Consequences – Chapter 4

Nicole and I didn’t talk for a long time after that. I don’t think either one of us was trying to punish the other or something, but neither of us happened to see each other. There were a few times I would open my phone and try to text her, but then… nothing. I had no idea what to say. I don’t think I even had anything to say. 

Given this, I was expecting the next Student Council meeting to be awkward, but, Nicole being Nicole, she acted like nothing was wrong and happened not to look me in the eye unless she was asking a direct question.

“Okay,” she said decisively, pacing the room. “That takes care of the Halloween dance. Remember, it’s this week. We just spent, what, twenty whole minutes putting out all the fires? So I expect nothing to go wrong. If you need something, you report to Dave. Otherwise, the next in command will be Meganium.” She paused. “Mmmmmegalodon. Meganeganegan.” She turned to me in slight concern. “Someone stop me.”

“Dance will be easy,” Dave replied from the back of the room. 

“You say that,” Nicole shot back, turning quickly to face him. “Just wait until two bimbos get drunk and start vomiting on the dance floor and some chud that got thrown out breaks back in through a window, and you have to decide what to deal with first.” She chuckled. “And that’s experience, not a hypothetical.”

“Sounds fun,” Dave said defiantly, folding his arms.

Nicole only smiled at him in response, and turned back to the rest of us. “Alright, that’s all I got. We’re good,” she announced to the room. On cue, everyone stood up out of their chairs and began to talk amongst themselves as they filed out of the room.

Nicole walked over to Sydney, giving her a fist bump, talking quietly about something. The two looked like they would get along. Nicole liked wearing a lot of black but didn’t quite look goth, but Sydney definitely picked up the slack there. I couldn’t recall a single day where Sydney’s makeup looked under-applied. Mascara, eyeshadow, the works. I couldn’t help but wonder if Nicole gravitated to Sydney because she pulled off the look Nicole wanted to pull off or something.

“…For at least the first few,” Sydney finished her thought. “Anyway, did you want me to stick around?”

“Nah, I need to have a lil’ chat with the VP here,” Nicole replied coolly.

Sydney looked from Nicole to me. I was already blatantly looking at them, and clumsily pretended to look away. “Nicole…” Sydney started.

“Don’t ‘Nicole’ me,” Nicole teased back. “Git. I’ll talk to you tonight.”

Sydney flashed Nicole one last look before walking out of Room 203, leaving just myself and the President. Nicole turned to me and gave me a small, shy smile.

“So what was that about?” I asked, motioning to the path Sydney took out the door.

“Oh, you know Sydney,” Nicole dismissed.

“I actually kinda don’t. I’ve barely talked to her all semester.”

“Oh,” she replied. “Well, she always has to have an opinion about everything.”

“…And she has a bad opinion about me?” I asked with an eyebrow lowered.

“What? No. She likes you. She thinks I’m a bad influence on you though, like you’re this lil’ angel and I’m gonna corrupt you or something.” We both paused and didn’t say anything to each other for a bit. “Anyway, uh, hi.”

“Hi,” I replied.

“You been doing okay?” she asked clumsily. “Haven’t heard from you for a few days.”

“Haven’t heard from you for a few days too,” I replied tersely.

“Oh, come on, don’t be dramatic about this,” she said.

“I’m allowed to be dramatic, I feel things deeply. You’re older, aren’t you supposed to be the adult in the room?” I felt a little childish, but something in me wanted me to stand my ground.

“You know what, touché,” she said, to my surprise. “I was just busy and…” She paused, looking away. “Nah, that’s a lie, isn’t it?” She looked back at me. “I wanted a few days of space. I wasn’t mad or anything. Are you mad?”

I paused. “I dunno.”

“Well, if you’re not sure, could you settle for not being mad? I’m not mad,” she pitched.

“Sure,” I said, and Nicole went in for a hug, which I gladly reciprocated. “Missed you.”

“Missed you too, dumbass,” she replied, ruffling my hair. “It was more fun to do that when you were shorter than me.”

“Growth spurt, babyyyy,” I replied, pointing finger guns at her.

“Oh good, you’re still a dork,” she replied dismissively, then sat down. “So, I don’t have a good segue for this, but yeah. Despite our difference in philosophy-”

“This sounds like you’re writing an essay,” I interrupted, still standing.

She gave me a playful glare, then paused. “I want to make us work, squirt,” she said after a bit. “My big thing is, making you top-priority for sex makes it feel like you own me, and I think you can guess, that makes me push people away. Just how I am.”

“Okay,” I replied slowly. This wasn’t great. Fuck, it wasn’t even good. I was her damn boyfriend. Didn’t we, like, own each other? What was even the point of calling me her boyfriend if I wasn’t top-priority? “But, like, right now, it just feels like we’re friends with benefits. It doesn’t even feel like we’re a couple sometimes. It just feels like we’re… very close friends.”

Nicole’s mood noticeably dropped. “Maybe we are,” she murmured. “Maybe we just have been lying to each other about it.”

“Nicole, think of all the times we were in the church together,” I began.

She grinned. “You always go to the church when you get sentimental.”

“Think of all the times we cried in front of each other. I bet you remember the first time we held hands. Even just being around each other and cuddling and shit. Were you ever like that with… well, I don’t know their names, but any of the other guys?”

She looked to the floor, then back to me. “Yeah, alright, no,” she conceded. 

“You wanna talk about pushing people away; you keep inventing these reasons we’re not special when we clearly are. It’s really weird how you say ‘we just feel like friends’ and then I point out… I dunno, every time we’re together, and suddenly, you’re all like, ‘oh yeah.’ Like, do I really need to remind you every time that there are feelings here? How easily do you forget that you even like me?”

“Easy,” she warned with a clearly unamused face. “You already made your point. Don’t push your luck, that’s my job.” She cleared her throat. “But if you can think of all those times and use them to prove we’re more than friends, why would you tell me that we just feel like friends with benefits sometimes?”

I blinked a few times. “Because of moments like these!” I said, as if it were obvious. “Because you’ll make me tell you about the good times and only then remember we even had good times. Because it all feels like it’s… slipping away.” I collapsed into a chair. “It feels like I need to put in more and more effort. I think that’s why it hurts when you tell me to give you space and go text another girl. I don’t want to text another girl. I want to text you.”

We both didn’t say something for a bit, but I could hear the slight smile spreading across Nicole’s face. “But you still texted Sabrina, right?”

I sighed. “Yes, I texted Sabrina.”

“I’m kinda surprised. I thought with your personality type, you’d go more for Zelda. It’s kinda why I set you up with her.”

“You wha-?”

“Yeah, I figured she’d be the right kind of girl for you. Like, even if nothing happened, I dunno, I figured you two would be fast friends.”

“Huh.” Well, fuck me. I guess I owed Sabrina an apology and a ‘you were right.’ 

“I guess I was wrong though?” she pressed.

I sighed again. “At the end of the tour, Zelda and I swapped numbers,” I conceded annoyedly.

“Fuckin’A!” Nicole called out triumphantly. “Nicole Baker never misses.”

“Still doesn’t take away from the fact that I want you,” I replied, then paused. “Do you want me? Like, do you particularly want me, at all?”

“Ooh, what a question that is,” she murmured in response, then moved her tongue around in her mouth. “So I… like, the short answer is yes. But the long answer is complicated.”

“It always is,” I bitterly noted.

“Welcome to planet Me, dude,” she replied. 

“To be honest, I just want you to admit that making yourself sexually unavailable to me because of other people isn’t fair to a boyfriend,” I replied.

