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I looked at the clock and made a quick calculation. Nine minutes until the end of class, and only one more period to go. I never found US History to be an exciting subject, but at least this teacher was kind of cool and made class tolerable if not exciting.
I looked back to Greg, one of the few friends I had from my grade, who sat in the seat behind mine.
“You goin’ to the dance tonight?” I whispered.
“Eh, I don’t know. You goin’?” Greg whispered back.
“I figured I would. Something to do, anyway.”
“These dances usually suck.”
“Yeah, but there might be chicks there.”
“Well, if you’re going, I guess I’ll go; then if it sucks, I won’t have to be standing around looking like a fucking loser.”
Somehow we managed to have these exchanges occasionally, without pissing off the teacher. Maybe it’s because we were both “A” students. Greg was a car buff and I’d always had a thing for old cars, so I figured that the worst that could happen was that we’d stand around talking about cars if the dance sucked.
It was early October of my senior year in high school. I’d always liked going to school dances even though nothing ever happened of any importance. Hope springs eternal in the human breast, as they say. Every dance was a chance that maybe, just maybe, I’d meet a girl and hit it off with her like so many other guys seemed to do so easily.
I wasn’t a total loser but I wasn’t in the “in crowd”. I’d had one girlfriend for all of three weeks the previous year, and she had dumped me. I’d wanted to date since age 10, but the fact that I was more of a nerd than a jock left me short on the social status a teenage dude needed to be a chick magnet.
Greg had done a bit better than I had, in the girl department. He’d had a girlfriend for about two years, starting in 7th grade and continuing on through the very beginning of 9th grade. That was the only girlfriend he’d ever had, but… two years compared to my three weeks… it really sucked being 18 and having only three weeks of dating to show for it.
The day ended like any other Friday – painfully slowly. As usual, I had a bit of excitement going through me as I prepared to leave for the dance. I never did anything special – just threw on an Umbro T-shirt and Boss jeans. I was never much for trends but this one wasn’t that expensive and the clothes certainly did fit, which was more than I could say about most other brands.
I got in my dad’s Lumina and drove out to the school. I lived about 10 miles away, because I went to school in a different town than the one where I lived. I’d only been around this bunch of kids for barely more than three years, whereas it seemed that everyone else had known each other since kindergarten.
I got to the dance and it turned out that Greg had beaten me there by a few minutes. Not surprising, as he lived less than a mile away. We bullshitted for a little while, figuring from the looks of the people we saw that our chances of getting lucky were slim. Even the girls who weren’t there with guys looked like they were there in huge groups of girls, and I always figured it was too awkward to try to talk to any girl in that situation. It’d be too obvious what my intentions were and the other girls would be looking at me as a potential hazard.
The DJ jacked his volume and the boom-baboom-ba-boom of the music signaled the official start of the dance. 8:00 on the button. It was weird that out of a school of just under 2,000 students, there were maybe 30 in the cafeteria (which doubled as our “dance hall”) at that time. I guess most everyone else knew that these dances tended to suck as well.
A few minutes later, we saw our buddy Nick walking toward us. He had three girls with him, none of whom I knew but all three of whom I’d seen before. Melissa, Marissa, and Katie. If there were ever three seriously popular girls’ names at that time, there they were. Yell out any of those names in the hallway during class-change time and 10 people would turn their heads your way.
Come to think of it, the same was true of Greg and Nick. There were all kinds of Gregs and Nicks at that school. I was the only Declan in the entire school – “Deck” for short. My unique name hadn’t earned me any “cool points” with the girls, but it had inspired many a person to call me “Dick”. I often wondered why they didn’t do the same to Nick. Nick actually rhymes with dick. Maybe it was because there were so many Nicks at the school that if it got out that someone was calling one of them “Dick”, the others would have something to say, or do, about that. Sometimes they went all out and called me “Dickless”, not that that sounded much like Declan, but not that they cared.
Katie had not gone to this school for a while. I never knew what was up with her – maybe she got kicked out or she dropped out or whatever. Word on the street had it that she was involved with drugs and would screw anything with a dick. I guess she figured that she could slip in undetected and casino oyna get away with enjoying the dance. At the very least, she seemed like a troubled soul, and I wasn’t about to pursue someone with lots of apparent issues no matter how much I wanted to have a girl in my life.
