I love Tommy. I can't imagine a better brother.
Last Saturday I wanted to go to the mall with Jennifer and Mandy but Mom said no because I still had the laundry to do. Wash, dry, fold, iron and hang, put away. It would only take me about three hours to finish it, so I kind of begged her.
"Mom, I'll do it when I get back. Please let me go. They are going to look at dresses for the dance."
"No, Susan. We all have our responsibilities and you have yours too. You could have started last night if you wanted to go to the mall today."
"But, Mom, I didn't know they were going. They just called a few minutes ago. Please?"
Well, maybe I more than kind of begged her, but she stubbornly held out. Dad would have let me go. Why did he have to go golfing on Saturdays!
Tommy came into the kitchen when I was asking ... no, make that begging ... no, make that whining for the third time.
"Hey Sis, you know whining won't get you anywhere with Mom. Not even Dad. Now begging maybe with Dad, but not whining. Why don't you try negotiating? That works better with Mom."
"Tommy, you cut that out. Don't go giving your sister ideas. She has enough of them all on her own," said Mom.
"I tried that. I told her I would do the laundry when I get back, but she said no."
"How about you offer to make a deal with her."
"Tommy, I warned you not to interfere."
"Aw, Mom, how about just a little grown-up horse trading so she can see how to do it?"
"So, Sweets, how about if you ask your favorite brother to do the laundry for you now—because Mom obviously wants it done now, not later. And to satisfy Mom's need for you to show responsibility, you offer to do the dishes and clean up after dinner for him next week in addition to your own chores? Doing all that extra work voluntarily will show her how important this trip to the mall is for you. Make sense?"
"Well yeah, but that's a lot of extra work I have to do, just to go to the mall."
"Sure it is. And that will show Mom how important this is, and that you are willing to take responsibility to do your share around here, and it will give her a good excuse to show some compassion without giving in."
"Harrumph. Too smart for your own good."
"See, Sis. If we make the deal, Mom will probably go for it. Whaddya say?"
"Okay, but if I'm going to do your work for you, you've got to do me some extra favors."
"Whoa, whoa, there Susan. You don't want to talk Mom out of letting you go because you are backpedaling on your deal even before you're out the door, do you?"
"No ... no. Of course not. Mom can we do what Tommy said?"
"Well, Susan, if this is a deal between you and me, with Tommy as an interested party, then I suppose you should be the one to offer me your terms—in your own words. Tell me, yourself, what you want and what you are offering." Mom was in her lawyer mode again.
"Mom, you know! What Tommy just said."
"Tell me yourself, then. Take your time and get it right so I can decide."
"Okay. I was supposed to do the laundry this week, but Tommy offered to do it for me this morning if I will clean up after supper next week for him—in addition to my own chores, which next week will include the laundry again. Is that okay? Can I go to the mall now?"
"May I go."
"May I go to the mall? Please?"
"Are you happy with the deal, Susan. Do you think Tommy took advantage of you?"
"Well, maybe a little, but I don't think you would have gone for the deal if I got away with something, would you?"
"That's good thinking on your part. No, I probably wouldn't.
"Tommy, are you satisfied? You know you didn't really gain anything, doing her work this week in addition to your own, for her doing the same for you next week. Are you okay with this?"
"Sure, Mom. You guys aren't fighting. Sis isn't whining. She gets to go to the mall with her friends. And I get to play with you guys' underwear."
"Tommy!" we both shouted at him.
So see, Tommy is smart and helpful and figures out how to help me. He took me to the mall and dropped me in front of Target. I started to get out. Instead I jumped up on my knees and leaned over the console and grabbed his head and kissed him a wet one on the cheek.
"Thanks, Tommy, for being such a wonderful brother."
"You're welcome, Sweets. It's easy with someone as nice as you."
I remember when I was just a freshman. Some of the junior boys started snapping bras on the girls. That was embarrassing but it wasn't too bad. The teachers got mad and yelled at them when they happened to catch somebody, but that wasn't very often. At least they did it to a lot of different girls, so if you got snapped, you were just one of the crowd. I told Tommy about it and he said not to make a big deal over it. If something got worse, to let him know though.
