"Lizzie ... hi," Nate Summers said when he saw who was at the door.
"Hi, Mr. S.," Lizzie replied. "Is Alexa here?"
"Oh, Honey, no. Didn't she tell you she was going to basketball camp this weekend?"
"Oh, yea. I guess she did. Um ... is Mrs. S. home?"
"No, Lizzie. I'm sorry. She's not either. She went up north to visit her mom for the weekend."
Nate surveyed Lizzie and sensed she was upset about something.
"Lizzie, Honey ... are you O.K.?"
"Not really... ," Lizzie replied meekly as tears began to well in her eyes.
"Oh... ," Nate replied sympathetically, "what's wrong, Hon? Do you wanna come in for a minute?"
Lizzie nodded her head. Nate stepped back to allow her to enter, then he closed the door and followed her into the living room.
"Sit down, Lizzie," Nate said as he gestured toward the couch. "What's wrong, Honey?"
"Oh, Mr. S.," Lizzie said through her tears, "I don't want to bother you with my stupid problems."
"Lizzie, you know perfectly well that we love you like one of the family. You've been my daughter's best friend since you guys were in Junior High. I'm sorry Alexa and Janice aren't here to talk to you. But I'm more than happy to listen. And it won't be any kind of a bother. You're very important to us, you know."
"Oh ... you're always so sweet, Mr. S."
"We all care about you, Lizzie. You really are family. Now if you want, you can tell me what's wrong. But neither Alexa or Mrs. S. will be home until sometime Sunday afternoon."
Lizzie pondered for a moment whether or not she was really bothering Nate. She actually wanted to get a man's perspective, which she knew her own father would not be able to give objectively on the topic she needed to talk about. She decided to give it a try.
"It's my boyfriend ... well, ex-boyfriend ... well, I don't know what he is."
"Are you talking about that Vince guy that I've heard you and Alexa talking about for a while now?"
"Yes, that's the one."
"Tell me what happened, Lizzie. What has you so upset?"
"Vince has been sending me these text messages and saying he wants to see me."
"Oh. Well, are you broken up, or are you still not sure where you are with him?"
"I thought we were broken up. I know he has a new girlfriend. At least one, maybe more."
"Maybe he wants to get back together with you."
"Yea, maybe. Can I read you one of the messages, Mr. S.?"
"Sure, go ahead."
Lizzie took her phone out of the pocket of her jeans and quickly found Vince's most recent text message.
"Hey ... wassup?" Lizzie read aloud. "Are you gonna meet me or not? I can't wait all night. I'm tired of your shit. Tell me soon or I'm gonna go to Gabriella's."
"Sounds like a nice guy," Nate said as he rolled his eyes.
"That was one of his nicer messages," Lizzie replied.
"One of his new girlfriends."
"Well, Lizzie ... I don't really get it. If he has new girlfriends, however that works, why is he trying to meet you?"
"I don't know. Like you said ... maybe he wants to get back together with me."
"I think I'm retracting that statement at this point. Can you read me another message?"
Lizzie nodded and said, "This was from earlier." She read, "Hey. It's been a while. Are you busy tonight? We should hook up."
"Ah, I think I see," Nate said. "Does he mean, 'hook-up' in the way I think he does?"
Nate immediately felt embarrassed to have asked Lizzie such a personal question.
"I'm sorry, Lizzie ... I shouldn't have asked ... I'm sorry."
"It's O.K., Mr. S. No problem. Yes, it does mean that."
"So, if I understand what you're saying, he has one or more new girlfriends, but he's trying to get you to meet him and have sex with him. Is that how you take that message?"
"Probably. But that wasn't the worst of the messages."
Lizzie read several more of Vince's messages aloud for Nate. He was shocked to hear the boy refer to Lizzie as "bitch" and "whore" more than once.
"Lizzie, Sweetheart ... I really can't believe you're even considering seeing this guy when he calls you names like that. Especially when it's pretty clear that all he wants is sex before he goes out and has it with one of his other girls."
Nate noted that saying the word "sex" was feeling a bit more routine; a bit less uncomfortable for him.
"I know!" Lizzie said as her tears started up again.
"Honey, you just don't deserve this kind of crap. You're such a wonderful girl. Why don't you just tell him to go to hell?"
"Because I don't want to be alone!"
Nate was once again surprised at what he had heard. He was also angered enough at Vince that he had a brief vision of himself driving to the kids house and punching him out. Nate smiled internally to have such a macho thought. But he did truly care for Lizzie like one of his own and his anger was genuine.
"Alone? Lizzie, you have to be kidding me. There must be twenty guys lined up wanting to go out with you."
