I met Cookie in the seventh grade. Her parents had moved to town just in time to enroll her at the start of the school year. I was walking up the steps to the west entrance of the school and I saw her by the front door. She was blocked by three guys who were making fun of her pigtails. She kept trying to get by them, but they kept moving to keep themselves between her and the door. One of the guys was Oscar Walls and he and I had gone at it a couple of times. Once on the playground at the elementary school during recess and once at the city swimming pool. Both times there were no clear winners, but both times had established that I wouldn't put up with his shit and since then we had steered clear of each other. I walked up to the little group and said:
"You're in the way Oz. The lady and I want to go in that door."
"You can go, but we ain't done with Miss Piggy."
"Yeah. What else would you call a girl her age who runs around in pigtails."
"Maybe you could ask her what her name is and call her by that. Move."
"You going to make me?"
I turned to the girl and asked her if she would please hold my books. I could see that she was scared, but she nodded her head "yes" and I handed them to her and turned back to Oz.
"Yes Oz; if I have to I will."
He sneered at me and looked at Dick Reed and Phil North and back at me and I could see that he was thinking "Three against one – a piece of cake" but when I stepped toward him Phil and Dick beat feet into the school. They didn't want any part of a fight on school grounds.
Oz was a bully, but he wasn't stupid. He had fought me before and he knew I wouldn't quit and that it was likely that the fight would still be going on when some teacher came to see what all the commotion was about. Without Phil and Dick to help make it a quick short fight he knew we could easily end up in the principals office and with the girl telling her side of the story he could end up being expelled. I could too for that matter, but I thought that I might get points for stepping up to help the girl. Oz decided that it wasn't worth it and he turned and walked into the school. I turned to look at the girl and she was looking at me wide eyed.
"You were really going to fight him?"
"He's a bully and the only way you can handle a bully is stand up to him and let him know you aren't afraid of him."
As I took my books back from her and the crowd that had gathered to see what was going on dispersed I said:
"I don't think I've seen you here before."
"It's my first day here. We just moved here from New York."
"My name is Frank and let me be the first to welcome you to Hadley Middle School."
"Pleased to meet you Frank. I'm Cookie."
That was the start of it.
Cookie and I were good friends all the way through middle school. I asked her for a date to go to the movies a couple of times, but her parents wouldn't let her date until she was sixteen. I made her promise me that I would be her first date when she reached that age and she promised.
I was glad I had that promise because when summer vacation ended and we started the tenth grade a brand new Cookie appeared. She had spent the summer visiting relatives in New York and while she was gone she had bloomed.
Until that time I'd pretty much had her to myself, but suddenly other guys were paying her attention. A couple of times I had to jokingly remind her that she had promised her first date to me. Her birthday was on the 10th of October and around the middle of September I asked her if her parents would allow her to date on her birthday or would she have to wait a day. She told me that it wouldn't matter because she had a restriction in that she couldn't date on school nights. She could only date on Friday, Saturday and go on a daytime date on Sunday providing she was home by seven. The 10th was on a Wednesday so I asked:
"Will you go out with me Friday the 12th?"
"I don't know if I can. My parents told me that they would probably set something up for the weekend since my birthday was in the middle of the week."
"Let me know as soon as you can okay? I've been waiting almost two years to take you out on a date."
On the 3rd of October Cookie told me that her parents had made plans for the weekend following her birthday. That meant that it would be the weekend of the 20th before we could have our date, but that was the weekend that I had to go to Chicago with my parents to celebrate my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. I was going to have to see if I could get out of going somehow.
There were distractions during the two weeks leading up to Cookie's birthday. We always sat together in the school cafeteria for lunch, but one day Cookie got there before I did and when I got there I found her sitting with Jason Medved. I joined them and got a nasty look from Jason. A kind of "Why the fuck are you horning in on us" look. I ignored him, but he kept butting in whenever I tried talking to Cookie and when he finally left Cook said:
"That was pretty rude of you."
"What was rude?"
"Sitting down without asking if you could join us."
"How was that rude? You and I sit together every day and everyone knows it. If any one was rude it was Jason."
"Still, you should have asked."
Lunch was over before it was taken any farther and nothing was said about it by either of us the next day. Two days later I got to the cafeteria and found Cookie and Jason sitting together at a table so to mollify Cookie than anything else when I walked up to the table I asked:
"Mind if I join you?"