She chuckled. “That was quite the sentence. Did you rehearse that one?”

“No,” I lied. I spent a lot of time in front of the mirror practicing that one in particular. 

She chewed on my words. “Yeah, alright, fine,” she admitted, then stood up. “It’s unfair to make a boyfriend feel like his needs come last. Your needs don’t come last. Does that help?”

“A little,” I admitted. “It’s nice to hear you say it. Maybe we just need to spend a bit more time around each other.”

“Like a weekly planned date night?” Nicole asked, then pretended to gag.

I paused. “I mean, actually…”

“Oh nope. Hell nope. I have limits, Watson,” she laughed. “Dates, sure. Planned weekly date nights? That’s the fastest way to turn love into an obligation.”

I grinned. “Love, huh?”

She turned pink. “I meant it in a general sense, like, it could apply to any couple ever. Grow up, knucklehead.” She turned around and looked at the floor.

“You’re cute when you blush,” I replied, snaking my hands around her waist and hugging her from behind.

She melted into the hug. “Mmh,” she moaned, rubbing her ass up against my crotch.

I laughed. “You’re so easy.”

“I had a stressful day, fuck off,” she complained in a high, dainty voice. “And it feels really good to have you hug me from behind now that you’re taller than me.”

“Nicole, I’m like one inch taller than you. There’s barely a difference. If I take off my shoes before you, you’re taller than me again.”

“Shut up,” she commanded and turned her head around to kiss me while I still hugged her from behind. I couldn’t stop myself, and moved my hands upwards to cup and knead her ample breasts. As if I should even be surprised at this point…

“No bra,” I observed out loud after our lips parted. 

“Almost as if I knew you’d want to grope me like this,” she laughed throatily, giving me a few more pecks.

“Groping, huh? Makes it sound like you don’t want it,” I teased.

“And yet,” she teased back, putting her hands on top of mine and encouraging me to squeeze her breasts again. We smiled at each other and I kissed her again, moving my hand up to her neck and squeezing it experimentally.

“Oh fuck,” she moaned, breaking the kiss. “Do not do that again unless you plan on fucking me in here.”

Normally Nicole was always the one to say things like that and I was the one to bashfully talk us out of it, but… fuck it, I did want to fuck her. I knew as soon as she said it that she expected me to backtrack, which is likely why she shuddered when I replied. 

“Thanks for letting me know.”

I gripped her neck again and thrust myself against her, my cock now fully hard, pressing against her ass. There was no way she couldn’t feel it. And judging by the way she moved back into me, she liked what she felt and wanted more.

“Fuck, maybe I should deprive you more often,” she moaned as I moved on to kiss her neck from behind. “I can’t remember the last time you-”

“Shut up,” I authoritatively told her, increasingly my grip on her neck.

To my surprise, she opened her eyes and gave me a mischievous grin. “Ooh, feeling bossy today,” she teased. She put her hand on top of my neck. “You’re not doing it right. Focus here…” she moved my hand to a part of her neck and squeezed my hand in a certain place. “…And here. Otherwise I’m just gonna sound like the Crypt Keeper or something.”

I did as she requested and she bit her lower lip. “Mhm, that’s good,” she moaned. My other hand moved under her shirt and began to caress her bare breast, and when it made contact, she moved to kiss me again.

I could only imagine the stimulation Nicole was feeling at that moment. It was already clear it was easy to get her going, and she had one hand on her neck in the exact way she liked, another below her shirt, a throbbing bulge pressing against her ass, and my tongue in her mouth. From the way she was moving, it was clear that she was a very happy girl.

As soon as our kiss was over, Nicole’s eyes fluttered open to show a clear look of lust in her eyes. An almost angry look of lust. She shooed my hands away from her and practically ordered me, “Take off your pants, right now. Shirt optional.”

I couldn’t help but smile nervously at her, slowly moving my hands down to my pants. I knew she wanted to get started as quickly as possible, but I couldn’t help but savor the moment. We definitely did stuff in this room before, and last year, I had sex nearly as often at school as everywhere else, but this year I felt so much more grown up. It felt so much naughtier to be doing it at school, like we were a couple of rule-breaking teens that hadn’t learned their lessons. Like we were too horny to be contained.

“I am going to die of old age before this happens,” Nicole complained, pouting. “Are you even still hard? Fucking take your pants off!”

“I was just enjoying the moment,” I told her truthfully, taking my pants off. “Do you even remember the last time we did it here?”

“January ninth,” she replied without missing a beat. “Although apparently you define sex as just ‘penetration.’” She did her best nerd voice and mimed pushing glasses up her nose as she said “penetration,” clearly imitating me. “I only blew you, so I guess it doesn’t count.”

“Oka-”

“That was the day Megan saw us,” she continued.

Okay, I get it.”

“‘Do I even remember.’” Nicole looked away from me and scoffed, then looked back at me. “I remember everything,” she added with a grin, as she sank to her knees. “But then again, I guess some things are worth a reminder, aren’t they?” She pushed me down into a chair just behind me and winked at me, taking my cock in both hands. 

“So this room’s the Blowjob Room, huh?” I joked.

“Finally wanna fuck in this room, huh?” she asked as she slowly jacked me off. She felt me twitch in her hands and giggled, before slowly moving her mouth closer to me and engulfing the head of my dick. In no time at all, I was leaning my head back and moaning as Nicole worked her magic on me. 

I could feel Nicole’s tongue painting my shaft as she slowly ran her head up and down, teasing me before making her throat muscles go to work on me. She had only gotten better at deepthroating with time, a skill I didn’t think she could get any better at. Every so often I’d bring my head back up and look at her, and we’d lock eyes, and she’d giggle and wink as she kept going.

She clearly loved doing this as much as I did. I knew well that blowing me at school made Nicole horny, and I knew it was only a matter of time before she’d unzip her pants and start playing with herself.

Instead, she surprised me. Taking her mouth off my dick and leaving a generous amount of her saliva, she smiled at me as she jacked me off. “I miss doing it with you sitting,” she told me, getting up and starting to take her own pants off.

Impressively, she never stopped jacking me off as she took her pants off, and didn’t even look awkward doing it. That was Nicole for you. She easily took off her underwear, and gave me a smile, teasing the head of my cock with her fingertips. “What do you say?”

I bit my bottom lip. Not gonna lie, for some reason having full-on sex at school made me more nervous than getting blown for some reason, and I think a part of Nicole knew that, like she was testing my limits or something. A part of my heart was going ‘no, no, no,’ but I pushed that down.

“Fuck yes.”

Nicole grinned. “That’s what I like to hear, hotshot,” she purred, stopping her handjob and walking over to my. She placed her hand down onto my chest and smiled devilishly, waddling over so that her legs were on either side of mine. With her other hand, she grabbed my hard throbbing manhood and lined it up with her wet waiting pussy.

She smiled at me. “Been a while,” she commented. “I’ve missed this.” She found her angle and began to slowly sit down on top of me, sinking down. The angle was just right, and before long, I could feel Nicole’s pussy enveloping me. “Oh fuck,” she moaned instantly, her head going limp.

“You really do miss this,” I laughed.

“Fuck yes,” Nicole moaned in agreement, sitting down fully on top of me. She wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed me passionately. “Fuck, I deprived myself of this for too long.”

Yes, she fucking did. If this was doggystyle, I honestly might have started hate-fucking her for going to anyone else when she could have gone to me, but there was no way to do that with her sitting on top of me. It’s not like I could thrust. In this position, Nicole had…

…All of the power. Son of a bitch.

