Raisin dropped me off at home about 2:30 that afternoon. It was more than a half an hour before the time I was supposed to get home from school, but I knew that both my mom and dad would still be at work. Debbie had already been dropped at her own house. She was walking a little funny as she headed for her front door. We all watched her ass as it retreated. The moment she was out of earshot the interrogation began.
"How was she?" Lonnie asked, nearly slobbering with excitement. "Man, I can't fuckin' believe you scored with Debbie."
"Yeah," Raisin said with a grin. "What a slut. Wait'll everyone hears about this shit!"
"Fuck that bitch," I grumbled, sinking in my seat. "She wouldn't give it up."
"What?" they said in unison.
"But we heard you in there," Raisin protested. "She was moanin' like a fuckin' freight train."
I shook my head. "She's a good actress," I told them. "All she let me do was feel her tits a little through her sweater. Every fuckin' time I tried to put my hand underneath it she'd slap it away. Fuckin' cock-tease."
"You didn't fuck her?" Lonnie asked, crushed. "What were you doing in there all that time?"
"Just makin' out," I said. "Believe me, I tried but that bitch is harder to get into than Fort Knox."
They were looking at me in confusion. The rule of teenaged boys of course is that even if you didn't fuck them, you told people that you did. I could almost see the wheels of irrational logic turning in their heads. If I said I hadn't fucked her when I could easily have claimed I had, I therefore must not have even come close to fucking her. The thought that I might actually have bagged her and was keeping it secret was so foreign a concept to them that they were able to ignore the overwhelming evidence before them and draw the conclusion I wanted them to draw. They probably figured I was even lying about feeling her tits since some embellishment was mandatory.
"That's too fuckin' bad man," Lonnie commiserated. "I really thought someone was gonna bag that bitch this time."
"Nope," I said. "The same old shit. Why do we even try?"
"Some day," Raisin vowed with all the dramatics of Scarlet O'Hara proclaiming she would never go hungry again, "that bitch is gonna give it up."
They bid me a sad farewell as I exited the car and soon the Falcon was roaring down my street, belching huge clouds of black, stinking exhaust from its tailpipe. As they disappeared I sighed with the kind of satisfaction that only a man who has just gotten laid can display. I headed for the house thinking that being fifteen again was all right. I'd wished well.
I was appalled by what I found inside. When the door opened the sound of rock music cranked at top volume hit my ears. The smell of marijuana hit my nose. Tracy was sitting on the couch with Cindy and a football player from school I recognized as Cindy's boyfriend, although I could not remember his name. Cindy and the football player were kissing each other in heated passion while Tracy was flipping through a teen magazine and pretending to ignore what was going on. A plastic bong sat on the coffee table next to a paper plate with pot in it. Pepsis and a bag of chips were sitting next to this. The bong still had tendrils of smoke curling out the top of it. They hadn't even heard me come in the house. I remembered that Tracy had been busted for just such a thing during her senior year when my mother had come home from work unexpectedly and had walked in on just such a scene. God, my sister was a stupid teenager too.
I kicked the plug out of the stereo system, causing their tune to wind down and die. The three people on the couch jerked almost painfully in alarm. Cindy and her boyfriend separated so fast that it looked as if they'd burned each other. Cindy's boyfriend made a grab for the pot on the table. They all stopped when they saw that it was only me. They relaxed a little.
"You scared the shit out of us!" Tracy yelled at me. "You little asshole! What the hell are you doing home now anyway?"
Cindy's boyfriend was giving me a hostile look, a look that made me wonder if another Richie type encounter was brewing.
"The same thing you are," I told her mildly, kicking the door shut. "Cutting school and smoking weed." I looked around the room, shaking my head sadly. "However, I'm a little smarter about the way I do it than you idiots are."
They all gaped at me. It was an expression that I was starting to get used to. I was starting to think of it as The Look.
I stared at Tracy. "What if I'd been Mom coming home from work a little early because she didn't feel good or something? That kind of shit can happen you know. Do you think Mom would call the house to let someone know she's coming home? Why would she do that? Nobody is supposed to be here. You got the music turned up so fuckin' loud you didn't even hear me open the door. The damn door wasn't even locked. You guys are a freakin' bust waiting to happen!"
Cindy and Tracy just stared at me in shock. Like I said, I had always been shy before and to them my personality would have appeared to have changed radically overnight. The old Billy would, upon interrupting their session, have simply blushed and muttered a brief apology before slinking out of the room. They did not know what to say or what to think about what I'd said. But the football player reacted as his personality instinctively commanded him to.
"What the fuck is it to you?" he asked me, glaring.
"Shut your ass, ball boy," I shot back at him. "You're in my house and I wasn't talking to you."
His face reddened with rage. He stood up suddenly. "What did you say to me, you little pussy?"
"Jeff, leave him alone," Cindy spoke, grabbing his arm and trying to pull him back down.
He shook her arm off angrily. "Say that again to me, faggot," he challenged. "I fuckin' dare you."
"You fuckin' dare me?" I said mildly. "Okay." I nodded. "I told you to shut your ass. I then made a derisive remark aimed at your meager football skills. Did you hear me that time?"
"You're dead, kid," he said, starting to move towards me.
"Jeff!" Tracy spoke now. "Leave him alone!"
Jeff continued to head towards me. He was actually planning to beat me up in my own living room in front of my sister who had invited him in there. Christ, why was everyone so violent? No wonder the human race fought so many wars. "Richie Fairview told me I was dead too," I told him. "Right before the ambulance picked him up and took him to the hospital. Would you like to join him there, asshole?"
He stopped. Apparently he had heard that story. His eyes showed immediate doubt as he stared at me. I stared back.
"Go sit your ass down," I told him, "before you get hurt."
He licked his lips nervously, sparing a glance at the two girls.
"I think you'd better do what he says, Jeff," Tracy told him. She was hiding a smirk as she said it. I suddenly realized that Tracy didn't like Cindy's boyfriend too much. Interesting. Was there hope for her yet?
"You're lucky they stopped me," Jeff finally blurted. A pretty pathetic face-saving measure I'm sure even he would agree. He returned to the couch and sat down.
"Yeah, I guess I'm lucky," I said, turning to Tracy. "If I was you I'd open up some windows in this house before Mom and Dad get home. The whole place reeks of pot. Do you guys do this sort of thing a lot?"
"No," Tracy told me, obviously lying.
"Well it's amazing you haven't been busted yet," I said, casting my eyes on Cindy, who was looking at me as if in awe. She was wearing tight jeans and a loose fitting sweater. I'd forgotten how pretty her eyes were. They were a deep blue, the kind of eyes you could melt in. Currently of course, they were very reddened and only about half-staff and her honey-blonde hair was in disarray from Jeff's fingers. Her neck was marred by a red hickey-Jeff's territorial mark. I supposed it was better than peeing on her like a dog with a fire hydrant. I wondered about the possibilities of Cindy. Could I do it? It would be more challenging than Debbie had been.
I gave her a seductive smile and she blushed deeply. Jeff saw it and fumed at me but didn't make a move. Finally, without another word, I headed upstairs to my room, closing the door behind me.
My room was a filthy mess. I was offended by it. During my adult years I'd lost my teenaged sloppiness and had become something of a neat freak. Though I was still feeling the effects of the marijuana I'd smoked earlier and desperately wanted to lie down and take a nap, I began picking up the room.
It took me nearly two hours to get it clean, but it was a fascinating two hours none-the-less. I came across many objects and possessions I had not seen in years. I found places for them and by the time I finished it was quite a startling change. But there was still one thing to do.
While I'd been cleaning I'd heard the sound of my father coming home. I sincerely hoped for Tracy's sake that she had cleaned the house well enough. I guessed she had since she and Cindy were in her room, looking through some magazines as I passed by. Jeff of course, was long gone. Both girls watched me as I went by, shutting up with whatever they had been talking about. I smiled, especially at Cindy, who returned it weakly.
Dad was sitting in his chair and drinking a bottle of beer. The television was on, showing an early edition of the local news. Again I found myself staring at him, marveling on how young he looked, how thin. He wasn't much older than I was in a way. He caught me staring at him and looked at me.
"You okay, Bill?" he asked, concern in his voice.
"Oh sure, Dad." I nodded. "I'm cool. I was just tryin' to picture you with gray hair."
"What?" He chuckled. "Why would you do that?"
"Well, Grandpa has gray hair doesn't he? It stands to reason you will too doesn't it? I was just trying to picture what you would look like."
"That's kind of depressing." He smiled, sipping out of his beer. "What brought you to that subject?"
"Oh, uh, we were studying genetics in anatomy the other day. That's a dominant trait you know?"
"I've heard that," he answered. "What're you up to?"
"Just getting the vacuum cleaner."
Now he really looked at me strange. "The what?"
"The vacuum cleaner," I said. "I just got done cleaning my room and now I need to vacuum it."
"You cleaned your room?" he asked in disbelief. "You?"
"Yeah." I nodded. "It was pretty dirty. Why did you guys ever let me get away with being so messy anyway?"