"Yeah, as a matter of fact I do" snarled Jason.
I looked over at Cookie and she just shrugged so I walked away. The next day I got there first, but when Cookie came through the line she was with Jason and when the paid the cashier she looked around and saw me and headed for my table. Jason took her by the arm and steered her to another table and she went without protest. They sat at a table not far from me and even though Cookie was sitting facing me she never once looked my way.
That day when classes were over – for the first time in ages – I wasn't waiting outside the school to walk Cookie home. Around six the phone rang and my mom answered it and then said the call was for me.
"Hi. Where were you after school? I waited and waited and you never showed up."
"I figured that you would probably be with Jason so I came straight home."
"Why would you think that?"
"Why wouldn't I? Think about it. I've got to go" and I hung up on her. Childish of me maybe, but what the hell; I wasn't a grown up yet and I was pissed.
The next day, even though I shared two morning classes with Cook I avoided her. I was at the cafeteria first and was at a table when Cook got there and she was alone. No Jason lurking by. She got her change from the cashier and came over to ma and said:
"Mind if I join you?"
"Why would I mind?"
"After being an asshole and hanging up on me yesterday I wasn't sure that you would want me here."
I motioned for her to sit and she put her tray down and took the chair opposite me.
"What is wrong with you Frank?"
"You and the way you have been these last few days."
"What do you mean by that?"
"The way you have been with Medved."
"I don't know what you are talking about."
"Sure you do. You rip me for being rude when I joined you at the table the other day when we have been sitting together since the start of high school. My place was at that table and I was not rude in taking my place. Did you say anything to Jason for the rude response I got when I followed your lead and politely asked if I could join you?"
I could see from her face that she hadn't and I said, "I thought so. And yesterday when he steered you away from sitting with me did you protest? Did you say "I always sit with Frank" and again I could tell from her face that she hadn't.
"I've gone through the last four years thinking that you were my girl, but I guess that I was wrong."
"You are being silly Frank."
"I don't think so. If you were my girl you would have let Jason know. You would have told him that you always spent lunch period with me and then invited him to join us if he wanted. You know what bothered me most about yesterday? You sat in a chair that was facing me, but not did you look my way and meet my eyes and to me that said that you knew what you were doing wasn't right, but you did it anyway."
"Oh come on Frank; it isn't like we are going steady or anything."
"That isn't because I don't want to Cook; it is because your parents won't let you until you are sixteen. On your sixteenth birthday I had fully intended to ask you to go steady."
"You say that like you don't intend to any more."
I looked at my watch. "Got to run. Can't be late for Calc."
"You walking me home tonight?"
"If you want me to."
That afternoon when I left school I saw Cookie standing and talking to Jason and I walked up to them and stood there waiting for their conversation to end so I could leave with Cookie. Jason turned to me and said:
"Beat it ass wipe. We're busy."
It wasn't cool of me; not in the least, but I dropped my book bag and punched Jason in the face with everything that I had and he dropped to his knees as blood flowed from his nose. I bent down, got my face inches from his and said:
"If you ever talk that way to me again I swear to God that I will beat the living hell out of you and you had best believe that!"
While that was going on Cook was saying, "Jesus Frank; are you going crazy? You had no call to do that. Why are you being a jerk?"
"I'm being a jerk? You were supposed to be waiting for me or did you forget that earlier today you asked me to walk you home after school? When I walk up this shithead calls me "Ass wipe" and tells me to beat it and I'm the jerk? I'm supposed to just smile and say "Excuse me" and leave? You remember your first day of school? I didn't put up with any crap then so why would you expect me to now?"
I turned to leave and Cookie said, "Where are you going?"
"You aren't going to walk with me?"
"Why would you want to walk with a jerk? Tell you what. You go over there to Jason and tell him he was being a jerk when he said what he said and then we can walk home."
She looked from me to him and then back at me, but didn't move to do it. I turned and walked away and she didn't try to catch up with me.
Friday I again avoided Cookie during our morning classes and I was again first to the cafeteria. Cookie was with Jason when they came in and she never looked my way as she and Jason went to a table on the other side of the room. Needless to say I did not walk Cookie home from school.
At dinner that night my dad asked me if I had any plans for Saturday and when I said no he told me not to make any.
"Your mother and I have decided to give you your Christmas present early so tomorrow we are going to hit some used car lots and see if we can't find something suitable for you."
