The Tutor

 

The Tutor
by Melanie Brown
Copyright  © 2017 Melanie Brown


Terry's brother just wanted to pass a test.

 


 

“Hey Terry!” called the muffled voice of my brother Nick from the bathroom. “Can you get the door? It’s probably Eric. It’s tutor night.” Nick was not doing well in Chemistry and Eric needed some Honor Society points, so he agreed to tutor Nick for a couple of weeks before the Chemistry test. This was the first night.

“Okay.” I got up from the TV and paused the DVR to answer the doorbell. As usual, Dad was working late and Mom was busy in the kitchen. Nick is my older brother and he’s always bossing me around.

I opened the door and there stood Eric Slovenski. He was taller than me, by at least over a head. Even through his shirt, you could see his well muscled frame. Football star, basketball star, Honor Society, A student, All American. Several major universities were wooing him. He wasn’t going to have to pay a dime to go to college when he finally graduates from high school. Every girl wants to be with him and every guy wants to be him.

He looked down at me and grinned a toothy grin. If this was a movie, there would have been a little sparkle on his teeth. “Is Nick around? I’m here to help him pass his Chemistry test.”

I nodded. “He’s in the john at the moment. Come on in.” I stepped aside and closed the door after Eric entered the house. He gave me an odd smile as he came inside. I pointed at the couch. “Make yourself at home. Nick should be out in a minute. Do you want a soda or something?” Mom had always coached us to be gracious hosts when we had a guest in the house.

Eric smiled and said, “Water will be fine.”

I nodded. “I’ll be right back.”

I walked back into the kitchen where Mom was doing the dishes. As I picked up a bottle of water, I said, “Nick’s tutor is here.”

Mom didn’t look up from her dishes. We had a dishwasher, but she never used it. “Well, I hope he can help Nick. He’s really struggling with that Chemistry stuff.”

I tossed the water bottle up and let it rotate a couple of times before catching it. “Maybe he wouldn’t if he’d get his head out of his ass once and while.”

Mom frowned at me. “What have I said about talking like that?”

“Sorry, Mom.” I hurried back out into the living room.

Eric flashed another smile as I handed him the water bottle. “Thanks.”

“Eric!” said my brother Nick as he entered the living room. He knuckle-bumped Eric’s fist. “Thanks a lot man for helping me out.”

Eric stood up. “Let’s get started.”

Nick led him back to his room. As I sat down to finish watching my show, I heard Eric as he said, “Your sister’s kinda cute.”

Nick said, “Yeah, I guess.” He closed his door and I didn’t hear anything else.

Oh my God! Eric thinks I’m a girl! He thinks I’m Nick’s sister! And Nick didn’t correct him! What the hell? I got up and went back into the kitchen.

Mom laughed slightly after I told her what Eric had said. “I’m sorry honey. It’s kind of funny though. I don’t think he meant to insult you. You are a bit of a late bloomer. You’re short and skinny. Your facial hair is still just fuzz. And that hair of yours.”

Scowling, I said, “What about my hair? It’s not long like a girls. It doesn’t even touch my shoulders!”

Mom grinned. “Nick keeps telling you that your hair looks like one of those anime girls on those cartoons you watch, except yours isn’t purple or blue.”

I ran my hand through my hair, which I admit is a bit on the wild side. “That’s BS. And they’re not ‘cartoons’. Besides, Nick should have told him I’m not his sister.”

Mom returned to drying her dishes and shrugged. “He probably just didn’t want to take time away from tutoring. He has to pass that test.”

Fuming, I left the kitchen and went to my room and sat at my computer. I was no longer in the mood to watch my show and thought maybe blasting some pixels would help my mood.

*          *          *

An hour and a half later, I heard Nick thanking Eric and then the front door closed. Still pissed, I opened the door to my room and stepped out to confront Nick as he returned to his room.

Pointing at Nick, I said, “Hey butt-head! What’s the deal? Why didn’t you tell Eric I’m not your sister?”

Nick pushed my hand away and frowned. “What the fuck are you talking about, asshole?”

I closed Nick’s door behind us. “Eric said you had a cute sister. You didn’t correct him!”

Nick looked blank for a moment. “Oh that. Who gives a fuck, man? I didn’t think it was worth wasting time on.”

“He thinks I’m a girl!” I almost shouted.

Scowling, Nick said, “So what? Who the fuck cares? Are you afraid he’s going to hit on you? He has so many girls throwing themselves at him, it’s not even funny. And maybe if you weren’t such a fuckin’ sissy, he wouldn’t think that.”

I shouted, “I’m not a sissy!”

Nick laughed. “You have no muscles. You’re skinny. That stupid hair of yours. You look like a fucking trap. You’re not interested in sports. You never go outside. You’re always on that computer.”

“Fuck you!” I shouted.

“Fuck you!” Nick shouted back.

The door to Nick’s room suddenly flew open. Mom stepped in looking royally pissed. “What is going on in here?”

Nick shrugged. “Nothing.”

“He called me a sissy!” I scowled at Nick.

“You have to tell? Really? That’s what a sissy would do.” Nick folded his arms.

“You two need to stop this right now!” Mom’s eyes flashed angrily at both of us. “No more fighting!”

“Yes, Mom.” I turned and went back to my room.

