"Oh, don't this to me! Not now ... Not today," I groaned. "Please?"
Begging wasn't going to help. There's something about me and cars that doesn't mix and everyone knows it. It's kind of a joke amongst my family and friends, but not a very funny one in my opinion. They just don't like me for some reason. Cars I mean. My friends and family, they like me just fine, or I guess they do since I'm always calling one of them for help.
I was halfway from home, which was what I still called my parents' house in the suburbs, to the university downtown where I was going to school. I had a dorm room and I stayed there during the week, but weekends I usually went home. Now it was Monday morning, just around nine-thirty, cause I was always running late, and my car died. I'd managed to get it to the side of the road anyway and I called Triple-A, cause Daddy had signed me up after the first dozen times I'd had flats, dead batteries, keys locked in the car, overheated radiators, a broken window once, suspicious noises, bad fuel pumps, bad alternators, and just about anything else you can think of ... All in cars that worked perfectly well when other people drove them.
Anyway, Triple-A could get a tow truck for me, but it would be two hours cause everyone was having a bad Monday morning apparently. I didn't have two hours, at least not for sitting around by the curb watching the world go by and trying to fend off the Good Samaritans who might be good, or might not be. Being an attractive, nineteen year old black girl was a lot like wearing a bulls-eye, according to my dad, who tended to point out every bit of bad news he came across involving young women and dangerous situations. I tend to trust people a little more than he does, but I'm not a father either, so I guess he has a right to worry.
The one time I'd accepted help from a man, a stranger who couldn't start my car but had given me a lift to a Seven-Eleven, my dad had read me the riot act after I'd told him what had happened. He made me promise that if I couldn't get Triple-A to help me, that I'd call him, or someone I knew, and just sit tight and wait. No strangers giving me rides, yes daddy, I'd promised, and as much as that chafed my grown-up opinion of myself, I had to admit it was probably good advice. There are a lot of weirdoes around, even in Minnesota, believe it or not.
"Good morning, A-1 Plumbing this is..."
"Lonnie!" I said into my celphone. "Is my dad there?"
"Kylie? Yeah, hold on..." She really did put me on hold too and I rolled my eyes to the sound of Henry Mancini's Pink Panther theme.
"Kylie? What's wrong?" my dad's deep baritone burst through a moment later, making me wince. He always got too loud when he got excited.
"Guess!" I gave him a wry laugh. "I need a ride to school."
"Shoot." I could hear my dad's frown. "I just had that car checked out last week. What did you do to it?"
"Me?" I asked incredulously. "It's a car, dad. Triple-A is going to tow it in a couple hours, but I need to get to my classes now."
"Yeah, yeah okay. Where are you?" He asked, and after I told him, "Alright, I've got Jamie heading to Brooklyn Center for a job; you're going to be right on his way. Just sit tight until he gets there, okay?"
"Okay Dad," I agreed, like what else was I gonna do?
"I mean it, stay in the car and lock the doors, Kylie."
"Dad..." I sighed. "It's nine o'clock in the morning, all the rapists are sleeping."
"It's not funny, girl," he warned me.
"I'm not laughing, man," I said, feeling a little cross actually because I didn't need a lecture over a celphone.
It was quiet for a second. "Alright, I know. Just ... Take care of yourself. Have Jamie give us a holler on the radio when he picks you up."
"Okay, Daddy," I softened. "I'm just having a Monday, you know."
"Yeah." He actually chuckled. "Me too. You tell them to take the car to Mel's? He can fix whatever he missed last week for free, that lousy..."
"Yeah, I told them, Dad. I love you." I was on a first name basis with the Triple-A people by then.
"Love you too," he said, waiting for me to hang up first, as usual. Like there might be a last second cry for help he didn't want to miss.
My dad. And they talk about over-protective moms?
I did wait in the car, but only cause it was a little brisk outside. I was like in no-man's land between suburbs, the small strips of land that were divvied up, but still undeveloped. It was kind of bleak, actually, and if you weren't from around there you'd never know I was sitting in the middle of about half a million people, with Eden Prairie a few miles behind me and Minnetonka a few miles ahead of me. I didn't know if I was lucky or not that I'd decided to avoid the highways. It didn't matter anyway; Jamie was coming to get me.