"Never mind," I said, moving towards the living room closet. I opened it and the vacuum was there. "I'll bring it back in a minute."
While I carried the appliance upstairs his puzzled look followed me up.
After I stowed the vacuum back in its closet I went back upstairs to lie down. Though I was exhausted I could not sleep. For one I was afraid. What if I went to sleep and woke up back in my other life? Was that possible? I surely didn't know. What I was dealing with here was way beyond my limited range of knowledge. My very existence back in 1982 was something I'd thought impossible but here I was. Somehow that dying Chinese man had done this to me. How I knew not. Were there any rules? I could conceive of being only allowed one day. It seemed possible that I was only allowed one waking period back here. I was not ready to return yet.
But there was also the possibility that I was stuck here for good. I had to consider that too. In fact I considered that the most likely scenario. There were many ramifications to that possibility and I needed to think them through carefully. How much did I dare to change? How much could I change? What would happen if someone found out about what had happened to me? There were people in the world who would do almost anything to get their hands on me if my situation became known. Governments wanting to know about the next seventeen years, business people wanting to know about stock trends. I could envision my family being held hostage to get me to do their bidding.
My initial thought had been to confide in Tracy, but I wondered if that was so wise. Tracy was after all, a teenager full of teenage stupidity as my earlier discovery graphically pointed out. I no longer thought she could be trusted with a secret of this magnitude. But at the same time I needed to make sure that she did not get in the car with that college student on her graduation night. I had vowed to myself I would prevent her death even if I could change nothing else on my return trip. That conviction was as strong in me as ever. Tracy would not die that night. One way or another I would see to it.
But that brought me back to the one night theory. If I couldn't tell her my secret, but if I was only allowed one night here, how could I make sure of her survival? I thought about that one for a while and finally I came up with something.
That left me to ponder the other questions in my mind. Suppose I was here for good. What else could I change? And how could I better myself and my family? I certainly did not want to end up right back where I was in seventeen years. I wanted to do things differently this time. But how? What could I do?
I reluctantly admitted to myself that I would lose Becky, my daughter in the process. This thought hurt me more than anything ever had before, but it was simply inevitable. Becky had been a very pleasant side effect of a brutal mistake I'd made in my previous life. I simply could not, no matter how much I loved my daughter, repeat that mistake. I couldn't. I told myself I wasn't killing her. She would just never exist in the first place. My mind was able to draw a distinction between those two things; a shaky one, but a distinction.
I lay there for more than two hours, until my mother called me down for dinner. I had a rough plan of sorts in mind by then. It was a plan that would be extensively modified and revised, but it was a plan. I felt better just having one.
Dinner was my mom's tacos. They were fried in grease and would be politically incorrect by today's standards. Each one had to have at least fifty grams of fat. But God they were delicious. I chowed down five of them, shoveling in mounds of rice and beans as accompaniment and then washing the mess down with two sodas from the refrigerator. The only thing that would have made them better would have been a pitcher of margaritas but I figured Mom probably wouldn't whip up a batch for me.
She seemed gratified to see me eat so much. It probably put her worries about drugs aside for the moment. I remembered that I was living in the midst of Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" era and that my mom had had her drug worries fueled by the little pamphlets that this era produced. The pamphlets always had "warning signs" that your kids were on drugs printed in them. I remembered how bizarre those so-called warning signs had seemed to me even on my first trip through fifteen. A big one had been "loss of appetite". What was up with that? Maybe if you'd moved all the way through marijuana and had worked your way to a two hundred-dollar a day cocaine habit you would have a loss of appetite. But most teenagers simply smoked pot. Loss of appetite was most definitely not a symptom of marijuana use. They should have put "greatly increased appetite" instead. They should have put in "excessive use of eye drops" as well.
I also remembered that the pamphlets had so called terminology for drugs. The theory was that parents would overhear their kids using these terms and would therefore know they were on drugs. Right, as if the kids would talk about drugs in front of their parents. I remembered having big laughs with my friends as we read these pamphlets, usually while we were stoned. Those who had used drugs in the previous generation had obviously transcribed the terminology. They said that common terms for marijuana were: Tea, Mary Jane, leaf, wonder green, and other such nonsense. None of the terms were current. In my age they called it pot, buds, herb, smoke, KGB, greenbud, and weed; none of which were listed in Nancy's pamphlets. I could imagine the laughter that would have resulted in the eighties if a kid had asked someone if they had any Mary Jane or tea for sale. I was forced to wonder if there had ever been a case of some kid being drawn off the path of drug abuse as a result of those "informational" pamphlets.
Dinner was consumed and another awkward moment occurred when Mom asked me a question just as we were about to start clearing the dishes from the table.
"Billy," she said, "did you clean Anita Browling's windows yesterday like you told her you would?"
I looked up at her, searching my memory banks again. I came up with who Anita Browling was easily enough. She was a divorced neighbor in her late twenties who lived two houses over. She'd split with her husband sometime around the time I was twelve or so and I remembered Dad giving vague explanations about how Mr. Browling had 'found someone else' and left her (for some reason my parents had assumed that Tracy and I would be upset by their D-I-V-O-R-C-E). My parents had, for whatever reason, kind of adopted Anita after her husband left her. She used to come over for dinner once a week. She had two small children that Tracy was volunteered to baby-sit frequently. I was always volunteered to mow her lawn for her since she professed not to know how to run a mower, or to do other small tasks such as cleaning her windows. Both of us were forbidden to take any money from her for our services, a point of resentment that had drawn my sister and I together a little in our teens.
The image in my mind of her was of a slightly chunky woman with large breasts. She was a brunette with short hair and long legs. She would meet another man at about the time of my high school graduation. About the time I moved away from home she would marry him and disappear from Mom and Dad's lives. I remembered thinking back then that I wouldn't mind doing her. But she wasn't so attractive that you could admit to your peers that you would do her, if you can dig that. I also remembered how she used to watch as I mowed the lawn, always dressed in shorts and a loose fitting T-shirt. I remembered catching glimpses of her bra-clad tits when she'd bent over to pull a weed or something. My adult mind, which hadn't thought of her in years, suddenly realized that she'd been displaying herself for me. Had she been hoping for a little action from a teenaged boy?
Before I could follow that train of thought too far I came back to the original question. Had I cleaned her windows yesterday? I had no freaking idea if I had or hadn't. My mother was looking at me, awaiting a response.
"Uh..." I started, trying to think this through. Had I cleaned her windows?
"Bill?" Mom said, deepening her voice. "I told you the other day they were getting really dirty after the windstorm we had. You told me you'd do it before it snowed again."
"Uh..." That gave me a little more information. I was a horrible procrastinator as a teen. Chances were I hadn't done it the first time I'd been asked. "Uh, no, Mom," I finally spat out. "Sorry. I forgot."
"Sorry," I squeaked.
"Billy, that is just so typical of you..." she began. Her lecture went on for nearly two minutes. I gave her uh huhs, and okays in all the right places, amazed that I still had the ability to do that after all these years. I sincerely promised that my first stop after school would be Anita Browling's house. Mom seemed satisfied. I found myself hoping that Anita would be home. I knew something the other Billy didn't.
After dinner I went up to my room. I opened my backpack and pulled out my Algebra book. I found some blank paper and a pencil and then opened the book to the first chapter. I began studying.
Tracy had gone out somewhere after dinner and I heard her return about 8:30. I continued to study as I heard her go to her room and slam the door. Downstairs the television was on as Mom and Dad watched whatever sitcom was on in the eighties. I could hear their sporadic laughter drifting up from time to time as well as muffled comments I couldn't understand but which were probably commentary on how TV wasn't the same as it had been a few years ago. I had managed to get a basic concept of the Algebra in the past few hours, working my way to the test questions of Chapter 2. The homework that had been assigned I'd finally figured out and completed.
With a headache behind my eyes I closed up my book and stowed it in my backpack. I still had assignments to complete in my other classes but I decided to catch them up tomorrow. I was studied out.
I changed into a pair of sweat pants from my dresser, wondrous at the fact that I was donning a piece of clothing that would not have even come above my thighs the day before my legs had\would get so much bigger. I put on the longest, baggiest T-shirt I could find and then walked downstairs, passing the living room without even drawing a glance from my parents. A moment of searching led me to a bottle of aspirin in the kitchen cupboard. I grabbed three of them and then opened the refrigerator. I pulled out one of my father's bottles of beer and stuffed it down the front of my sweats. The coolness chilled my skin but I ignored it. The T-shirt covered the large bulge the bottle made in my crotch. I dashed back upstairs and went to the door of Tracy's room.
Music was playing from inside, a teenage heartthrob who currently had all the girls agog but who would soon, I remembered with satisfaction, fade into a land that was even beyond obscurity. I knocked on Tracy's door.
"What?" came a voice from the other side.
Instead of answering I knocked again, not wanting to draw the attention of our parents.
The music turned down and the door creaked open about six inches, enough to allow me to see Tracy's impatient face. She was dressed in a long T-shirt that showed off her legs. Her auburn hair was loosened and falling around her shoulders. For the first time I marveled that my sister was very attractive. No wonder the college student had gone after her.