*          *          *

“I think you should just let it go. I’m sure everyone has forgotten about it by now.” My best friend April turned to close her locker. April and I have been friends for what seems forever. No romantic feelings. Just best buds.

“I haven’t,” I frowned.

April just rolled her eyes. “Stop worrying. It really doesn’t matter. You and Eric don’t run in the same circles. You don’t have the same friends. He’s not friends with your bother. He’s just getting some community service points. I’m sure he’s forgotten about you.”

I shrugged. “I suppose you’re right.”

April nodded in the direction we were walking. “Speak of the devil.”

“Oh God!” I said with fear in my voice. “He’ll see me. Let’s dodge into this room.”

“This will be a good test, Terry.” April took my arm to keep me from walking into one of the classrooms. “He won’t even look at you. He has a girl on either side of him.”

I tried not to look in his direction as we approached. We passed him without any comment. I heaved a sigh of relief.

April giggled. “See? Nothing.”

From behind us, I heard Eric say, “Wait here just a second.”

Eric sprinted in front of us. We had to stop walking so we wouldn’t run into him. Grinning, Eric said, “Terri, right? Hey, I just wanted to say I enjoyed meeting you last night. Tutoring your brother is now something I look forward to.” He grinned broadly.

Utterly mortified, I said, “T… thanks. I enjoyed meeting you too. I hope Nick passes his test.” I looked down at the floor.

Still smiling, Eric said, “Oh, he will. Definitely. I got to run. See you around.” He then hurried back to the two girls still waiting for him.

“Oh shit!” I cried. “He remembers me. You said he wouldn’t!”

April shrugged. “I guess he likes you. Why didn’t you tell him you’re not a girl right then?”

I looked horrified at April. “And get pulverized here in the hall? I’m sure that would royally piss him off.”

April looked thoughtful for a moment. “That probably would make him mad, thinking he was fooled. But I’ve never actually seen Eric hit anyone.”

I frowned. “Even the tough guys fear him.”

“Look. Next time he approaches you, just politely tell him you’re not interested.” April leaned in close and said, “It wouldn’t be a lie. You won’t have to tell him you’re not a girl. Problem solved.”

“That might work.” I looked back behind us at Eric and his entourage walking down the hall. “Look. I get that he’s considered hot and all. But I just don’t get this mindless attraction. He left two girls waiting for him to come talk to me. Why would girls put up with that?”

April looked down the hall with me. Her eyes glazed over slightly and she sighed. “He’s gorgeous. He’s a hunk and half and the hottest guy in school. To be honest, I’m jealous he likes you. He won’t even look at me.”

*          *          *

I heard the doorbell ring and a few moments later, I heard Nick greeting Eric. I was going to stay in my room the whole time Eric was here. I hoped he’d just forget me. After all, he has every girl in school lusting after him. He doesn’t need me.

Muffled, through my closed door, I heard Eric ask, “Hey, where’s your little sister?”

“Sister?” Nick asked. There was a moment’s pause and then he continued, “Oh. Right. She’s in her room doing homework I think. Hey, I’m anxious to get started.” And then I heard Nick’s door to his room close.

This is so infuriating! Why didn’t Nick just say, “I don’t have a sister.” He could have ended everything right there with minimal embarrassment for everyone. I was pissed. I cursed Mom’s rule against us killing each other.

Well, I did have some homework to do. Good excuse to not leave my room until Eric leaves. I put my headphones on and cranked up some music and sat down at my desk.

I jumped when I felt someone touch my shoulder. I jerked around and saw Mom standing trying to say something. I pulled off my headphones and said, “Mom! Knock first!”

Mom pointed at my headphones. “I did. I want you to help me with something.”

I looked at my headphones and said, “Sorry Mom. I guess they were kinda loud. What do you want me to help you with?”

“Come with me to the kitchen.” She turned without even waiting for me to respond. I got up and followed her.

In the kitchen, I waved an arm to signal a question. “What’s up, Mom?” I looked around and there were some cookie sheets lying out and the oven was on.

“I forgot that I have to go to the store and I’ll be gone awhile. I was going to make some cookies for Eric and your brother. Kind of a thank you for Eric’s help. But he’ll be gone by the time I get back.” Mom just looked at me.

“Oh. You want me to make the cookies?” I asked, not really happy about it.

Mom smiled at me. “Yes. You’ve baked cookies before so you know how easy it is. I’ll be back in a couple of hours.” He patted my arm and left.

This is just great. I don’t mind making cookies so much. Because I like to eat them. But now, instead of avoiding Eric altogether, I’ll now have to enter the lion’s den. Why couldn’t Mom just have made these before Eric showed up?

It wasn’t long before I had a whole batch of cookies made and piled them up on a large plate. I took a deep breath and said, “Shit!” to the empty kitchen. I picked up the plate and walked to Nick’s room with dread in each step.

“Knock, knock,” I said stupidly as I knocked on Nick’s door. Without waiting for an answer, I opened the door and walked in with the plate of cookies. I set the plate down on Nick’s bed. “Mom thought you guys would like a snack.”

Nick didn’t even look up from the book he was studying. He grunted, “Thanks.”

Eric smiled at me as I set the plate down, “You baked us cookies?”

I smiled back and said simply, “Yes.”

