Step Back

Dahlia Pemberton was viewed as 'snooty' by most of our classmates but she had always been nice to me.  Now, as I look back on things, I think she viewed me as some sort of project.  She had told me many times before that I was from the wrong side of the tracks.  What did that mean?  I lived far from the train tracks that were on the other side of town.  Sometimes she just made no sense at all. 

As Thad and I, hand in hand, walked back up the sidewalk toward the school she glared at me.  "Where have you been, Adelaide?  Mother will be here to pick us up any moment.  I've been looking for you everywhere."  The tapping of her pedicured toes sounded like a shrill machine gun.

I giggled and grabbed onto Thad's bicep.  "We've just been, umm, exploring is all."  Thad looked into my eyes, back at Dahlia and shrugged his shoulders.  I couldn't believe the things I had done that afternoon.  I was used to being the wallflower; the type that others glossed over.  Thad seemed to bring out the wild side of me; the part that I knew was there, deep down, but I refused to acknowledge for fear of trouble.

"You know your Mom took a partial day off for a dentist's appointment.  As if she really needs to get her teeth looked after with a mere maid's position.  I surely hope she cleaned my room properly this time.  She left dust on my windowsill last week.  The nerve!"  She flipped her long hair over her shoulder and rolled her eyes.  "So, who are you and why are you hanging with Adelaide?"  she demanded as she pointed a finger into Thad's chest.

"Oh, me and Addie have a bit of a history."  Thad's eyes sparkled in the sunshine.  "Ever been down to that old, broken down barn down to the..." he looked at me trying to replace his forgotten memory.

"You know, the old faded red barn that was the Vernons' property?" I reminded Dahlia.  "Where we had that Halloween hayride when we were kids?"

"Oh, yes, that party was so lame."  She removed a compact from her shoulder bag and touched up her lipstick.  Thad watched her closely, smacking his own lips as she applied the dark crimson red stain.

"Well, let's just say we had a little party of our own, just the two of us."  Thad threw an arm over my shoulders.  "And, it wasn't scary or lame, hmmm, Addie?"

I blushed, grinned and placed an arm around his waist.  "Not at all, Thad.  Not at all."  I looked down as a fly buzzed in front of my face and noticed that my tee-shirt was on backward!  Oh, God!  What if someone noticed?  Dahlia probably wouldn't, she was too busy with herself.

Suddenly, something akin to shame washed across my body.  I could feel it in my face.  Listen to me!  What was I doing?  What had I done?  Thad had swept me off my feet.  Talked me into things that I never would have done with one of the other ordinary boys from school.  I wasn't like Juanita Barrientos or Quinn Sessums who had probably been with the entire high school football team.  I had never even kissed a boy before Thad and in on measly afternoon I had gone all the way with him.  And, I was talking like it was no big deal.  It was a big deal!  I was trying to flaunt it in front of Dahlia, in a round-about way too.

I took a step backward.  "I don't feel so well all of the sudden."  I could feel the blood draining from my face.  Why couldn't I have come up with the excuse before everything had happened?  Why did I have to suggest skipping classes in the first place?

I had been caught up in the moment.  I had let him do things to me.  It was exciting.  It was wonderful.  It was euphoric.  I had heard that girls got all wrapped up in the moment and guys took advantage of that, but, I never thought it would happen to me.  I could've stopped it but I didn't.  I didn't want to, but, now, at this very moment, I wish I had.

Was I a slut now?  I was unsure of what it all meant.  I was confused.  Thoughts began to swirl inside my head.  How many girls had Thad been with before?  Was I going to get some kind of sex disease?  I looked from Thad to Dahlia and vomited on the sidewalk.

"What the Hell?"  Dahlia screamed.  "You almost puked on my new sandles.  You are so disgusting!"

Thad stood motionless, staring into my ashen face.  I was so glad when Mrs. Pemberton pulled up to the curb in her long black Cadillac.

The End

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