"What?" she hissed disgustedly at me.
"I need to talk to you for a minute," I told her. "Can I come in?"
"About what?" she asked. "About that crap you were spouting today in school?"
"Yeah." I nodded, seeing in her face that she was fearful about talking on that subject. "About that."
She threw the door open. "Come in," she said finally.
Her room was a pretty neat for a teenager. The bed was made, her books were all stowed in their proper places. Her dresser was cleaned off; all of her makeup in a little tray. The only clutter was the heartthrob singer's album cover, which sat next to her stereo and the rumpled clothes she'd recently removed. She shut the door behind me as I entered.
"Can I sit down?" I asked her as she sat on the edge of her bed.
She waved me impatiently to the chair next to her dresser. The same chair she'd been combing her hair at this morning. I pulled it out and planted myself in it. I pulled the beer out of my pants and set it on the desk. With an expert spin of the cap, it was opened. The three aspirin went into my mouth and were washed down by the glorious taste of the cold beer. I sighed at the first swallow and quickly took another. Tracy watched all this without speaking, without even asking why I had one of Dad's beers.
"Say what you need to and get out," she told me. "I wanna listen to the rest of this album."
For the second time that day I interrupted her music by unplugging the stereo. Once again, it wound down and died, deepening as it went.
"You dick!" she proclaimed. "Why did you..."
"Tracy, listen to me for a minute," I interrupted. "I know you're expected to act a certain way in the presence of your younger brother. You're expected to treat me with contempt in order to show how superior you are. I concede your superiority, okay?"
"What?" she asked, wide-eyed.
"Your friends are nowhere around and I won't tell them that you actually allowed me in your room, allowed me to shut off your precious teeny-bopper music. You can go back to treating me like shit as soon as I leave here but for now I need you to listen very carefully to me and to remember what I'm about to tell you. If you could drop the snotty attitude for a few minutes I'd appreciate it greatly."
She stared. Finally she asked, "What's happened to you, Bill? You've been acting strange all day. It's like you're a different person."
"Never mind that," I told her. "Tracy, do you remember when we were little kids?"
"Yes," she answered carefully.
"We were very close back then. We were playmates. We used to conspire together. You used to call me 'little brother' and I used to call you 'big sister'. Do you remember?"
"No." She shook her head, but cast her eyes aside in a way that told me she was lying.
"Well, you did," I told her. "We were best friends until about the time you started junior high school. From then on I was the object of your scorn. I understand that, Tracy, I really do. You discovered boys, you discovered peer pressure. You grew out of me. It's a natural thing. And I developed interests of my own too. But the fact is, we're still brother and sister and some day we'll be close again. Can you understand that?"
She seemed about to say something snotty once more. Something like, as far as I'm concerned you'll be a piece of shit until you die. But she paused at the last second and her eyes softened. "Yes, Billy," she answered. "I guess some day we will be."
A small triumph but a triumph in any case. "Good." I nodded. "We're getting somewhere. Now here's a harder one. Despite our fighting with each other do you realize that we actually love each other as brother and sister?"
She opened her mouth. This time I was sure she going to say something foul.
"Again," I said before she could, "no one else is here in the room and I'll never tell anyone what you say. We don't have to get into any deep philosophical discussions. I just want an acknowledgement that, as brother and sister, we love each other. We may not always like each other, but we love each other. Right?"
She licked her lips nervously. "I suppose," she finally allowed.
"Okay," I said, taking another drink of my beer. "On that note I want you to listen to me very carefully for a minute. I'm going to tell you something very important. The most important thing you will ever hear in your life. Please don't ask me to explain. I can't do that right now. You will probably think I'm nuts but that doesn't matter as long as you remember what I'm about to say. Remember it well."
"Okay," she said carefully.
I took a deep breath, downing another large drink of beer. I passed the bottle to Tracy and she looked at it for a second and then took a swig. I took faith in the fact that she didn't pause to wipe off my saliva first.
"Now hopefully I'll be able to explain this thing further to you before the time comes," I said. "But there's a chance I won't. There's a chance I'll be the same old Billy you're used to tomorrow. If that is the case I want you to remember this."
"Billy, what are you..."
"Shhh," I hushed her. "On the night you graduate from high school you will tell Mom and Dad you are going to a party at Cindy's house. That will be a lie. What you will be doing instead will be going to a frat party at the university."
"Billy, what?" she cried, her flesh breaking out in goose bumps.
"Listen," I admonished. "I can't explain further right now. I don't even know what the best way of telling you this is. But you have to listen to me. A guy named David Mitchell will want to take you to this frat party. He will be driving a 77 Camero. He will be a football player at the college and very good-looking. Now you will meet him about a month before graduation but it's graduation night you need to worry about. Do not, under any circumstances, get in that car with him that night. No matter what you have to do, no matter what lies you have to tell, do not do it. Your life depends upon this, Tracy. Don't do it no matter what."
"Billy, you're kind of scaring me," she said.
"Good," I told her. "That's my intent. Lisa Sanchez will be part of the group that gets in that car. Her boyfriend will be another college student named Rick Manchester."
"Lisa Sanchez?" Tracy asked. "She's a cheerleader. I don't hang out with her."
"You will," I told her. "I'm giving you the names of all the people in the car so you'll know when the time comes that my information is accurate. I'm hoping that will be enough to keep you out of there. If you can keep Lisa out of there too, so much the better, but the important thing is that you do not get in that car on that night."
I was gratified to see that she was scared shitless by what I was saying. Good. I figured she would obey me even a year and half later when all of the circumstances that I described came together. At least I hoped she would.
"What happens if I get in the car?" she asked me.
"Dave will be drunk that night," I said. "He will drive the car into the Spokane River from the levee road near the falls and you and Lisa will drown before you can get out." I took a deep breath, tears forming in my eyes as I remembered my mother coming to my bedroom at four o'clock in the morning in tears, waking me up to tell me that there'd been a horrible accident. Please, let me be successful here. There was more to the story of course. Dave would be charged with vehicular manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison. His sentence would be suspended and he would go on to play football in college, prompting my parents to become victim's rights activists; a pursuit they'd still been active in at the time of my recycling.
Tracy was looking pale as she tried to digest what I was telling her. "Bill, how can you know this? Where did you get this information? Did you have a psychic flash or something?"
"I can't tell you now," I told her. "It's too early. I'll tell you later if I can."
"Tracy, just remember," I said. "Just remember and don't get in that car that night."
"I won't," she promised.
I smiled and nodded. If I was only here for one day then I'd done the best I could do. If I woke up tomorrow back in 1999 then Tracy would probably still be alive. That would be the best purpose of the gift I'd been given.
Although getting laid had been nice too.
I made sure my alarm clock was set for the proper time and turned it on. I then lay down and turned out the lights. For the longest time I still couldn't sleep, fearful of what I'd find upon awakening. But at last my mind was able to shut down and I drifted off.
CLICK. More rock and roll music from the late seventies jarred me awake. Another blast from the past. A song I hadn't heard in years. My eyes opened and I saw the now familiar confines of my teenaged bedroom. I was still here! I felt like shouting with joy. Still here!
Tracy was looking someone haggard as she combed her hair at her desk. Her face was pale and her eyes had bags beneath them. She looked up at me as I headed to the shower.
"Morning, Trace," I told her.
"Morning," she said slowly, her eyes trying to read my face.
"Sleep well?" I asked her.
"No," she told me. "I was awake most of the night. When I did sleep I had horrible nightmares."
I nodded. "I'm sorry about that," I said. "They'll pass. Just remember what I said."
"I will," she told me. "I don't think I could ever forget it."
"Good," I muttered, walking to the bathroom and closing the door behind me.
Dad, as usual had the newspaper before him at the breakfast table. As I slurped down my cereal I asked him if I could see the business section.
"The business section?" he asked, raising his brow again.
"Yeah. I'm just curious about something."
He shrugged and handed it over, going back to his perusal of the front page while I opened my section to the stock market report. I scanned through the list of publicly traded stocks for a few minutes, happening across several that seemed good prospects but, most importantly, not seeing the one that would be an absolute killer investment. I smiled to myself. So it wasn't on the stock market yet. Good.
"Find what you were looking for?" Dad asked as I sat the section back down in his pile.
"I think so," I told him. "Have you ever considered investing in the stock market?"
He lowered his paper and looked at me, his eyes taking in my face, finally concluding that I wasn't joking. "Not really," he answered. "I have my pension plan from the school district. The stock market seems like kind of a gamble."
"In a way it is," I agreed. "But if you could pick the right stocks and invest heavily in them, you could really make some money, couldn't you?"
"Ahh," he said, "but that's the trick. You have to pick the right stocks. If you pick the wrong ones, your money is down the toilet. It would take either someone with a lot more market savvy than I have or a genuine psychic to make a killing in the market."
"A genuine psychic huh?" I smiled. Tracy, who had been silent during this exchange, gave me a sharp look.
"But as far as I know, such creatures are rare," Dad said.
