My youngest sister, Jilly, is one of those ridiculously cute, outgoing, and popular girls that I've always found annoying. By the time she turned fourteen, it seemed obvious to everyone who knew her that she'd either become a world famous prostitute like Paris Hilton, or President of the United States. She really did have an equal shot at either and sometimes wondered why she couldn't be both.
"There was a porn star in the Italian Parliament once," she told us over dinner. "I'm doing a report on her for my civics class."
"That's nice," Mom said, gesturing with her fork. "Eat your peas."
"So, Janey," my other sister, Julie, offered me a sly smile, "I heard you're going out with Robert Ryan now."
"Where did you hear that from?" I asked, narrowing my eyes and wishing she hadn't brought up the subject at all.
"Everybody." She shrugged. "How did you hook up with him?"
"Janey's got a boyfriend?" Jilly squealed. "No way! Who'd want to go out with you?"
"A boyfriend?" Mom frowned.
"Robert Ryan?" Daddy scratched his head.
"We're just partners for the science fair," I said. "He's not my boyfriend."
"Yeah right!" Julie giggled. "You know what happened to his last science fair partner?"
"Good," Mom decided. "Fifteen is too young for a boyfriend."
"Is that Bobby Ryan you're talking about?" Dad asked.
"Whew!" Jilly wiped imaginary sweat off her forehead. "For a second there, I thought Jesus was coming back!"
"What happened to who?" I asked, looking at Julie.
"And don't even think about asking for birth control pills," Mom told me.
"He's a hell of a football player." Daddy nodded. "Good lookin' kid, too."
"Shelly Myers," Julie said. "She had twins last July, remember?"
"He's such a stud," Jilly sighed. "I can't wait to get to high school."
"Have you been taking your pills?" Mom asked her, and Jilly nodded. "Good."
"What pills?" Daddy narrowed his eyes and Jilly shrugged.
"Special girl vitamins," she replied. "Do my boobs look bigger?"
"I don't think I have to worry about having twins," I said with a giggle, but deep down in my tummy, I sorta wished I did. Like if Robert would somehow ever want to kiss me...
"Virgin!" Jilly smirked.
"Give her a break," Julie sighed. "At least Janey's smart."
"You're very smart," Mom agreed, patting my hand. "Eat your peas."
"Who's a virgin?" Daddy looked around the table, but then he spoiled it with a grin. He knew I was the only girl in the house who hadn't spread her legs for a boy.
"So, we'll do it like this, see?" I explained. "And then we can do a demonstration for the judges and ... What?"
I blinked at Robert as he smiled at me.
"Wow! You're really smart," he said. "I'm glad you're my partner, Janey."
"You are?" I smiled back, but I was terrified that he might be messing with me. He hadn't even known I existed until two days ago.
"Absolutely," he said, giving me his warm, dark eyes and they were knee buckling, believe me. "I don't know anything about this science stuff."
"Oh, well, um..." I shrugged. "It's not very hard."
"It is for me," he said. "You must think I'm pretty dumb, huh?"
"What? No!" I shook my head quickly. "I think you're great!"
"Oh! Uh ... I didn't mean ... I just meant, um ... I think you're really, uh..." I frowned, kicking myself for sounding like an idiot.
"Great?" Robert teased me. "It's cool. Come on, show me how this part works again. That's really neat."
We spent an hour in the library after school, just me and Robert sitting side by side and talking about our science fair project. I could hardly think straight, to tell the truth. He was the biggest, best looking, and nicest boy in school. Probably in the whole city and all the girls loved him. He loved them too, or so I'd heard. High school girls gossip more than anyone else on the face of the planet and a hunky guy like Robert was always the favorite topic.
"I heard he went out with Vicky last night," a girl said. "She even gave him a blowjob!"
"Really?" Two or three of her friends gasped.
"She sucked him off right there at the Dairy Queen."
"I heard they went all the way."
"Vicky? She's a total virgin!"
"Not anymore!" They all laughed and I wiped my pussy and flushed the toilet, coming out of the stall to see Carla, Linda, and Renee sharing a cigarette by the open window.
"What are you looking at?" Carla challenged me.
"Speaking of virgins!" Renee snorted. "What's up, Plain Jain?"
I meekly bowed my head and started washing my hands in the sink. My school, probably like everyone else's, had a lot of different layers. Like cliques or whatever, with cheerleaders on top, and then the really hot party girls who could have been cheerleaders, but weren't. Then the cool chicks, like some of the goths and the punks, a few of the phreaks, who were pretty and fun to be around. Everybody got put in a category, you know. Girls like Carla and her friends were sorta in the middle because they were kind of skanky, but they could always score drugs and decent concert tickets, stuff like that. Girls like me, the geeky wall flower type, were at the bottom.
