Two young teens, life-long friends, discover each other though not in the usual way. A gentle "coming-of-age" tale.
I awoke as the buzzer sounded. It was ten minutes to seven on Monday morning. I found myself happy knowing that Dad wouldn’t be about to notice any actions I may or may not make. I kissed teddy 2 gently and made my bed. When I was done I placed her in her rightful place atop my pillow. She smiled at me. "I love you Jola" I whispered into her un-hearing ears. I made my way to the shower and cleaned myself rapidly. Earrings to twist, no problem. I stood there as I dried myself off in front of the foggy mirror and thought that I needed to take a stand. I simply couldn’t go on this way. Sam, I love you, I thought to myself as I gently toweled myself dry. Darla? I love you too, I thought as I finished the job. I wish I knew what to do.
Lunch made and breakfast finished, I bade my mother farewell. I was too wrapped up in my own problems to be concerned about hers that morning. I had time and thought about taking the long way round to Darla’s but, I didn’t want Sam to think I was trying to hide something. I was early in arriving and for once, Darla wasn’t waiting for me. I rang the doorbell and waited for her to appear. Moments later she appeared carrying my backpack in her hands as well as her own slung across her shoulders. She eyed me carefully. I guess she could tell that something was amiss. She greeted me with, "what’s wrong John?"
"Darla" I said as she handed me my backpack, "we have to talk." I’d tried rehearsing what to say and I’d arrived at so many different conclusions that it wasn’t till this very moment that I knew what I wanted to say to her. She stood there silently waiting for me to continue.
"I had a long talk with Sam yesterday," I began.
"I knew this was going to happen," she shouted in an upset tone. "I guess that means you don’t want to be my friend anymore then?" she asked.
"No, Darla, that’s not it at all," I told her. She looked at me hopefully. "Darla," I continued, "I’ve known Sam for my entire life. Hell, we learned to walk and talk together. Prior to what happened last week we never had a real fight in our lives. I’m not really sure, but I think I’m in love with her. We were just beginning to explore "those" feelings for one another when everything became difficult." I sighed aloud. I wanted to tell her that I was pretty sure I loved her too. I was so confused. I ached to tell her, but knowing what I had just said, it wouldn’t be fair to her. "Darla?" I pleaded.
"Yes John?" she asked as her tears began to flow.
"Do you think that we could be friends? You’ve been such a huge help to me, I honestly don’t know what I’d have done without you." I knew it was more than that, but I didn’t know what else to say.
She stood there in the middle of Ocean Boulevard and dropped her knapsack on the ground. I removed mine as well and pulled her close to me. I hugged her tightly and gently caressed her back while whispering that it was going to be all right. "I guess you won’t be eating lunch with me anymore?" she sobbed.
"Darla," I reassured her. "I would be honored to sit at your table if that’s all right with you?"
"What about Sam?" she asked.
"I told Sam that if she wasn’t ok with you and I being friends that she and I were finished." I so wanted to kiss her. What was wrong with me? Was I making a mistake here? It’s funny, you can plan till the cows come home what you are going to say or do but you never know till it actually happens just how you’re going to react. She reached out to me with her lips and before I knew it I was kissing her passionately. How could I be so unfaithful to Sam? She released me and said, "I’m sorry John, that wasn’t fair." I heaved a sigh of relief at having heard those words, yet I found myself aching to kiss her again… We grabbed our backpacks and continued onto school each of us lost in our own thoughts.
We were a minute or two late for first bell and there was no one else outside when we arrived. "See you at lunch?" I asked her hopefully.
"Yes!" was all she said.
The morning passed uneventfully and soon the lunch bell was ringing. Knots began forming in the pit of my stomach as I made my way to the cafeteria. I found myself hoping that Duncan would still be sitting in my former seat. He didn’t let me down. I made my way over to my new table and I was the last to arrive. I took my seat to death rays emanating from Sarah’s eyes. Darla seemed somewhat subdued but at length she asked me "John, are you coming to my birthday party?"
I was totally taken by surprise at her request. My mind ran off in several directions at once as I tried to formulate a reply. I wanted to tell her of course I’d be there just name the time and place. I sneaked a look over my shoulder and saw that Sam was watching my actions intently. "I’m not sure if I can come," I replied at last. "Things aren’t exactly perfect at home right now," I said without lying. I couldn’t believe it. Lunch was almost over and still no one had mentioned the new holes in my ears. I was grateful for that at least.