"I suppose," I said. "But if someone did have knowledge about which stocks were going to go sky-high in the future, that someone could make quite a bit of money, couldn't they?"
"Well sure," Dad answered. "It's a nice fantasy. Suppose you knew that say, oh, AT&T was going to go through the roof next year. If you knew that, you could invest every penny you had in it. When it skyrocketed, you could sell it off at enormous profit. But unfortunately, we don't know that information, do we?"
"I guess not," I said, my mind whirring a mile a minute. "But it is a nice fantasy."
"So where were you yesterday, dude?" Mike asked me as we walked to school that morning. The snow on the ground was almost completely melted and the sun was high in the sky. It was still a little cold but on the whole it was a beautiful eastern Washington late winter day.
"Oh I met up with Raisin and Lonnie," I said absently. "We went over to Raisin's house and smoked some buds."
"Yeah?" he asked, obviously hurt that he hadn't been there.
"Yeah," I said. "Debbie was there too. I got to make out with her a little."
"With Debbie?" he asked. "The cock-tease?"
"That's her," I affirmed. "She cock-teased me damn near to death."
He asked for details and I provided him with the story. I knew this would serve to reinforce the story that Lonnie and Raisin would pass around and therefore protect Debbie's reputation.
When I was finished he said, "It's too bad you didn't get to fuck her." He put on a sophisticated look. "I fucked her once you know."
"Oh really?" I asked, as if I believed him.
"Yep. At a party at Nick Costigan's one night. I had some weed and she wanted some. I told her she wasn't getting any until she gave up the puss." He then went on to describe his mythical session with her. Of course he made her come six or seven times until she'd begged him for more. Then he fucked her up the ass, making her come an additional three or four times before he finally shot his 'wad' in her ass. After that she'd always wanted a repeat performance but he'd always turned her down. She was nice in a pinch though.
"How come you never told me about this before?" I asked, unable to help myself.
He blanched for a minute. I'd just asked a forbidden question. When you were told a pussy story you were not supposed to question its validity. They might not listen to your pussy stories if you did that.
"She asked me not to tell anyone," he answered. "She didn't want anyone knowing she fucked."
"I see," I said. "So why did you tell me just now?"
"Well," he stammered, "it's been a while and I know you won't tell anyone."
"Ahhh, I get it."
We walked in silence for a few minutes. Finally I asked, "Mike, do you ever think about what you're gonna do after high school?"
"After high school?" I repeated. "It's gonna end some day you know. What are you gonna do with your life?"
"You sound like a fuckin' school counselor," he informed me, almost angrily. "High school ain't ever gonna end man. It's a fuckin' prison."
"In a way," I allowed. "But some day you'll be freed from it. You ever think about what comes next?"
"No," he said, his tone telling me to drop the subject. "I don't."
Mr. Ached was surprised to see me hand in homework to him that morning. He was even more surprised to find it was correct. He expressed his pleasure with my work and made a point of calling on me during class. Most of the time I managed to come up with the right answers to his questions. Instead of making me happy however, it kind of pissed me off.
Now that I was supplying the right answers to his questions he was paying attention to me. But before, when I was flunking all of his tests and getting an F or a D in his class, I was simply ignored. The same was true for my other teachers. Now I'm not a screaming liberal who likes to blame everyone but the person responsible, but there is a certain amount of responsibility instilled in a teacher isn't there? Why hadn't I been helped along before this? Why had I been allowed to simply sit in class and flunk without even a single pulling aside by a teacher? Cynicism was the answer of course.
It was the answer, but it wasn't an excuse. I had been a paramedic and, except for cops, you would be hard pressed to find a more cynical group of people. I had been called out for so much bullshit in the course of my career that I assumed everyone was full of shit until proven otherwise. People called us for hangnails, for colds, for ear infections their kids had. And they reported these things as finger amputations, difficulty breathing, and head injuries. But never had I acted upon this cynicism. If someone said they were having chest pain, then they were having chest pain and I treated it appropriately even if they were twenty-five year olds only trying to get out of work for the day. If someone said they were short of breath than they were short of breath, even if they were speaking in complete paragraphs. If you acted on your cynicism you would be right probably ninety-nine times out of a hundred. But that one time you were wrong would bite you in the ass hard.
My teachers obviously assumed that trying to reach a disinterested student was a waste of time. Most of the time it probably would have been. But sometimes it wouldn't have been. Shouldn't they have been extending at least a little effort when someone like me simply sat in their classrooms and paid no attention? How many people who might have been turned around had just been allowed to sink into the abyss because the teachers assumed they were lost causes and directed their full attention to those who showed an interest in their subjects?
I was surprised by how strongly I felt about this subject and was quite pissed off by the time I left Algebra and headed for American History. My feelings were reinforced when I explained to the teacher that I didn't have my homework that day but that I would turn it in tomorrow.
"Fine, Billy," she said absently, moving onto the next student, obviously not believing that I was going to turn in anything the next day. Granted I did not make a habit of turning in the homework but had she ever talked to me about this? No. Had she ever called my parents and talked to them about it? No. To her I was a lost cause, unworthy of her attention. She would expend no efforts towards me unless I showed her that I was interested in her subject. Why wasn't she trying to get me interested in her subject? Why was she simply letting me sit there every day? What system was encouraging this?
Her lecture that day was on the role of Southern abolitionists in the beginnings of the drive towards the Civil War. She portrayed them as saintly people, dedicated to the cause of abolishing the evil institution of slavery. She implied to the class that they were right up there with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in American History. About halfway through I could take no more. I raised my hand.
She ignored it for quite some time but finally was forced to call on me.
"Yes, Billy?" she said. "Do you have a question?"
"Yes." I nodded. "I'm just curious about something. You just told us that the abolitionists used to use protests to influence those southern slaveholders. Exactly what kind of protests are you talking about?"
She gave me The Look for a moment and then said, "Well, they used a variety of methods. Boycotts of services and that sort of thing."
"That sort of thing?" I said. "Isn't it true they used to attack slave holders and their families in the middle of the night? Burning down their houses and hacking the men and even the women and children to death?"
She nearly choked but she composed herself quickly. "Well, there were some cases of the more fanatical elements doing things like that of course. But that was rare. Usually they used the other measures I talked about. You have to understand that these people felt very strongly about anti-slavery. About it's wrongness. It's only natural that some of them went off the deep end as it were."
"Really?" I pressed further. "I actually read that grotesque violence was more the rule than the exception. I guess I must have read wrong. But to answer your other point about them feeling that it was wrong. Don't you think that these abolitionists were motivated more by economic factors than religious or moralistic ones?"
She was now speechless.
"I mean think about it. Who were the southern abolitionists? Poor whites for the most part, right?"
"Well yes," she agreed, "but..."
"Poor whites without jobs. How could they compete with slave labor? They couldn't. Isn't it true they also used to kill the slaves when they would attack a plantation? Hardly sounds like people who are just interested in freeing the slaves now, does it?"
"Well again, Billy," she said firmly, "what you are talking about was the exception, not the rule. There were some incidents as you described but usually they used economic measures like boycotts to achieve their ends. And many of them were imprisoned or killed by the corrupt southern system for their efforts."
"Well of course they were," I snorted. "They were destroying valuable property and threatening a near-perfect economic system. The plantation owners ran the law after all. I imagine they came down rather hard on them when they caught them."
She was actually flustered by what I'd said. "Well that's a very interesting point of view, Billy," she told me, "but I think we've discussed it enough now. If you don't mind, I'll get back to the lecture now."
I smiled. "Sure."
"Okay," she said, "now back in 1858 there was a group called... "
Though I had no homework for Mrs. Crookshank either, she did not ignore me in class as she usually did. She remembered my dissertation on the blood cell the previous day and began probing at me to see if it was simply a well-studied joke on my part or not. Her lecture was on the major arteries of the body and she fired her first shot less than two minutes into it.
"Now can anyone tell me the name of the arteries that feed the kidneys?" she asked and then, without waiting for anyone to put up his or her hand, turned to me. "Billy, maybe you can tell us?"
She thought she had me I'm sure. I'd been doing what I usually did in her class; watching her alluring form move back and forth and not looking as if I was paying the least bit of attention to her words.
"Renal," I said in a bored voice, causing her to give me The Look.
"Yes." She nodded, obviously taken aback a bit, and then went on.
She called on me multiple other times during the lecture, making the questions harder and harder. We covered the carotids, the circle of Willis, and all of the coronary arteries. Some of the questions I knew were not even part of her lecture, were not even part of high school curriculum. I came up with the answers every time, spouting them out in a monotone voice with an expressionless face. It quickly became clear to the entire class that some sort of battle was going on between Mrs. Crookshank and I. Finally, bored, I conceded the battle, telling her I did not know the answer to a question she asked. The look on her face was of weak triumph and more than a little relief.
She wrapped up her lecture just before the bell rang and assigned us our homework for the next day. As the class filed out she called, "Billy?"
I turned to her questioningly.
"Do you mind if I speak to you for a moment?"
"Sure," I said, walking over.