"Not really," she replied as she got her tears under control again.
"Seriously? Lizzie, that really surprises me. I mean, you're such a sweet girl, you're smart and funny. And you're really beautiful."
Once again Nate had spoken before thinking through his sentence. He felt awkward about commenting on Lizzie's looks, even though what he had said was true. Lizzie was regarded as an extremely attractive young woman by everyone who knew her.
"No, I'm not," Lizzie countered.
"Lizzie, do you really think that? Honey, you absolutely are. It's really not up for debate. You're very, very attractive."
The fact that Lizzie rejected his comment made Nate feel a bit better about saying such things to his daughter's friend. He felt a little less like a dirty old man.
"That's so sweet, Mr. S. But I just don't think it's true."
"Honey, why on earth not?"
"Are you kidding? I'm too fat, my hair is terrible, my eyes are too small, my smile is crooked, and so is my nose."
Nate tried hard to keep from saying the thought that immediately came to mind, which was, "Are you fucking crazy?"
"Lizzie, Honey," he said, this time thinking through his words more carefully, "those things are absolutely untrue. I can't imagine that anyone thinks about you that way."
What Nate said was on target with what most people thought of Lizzie, with the possible exception of the girls who were so jealous of her looks and charm that they couldn't help but criticize her at every opportunity. The girl was considered a knockout, or a "Hottie" in the vernacular of her peers. Lizzie had the kind of figure that Nate appreciated most. She was fairly petite, just five feet two inches, but she had what might be considered perfect curves. Her small frame carried breasts that at times seemed a bit too big for her, but which few could deny were truly spectacular. She had a small waist which made her breasts look even bigger. It also accentuated what some considered to be the perfect round bottom. And Lizzie was the only person who would ever dream of using the word "fat" to describe her.
But the much of Lizzie's attractiveness transcended her curvaceous little body. Lizzie had a face that said both, "I'm the sweet and innocent girl-next-door," and "I wanna be fucked." (Although her attitude reflected the first statement more than the latter.) In his moments of lustful thoughts Nate thought of Lizzie as, "slutty-pretty." Her long, naturally blonde hair framed facial features that were indeed very, very pretty. Her eyes were a dazzling blue that people commented on regularly. But her "crooked smile," as she referred to it, was the crowning touch that made Lizzie uniquely appealing. It did not take away from her beauty, but it added an air of playfulness and sometimes even snotty aloofness (which was in no way played out in her personality) that really set her apart from other pretty girls.
"Sweetheart," Nate continued, "I would be impolite if I went into any more detail. But you are very beautiful. You're one of the most attractive young women I've ever known. And, trust me ... no one in their right mind would ever, ever consider that you could ever be 'fat.'"
Nate could not believe he had just spoken so directly about his daughter's friend, whom he had known for so many years. What's more, he knew he meant every word, which gave him a slight twinge of guilt. But the guilt was quickly chased away by a rush at having vocalized the thoughts he had so many, many times while in Lizzie's presence.
"Ohhhhhh ... Mr. S.! You are the sweetest thing ever!"
Lizzie showed her fetching smile through her tears, which were finally waning. She practically jumped at Nate and threw her arms around him for a hug. Nate was always aware of Lizzie's big breasts whenever she hugged him. And this was no exception. He felt his face getting flushed from embarrassment. He was glad that Lizzie didn't seem to notice.
"Lizzie," Nate said as the girl withdrew from the embrace, "you really, really deserve so much better than someone who talks to you like that and who acts that way. You're worth too much to be treated like a sex doll."
This time Lizzie could not help but feel the irony in hearing a term like "sex doll" come from prim and proper Mr. S. Before he could feel embarrassed, Nate saw the expression on Lizzie's face and they both burst out laughing. When they finally calmed down, Lizzie spoke first.
"Ohhh! Mr. S.! That was soooo funny!"
"Lizzie, I'm so sorry," Nate said as he recovered from his own fit of laughter and felt awkward again. "I shouldn't be speaking to you like that. And I'm making all kinds of inappropriate assumptions. I'm really sorry."
"What do you mean?" she asked.
"Well, I'm just assuming that you're ... you know ... sexually active. I really have no idea about that. And, it is absolutely none of my business whatsoever."
"It's totally O.K., Mr. S. I'm not shy about it at all. I've had sex with Vince from the beginning. I've had sex with all my boyfriends for at least like, five years now."
Nate did not want to consider the reality of that statement, since it would mean both that nineteen-year-old Lizzie had been having sex since she was fourteen. Further scary was the possibility that his own daughter Alexa, who was exactly Lizzie's age, was having sex as well.