Eric leaned back in his chair and grinned, “Cute and cooks! Your boyfriend is very lucky.”

Instead of saying, “I’m not a girl you stupid dick weed!” I instinctively said the absolutely worst thing I could have said. “I don’t have a boyfriend.”

Eric’s grin got wider. “Now I truly find that hard to believe.”

My face started to turn red from his intense stare, I said, “Well, I don’t. I need to get back to my homework. Enjoy the cookies.” I turned to leave, embarrassed all to hell.

I heard him bite into one as I started leave the room. “Best. Cookie. Ever!” I closed the door and ran to my room.

*          *          *

“Are you out of your fucking mind?” I almost screamed.

Nick frowned and said, “Pipe down. Mom will hear us.”

Through clenched teeth, I snarled, “Are you out of your fucking mind?”

“What’s the big deal?” Nick asked spreading his arms wide. “You just have to show up. I get a date with a girl I’ve been crushing on since middle school!”

“Have you not noticed after all these years as my brother that I’m not a girl? No way in hell am I going on a date with Eric! You’re insane!” I was pissed.

“It’s the only way he’ll get me a date with Cassandra. He called her right after tutoring and she agreed to go on a double date. With me! But only if Eric gets to take you.” I’ve never seen Nick beg before.

“I’m not a girl, asswipe!” I started to shake from anger.

“Well, you’re certainly sissy enough to be!” Nick spat into his trashcan.

“I’m not a sissy!” I shouted. “Stop saying that.”

“Oh yeah? What about two years ago when you wore eye liner every day and got your ears pierced?”

I scowled. “That was my Goth phase!”

Nick folded his arms. “You help Mom in the kitchen and watch chick flicks with her on Lifetime, but you won’t help work on the car or watch football with Dad and me!”

Furious, I shouted, “Just because football is boring and I don’t like to get dirty doesn’t mean I’m a sissy! And I’m not going on a date with a guy!”

“We’re going to go see that new war movie, Spear of Destiny. You said yourself you wanted to see that.” I’ve never seen so much passion in Nick before. “You’ll get to see it for free, with free popcorn and soda. All you have to do is show up! And I get a date with Cassandra! Talk about win-win, dude!”

Sputtering from anger, I said, “Win-win? When he finds out I’m not a girl… and he will eventually, he’ll beat the living shit out of me! And you!”

Nick waved a hand dismissively. “I doubt that.”

“I’m not going and that’s final!”

*          *          *

“Hey April,” I said over the phone. “I have a date Saturday night.”

I could see April grinning through the phone, “Cool. Who’s the lucky girl?”

“I am.”

“Say what?” said April after several long seconds of silence.

“I’m going on a double-date with Eric and Nick.” I then explained the whole stupid idea.

“That’s insane!” April paused a few moments. “So you’re really going to do it?”

I took a deep breath. “I promised Nick I would.”

“What if he falls in love with you?” asked April seriously. “I mean he has to fall in love sometime.”

“He’s not going to. Not with me anyway.” Getting pissed again, I continued, “I only said I’d go this once.”

Sounding worried, April said, “But dating a boy. Holy crap Terry! That’s huge.”

“I’m not dating a boy!” Feeling frustrated, I said, “I’m just going to a movie.”

April again took on a serious tone. “Is he paying for the movie?”

“Yes.”

“Going to dinner afterwards?”

“Yes.”

“Girl, that’s a date.”

My anger started to build. “Don’t call me girl.”

April laughed. “You’re going on a date with a boy who is crushing on you. What should I call you?”

I shrugged uselessly at the phone. “My brother is going along. So it’s not like a date date.”

April laughed again. “Whatever.”

I paused a moment. “Anyway, can you help me get ready? I’ve never dated a boy before.”

“Sure,” said April. “I can come over before he picks you up and do your make-up. I have a skirt and top you can borrow. I have a pair of panties you can have. I’m not going to wear them again after your butt’s been in them.”

Not happy with her comment, I said, “Do I have to wear make-up? That seems a bit girly.”

“Well duh!” laughed April. “Yes. You have to wear make-up. You want to look your best for your guy. One question though… How do we get past your parents?”

“Nick is already working on an angle,” I said. “He’s going to talk them into going on a romantic weekend get-away. They haven’t done that in a long time.”

April said, “I hope that works. I’ll be over around four Saturday afternoon to get you ready for your big date. Pisses me off though. You have a date with the hottest guy in school and you don’t care about him.”

“Sorry.”

*          *          *

“Here. This should make it look like you actually have boobs.” April slid another balloon filled with uncooked rice into the bra I was wearing. It was a pink lacy bra with matching panties. When I protested, April suggested the pink lacy bra and panties will help me feel girly. She also said they were mine to keep. Just what I always wanted…

I looked down at my flat crotch. “How do you know how to make things like this?” She’d cut out a piece of cardboard and then wrapped it in cloth so it wouldn’t chafe. It did an excellent job at hiding what bulge I had between my legs.

She laughed. “Google is your friend. Okay. While your nails are drying, sit and let’s do your make-up. Then we’ll try to do something with that hair of yours.”

As I sat down, I said, “I really don’t see why I should wear make-up. I mean, he liked me well enough before without it.”