"Oh John! You have to come," Sally pleaded. "It’s a "girls only" party," she continued. "You won’t have to worry about any boys being there," she went on and then a large gasp escaped her mouth. "I’m sorry John!" she exclaimed. I actually began laughing at her pronouncement and the rest of the girls followed suit including Sarah. Thank you Sally I thought silently.
"Can I let you know later in the week Darla?" I asked her.
"Well, I guess," she said, "but I do have to know by Wednesday."
"Fair enough," I replied. With that, the bell signifying the end of lunch rang and we made our way to our afternoon classes. Mr. Benson was unusually kind to me that afternoon though he said he hadn’t finished grading the tests yet. I smiled thinking that I had indeed aced that exam.
The final bell rang and I made my way to my locker. I couldn’t believe it. I had no homework for the day. If not for my clothes still in my backpack, I’d have left the damned thing in my locker till tomorrow. I walked outside and waited for Sam as I had every day of my school life up to last week. I waited and waited. I began to wonder if she’d left without me. Oh no, not again, I hoped? Finally Sam came out and walked confidently over to me.
"Are you all right?" she asked.
"I’m fine now that you’re here," I said with a smile on my face. She grabbed my hand possessively and we began walking home.
"How did you do on your science test?" she asked me.
I laughed. "Sam, that test was on Friday. You expect me to remember what happened way back then?" She laughed at that and took it to mean that I’d simply "passed" yet again. I thought back to the ski ball games on Saturday and didn’t think she’d take it too well if I told her I was pretty sure I’d gotten a perfect score on the science exam. Hell, I still hadn’t told her about the history exam. It was funny, I enjoyed the competition, but only needed to compete with myself. I didn’t need to wave my successes in the face of the rest of the world. Well, except for Mom, but that was different , I rationalized.
"John?" she asked me. A red flag began waving in front of my eyes.
"What is it?" I asked her.
"Have you ever counted the number of cracks in the pavement on the way home?" I began giggling furiously. I couldn’t stop. I walked over to the curb, sat down and placed my head in my hands as the laughter continued to spew forth. It seemed it was contagious as Sam did the same.
"Yes, I have," I replied at length. "There are 144 cracks in the pavement between my front door and school." I replied with some authority. She eyed me unbelievingly.
"There are 147 cracks," she assured me. I knew I was right having counted those cracks three times running.
"Would you like to bet?" I asked her with a trace of skepticism in my voice. She laughed at that and told me she was just teasing me. She had no idea how many cracks were in the pavement but figured that I’d made a study of it. I punched her playfully in the arm. She accepted it gracefully. "So, how are things with you and Billy?" I felt compelled to ask. I knew what her reply would be before the words were out of her mouth.
"How are things with Darla?" she asked. She didn’t fail me.
I decided that it would be best to simply tell her. "I think Darla and I can be friends," I said confidently. I hoped desperately that what I was saying would turn out to be true. "And you and Billy?" I asked again. She sighed audibly and confessed that Billy was totally smitten with her. I found myself wanting to laugh and to kick Billy’s ass simultaneously. I also knew that I didn’t have the right to do either. Sam was being honest with me and I really wasn’t sure about my own feelings for Darla.
"Well," I said at last, "I can understand him caring for you." As I said those words an overwhelming sense of sadness overtook me. Perhaps Sam would be happier with Billy. Was I stringing her along for my own benefit? She began squeezing my hand confidently letting me know that it was me that she loved. I took solace in her strength.
As we neared home she asked me, "would you like to play some baseball this afternoon?" I was totally taken aback by her request. After everything that had transpired last week I wasn’t sure I’d ever take any pleasure in the game again.
"Sam, would you mind if I just spent the day at home?" I asked pleadingly. We stood in front of her house and she spun me around to face her.
"It’s all right Joan." With that, she kissed me deeply. My head began spinning and for a moment I wasn’t quite sure where I was. She kissed my eyes, my forehead, and finally both lobes delicately. "I love you Joan" she said sweetly. She waited for my reply. I offered it eagerly.
"I love you Sam," I said with total devotion in my voice.
"See you in the morning then?" she asked as she began to make her way towards the front door.
"Yes!" I replied enthusiastically.