“Yeahhh, you’re getting it, aren’t you?” Nicole teased, a full grin on her face. She started moving her hips up and down, slowly, painfully slowly. Even though I gripped her wonderful hips, I couldn’t move them on my own. She was fully in control.

“Ask politely, Adam,” she told me in a mock stern voice.

“You are the worst girlfriend on the planet,” I laughed, one or two words coated with strain. This really was torture. This was worse than not being able to touch my cock at all. All I wanted was to drill her, but Nicole was Nicole – she frequently liked to tease me during sex, when we had it at least, and of course she was going to use this opportunity to gain an upper hand on me again.

“That doesn’t sound like you asking politely,” she teased. “Disobey me again and I’ll make you either call me Mommy or Mistress, or we stop right now. Which one will it be?”

“You want this just as bad as I do,” I challenged her.

She nodded with a cocky smile. “But you know how spiteful I am.”

She had me there. “Nicole, please, stop teasing me,” I told her in a pleading voice. “Go faster.”

“With pleasure,” she told me, finally beginning to make thrusts that did anything more than tease me. She used her feet on the ground and began to bounce up and down, feeling me fill her over and over again. Her hips ground into me with every movement, and her breasts, evidently aroused even through a black shirt, jutted into my face, moving slightly with each bounce. 

Soon, Room 203 was filled with our grunts and moans, and my hands were filled with Nicole’s well-sculpted ass. And her eyes were filled with lust for me.

“Ohhh Adam…” she moaned. “Ohhhh, fuuuuck…”

“Tell me how much you missed it,” I ordered.

“I missed it – I missed it a lottttt,” she moaned in a high-pitched voice.

“Don’t you feel silly for not taking this cock when you could?” I asked her.

“Fuck, fuck. Yes, Adam. I’m just a silly little whore, I’m your whore…” She trailed off, throwing her head back and exerting less energy, just enjoying herself. I took advantage of her releasing her tension and used my arms to coax her into a new rhythm, causing her to moan in a new way.

“Fuck, are you just holding me up with your muscles?” she asked, looking at my arms. “That’s really hot…” I could feel her now moving her body with me, enjoying the way I literally carried her to her impending orgasm. I now controlled the tempo, in a way that Nicole was not expecting, and she was surrendering herself to it.

This was what I could make her feel. This was why I was her boyfriend. Plus, she could make me feel fucking good as well. Every thrust sent a new spark, a new shiver up my spine. I had to hand it to her, doing it in this position was a new sensation. I’m sure we did it in this position before, but I couldn’t remember when.

Nicole’s moans were getting shorter, her eyes glazed over, and her thrusts more desperate. She regained her energy and desperately tried to regain control of the tempo, but I refused. Using every ounce of energy I could muster, I held her by the hips and wordlessly told her that I was the one in control, and I was going to both give her all the pleasure she wanted as well as use her for my own. 

Nicole smiled submissively in response, just enjoying the moment. I smiled back, then saw movement behind her. My smile rapidly fading, I suddenly felt my muscles freeze.

We were being watched.

Nicole caught on quickly to my change in body language and followed my gaze, whipping around to see Jarrod Fabula staring at us, horror in his eyes. Either from being caught, or, for all I knew about the little shrimp, discovering that sex wasn’t a myth after all.

I tried to move, but Nicole was sitting on top of me, and I was both out of energy from lifting her hips over and over as well as petrified from the situation. So, of course, Nicole took charge. “Hey!” she barked, still sitting on top of me. “The fuck are you doing?”

I could only sit still. I felt humiliated, caught, petrified for my future in the school, angry, sad… Every emotion flooded through me, all at once. Nicole clearly had one emotion dominating her actions – I could feel the hole she was staring through Jarrod. Jarrod himself was as frozen as I was, just staring at the two of us in fear.

Nicole wasn’t having it. “Turn the fuck around, the idiot!” she commanded. Jarrod just remained frozen, so she added, “Now!” with the force of a ton of TNT. Jarrod practically jumped and whipped around, no doubt not sure why he was obeying Nicole and not running for his life.

As soon as he turned around, Nicole got up off me, groaning in dissatisfaction as she felt my cock slip out of her. Quickly, the two of us found our clothes and hastily put them on. As soon as we were both decent, Nicole put her hands on her hips and barked, “Turn back around, pipsqueak.”

Jarrod timidly turned around, looking like he was going to wet himself. “I’m sorr-”

“Shut it,” Nicole dismissed him. “I’ll let you know when you can speak. So what the hell were you doing just hanging around the Council room after hours?” She paused for a few seconds. “Oh, right. Speak.”

“I-I-I…” Jarrod tried to begin, nearly hyperventilating. “I c-couldn’t find my agenda, and I th-thought maybe I l-left it in here…”

“Your agenda?” Nicole asked incredulously, then turned to me. “Holy shit, we’ve found a student who uses one. I owe Mr. Scott an apology.” She turned back to him. “Well, go fucking look for it.”

As Jarrod looked around for his school-supplied agenda tracker, I cleared my throat. “How long did you see us?”

“I, uh…” He looked down at the floor and turned redder than he already was. It looked like all of his muscles weren’t cooperating. “I g-guess I looked for longer than I should have. I’m sorry. I just, I just was so shocked…”

“Yeah, imagine,” Nicole replied, rolling her eyes. “Sex exists. What a fucking revelation.”

“No no,” Jarrod replied, apparently taking Nicole’s words at face value. “J-just seeing you two actually doing it at school. I mean, I heard rumors about Hazelwood…”

“Well, welcome to it, you fucking creepy pervert,” Nicole sourly shot his way.

“Nicole, come on,” I said to her.

She lowered an eyebrow at me. “What? You want me to have some sympathy for the guy because he sat there and watched us?”

“Anyone would!” I argued.

“Men,” she grumbled. “No ‘anyone’ fucking wouldn’t. Pervs would.” She turned back to Jarrod. “Okay, Jarrod, what do we do to make sure all this goes away?”

Anyone sketchier than Jarrod would see this as an excellent opportunity for blackmail. Luckily, it seemed like Jarrod was the innocent little bean we figured he was. “I k-keep my mouth shut,” he admitted in a small voice. He picked up a small book off the floor and held it up. “I f-found my agenda.”

A pause wafted through the room. “…Yyyyyyyes!!” Nicole eventually shouted in a cartoonish amount of glee. “Thank fucking God! Woohoo! Encore! Victory lap! Jarrod found his fucking stupid calendar!”

“She’s really sarcastic, don’t take anything she says personally,” I told him, my face still pink. All I could think about was making this all go away. “Can we all agree we won’t talk about this again?”

“Yeah. I’m, uh, really sorry. I promise I’m not a pervert. I was just shocked,” Jarrod meekly replied. “I’m, uh, sorry.”

“Go,” Nicole ordered, and without another word, Jarrod quickly powerwalked out of the room, leaving Nicole and myself to look at each other and sigh.

“Twice in a year,” I noted. “And we got caught both times.”

“Yeah, we need to stop doing it in here,” Nicole admitted. “Exhibitionism really is only hot if you don’t get caught. Or if all parties consent to the voyeuring.”

“Could you say it in English please?” I asked.

“I said, ‘fuck this, we’re going home,’” Nicole grumpily replied, starting to gather her things.

***

Of course Jarrod and I were the two Council members put on door duty for the Halloween dance. Of course no one could take my shift. So, of course, less than a week later, Jarrod and I found ourselves standing next to each other for about an hour letting people in.

