by Jennifer Sue
I fell in love with her the moment I saw her. She was just turning off Oak Street onto 2nd Street, clearly walking towards the high school for the first day of my senior year. I’d never seen her before... she had to be a new student. I wonder when she moved in and where. It had to be within three or four blocks! The wiggle of her innocent tush made her pleated skirt enticingly swirl about her knees which grabbed me between my legs as I followed a few feet behind her. The way her ponytail bounced and swung was equally enticing. What were the words of that old song? A smile filled my face as I recalled the tune.
Chantilly lace... and a pretty face... and a pony tail... a hangin' down
A wiggle in the walk and a giggle in the talk... makes the world go round
There ain't nothing in the world like a big eyed girl to make me act so funny make me spend my money
Make me feel real loose like a long necked goose... like a girl, oh baby, that's what I like!
As the song replayed through my mind I fell even deeper in love. I had to meet her, make her mine, before any of the other guys had a chance to snag her! But she seemed so sweetly innocent I didn’t want to scare her off, especially since she appeared to be a shapely 5'3" maybe 100 pounds compared to my 6'9" 280 ponds of muscle. I almost hated having spent most of the summer at the shore. If I’d stayed home I’d have met her before today. It’d been non stop football practice since I’d gotten home so there’d been no time to check out the neighborhood.
I was so wrapped up in my musings I didn’t notice sixty or seventy kids along with the other guys from the football team gathered around the school’s front entrance. It wasn’t until the snarky comments and obnoxious posturing began that I realized something was wrong.
“We heard you were going to pull this shit,” Willie the quarterback and snarled as he led the guys towards her. “We don’t want your kind here so unless you want to get hurt you better turn around!”
The other guys were forming a menacing semicircle around her as she stopped. It was clear she was terrified by the confrontation. The pleats on her skirt were dancing about as she shivered but she didn’t back down. “This is a public school and I have as much right to be here as you,” her sweet voice quivered revealing her fear. “The school has the medical and legal documents needed and I’m registered as Heather. Now please get out of my way and let me go inside.”
“No way you’re going to school here,” Willie laughed menacingly. “Hell, we don’t even want your kind living in the area. Now fuck off before we have to hurt you!”
I sure as hell didn’t know what was going on but I knew Willie was a cocky asshole who liked to bully anyone he could. Over the years I’d made it quite evident I didn’t like bulling or bullies. This adorable girl, Heather, my unsullied angel, didn’t deserve their abuse. “Leave her alone, Willie,” I growled as I stepped around her inserting myself between her and them.
The expressions on their faces instantly turned from scorn to fear. Almost all of them stepped back. Willie recovered after a few seconds and shook his head. “Bull, really don’t want to do this,” he laughed. “You don’t know who you’re sticking up for this time.”
“It doesn’t matter who she is,” I growled which caused the other guys to step back a bit further to avoid the possibility of the carnage I was known to unleash against bullies who were too stupid to back off after I’d warned them. “She’s a pretty girl who deserves the right to attend this school and live in this town. If you or anyone else don’t like that, tough shit. She’s here and she’s staying!”
“Bull, bull, bull,” Willie chuckled. “I never thought you were so dumb. This GIRL you’re protecting... you know HER... SHE’s been in our class since kindergarten! Turn around and look at her!”
At first I just thought he wanted me to turn around so he could sucker punch me. But he knew better than to try that. It was clear he expected me to side with him. But if she’d been in our class since kindergarten, I should know her. I know none of the girls in our class lived on Oak Street. The only person who did was Heath, a kid who was forever being bullied for being a sissy. Heath... Heather... anxiety gripped my heart and my face must have shown my realization as a huge smirk took over Willie’s face.
Slowly I turned around to face the girl I’d fallen for as we walked to school. Her face revealed she was clearly terrified and took a hesitant step backwards. Even through her contorted visage I was able to recognize the face. It took me a moment to process the change. I’d never bullied Heath and often protected him. It hurt me to see she was afraid of me. That fear galvanized me. I promptly knelt before her. “Heather, it makes no difference to me who you were,” I stated plainly and clearly so everyone could hear. “I fell in love with you as I followed you this morning. I always liked the person you were and know Heath had a heart of gold. I assume just because the package has changed what’s inside has not. MISS HEATHER, would you please do me the great honor of agreeing to be my girlfriend?”
Nearly everyone gasped. Heather’s face showed her surprise and disbelief which morphed into hope.
“Look out Ferdy,” Heather suddenly squealed. (Yeah, that’s me, Ferdinand... the bull. El Toro de Goro )
Her warning wasn’t needed but appreciated. I’m not dumb. I knew my words would infuriate Willie so I was ready. I’d heard his growl of anger and his movement to ambush my kneeling body. Although I was big, I was also extremely agile. Turning to the side I avoided the kick he’d aimed at my head and caught his foot, twisting it to throw him to the ground.
Willie screamed in agony and grasped his knee. I stood up and looked down on the crying quarterback, shook my head, then offered my arm to Heather. With a broad smile she slipped her arm in mine and we headed into the school past our now smiling classmates.
We didn’t know until later that he’d torn two ligaments and his days as a quarterback were over. Fortunately the assistant principle had been heading towards us to breakup the confrontation and had witnessed the entire assault against me and my self defense. Our classmates were glad to see the ass get what he deserved.
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