I was stunned and didn't say anything and my dad went on, "It is going to cost you though. You will have to find a part time job so you can pay for your gas, oil and maintenance. I'll carry your insurance until you are eighteen, but after that you will have to pay it. Okay?"
"Wow, yeah, sure" was all I could get out.
The next day we found a 1965 Mustang that was in pretty decent shape. It only had a six cylinder engine in it and not the 289 that I would have liked, but maybe I could save up enough money for an engine change farther on down the line.
I spent most of Sunday washing and waxing the car and Monday I went to the school offices and got a parking permit for it. At lunch time I was in the cafeteria when Cookie came in. She looked around, saw me, and headed for my table, but just before she got there I got up and left. That afternoon I didn't wait around for Cookie after school and I have no idea of if she even looked for me when she got out.
When my dad got home from work he told me that the Mustang was insured so after dinner I took it out for its first spin with me behind the wheel (my dad drove it home from the car lot). I'd no sooner gotten home than the phone rang and my mom answered and then told me the call was for me. I took the phone from her and said:
"Hi. It's me. Can we talk?"
"Isn't that what we are doing now?"
"No Frankie; I mean face to face."
"I don't like what is happening to us. I think we should talk about us."
"What's happened Cook is Jason. He seems to be at the bottom of everything we argue about lately."
"I can't help it that he is interested in me."
"No, but you could shut him down and you aren't doing that."
"Please Frankie; can we talk at lunch tomorrow?"
"See you I school. Bye."
As I hung up the phone my mom said, "You and Cookie on the outs?"
"Sort of. Another guy is trying to cut in and she seems okay with it."
"You are still young Frankie and you will meet a hundred more girls by the time you get out of college. I know you really like Cookie and she is the only girl you've spent time with for the last four years, but you need to know what other girls are like."
That was true enough, but I didn't want to spend time with other girls. Cookie is the one I wanted and I'd known that since the day I met her.
The next day I was sitting at a table when Cookie came into the cafeteria. Jason was already there too and sitting at a table on the other side of the cafeteria. As Cookie left the cashier Jason called to her and waved her over to his table, but she turned and headed for me. I had to smile at the scowl on his face.
Cookie sat down and after the first bite of lunch she said, "What is going on between us Frankie? Why have you avoided me?"
"I told you that last night. Jason is what is going on between us. As far as you was concerned it was rude when I sat down with you that one time, but Jason wasn't rude when he told me I couldn't join you the next time. He of course had the right, but his tone and attitude were rude as hell, but that was alright with you. You called me a jerk when I punched him, but as far as you were concerned there wasn't anything wrong with him insulting me in the first place. In every case you chose Jason over me even to the extent of ignoring me the next day and having lunch with Jason instead of me.
"I don't own you Cook and I have no say in who you want to spend your time with, but if it isn't me don't blame me for staying away from you."
"There is nothing going on between me Jason and me, but yes, I have spent a little time with him. You have to realize Frank that you are the only boy I've had anything to do with since I moved here. When another boy shows interest in me I want to get to know him. It is only natural. Will you walk me home tonight?"
I saw her face change and I said, "I don't walk home anymore. I have a car now. So I'll drive you home."
She gave me a big smile and told me she would be waiting for me after school. She was outside waiting when I came out, but Jason was standing there with her. I transferred my book bag to my left hand to free up my right just in case Jason decided to start something like "ass wipe" again and then I walked up to them.
"Ready to go" I asked and before Jason could say a word Cookie said, "I'm ready. Let's go' and we walked off leaving Jason standing there.
On the rides home I told Cook that she was the first girl to get a ride in the car and she said, "And I'd better be the only one." I just smiled.
Wednesday was Cookie's birthday and it was also a repeat of Tuesday with me and Jason both being in the cafeteria when Cookie got there. Jason again tried to get her attention, but she came over and sat with me. He was again with her when I came out at the end of the day and she again immediately left with me.
I pulled over to the curb a block from her house and parked. I reached under the seat and brought out a gift wrapped box and a birthday card and handed them to her as I said, "Happy Birthday." She read the card and then unwrapped the present. When she opened the box she found a gold heart shaped locket on a golden chain. She put it on and then leaned over and kissed me.
"Thank you Frank. It is beautiful."
"You are sixteen today Cook so it is legal for me to ask you to go steady with me."