Her eyes looked me up and down as I stood before her desk. "You seem to have quite a bit of knowledge of anatomy and physiology," she almost accused.
I shrugged. "I like to read."
"Really?" she said. "What books have you read?"
"Oh the usual. Gray's Anatomy, A Physician's Guide to A&P, stuff like that."
"You've read them?" She found this hard to believe.
"Yep." I nodded. "Fascinating reading. I've even read your textbook a little. It's not bad but it oversimplifies things a little, wouldn't you say?"
She swallowed deeply, took a deep breath, and then said, "Billy, I majored in Biology in college and I have an extensive background in A&P. I asked you questions today that are well beyond high school level knowledge and you answered all of them correctly except one."
"I only pretended I didn't know that one," I told her. "I felt you were, shall we say, singling me out, and I wanted you to stop." I smiled cynically. "Kind of unprofessional for a teacher wouldn't you say?"
She dismissed the subject of her professionalism, or lack thereof, with a shake of her head. "I see. So you're telling me that you've known the answers to my questions all of this time, but that you haven't answered any of them, either in class or on your tests or in your homework until yesterday?"
I shrugged again. "What can I say?"
"What can you say?" she asked, getting a little angry now. "This makes no sense. Why would you do such a thing?"
"Well, Mrs. Crookshank," I told her. "I'm what's known as a classic underachiever. That means I have above average intelligence and good reasoning ability but I am bored to death by high school because the curriculum is so scaled-down that the work is not challenging to me. This sets up a vicious cycle in which I stop listening and doing the work and therefore get far behind and fail many classes. It's mostly my fault of course, but the system itself is also partially to blame since it sets such absurdly low standards in the first place in an attempt to pad the statistics. I mean, when regional test scores are low, what do you people in the education business do? Do you beef up the learning or reevaluate your teaching methods? No. What you do is scale down the curriculum and lower the standards for passing, therefore making it easier for those "struggling" students to pass, but boring the crap out of those of us who would probably benefit from harder, more challenging classes. What then happens is that many of what could potentially be your best students simply don't give a damn while many of the less intelligent and less worthy ones have their good grades spoon fed to them by teaching them with Dick and Jane methods."
She gaped at me. I knew I'd hit upon the very subject line teachers like her had bitched about for years to their administration. In a few years, after several lawsuits about people graduating at a functionally illiterate level while promising students were actually dropping out, education reform would hit the State of Washington like a sledgehammer, improving things remarkably. I almost wished I could tell her that. She would still be teaching when it occurred. But I didn't.
"I read psychology too," I told her instead, heading out the door.
I ran into Debbie at lunch. She jiggled over to me and smiled. I greeted her, looking her up and down, remembering what her young body had felt like naked beneath mine.
"Word has it I'm the biggest cock-tease in the school," she told me.
"Well what do you know about that?" I smiled. "Better than being the biggest slut, isn't it?"
She nodded, giggling again. "All the girls are asking me why I made out with you."
"Yeah?" I grinned. "What did you tell them?"
"That you were a totally awesome kisser. The best."
"Thanks," I said gratefully, wondering how long it would be until one of the other stoner girls decided to try for herself. "How are you today?"
She smiled shyly. "I could use another kiss myself," she said, blushing.
I chuckled. "I've got something to do after school today, but why don't you give me your phone number? Maybe I'll give you a call on Saturday."
She handed a piece of paper over to me. She'd already taken the time to write her number down. "Call me anytime, " she said, walking away.
Period four, which I hadn't gone to yesterday, was Driver's Education. I was gratified to see that at least they took this subject very seriously. The information, though very familiar to me, was not the least bit scaled down. Period five was PE. It was spent learning the finer points of basketball. And though I enjoyed seeing all of the high school girls jumping around in their school sweats and T-shirts, I was no better at sports than I had ever been. I did enough to get by and let the rest ride.
As I dressed in the locker room some of Richie Fairview's cronies were in there. Usually they were the terror of the locker room. They eyed me nervously and came nowhere near me. When they started to approach some poor freshman slob, probably intending to make him cry just for the fun of it, I gave them a glare and they immediately found something else to do. I smiled to myself. Maybe I couldn't change the world, but I was at least doing a little bit.
Period six, the final period of the day was English. The subject was paragraph writing. I listened blandly and noted down my homework. I kept my mouth shut. When the bell rang I shouldered my backpack, found Mike, and headed for home.
Shortly after arriving home I gathered up a bottle of window cleaner and a roll of paper towels. Tracy had been lying on the couch flipping through a rock music magazine and had only grunted a reply to my greeting when I'd come in the house. However when she saw me heading out the door with the cleaning supplies she favored me with a pitying look.
"Going to clean Anita's windows?" she asked me.
I nodded, putting on a look of resigned disgust. "Yep. You know how it is."
"Yeah," she said, "I know how it is. I gotta watch her little brats on Saturday night." She shook her head in disgust. "Saturday fucking night! Can you believe the nerve of Mom and Dad? Volunteering me for that shit on Saturday night. And do you know why she needs a babysitter that night?"
"Why?" I asked, pausing in the doorway.
"Because she's going to a party. A party! Well what the hell do they think I was gonna do? I'm tired of them springing this crap on me at the last minute. I have a life too."
I smiled. "Yes you do," I told her. "Let me talk to her. I'll see what I can do. I'm not doing anything Saturday, maybe she'll let me baby-sit instead."
"You?" Tracy asked with horror. "You can't baby-sit."
"Why not?" I asked, already knowing what she was going to say.
"Because you're a boy!"
"So? What does that have to do with anything? Why do girls automatically make good babysitters while boys are untrustworthy?"
"Well..." She tried to come up with something and failed. "Just because. Boys aren't as responsible as girls are."
"Oh we're not, are we? Why is that?"
"Because," she said, "if a boy was left alone in a house he'd do all kinds of things."
I started laughing.
"What?" she asked.
"When you were babysitting her kids," I asked, "did you ever drink her booze?"
"No," Tracy said indignantly.
"Oh come on, Tracy," I chided.
"Well maybe once or twice," she admitted.
"And did you ever have your boyfriend over to her house?"
"And did you ever smoke weed over there and make out on the couch? Or maybe use her bedroom for a little..."
"All right!" she yelled, laughing. "You made your point. At least to me anyway. But Mom and Dad and Anita are never going to buy it."
"I'm just offering," I told her. "I'll float the idea by Anita while I'm over there. And Mom and Dad will go along if Anita does. Don't worry, I'm good at talking people into things. And if it doesn't work, you're no worse off are you?"
"I guess not," she answered, her demeanor brightening. "Well thanks, Bill. I hope you can talk her into it." She chuckled. "It's kinda hard to picture you babysitting though."
"Kids love me," I assured her, "And I love them. I'll be fine." I headed for the door and then paused. "By the way, what are her kids' names anyway?"
Anita Browling's house was a single story with a small lawn and small back yard. Like all the houses in the subdivision, it had been built about 1970 or so, during a major growth spurt for the Spokane area. Like many of the other houses on the block, the paint was peeling off due to the extremes of the weather. I knew that at some point in the near future I would be volunteered to paint the house for her. Was that this coming summer? I figured it would be. I knew, looking at the paint, that it hadn't been done yet and I also knew I'd done it before Tracy's death. It had\would take me nearly two weeks in the hot sun to complete.
Anita was home when I knocked. I remembered she worked early in the morning-Tracy often had to get up at 5:00 AM to go baby-sit on vacation days-but I couldn't for the life of me remember what it was she did. She was wearing a pair of dark slacks that hid the form of her slightly large hips and a button-up blouse that showed off her large breasts nicely. Her brown hair was tied back in a ponytail. She smiled warmly as she saw me standing there with my cleaning supplies in hand.
"Billy," she greeted, throwing open the door and allowing me entry. "Did you come to do the windows today? You're such a sweetie."
"No problem," I said, smiling back. "I'll have 'em squeaky clean in no time."
Her two children (Ryan and Jennifer, Ryan and Jennifer, my mind repeated to me), were coloring in books at her coffee table. They both looked up at me for a moment and then went back to what they were doing. The living room was a little cluttered with toys and so forth but remarkably neat for a woman with two children. The television was turned off and the stereo was turned on. Barbara Streisand was singing about love, how it was ageless and evergreen, whatever the hell that meant.
"I really appreciate you doing this for me, Billy," Anita was saying. "They get so dirty during the winter and I have such a hard time climbing on the ladder you know."
"I'm happy to do it," I assured her. "Where should I start?"
I got the ladder out of her garage and began doing the outsides first, moving from one to the other, scraping and wiping off the accumulation of dirt, grime, road salt, and all of the other shit that floats around in our air or is blown forcefully through it during the winter. Anita stayed in the house for this portion although I caught glimpses of her through the windows when she happened to be in a room I was cleaning. I watched her whenever I saw her, checking out her form and imagining the possibilities. Though she was slightly chunky, there was nothing in the world wrong with that. Her skin looked soft, her face pretty, and she had beautiful breasts that bounced nicely when she walked. Sure, a teenager wouldn't admit he desired her, such were the commandments of peer pressure, but an adult would have no problem with her whatsoever. And I was most definitely an adult.