April frowned as she rummaged through the cosmetics she’d brought. “You want to look nice for your date. Yeah, Eric will probably show up in dirty jeans and wearing a shirt he sniffed after picking it up from the floor. But you want to put out that extra effort. Interested in him or not, you don’t want him looking at some other girl when he’s with you. You want to get his attention and keep it.”

“I just want this evening over with.”

April started applying something she called foundation. “Don’t worry. I’m not going to glam you up. I’m just going to get you looking like a typical high school girl.”

I sighed heavily.

Nick’s plan had worked. Mom and Dad were actually excited about a quick trip to the mountains, which was only a three hour drive away and rent a cabin to stay in. They hadn’t done that since before Nick was born.

Finally, as she was fluffing my hair out, April called out, “Okay, Nick. Come in and give us your opinion.”

“I was wondering if you were ever going to get finished. Eric will be here in about… Holy shit!” Nick stopped just after walking into the room and his jaw dropped. “That’s incredible!”

I stood up, embarrassed by Nick’s stare. I rotated around as instructed by April so Nick could get the full effect. I felt ridiculous in the denim mini-skirt, the biggest hoop earrings she had, all made up and my nails polished. I didn’t like the odd smell of the make-up or the way the lipstick tasted. I could feel my eyelashes. April was pretty sure that after awhile I won’t really notice it.

With a broad grin, Nick walked up to me and just stared. “Holy shit, Terry. Just look at you! This is fantastic! Those eyes! If I didn’t know you were my squirt brother, I’d swear you were a really beautiful girl.”

Did my brother, who never had a kind word to say to me in my entire life just call me beautiful? I’m not sure if I can handle that.

Pointing with her finger in a circular motion, April said, “Show him your walk.”

I frowned. Nick said, “Yeah. Show me your walk.”

Sighing, I walked to my room’s door and back like April showed me. Nick whistled.

Nick nodded. “That’s the real deal for sure.”

April began dumping her stuff back into her make-up bag. “I should go. I don’t want to be here when Eric arrives. Here. Put this lipstick in your purse. You’ll need it later. And go ahead and keep the lipstick. But don’t spill anything on my clothes!”

“Thanks. I think.” I said glumly.

April hugged me. “Have a good time, girl. Oh, you should probably tell him you’re on your period so he’ll have to use the back door.” She and Nick both laughed.

“Oh, aren’t you hilarious.” I scowled. “I’m not going now.”

April laughed again. “I was kidding. Have a great time, okay?” She picked up her make-up bag and let herself out of the house.

Still scowling, I said, “This is going to suck.”

Grinning, Nick said, “This is going to be great!”

*          *          *

I almost jumped when the doorbell rang. I’m thinking, oh God. This is going to be a royal disaster. I ran to the bathroom to check my hair and make-up for the fortieth time. It was kind of stupid for me to check my make-up anyway. For one thing, I don’t want to be wearing it anyway. And the other, I wouldn’t have a clue how to fix it if there was something wrong. Anyway, I heard Nick answer the door.

“Hey Eric!” said Nick excitedly. “Where’s Cassandra?”

Eric laughed and said, “She waiting in the car. Where’s Terri?”

“She’s in the bathroom. You know how girls are.”

In the bathroom, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. This is so insane. I opened my eyes and looked in the mirror. I shook my head a few times to fluff my hair. I smoothed my skirt. I checked my teeth. I made a couple kissy faces into the mirror. I hated myself immediately for doing so.

I took another deep breath and stepped out of the bathroom and walked down the hall to the front door. As I entered the living room, Eric’s face split with an ear-to-ear grin. “Hi Terri. You look really beautiful tonight.”

I smiled as my face started to turn red. How embarrassing! A guy just told me I look beautiful. “Thank you. You look nice too.” To his credit, it looked like Eric had taken a shower, combed his hair and was wearing a button down shirt. His jeans weren’t even worn out. I just couldn’t figure out why he was interested in me when he could literally have any girl he wanted.

Eric grinned his toothy grin. “Well, thank you. Let’s go.”

I stepped out into the slanting rays of the late afternoon sun. Dressed as a girl. My knees started to get weak and I felt a little woozy. I can’t do this, I thought. I’m out in public as a girl. It was one thing in the house. But out here… Oh my God! Anyone can see me!

Eric stopped and looked back at me with a look of concern. “Are you okay? You’re not getting sick are you?”

I took a few deep breaths as I waved a hand dismissively. “No. No. I’m just feeling overwhelmed.”

Eric laughed. “All girls feel that. I’m just an overwhelming guy!” He paused for a moment. “I’m joking.”

As we approached the car, Eric said, “Terri. Why don’t you sit in the back with Cassandra? Nick and I have some important guy stuff to talk about.”

Nick looked to Cassandra in the back seat and then back to Eric. “But… but…”

Eric opened the car’s back door for me. “Cassie said she’s seen you around school, but doesn’t really know you. Here’s a chance to get acquainted.”

I slid onto the back seat next to Cassandra. She looked over at me and smiled. “So you’re Terri! You’re all he talks about.”

From the front seat as he closed the driver’s door, Eric said, “That’s not true!”

Cassie laughed, “The hell it’s not.”

Looking confused, I said, “You talk about girls with your ex-girlfriend?”