Her face changed and she said, "I really don't want to tie myself down Frank. Now that I can date I want to spend time with other guys. My mom says that I need to meet and date different guys so I'll have a better idea of what I'm looking for when it comes time to settle down."
"In other words no, you don't want to go steady with me."
"I'm sorry Frank, but I really don't want to go steady with any one right now."
I was disappointed, but I could understand what she was saying. Her mother told her the same thing that my mother told me and even though I had intended to ignore mine she wasn't going to ignore hers.
"Okay then, but don't forget you promised me your first date. So keep the 27th open for me."
"Yeah. You can only date on weekends and you've already told me that you are spending this weekend with your parents. The following weekend I'll be in Chicago for my grandparent's anniversary so October 27th is the day."
"Okay. I did promise."
She sat with me during lunch and I drove her home On Thursday and Friday. Both times we stopped short of her house and necked a little and I went home feeling pretty good. We weren't technically 'going steady' but we did have something going. At least I thought we did until Saturday evening.
Three of my buds and I decided to meet downtown at the arcade. We were no sooner in the door when Reed said:
"You old dog you. Now I know why you wanted to come down here tonight."
"Why didn't you tell us you were going to meet your girl here" and I looked in the direction he was looking and I saw Cookie. She was laughing and playing one of the pin ball machines. Standing right next to her and laughing along with her was Jason. So much for her promise that I would be her first date to say nothing of the fact she had lied to me about having plans to spend the weekend with her family.
I was debating my choices – confront her or just say "Fuck it" and leave when she turned and saw me. She smiled at me and then she noticed the look on my face. I saw her lose the smile as I opted for my second choice, turned and walked away. Fortunately we had come separately so I didn't have to worry about leaving Reed, Sam, and Dan stranded.
I almost got in trouble going home. I was so steamed that I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing until I hit a pothole and it shook the Mustang enough that I automatically looked at the gauges. I saw that I was twenty miles over the posted speed limit and I hit my brakes and slowed down to forty. Two blocks later I passed a police car parked on the other side of the road. If it hadn't been for that pot hole I would have been dead meat and my dad would have taken the Mustang away from me. I learned two lessons that night. Don't trust lying cunts and don't let your emotions control you.
Sunday morning I was helping my dad do yard work when my mom called out that I had a phone call. I went inside and she handed me the phone.
"Hi" Cookie said and I hung up on her and went back to helping my dad. That evening, around six, the phone rang and I answered it. "Hello?" "Please don't ha..." and I missed the rest of what Cookie was going to say because I hung up the phone.
I avoided Cookie during our two shared morning classes and when I went to the cafeteria at lunch time I saw her sitting with Jason. I found an empty table on the other side of the room and as I sat down I saw Cookie pick up her tray and head for me. Jason tried to catch her arm and stop her, but she ignored it. She reached my table and sat down, but before she could speak I said:
"What happened to your sudden concern for manners? According to your attitude lately aren't you supposed to say "Mind if I join you" or something like that? Or is it just me that has to do it when you are with Jason?"
"What is wrong with you Frankie? Why are you behaving like you are?"
"As if you didn't know."
"I don't know Frankie; I don't have a clue."
"Did you not tell me that we couldn't date on the weekend because your parents had plans for you?"
"And did you not promise me that I would get your first date when your parents started to let you date?"
"Yes, but what has that got to do with the way you are acting?"
"You can't possibly be that stupid Cook. I walk into the arcade and what is the first thing I see? It wasn't you and your parents. It was you and Jason. So much for your first date promise."
I got up and walked away leaving my lunch and Cookie sitting there. When I got to the parking lot after school I found Cookie standing next to the car on the passenger's side. As I walked up she said:
"We have to talk Frankie."
"No we don't."
"Okay then; I'll do the talking and all you have to do is listen. I was not on a date with Jason Saturday night. I was with my parents and if you had stuck around instead of tearing off in a snit you would have seen them. I can't help it that Jason was there. His dad and my dad work together and between the two of them they thought that it would be a great idea to get Jason and me together. I was surprised when I got to the arcade and found Jason there with his parents. It wasn't a date and I had nothing to do with it. It surprised both dads when they found out that Jason and I already knew each other.
"Because we knew each other it was only natural that we were around each other as we played the machines. He was not a date Frankie. Now don't you feel silly for acting the way you've been?"
