… in case you hadn’t already guessed, Buddy and I are a lot alike. I am also very susceptible to requests delivered sweetly and seductively by the women in my life… one in particular asked that I give a little more from Day 6… so here goes… what happened before the portion of the story I posted earlier…
As strange and wonderful as it was to be the subject of Desiree’s attention, or one of the subjects, I surely wasn’t the only person she flirted with, eventually the novelty of it wore off a bit. Sad, but true. Life has a way of moving on and presenting us with new things to gain our attention and so it was for me.
At some point I must have not seen her look my way or something. Probably had my nose in a book, that was a pretty common place for it and falling headlong into a book was a great way for me to ignore the jerks around me during lunch. At any rate, one day as I was digging through my locker trying to find a worksheet for science so I could work on it during lunch when I heard something behind me. I whipped around quickly, ready to defend myself from whichever unenlightened cretin was about to give me shit. Instead, I found myself confronted by Desiree and her 100 watt smile. I looked around quickly for her gang, but she was alone.
“Uh, umm… Hi.” Not the most brilliant opening, but I was still adjusting to the fact that I wasn’t about to be bullied. Then it hit me that Desiree.. DESIREE.. was standing there smiling at me and my heart started pounding for another reason. I felt my face get hot and wished for the billionth time my Welsh ancestors had found something different to pass on to me.
“Hi, Buddy, how you doin?” She was looking at me with her eyes all big and stuff and I couldn’t find any words to answer her. My words ran backwards down my throat and coughed a little, trying desperately to cover for my sudden muteness.
“I, uh, fine?” My voice squeaked upward at the end and I raised my eyebrows at her, not to ask if I was actually fine, but to ask, why she was standing there talking to me.
“So… I was wondering if you could help me with the science project Mr. Weaver is having us do?” Oh! Finally something that made sense, she’d been wanting to get my help on school work all this time. Why hadn’t she just come up and said so before now.
I felt annoyed at myself that I’d thought it was anything else, but there’d be a time to deal with that later.
“Oh! OK, well, I was going to do it solo, and .. you don’t want to pair up with any of your friends?” My brows were doing a caterpillar dance on my forehead as I tried to figure out her angle.
She leaned in closer and her strawberry scent invaded my senses. “Sonia and Judy are going to do it together, and I could work with them but I’d really like to get a good grade this time”, her voice had taken on a conspiratorial air, as if I were someone she confided in regularly and wouldn’t be surprised by her judgement of them. For me it was an interesting insight into what I thought was an impenetrable fortress of girlhood and loyalty.
“Mmmkay, so uh… I guess we could do a project together” My mind was racing. Would she expect to come to my house to work on it? Maybe we could do it after school in the library or something. I was thinking about the project I’d planned and mentally dividing the work into something two people could do quasi-independently if necessary.
Her voice purred into my consciousness, “You look so cute when you’re thinking, I think I’m gonna enjoy working on this project with you, Buddy. You’re so smart and I’ll do anything you want me to do. I promise.”
I stood there blinking at her, muted again. Later I would replay that last bit over and over again in my head, pondering the tone in her voice, the way her eyes seemed to drill into me when she said “I’ll do anything”. And then I’d shake it off and remind myself, admonish myself, that it was all about the science project and nothing else. She didn’t actually mean she’d do anything. Besides, what would you ask her to do besides stuff for the science project.
She was waiting for me to respond, she was leaning so close she was almost touching me.
“Yes, uh, what are you doing after school? We could meet in the…”
“You can come over to my house, we have lots of room and my mom said she’d bake cookies for us while we work.”
Oh, so she’d planned ahead. I was right, it wasn’t about flirting, it was all about the science project.
“Yeah, sure, um, maybe tomorrow after school? That way I can tell my mom where I’ll be.”
“Yay! This is gonna be so awesome” She actually did a handclap and a little jump. “OK, see you later, Buddy.”
I watched her walk away feeling confused and giddy.
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