Pepper Ann - The Confession!






The Confession
or
Pepper Grows Up


The doorbell rang, and Pepper Ann practically shot out of the sofa past the cat and up to the door. She opened it to find Nicky Little, her best friend, standing on the porch, looking very nervous and upset.

“Hey…what’s up, Nicky?” Pepper said as the girl just walked past her and plopped on the sofa, her arms folded. Not the ‘entertain me,’ or ‘I don’t believe a word you’re saying’ look, but the ‘if I don’t hug me, nobody will’ arm fold.

“What’s wrong?” Pepper sat down next to Nicky; the girl moved away, still with arms folded, and began to cry.

“Come on…give…tell me…what’s wrong.”

“Well…you know…now that we’re in Middle School, I hafta take showers in the locker room like everyone else.”

“Yeah…me too…it’s embarrassing…but what can you do? It’s just the way things work.”

“But it’s more than that. You an’ me…we’re friends, right? Best Friends. We can tell each other all sortsa stuff, right?” She pulled back as if to fade into the sofa. Pepper patted her on the back.

“Yeah…everything.”

“Well…..”

“Well, what, silly?”

“I gotta confession….”

“NO…really, you coulda fooled me,” Pepper laughed and Nicky turned away.

“Come on…you can tell me…gotta crush on that new boy in biology?”

“No! Not him!”

“That transfer boy in Spanish? Dougie somethin’?”

“No!” Nicky looked frustrated and started banging her head on the back of the sofa.

“Did you forget to take your Adderall?” Pepper looked at her sideways.

“No…no…no.” She banged her head faster.

“Did ‘it’ happen? I know you’ve been waiting….” Pepper started to blush and Nicky joined in her embarrassment.

“NO! No.”

“Your Dad still won’t see you?”

“Yes…but it’s not that!”

“Stewart Waldinger try to get into your panties…that geek!” Pepper folded her own arms, mirroring Nicky. Soon the two of them were banging against the back of the sofa; in time like two metronomes.

“Pepper?” Nicky stopped banging her head and Pepper quickly followed.

“Yeah, Nick?”

“I’m….I gotta secret.”

“You already made that clear.” Pepper grew impatient as Nicky started to cry.

“What’s wrong now? I’m sorry. Tell me your secret.”

“I’m….my mom….she always wanted a girl!” Nicky started to rock back and forth on the sofa once again, her arms around her like her own hug.

“Yeah…well, she got what she wanted. What’s wrong with that?”

“Well…she didn’t quite get what she wanted.” Nicky turned to Pepper and the tears fell from her face like a waterfall. A snotty drip pooled at the curl of her lip and fell off.

“Oh crap, so you don’t play Violin AND Cello. What’s wrong with that.”

“No…it’s not that.”

“Well what is it, Nick?”

“That’s it.” Nicky buried her face in the gap between the cushions on the back of the sofa. Pepper reached over but Nicky pushed her hand away.

“What’s wrong…come on…it can’t be that bad!”

“Nhhg….ihhhhs wwuuss” She cried.

“What? I can’t hear you.” Pepper tugged her out of the cushions and grabbed her arms, facing her head on.

“Damn it, Nicky…tell me what the fuck is going on.”

“My name isn’t Nicole…it’s Nicolas.” She began to bawl; her shaking literally vibrating Pepper Ann down to her core.

“What the fuck? Nicky…stop fooling around!”

“I’m telling you the truth. My mom wanted a girl, so she’s been….” Nicky tried to talk but she started sobbing all over again.

“That’s crazy.”

“No…it’s not. My mom has been seeing a doctor…she’s been giving her ….pills….” The girl stuttered.

“What…like your Adderall?"

"No...pills! You know?" Nicky used her hands to touch her breasts in demonstration. "PILLS!"

"No way!” Pepper protested. “That’s fucking crazy. You gotta tell someone. What about your Dad?”

“He’s living in Colorado with his girlfriend…he doesn’t even answer my e-mails any more….and….”

“And what?”

“He changed his cell phone.” Nicky started crying again. Pepper turned her around to face her again.

“You gotta tell someone.”

“NO….I can’t…”

“You gotta…”

“No…I can’t…I won’t…I don’t want to!”

“Whaaat????” Pepper shook her head.

“I don’t understand…Why won’t you tell anyone????”

“’Cause….’cause…” Nicky stammered, tears and snot literally dripped off her chin.