We barely said anything to each other. The only things we did say were all business, and apart from that, I tried to focus on the people coming in. Jarrod, dressed halfheartedly as some kind of pirate, mostly looked at the floor. I wasn’t sure how much he was even helping by being here.

Part of me actually kinda pitied him. He didn’t mean to look at us. And I bet it would be like watching a car accident (albeit a really sexy one if it looked like Nicole from behind) – you couldn’t look away.

That said, the awkward silence was killing me. Eventually, I decided to go inside to find Megan. It was about forty-five minutes since we opened the doors, and barely anyone was showing up anymore. I walked into the main hall, seeing Megan at the end, and began to walk towards her. 

Dave was at the hall entrance, dressed as a scarecrow, and casually looked up from counting tickets to see me walking in. “Abandoning your post,” he acknowledged out loud in a dry voice. 

“Snitching,” I replied quickly, earning a chuckle from him. He went back to counting his tickets as I approached Megan.

“Hey,” she warmly greeted me. She was dressed as some kind of alien. Her face immediately fell. “You look horrible.”

I dressed as a zombie this year. “So the costume’s working?” I joked.

“What’s wrong?”

“Do you remember-” Nope. That was the dumbest fucking way to introduce this. Bring up that time she saw me and Nicole fooling around, then made the worst decision she ever made in her life: blowing me. Great strategy.

“…Do I remember…” Megan trailed off. 

“Uhhh…” I scrambled. “…The twenty-first night of September? Ha, they totally needed to play that song tonight, you know?”

“…Isn’t that like a nineties funk song or something?” Megan asked. “They’re playing Akon and Gangnam Style in there.” She motioned to the gym, where shitty music was blaring on shittier loudspeakers as stealthily tipsy students ground up against each other and jumped up and down.

“Whatever. Anyway, I’m just stressed. Jarrod and I had kind of an… awkward moment recently.”

Megan shrugged, looking at the doors. “Well, he’s socially awkward, you’re kind of socially awkward…”

“Hey!”

She made a heart sign with her hands. “I say it with love,” she teased. 

“Anyway, no, like, a fight. Nicole was involved.”

Megan’s heart sign was quickly replaced with a playfully disapproving stare. “Adam, what did you do?” she asked, her tone making me think she already knew.

“Nothing! It wasn’t nothing! And, like, c’mon, Megan,” I quickly fired back, defending myself. “Just because Nicole was involved doesn’t mean it had to be a sex thing.”

Her expression only deepened. “I didn’t even mention intercourse.”

I stared at her for a few seconds. “Your face said it all, you didn’t need to,” I replied quietly.

“Yeah, nice. Ready to be honest?”

“Okay, fine,” I grumpily conceded. “I just don’t want you to judge me for it.”

To my surprise, Megan shrugged. “These things happen. I’m guessing you two did it after Council and got caught?”

“Whoa, where’s the abstinent zero-sex Megan I know?” I teased, motioning that her guess was entirely correct. 

“It was your girlfriend, Adam,” she replied. “I’m not going to disapprove of you two showing your affection for each other. To be completely honest, with the way you’ve been complaining, it’s good that you two are even having intercourse.”

“Thanks,” I said, my voice dripping with annoyance. 

“”Who am I to judge? I don’t expect you to follow the path I do. And, uh…” She looked around to make sure no one was nearby, and lowered her voice to a whisper. “I’d be a hypocrite to judge you for doing it in the school. Or in Room 203.”

“You did it in Room 203?” I whispered back.

“Once upon a time.”

“Who would you even..?”

“Carson.”

“Ah.” I paused. “Was it good?”

“Do you really want me to talk about how Carson had intercourse with me?”

“Yeah no, I dunno why I said that,” I admitted. “So what should I do?”

“What did you do?”

“We all agreed not to bring it up again. I think Nicole scared him. It’s just… awkward being around him now.”

“It would be,” she said with a shrug. “I don’t know, see if you can talk to him about something you both like.”

“Something we both like?”

She sighed. “Adam, I have things I need to do, I don’t have good advice for this, okay?”

I sighed, then found myself smiling. “You’ve really grown up in such a short amount of time, you know that?”

She didn’t smile back. “I was kind of forced to.”

My smile slowly faded. We just stared at each other, not knowing what to say next. Luckily, a shout of “Adam!” from far away meant I didn’t need to directly reply to Megan.

I knew who that voice belonged to before I even turned around. It was Sabrina, dressed up as some kind of princess or fairy or something. “Oh, hey Sabrina,” I replied kindly, looking over her costume. “You look great.”

“Thanks,” she replied in a noticeably smaller voice, a shy smile breaking out across her face. “You look really good too.”

I looked back towards Megan. “Oh, and this is Megan Schneider. She-”

“Adam,” Megan interrupted me. “We’re in PE together.”

“Ah.” I wasn’t sure why I felt so nervous, though when I looked back at Megan, I think I could figure out why.

Megan was smiling at me like she caught my hand in the cookie jar, occasionally looking back at Sabrina, then to me. “I should go and report to Dave,” she told us, before jabbing me in the side. “Behave,” she whispered into my ear before walking off.

I looked back towards Sabrina as Megan walked off. I expected her to ask something like ‘so what was that all about?’, but instead, she just stared at me. I cleared my throat. “So, you enjoying the dance?”

“Yeah!” she replied kind of flatly. “I mean, it’s not that exciting. It’s a dance. Plus, I came alone.”

“Alone?” I asked. “That’s surprising.”

“Yeah?” she asked innocently.

“Yeah, I would expect guys all over would ask you to the dance.”

“One or two did, but I’m kind of picky about the guys I’d want to go to a dance with,” she replied, smiling slightly. 

I chuckled nervously, then looked towards the door. I could see Jarrod standing outside. “Yeah, I guess I ended up going with Jarrod there.”

Sabrina looked off towards Jarrod. “Oh wow,” she murmured, turning back to me. “I think that’s really brave of you, Adam.”

“Brave?” I asked, puzzled.

“Yeah. I mean, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. Love is love, right?”

I stared at her blankly, then I felt my eyes bug out. “Oh! Uh, no. I’m not – no. I’m not – yeah, no, not with Jarrod. Or any other guy. I’m, uh, straight. Straight as an arrow.” An awkward silence passed between us. “But I’d be fine if, like, you were. Or if I was. I’d totally be fine. I’d have a cleeeeean conscience if I was gay. Or, uh, bisexual. I just happen to… not be.”

“So… you’re going with Jarrod as… friends?” she asked.

I chuckled. “I mean, you probably saw him at the door. He let you in. Jarrod and I are working the doors, I was just making a joke.”

“Ohhhh,” she replied, nodding. “So… you didn’t go with anyone either.”

“Nah.”

“Not even Nicole?”

I chuckled again. “Nicole is actually running tech for the DJ tonight, AKA learning how to DJ next to him. It’s her newest obsession. She gets these ideas of wanting to learn a skill, and then two days later, she moves onto another skill.”

“Oh,” Sabrina replied. “Yeah, I get like that sometimes. Like, two days later and I haven’t even learned anything and I just move on to something else because I’m bored.”

“Yeah, except in Nicole’s case, she’s completely mastered the skill in those two days,” I noted sourly. “She’s annoying that way.”

“Well I’m sorry she kind of left you high and dry like that,” Sabrina continued. “I’m surprised you didn’t try going with someone else. You guys are open, right?”

Internally, I sighed. ‘Right?’ As if every other conversation of ours wasn’t like this. “Well, I mean, I am working…”

“Well, the right date would be cool with that,” she replied. “What about the exchange student? She’s cute.”