My sisters were at the top. Robert was at the top of the top. I was down in the mud, except that was almost starting to change.
"You're Robert's new science partner, right?" Linda asked. "Yeah! That was you hanging out with him yesterday in the library."
"What were you doing in the library, bitch?" Carla made a face at her friend.
"Oh shit!" Renee grinned at me. "That's awesome. You lay some pipe yet or what?"
"Um..." I swallowed hard. The bell rang, so I didn't have to admit that we hadn't done anything but talk about science.
That's how it starts though, except I didn't realize it at the time. Popularity rubs off on people. Not a lot, obviously, but when you don't have any to begin with, all it takes is just a tiny bit to make a huge difference.
"Hey! Plain Jane, sit over here," Sheila said, waving her arm. She was in tenth grade, the same as Robert and me, and on the pep squad. So were her three friends and they were all smiling at me.
"Come on!" Karen waved at me as well. "We saved you a seat."
"Okay," I agreed, but I honestly didn't know what was going on. They were about the prettiest, most popular girls in tenth grade and I'd never had anything to do with any of them.
"Ugh!" Karen made a face as I sat down with my tray. "If you skip the French fries, your face might clear up."
"Oh." I looked down, hiding the ugly zit on my chin. I had a couple smaller ones, but that was the worst. I hated my complexion and those four girls didn't have a single pimple between them.
"So what's Robert like?" Sheila wondered, leaning closer. "Does he have a really huge dick or what?"
"Did you suck it?"
"Have you fucked him yet?"
"I heard he never wears a rubber. Did he knock you up?"
They were all speaking at the same time and I looked around the table, blinking as my face reddened. I have to admit that I understood where they were coming from. Everyone in school just assumed that if Robert showed the slightest interest in a girl, he'd fucked her. Or if he hadn't, he soon would, and that went for every girl, even the teachers. A lot of people thought Ms. Sands, the music teacher, was carrying Robert's baby in her swollen belly. The rumor was that she'd been giving him piano lessons over the summer, but I wasn't too sure about that one. Robert played football, not the piano.
"I wish he'd look at me," Karen sighed. "You're so lucky, Janey."
"Definitely," Sheila agreed. "I'm having a party Friday night. Do you want to come?"
"Me?" I blinked at her. Nobody ever invited me to the cool parties. I didn't even know about them until after they were over.
"But you have to bring Robert with you," Karen explained, and then it made sense.
"I'll, um..." I cleared my throat and tried to sit up a little straighter, like I was a somebody instead of just Plain Jane. "I'll ask him if he wants to go."
"That's so cool!"
"You're awesome, Janey!"
"This is gonna be the best party ever!"
After lunch, I had to go to the bathroom again, this time to puke. I was going to ask Robert to take me to a party? Yeah right! We were science partners, that's all. We'd spent an hour together talking about our project. I hadn't seen his huge dick. The boy hadn't kissed me. Except for the stupid part when I'd told him how great I thought he was, we'd just talked about science. I probably bored the guy to tears. He wanted an A in science, that's all, and I could help him get it. That's the only reason he even knew I existed. Before we'd gotten paired up, I'd been the invisible girl, after the science fair was over ... I'd be the invisible girl.
It was that simple and I puked again, just to be sure.
Of course, if Robert wanted that A bad enough, he might just be willing to take me to Sheila's party. I mean, he was probably going anyway, right? It didn't mean he was my boyfriend or anything, and we didn't even have to go together, actually. As long as I walked through the door about the same time he did, who would care?
"God!" I had to be really desperate if I was going to wait in the bushes and sneak in behind Robert, which was sort of where my plans were going.
I rinsed out my mouth and washed my face, again. I had this special soap, but it didn't seem to be working and now I felt seriously self-conscious about my zits. I hated that! Everybody gets a zit once in awhile. Some people get two or three, so what? I frowned at my limp, dirty blonde hair and brushed it. It looked like limp, dirty blonde hair that had just been brushed. And I was going to ask Robert to go to a party? Nobody was that desperate for an A in science. I told myself to forget about him and look for a boy more my speed, meaning uber-ordinary on the outside, frightened of his own shadow on the inside, and content with dating a girl like me.
Except I didn't like any of those guys! Who would? I liked Robert.
"Hey! There she is," Robert said, smiling as I walked into the largely deserted library. "I thought maybe you were going to stand me up."
"Huh?" I returned his smile, but I was very confused.
"After yesterday," he said. "I figured you'd dump me for someone smarter."