“What…what the fuck, Nicky. ‘Cause what?”

“’Cause….that’s not the secret.”

“Whaddya mean, that’s not the secret? You just told me you’re a boy and your mom is makin’ you into a girl and that’s not the secret. You never told me!” Pepper shook her head almost furiously.

“I…I know….I didn’t tell you about it because of my real secret.”

“What’s that…what could be more secret than that?” She looked at Nicky like she had two heads.

“We..weh..well…..I…I….”

“Oh, for Christ’s sake, Nicky, just say it!”

“I …I like being a girl….I….love being a girl….I wanna be a girl.” She burst into tears once again and jumped off the couch, throwing herself onto the love seat across the room, where she promptly began banging her head once again. Pepper got off the sofa and knelt down next to Nicky.

“It’s…it’s okay to keep a secret, Nick.” Pepper tried to convince her friend, maybe herself as well.

“Bbbuuutttttt.”

“Jesus, Nicky…what the fuck is wrong. You just told me your secret…I won’t tell anybody.

“Bbuhhht that’s nnnoooot the secret,” the girl sobbed, her tears quickly staining the microfiber of the love seat.

“What???? You’re fucking crazy! You just told me you wanted to be a girl and that’s not the secret??? If being a girl isn’t the secret and wanting to be a girl isn’t the secret…what the fuck is the secret????”

“PPPrommise….you won’t laugh????” Nicky sobbed. Pepper rolled her eyes and looked away. Turning back to her friend once again, she forced a smile.

“Of course I promise.”

“Promise you won’t get…angry?” The girl bleated.

“Oh, God, Nicky…yes…I promise…what’s the secret?” Pepper shouted in protest.

“See…you’re angry already!” Nicky turned her face to the back of the love seat and started bouncing her left foot off the armrest.

“Jeez, Nick I’M NOT ANGRY!”

“Bwaaahhhhhh….” The girl started bouncing both feet off the armrest. Pepper leaned closer and said softly.

“Nicky…you’re my best friend….I’m sorry for getting upset…please….please tell me what your secret is!”

“You’re not mad?” The girl sobbed.

“NO, Nicky…I’m not mad…please tell me.”

“I have to whisper it…” The girl cried. Pepper Ann rolled her eyes once again but took a deep breath and said quietly,

“Okay.” She put her head down next to Nicky’s on the love seat as the girl turned over to face her.

“It’s…” the girl said and then began to whisper softly in her best friend’s ear. Pepper Ann’s eyes widened and her face cycled expressions rapidly; going from surprise to shock to frustration to disappointment to shock before finally settling on satisfied and relieved.

“Is that all?” She said, almost casually as Nicky’s face softened from fear and grief to satisfied relief as well.

“Yeeeeh…yes?”

“Well, okay then!” Pepper Ann said before standing up. She reached down and helped Nicky to her feet before finally saying,

“No Problemo, Chica! Now…let’s find something to eat and then we can tackle that social studies review, okay?”

~ // ~

 
A few days later….at Hazelnut Middleschool…sixth period bell…by Pepper Ann’s locker….

“Ehhh…excuse me?” A voice came from over Pepper Ann’s shoulder. A thin, nervous looking boy stood there, wearing a vest sweater and shorts.

“Yeah?” Pepper Ann turned and faced the boy.

“Hi…I’mmm….Doug….I…I’m in Spanish with you?” He stammered.

“Yeah…new kid…what can I do you for?”

“I….I…was wondering….if you….could you….maybe???” He continued to trip over his words.

“Jeez, kid…just spit it out!”

“Are you???? Can I??? Maybe….”

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Doug…would you just ask the fucking question?”

“Can I take you to the dance tomorrow?”

“NO!” She said sharply and turned to get a book out of her locker.

“What…Oh…” He frowned and put his head down and started to turn away before she grabbed his arm.

“Oh…jeez….nothing personal, kid….it’s just that ….well…I sorta have someone I’m already going with.”

“Oh…okay…” He took two steps before turning back once again.

“Someone else???” He tilted his head and stared at her. She remained silent while a smallish figure stepped out from behind her and waved nervously.

“That would be me,” Nicky Little smiled and closed her own locker while grabbing Pepper Ann’s hand, squeezing it softly before she turned and skipped down the hallway and into Spanish Lab. The boy looked down the hallway before turning back and staring at Pepper Ann.

And she just shrugged her shoulders and smiled before walking away.



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