Cassie and Eric both laughed hard. Through giggles, Cassie said, “Eric and I have been friends since before he was in Kindergarten.”

Nick looked back at Cassandra. “Are you serious?”

She nodded with a giggle. “I was a grade ahead of him. I graduated last year.”

Before Nick could say anything, Eric punched Nick’s arm. “So tell me. I’ve been Playing Dragon Born:Gate Keeper this week and I’m stuck. I’m at a bridge and there’s some old dude that won’t let me pass. He keeps asking me about unladened swallows. It won’t let me just kill him. How do I get by?

Nick laughed, “Dude! Are you serious? It’s easy…”

I tried to focus on what Nick was saying, but Cassandra asked, “So. How did Eric force you to go out with him?”

Not sure if I should be honest or not, I looked at Eric, then back to Cassandra. I mean, what girl at school wouldn’t want to go out with Eric. Actually, that would be a good deflection.

I gave a nervous laugh. “What girl wouldn’t want to go on a date with Eric?”

Cassandra smiled broadly as she turned to look out the car window. “That’s certainly true. I’d try to get a date myself, but Eric seems too much like a brother to me.”

Cassandra took on a wistful look and fell silent. Eric and Nick continued on their heated gaming discussion. I just sat there quietly while mentally berating myself for being so stupid as to go on a date with a boy.

After several minutes of driving, Eric steered his car into the mall’s parking lot. He managed to find a spot not far from the theater entrance. After he parked, he got quickly out of the car and trotted around to my door. Before I could react, he opened the door and extended his hand to help me out. I hesitated a moment before letting him take my hand and pull me gently from the rear passenger seat.

“Thank you,” I smiled. Dismay set in as he continued to hold my hand.

Cassandra just sat in the car staring at Nick. Nick just stood there for several moments before noticing she was still in the car. “Oh!” Nick uttered as he hurried around to Cassandra’s side of the car, opened her door and just stood there. He furrowed his brow and said, “Are you coming?”

Rolling her eyes as she sighed, Cassandra stepped out of the car. She looked from Nick to Eric. “Well, the movie is going to start without us.” She motioned that Nick should start walking. Nodding, Nick took her hand and started to lead her to the mall.

Continuing to hold my hand, Eric said, “Cassie’s right. Let’s go.” He smiled at me and then led me towards the mall. It wasn’t like he was pulling me along, but it did force me to walk closely beside him.

As we walked, I thought about how this wasn’t exactly how I had hoped my first date would go. I’ve never taken a girl out before. I always imagined my first date to be with some nice girl I liked, chatting over tacos, but this… this was so wrong on so many levels! Never, ever did I think that my very first date would be with a boy.

As we entered the mall and saw a line of ten people at the ticket booth, Eric sighed. “The line isn’t long at all!” He smiled at me and gave my hand a squeeze.

I nodded. “I hate it when the line goes out the door.” I peered around the line to look inside the theater. “Snack bar line isn’t bad either.” Even though I was out in public, dressed as a girl and holding a boy’s hand, I was starting to relax a bit. I still didn’t like the whole idea, but I wasn’t a bundle of nerves. Oddly enough, it was the very fact that Eric held my hand and kept me close to him that helped me to relax.

Arriving at the ticket booth, Eric finally released my hand. It felt so strange to hear him say “two” when asked how many. The last time someone bought my ticket for me was about two years ago; the last time Dad took me to a movie. Now Mom just gives me the money and either drops me off at the mall, or I come to the theater with Nick.

I watched as Eric slid his credit card through the opening in the glass. A slight chill passed down my spine. The shit just got real. A boy just spent money on me. What does this mean? Am I obligated to anything? No. I’m sure I’m not. More than once I’ve heard Nick complain about blowing his paycheck on a girl and not even getting a goodnight kiss.

I expected Eric to hand me my ticket, like Dad always did, even when I was a kid. But he held onto them himself and took my hand again. This time there was a tug on my hand and while it was a gentle tug, he still pulled me through the theater doors. Granted, the doorway wasn’t wide enough to accommodate more than one person at a time, it still seemed that my social status had changed.

It was clear. I’m the girl. He’s the man in charge. It annoyed me. I was more comfortable when it seemed we were more or less equals. Or maybe that had been a false impression and I had always been at a lesser status. I don’t think I liked that.

Eric led me to the snack bar. There was just one couple ahead of us. Eric looked down at me. “I thought we could share the large tub of popcorn. What kind of soda do you want?”

I’ve always known Eric was tall, but I never really gave it much thought. But, when he looks down to talk to me, it further impresses what my status with him is. He’s obviously taking the dominate position. I guess that’s normal. I felt I would keep things equal between me and girl when on a date. I decided I was over-thinking this. I’m not a girl. This isn’t a real date. Okay. He’s paying my way so I guess generally it is a date. But it’s not THAT kind of date.

I looked up at Eric. “Dr. Pepper?” Why did I phrase it as a question? I don’t need his permission. I even had some money of my own in my purse. I tugged slightly on the straps. Oh my God. I’m actually carrying a purse. Not only was I carrying my cell phone and some money, but I also had girly stuff in the purse, such as lipstick and a compact. I was suddenly more upset about remembering I was carrying a purse, than I was about standing there in a skirt.