I made my way across the street and hurried inside. "Mom?" I asked hesitantly. I somehow knew that she wasn’t there. I made my way into the kitchen and found a note for me on the table. "Dear Joan," it began. "I won’t be home until 6 PM would you please be a dear and have dinner ready when I get home? I’ve hated eating dinner so late over the years. Perhaps we can begin to change that now starting with dinner this evening. The menu for the week is on the refrigerator. Everything you need is here. If you have any questions or problems, please call me at work. All my love, Mom." I felt like crying as I realized that Dad wouldn’t be joining us. I also felt like I was being a baby as I realized that Sam had been without her father for years now. I was old enough. I could handle this. I made my way upstairs to have a good cry.
I tossed my backpack on my desk chair and threw myself on my bed. Teddy smiled at me expectantly. I soaked her fur with tears and found myself unable to stop crying. I fell asleep with that bear clutched tightly in my arms. It was 4: PM when I awoke and realized I’d better get my behind in gear. For some reason I felt it was important that I make myself pretty before worrying about dinner preparations. Mom had spent more than a few dollars on all this stuff for me. The least I could do was take full advantage of it. I removed the bottle of clear nail polish from my makeup kit. I painted my nails carefully. I applied my mascara and put the baby blue eye shadow on my lids, and smiled at myself in the mirror as I saw Joan beginning to emerge.
I thought about my backpack and putting my clothes away. I began to unpack my pants, ties, and shirt when I noticed a note and a pair of panties from Darla. "Dear Joan," it began;. It seemed this was the day of "Dear Joan" letters. "Thank You so much for following my instructions. I honestly didn’t think that you’d bring anything other than what you were actually wearing for me to choose from. You have no idea how happy you made me when I saw that you’d complied with my wishes. I’d really love to see you wearing my panties. The pair that I’ve packed away here are the sexiest pair I own. I’m sure that they’ll fit you. I picked up the delicate looking garment and examined it carefully. They were black nylon surrounded by pink lace. I closed my eyes for a moment and imagined Darla wearing them. It took all of my strength to keep from removing my pants and trying them on. Another time perhaps, I thought as I put them away in my dresser. If Mom found them, I doubt that she’d be freaked out at this point.
I made my way back downstairs and examined the menu for the day. Nothing fancy on the menu, thank god! I carefully began putting the meal together. Six o’clock arrived and true to her word Mom came in announcing, "Joan dear, I’m home."
"I’m in the kitchen Mom," I shouted. "Dinner should be ready in a few minutes."
She casually strolled into the kitchen and seeing me uttered: "Oh Joan! Let me look at you!" I turned to face her and her face erupted into a huge smile. "I’m not sure you’ll want to hear this," she informed me, "but, you look exactly as I did when I was your age." I didn’t want to remind Mom that there were some significant differences as my eyes swept ever so quickly across her chest.
"Er, thanks Mom," I replied. "I’m glad you’re happy with my appearance. Sit down, you must be exhausted. Would you like some coffee?"
"I could use a cup," she informed me. I got the creamer out of the refrigerator, filled her favorite ceramic cup and delivered it to her with a smile.
"Something smells delicious," she said after thanking me for the coffee.
"Oh Mom, it’s just macaroni and cheese and some soup." She laughed at that and told me it was all the sweeter cause I’d made it for her. I blushed at her comments. "Are you going to be working longer hours on a regular basis now?" I asked her.
"I’m afraid so sweetheart,,," she told me. "I think you’re big enough now to take care of yourself till I get home from work, aren’t you?" she asked me seriously.
"Of course, I’ll be fine Mom," I assured her. "I’m going to be fourteen in a couple of weeks after all."
"Soon you’ll be all grown up and off to college," she sighed.
"That’s a long ways away," I said simply. She looked as though she were about to cry and I walked over and hugged her.
"It’s going to be all right Mom, we can do this, "I said with firm conviction. She smiled at me and I went and retrieved the casserole dish from the oven. I’d had the plates set out before she arrived. I placed her soup before her and asked if she needed anything else before I sat down.
"Sweetheart, you’ve done a magnificent job. I’m so proud of you!" I smiled at that and we began to eat.
"Mom, speaking of birthdays, I’ve been invited to a party Friday night. Is that all right with you?"
"Well Joan, you’ll have to tell me more about it before I can make any kind of decision." I knew Mom was going to be upset when I told her that it would be at Darla’s and no, Sam would not be attending. Truth be told, I wasn’t so sure how I felt about that myself. What could I tell Sam and how would she react, I wondered idly.