"No I don't Cook. By now it should be crystal clear to you that I do not like the asshole, but every time I turn around I see you with him. You told me that you didn't want to go steady because you wanted to be able to date other guys, but the only guy I see you with is Jason. You know how pissed I was at seeing you with Jason on Saturday, but that didn't keep you from sitting with him in the cafeteria today."
"I can't help it that he just sits down with me."
"No? What happened to your new requirement that whoever joins you has to first ask politely if it is all right if they join you? Did he? And even if he did how hard would it have been for you to say "Sorry, but I'm waiting for Frank?" I have no right to be picking your friends for you or telling you who you can sit with, but you should be smart enough to know that if I see you with that asshole I'm not going to be coming around."
"You aren't being fair Frankie."
"Of course I am Cook. Life is about the choices you get to make. You know my feelings where Jason is concerned so if you choose to spend time with him you are at the same time choosing to not have me around. It is that simple."
She was silent for a bit and then she asked, "Are you going to give me a ride home?"
As soon as we were off the school grounds she slid over next to me, took my right arm and put it around her. It was a quiet ride until we got two blocks from her house and then she told me to pull over to the curb. As soon as I shut off the motor Cookie said:
"You are my best friend Frankie and I can bear to have you mean to me" and she kissed me. We made out for a bit and then I took her home.
Tuesday and Wednesday we had lunch together and I drove her home. We made out both times. Thursday Cookie and I went through the cafeteria line together and took a seat at a table. We had been there about three minutes when Jason walked up and said:
"May I join you?"
I so wanted to tell him the same thing he had told me the time I'd attempted to join him and Cookie, but I really didn't want to deal with an upset Cookie so I just said:
"It's up to the lady."
Cookie already knew how I felt about Jason and it should have been crystal clear that I didn't want him there, but she said, "Of course you may" and he sat down. I was civil as we talked about the candidates running for class president and what a jerk Mr. Ames our Civics teacher was. When lunch period ended and we stood to leave Jason said, "Call you tonight?" and I saw Cookie throw a quick glance at me as she nodded her head yes.
That nod and quick glance bothered me all afternoon, but I didn't say anything as I drove Cookie home. She gave me a look when I drove past our make out spot without stopping, but she didn't say anything. I dropped her at her house and said I'd call her as soon as I got back from Chicago.
I didn't go to school on Friday because we had to be at the airport at two for our flight. As we were getting ready to leave the house we got a phone call that grandma had suffered at stroke and was in the hospital and the anniversary party had been cancelled. Mom decided that she still needed to go so dad drove her to the airport.
It was probably a little cold hearted of me since I did love my "Grams" but I thought that now I can call Cookie and we can have our date. I was going to call her as soon as she got out of school, but dad came home from the airport and had me help him do some things so it was just a bit after six before I could get on the phone. I called and the phone was answered by her mom.
"Hi Mrs. Thacker, its Frankie."
"Oh hi Frankie. Are you in Chicago all ready? I thought you didn't leave until three."
"We didn't go. My grandma had a stroke and the party was called off so I'm still here. May I speak to Cookie?"
"She isn't here Frankie; she and Jason just left."
"Oh? Do you know when she will be back?"
"I've no idea Frankie. Her curfew is eleven and being that this is her first date I'd bet that she won't be home until one minute to eleven."
"Please tell her that I called."
"I will and Frankie? I'm sorry about your grandmother."
"Thank Mrs. Thacker."
I hung up the phone. So I was Cookie's best friend and she couldn't bear to have me mad at her? Well I guess she was just going to have to learn how to bear it.
Apparently her mom gave her my message because she called me at noon the next day. As son as I heard her voice I hung up the phone. She called twice more on Saturday and three times on Sunday and each time I hung up as soon as I heard her voice.
Monday I wouldn't even look at her during our morning classes and when she tried to catch me between classes I literally ran from her. I didn't go to the cafeteria at lunch time and instead I sat in my car out in the parking lot. After my last class I ran for my car so I could avoid having Cookie standing there waiting for me, but it did no good. She was there when I got there. As I walked up she said:
"Why are you being so mean Frankie? Talk to me."
"Why? So you can tell me more of your damn lies?"
I unlocked the car door and as I was getting in she said, "Please Frankie, don't be tha..." and I think I shocked the both of us when I snarled:
"Just shut the fuck up! I don't want to hear another word out of your goddamned lying mouth."
Her face went pale at my outburst since I had never, in all the time I'd known her, used profanity in her presence. I started the car and drove off leaving her standing there.