After buying the snacks, Eric walked over to a row of benches near the restrooms. He set the snacks on the bench. “Sorry. I need to take a leak real quick.” He darted off to the restroom.

Thankfully I didn’t need to go, although one of my dad’s sayings about never pass up a chance to go to the restroom passed through my head. But no way in hell was I going into the women’s restroom. I’m sure no one would question it, but it was the whole idea of going in there.

Approaching the ticket taker, two guys and a girl start to pass by. The boy and girl are obvious dates. The second boy is probably somebody’s brother. The girl suddenly stops and points at me. “Aren’t you a boy? I mean, I know you, right? You’re in my Algebra class.”

All the blood drained from my body and I just stood there for a moment, stunned and cold. “You must have me confused with someone else.” It was Vicky. She was definitely in my Algebra class. I wanted to ask her out once.

Vicky stepped closer and raised her glasses up past her eyes. “I’m sure it’s you. I didn’t think you were a girl. I thought you were one of those sissy boys.”

I frowned and said with a bit too much anger, “I’m *not* a sissy!”

Grinning, the boy who wasn’t on a date with Vicky said, “Instead of being alone, why don’t you come with us? We’re seeing Cheesy Crackers. Vicky rolled her eyes.

I looked at the three and said something I never thought in all my wildest dreams I’d ever say. “I’m waiting for my boyfriend.” I then pointed at the restroom behind me.

“Why don’t you come with us anyway?” asked the dateless boy whose name I couldn’t remember. “I bet I’m more fun to be with than…”

I suddenly felt someone behind me as Eric bent down and nuzzled my neck. “Ready babe?” He then noticed the three who were talking to me. “Oh, hey Vicky. How you been?”

The boy trying to pick me up said, “H… He… he’s your boyfriend?”

Vicky turned several shades of red. She moved to place herself in front of her date as if to hide him. “Oh, hi, Eric! I’d good. Real good. I was hoping you’d call me.” With a scowl, she turned to face her date and angrily whispered, “Stop poking me!”

Eric put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me close to him. “I’ll check my calendar.” He waved with his free hand. His arm still draped across my shoulders, he led me to the ticket taker.

In a sing-song voice, Vicky said, “See you soon!” Her voice changed to a hiss. “I said stop poking me!”

As he handed the ticket taker our tickets, Eric chuckled. “God I can’t stand that girl.”

Feeling secure with Eric’s arm around me, I sighed heavily. Monday, it was going to be very interesting at school.

*          *          *

In the semi-darkness of the theater, we found our seats. We were almost in the center of the theater, next to Nick and Cassie. I sat next to Cassie and the guys on either end. I frowned. I shouldn’t let myself get carried away. I’m one of the guys too. Just one of the guys who happens to be wearing a skirt and make-up.

As we sat and Eric settled the tub of popcorn between us, Nick leaned across in front of Cassie and me and gave Eric a thumbs up. “This is going to be so cool!”

Eric nodded. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about this movie.”

Nick laughed. “I meant being here with Cassie!” He flashed Cassie a toothy grin.

I tried not to show it. But as all the previews rolled by and the opening credits began to unfold on the screen, I just sat there a crazy bundle of nerves. I’ve seen enough movies and TV shows to know what boys want to try to do with their dates when at the movies. Was Eric going to put his arm around me? Would he try to fondle my boobs? Would I even notice since they’re fake? Would he try to kiss me?

I glanced over at Nick and Cassie. Only fifteen minutes into the movie and he already had his arm around her and she was snuggled against his shoulder. I looked at Eric. He as just watching the movie. He hadn’t made any attempt to hold me. For a brief moment, I worried that he didn’t like me. That thought was immediately shut down and replaced with a worry that he actually did like me.

I wasn’t sure what to think of the sensation when our hands touched as we both reached for popcorn at the same time. I was really having a difficult time enjoying the movie. I reminded myself that I really didn’t want to be here. I should never have let Nick talk me into it.

And then it happened. Eric placed his hand on my knee. Was it deliberate? Did he just miss the armrest? Was he hoping to slide his hand up my skirt? I took a deep breath to try to avoid panic. I picked up his hand and moved it back to the armrest. I didn’t look over at Eric.

A few minutes later, Eric’s hand was back on my knee. I decided it wasn’t just a meaningless gesture. This had to be some show of affection. I moved his hand again. I looked over at him and he just grinned.

I just sat there petrified. I was no longer watching the movie. I was just too afraid of what might come next. I fought an overwhelming urge to flee the theater. I doubted Eric meant me any harm. And if I’d been an actual girl, I might have even welcomed his advances. Especially being with Eric.

I looked over at Eric for a moment, seeing him in the flickering light of the screen. There’s no denying his physique and good looks drive girls wild. I began to think again I shouldn’t be here. He thinks he’s with a girl. I’m essentially lying to him.

And then one of my fears happened. Eric reached out with one arm and slid it around my shoulders and pulled me towards him. My head rested on his shoulder and he had my right arm pinned. He wasn’t using excessive force or anything. But I just couldn’t resist his muscles. I still had one hand free. I played it cool and grabbed some more popcorn.

But fuck man. I was snuggling with a boy. I took some solace in the fact that it wasn’t my idea.

I felt Eric’s face brush against my hair. “Your hair smells nice,” he whispered.