That wasn't a bad thing by any means, although I kind of wished the circumstances were different. I'd had a little crush on him since, ohhh God, I was fourteen or so? Yeah, when I was 14 years old and he'd started working for my dad, I'd taken a real liking to Jamie. He was taller than me by a few inches, probably about six feet, a little more maybe, and healthy; kind of a brawny guy with broad shoulders and big chest. Nice butt too. He didn't look like your stereotypical plumber, in fact neither my dad nor any of his employees did. They all looked like regular guys, some of them handsome, some of them not so handsome, but they didn't walk around with their asses hanging out of their pants, you know?
Jamie, with his blonde crew-cut hair and piercing blue eyes, was definitely on my handsome list. It was his smile as much as anything else that did it, a genuine infectious grin that told me everything was alright with the world. Jamie was here and it was all okay. He made my little heart go pitter-patter when I was fourteen, and fifteen and ... You know, he still got my motor running five years later, although he was married now, with a wife and no kids, but soon maybe. It had kind of broken my heart actually, the way it will to a girl when she has to realize her secret crush loves someone else. But I'd grown up a little by then, well, very little as I'd always been spoiled, obviously.
Not that we could have had anything; that was a serious dream. For one thing Jamie worked for my dad, so that would have put me off limits right there for most people. A bigger reason, and one that made even less sense actually, was that Jamie is white and I'm black. I didn't even know if Jamie liked black girls, well, I mean I knew he liked me and my mom, and my sister, sure, he liked us just fine, but would he love a black girl? I didn't know.
I wasn't supposed to love anybody but a black guy, I knew that much. My parents had drummed that into me for quite a while. Starting back in high school I was always being asked about boys, black boys that I knew at school. Who I liked and if I was going to get a boyfriend and all of that. I've always been pretty, more than pretty really, so my parents knew it was coming and they were trying to stay ahead of it, somehow. My dad figured if he was upfront about expecting me to be asked out, I'd be upfront and bring the boy home to meet him, see? It probably would have worked out real good if I'd ever met a black boy I liked well enough to date.
But I don't like black guys and so ... I never brought one home.
That's not to say I didn't have boyfriends. I did, three of them in fact, from the time I sexually awakened at fourteen until I was a senior in high school, although not at the same time obviously. They were all white and cute and, mmmm ... I did think I was in love every time, but that's part of life. You meet people and learn about yourself and others, it helps you grow, and sometimes you find out that what you really need or want is someone else. Falling in and out of puppy love is how we find real love; all that joy and pain is just ... Necessary.
Anyway, I'm getting off the subject because my mind wandered while I was waiting for Jamie to come rescue me. I just wanted to explain why a lot of people, most people, had no idea about the real me. Least of all my parents or my dad would have sent someone else to pick me up, probably. Aside from some of the kids at school, the only one who knew was my younger sister, and she wasn't telling.
"Hey Kylie, did you break it?" Jamie teased me, leaning out the window with his big grin as he parked the A-1 Plumbers van just behind me.
"Yeah, I guess so." I smiled back, shrugging my backpack over my shoulder as I got out of my car. "It's got gas and the radio works, I know that much."
"Well, hop in, I'll get ya where you need to go." He leaned over to open the passenger door for me. "Got everything you need?"
"Yep," I said, pulling myself in and pushing my bag behind the seats towards the cargo area. "Why do you have a mattress in the back of the van?"
"Huh?" Jamie looked over his shoulder.
The van was full of tools and pipes and PVC tubing and all kinds of plumbing stuff. I was familiar with all of it, having grown up riding around in those vans, but I'd never seen a mattress in one and it was pretty strange.
"Oh, uh..." Jamie made a face. "My couch is a little too small."
"Your couch?" I tilted my head, really not getting it at first, but finally it clicked. "Oh, Jamie! Brenda didn't kick you out, did she?"
"It's just for a couple nights. Don't tell your dad, okay?" Jamie looked really embarrassed so I just nodded and let it drop. "Thanks."