She waved at me whenever she happened to catch me looking in at her, or smiled at the very least, but there was no overt flirtation. I began to wonder if my mind was remembering things correctly. Was I confusing my previous masturbation fantasies with reality?
When I went in the house to do the inside of the windows it was only a minute or two before I got my first clue. I was up on the stepladder doing the living room window and she came up to offer me a soda to drink. As she handed it to me I was looking down at her. She had undone the top button of her blouse, allowing me to look straight down the front of it. I could see the mass of her white breasts contained in a flimsy, lacy bra. I was certain that the top button had not been undone earlier and I was also certain, as a fifteen year old would not have been, that she was well aware of the view she was giving me. She was showing herself to me. But for what purpose?
"Thank you," I smiled, taking the soda and swigging out of it. I then handed it back to her. "Could you set it over there for me?" I asked, pointing at a coffee table next to the ladder.
"Sure," she replied, taking it from my hand. When she bent over to set it down gravity pulled her breasts away from her body, as well as pulling the blouse away from her tits. This allowed me a fine view indeed. She caught me looking as she stood back up and I turned my head away, as a teenager would do. There was no sense tipping my hand, was there?
As I moved from window to window I grew more and more certain that she was deliberately showing herself to me. Why was she doing this? Was she just teasing a teenager? Or did she desire something more? I didn't know. Though my memories of her little shows were correct I also remembered that she had never made any attempt to actually seduce me. What should I do next? How could I find out safely?
As I cleaned I also chatted and talked to her two kids, remembering my promise to Tracy. Jennifer was four and Ryan was six. I truly do love children and they were cute ones. I applied all of the skills I'd picked up in my 32 years charming them. The responded to me well, obviously impressing Anita with my rapport.
"Your kids are really cute," I told her at one point, and she beamed at me.
But the kids also prevented me from seeing how far she was willing to go with her little game. She was an attentive and responsible mother. I knew instinctively she would do nothing while they were awake. That thought led to a plan.
"What time do you and Jenny have to go to bed?" I asked Ryan playfully.
He pouted. "Eight o'clock on school nights," he said. "And we're not even tired then!"
"That's a bummer," I told him, marking the time in my head. "Your mommy's a real meanie, isn't she?"
"Yeah!" they agreed together, giggling and making their mommy giggle too.
While I cleaned her bedroom windows she was folding her laundry on the bed and chatting with me about this and that. She asked about school and I had to search my mind for answers since I'd only spent two days in the place. As far as I know I said nothing inappropriate. When I finished the window I stepped down from the ladder and spied the doorway that led to the master bathroom. That would be her bathroom.
"Do you mind if I use your restroom?" I said, nodding towards the door.
"Sure," she said, waving me in that direction.
I went inside and closed the door. After emptying my bladder into her toilet I buttoned up my pants prior to flushing. When my pants were secure I pushed the handle and used the noise of the toilet to cover the sound of me opening up her medicine cabinet. I took a look inside, quickly flitting my eyes over the shelves full of aspirin, old antibiotics, and various over the counter remedies. I spotted what I was looking for on the bottom shelf. A square plastic case with little white pills and occasional rows of pink ones imbedded in it. Each of the pills was in a spot marked with the day of the week. The pink ones were sugar pills, put in there only so the woman would be able to keep in the habit of taking one a day during her period. I picked up the case, seeing both that she was current and that she was not due for her period for more than a week. I smiled. I would have had to come up with another plan if she had not been on some sort of birth control. And being able to predict her period was a bonus I hadn't counted on.
When I emerged from the bathroom she was putting her clothes in the dresser.
"Anita?" I asked her as I folded up the ladder.
"Yes," she asked, turning towards me.
"You have Tracy coming over to baby-sit on Saturday, don't you?"
She creased her brow a little. "Yes," she agreed. "Your mother said she would."
"Well," I said, carefully, "the fact is that Tracy had plans for that night and my mom kinda ruined them by volunteering her to baby-sit."
Anita's face immediately turned to distress. "Oh my goodness," she said. "I had no idea Tracy had plans. If I'd of known that I never would have asked your mother." She shook her head. "Your mother told me that she'd be happy to baby-sit."
"Yeah," I agreed, "Mom's like that sometimes."
"Well I'll just cancel my plans," she announced. "I don't want to make Tracy miss her party. Especially after all she's done for me in the past. And you kids never accept any money for what you do."
"Well, you don't have to cancel your plans," I told her. "I talked to Tracy about it and I don't have anything to do on Saturday. I thought maybe I could take her place. That way both of you could go to your parties."
"You?" she said doubtfully.
"Why not?" I said. "I like your kids a lot, and they like me. I can take care of them all right. We'll have fun."
It took a few more minutes but finally I convinced her. Shortly after that I went home. But I wouldn't be home for long.
When I walked in the door Mom and Dad were both home. Mom was cooking up something in the kitchen. It smelled like steak. Dad was watching the news on television. I gave him a quick hello and headed directly for mom. She would be the authority on the subject I was about to discuss.
It took ten minutes and a phone call to Anita but I secured her permission to baby-sit Anita's kids in Tracy's place. She was doubtful about the plan and I knew she would probably call every ten minutes while I was over there, but I was able to wear her down.
With a smile on my face, I headed upstairs. I paused at Tracy's room and gave a knock on the door. From behind it came the sound of yet another teenybopper band. The music turned down and the door creaked open. She looked at me.
"Looks like you're gonna be partying on Saturday," I told her.
"You convinced them?" she asked in disbelief.
"Putty in my hands," I assured her.
"Oh thank you!" she squealed, pulling me to her and giving me a big hug. She drew back and looked at me. "You know, Billy," she said, "sometimes you're not such a little asshole after all."
"I'll take that as a compliment, Trace," I told her, walking away.
I entered my room as happy as I'd been in a while.
After dinner I went upstairs and took a shower, cleansing my body and making sure to brush my teeth and use plenty of mouthwash. I put on the tightest pair of pants I could find, a pair that hugged my lower body like a second skin. I put on a clean sweater and combed my hair. I checked my watch. 6:40. Almost an hour and a half to go. I pulled out my books and began studying.
At 8:30 I had completed all of my homework and stowed it neatly away in my backpack. I went to Tracy's room and knocked on the door. She opened it.
"Can I use your phone a minute, Trace?" I asked.
"Sure," she said, waving me inside.
She had been doing her homework I saw. Her Biology book and a spread of papers were scattered on her desk. She was dressed in her jeans and sweatshirt still. Her teenybopper album was still playing on the stereo.
Earlier I'd looked in my mom's phone book and found Mike's phone number, which, of course, I did not remember. I picked up her phone and dialed it.
His mom answered and I asked for him. A moment later he came to the phone.
"Hey, dude," I said, "I'm telling my parents I'm coming over to your house tonight for a while. So don't call me."
"You got it, dude," he assured me. "What's up?"
"Oh, I'm just going out for a while."
"Doing anything cool?" he asked, fishing for an invitation.
"Naw," I assured him. "Just gonna fuck off a little."
"Whatever," he said, disappointed, sulking a little, but at least I was safe from being busted via a telephone call from him. "See ya tomorrow."
When I hung up Tracy looked at me questioningly. "Where are you going?" she asked.
"Out," I told her.
"Just out," I said, my tone telling her she should mind her own business. I headed downstairs.
"Mom, I'm going over to Mike's for a little bit," I said as I passed through the living room.
"All right, dear," she said absently, her attention riveted to the television. "Be back by ten."
Three minutes later I was in front of Anita's house. I could see that the light was on in the living room and the faint blue glow of a television screen shining through. I found myself nervous as I contemplated what I was about to do. Was this really wise? If I had misread her I could get into a lot of trouble. I might even end up talking to a shrink or something. But my little head told me I was doing the right thing. Even at 32 I still listened to him probably more than I should. I walked up her driveway. After another brief, fearful pause at the front door, I knocked.
The sound of her voice came drifting through the door. "Who is it?""It's Billy," I said, speaking only as loud as I thought I needed to in order to be heard.
"Billy?" she said, confused. A moment later the door crept open about six inches, revealing her. She was wearing a robe I saw, pulled tight around her body. Her face was void of makeup and a towel was over her head, allowing a few damp strands to peek out.
"Hi," I said, embarrassed, not even faking it. "I was wondering if I could uh... well, talk to you about something for a minute?"
"What is it?" she asked, immediately concerned.
"It's kind of personal," I told her. "Could I uh... come in?"
"Uh..." She hesitated for a second, leading me to believe I'd made a terrible mistake. Then she said, "sure, come on in."
She opened the door, allowing me entry. I stepped into her living room and she shut the door behind me. Her living room was now absolutely spotless. The television was on showing a news program. A half-full wineglass sat on the coffee table near the couch. A glance into the kitchen revealed a half-empty bottle of white wine. My hopes perked up. She'd been drinking.
