I had a great friend growing up; her name was Becky. We went to school together; actually we walked to the bus stop each morning from different directions. We were always the first ones there. We talked about school and our families. We also sat next to one another on the bus, which generated a lot of "Becky and Ricky, sitting in the tree, K I S S I N G."
I'm Ricky Summers -- She's Becky Knowles. She's a blonde, with blue eyes and I'm a blond with brown eyes. Her eyes are kind of pretty -- I try not to stare at her.
Over the next couple of years we kept seeing each other at the school bus stop, me getting taller and she was getting prettier. We started to hold hands, which started up the song, again and again.
When we were both fourteen, our mothers started taking us to school. They didn't know each other yet, and so we didn't get our time alone at the bus stop at the beginning of each day.
We were given a project to work on in Science class, so I had to talk to my mother about one of us going to the other one's house...
"My little Ricky has a girlfriend?" mom teased.
"Mom, she's a girl AND she's a friend, but she's not a girlfriend."
My sixteen-year-old sister Tiffany walked in just then.
"Did I hear right, that my little brother has a girlfriend? What species is she?"
I went over to my sister and did the really adult thing to do and stomped on her left foot, causing her to scream her bloody head off, while mom just covered her mouth and went back to fixing dinner.
She said, "Where does this young lady live, Ricky?"
"Five blocks from here, Mom — we've got a Science project to work on, and one of us needs to go to the other's house to work on it. It's 30% of the grade and the best project goes on to the school district Science Fair!"
"Have you picked out a project yet, Ricky?"
"Nope, we don't have time during the day to talk about it, so I was hoping you'd let me go over to her house for a couple of hours, so we can come up with a cool project."
"Mom, he just wants to go over to her house to breed with her?" Tiffany said laughing crazily, while she rubbed her foot.
Blushing I said, "Mom, that's not true, we've known each other for over four years. We're 'school' friends — that's all. I'm sorry for my sister's tantrums. I think its time to take her in to see the psychiatrist and find out what the voices in her head are saying to one another."
Tiffany stormed out, still limping, while I saw Mom not completely able to control her laughter.
"Fine, take your phone with you and be home for dinner two hours from now. I usually require a 'friend' to meet your father and me first, but something tells me this Becky's all right. Call me when you get there, honey?"
"Thanks Mom — you're pretty cool," I said on my way out.
I called Becky, to tell her I'd meet her at the bus stop. We did, and walked to her house, holding hands the whole way.
"Are we boyfriend and girlfriend, Becky?" I said, causing her to stop and look at me.
"Why do you ask that, Ricky?"
"I don't know, my older sister said something — something mean about you, that made me think of asking."
"Your older sister doesn't even know me, why would she say something mean about someone she doesn't even know?" Becky said.
"She's sixteen and kind of mean all of the time, and I got upset when she said what she said. I stepped on her foot."
"Really, you did that for me?" Becky said, now with a real sweet smile on her face. "You defended my honor, thank you Ricky."
"Well, here's my house," Becky declared.
"Did you tell anyone I was coming over?" I asked.
"It doesn't matter, as long as we're quiet, but I should introduce you to my mother."
"What's her first name, Becky?"
"Norah," she answered.
We walked into the kitchen and I saw an older version of Becky fixing food. She looked at us and smiled.
"Who's this young man, Becky?" she said, slicing some potatoes, I think.
"This is Ricky Summers, Mom. We've been best friends since fourth grade. We met at the bus stop and now we're in the same Science class. We've a project to design and show for class."
"Nice to meet you Ricky. You can call me Norah if you'd like. I never much liked being called Mrs. Knowles."
"My mother has said the same thing to me before, Norah. I really don't understand, but I never thought anyone as pretty as you, should be called 'Mrs. Anything.'"
"Why thank you Ricky, that's awfully nice of you to say. Dinner will be in less then an hour, you're invited if you'd like?" Norah said.
"Just a minute, please?" I got my phone out and called home.