From that day forward whenever I saw Cookie she was with Jason and it was only one week after my blow up that I heard that Cookie and Jason were going steady. I chalked it up as another lie she'd told me.
Several times over the rest of the school year Cookie tried to talk tome, but I hung up when she phoned or walked away if she came up to me. She sent me a card on my eighteenth birthday, but I threw it away unopened.
I did get some childish satisfaction out of the situation.
I ran across Jason in the park where I went to run in the mornings. He unwisely sneered at me and told me that I was a loser who couldn't even hang onto to his girl. I told him I was well rid of the lying cunt.
"You can't call my girl that."
"I just did asshole. Want to hear it again? You're welcome to the lying cunt."
He swung at me and I beat the snot out of him. It was seen by a couple of kids from the school, but they hadn't heard what had been said and had assumed that I'd busted his ass because he had stolen Cookie from me. The word went around that you shouldn't mention Cookie or Jason around me.
With Cookie out of my life I looked around and noticed a bunch of girls that I wouldn't mind dating. Getting dates was easy since I was one of the few guys in our class that had a car and I rarely had a weekend that I didn't have something going. My part time job at Burger Barn did get in the way some, but I did have to work to earn the money that kept the car going.
The thing was that every time I took my date somewhere Cookie and Jason would be there or would get there shortly after we got there. Jason made sure to keep the width of the room between us and Cookie would have a look on her face that fairly screamed out "What are you doing with HER?" It almost seemed like she was jealous.
By the middle of the eleventh grade I had settled into a steady relationship with Pauline French and every time Pauline and I ran across Jason and Cookie Pauline would get nasty looks from Cookie. I thought it was funny. Pauline said it was because Cookie wanted me and I had to laugh at that.
"She had me and she dropped me for the asshole she is with."
"I think she regrets it."
"Tough shit. She made promises and she broke them and she lied to me."
Pauline shrugged and said, "Her loss and my gain."
Just before Christmas I got some good news. Jason's dad got transferred and Jason ended up having to move. It was good news to me not because it meant that Cookie was now free to date, but because it meant that with all of the holiday activities coming up her steady boyfriend was gone. She could probably scare up some dates, but it wouldn't be the same.
The day after Christmas I ran into Cookie's mom at Wal-Mart and she asked me why I never came around any more.
"You and Cook were always so close and then overnight you were gone."
"Unfortunately she made me a promise and then broke it and then to add insult to injury she lied to me and that ended it for us."
"She did what?"
I told her the story and she looked shocked. "My Cookie did that?
"Yes she did."
"I'm so sorry Frankie; I thought I'd raised her better than that."
The next day when I got home from my shift at the Burger Barn I found Cookie sitting on the front porch steps. As I came up the walk she said:
"Why did tell my mother what you did?"
"Because she asked me why I didn't come around anymore and since I'm not a liar like some people I know I told her. What's the matter? You don't like people knowing that you are a lying bitch?"
"When did I lie to you?"
"The day I asked you to go steady was one of them. You told me that you weren't going to go steady because your mother wanted you to date other guys to see what they would be like and yet not two weeks after telling me that you were going steady with Jason.
"I guess another lie was your promise to me that I would be your first date. You knew you were going to go out with Jason when I was supposed to be in Chicago. You think I didn't catch it when he said "Call you tonight" and you nodded your head yes when we had lunch that last day? You had already set it up and to hell with your promise to me. So fuck you Miss Thacker; just keep your lying ass away from me" and I walked by her and into the house.
Ten minutes later my mom came into my room. "Why is Cookie sitting on the front steps crying?"
"Don't know and I don't care."
"No Frankie; that won't do. It obviously has something to do with you so what is it?"
I explained it to my mom the same as I had explained it to Cookie's mom and then my mom said:
"You go out there and apologize Frankie. She was wrong, but she is still a young teenager and still hasn't grown up and learned how to handle life. You are the same. You need to learn that life isn't always fair and people make mistakes. You have to learn to deal with those mistakes without anger dictating what you do. You and Cookie have been friends way too long for you to treat her the way you have."
"But she lied to me. She broke her promise."