He found his smile again and I let the man have it, since it wasn't really any of my business anyway. It had to suck though, sleeping on a mattress in the back of a van. Obviously Jamie was really feeling bad too, if he hadn't gone to one of his friends for a place to stay. He could have talked to my dad, our house was huge and I wasn't even using my bedroom during the week. Jamie could sleep in my bed and ... That was kind of a tingly thought and I worked to clear my mind. It wasn't my business.
My dad had twelve guys working for him and eight vans like this one, plus a panel truck he used for construction work, which kept three of his guys busy on one job, but paid real good. Guys like Jamie usually worked alone, unstopping sinks and fixing leaks and stuff like that. It was a real good business and my dad, even charging competitive rates like he did, made a very good living at it. Enough to put me through college, easily. So his guys made pretty good money too and giving me a lift to school was just one of those little inconveniences that they had to put up with from time to time.
"You don't have to rush, I'm already way late." I looked at my watch. "Unless you need to rush, I mean ... Uh ... That sounds dumb." I laughed at myself. "Sorry."
"What?" Jamie laughed too. "That's cool. No, I'm in no rush. I just thought you were going to be late."
"Well, I was, but now I am, so..." Jamie always flustered me, when we were alone and my felt my face turning warm.
"I see." He nodded and I could feel his foot easing off on the accelerator.
"So, uh ... Thanks for picking me up." I brushed some imaginary black hair out of my eyes, but it was just a nervous habit.
I like my hair straight, even though it is pretty kinky anyway, but I get it permed and wear it around my shoulders usually. It looks good like that and people like it, but right then I had it in cornrows, a whole lot of long thin ones, braided real tight with cord that looked like silver filigree. My sister had talked me into it, and my mom had paid for it, so I'd tried it, being a little afraid that I'd look silly. I hadn't had my hair in cornrows since I was about twelve, but it had turned out pretty good. They just felt a little weird for the first few days.
"It's my pleasure, believe me." Jamie gave me a look and I almost thought I saw something there, but I was afraid I was just wanting to.
"Do you like my hair?" I asked him a minute later, just to stop the silence. It was making me feel awkward.
"Ahhh..." Jamie teased me with a smile. "I thought there was something different about you."
"Oh, no!" I giggled.
"I'm kidding, yeah, I love it, Kylie," he said. "You look great. You always do."
"You think so?" I asked, biting my bottom lip a little. "It doesn't make me look too..." I took a deep breath, " ... black?"
"What?" He laughed then. "Uh, not any more than you already are, nope."
"Aw, come on, you know what I mean." I mocked a small pout. "You're sure it's okay?"
"Kylie, you're about the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, black, white, or any other color. Your hair looks fine."
"Oh." I blinked at his compliment.
"What? You don't believe me?" Jamie looked at me closely as we stopped at a traffic light.
"No, I mean ... Yeah," I said. "I just, um, I didn't know you ever noticed."
"Heh!" Jamie chuckled. "You aren't supposed to know."
"Why?" I asked with a smile, thinking he was teasing me.
"Well, you're the boss' daughter for one thing," Jamie said as the light changed. "I don't think he'd be too keen on some plumber checking out his little girl."
"You mean a white plumber?" I asked him, unsure of my reasons exactly, but probably fishing for his opinion on the subject.
"Uhhh ... I don't know about that, one way or the other, but I'm pretty sure he thinks you could do better than a pipe fitter, you know?"
"Yeah, I know," I had to agree, because my dad did like to talk about me finding a nice young medical student, or some boy attending law school maybe.
"Anyway ... How'd we start talking about this?" Jamie wondered and I giggled.
"You were telling me how beautiful I am. Remember?" I teased him and then took a deep breath. "I've always, um ... You know."
"What?" he asked with a smile and there was something going on between us, like that electric feeling you get sometimes, and it gave me goosebumps.
"I just always wanted you to notice me," I confessed. "And like me, you know?"
"I've always liked you and, yeah, I noticed you lots of times, Kylie." He shook his head. "Just don't go telling your dad, okay? I need the job."
"He wouldn't fire you." I rolled my eyes. "Not unless you really did something and I wouldn't tell him anyway."
That hadn't come out exactly the way I'd meant it to, I realized a second later, and I think Jamie and I were both trying to decipher exactly what I'd just said.