"Wow. Well, Lizzie, all I can really say about that is that I really, really hope you're not being used by these guys."
"What makes you think that?"
"Honey, what I mean is that it doesn't sound like Vince treats you very well at all. But you're sexually active with him."
"Lizzie ... you are an incredible catch! You have so, so much to offer, in so many ways. Any guy should be treating you like a queen before he even gets a chance to be intimate with you. But I'm afraid that's not the case."
"I don't really understand what you mean, Mr. S."
"Honey ... I guess what I'm trying to say is, it seems like you're giving it away too easily. There's nothing that says you have to have sex with these guys. That's totally up to you ... one hundred percent. And furthermore, if these other guys treat you the way Vince does, not one of them should come anywhere close to the privilege of ... having you ... I mean ... of getting to ... with you..."
Nate felt a wave of embarrassment wash over him once again. He looked away from Lizzie in an attempt to hide it. It didn't work.
"Oh, Mr. S.!" Lizzie said. "It's sooooo cute that you're embarrassed to talk about this!"
"I'm sorry again, Lizzie. I really shouldn't be speaking to you about all that."
"No, seriously, Mr. S. It's totally, totally fine. I don't mind at all. Nobody ever talks to me like this ... so seriously, I mean. I actually really appreciate you being so honest with me."
"I'm glad, Lizzie. I just don't want you to feel anything but love and respect from me."
She grabbed Nate for another hug, this time more powerfully than before. And she held the hug for much longer.
"What was that for?" Nate asked.
"I don't know, Mr. S. I just feel so safe with you and I so much appreciate you listening to me." She paused to think. "But there's one thing that I'm not sure you really understand."
"What's that, Honey?"
"You do know that the guys I go out with EXPECT to have sex, don't you?"
"Lizzie ... of course I do! But what YOU don't seem to understand is, YOU DON'T HAVE TO GIVE THEM SEX! At least not ONLY on their terms. I mean, do you just do whatever they want, whenever they want it?"
"Well, yea," Lizzie replied with a genuine look of confusion.
"Honey, do they even reciprocate?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean..." Nate halted again, realizing he was at the edge of risky waters. "Honey ... clearly you um ... satisfy these guys, right? I mean, you ... and they..."
"Oh ... yea!" she said with a chuckle. "Of course. Of course I do ... and they do! They finish!"
Nate groaned internally at how explicit the conversation was becoming and at how incredibly at ease Lizzie was with it.
"O.K. I get that. They get what they want. Um ... do they satisfy you in return?"
Lizzie opened her mouth to give a quick reply and she was amazed to find that she had none. She stopped to consider Nate's words. Finally, she asked for clarification.
"Um ... I don't mean to sound dumb. But, what do you mean by that?"
Nate wondered how he could explain without being instantly branded a pervert.
O.K., let's see. Well, you know what I mean, don't you? You have, sexual relations, in one way or another. And the guys ... how do you say it these days... ? Oh, O.K. The guys have a 'happy ending.' You said they did, right?"
Nate's shy awkwardness brought laughter erupting from Lizzie once again. Nate simply shook his head at himself for being such an idiot. Lizzie read his expression perfectly.
"Oh, Mr. S.! Please ... I'm not laughing at you. Don't be embarrassed! It's just that I didn't expect to hear you say THAT. It was so funny!"
"Oh well, Sweetheart. You get the point, right?" He hoped to move on quickly.
"Sure I do. I know what you meant, now. And yes, they do. Always."
"O.K. So, my question remains ... do you?"
Another puzzled look spread across Lizzie's face.
"Lizzie, Honey ... it's pretty simple. Do any of these guys take the time, make the effort that you do, in order to give you ... you know ... a happy ending?"
This time rather than burst out laughing, Lizzie looked very serious as she considered Nate's question.
"I ... um ... I don't know. I guess I'm not really sure."
Now it was Nate's turn to look puzzled.
"Lizzie ... what do you mean? What do you mean, you don't know? How can you not be sure?"
"I ... just don't know."
"Well, Honey ... how can... ? I mean, either you do or you don't."
"I do or I don't what?"
"Oh, Man... ," Nate said, feeling slightly exasperated. "Are you really going to make me say this?" He waited for Lizzie to answer, but she simply continued to look at him cluelessly. "Lizzie ... do any of these guys give you orgasms?"
Lizzie's look went from confusion to disbelief ... not because of what Nate had asked, but because she did not know how to answer him.
"Mr. S... ," she began, "Um ... maybe? I ... I really don't know."
"Are you serious, Lizzie? You're not just messing around with me, are you?"
