They say you should always start at the beginning, though I've never really been sure who "they" were. But I have to start somewhere, I guess.
When I turned 16 years old, my mom tossed me in the car and took me to the local burger joint and got me a job. I never even talked to the manager, except to confirm that I'd be there the next day and to thank her. I can't say I was too upset about it, though, since the manager was a short, very stacked blonde with a cute face. I blushed a bit with the sort of improper thoughts that are always inhabiting a sixteen year old mind, and looked forward to the next day of work.
Working at a burger joint is about as unglamorous as it gets, but generally speaking all of your coworkers are roughly your same age, and the managers are young as well. It makes integration fairly simple, but the same sort of class warfare that you see in high school tends to crop up. Cliques form, crude language gets thrown around, hazing occurs, and so on. I was a good kid, but not too good. As they say, I'd fractured an ordinance or two in my time, but generally was fairly harmless.
The manager's name was Jen, and I ogled her every chance I got. The uniforms were anything but flattering, but curves like hers were impossible to hide. She had a truly amazing rack, even through that bulky mesh polo shirt. Black jeans were the standard, and hers were never overly tight, except where they covered her ass. She was cute enough in the face, but the body is what constantly drew my attention.
In the time-honored tradition of sixteen year olds everywhere, I set out to gain her attentions in about the worst way possible. I began acting like a damn fool, trying my damndest to make her laugh, and therefore like me. I guess that was pretty well established as my favorite method by that point. As a teenager, I was a string bean, hovering near six feet, but only about 130 pounds or so. I wasn't ugly or handsome, just sort of middle of the road. I certainly couldn't compete with the upper echelon of jocks for the cheerleader set on looks alone. I did, though, have a knack for making people laugh, which became my defense mechanism and tool of choice for wooing the opposite sex.
It worked about as well as you'd think. It got me a few dates, but none of them were with any of the 'beautiful people'. It got me laid a few times, but usually with girls that were pretty low-hanging fruit, which is to say they were quite experienced and not very discerning. To my surprise, though, those girls were generally very kind, and took to my sexual education with gusto. I got some pretty top-notch training, as far as I was concerned, and got to enjoy myself in the process. Sure, none of the dalliances could qualify for the 'relationship' moniker, but when you're a young teenager, a roll in the hay is always welcome.
Jen wasn't amused. Not even a little bit. She wasn't that much older than us, but she was a lot more mature, and didn't have a lot of patience for foolishness. In a stunning fit of immaturity, I had my best friend pass word to her that I liked her. Her response was as blunt and as harsh as I had feared. She made it quite clear that she wasn't impressed, wasn't flattered, and that it was never going to happen.
Well then. I died the death of the broken-hearted teenager and quickly moved on. So did she, come to find out. We had another coworker at the burger joint by the name of Rocky. As far as I knew that really was his name, but I never got close enough to him to find out. He and I were civil to each other, but he was a loud, large, rough-around-the-edges type. Whenever we had trouble with a customer or a drunk who had wandered in, Rocky was the guy we called to handle it. He would make the trouble disappear in a pretty big hurry. He wasn't ridiculously muscled, just very, very big. Six and a half feet or so, and just heavy all over. You could say he was carrying a beer belly, but you'd be pretty sure to say it where he couldn't hear.
Rumors started flying around the burger joint that Rocky and Jen were seeing each other. At first none of us believed it, me least of all. He was nothing like what we all assumed her type would be, after all. But then one day she showed up to work with him, riding in his truck, and they kissed right in front of everyone as she slid out of the seat and came in to start her shift. Rocky peeled out of the parking lot, and Jen came in blushing, but grinning at the same time.
It was a definite scandal, but in a place like that, much as in high school, scandal only lasts so long. By the next week, it was sort of accepted, and we all just rolled our eyes at their frequent displays of affection. Rocky was crude, loud, and domineering, and Jen seemed to be loving it. She grinned all the time, snuggled up to him during their breaks, and generally cooed about him to anyone who would listen. She would regale us with stories of the things he had bought her, or the places they had gone together. We were happy for her, for the most part, though I was still intensely jealous.
It was a hot flame, and it died out quickly. Within a month, they were 'broken up', and Jen was backtracking like mad. She said that they had never really been 'together', but had just gone out a few times. Neither one of them was inclined to talk about the reason for their separation, but rumor flew rampant that he had hit her, or cheated on her, or something like that. With Rocky, just about everything was on the table, and the fact that she refused to talk was extremely interesting to a bored immature workforce.
I got a call at home one day, and was shocked to hear that it was Jen, and that she was wondering if I was free for dinner. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I told her I'd be happy to meet her wherever she liked. I couldn't believe it ... what was this all about? Only one way to find out, I suppose.
I showed up an hour early. I might have been a little overexcited. She showed up right on time, and we smiled at each other and headed in together. I held the doors for her, and pulled out her chair for her, just like my mommy had taught me. She was all smiles, but not saying much beyond trivialities. We ordered, and then I put it to her bluntly.
"So ... what's this all about?"
"What do you mean?" she asked.
"Well, I can't recall us ever doing this before, I don't think you've ever gone to dinner with any of the other employees, except for Rocky, and you made it pretty clear a while back that you weren't interested in me in any way, shape or form. All of which makes me wonder ... what's this all about?"
Jen blushed at the mention of Rocky's name and looked down.
"You know, I'm only 23 years old", she said. At this point I was 19, so she was only 4 years up on me. I hadn't known that, but also couldn't see the relevance.
"I guess what I'm saying is that I'm far from perfect, and that I make mistakes that I'd really like to take back sometimes."
Gulp. Was she saying what I thought she was saying? The question must have been clear on my face.
"The thing is ... I haven't been on a whole lot of dates until now. I made manager really early, and have been working hard at it. They're talking about moving me to Corporate headquarters and making me a district manager, and I'd be the youngest one in the history of the company! And while that's great, it doesn't really leave a whole lot of time for ... other stuff."
"I guess I can see that. But ... what sort of 'other stuff' did you have in mind when you asked me to dinner?"
She flushed again and looked off to her left for a long moment.
"You know about Rocky and me, right?"
"Everyone knew about you and Rocky, but you guys are broken up, right?"
"Well, we were never really together, so broken up is a bit strong, but we're not seeing each other, if that's what you mean."
"That's good enough, I guess ... since we're talking though ... what happened between you two? You seemed like you were really happy with him, and then one day, nothing."
Jen grimaced a bit, then took a long breath.
"I wasn't willing to sleep with him, so he went and hooked up with some other girl. He didn't even bother trying to hide it ... as a matter of fact he did it while I was still in the same room asleep."
I was beyond shocked. Talk about a loaded statement! She wasn't willing to have sex with him, but she was apparently literally sleeping with him at some point. And Rocky had cheated on her! And done it right in front of her face!
"Holy shit", I mumbled.
"I'm really sorry ... Rocky's a dick on roller skates. That's a fucked up thing to do to someone..."
"I know. That's why I broke it off. I told him I didn't want to see him any more outside of work."
"I know it's sort of none of my business and all, but did you guys, uh ... fool around?"
She chuckled a little bit, but the laugh didn't reach her eyes.
"Not really, no. He wanted to, for sure, but I was pretty firm about it. I'm a virgin, and it's really important to me to save all that stuff for after marriage."
Wince. That was NOT the sort of thing I wanted to hear right at this particular juncture. After all, it wasn't like I was in love with the girl, but I was damn sure in lust with her.
"I can understand that, I guess, and I think it's awesome that you stuck to your guns on that."
"Thanks. I know it's sort of an outdated stance, but I can't help it. That's how I feel."
.... There is more of this story ...