"Uh, right." Jamie kind of shook his head as if to clear it. "Where is that college of yours anyway?"
"I just meant, um..." I felt my heart stammering and I had an urge to admit everything. I don't know why, but I did and so... "I've had a crush on you since I was fourteen."
"What?" Jamie turned to look at me then, narrowing his eyes for a second before looking back at the road. "Okay, well, fourteen is like that."
"It didn't go away," I said and I felt like I was just opening up my chest, and he could see my heart and really hurt it if he wanted. I was so scared.
"Kylie..." He licked his lips.
"I mean, I know you're married and all, working for my dad, but..." I lowered my voice to a whisper, "Do you ever think about me?"
"We're not going to talk like this," Jamie told me gently.
"I'm not a child anymore," I told him, sitting up straight with my large firm breasts pushed out, really posing for him and we both knew it. "If we like each other, why can't we talk about it?"
"Because I'm married," Jamie said quietly, driving slowly, keeping his eyes straight ahead. "Because you're the boss' daughter."
"I can keep a secret," I promised.
"I've had three boyfriends," I said talking fast and wanting to convince him. "They were white guys, Jamie."
" ... I love my wife." He looked at me then and I was hurting him.
"She's making you sleep in the back of a van," I said and you have no idea how much I regretted saying those words the second they fell from my lips. "I'm sorry."
I looked down at my hands and I wasn't sitting so straight anymore.
We didn't speak for the rest of the ride, which was only another seven or eight minutes anyway. I was pretty sure I'd made Jamie angry and I knew I'd embarrassed myself. Even if he had liked me before, he didn't now. What did I expect? What did I think was going to happen? Jamie was going to fall all over himself professing his undying love for me? God, I really was just a child and I wished I could crawl into a hole and die or something.
"Jamie ... I'm sorry." I hesitated before I got out and he reached for my bag, handing it to me. "I shouldn't have said what I did."
"It's okay, Kylie," he said, and even smiled, but it just made me feel worse. "I understand, I really do."
"Yeah," I sighed, but I didn't believe him. Nobody could understand.
"We're alright," Jamie said and his voice was soothing, but I was already getting out.
"Thanks for the ride." I closed the door and I was glad I didn't start crying until he pulled away.
I walked to my dorm, thankfully not seeing anyone I knew along the way. I wasn't in the mood to try and pretend like nothing was wrong, or to be cheered up, or given a sympathetic shoulder. I just wanted to be alone and when I got to my room I flopped on my bed, looking up at my collage of Johnny Depp, who is about the most beautiful man in the world. It was a bunch of photos all cut up and assembled and taped to the ceiling. He was serious in some of them, silly in others, even unrecognizable in a couple, except for his eyes. Johnny's eyes were always the same and I just looked up and wished I wasn't so stupid.
I actually had sort of a shrine to handsome white men in my little dorm room. It was mine, afterall, and the one place I knew my parents would never see. So I had some real Playgirl centerfolds hanging up here and there, not because I was seriously into pictures of naked guys, but just because I could. They were nice to look at anyway, muscular white men with large thick cocks between their legs. Handsome men too, beautiful men, like Jamie and that just made it worse.
I knew I wasn't 'in love' with Jamie. I had feelings, yeah, but I knew it wasn't true love; it was just infatuation and lust. Sure, I wanted to have sex with him. I'd had three boyfriends but I'd never done it, that's the thing. I'd let my last boyfriend steal third one night when I feeling especially good, but that had been a one time deal and it had frightened me a little. He had long fingers and a lot of energy, so I'd distracted him with what had become my own unique method of birth control, at least that's what I'd told my girlfriends it was, because I was always too clever for my own good and didn't want them to think I was a virgin.
I'd gone down on my boyfriend, sucking his white cock the best I knew how, making him forget all about what was between my legs. Seventeen year old boys don't have brains that can focus on much more than one thing at a time, thank God, and when it feels good they don't want to stop til it's over. I'd been sucking white cock since I'd gotten my first boyfriend at fourteen, which sounds shockingly young when I say it now, but at the time it hadn't seemed so terrible. It had impressed the kid a lot, and me too since I had no idea I'd end up loving it as much as I do.