Last I knew, Marissa had a boyfriend. I knew the guy and I thought he was cool. Couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t there; maybe they broke up. It’s not like I was about to ask someone I’d never met before, why her boyfriend wasn’t there with her. Maybe I’d find out, since she was there with Nick and it became quickly obvious that the six of us were going to be a group for the night.
Seeing Melissa triggered my memory of the first time I’d seen her or at least recognized that she existed. It was early in freshman year and I had a pounding headache. I wasn’t the type to run to the nurse for the littlest boo-boo, but this time I seriously felt like shit and had to do something about it. As I was relaxing with my eyes barely open, waiting for the Tylenol to take effect, I heard a girl telling the nurse that someone had cracked an egg in her hair.
That’s the sort of thing that will make someone pay attention no matter how shitty they feel, and I looked up. My first impression of Melissa was that she had a really hot body but I wanted to know more about what her face really looked like, when she wasn’t pissed off. She had some water in her hair from what looked like a fruitless attempt at washing the egg mess out of it in the water fountain, and it hung down in drenched curly strings.
I heard her give her name to the nurse and it stuck in my memory. I never had any classes with her, so the only times I ever saw her after that were the occasional random passing in the hallway. I never sought to get her attention, because that would have been awkward and I was never the smooth type. I never had “lines”. If there were such a thing as “a way with the ladies”, I didn’t have it. This had to explain, at least partly, why I’d only logged up three weeks of dating and why I’d never done more than kiss a girl even though I was old enough to die for my country.
Introductions went around. I played along, as though I knew nothing about the three girls. It seemed that Marissa already knew Greg, which wasn’t surprising as Greg was an equipment runner for the marching band just like Marissa’s boyfriend, or maybe ex-boyfriend. Surprisingly, none of the three girls claimed to be Nick’s girlfriend – they hadn’t even all come together. Nick already knew Melissa and Marissa, and Marissa had suggested that Katie come to the dance.
That’s how it came to be that a dance I thought would suck started with me meeting three girls, one of whom was super-hot.
At this point I should explain that my idea of super-hot was never the same as that of most dudes. While most of the guys talked about the skinny cheerleaders and basketball player chicks and how much they’d like to bone them, I pretty much kept my mouth shut about my tastes because I suspected that revealing them would subject me to a certain amount of derision even from my friends.
I liked fat girls – especially fat girls who were also tall. From as far back as I could remember, a big girl or woman could always catch my eye. I had many different crushes over the years, on girls who spanned a huge spectrum in the looks department. Short, tall, thin, fat, white, black, long hair, short hair, didn’t matter when I was younger. All I wanted was a girlfriend and all it took for me to get sweet on someone was to think that I had a chance with her and that she wasn’t messed up.
But each and every time that I’d masturbated since figuring out how to do it at age 13, I fantasized about fat girls.
Melissa had exactly the kind of body I always loved. She stood about an even six feet tall and was definitely a “booty girl”. From the waist up, she wasn’t that big. Looking at her for a second or so, such that she wouldn’t think I was some creeper, I could guess that she was about a C-cup from what my guy friends had said in times past about girls’ bra sizes. But it seemed like 90% of the fat she ever stored in her body went below her waist. Her butt was enormous compared to the rest of her body. In fact, at one point during sophomore year, a buddy of mine got talking about her for some reason and called her “Meatball”. I asked what that meant, and he said that she looked like a meatball on a stick.
This is why I generally kept my preferences for fat girls to myself. Even your friends would pick on you for that.
Melissa’s medium-brown hair was somewhat poofy and wavy, and it went down to just below her shoulder blades. She was wearing a somewhat tight-fitting short-sleeved black shirt, and blue jeans that were a bit too big for her waist and lower legs, but about as tight as they could be on her ass and thighs. The waistband of her pants was rather loose on her and she wasn’t wearing a belt. I thought that was strangely hot, maybe because I was canlı casino subconsciously perving and imagining how easy it’d be to get a hand or two down there. She had a belly roll that stuck out about as far as her breasts did. I felt a zing of adrenaline just looking at her.