"Sit down," she said, looking at me. "Can I get you anything to drink?"
"Oh, no thank you," I told her, heading for the couch and planting myself near where she would sit.
She came over and sat down next to me, her robe riding up a little in the process and allowing me a brief glance of her milky white thighs before she pulled the hem back down. She picked up her wineglass and had a sip before using the remote control to turn down the volume on the television.
"I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" I asked her nervously.
"Not at all," she said, shaking her head. "I was just watching the news before Dallas comes on. What's wrong?"
"Well," I started, "it's kind of embarrassing you know, but..."
"Billy, what is it?"
"Well," I continued, "you've been a good friend to me and I feel like I can, you know, trust you."
"Of course you can trust me," she said.
"But you're also friends with my mother," I said. "I really wouldn't want to have her find out about what I have to ask."
"If you don't want me to tell her, I won't tell her," Anita assured me. "Think of me as a doctor."
I paused for a moment, as if I was thinking it over. Finally I said, "Okay, well, you're younger than my mother and you're a girl and all, so I thought maybe you'd understand."
"Understand what?" she asked.
"I've got a girlfriend!" I blurted.
She smiled. "Well good for you," she said happily. "What's her name?"
"Debbie," I said, pulling out the first name to come to mind. "We've been going out for a while and..."
"And what?" she asked.
"And well," I took a long pause, considering my words. "And it's getting to the point where she wants to, you know, do things with me."
She raised her eyebrows, blushing a little. "Do things?"
"You know," I said. "Like uh... sex."
"Sex?" she said, blushing harder now.
"Yes." I nodded.
"Billy," she said sternly, "don't you think you're a little young to be thinking about sex?"
I looked at her confused. "Anita," I said honestly, "sex is pretty much all I think about. How old were you when you first, you know, did it?"
She licked her lips a little. "Okay," she said, smiling a bit. "I see your point. So you're saying she wants to have sex with you?"
"And do you want to have sex with her?"
"More than anything," I answered. "But you see, I uh, well, I've never had, uh, sex before."
"And has she?" Anita asked.
"I think so," I said. "That's the problem. I don't know how to do it."
"Well I'm sure if she loves you..." Anita started.
"Love?" I interrupted. "Love doesn't have anything to do with it. I don't love her, she's just my girlfriend. She expects me to do it with her and I've told her I've done it before."
"You lied to her?"
"Yes," I said. "Do you have any idea what would happen if people found out I was a virgin? I'm in high school. You have to be a stud or people think you're a fag!"
She took a moment to digest this, perhaps thinking back to her own high school days. When it was processed she nodded a little, licking her lips again. "I suppose you're right," she told me. "So what is it you want from me?"
"Can you tell me how to do it?" I asked, looking hopefully at her. "Please?"
"Tell you how to do it," she said to herself, shifting uncomfortably on the couch.
"Yeah," I said, nodding. "So I'll know how to make it seem like I've done it before. Like, you know, how do I treat her boobs and all? And how do I, you know, put it in? How are you supposed to move once you're in? They don't teach you this stuff anywhere! Debbie's a blabbermouth. If I don't do it right, the whole school will think I'm a virgin by the next day. You gotta help me!" I pleaded, seemingly near tears.
"Billy," she said. "I appreciate your fears but you can't just tell someone how to do it. The only way to learn is, well, to do it a few times. It comes naturally, you'll see."
"But I told her I've done it before!" I said. "She'll know! Can't you at least tell me a little bit about how to do it? What about foreplay?"
"Foreplay?" she asked.
"Yeah," I said. "I heard you're supposed to do foreplay. I don't even know what that is!"
She looked at me in shock for a moment and then burst out laughing. I flushed as if deeply embarrassed.
"Forget it," I said angrily, standing up. "I'll just go home."
"No, no," she said, stifling her outburst. "I'm not laughing at you, just at what you said. I'm sorry."
Slowly, I put myself back down in the chair, noting the gleam forming in her eye. For the first time I felt I was making some headway. I noticed she'd let the hem of her robe creep up a bit, showing me her flesh up to mid-thigh. She'd also let the top open a bit, revealing a bit of cleavage and confirming my suspicion that she had no bra on under the robe. Perhaps I hadn't made a mistake in coming here.
"Listen," she said, "there's a lot involved in making love. It takes a lifetime to learn it all. But you just want to seem like you've done it before, right?"
"Yes!" I agreed.
"Okay," she said, downing the rest of her wine and setting the glass down. "Let me see what I can do."
"Thank you!" I blurted.
She took a deep breath. "Tell me," she said, "how far have you gone before?"
"Well," I said, "we've kissed a lot and she's let me feel her boobs through her shirt a few times."
"Okay." Anita nodded.
"And one time she let me put my hand under her shirt. But she wouldn't let me put it under her bra."
"And that's as far as you've gone?"
"But she's hinted that she'd like for you to do more soon?"
"Uh huh," I said. "That's why I came to you."
"Okay," Anita said. "If I tell you this, it has to remain here, do you understand? You're mother, your friends, nobody can ever find out about what I've told you. Can you do that?"
"Yes," I said, sensing the kill coming. "I promise."
"Okay." She smiled, leaning back into the couch a little. "I'll teach you the basics on how to have sex with a girl."
"I knew you'd help me, Anita," I said with a grin, feeling an erection starting already as I saw the shine in her eyes increase. Her nipples were hard. I could see them poking through the fabric in her robe. And she kept shifting her legs back and forth while she sat there. She was showing unmistakable signs of arousal. Signs a fifteen-year old wouldn't be able to pick up upon, but signs that were very familiar to a 32 year old.
"I'm glad to help," she told me. "Now the most important thing in the early stages is to be gentle. Girls don't like it when you maul them. If she lets you feel her breasts, don't squeeze them hard, caress them."
"Caress them?" I asked.
"Yes." She nodded. "You need to touch them gently, as if they were a delicate egg or something. Remember that. Don't break the egg. Just glide your hands over them and don't attack the nipples. Just run your fingers over them for a few minutes. Touch them lightly. That really gets girls hot."
"Wow," I said. "Like this?" I held up my hands and roughly moved my thumb and index finger back and forth.
"No no," she said, shaking her head. "You have to..." She paused, thinking. "Well," she said softly. "I suppose it would be easier to show you instead of telling you."
"Show me?" I asked, feigning confusion but feeling my cock leap to full life. I'd done it! She was going to show me.
"Yes," she said. "Again, you can never tell anyone, but in the interest of education, I suppose I could volunteer as a test subject."
"What do you mean?" I asked naively.
Slowly she put her hands to her robe and opened it at the chest, revealing her silky skin and freeing her braless tits. They were glorious, sagging only a little, the size of softballs. The large nipples were standing out proudly, just begging to be touched and sucked. "Here," she told me. "Give me your hands."
Slowly I reached out and put my hands in hers. She took them and placed them upon her tits, allowing me to feel the soft, springy flesh, the hard points of the nipples pressing into my palms.
"Now caress them," she said softly, her eyes shining. "Pretend I'm Debbie."
"Okay," I said, faking a stutter. I began to squeeze and caress them, running my fingertips over the soft flesh, twirling around her nipples, which were easily the diameter of dimes. I hefted their weight in my hands, testing them, before going back to caressing. Her eyes softened as I did this, her breathing quickening.
"Very good," she said, pushing her chest forward into my hands. "You're a quick learner."
"Cool," I muttered, continuing my actions. I looked below her tits as I did this, seeing her stomach. The skin was tanned and looked soft although there were a few creases and stretch marks. Her belly button was large and had a faint fuzz of black hair leading downward from it. I could almost make out her crotch but her robe was still closed over that portion of her body.
"Wouldn't she want me to, you know, suck on them?" I asked Anita. "Girls like that, don't they?"
"They love it," Anita breathed, twisting her shoulders into me now. "But it's another thing that you have to do carefully," she explained. "You have to treat a nipple like a baby does. Pretend you're sucking on a bottle when you suck a tit. Don't go after it like a shop-vac."
"Can I try it?" I asked her. "Just to make sure I'm doing it right?"
"I suppose," she allowed, reaching up and putting her hand to the back of my head.
She pulled my face to her left breast and my lips contacted the soft skin just above the nipple. I kissed and sucked for a second and then moved down, taking her large nipple in my mouth. As I began to gently suck she moaned, her fingers twining through my hair. I put my hands on her stomach, sliding them around to her back and pulling her tighter to me. I lapped and slurped at her nipple, tasting every square millimeter of it before switching to the right one. I took that nipple in my mouth and gave it a similar treatment.
I raised my head from her chest. "Is this what foreplay is?" I asked her.
"Yesss," she hissed. "But if you really want to master foreplay, there's one thing you want to know how to do."
"What's that?" I asked, licking her nipple once more.
"How to eat a woman, er, a girl."
"You need to know how to eat pussy," she told me.
"Can you teach me?" I asked, looking up at her flushed face.
"Yes." She nodded, putting her hands to the top of my head and pushing me downward.