Something about getting on my knees for a white guy, even a fifteen year old like my first boyfriend, and worshipping his cock ... Mmmm, that's something I can do all night long. Unfortunately, God put all the magic buttons someplace else, a little lower, and by the time I got to college I felt the emptiness between my thighs. I needed a man to love me, or at least fuck me, and not just any man, but a white man. One that I liked enough to give my virginity to and still be able to respect myself for it afterwards. I wanted a man who would appreciate it too, you know? Was that asking for too much? Was it so totally wrong of me to imagine Jamie being that man, married or not, employee or not; did any of that matter?
He's a man. I'm a woman. Nineteen years was long enough to save myself and maybe I watch too much talk television, but in this day and age, is my virginity really my daddy's business once I check out of high school?
Some people would say it is. Fathers, a lot of them, would say that there isn't any part of his little girl that isn't his business, from the day she's born til the night he steps foot into the earth. Maybe that's true and now you can see the sort of thoughts I was wrestling with. It wasn't cut and dry, and nice and neat. It was like layers and shadows, and all the desires to be me fighting with the desires to be what daddy wanted. It wasn't fair and I'd just had my big chance, taken my shot at some independence, real or imagined, and I'd blown it.
"Why me, Johnny?" I asked, laying on my bed and closing my eyes.
"A-1 Plumbing, this is Lonnie..."
"Hey, it's me again, is my dad there?" I'd decided to call because I wasn't going to go to my classes. I wasn't going to stay in my dorm. I wanted to go home and sulk in my bedroom.
"Kylie? He sure is, honey. Hold on..." Lonnie was an old Korean woman and some of the guys joked she'd come from North Korea, because she could be ruthless with running the office, but she and I got along great.
"Kylie? What's wrong?" Dad always assumed the worst.
"You need better music on your phones," I joked, just to see if I could do it.
"I meant besides that." He chuckled, so I guess I sounded okay.
"I'm gonna come back home, I'm not feeling really great and..."
"You're sick?" he cut me off. "Do you need a doctor? What's wrong?"
"No, Dad..." I forced a laugh. "It's kind of a girl thing, you know?"
"Oh..." and then "Oh! Right, I see, well sure come on home."
"Oh yeah, you need a ride ... Um, hold on..." he said, and I had to wait half a minute. "I'm gonna start calling this place A-1 Plumbing and Taxi. Paint my vans checkered, you know?"
"Dad!" I giggled. "I'm sorry."
"Yeah ... Okay, oh ... Jamie's coming back from the Brooklyn job, going to ... Shakopee? Is that right?" He was talking to someone else now. "Who the hell arranged this schedule? We're giving all our profits to the Arabs, driving all the way across town ... Sorry, Kylie ... Yeah, Jamie can pick you up..."
"Jamie?" I swallowed hard.
"Yeah, why? Something wrong with Jamie?" Dad asked and I wouldn't say he was suspicious, not at all, but he'd heard something in my voice he couldn't identify.
"Huh?" I somehow made myself relax, laughing lightly. "No, I just don't want him thinking he's my chauffer now."
"He might as well be, shoot. Chad's got him scheduled all over creation today. Probably have him turning a wrench in Duluth this afternoon!"
"I swear, that boy don't know how to read a goddamn map to save his life. Huh?" Dad got a little sidetracked. "Sorry, sweetie. Yeah, Jamie's already on his way, okay? You gonna be at the dorm there?"
"Uh, yeah, but he probably doesn't know where that is," I sighed. "Tell him I'll meet him where he dropped me off."
"Okay, will do," he agreed. "Thanks for riding A-1 Taxi."
"Hey wait!" he caught me. "Are you uh, feeling up for company tonight?"
"What?" I frowned into the phone because my intuition was whispering bad things in my ear.
"You remember that new man I hired? Rodney? You remember him, right?" My dad was pressing.
"Yeeeah..." I said slowly. "The accountant."
"Right, right, well I invited him over for dinner and uh, since you're coming home, I thought you might like to give him a proper introduction." My dad cleared his throat. "What do you think?"
"A proper introduction?" I sighed. "Like 'Hi, I'm Kylie and I'm available if you want to marry me?' that kind of thing, Daddy? Please, don't play matchmaker."