"Well Mom, it’s Darla’s fourteenth birthday. The party is at her house and it’s ok as there won’t be any boys attending." Had I just said that out loud? Mom eyed me curiously but said nothing.
"I guess it will be all right Joan, but I’m afraid you’ll have to spend your own money on a gift for her. The entire money question is completely up in the air at the moment." Instead of worrying about my family, I found myself worrying about my allowance. Mom read the concern in my eyes. "Don’t worry Joan, your allowance won’t be affected." I sat there thinking that this was a good sign. Maybe Mom was more on the ball than I realized.
"Thanks Mom," I told her. "I really appreciate this. And, don’t worry, I’ll do my best to help you out around the house," I told her generously. We finished eating in silence.
I wanted to ask Mom if she’d talked to Dad, but I didn’t want to upset her. I figured I’d let it go for now and that she’d tell me when there was any "news" to report. "Well Joan, it’s only 7:00 PM. How should we spend the rest of the evening?" she inquired with a trace of sadness in her voice. Several excuses ran through my mind. I’ve got lots of homework, there’s a project I need to finish. I told Sam that I’d stop by to see her, etc..
In the end I found myself asking her, "I’m free this evening Mom, what would you like to do?" She looked at me as if she’d just dived in off the deep end and had forgotten how to swim. She took a cigarette out of her purse, lit it and sat there smoking and drinking the remainder of her coffee. I knew this wasn’t the time to mention her resumption of this unsavory habit.
"Do you need anything else from the store?" she asked me.
I wanted to just scream "no" but, I thought carefully and replied, "not at the moment." She smiled at that.
"Well then let’s just watch some television. What do you say to that?" I sat there worrying about my own freedom. Was I now going to have to devote all of my free time to my mother? I knew that wasn’t fair and felt guilty for entertaining such thoughts. There wasn’t anything that Mom wouldn’t do for me.
"OK, television it is then," I said as I put the last of the dishes away.
"I’m going to go and change sweetheart," she informed me and made her way up to her bedroom. "Her" bedroom, I thought sadly. I really missed my Dad. Not that we were ever close, just knowing he was about was enough.
I ran up to my own bedroom and found myself yearning to try on Darla’s panties. I knew I wasn’t going to get any rest until I did. I took them out of my drawer and made my way to my bathroom. The slippery feel of the nylon sent chills through me. Why was I having such feelings? What did it all mean? I removed my clothes and slowly slid her panties up my legs. The feeling was indescribable. My penis began rising to attention. I couldn’t get dressed with myself sticking out like that. Damn! What to do? I thought for a few moments and then turned on the cold water in the sink. I lifted my member up over the edge and allowed the cold water to strike it forcefully. It quickly shrank in retreat. I grabbed a towel, dried myself off and tried again. This time, I was successful. I wasn’t sure how long this temporary fix would last, but was determined to test it out. I put my pants back on, touched up my lipstick and made my way back downstairs.
When I arrived, Mom was already in the family room. We usually watched TV in the living room, but I guess things were changing. "Would you like something for dessert, sweetheart?" she asked me.
I considered her question for a moment before responding, "No, thanks Mom. I guess I really am watching my weight."
"I understand," she said as she filled a bowl full of chocolate ice cream for herself. I almost caved in right there, but in the end I held my ground. We spent the next few hours watching some mindless television shows. I was not a big fan of TV, much preferring to spend my time playing video games or reading. Mom would give me her appropriate romance novels when she was done with them, and I have to confess I loved reading them.
I sat there watching TV with Mom and was reminded of my nylon encased privates every time I moved. I wanted to tell Mom about them but I knew she’d never understand. Some thoughts just weren’t for sharing. Finally ten o’clock rolled around and I told Mom that I’d better be getting to bed.
"Oh, you’ll be happy to know Mom," I said. "Sam and I made up this morning and I’ll be walking to school with her tomorrow." She smiled at that and told me she knew that would happen. She might have known it, but it was news to me. I hugged her tightly and asked her if she was ok.
"I’m fine Joan," she assured me. "Get some rest sweetheart. I’ll see you in the morning."
I made my way upstairs and carefully removed my clothes not wanting to damage the delicate undergarment that I’d been wearing. I folded the panties neatly and placed them back in my dresser drawer. Those were not for machine washing, I smiled. Ready for bed, I climbed under the sheets and made sure that my alarm was turned on. I turned out the light on my night stand and hugged Jola as I drifted off to sleep. The last thing I remember was asking her if she had a good day.
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