It did get worse. Some of the guys saw about sharking in Japan and decided to do it at our school. If you don't know about sharking, it is where someone comes up behind you and pulls up your skirt and pulls down your panties—while someone else takes pictures. They try to catch girls when they are alone and not suspecting or anything. Or they pull down your top and bra. And all that would be bad, but then they started taping the pictures on the lockers for everyone to see.
I was really afraid everyday at school that someone would grab me. I worried in the crowded halls when a bunch of people bumped me. Guys would kind of walk in a big bunch, laughing, and pushing each other and everyone else. I tried to stay with my friends, but they sometimes had other classes. And it was especially scary walking across the yard to the music room. None of my regular friends were in band with me.
Then one day, walking in the upper hallway from algebra to Spanish with Cindy and Jennifer, I saw two guys standing in the hallway in front of us. They were talking and joking quietly, facing away from us, but they didn't look like the academic type, with their chains and spikey hair. We kind of used our special ESP to let each other know to be careful and we moved closer to each other and over to one side of the hallway.
Before we could react, somebody ran up to us from behind and pulled Jennifer's knit top down over her shoulders and grabbed her bra straps and pulled everything down, kind of trapping her arms to her side. The guy had his hood up so we didn't get a good look at him, but I noticed a black ink stain on his left sleeve, near his elbow. He quickly turned and ran back down the other way and down the stairs even before we could yell at him. I ran after him but by the time I got to the stairs, he was gone.
At first Jennifer was so startled she turned towards the guy to see what was going on, and then she fought against him but he had surprised us. She struggled to get her hands up and cover herself, but her arms were caught. She spun away from the guy who pulled down her top ... right into the flash of two cameras. She ducked down to cover herself so then the boys with the flashes turned and ran past the Spanish classroom, down the other staircase.
Cindy and I helped Jennifer get her top back up, but she was so scared she was shaking. She was crying and huddling, so Cindy tried to comfort her but I got mad. I stomped into the Spanish classroom and started yelling at the teacher for what went on. Of course it wasn't her fault but it was right in front of her doorway. I was yelling at her for letting this happen by her room when Cindy and Jennifer came into class.
They kind of shuffled towards the back of the room and sat at a double desk. The other students were kind of shocked that I had yelled at the teacher, and I could tell the girls were feeling sorry for Jennifer—and the boys were checking her out even more than usual.
Jennifer has the biggest boobs in the class so she gets a lot of checking her out every day. More than me, but I get some too. I suppose it was her big boobs that got the sharkers after her. But now her boobs and giant, dark nipples are going to be plastered all over the hallways and the restrooms by lunchtime. I just knew it. Jennifer is shy about her size and is always very modest. I knew it was going to be humiliating for her.
I stamped my way up to Senora O'Reilly and told her I needed a pass to go find my brother to help Jennifer. Tommy would help.
"But, Susan, what could your brother do? We should contact the office and send them a report."
"Another report! And then what? Nothing again! I want to talk to Tommy. He will help."
"We can't have vigilantes roaming the halls..."
"Tommy's no vigilante—you know him, he's been your student for three years—but he will help Jennifer. I've got to talk to him so we can stop them before all those pictures get posted!"
"Okay, Susan. I'll go along. Here, take this pass requesting Tommy be excused from class. Do you know what he has this period? P.E.? Well that might be a little harder to get to him since they are probably changing, but do the best you can. I'm sending a report to the office right now."
I grabbed the pass and darted out of the classroom. I ran through the halls and out to the athletic field. The boys' gym was just across the practice diamond and I cut over the infield to the locker room entrance. I pulled up short at the double doors. I could hear boys yelling and making noise inside, but there was nobody around for me to ask to get Tommy. And I was just a freshman girl. Outside the boys' door.
But I was mad, so I pushed the door open and yelled, "Tommy, this is Susan. I need your help right now."
.... There is more of this story ...