"What? Me? He's a nice boy, college educated and you could do a lot worse."
"I could do a lot of things."
"So, all I'm asking is for you to say hello and be yourself and..."
" ... See what happens."
" ... I'm in the middle of college."
"So? So, I don't need a boyfriend right now," I said. "I'm a little busy, okay?"
"Well, he's coming over and I'm glad you're coming home. It's perfect," he decided for me, like he always does. "I gotta go. Love you."
"Perfect? Love you too, Daddy." I hung up, frowning over that word.
I knew my dad well enough to know he hadn't invited that new guy over, not yet, it had just popped into his mind and he was making like it was all fate or something. I'd found that college was a pretty good excuse to explain my lack of a love life, but even my eminently practical father wasn't going to buy into it forever. Lots of girls dated all through college and graduated just fine. He was probably starting to worry about me being a lesbian, and that thought made me giggle, but not very much.
Rodney was okay, the few times I'd met him, which were brief nods and polite smiles around my dad's office. He was a good looking young black man, tall and a few years older than me, kind of serious and a little shy maybe, or just not extroverted, I should say. He hadn't impressed me much, but black guys never did. They just didn't grab my attention and there wasn't anything I could do to change that. It was the truth of it and if he'd been a handsome white boy, and if my dad would ever set me up with a white guy, maybe I'd have been all over him.
Dad wasn't going to do that though, no way. After Rodney failed to pass muster, there'd come someone else, and someone after that. My dad would make sure his oldest daughter had her chances and my mom would be there too, less vocal, less assertive, but whispering encouragement in my ear. She was just as bad, but in a different way, and fighting off both of them in the vain hope that someday, somehow I might actually explain to them what I was really looking for in a husband ... That was a pipedream.
I needed to run away.
And now Jamie was coming, after I'd basically told him that I wanted to fuck him. God. I'd told the man his wife was a bitch, not in so many words, but what else do you call a wife who makes her husband sleep in the back of a van? It was obvious what my opinion was and equally obvious that Jamie didn't really share it. He loved her, as he should, and I'd insulted his feelings for the woman. Now Jamie was picking me up and it was going to be a long drive home.
I needed to run away badly.
This wasn't just another bad Monday; this was like the worst Monday of my life. I swear. I was so conscious of it that I took the stairs extra-slowly, convinced the only thing that could make my day worse was breaking a hip or something. But of course, there are an awful lot of things that can happen to a girl, things that make a little tumble down some stairs seem like great fun, and you're never ready for those.
"Well, well..." I heard a catty voice as I walked through the dorm commons towards the front doors.
"Great," I said under my breath. It was Becky.
" ... Look at you. Somebody rain on your parade?" She smiled and we really, really didn't like each other.
Becky was a freshman, like me, and unfortunately had a room in the same dorm, so we did see each other once in awhile, but generally avoided talking by mutual and unspoken agreement, no pun intended. She was pretty, with short blonde hair and green eyes and a pleasant body, but it was all wasted in my opinion. Becky was a jealous bitch and the girlfriend of a guy named Will, who was one of my best friends at the university. We'd never fooled around, Will and I, but it was useless to tell his girlfriend that.
"What do you want, Becky?" I turned slowly, not bothering to mask my complete disinterest in anything she could possible say.
"I want you to stay away from my boyfriend, slut." She stood a little shorter than me and so she kept her distance, just so she wouldn't have to look up so much.
"Excuse me?" I stepped closer. "What did you say?"
"Stay away from Will," she said slowly with a long pause before adding, " ... Slut."
"I do whatever I want," I told her and I was very close now, looking down at her. "And you know what else?"
"What?" She glared at me.
"I let Will do whatever he wants, too." I licked my lips slowly and smiled, giving my eyebrows a tiny lift so she'd just know in her heart that I'd fucked him already ... Even though I hadn't.
"You nigger bitch," Becky breathed and her face was turning red.
"Careful." I could feel my heart bursting with adrenaline, and we were both shaking. "That kind of talk will get you tossed off campus, Becky."
"Fuck you." Becky stared at me and for a second, just a heartbeat, I really thought she was going to slap me or something, but she turned and walked away.