I started wondering if my luck had begun to change, but had no idea how to handle it. My first girlfriend, from almost two years prior, was in band with me and it just happened that we were sitting near each other on the bus one day. Somehow, though I forgot exactly how it happened, we started talking. I never considered her especially good-looking, but we talked, and it turned out that she knew one of my middle-school classmates, and we shared a few laughs. Laughs became phone calls, and phone calls became dates. That wasn’t an extremely random coupling.
So I started thinking about how I would approach Melissa if I had the opportunity, and the problem was that I never had the balls to grab opportunities. For years, opportunities presented themselves and I let them go, because I was too chicken to say something. Then sometimes the girl would move away or otherwise disappear, and I’d kick myself silently for never grabbing at opportunities when I had the chance, since now I no longer had the chance.
How not to let that happen with Melissa, I wondered. But would we even get along? Just because she’s hot, that doesn’t mean that our personalities would mesh. I already knew that she was the target of some bullying, to which I could relate because I’d been bullied a lot in my life. That was something, anyway.
She was friends with Nick, who’d been one of my friends pretty much since the beginning of high school. Nick wasn’t Mister Popularity – he was a bit awkward like me. I’d never seen Melissa out with, or hanging around with, people known to smoke; so it was a good guess that she wasn’t a smoker. Within less than a minute, even during the process of bullshitting with everyone in my newfound group, I figured that the available signs at least leaned positive.
We went into the cafeteria and got to dancing. I wasn’t especially graceful, at six-two and a not-entirely-muscular 205 pounds, but I could move to a beat and it didn’t seem like many people did much better than that at these dances.
Katie seemed like she was on the prowl that night. She was all over all three of us. For the first time in my life, a girl was making it seem like she was pursuing me, but it didn’t get to my head because she was doing the same to the other two guys. Maybe she was trying to see if any of us would bite. I enjoyed it and went along with it, albeit somewhat awkwardly, but she wasn’t my type so I didn’t initiate anything myself.
Marissa was happy to be there but she seemed to be focusing most of her attention on Greg and Nick, which made sense because she knew them already. I still hadn’t figured out if she was single, but that was okay by me because I thought Melissa was hotter.
Melissa wasn’t especially graceful as a dancer either, but to me it didn’t matter. She was enjoying herself and I got to see that hot body move around to the beat, and that was enough. I initiated some small talk at times, feeling awkward about it every time, just to have an excuse to look at her without seeming creepy.
It didn’t escape me that with three guys and three girls, the balance was even, and it was therefore pretty well assured that every time a slow song came on, each of the guys would have a girl to dance with. That prospect alone was plenty exciting, because the last time I danced with a girl at a school dance, I was in 8th grade and the girl had told me prior to the dance that she’d dance a song with me. Little did I know that she wasn’t exactly excited to be doing so. She made excuses every time I asked her to dance, and then when she finally asked me, I was so blinded by excitement that I didn’t realize there were only like 30 seconds or so left to the song. We weren’t dancing all that long before the song was over, and then she never came back for another song. That was my luck.
But, mathematically, my luck was about to change, unless the girls found me repulsive. It looked to me like they didn’t, but what did I know?
I strategized through the situation like a typical nerd. I figured that if I stayed relatively close to Melissa, then when the DJ threw on the first slow song of the night, I could ask her to dance because she was there, and it wouldn’t have to look as awkward or obvious as it would if we weren’t close to each other. It could be something like “hey, you’re here, I’m here, wanna dance?” – no… that’s dorky… well fuck, what should I say?
Turned out that I didn’t execute that plan as well as I should have. The DJ eventually started the first slow song and I realized that I hadn’t been paying attention. By the time I looked around, it was evident that the pairing-up had already started, and it appeared that I was going to be dancing with Marissa. Fair enough – figured kaçak casino I could stand to get to know her anyway.