Zelda and I were now texting every day, but it wasn’t like there was anything concrete there. Hell, we still barely saw each other in person, and unless that changed, I doubted she and I were going to get anywhere anytime soon. I wanted to tell Sabrina that, but instead, something very different came out of my mouth.

“You keep mentioning other girls, but I think you want me to mention you.”

I clamped my mouth shut. I said that. That was blunt. Maybe even rude if I was wrong. God, I hoped Carson was right, because if not, I was going to get slapped or something.

Sabrina turned pink and looked away. “I’m sorry, I’m being nosy,” she replied lamely, turning and beginning to walk away.

“Hey!” I grabbed her wrist just as she turned. “I’m sorry, that was out of line, wasn’t it?”

She just looked at the hand grabbing her wrist, then back up to me. I let go of her hand, mumbling, “yeah, sorry for that too.”

“I’m sorry if I made it seem like I wanted you to mention me,” she replied. 

“No no, it would be fine if you did! I was just…” I trailed off, glancing towards Megan. “I’m kind of socially awkward sometimes,” I continued, looking right at Megan as I did. I turned back to Sabrina. “It was blunt and weird.”

“It would be fine if I did?” Sabrina repeated. “So… you want me to want you?”

“Um…” It was my turn to turn pink. God, this was weird. I felt so out of practice flirting. Even when I was being bold, I couldn’t be suave about it. I felt fourteen again. 

Eventually, I felt Sabrina grab my hand. I looked up at her, to see her slightly smiling. “Is there a place we can be alone?”

I looked around the main hallway. To make sure the students couldn’t wander off, all of the hallway exits were closed. “Not… really?” I glanced outside. The one exit. Jarrod was out there, and more importantly, no one else was. “I mean, there’s outside.”

“Isn’t the rule that once you leave the dance you can’t come back in?” Sabrina pointed out.

Ah, memories. “Whatever, I’m Council,” I replied quickly, starting to walk towards the door. Sabrina let go of my hand and followed me as we walked past Megan talking to Dave.

“Yes, that’s the rule,” Dave casually let Sabrina know as she walked past him. I turned around to look at them. Megan had her trademark ‘what are you doing, Adam’ face and Dave had his trademark poker face. 

“Extenuating circumstances,” I countered, turning back to the doors.

“You heard that phrase in a movie or something,” Dave dismissed me.

“I outrank you,” I joked at him.

Dave snorted, a smile on his face. “Holy shit,” he chuckled. “You’re going to get your ass beat for being cocky someday.”

“Already happened,” Megan casually replied. I gave her a look back, remembering the incident involving her brother last year. We were kind of at the point where we could joke about it at this point. Half the school last year knew anyway. 

Sabrina and I walked outside, being welcomed by the cool October air. I turned to Jarrod and looked him in the eyes for maybe the first time that night. “Hey Jarrod, it’s been like an hour. You can go inside if you want.”

“W-what?” he asked me, startled that I addressed him.

I shrugged. “Nobody’s coming at this point. I’ll look after the doors. You can go in and dance or talk with Megan and Dave or something.”

“No, it’s okay, I don’t mind helping,” he insisted. 

I moved my mouth around. “I… was kinda asking you to go inside as a favor,” I replied slowly. “I need to talk to my friend here.”

Jarrod looked at Sabrina, who looked at me. I just looked between the two of them, putting on my sternest face. Eventually, he mumbled, “okay,” and walked inside. I waited until the door was closed and exhaled loudly.

“What was that about?” Sabrina asked.

“New guy on Council,” I replied. 

“No, I mean like, it seems like there’s this tension between you two,” she replied thoughtfully.

I stared at her. “You don’t miss much, do you?” I asked.

“Huh?” she asked innocently.

“Like, you seem to notice a lot about people,” I clarified.

She sat down on the chest-high wall surrounding the walkway up to the school. “Maybe,” she replied, motioning for me to sit beside her. “I guess I can’t go back inside now.”

“I’m sure you can,” I replied dismissively. “And if you can’t, I’ll gladly stay outside with you.”

She smiled, then giggled. “Okay,” she softly said. The two of us stared at the night sky together for a bit. My hands were next to me, laying on the top of the wall, and I eventually felt her hand on top of mine, only to suddenly move away.

I looked at her to see she was looking away from me. I couldn’t help but laugh. We were like two novices. “Hey,” I eventually said, moving my hand on top of hers.

She slowly looked back, smiling at me briefly before looking at our hands. 

“So…” I trailed off, but she didn’t finish my thought. “Is there a thing here?”

“I dunno, is there?” she immediately replied. 

“I’m just asking if you have a crush on me or something.”

“And I’m asking you if you have a crush on me or something,” she deflected quickly. 

Despite my chuckle, I was nervous. My heart was beating faster. And, of course, my dick was straining my pants. Hopefully she wouldn’t look down there. “You brought up the open thing a lot, so I kinda suspected you… wanted in,” I replied quietly.

“Wanted in?” she asked.

“Weird wording, sorry. I-”

“No no, it’s okay,” she soothed me, squeezing my hand. My cock throbbed. Even touch could make me go crazy, but it was the touch of a blossoming… thing. It felt like everything was leading up to this moment. The moment where something became real.

“You’re just interesting,” she continued finally. “And I think I’d like to look deeper.”

“That sounds like a bit of a crush,” I told her.

She shrugged, then smiled. “Maybe it is.”

“Even though I’m with someone else?” I clarified.

She gave me an ‘oh, Adam’ look. “Didn’t you just tell me I brought that up too much? I think I know what I’m getting into.”

I chuckled nervously again. “Well, I’m not sure what I’m getting into here…” I admitted.

“You’re not?” she asked.

“No, it feels like this is all happening so fast…” I admitted. I got butterflies in my stomach. “But I think I like it.” I was silent for a bit. “I kind of want to do something right now, but I’m thinking it would be a bad idea if I did it.”

“Do it,” she told me quietly.

I looked at her, and told myself, it’s now or never. I moved forward and grabbed the back of her head, pulling her into a slow, tender kiss.

Or at least, what started as a slow, tender kiss. After the first kiss, we kissed again, and again. Our mouths became more open as the kisses continued, and after a bit, not able to help myself, my tongue brushed her lower lip.

Sabrina moaned and moved her body closer to mine, and soon, our tongues were wrestling. She was sucking on my lower lip. We were making out. For all we knew, ten non-Hazelwood kids snuck into the dance as we, eyes closed and mouths open, guarded the door as poorly as possible, our hands beginning to roam over each others’ bodies. 

I had fire in my lungs. This was incredible. It somehow felt better than the first time I had ever kissed a girl. This felt so much more… exciting. Bad. Like we were doing something naughty we shouldn’t have. Slowly, my hands experimentally ran up and down her sides until I felt bolder, emboldened by the quickness and eagerness of her tongue, and turned the attention of my hands to her chest.

As soon as she felt me touch her breasts, she broke the kiss and grabbed my hands. “I think that would be too far,” she told me.

“Oh, sorry,” was all I could think to say.

“It’s fine,” she replied awkwardly. “Just… I mean, we are in public, right? And this is probably a lot. I was, uh…” She let out a low laugh. “I was not planning on making out with any boy tonight.”

“Did I push you too far?” I asked.

Worryingly, she didn’t immediately say no. “I think we just both got too excited,” she said after a bit. 

“Did I do something wrong?” I asked.

“Don’t worry,” she replied quickly. “It’s just a lot, right?” She looked up at the sky for a bit, then cleared her throat. “I think I’m actually going to go home now.”