I stood there taking deep breaths and working hard to calm myself down. I should have felt good, maybe, not backing down to her, but it was hard to feel good about anything like that. I've never been much for confrontation or fighting, it just isn't in me as a general rule. I like people and under different circumstances I could have even liked Becky, maybe. Or at least not disliked her, you know? So I didn't feel good, I just felt worse because now Will was going to hear about it, and he didn't deserve that kind of trouble.
I almost called Will to warn him, but he'd be in class and his phone would be turned off. It was Monday and I was bad luck all by myself, a black cat walking under one big ladder, that was me. Now Will was going to pay for it, since his girlfriend thought we'd had sex; I'd gone out of my way to make that clear. In reality all we did was talk mostly, he was a friend and a study buddy, one of a bunch of guys I hung out with and yeah, I liked him a lot, I wouldn't mind going out with Will at all, but he'd never asked me.
Stupid Becky. Stupid me. Stupid Mondays.
"Hi again," I said, already blushing as I climbed inside Jamie's van for the second time in one morning. "Sorry about this."
"Hey, Kylie." Jamie offered me a smile I wanted to fall into. "Nothing to be sorry about. Going home, huh?"
"Yeah," I agreed. "I'm not in much of a mood for school, I guess."
Jamie gave me a little nod of his own and picked up the mic for the radio, calling the office to let daddy know I was safe and sound.
I had no idea what to say, of course, or even what to do. I mean, I didn't want to ignore Jamie, but I didn't want to look at him because now I figured every little look would seem like I was making eyes at him, or something. I was just really self-conscious. I wished it was like it was before I'd opened my big mouth, when I could look at the man all I wanted and not feel guilty about it, or worry that I was embarrassing him. A secret crush should remain secret, and now I knew why.
Traffic was bad, I swear Minneapolis has the worst traffic in the world, although everybody who's ever lived anyplace else thinks it's great. It wasn't great on this particular day and we were crawling, which was just making things even worse, you know. We were stopped behind some construction when Jamie looked at me and I kind of caught it from the corner of my eye cause I was looking at him too, without trying to.
"I guess that's my fault, huh?" he said with a sigh and I leaned towards him a little.
"What's that?" I asked, thinking he meant the traffic or something.
"Your mood," he explained. "Look, I'm sorry I was being such a dope, Kylie."
"You weren't," I said quickly. "Not at all, it was me. I shouldn't have said anything. I know you're married and Brenda is nice, so..."
"It's not that..." he cleared his throat. "Not, uh, not totally."
"Oh." I reached for those imaginary bangs and ended up playing with my cornrows.
"I've known you since you were little." He looked around, but we weren't going anyplace. "Not, little, but ... Younger, I mean."
"Yeah." I swallowed hard.
"So, when I see you, part of me is still looking at a fourteen year old girl, see?" Jamie spoke gently and I was nodding. "And you grew up so ... Beautiful. Yeah, I see you now and you're like a dream."
"Really?" I asked and my black skin must have been glowing I felt so hot just then.
"I don't want to hurt you," he said. "I love my wife; we're just going through some..." He lifted his hands with a shrug, " ... Hard times, that's all."
"You won't hurt me," I breathed, trying to slow down my heart as it picked up speed. "I know you love her."
"Even thinking about ... You, Kylie, that's so much trouble waiting to happen." Jamie's blue eyes looked so fragile.
"Not if nobody knows," I promised.
"Secrets are like scars." He glanced at the road. "They never go away."
"I won't want it to go away," I said, but he made me feel like that little girl Jamie remembered.
We were quiet for a long minute and the traffic moved just far enough so we had to stop with the flagman staring thorough the windshield at us. He was big and black and he just kept looking at me until I turned away.
"I've never cheated on my wife," Jamie finally said and we were staring at each other now.
"I've never had sex," I admitted softly. "Not all the way."
The flagman waved us through, turning his stop sign around so it read 'slow' and I was glad to leave him behind. He reminded me of my dad.
"But I want to," I continued, trying to sound strong. "I want my first time to be special, with someone I really like."
"It should be with someone you love."
"Yeah." I licked my lips. "That's what I mean."
