and her newly launched babysitting business that had already earned her $135 in 3 short weeks.
One of Alice's problems was the way that she dressed. She tended to throw her clothes on at the last minute without any consideration for color or appropriateness. Her braces were delayed in being removed because the stupid dentist had broken his leg in a skiing mishap the weekend before her appointment. Her non-existent breasts refused to develop and she had absolutely no need for the silly training bra.
To make matters worse, her younger sister Pamela was bragging about how she was going to the football game with Jeff Randall and she was already wearing a bra at the tender young age of 13.
She looked in the mirror and saw her hated braces still shining with resolute metallic repulsiveness. She turned sideways and saw that her bottom was nicely curved at any rate and even though she didn't have any curves topside in front, at least she was not stooped or bow-legged. Things could definitely be worse.
It really didn't bother her that none of the boys at school tried to look up her skirt or even wanted to pick her in a game of "spin the bottle". Maybe it was better they didn't pester her for silly kisses or something else. She wasn't quite certain exactly what the "something else" was all about. She had taken the basic Biology class and understood what the birds and bees did and how all the animals managed to promulgate their species. Yet, when she tried to put that all in the context of boys and girls "doing it" or even her own parents; it just didn't seem possible that she would be expected to do something that odd. When she looked at her mom, she wanted to ask some detailed questions about exactly how she was supposed to get into such a situation and why did everyone think it was such a wonderful thing to happen. She never did ask anything at all because she was far too embarrassed to even mention it.
When she received a classroom assignment to write an Essay on the subject of "Modern Romance" she saw it as an opportunity to research and answer her own questions and still get credit for writing a story.