"Hello?" mom said.
"I'm here Mom; I was asked to stay for dinner — is that all right with you?"
"Let me talk to Becky's mother please?" mom asked.
I handed the phone to Norah and they spoke for a couple of minutes, then I got the phone back.
Smiling, Norah said, "She sounds like a lovely lady — It's been OK'd. Work on whatever it is you two have to work on, and then you're staying for dinner. Then I'll get someone, if not myself, to take you home later."
"Gee, thanks Norah. We'll be working at the sofa; we're still conceptualizing our Science project," I said as I walked Becky over to the sofa.
Using our smart phones, we looked at different science projects other 8th graders have done, but we didn't like anything, so we made a list of the five types of Science Fair projects,
1. Experimentation or Investigation
After looking that list over for a while, Becky and I decided to do a Research project.
After talking about it and developing it into a series of questions to be answered, I asked Becky, if I could try out our idea on her mother.
Becky said, "Sure, she can always say 'No.'"
I walked back into the kitchen, and got Norah's attention.
"Yes, kids — what can I do for you now?" Norah said, still working away at slicing something.
"Mom, we've decided that we're doing a Research project, and we've a series of questions to ask you. If there is anything you don't want to answer, it's OK," Becky said.
"Since you're a girl, how old were you when you first met a boy that you think you liked?" I asked.
"Interesting question kids — Well, when I was nine I ... remember meeting a young boy named ... Robert. He was nine also, and I thought he was cute, and I think I liked him. Is that the kind of answer you were looking for?"
"Yes, Mother it is. Next?" Becky looked over at me and giggled.
"How old were you when you first met a boy that you think liked you?" I asked.
"Uhm, interesting derivative. I must've been almost eleven, and that was the year I met Andrew. He was real nice to me, but I thought he was a bit of a doofus. That means..."
"I know what that means Norah, my mother calls my father one all of the time," I said.
They both laughed, so I laughed too.
"Next question?" Norah asked.
I looked at my phone and read, "Norah the next couple of questions are very personal, don't answer if you don't want -- At what age did you start your menses?"
I looked and saw she was rather shocked at this question, but rather impassively answered, "Twelve years old."
"Follow up question; How old were you the first time you had sex?" I said, looking down.
"Ricky, if you're going to be asking that question, don't look down? It'll cause the person you're asking to think you're ashamed of the question. Also, using the generic term 'sex' could start a landslide of questions back and forth about what one person considers sex. I assume you're asking about vaginal sex?"
I went as white as a sheet the moment she said the word 'vaginal.' Becky giggled but grabbed my hand and held me up.
I straightened up, stood up, cleared my throat and asked, "How old were you when you first experienced vaginal sex?"
"Seventeen years old," Norah answered.
"Thank you Mrs. Knowles for your cooperation."
I walked out of the kitchen with Becky and asked where the bathroom was. I got there just before I threw up. I washed my face, gargled with some Listerine I found and came back out.
I walked up to Becky and said, "Sorry about that?"
She gave me a little peck on the cheek, just as her father came through the door. He took off his hat and coat, loosened his tie, and then noticed me.
"Well, who is this nice looking young man, Becky?" he asked.
"Ricky Summers, please meet my father, Russell Knowles — Daddy this is Ricky."
He put his hand out, so I did what my father had told me once, 'Be in control of the handshake, let them shake yours, ' and it worked!
"A nice firm handshake, very good Ricky. Are you staying for dinner, son?"
"Yes, sir — your lovely wife, Norah invited me to stay," I replied.
"Daddy, Ricky and I have developed a Research project for our Science class, can we ask you the questions, after dinner please?"
"Certainly, let me take a look at the paper, so I'm only twelve hours behind the news cycle of the day," He chuckled, sitting down.
"Mr. Knowles, you still read the newspaper for news? All of the current news is on the Internet, including local news," I said.
"I know that Ricky. My life revolves around technology, so I still read the paper to see if they got anything right or not.
.... There is more of this story ...