He fought with his desire, I could see it in his face, and I tried not to push too hard. Jamie could have me, all he had to do was ask, or not even that much. All he had to do was pull over and stop the engine. He didn't have to say a word and I'd give him anything he wanted.
Jamie was a good man though, which was why he was special, the reason I was attracted so strongly to him. He was handsome and white and nice to look at it, but that just got my interest. It was who Jamie was on the inside that really hooked me. He didn't want to cheat on his wife, no more than he wanted to hurt me, and yet he wanted me so badly. I could feel it in the air, our mutual desire. It was all I could do to sit there a few feet away and not try to touch the man.
"I could blackmail you," I said with a grin, because the air felt heavy and we were driving faster now, on my way home.
"Heh." That got a chuckle and a smile. "I wish you would."
"Alright," I said. "If you don't make love to me, I'll tell my dad you tried to rape me."
"Great." He laughed.
"See? Now you don't have to feel guilty." I stuck out my tongue a little. "You don't have a choice."
"Uh ... Kylie..."
"What?" I asked innocently.
"Blackmail doesn't work if I don't believe you." He shook his head sadly.
"Oh, you don't have to believe me, you just have to..."
"Look at it like, I need your help," I said, feeling silly now, working to lighten us up. "I have a little ... Plumbing problem, see?"
"Oh Christ." Jamie made a face. "You haven't been hanging around with Stan and Carl, have you?"
"What?" I giggled. "God no! Those guys are bad!"
Stan and Carl weren't really bad, but they knew every dirty plumber joke anyone ever thought of, and they could be seriously nasty. I'd heard a few bad ones, but the worst I only got indirectly, by overhearing when the guys didn't realize I was around. Most of them involved women with plumbing problems ... Between their legs, of course.
"Good." Jamie looked honestly relived.
"Okay, okay ... Plan C then," I decided.
"Plan C?" He tilted his head. "What's that one?"
"It's foolproof," I said, trying to think of one quickly.
"Okay, so ... What is it?"
"Plan C is when you pull over ... Go on, pull over..." I smiled and he looked at me uncertainly, but pulled over all the same. "Now, stop the engine. Just turn it off."
Jamie did as I suggested and we were sitting there quietly all of a sudden, parked on the shoulder with traffic going past.
"What now?" he asked.
"Now..." I undid my seatbelt and moved out of my seat, getting close to him. "I'm going to kiss you." I started putting my arms around him, kind of kneeling in the empty space between the bucket seats.
"Kylie..." Jamie breathed, staring into my eyes and licking his lips.
" ... And then we'll know if it's going to be okay," I said softly, bringing my mouth close to his.
It was a slow kiss, a shy one, with my arms loose around Jamie's neck and my body pressed against his right leg and thigh, my breasts against his chest as he sat there. I touched his lips with mine and let him feel how soft they were, how moist and sweet, and I used the tip of my tongue to tease him, running it between Jamie's lips and coaxing him to relax and open up. It was an awesome kiss, like a very first one, and when my tongue slipped into his willing mouth that's when I tightened my arms, feeling Jamie's hands come to my back and head, pulling me against him as his tongue found mine.
I moaned softly and thrust my body onto his, rubbing my tits against Jamie's body as if I were melting. My nipples ached and blood rushed through my head. I could taste his mouth as our tongues entwined eagerly. When I retreated his followed and I sucked him like a small wriggling cock, flicking the tip of my tongue across it. My eyes were closed and everything I'd ever wanted was right there, all my hopes and suspicions, it was everything I'd imagined, just kissing the man. He was the one I wanted to give my virginity to.
Jamie's hand on my head felt so good too, his fingers playing in my cornrows, close to my scalp. He was groaning, as if starving for my attention and I could feel his strength. He wasn't going to let me go and I didn't want him too. His other hand was on my back, finding the curve of my spine through my sweater, sliding up and down and finally finding my firm round ass. He cupped me there, squeezing my ass and I could feel the tips of his fingers pressing deeply into the crevice beneath my denim jeans. It made my pussy throb with desire and I gasped into Jamie's mouth when he felt lower, finding my sex through the dense material, the heat of my arousal plain as he massaged my black virgin cunt.