Holly Grandal had been my dream girl since I was in the fifth grade. She was the smartest girl in the class, and I was the smartest boy.
We used to be the last two standing in any of the class spelling bees or multiplication table contests. When the Iowa Test of Basic Skills was administered in the fifth through eighth grades, Holly and I had the two highest scores in our school each and every year. We took turns in first and second place, with her at the top in fifth and seventh grades, and me taking the crown in sixth and eighth grades.
Each time she beat me at anything, she'd raise an eyebrow and say with a superior smirk, "Catch me if you can!" It used to grate on my nerves to no end.
We competed fiercely, but down deep I carried a torch for her. When I had my first erection, it was while watching Holly at the swimming pool. When I had my first wet dream, she was lurking in my sleepy haze as I awoke to sticky sheets. When I thought about who would wind up on top, it was no longer in regard to results from the latest test or assignment.
But I kept my feelings to myself. I could not afford to lose my competitive edge by showing a weakness toward my primary competitor.
By high school, Holly was becoming the subject of other boys' wet dreams as well. She had grown a nice pair of boobs. Her boyish rear end became a shapely derriere. Her rather thick glasses were replaced with contact lenses, showing off her sparklingly intelligent blue eyes. She began to wear makeup and make an effort to do something more stylish with her thick raven-colored hair. And her braces were removed to reveal a killer smile.
She was beautiful, she was funny, and she was smart – all any guy could ever want. The key was getting her to want in return. Or so I thought.
The truth was that Holly was an ice princess. To my knowledge, no guys broke through her cool façade – or her hymen – during all of high school.
We crossed paths (and swords) frequently. We competed against each other in the same honors classes, matched wits at science fairs and math contests, wrote competing columns for the high school newspaper and vied for the same prizes in the school literary magazine. And each time that she emerged victorious, that eyebrow would go up, those lips would curl into a smirk, and those words would rain scorn down upon me: "Catch me if you can!"
My only intellectual endeavor without her was the chess club. I guess there were limits to her fraternization with the geeks.
We remained academic adversaries to the bitter end, at which time we shared a podium as co-valedictorians of our high school graduating class. And, true to form, at the end of her speech she turned to me in front of the entire auditorium full of people and said, "Catch me if you can, Derek!" It was all I could do to regain my composure and present a coherent co-valedictory address to the gathered crowd.
The next fall, I was off to Boston College on a National Merit Scholarship. Holly went to Harvard. For the two years that followed, I heard nothing more of her or from her, despite the fact that we were off at school in the same city.
In September of my junior year, I was in a sports bar watching the Red Sox on TV on a Friday night. They were in the middle of a heated pennant race. I had become a rabid fan, a member of Red Sox Nation.
"Howdy, stranger!" rang out a female voice across the bar. I looked down from the flat screen TV and saw a nice pair of not-so-flat boobs. There was plenty of cleavage showing from under a clingy floral print cotton top. I'd recognize those boobs anywhere.
I re-directed my attention to the boob-owner's lovely heart-shaped face, her raven-colored hair framing a pair of intelligent, sparkling blue eyes. Sure enough, it was Holly Grandal. She flashed me a killer smile.
"Derek! Iss – iss been too l-long!" she cooed with a slur, blowing me air kisses as if we were long-lost lovers. Her words carried the slur of an alcoholic stupor.
I looked her over as she weaved toward me. Her legs were lean and sexy, well-displayed beneath a short black wraparound linen skirt as she walked.
"Um ... Holly. Yeah, it's been a while," I replied as she approached my table.
I was uncomfortable. We had grown up together, but we were now strangers. Our common bond had been our competition, but after more than two years apart, there was virtually nothing to talk about. But, damn, did she look good.
"Here to watch the game?" I managed to ask.
What a weak attempt at small talk, I thought to myself. I may as well just drop my knuckles to the floor like a Neanderthal and ogle her breasts again. It would show just as much intellectual acumen as my feeble question.
"Nah, I'm here to fuckin' get DRUNK!" she chortled, "and after that, maybe to fuckin' get LAID!"
A tinge of pink began to color her cheeks as she stood over me. I couldn't help but notice her lovely pair of C-cups protruding toward my face. I tried to avert my eyes.