"Just because you feel that strongly about her doesn't mean that she has the same strong feelings for you. You have to accept that she may only have ever viewed you as a friend and not a boyfriend. It happens to all of us Frankie. When I was in high school I fell madly in love half a dozen times and none of them lasted. I went through a dozen boyfriends before I met your father. You and Cookie had a great friendship. Too great of a friendship to let it be ruined by a case of puppy love. Now go out there and mend some fences."
I got up and went downstairs and out onto the porch, but Cookie was gone. I spent the rest of the week thinking about what my mother had said. During the same period I attended a couple of holiday parties with Pauline and we never ran across Cookie.
One party brought about a milestone in my life. The loss of my virginity. Pauline's eighteenth birthday was on December thirty-first and as we danced at a New Year's Eve party she whispered in my ear:
"When we leave here tonight we are going to usher the New Year in in style. Can you afford a motel room?"
It just so happened that I could.
We were both virgins, but some things come natural to you. There was a lot of foreplay before we settled into the missionary position and I do have to say that even though my first time was embarrassingly quick it was still wonderful. The second time took a little longer and the third time seemed to go on forever and I didn't want it to end.
Pauline said she wanted to see what having her pussy eaten would be like so I got down there and went after it. I had no clue as to what to do, but Pauline directed me. If it felt good she said to keep on doing it and if I did something that didn't feel right she told me. After a while she pushed me away and said that it was my turn. She had never given a blow job and I'd never had one so it was more uncharted territory for us. It was great except for at one point she used her teeth and got an "Ouch" from me and after that she was careful not to use teeth. I loved being in her mouth and I told her she could do it to me any time she wanted and she told me that I could munch on her beaver any time I wanted to.
By six in the morning we had made love four times and done oral on each other twice. I left that motel one very happy camper.
After that night Pauline and I managed to do it on the average of three times a week and it would have been more if it wasn't for my job at the Burger Barn or her job at the Dairy Queen.
The first day of school following the holiday break I entered the cafeteria at lunch time and I spotted Cookie sitting alone. I walked over and sat down. She looked up and started to say something, but I cut her off.
"No, I'm not going to ask if I may join you. I'm only here long enough to ask you if you would like a ride home from school. We need to clear the air between us. If you are at the car when I get out of class I'll know you want to talk. Now if you will excuse me Pauline is waiting for me."
I got up and went over to sit with Pauline who quite naturally wanted to know what I'd been doing at Cookie's table. I told her and she asked:
"Am I going to end up having to fight for you?"
"Not hardly. You have me for as long as you want me."
Pauline's last class ended an hour before mine and she was supposed to spend the last hour of the school day in study hall, but she usually skipped it and went in early for her shift at the DQ so I didn't have to worry about her and Cookie together at the car although I did kind of wonder at how that would have gone.
Cookie was waiting at the car when I got there. As we pulled out of the parking lot I just flat out asked Cookie why she had done to me what she did and she told me that she hadn't meant to do it.
"I didn't lie to you when I told you I wasn't ready to go steady. I meant it at the time and if it wasn't for Jason I would have dated other guys, but when I met Jason I felt a spark and it just went from there."
"And your promise to me?"
"I'm really sorry about that Frankie, but I was between a rock and a hard place. Jason was my guy and he wanted my first date. I know it wasn't honest of me, but I thought with you being out of town I could go out with Jason and you would never know and then I could go out with you when you came back and you would have thought I'd kept my promise. I know it wasn't right Frankie, but I felt that strongly about Jason. I never meant to hurt you Frankie; honest to God I never meant to hurt you. You have been my best friend forever and it has been killing me that you won't have anything to do with me."
I was silent for a bit and then I said, "You have never seen me as a boyfriend have you?"
"No Frankie I didn't. I suppose that if Jason hadn't come along or I'd never felt that spark with anyone else I dated that you and I would probably have ended up a couple, but I don't really know."
I told her what my mother had said "And I guess she was right. We have been friends forever and I guess I can't hold it against you that you didn't have the feelings for me that I had for you."
"Does this mean that we can be friends again?"
"Yes, I guess it does" I said as I pulled up in front of her house. She slid over next to me and gave me a hug and a kiss and said, "Thank you Frankie, thank you."
The rest of our senior year slid by and I saw Cookie often and gave her rides home from school on days when Pauline skipped study hall and went into work early. Pauline and I even double dated a time or two with Cookie and whoever her boyfriend of the moment was.
One day, a month before graduation, Pauline asked, "You going to try and get something going with Cookie when I leave for college?"
"You tossing me back into the dating pool?"