In a tiny, whispered voice I thanked him. I wanted to shrink into non-existence. He pulled me closer to him.

I tried to relax. It wasn’t like it was awful to rest my head on Eric’s shoulder and feel him hold me. I felt so small with him holding me.

And then, taking me completely by surprise and without warning, Eric’s lips pressed against mine. It was only a moment. He smiled and winked at me as he pulled back.

Oh my God! He kissed me! A boy kissed me. I just sat there, stunned; my lips parted in shock.

I glanced over at my brother for some kind of moral support. He was too busy kissing Cassie. And not just a quick peck either.

Eric gently took my free hand and entwined his fingers in mine. He nuzzled my neck and finally rested his head against mine.

Holy crap! This was awful! This was a disaster! This was… this was… What the fuck? I felt a growing tightness against the strip of cardboard April had used to hide my privates. No! I shouted mentally. No. No. No. I tried to think of baseball players, but I don’t know any since I don’t watch sports. Why is that even happening?

Eric continued to hold my hand and kept me close to him throughout the remainder of the movie. He didn’t try to kiss me again. He just held me. I was thoroughly pissed at the betrayal of my penis. Thankfully it finally stopped being turned on.

*          *          *

“I thought that was a good movie,” said Eric as he lifted his burrito to take a bite. After the movie he drove us to Taco Bueno for dinner. Half joking, I pouted and said I thought we were going to go to Satchmo’s, the ritzy place downtown. Eric grinned and said that we’ll go there for our next date. I shut up real quick. He better not be thinking of a second date!

“I thought it was awesome!” laughed Nick. He gave Cassie a kiss, and then took a bite of his burrito. Cassie had her arm around Nick’s neck. Surprisingly, I think she liked him.

Eric looked down at me. I was sitting right next to him with his arm around me. “How did you like the movie?”

Hoping he would keep his arms to himself, I stared blankly forward. “I… I thought it was good. I didn’t know the Nazi’s were so into the occult.”

Nick kissed Cassie again. “Who cares? It was just an awesome movie.”

Eric gave me a squeeze. “You can’t argue with that!”

Two jock types walked into Taco Bueno just as it looked like Eric was leaning in for a kiss. One went to place his order. The other walked to our table.

He knuckle bumped Eric as he said with a voice louder than it needed to be, “Eric! My man!” He looked to me and arched his eyebrows. “Looks like you’re having a good weekend! Dude, where do you keep finding them?”

Pointing at me, Eric said, “Dutch, this is Terri. And that’s Nick and of course you know Cassie.”

Dutch grinned at Cassie. “I sure do. Oh, sorry about not calling you back. Maybe later tonight I …”

Cassandra cut him off. “Dutch, really? That was two months and five guys ago.”

Dutch just stood there with his mouth open. “So that would be a ‘no’?”

Cassie rolled her eyes. “Duh!” She leaned over and kissed Nick.

Dutch shrugged. “Oh.” He looked back at Eric. “Hey, Eric. How about letting me have that one when you’re done with her? She’s a little cutie.”

I wanted to throw up.

Eric just grinned. “Sorry bud. But I think this one’s a keeper.”

Oh great.
Dutch just waved. “I need to get back with Jackson before he leaves without me. I’ll give you call later this week, Cassie.” He turned his back and headed over to his friend Jackson.

Cassandra followed Dutch with her eyes. If looks could kill… Cassie said with a pissed voice, “This is why I’m always changing my phone number.” We all laughed. Including me.

*          *          *

The night of course was rather dark and it was starting to get late. In fact, there was only an hour and a half before we passed Nick’s curfew. I didn’t have one yet. But as Nick pointed out, tonight there wasn’t going to be any parents sitting in the living room looking at their watches.

Eric drove his car down a stretch of road known locally and oddly as Telegraph Road; the origins of the name lost in antiquity. But it was known as that long before there was a song by that name. The road wasn’t used much, except for the local teen population as a place to park your car with your date. Sadly, our town didn’t have a romantic over-look to view the city below. It was just – flat.

Needless to say, I was not happy about this little adventure. In the backseat, Nick and Cassie were already swallowing each other’s tonsils. I just looked out my window at the couple of dozen cars Eric passed, each one filled with teens making out.

What was I going to do when we stopped? We were too far from town to just make a run for it. Maybe that was the idea. Gird your loins, I thought to myself, not having a clue what the expression meant. He’s going to kiss you, I thought with dread.

Eric pulled his car over at a spot far from the other cars. He put the car in Park and killed the engine. He looked over at me and smiled. He then leaned towards the windshield and looked up. “I’ve always loved this place. It’s quiet and you get a real feeling of seclusion. It’s far enough from the city’s light pollution that you can actually see some stars. Hop out.” He opened the door to his car and started to step out.

I hesitated. Then I opened the car door and swung my legs out. Getting in and out of a car while wearing a skirt is a lot more involved than guys think. If they think. When I got out, Eric was leaning against the front fender.

Waving me over, Eric said, “Come on. Stand next to me.” He looked up as I walked around the front of the car to stand next to him. “Look at that sky! Isn’t it beautiful?”

As I stood next to him, Eric put his arm around me. I looked up and smiled. I stupidly said, “It’s very romantic.”