Moreover, I couldn't believe my ears. Holly Grandal, prim and proper little miss ice maiden, talking through expletives about going to a bar to get drunk and get laid. I shook my head roughly in disbelief.
"Well, why don't you have a seat and watch the game with me? The Sox are playing the Yankees. We can talk over old times..."
"Screw the fuckin' Yankees!" she exclaimed. "And how about les – les f'get ol' times and talk 'bout the fuckin' press – pres – present?" She swayed slightly as she spoke.
It was clear from her speech and her demeanor that she had already been bar-hopping that evening. What wasn't clear was why she would be out by herself in that condition. A vulnerable woman in the big city was an easy target for muggers, rapists or worse.
"Sure, Holly," I answered, rising to pull a chair out for her. "Let me buy you a drink. What're you havin'? Coffee?"
"Nah, gimme the fuckin' good stuff," she muttered, then erupted in a fit of giggles. For the first time in my recollection, I felt sorry for Holly Grandal.
The next time the waitress stopped by, I ordered us each a stiff drink. In a way, I was miffed that my drunken colleague was keeping me away from the ball game. But as the evening wore on, and I watched her across the table, I found myself getting hornier and hornier for my childhood flame, despite her liquefied condition.
Fueled by a little too much liquid courage myself, I boldly asked her why she was out looking to get laid.
"Aww, Derek – you're so fuckin' sweet to ask," she giggled. "You wanna fuckin' do me the honors?"
I'm sure I turned beet red. Not knowing whether to laugh it off or pursue it with vigor, I held the middle ground. "Is that what you want?" I queried casually.
"Lemme – lemme fuckin' tell you a fuckin' seek – a fuckin' secret, Derek baby," she purred.
I didn't recall Holly ever swearing in high school, let alone dropping the f-bomb every second word. Something was different about Holly. I guess the alcoholic stupor was the first indication that something was amiss.
"Sure, Holly – we're old friends. You can tell me anything. Your secret's safe with me."
Holly paused. A tear slowly dribbled out of her eye. Her chin began to quiver and her lips seemed to struggle to form the right words.
"I – I can – can fuckin' trust you, Derek?"
Despite our fierce rivalry in earlier years, I had never done anything to violate her trust. There had been no cheating to beat her, no stepping on her to accomplish my goals – just pure, simple, unadulterated, honest competition.
"Have I ever crossed you, Holly?" I asked sincerely.
She contemplated for a moment, her eyes still somewhat glazed. "Naw, you were always a fuckin' goody two-shoes. Just like me..." Her voice faded off, as did her gaze. I wasn't sure whether it was the alcohol or a distant memory.
"So – are you gonna tell me your secret?" I asked.
She still hesitated a moment longer. Then, sucking up her fortitude, she looked me in the eye. "I'm fuckin' lookin' to get laid 'cuz I've never fuckin' BEEN laid," she confessed.
You could have knocked me over with a feather. After all that braggadocio, she was a goddamn virgin! I'm sure my jaw dropped and my eyes bugged.
She saw my response and laughed quietly. For a moment, I didn't know whether to take her confession seriously. But then I decided she had no reason to joke about something like that. And she had indeed been an ice princess in high school.
"But, Holly – why in the HELL would you come to a SPORTS BAR looking to get laid for your FIRST TIME?"
She squinted at me and raised a superior eyebrow. "Why the hell NOT?" she asked. "Isn't a fuckin' sp – a fuckin' sports bar a place where fuckin' MEN like to – to fuckin' hang out?"
I shook my head, trying to convey an air of disgust. "Christ, Holly – you'd fuck a total STRANGER for your first time to get laid? Shouldn't it be with someone SPECIAL?"
She laughed again, this time an outright cackle. She laughed so hard that she nearly barfed. When she finally got it under control, she laid her forehead on the table to regain her composure.
When she finally looked up at me, she had another tear streaming down her cheek. "You were always such a fuckin' know-it-all, Derek. Some things never fuckin' change."
I nearly walked out right then and there. But there was something genuine about her tears. I wanted to know more.
I counted to ten before responding. "Okay, Holly. I'm sorry to judge so quickly – I DON'T fuckin' know it all. Pretend like I'm a totally blank slate. Draw me a picture."
.... There is more of this story ...