“Are you sure-”

“Yup!” She got up off the wall, and smiled at me, then blushed. “This w-was nice. Thanks.” She leaned in and kissed my cheek gently. Without waiting for me to reply, she got up and walked down the steps to the school, walking down the sidewalk towards what I guessed was her house. I really hoped she didn’t live too far from the school, and was always planning to walk home. I watched her as she eventually vanished from my sight, then sighed.

I stayed outside for a bit longer, thinking to myself. It felt like it was all the same thoughts, over and over. Thoughts of nothing. I sighed again, hopping off the wall, and walked inside. 

Once I was inside, Jarrod stood up from a seat he had found. “Dave and I talked about it,” he began. “No student is above the rules. She can’t come back in, and that’s final.”

“She went home,” was all I said in response. Jarrod visibly deflated, but he wasn’t the one I wanted to talk to. Walking past him, I found Megan, and tapped her shoulder.

“Real quick, I just wanna talk,” I told her in a low voice, a voice that told her I was serious. I gestured my head to the doors.

She stared at me for a bit, then nodded. We walked outside and waited for the door to close, then I slowly wrapped Megan in a hug.

“I’m so sorry for what I did at the dance last year,” I told her quietly. “I was such a dick. You deserved better.”

She hugged me back, digesting what I said. I think she initially thought of brushing my words off, telling me ‘don’t worry about it,’ or ‘ohh, it was nothing.’ Eventually, she told me, “Thank you. That’s really nice to hear.” She broke the hug and looked around. “Sabrina…?”

“She went home,” I replied. 

“And what did you two do?” she asked.

Realizing how this looked, I quickly replied, “It wasn’t anything.”

“I saw you two kissing,” she said quietly. “I tried to distract Jarrod, but I think he saw too.”

“That’ll be fun to deal with,” I mumbled. “Yeah, we kissed. We both got really into it. I think I went a bit too far, and she immediately went to go home.”

“Did you say s-”

“Of course I said sorry,” I replied. “I didn’t make her do anything either. I think I just got a bit too bold.”

She nodded. “I think that’ll go over okay. Just don’t text her tonight but absolutely text her tomorrow.” She paused. “This stuff is why I think you should just stay with Nicole.”

“Why?”

“Because now, instead of just making sure Sabrina is okay, you’ll have to deal with Jarrod, and you know it’s all going back to Nicole and she’ll have to deal with it.”

I hung my head. “Nicole… wanted me to do stuff with others…” I said quietly.

“Maybe she just thinks she wants that,” Megan admitted. “I love Nicole but she’s not… what’s that word for when you can do no wrong?”

“I don’t know.”

“It’s not important. Nicole isn’t always right. Maybe she’s wrong about making you do stuff with others.” She let her words hang in the air, then went to the door, pausing without opening it. “How was the kiss?”

My expression transformed into a sheepish smile. “Uh, really nice,” I admitted.

“You go, tiger,” Megan joked with a soft smile. “I’m not always right either. Go with your heart. If you can find a way to make it work, I hope Sabrina and Nicole and you enjoy it.” She opened the door and disappeared inside, leaving a lifeless zombie standing in front of the school, thinking to himself.

***

Im fine. Dont worry. 🙂 Just didnt want to do everything at once

I rolled my tongue around in my mouth, processing the text Sabrina sent me. I looked around my World History class. Mr. Kovacs was giving another lesson at a snail’s pace, reading directly from the book. He wouldn’t notice me texting in class. 

My thumbs moved back and forth as I thought about what I should text back. It was convenient sitting next to Megan, because I could show her anything I wrote to make sure it was respectful, or at least-

Ding!

I scrambled to put my phone back in my pocket, looking around the room. Hazelwood’s classes were pretty adamant about their ‘no texting’ rule, but happily, Mr. Kovacs didn’t notice my phone’s notification bell go off. My neighbors did (though luckily I was in the part of the room that had a good few empty chairs), including Megan, who looked at me and jokingly mimed a slapping motion. I winked back at her and pulled my phone back out of my pocket, seeing another text from Sabrina.

Besides, that just means theres something to look forward to next time ;)))

I didn’t speak teenage girl, but it really seemed like she wasn’t upset at me. Trouble was, I didn’t know, and now, it felt like showing Megan our text history would be a gross invasion of privacy. 

A knock at the door took Mr. Kovacs out of his lesson (even though my phone didn’t). He slowly raised his head from the book and hobbled over to the door, opening it and blocking whoever was on the other side. 

It was a girl’s voice, though it was too quiet for me to recognize who it was. After a few moments of talking, Mr. Kovacs stepped aside to let Zelda into the room. 

God, she dressed well. She was wearing some kind of black turtleneck and blazer combination, which I’m sure would have looked like a tryhard outfit on any other person. On her, it just oozed style. It also helped that it hugged her thin, almost wiry body, showing off her modest curves. She looked completely stunning. I was very confident that I wasn’t the only boy in the class staring at her.

“You may sit in any empty chair,” Mr. Kovacs told her, hobbling back to the middle of the room. Zelda surveyed the room, then saw me and politely smiled.

She walked over to the empty chair on my right side, whispering, “Hi Adam,” as she sat down.

“Hey! Are you in this class?” I asked.

“I just transferred in today,” she replied, her smile getting strained, showing the stress she was under. 

“You don’t seem happy about it,” I remarked.

She looked at Mr. Kovacs. “Won’t he get mad if we talk?”

“He won’t notice, he gets super into his book,” I told her. “He’s not the world’s best teacher anyways.”

“What a shame. World history is fascinating,” she thought aloud. “I’m not unhappy about being in here. My classes just keep getting switched around. The schools aren’t handling my transition to this school that well.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I replied.

“Me too. I don’t even mind needing to go to different classes, but way too many of these teachers keep acting like it’s my fault. As if I should have done something to fix it. I just feel inconvenient for existing.” Her pout was super cute, but distressing to see. She just stared down at her desk with a scowl. “I hope this is the last switch I have to do.”

“Yeah, feeling inconvenient for existing is the worst feeling,” I agreed.

“Do you feel it too?”

I paused. “Kind of? Most of it’s just the occasional relationship trouble, I guess.”

“Oh,” she simply said. “You’re in a relationship?”

I gave her a slightly confused look. “Uh, yeah, with Nicole, the Student Council President.”

“You’re in a relationship with Nicole??” she asked, with shock and a little too much volume.

That did it. A hush fell over the class, including Mr. Kovacs, who stopped his reading. “Maybe you should sit somewhere other students won’t distract you,” he said slowly to Zelda.

Her face fell. “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again,” she told him.

“If you move to a different spot, it won’t,” he agreed in a stern voice. Zelda frowned for a second, but grabbed her backpack and stood up, walking to another empty chair farther away from me. Seconds later, Mr. Kovacs resumed his lesson.

Ding!

Of course, Mr. Kovacs kept reading through the sound of my phone going off again. I turned pink as a couple of the students giggled, though whether it was at me or the obliviousness of Mr. Kovacs, I wasn’t sure. I pulled out my phone and read the message.

I’m sorry.

It was from Zelda. I looked at her and shot her a sympathy smile, mouthing, ‘it’s okay.’ Though, curiosity got the best of me, and I ended up texting her back.

Why did you 

Nope.

Why were you so surprised when I said I was in a relationship with Nicole?

I waited for a few seconds, seeing Zelda on her phone, no doubt typing a response. 

Ding!