I was strangely not that nervous, dancing with her. It didn’t take skill. Guy puts his hands on girl’s waist, girl puts her hands on guy’s shoulders… simple stuff. During that song, we talked. It turned out that she and her boyfriend had broken up recently, but it also turned out that she was still smoking. I’d suspected that she was a smoker. I wasn’t, and I had no interest in dating a smoker. I figured that I’d keep her as a friend, if it turned out that we had enough in common to be friends. At least she seemed nice and smiley.
We all pretty much split up in advance of the ending of the song when the volume started dropping, figuring that we were going to go back to fast dancing. Unexpectedly, however, the DJ put on another slow song. I’d never known them to come in pairs, but maybe some people were really into the slow dancing in another part of the cafeteria where the DJ could see them better. I didn’t ask questions. What I did do was a little quick thinking, figuring that I could aim for Melissa and use the line that I had one song with Marissa, so how about I dance with you now?
With uncharacteristic courage, perhaps fueled by the fact that I had just completed my first full-song slow dance with a girl, I walked toward Melissa, who it turned out was walking sort of in my direction anyway, and said what I intended to say. Surprisingly, it came out all right even though I could feel the adrenaline and my accelerating heartbeat. She said yes, and we got into the slow-dance position with each other.
I knew early on that I was in trouble. When I get really nervous, I get the shakes, and I could feel them coming on. I’d never been able to figure out how to stop them while still feeling nervous. With my hands on this sexy girl’s waist, just above the most incredible hips I’d ever seen, feeling the soft and padded curve of her skin under her form-fitting shirt, my heart was racing and I could barely keep a firm grasp on reality. I tried to talk with her and it worked for a little while – anything to distract her from the fact that I was shaking – but it wasn’t long before one of my syllables came out weird due to my mouth trembling a bit too.
“Are you okay?” asked Melissa.
“Y-yeah, I’m all right,” I half-lied.
I may have averaged out to “all right”, and I was still alive and healthy (“all right”), but I was both ecstatic and a nervous mess at the same time. Less than an hour ago, it had been life as usual. Now I was holding close to me a girl I’d admired for three years, who was every bit as beautiful up close as she had been in passing.
I also became aware of the fact that I had a huge boner. Good thing that the two-sizes-too-big Umbro shirt and Boss jeans would do a fair job concealing that. Maybe I should think about something not sexy. What’s the unsexiest thing I could possibly think of? How about animals? Yeah, animals. Zoo animals. Hippos. Hippos are ugly. Think about muddy hippos.
“You’re shaking!” said Melissa.
Fuck. Hippos didn’t work. Now what?
“Well, I’m really nervous,” I said. At least this time I told the exact truth.
Fuck, fuck, and double fuck.
I knew that I had two choices at that point. I could tell another half-truth-half-lie, which I really didn’t want to do, because not only did it go against how I tried to be a decent guy, but also because lies are difficult to keep up. Or, I could tell the exact truth. Either way, I ran a serious risk of Melissa getting scared off. My luck looked about to change again, and this time not for the better. I started to shake harder.
Then I decided that I was going to man up and go for broke, because, really, if she couldn’t handle me telling her the truth, how would she handle having any kind of relationship with me? Or even friendship? May as well know now, than wait until later.
“You really wanna know?” I said. Try to buy some time. If she says anything but “yes”, we might converse a bit more before I have to give my answer and maybe it’d give me a better idea of what to say and how to say it.
Fuck. I was more courageous in hypothetical situations than in real life.
“All right.” Deep breath. “But it’s gonna cost you. It’s gonna cost you… a promise… that no matter what I say… you don’t start thinkin’ that I’m some kinda weirdo. I mean, you asked. Deal?”
I could tell that she already did think I was some kind of weirdo. But she still had her hands on my shoulders, so obviously I wasn’t that bad of a weirdo.
“First tell me if you have a boyfriend.”
I was gonna have a fucking heart attack before I got this out.
“Is there anyone you like right now, in that way?”
“Nnnnno… not really… why?”
“Trust me, it matters. I’m trying to cover everything that might be bad for me. Okay. Here goes.” Deep breath. Damn. In my mind, for years, I’d been the suave superhero who always gets the girl and has no problem getting girls. I always said the right things in my dreams. In real life it was like I didn’t have a damn clue.
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