He pulled me closer to him. “Yes. Yes it is. Very romantic.”

There was a slight breeze which made my hair dance around some. There was also a chill in the air, so I didn’t completely mind Eric holding me close.

We stood there for several minutes with Eric just holding me and us looking at the myriad of stars filling the sky. I couldn’t deny the effect on me as I stood there in awe looking at the infinite sky as Eric held me close.

Suddenly he pointed off to my right. “Look! A shooting star! Make a wish!”

I watched the little streak of light fizzle in the sky. In my head I wished I was back home.

“Don’t tell me what you wished or it won’t come true,” Eric said sounding almost earnest.

I turned to look up at him. We were almost nose to nose. He smiled. I nervously smiled back. A gust of wind nudged me just enough so our lips brushed each other. I smiled and looked shyly to the ground. When I looked back up, he was leaning in and he slid his fingers through my hair and then gently caressed the back of my head. As his lips again softly brushed against mine I felt a tingle flow through me. I closed my eyes and leaned into his lips.

What am I doing? This is crazy… This is insane… This is… This is… This is wonderful.

Eric pressed into me and instead of pushing him away, I slid my arms around his neck. Eric’s kiss caused a riot of emotions in me. His tongue slipped into my mouth and instead of being disgusted, I sucked on it and rubbed my tongue against it. I’ve never felt this way before.

I’m kissing a boy and I’m enjoying it. I never want it to end. Eric pulled me ever closer to him. His kiss grew in passion. My emotions were all over the place. I moaned as our kiss bloomed ever more passionate. I just couldn’t get enough of this new feeling. I shouldn’t have had these desires with a boy, but I couldn’t resist it. I’m sure it’s all temporary, pushed by the moment…

But I think I just fell in love…

Crazy talk…

*          *          *

Eric helped me get out of his car. He looked through the backseat windows and chuckled. “I’ll walk you to your door while your brother says goodnight to Cassie.” I really didn’t think Nick had it in him, but he was giving Cassandra a long, smoldering kiss.

Holding hands and with me leaning against Eric, we walked very slowly up to the front door to my house. It was very late, and so quiet with a slight chill in the air. Mom and Dad would never approve of either Nick or me being out so late. I felt all dreamy inside. I never wanted to let go of Eric.

Once on the porch in front of the door, Eric put a finger under my chin and lifted my face up. He bent down and gave me a long kiss that curled my toes. I just melted after the kiss and rested my head on his chest for a few moments. Why couldn’t the world freeze at this point in time forever?

Eric grinned at me. “I had a great time tonight, Terri. I enjoyed being with you. I don’t think I’ve ever been with a girl so smart, funny and all wrapped up in the cutest little package before.”

I blushed and looked shyly at my feet for a moment. “Thank you. I so enjoyed being with you tonight.” My voice trailed away as I found myself fearing what I might say at this moment.

“I’d really like to take you out again. Maybe actually go to Satchmo’s.” He gently touched my face.

And that’s when reality came crashing down on me like a ton of bricks. How could there possibly be a next time? I’m not really a girl. I’ve basically lied to him this whole evening. I’ve stolen emotions I don’t deserve from him. I can’t fall in love with a boy just because he kisses me. I began to feel like a fool, standing there in front of Eric while I was dressed as a girl. I’m a lie. I felt so ashamed that I allowed another boy to kiss me.

I started to cry. “Don’t hate me, please Eric. I’ve lied to you. I’ve played a dirty trick on you. We can’t go out again because I’m a… I’m a…”

Eric placed a finger against my lips. “Shhh. Babe, it’s okay. I know who you are.”

Wiping a tear carefully from my eyes so I wouldn’t have black streaks running down my face, I said incredulously, “You know?”

Eric nodded. “April called me just as I was about to leave my house. She told me everything. Begged me not to hurt you for fooling me. Asked me to cancel the date.”

I rubbed my nose and just stared at Eric. “You knew who I was and you still went out with me?”

Eric laughed softly. “I wanted to do something different. I didn’t believe April at first because you’re so pretty, delicate and feminine. But she texted a picture of you from last summer at the swimming pool. So I thought what the hell. Girls throw themselves at me all the time. But you’re different.”

“So you’re not going to kill me?”

Chuckling, Eric ran his fingers through my hair. “Harming someone as sweet and cute as you would be a crime against humanity.” His face took a more serious look. “I would never hurt you, Terri.”

He took me in his arms again and kissed me deeply.

When he pulled back, he looked over at his car and grinned. “I need to go. And I need to extract your brother from Cassie. Good night, Terri. Sweet dreams.” He gave me a quick kiss and then turned and headed toward his car to drag Nick from it.

In a dreamy state, I unlocked the front door and stepped inside. I stopped, feeling like someone had poured a bucket of cold water on me.

“I can’t wait to hear your explanation,” said Mom as she stood there with her arms crossed. “Why are you dressed that way and just what the hell were you doing with that Eric boy?”

I was totally shocked. “M… m… Mom. You’re home. I… I thought you and Dad were…”

Scowling, Mom said, “Your father got called back to work so we came home early. I’m still waiting for that explanation.”

I forced a smile. “Mom! You’re never going to believe what happened tonight! Nick had this really crazy idea…”

*          *          *

The End



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