I rolled my eyes, feeling stupid for realizing only now to silence my phone. I didn’t even bother to check for Mr. Kovacs’ response as I looked at the message.

I was just surprised you were in a relationship. Gossip.

I stared at the message for a bit. No, something wasn’t right there. I thought back to the moment and typed out my response.

You emphasized Nicole’s name, like you were surprised I was with her specifically

Sent. I figured I’d get a response within the minute, so when no such response came, I stole a glance towards Zelda. She was staring at her phone screen, clearly thinking about her answer. Another minute or so went by, then another. I actually started to listen to Mr. Kovacs’ lesson before I felt my phone vibrate.

I’ll tell you some other time.

Well, that was cryptic. Maybe she saw Nicole kissing some boy too. Wouldn’t that be fun. Sabrina 2.0. I mean, hey, I got to kiss Sabrina, and I sure as hell wouldn’t mind getting to kiss Ze-

Wow. I really was embracing the poly lifestyle. Like hell I’d admit Nicole was right, but it was true, after my nerves were out of the way kissing Sabrina, it was a lot easier to admit my attraction to other girls. Though Zelda made it particularly easy. I couldn’t help but glance again at her tight turtleneck framing her small, sexy body. Even with her blazer covering her curves well, it was clear she was hot as all hell. 

Before long, the school bell rang and people started gathering their things and getting out of class. Given our conversation, I would have expected Zelda to stick around and talk to me, but to my surprise, she was the first one out of there, like it was a race to leave the classroom first. I wanted to catch up with her, but I was barely out of my chair by the time I saw Zelda leave. 

I watched her leave, sadly sighing to myself. I guess I’d need to bother her for that answer later. Behind me, I heard Megan ask, “so what do you want from her?”

I paused. “You again, huh?” I joked. “I gave her a tour of the school when she first transferred in.”

“And she practically shouted in surprise when you told her you were in a relationship,” Megan noted. “How did the conversation lead to that?”

I turned to her. “Gossip,” I accused.

“I’ll bring it up at my next confession,” she joked. “You’re really going for all the girls, aren’t you?”

I wanted to reply defensively, or deny it, but something in me thought about it for a second. Was I doing anything wrong? Sabrina seemed to want more. My own girlfriend was all for it. Megan was really the only person against this. “Whoever goes for me,” I told her.

“Just be careful,” she warned me, picking up her backpack. “Make sure they know what they’re getting into. And make sure they actually want you.”

“I am careful!” I protested, gathering my own backpack, leaving the classroom with her.

“You weren’t last year,” she replied flatly.

“Is that what this is about?”

“I’m just telling you to be careful,” she reiterated. “Take it as you will. Are you having lunch with us?”

“Yeah,” I said simply. I knew getting further into this debate with Megan would have been no good for either of us, even if I did have a lot I wanted to say. The two of us made light conversation about classes until we reached the cafeteria, where Carson, Jason, and Athena were waiting for us. 

“Yo!” Carson eagerly said. “Good to see you somewhere I don’t have to deal with Sigorksy.”

“Sigorsky’s a great teacher if you don’t talk to him like he’s garbage,” I replied swiftly, sitting down at the lunch table. 

“I had Sigorsky last year, I thought he was really good,” Athena contributed.

“Yeah, well, congrats to all of you for being fucking wrong,” Carson dismissed us. “You know what they say: those who can’t do, teach.”

“So… Sigorsky can’t do math?” I asked incredulously. “That’s your argument today?”

“Sounds about as good as Carson’s other arguments,” Megan lightheartedly joked. 

Carson winked at her. “I’m saying Sigorsky couldn’t hack it in the real world for like a day,” he clarified.

“The real world?” Jason asked.

“Yeah, you know. High school is so fucking artificial. Like, this is just a social experiment made to make you, like, obey people and shit,” Carson replied, full of energy. “That’s why the real winners are the people that don’t play by the rules, they make their own.”

“A category that happens to include you. How convenient,” Megan joked again. 

Carson over-exaggeratedly grabbed his heart. “You always gotta go for the heart, Megan,” he told her. 

“What are you doing, is this your way of flirting?” I jokingly asked.

Carson grinned at me. “You’re one to talk. I heard that you and Sabrina are getting pre-tty damn close these days.”

I blushed. “We’re what? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“So you don’t remember kissing her at the Halloween dance?” Megan asked nonchalantly before taking a bite of her sandwich. Carson and Jason whooped as she smiled innocently at me. “Whoops!”

I was bracing for the flurry of questions that would inevitably happen, but as luck would have it, at that moment, some preppy-looking guy waltzed up to the table, going, “Yo! Megan! How’s it going?”

Megan froze. It was clear she knew this guy before, and it was very clear whatever memories she had of him were not savory. “Carson,” she quietly ordered.

Carson tapped me on the hand. “Follow my lead, buddy. Look tough.” He stood up in between the preppy guy and Megan, and took a step forward. Awkwardly, I followed. “Megan’s busy eating her lunch right now,” he informed the guy. “She’d appreciate it if you walked away.”

“What are you, her pimp?” the guy asked. “I just wanted to talk to her.” 

“Yeah, and she knows why you want that,” Carson replied angrily and dismissively. “Whatever you want from her, it’s not happening, so why don’t you take a hike?”

The guy looked at Carson, then at me. “You guys think you’re tough, just because you’re defending a slut?”

“Yeah, there it is,” Carson egged him on, nodding his head. “Now why would she want to waste her time talking to a guy like you?”

I almost wanted to turn my energy to Carson at that moment. I wasn’t sure if what he was doing was even what Megan wanted. The guy clearly was only getting angrier. “Sorry I wanted to talk to a girl, dude,” he angrily replied.

“A girl that doesn’t want to talk to you,” Carson reminded him.

“She never even said that.”

“She’s tired of saying it,” Carson clarified again. “It’s why I’m up here telling it to you. My job is to tell it like it is. Your job, right now, is to go bye-bye.”

“Holy shit,” the guy complained, trying to look over Carson’s shoulder at Megan. “When did you become such a stuck-up bitch? The school liked you better when you were a fuckin’ slut.” He stormed off, and Carson nonchalantly sat back down at the table. I was still standing where I was, frozen in shock.

“Oh my God,” I mumbled.

“Yeah, they’re at least getting less frequent now,” Carson replied coolly. “Thanks for going along with it, buddy. They think they can take one guy, but it’s better with two.”

I sat back down. “Wait, how many times has this happened?”

“Total? Like, seven, but three of them were all the same guy,” Carson told me. “We had to get Scott involved on that one.”

Megan spotted my expression and put her hand on mine. “It’s okay,” she told me.

“No it’s not!!” I instinctively replied.

“Yeah, if that’s okay, you got a weird definition of ‘okay,’” Carson agreed. 

“Why does this even happen?” Jason interjected. “I get I’ve only seen two of these things, but why Megan? She doesn’t even act like a slut.”

Megan slowly put down her food. “To make a long story sh-”

“You don’t have to tell him shit, Megan,” Carson assertively cut in. “We can just leave it at that.”

“I know,” she soothed him. “If he’s going to be in the group, I want to tell him.” She turned to Jason. “Last year, I made some bad choices. I really wanted to grow up quickly and catch up on, I don’t know, being a teenager. So I was very promiscuous and had intercourse out of relationships, with several partners.”

“Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” Athena jumped in.

“Well, no, there was. It actually was very bad,” Megan asserted. “And I couldn’t see what I was doing to myself, or how I was being disrespectful to God, until I…” She paused. “Until I became pregnant and had to make some incredibly hard choices.”