Her robe parted and her chunky legs spread before me, revealing her crotch. It was covered with a mat of thick, curly, black hair. Her pink lips, swollen with her excitement, protruded from the center of her bush. Her clit was peeking from its hood near the top. Her thick, clean smell rose up before me, driving my desire, making me long to bury my face between those soft legs. I gave up all pretenses and dove in to her, attacking her slit with my tongue.
"Ohhhh!" she squealed in surprise as I drove my tongue into her body, plunging it in and out, lapping up her juices. She tasted so good. There is nothing like eating a pussy that is attached to a woman who has just emerged from bathing. Nothing!
I licked up and down, in and out, while her hands pulled me closer and her bare legs wrapped around my back. I felt her legs as I ate her, admiring the silky softness of them. When she started to buck back at me I went for her clit, licking it and then finally sucking it into my mouth. Her moans were so loud I feared the neighbors would hear. Not that I stopped because of this.
She came after only a few minutes, a loud screaming orgasm that splashed my face with her fragrant juices and made her rip several strands of my hair from my scalp. When she finally calmed down I looked up at her, my face wet, hairs sticking from between my teeth. Her expression was of total disbelief.
"Was that how you do it?" I asked her, sliding my finger through her slippery slit.
She nodded, speechless.
"Can you tell me how to fuck now?" I asked, taking off my sweater and throwing it to the floor.
A minute later I was completely naked and climbing between her thick thighs. I ran my fifteen-year old cock up and down her slimy slit for a moment and then she grabbed my ass with her hands and pulled. I slid inside of her easily, feeling her grip at me, feeling my pubis mash against hers. Though she was looser than Debbie, she was certainly more experienced. Her hips rose up to meet me and she clenched her vaginal muscles expertly. She had been married after all, and knew how to fuck. She did it well I quickly discovered as I began pounding in and out.
Her soft stomach pressed against mine as my pelvis moved to her rhythm. Her soft thighs slid against mine, quickly building up a sheen of sweat upon which to glide. I leaned down, feeling those tits push against my chest. My mouth found hers and our tongues began a desperate duel as we pleasured each other with our nether regions.
"Oh fuck me!" she cried, squeezing my ass cheeks. "It's been so long. Fuck me!"
"Yeah," I said, slamming harder, feeling her rise up to meet each thrust.
She broke our kiss and stared directly into my eyes, taking in my features. Her hands left my ass and began gliding over my legs, my back, my arms, playing with my armpits. Her expression was of exalted disbelief, leading me to believe I was fulfilling a fantasy of hers. She'd wanted to fuck a fifteen-year old and now she was getting her fantasy.
"Harder!" she commanded. "Fuck me harder!"
I pounded her mercilessly and soon her hips and her fingernails on my back told me she was coming again. She screamed out her pleasure as it hit her.
"Now come in me!" she commanded breathlessly. "Oh come in me! Let me feel your fresh come squirting in my body! Oh God, please? Come in me!"
"You want it?" I asked her, holding back for the moment.
"Yesss!" she answered, pounding her hips and grasping my cock with greater force. "Let me feel it. Let me feel your come!"
"You like fifteen year old boys?" I asked her, slamming and slamming. "You like to feel their come shooting in you?"
"Ohhhhh!" she moaned, sticking her finger in my ass and moving it in and out.
"Do you?" I asked. "Tell me. Tell me what you like and I'll come."
"Oh God," she moaned, adding another finger to my ass, nearly causing me pain, but causing me great pleasure at the same time. "I love it. I've always wanted a teenager! I've always wanted to fuck you! Now please, come in meeeeeeee!"
"Here it comes, baby," I told her, increasing my thrusts. I felt the surge running up my spine. It was going to happen now, it was inevitable. My hips became a blur and waves of pure pleasure ran through my body as spurt after spurt shot from my cock into her grasping pussy.
"Yesssss!" she screamed, feeling me shooting. Even after my thrusts slowed to a stop, hers continued. Finally we both were motionless.
We kissed each other for a few moments, swirling our tongues together in the afterglow of great sex and then she looked up at me, her eyes showing shame and confusion.
"You were great," I told her, giving her left tit a friendly squeeze. "Absolutely great."
"What have I done?" she asked, more to herself than me. "Oh my God!"
I leaned down and kissed her again, licking at her lips a little. "You've done nothing, Anita," I said. "Nothing at all but give your friend Billy a little friendly advice for his girlfriend."
She shook her head violently. "No," she told me, pushing me off of her. I slid off with a wet slurp. Her legs were still wide and a big glob of my sperm drooled out of her slit. She closed them quickly. "God, what have I done?"
I rolled over and sat up. "Had a good time?" I asked, stretching a little.
"I can't believe this!" she said, near tears. "You're Margaret's son! And I've, I've, taken advantage of you!"
"You did no such thing, Anita!" I told her.
"I did!" she insisted, tears running down her face now.
"No," I told her. "You didn't. I took advantage of you."
She shook her head, pulling her robe around her. "That's nice of you to say, Billy, but you're a fifteen year old kid and I'm an adult. You came to me for help and I... I took advantage of that because it's been so long since I've had sex. I let my horniness get the better of me and I've done something awful. I..."
"Anita," I said, still sitting there naked, her juices and my sperm drying on my dick. "There is no Debbie."
"What?" she asked.
"There is no Debbie," I repeated. "I made that up as an excuse to come over here. I've also had sex before, several times. Couldn't you tell while I was making love to you?"
She looked confused. "I did think you were doing it rather well for a teenager," she admitted. "But why would you do that?"
"Because I wanted you," I told her. "Do you know that I lie in bed at night thinking about your body while I masturbate?"
"Yes," I said. "Constantly. I've wanted you for such a long time now. And I've thought that maybe you were attracted to me a little, that maybe if I, you know, set it up right, you would maybe do things with me. I came over here hoping that what we did would happen. I tried to engineer it. It's me you should be mad at. I lied to you. I was conniving. And I'm sorry you're upset by what we did. You were more than I ever hoped for."
"I was?" she asked, her eyes shining.
"Yes." I nodded. "Can you ever forgive me for tricking you like that?"
"Of course, Billy," she said. "But I still shouldn't have done that. Do you understand how serious this is? I can be arrested for what we did."
"I'll never tell anyone," I told her. "I swear."
She smiled a little, wiping her face. "Fifteen year olds swear lots of things," she told me. "And they very rarely understand the consequences of breaking those swears."
"Anita," I said, "I'm not an ordinary fifteen year old. I do think about consequences. I think about them obsessively. Would you like to hear an example of how I think about them?"
"What do you mean?" she asked.
"While I was over here earlier I was already planning this episode. But I was worried about the possibility of getting you pregnant. I did not want to do that. So I looked in your medicine cabinet to make sure you were on birth control of some type. I was looking for a diaphragm case or birth control pills. Only when I found your pills and assured myself that you were current on them did I decide to come over here tonight."
"You did that?" she asked, staring at me, giving me The Look.
"You are currently eight days from your period," I told her.
"My God," she said, looking at me with confused respect.
"Does that sound like a typical teenager to you? I like to think things through before I do them, eliminate all of the possible dangers I can. So what would I have to gain by telling anyone this? A few minutes of celebrity if I told the story, which my friends wouldn't believe anyway, they would only pretend to. That certainly does not balance out the loss of you as a friend." I leered at her. "A very special friend."
"Wow," she whispered, staring at me. "I don't know what to say. This is the most confusing moment of my life."
"I'm sure it is," I told her. "But did you enjoy what we did?"
"Well..." she started.
"Did you?" I asked.
"Yes," she admitted. "Immensely." She blushed again. "I've laid awake at night masturbating while thinking about you. But I never thought for a minute that we'd actually, you know." She shook her head. "You are a sneaky little bastard, you know that? You played right into one of my fantasies, almost word for word."
"I'm pretty perceptive they say."
"So why don't we mark it down as a pleasant experience for all concerned?" I asked her. "I enjoyed making love to you, you enjoyed making love to me. Both of us had fantasies fulfilled. I will never tell anyone about it. Nobody even knows where I am tonight. What we did will remain secret forever. I promise."
"Okay." She nodded, smiling again now. "But we shouldn't do this anymore," she said sternly. "It's still wrong."
"If you wish," I agreed sadly.
"I think that would be for the best."
"All right." I paused. "But is it still okay for me to baby-sit on Saturday? I'd hate to disappoint Tracy."
"Oh sure," she said. "Perfectly all right."
"Good." I stood up. "Is it okay if I use your shower before I go home?"
"Yes," I said. "I wouldn't want to go home smelling like sex. That leads to unwanted questions from parents."
She looked at me for a moment, shaking her head in amusement. "Very good thinking, Billy," she told me. "You know where it's at."
"Thanks," I replied, picking up my clothes.
I made it about ten steps towards her bedroom before her voice called me. I turned to look at her. She was standing up, her robe was flapping loosely, allowing me to see her breasts and her bush again. I felt my penis give a little twitch.
"Maybe I should go with you," she offered, smiling sexily. "Just to make sure you get nice and clean."
My dick took a bigger lurch. "By all means."