"Dump you?" I laughed. "Yeah! Um ... I don't think I can do that."
"Why?" he teased me. "Are you hooked already?"
"What are you talking about?" I asked, sitting down beside him. "You're kind of weird, you know that?"
"I am?" He stopped smiling. "Sorry. I'm just kinda nervous around you."
"Right!" I rolled my eyes. "Are we gonna work on our project or what?"
"See?" Robert's smile blinded me. "That's what I'm talking about, Janey."
"What?" I froze with my notebook half open, feeling my tummy tingle because his eyes were so beautiful as they stared into mine.
"You're not like other girls," he said, bending closer as he whispered. "It's like, I'm just a guy and you're just a girl, and this is just ... science stuff."
"Okay." I nodded slowly.
"I mean, look..." He took a deep breath. "I like you a lot, Janey. I feel like I can trust you. All the other girls, all they want to do is talk about love and sex and if I want to take them out or whatever, but you..."
"What about me?" I wondered, thanking God I hadn't asked him to take me to the party. I didn't understand any of this, but that much I got.
"You just want to do the science thing," he said, smiling happily as if that was the coolest thing in the world.
"So, um..." I shrugged.
"You kinda remind me of my mom," Robert told me. "What are you doing Friday night?"
"Friday?" I sorta squeaked.
"I heard some girls are having a party," he said. "Would you like to go with me?"
"Are you teasing me?" I asked, suddenly feeling suspicious. In fact, as irrational as it sounds, I felt kind of angry for some reason.
"No!" he answered quickly, holding up his hands. "I'm trying to get to know you better."
"By asking me out on a date?"
"Ummm..." He smiled. "Yeah. How do you do it?"
"I'm not going to have sex with you," I lied, but at the time, I sorta meant it.
"Really?" he asked, but the boy didn't look disappointed. He looked ... Pleased? It took me a few seconds to digest that reaction.
"I'm a virgin," I told him. "And, uh ... I intend to stay that way."
"Forever?" Robert wondered, definitely teasing me with another award winning smile that broke my heart.
"If that's how long it takes," I said. "Sure."
"How long what takes?"
"To find a husband," I replied, making all this up as I went along.
The weird part about it was that I'd sorta practiced this conversation in my head like a thousand times while I lay in my bed at night. I don't mean exactly these words, I'm not psychic, but just this sort of romantic banter with a boy I knew I was falling in love with. Probably it's because I used to watch way too many romantic comedies when I was growing up. I sort of assumed everyone met their true love and had weird conversations full of double entendres and by the end of the first act, the boy and girl would know they were in love, but then the evil ex-girlfriend would show up and I'd have to kick her ass, and ... never mind.
"Wow." Robert nodded his head, sorta looking me up and down as if he'd never seen me before that moment. "I've never met a girl who respects herself that much."
"Well." I smiled and shrugged, maybe blushed a little.
"Except my mom," he continued. "That's really amazing, Janey. Most girls just want to pop their cherries as fast as they can."
"Right." I blinked at him.
"I guess that's why I'm so comfortable with you," he said. "Even if you do make me nervous."
"Why?" I wondered, feeling equally curious about his comfort and his nervousness. They both seemed kind of unlikely to me.
"Because I know you're not trying to fuck me," he replied with a grin. "Whoops! I mean, uh ... have sex. Sorry."
"I heard it before," I informed him with a grin.
"Yeah, but I don't want to talk to you like that," Robert said, sounding serious about it. "Do you have a boyfriend? I probably should have asked that first, huh?"
"No," I replied. "I mean, yeah, you should have, but ... No. I don't have a boyfriend."
"Cool." He grinned, until he saw me frown. "Not that you don't have a boyfriend, just that you don't have a boyfriend."
"Whatever." I rolled my eyes. "Let's work on our project before we're both confused."
"Heh!" Robert stuck his tongue out at me, which was the last thing I would have expected him to do. It made my pussy wet.
"You're wearing that?" Julie stared at me.
"Oh my God!" Jilly shook her head in disbelief. "Are you insane?"
"What's wrong with this?" I asked, looking down at my dress. It was kind of navy blue with small white polka dots, with a satin sash tied around my waist.
"Do you even have tits?"
"Does she have an ass, you mean," Julie corrected our little sister. "You look like a lump, Janey."
"I do?" I frowned at her.
"A serious lump," Jilly agreed. "Are those Grandma's shoes?"
"No!" I replied, kicking them off my feet. "I was just trying them on."
"You're going to die a virgin," Julie sighed. "Take all that stuff off."
"All of it," Jilly said. "That stupid bra and those panties ... Gross! Did you get those at Walmart or something?"