“We need to do this together” I whispered.
His eyebrows were knotted together in anticipation of the pain to come. “Together? So what we hold grab at each other’s hands and scream away? Nuh-uh! No can do.” He shook his head in all finality.
“Oh, come on man!” I was this close to stomping my foot. I was trying to grow out of this unfortunate habit of mine.
“Look, you wanted to get a tattoo. I never agreed to this!” he cried out.
“Seriously? You always wanted this skull or that dragon…” I protested. “Roo,” he grabbed me firmly by my shoulders and spun me round to face him “I don’t want one. Not today.”
My shoulders sagged. I knew that branding your body with something permanent was a big decision, and that if I needed someone with me go through with it so bad, I probably wasn’t ready. But I tried reasoning with myself that I hadn’t ever done anything without this guy, not since we were kids. It was just a habit, that’s all. I signed resolutely and was about to step into the shop when he grabbed my arm again. “Are you sure?” he questioned one last time.
Everything had always been extreme with me. I didn’t know how to make friends that quick, and when I did, I did not want to let go. Playtime and playdates were always a mess at the end; goodbyes were hard on me. But Brandon was one friend who I was wasn’t concerned would leave me.
He had a considerably easier time making friends, though I did have my suspicions of holding him back socially. Not that he had ever let me feel that way.
So imagine my horror when he had hooked up with Carla, the only enemy I had made as a baby and managed to hold on to until college. Really, Carla and I had been at each others throats from back when we were…well it goes as back as I can remember.
Carla was a complete snob. I am tempted to make use of the present tense, but since we have not been in contact for some time now, I will grant her the benefit of doubt. She was a princess, not the good kind who helped her people and adored animals, no. She was the kind who would grow up to be Snow White’s stepmom. But she was gorgeous, don’t get me wrong. She projected this Ice Queen appearance, and with her creamy skin and petite frame, it wasn’t hard to see why Brandon was drawn to her.
The events that followed through the three months they dated, hadn’t shocked me then and now that I look back on them, I am surprised I didn’t see it coming. It was gym period. And seriously, what juicy high school story doesn’t start with gym period? And enter the hot girls in the showers…and enter the late bloomers, overweight and other self-esteemed challenged girls who try to cover as much as their body while they shower.
I for one walked the mile, never ran it so I didn’t feel the particular need to shower. Carla knew that and had strategically pointed it out to the others to make me look like a slob. Too bad for her I had never cared, and too bad for me I had cared that day.
It had been really humid that day. And even walking had seemed like an effort. With sweat clinging to my skin in the most uncomfortable of places, I decided to hit the showers this one time. Carla had been threatening to make a video, damn she had then threatened to release it before my very eyes. But I hadn’t believed her once. I had teasingly pinched my nipples which were already on high alert underneath the cool torrent of water falling over me, as she “pretended” to film me.
With a viral video and a very promising future career in pornography, I was living the high. Sure, I did feel a dull blow that my first time undressing had been for the entire world to see, and not just one special someone, thanks to Carla. But I was not going to let that show. Had I gotten kicked out of school? Yes. Had Carla got into trouble? Not officially. No one was ready to testify against her in school and so the board saw no way to charge her. But her parents, though always scared of her, saw right through her. She had been pretty much grounded for the remainder of her high school stint. The only good thing that had come out of all this was that Brandon that had had the good grace to dump her ass.
That was a vivid look into the past filled with bad memories. Block that again now, please brain. Brandon’s other girlfriends were none too fond of me. I kind of did get that. Maybe, maybe, maybe I would be jealous too, if I were in their shoes. It didn’t matter for long though ’cause none of his relationships lasted long, though they lasted forever compared to my one-night stands.