I saw Jason and Athena give each other a knowing side-glance when Megan mentioned God, but apart from that, they were respectfully engaged with her story. “Congratulations on how far you’ve come,” Athena said meaningfully. “That must have been so hard to deal with.”

Jason, on the other hand, may as well have had stars twinkling in his eyes. “Woah, you used to be a slut,” he said with fascination. “That’s so interesting! But it seems like you’re all-” Athena elbowed him before he could continue. “What’s wrong? What did I say?” he asked, turning to her.

Athena rolled her eyes, but Megan took the response gracefully, nodding. “I used to be one, but I’m not anymore,” she confirmed. “I had to battle a lot of demons to get to where I am.”

“How did you manage to get through it all?” Jason asked, still full of naive wonder.

Megan shrugged. “Good friends, prayer, and time?” she offered. “How the rest of us get through stuff, I guess.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that everyone else at the table was clearly, at most, agnostic. Jason, however, was still continuing. “So did you ever find out who the father is?”

Athena sighed loudly. “Jason, this is a very difficult topic for her,” she told him condescendingly. “Don’t ask her curious questions about her trauma. It makes her feel like you see her pain as this fascinating story you get to play with.”

Megan didn’t disagree, but she didn’t immediately latch on to Athena’s point either. Eventually, Jason sunk back in his chair. “Oh. I’m sorry, I guess.”

Megan let the question hang in the air for a bit. “I think you can guess, and I will not say anything more about this, but I didn’t carry the child to term, obviously,” she began. “I’m not entirely sure who the father was. But whoever he was, I hope he’s being careful these days about how he treats the girls he’s with.”

Carson’s eyes flickered up to mine, then immediately away. I looked at Megan, who was making sure to look at everyone at the table but me.  Jason and Athena were just looking at Megan, digesting her words. The conversation was over, it was clear. The group only made awkward small talk about class until the bell rang, whereupon all of us began to get up and pack away our lunches. By pure luck, the other three left first, leaving just myself and Megan, and after she quickly smiled at me and told me to have a good day, I grabbed her arm just as she began to walk off.

She didn’t resist. She just looked at me with a blank expression, contrasting my very purposeful glare. “Do we need to have a conversation?” I asked.

“About what?” she asked innocently.

“You don’t get to say that shit and then act like nothing was said,” I told her, my tone reflecting real hurt. “Either don’t say it at all, or talk to me about it. You can’t have it both ways.”

Megan’s expression darkened. Her neutral face reflected mine more and more until her hand, the hand that was grabbed at the wrist by my hand, grabbed my wrist right back. “Follow me,” she sternly ordered, and the two of us broke away simultaneously. 

The two of us walked into that small hallway near the cafeteria. It wasn’t incredibly private, students were still walking by, but it was still better than right in the middle of the caf.

“So what, are you still upset at me, do I still need to apologize, what…?” I began.

“Adam, you’re really dense,” she began. “This is why I’m worrying that you’re still kissing these girls and making them run away like on Halloween.”

“So you were upset about that!” I accused.

She ignored me. “I had to have an abortion. My relationship with my brother was changed forever. I couldn’t go to geography class without panicking. All of these decisions I made were awful, and some of them are still haunting me now. I don’t even know what they’ve done to my eternal soul. When I see what you’re still doing, or even remember what you’ve done, I think I deserve to cast judgment. These things hurt me. They still hurt me. And I can forgive the sinner…” She gestured to me, then outwards. “…But not the sin.” She paused. “I had to deal with the trauma of what you caused. A lot of that was my own decisions too. But I had to deal with all of it. You had to deal with trauma too, I don’t doubt that, but you can’t begin to imagine the absolute… the absolute Hell that I went through.” She was breathing so heavily, her chest rose and fell with her breaths. Her face was this steely glare, a look I’d only ever seen from Megan once or twice.

“It was a team effort, what we did,” I said quietly, but powerfully.

“I already conceded that,” Megan replied immediately. “Adam, I’ve had to go through nights and nights and nights of thinking about it. I’d be blown away if you had a single thought about this whole saga that I haven’t already thought. And now, I have to wonder just how much of that is being spread to others. If you walked a mile in my shoes, you’d completely understand why I’m worrying.”

“I’m in a relationship,” I pointed out. “It’s not like what’s happening with these girls is serious.”

“It didn’t need to be serious with us,” she countered. “A lot of our worst memories were out of a relationship too. You’re in a poly relationship. That’s a very good recipe for things going worse than they did for us. What if you impregnated a girl and she wanted to keep the child, with you as the father? What then?”

I opened my mouth before it went dry. What the fuck could I say to that? ‘It wouldn’t happen?’ It did with Megan, nearly. Fuck. “That would be… life-ending,” I acknowledged.

“Depending on whose life, it already was,” Megan replied, ominously calm.

“You know I don’t see abortion like th-”

“I do,” she cut me off. “And I’m the one who…” Her eyes got misty. “Who had to do it.”

Despite the burning anger in her eyes, she moved in for a hug, which I readily accepted. A few seconds went by before her fists started weakly pounding on my back. “I love you, but you’re such an idiot sometimes.” She broke away, looking me in the eyes. The tears started flowing, and very suddenly, she pushed me away, with such a force that my back hit the wall.

“Ow!” I yelled. “Fuck, Megan, I get it! What the fuck was that for, that hurt!”

Megan looked scared. “Sorry,” she mumbled, then rushed to me. “I’m really sorry. I…” She trailed off, looking away. “I have a reason why I did that. I didn’t want to hurt you, but…”

“The hell was the reason?” I asked her, baffled, moving her face to look at me.

She closed her eyes, the tears flowing. “I got an urge to kiss you,” she conceded. “But I know it’s just the memories. And it would be bad for everyone.”

Searching the back of my mind, I was sure that in that moment, I would have wanted to kiss her too. But now was not the time to tell her that. “I see.”

“I pushed you away because I felt myself getting weaker,” she explained. “Adam, I’m so sorry.”

This was all too much. I know it was my fault, but this was getting too heavy, even for me. So I switched gears. “No, you’re right,” I told her clearly, changing my tone. I even smiled slightly at her. “Under the circumstances, I think you did the right thing. And you know what?” My smile broadened. “I’m proud of you.”

She smiled, albeit sadly. “Just promise me you’ll behave with these girls.”

“But what does ‘behave’ mean?” I pressed. “Be mindful? Don’t kiss them at all? Stick with Nicole even though being one-way poly is making my life hell?”

“You know nothing of Hell,” Megan spat instinctively in a voice I didn’t even recognize.

My face fell to a stern gaze, looking at her. She looked back. Eventually, she spoke. “It means to make the right choices. If something like last year happens, I’ll never forgive you, no matter how much I love you.”

“Just kissing or just fooling around isn’t what happened last year,” I pointed out.

“I guess you’d be fine then, in that case,” Megan countered. We didn’t say anything until I decided enough was enough and started to walk to my class. Before I could leave, Megan called out, “But Adam…”

I turned around to face her. She took a deep breath. “There is no such thing as just kissing or just fooling around. You know that better than anyone.” She grabbed her backpack and started to head off in the other direction. “Make the right choices,” she told me again, before disappearing down the hallway. 

How the hell was I supposed to shake something like that off? I was just a kid. Sure, stuff overwhelmed me like this last year, but at least then, I had…

Oh boy. It dreaded me to think about it, but it all became a little clearer then. I probably had some free time after school, and that was good, because I was going to need it. It was time I did something that was long overdue. It was time I paid Mr. Salvador a visit. 

____________________________

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