It was the last big party of the summer, and with few exceptions, all the guests agreed that it was the best they’d had in four years at Boulder Ridge High School. Technically, their days at Boulder Ridge had ended some six weeks before with graduation, but the numerous parties that had begun with prom night had delayed their final parting until tonight. Come Monday morning, the first of them would spread out across the country to the various colleges they would be attending. Nevertheless, for tonight at least, Monday seemed years away.
“Fantastic party,” Jim Higgens said to Tom Richardson as he patted the former all-county halfback on the shoulder, “your parents have really outdone themselves this time.”
“Yeah, I guess they have,” the dark-skinned eighteen-year-old smiled as he acknowledged his friend’s compliment. “But that’s my Mom and Dad, they worked hard to get where they are and they don’t like to do anything second-rate.”
Throughout Tom’s last two years at Boulder Ridge, the Richardson’s large two-story colonial had become the gathering place for him and his classmates. Situated at the end of town, the home of Doctor Isaac and Mrs. Susan Richardson had been designed to accommodate their only child’s enjoyment in every way possible. Including a large entertainment center in the basement, an outdoor pool and a basketball court. It was a rare weekend that one or more of his friends didn’t find a way to stay over as houseguests.
Tom left Jim behind and continued his search for his best friend. More times than not, Sean O’Conner was the preferred weekend houseguest and it had been that way since the two unlikely friends had first met back in junior high school. Total opposites at first glance, the two had found a common interest in science fiction when they were both looking for the same book in the school library. From there a friendship had grown until the things they had in common more than outweighed what was still different.
His search was finally rewarded when he found Sean where he suspected he might be, sitting at the kitchen table with his mother. With the death of both his parents when he was ten, the Irish teen had been raised by his grandparents. Susan Richardson had practically adopted the boy the day Tom had first brought him home.
“Forty-two people outside having a good time, half of them female, and I find you here,” Tom said as he admonished his friend.
“I’m having a good time here,” Sean replied with a forced smile. “I always enjoy talking to your Mom.”
The look on Tom’s face told him that wasn’t the kind of good time he was talking about.
“Tom’s right, Sean,” Susan said as she took in the look on her son’s face. “You should go back to the party.”
“I wouldn’t want to leave you all alone,” Sean said, knowing that Doctor Richardson was out of town for the weekend.
“I’m perfectly fine,” she laughed, “besides, my sister is coming over. In fact she should have been here by now and...”
As if to underscore her assurance, the outer door that led to the side stairs opened and in walked Joan Tomlinson. All eyes turned in her direction and each saw her differently. To Susan, she was the sister she had shared her life with, ever since they had been born, ten minutes apart, some thirty-eight years ago. For Tom, she was the aunt that appeared irregularly in his life, spending most of her time crisscrossing the country on business, leaving behind three failed marriages in the process.
Sean had only met her a few times, but each time he was taken by how similar and different Joan was from Susan. They had been born identical twins but life choices and personal tastes had given each an identity of her own. It was as if the same face had been put on two different bodies. Susan was the heavier of the two, outweighing her younger sister by almost twenty pounds. She also had longer hair, reaching down to her shoulders while Joan kept her black locks cropped tightly against her scalp.
“Speak of the devil,” Susan said as Joan closed the door behind her.
“Ah sis, you always say the nicest things,” Joan smiled, not sure if Susan was speaking figuratively or literally. There had been many times over the years it had been one or the other.
“Hi Aunt Joan,” Tom said as he moved forward to embrace his aunt.
“I didn’t think it was possible,” Joan said as she wrapped her arms around him and kissed his cheek. “You get more handsome every time I come to visit. Obviously you get your looks from our side of the family.”
“And you remember Sean, don’t you?” Susan said, ignoring the slight to her husband, with whom Joan had never gotten along with. It was no coincidence that her visits usually coincided with his absences.
“Oh yes, the writer,” Joan said, looking over the slightly taller boy as she released her hold on her nephew. “How is that coming along?”
“It’s coming okay, Mrs. Tomlinson.” Sean replied. “It’s nice to see you again.”
“Joan, please,” she replied, “a young man as grown up as you should be calling me Joan.”
Sean just smiled, not commenting that he felt funny calling her by her first name.
“Sean is too modest,” Susan interjected, coming to his rescue. “It’s more than coming okay. He’s had two stories published in anthology magazines this year and he’s been awarded a scholarship to State based on his writings.”
“It’s only a partial scholarship,” Sean corrected.
“Still, I’m impressed.” Joan said unexpectedly. “You know, I have a friend who’s an editor at Wilson Publishing. If you’re really as good as Susan says, I’d be happy to ask her to look at your work.”
“I don’t know,” Sean said hesitantly.
“It’s just something for you to consider,” Joan said.
“And it’s something to be considered tomorrow or the day after,” Susan pointed out. “Right now these two have a party to get back to.”
“Well never let it be said that I stood in the way of a party,” Joan laughed. “In fact, maybe I should...”
A look from her older sister put an instant end to any thought of joining the party. Instead she told them to have a good time and she’d talk to them tomorrow.
Tom led Sean out onto the porch where a few of his guests had gathered. It only took a moment for him to realize that was the last place Sean needed to be right now.
Sitting in one of the wicker chairs, surrounded by a half dozen admirers, was a rather pretty redhead. Her name was Sandra Kennedy and up until last month, she had been Sean’s girlfriend. Tom had seen her arrive earlier in the night but hadn’t run into her since. Now he took the time to take a good look.
Sandra had never been exactly bashful about showing off her body, but even for her, the outfit she wore seemed excessive. If there was still such a thing as a proper hem line, her dress was at least an inch above it and at the other end it was cut just deep enough to show more cleavage than it should.
He realized of course that he was looking at her though the eyes of his friend who she had hurt. That it wasn’t too long ago that he loved to look at her when she showed off.
“Come on, let’s head over to the basketball court and find you someone to dance with,” Tom said, ignoring Sandra and the guys around her.
Not saying a word, Sean took his friend’s suggestion.
Despite his own often seen self-depreciation, Sean had no problem finding a dance partner. In fact, more than a few female classmates had been quite happy to hear that he and Sandra had broken up. Their only regret was that none of them had been able, as of yet, to take her place.
At five foot six and a hundred and thirty-eight pounds, Sean O’Conner had short brown hair and boyish looks that made him almost irresistible. He was smart, articulate, and just plain fun to be with. Once you got him to open up that is.
That was something that not even Tom had been able to do in the last few weeks. Not the most sensitive guy in the world, even he had finally realized that his comment about Sandra’s dumping him, that at least he’d gotten to fuck her first, could’ve been better put.
It actually was, Sean had concluded, the fact that he had fucked her, which had led to their breakup. All told, they had done the deed a total of four times over the last two months of their relationship. It was understandable, they both realized, that the first, and maybe even the second time would be underwhelming. Oh it had been fun enough, but then so again was masturbation. It was only when times three and four failed to produce any improvement that Sandra had announced that they needed to talk.
The talk had been simple enough. She liked him, she really did, and he was totally the kind of guy that she’d want as a friend. However, it was becoming obvious that was all they were meant to be. The chemistry just wasn’t there for anything more.
That the problem might be hers never occurred to Sandra. The fact that she was the kind of girl who just laid there and opened her legs was a big part of why the sex had been unspectacular. Moreover, she wasn’t about to even consider the idea of oral sex, either giving or receiving. That was, she believed, the sort of thing only trashy girls did. If she ever got the nerve to survey her classmates about the subject, she’d have been horrified to discover that just about all of her friends classified as just that kind of trash.
.... There is more of this story ...