"Mr. S., I swear ... I don't know. Is that possible? Is it possible that I don't know?"
"Wow," Nate replied. "I guess. I guess it's possible. But I think that might mean..."
"Might mean what?"
"It might mean, that you've never had one. Could that be true?"
"Well ... I don't know ... I ... I really don't think about that."
"Sweetheart ... I'm thinking that if you don't KNOW if you've ever had an orgasm, then you probably never have."
"Shit!" Lizzie exclaimed. "I think you're right! I don't think I ever have!"
"Lizzie ... don't you ... you know ... touch yourself?"
"Yea, once in a while, I guess. But ... not all that much."
"I don't know what to say, Honey. I mean, I think that, before you can expect a guy to satisfy you, you need to figure out what it feels like to ... you know ... to ... climax."
"You mean, to cum, right, Mr. S.?" Lizzie said with a grin.
"Yes, Lizzie. That's what I mean," he replied, noting that he was starting to get the hang of this frank discussion. "I think you should go home and do a little private exploring. Figure out what feels good to you. You'll figure it out, I promise."
"What if I can't? I don't think I can do it by myself."
"Well, maybe Vince ... no. Scratch that thought. I don't think you should go back and do anything with Vince, ever."
"No, I don't want to anymore either."
"Lizzie, aren't there any decent guys that you spend time with? Guys that really care about you, who want what's best for you, who aren't out only for themselves?"
Lizzie thought for a few long moments.
"Well, there is this one guy who fits that description."
"Great. Well, see if that guy can help you figure it out. See if he can explore with you and help you make it happen. Who's the guy ... if you don't mind me asking?"
Lizzie gave Nate another big hug. But this time rather than draping herself over him, she actually climbed onto his lap and wrapped her arms around his neck, squeezing him tightly.
"Lizzie ... take it easy Sweetheart," Nate exclaimed. "Anyway, you don't have to tell me who the guy is."
Lizzie leaned back from her embrace.
"But I want to tell you," she said very earnestly. "You."
"Wha ... what?" Nate asked. "Me what?"
"It's you. You're the only guy who fits that description. You care about me. I know that so much. And it's so important to me. I want you to help me figure it out."
"Lizzie! You can't be serious. Stop this right now. Come on, Lizzie. That wasn't what I meant at all."
"I know it wasn't. It wasn't your idea at all. But you're the only one, Mr. S. You're the only man I know who cares about me like that, except of course my dad."
"Right ... well, I really don't think he can help you. But Lizzie, seriously..."
"You care about me, you know me, you care about more than yourself..." She paused and looked into Nate's eyes. "You love me, Mr. S. And besides, the guys I know are all about my age. But I'd much rather have someone show me who knows what they're doing."
"Lizzie, now this has to stop. What you're suggesting is ... it's insane and impossible."
"You said you think I'm attractive, Mr. S. You think I'm hot, don't you?"
Lizzie pursed her lips and raised her eyebrows playfully.
"Lizzie, it's hardly that. You're absolutely gorgeous. But you're nineteen! You're my daughter's best friend! This is ridiculous. Let's cut this out right now. Please, sit back on the couch, Honey."
Lizzie moved from Nate's lap. She mocked a pout and a look of dejectedness, which made Nate think she was going to let him off the hook. But after she dismounted him, she lay back on the couch and began to unbutton her fly.
"Please, Mr. S., you don't even have to do anything. Just watch and tell me what to do. I know you can do it. I know I can do it with your help."
Nate became aware of two things in the next few moments. First, he knew that Lizzie's hand was already inside her pants and had quickly reached its target. Secondly, he realized that he had gotten an erection.
"Tell me what to do, Mr. S.," Lizzie said as she moved her hand up and down inside her pants. "It feels really good so far."
"Lizzie, please..." Nate said in an attempt to protest.
He knew he should leave the room. He wanted no part of this. But through a combination of pure rationalization and genuine care for this young girl, he began to tell himself that she really did need help. And who was there to offer it? The guys she hung around with were part of the problem. She was right that they were only interested in their own satisfaction, not hers. But if she didn't know what she needed, what felt good to her, then how could she ever direct anyone else to give it to her?
"Mmmmm ... it feels really good. I'm all wet. What should I do now?"
"Oh, Lizzie ... I can't ... I shouldn't ... I ... shit. Can you slip your jeans down?"
Nate could not believe the words had come from his own mouth. Lizzie did as he had instructed. The hand that had been in her crotch now surfaced, shimmering with her wetness. She put it and her other hand on the waistband of her pants and pushed them down. She raised her hips so the pants could clear her bottom.
"Can you help me?" Lizzie said, looking into Nate's eyes.