Mamma Mia (Or How I Ended Up In Bullies Anonymous)

by Lubrican

Chapter : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4-6 Available On

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Chapter One

I stood at the podium uncomfortably, looking at the twenty or so faces looking back at me from the people sitting in folding chairs in the basement of a church.

"Hello," I said. "My name is Bob."

"Hi, Bob," said about half of the people.

"And I'm a bully," I went on, dutifully.

"We know," came a single voice from the crowd. It was under his breath, and I couldn't tell who had said it. None of the people around him gave him away either, but one woman about six seats away glanced to her right.

In any case, I didn't try to figure out who it was. It was a Bullies Anonymous meeting, after all, and to take it out on the little sonofabitch who had popped off like that would sort of defeat the purpose of the gathering. I mean it would be like having a drink at an AA meeting, you know?

So I ignored the weasel and went on talking to roughly half of the group who didn't already know me because they were my victims. You know that T shirt that says "I fear not, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death - because I'm the baddest motherfucker in the valley"? Before I got caught and sent before Judge Judy, I sort of specialized in being a bully to other bullies. I guess something in me wanted to be the baddest motherfucker in the valley.

How's that for irony? The judge - whose first name is actually Judy, for pity's sake - decided that the most fitting punishment for my crimes was for me to be in the same chapter of BA as a bunch of the other bullies who had come before her in court. Judge Judy said it would be "fitting" if I had to debase myself in front of my victims. She said it would teach me humility. She said it would give me a chance to make amends for having "a vigilante mindset" and terrorizing half the town.

I don't know about the humility, or about having "a vigilante mindset" but I was willing to argue about terrorizing half the town. I didn't do that at all. All I did was terrorize bullies. Most of the time, anyway. And it takes a thief to catch a thief ... right? Everybody knows that.

If you ask me, it's Judge Judy who's the bully.

But I won't take up your time beating a dead horse. Instead, I'll just tell you the story of how I ended up in Judge Judy's kangaroo court, where she decided I needed to be debased, just like I had decided a number of bullies around town needed to be debased.

I'd like to start out by saying it was all Mia's fault.

I know that's probably not fair, but it's true. And my first victim, Jerry Harper will testify on my behalf. That's because I became a bully the day I saw Jerry Harper try to force Mia to have sex with him.

Mia Falcon (which was pronounced Fal-cone) moved into the house beside ours when I was fourteen. It was strange for me from the get-go. That's because Mia was gorgeous, and shaped like a woman, even though she was only fourteen too, just like me, while I was what people these days might call a geek. Back then it was dork.

I wasn't the classic geek of today's tech world. I liked science, but I didn't pore over books long hours into the night. When I got home from school I went out and played. I just didn't play sports, which was what all the "regular" boys did. Rather, I went into the woods and explored. I was sure there was buried treasure there somewhere, or maybe an old gun laying around from the Indian days, or the Civil War, or something. We lived in Missouri, and people had been fighting over Missouri for hundreds of years, right? I mean Jesse James had a hideout in Missouri. So somebody had to get shot and then dragged off by animals, leaving his gun lying there on the ground for me to find. Right?

I had a pretty vivid imagination. I'll admit that. And a silly one too, I suppose. But that's why I was out in the woods, instead of on the baseball diamond, or basketball court, where all the other boys my age were. And that's probably why I got a reputation as a wimp with certain guys. They never saw me belt one past the center fielder, or knock some guy down on a drive to the basket. Instead, they saw a kid with glasses that kept sliding down his nose, who was never aggressive and was always saying things like "Please" and "Thank you."

Telling you this story is complicated. It's complicated in the same way that a thunderstorm is complicated. There are all these individual drops of water, coming from different clouds in different parts of the sky. But at ground level, all you notice is that you're getting soaked. I might seem to be rambling a bit, but it will all come together at some point and you'll understand. So bear with me, please.

See there? I still say "please".

That's because my parents brought me up that way. And they brought up my brothers and sister that way too. Of course they were all older than me, so nobody used that word with me. With me, they just said "Give me that, Dork" and took it. Which is why I already knew what bullies were like before Mia moved in next door to us when we were fourteen.

Anyway, it wasn't Beauty and the Beast. It was more like Beauty and the-dork-who-lived-next-door. My mother gave me a casserole to take over to the new neighbors and I did that, and Mrs. Falcon (who was just as beautiful as her daughter) was really nice to me and thanked me, and introduced Mia to me and suggested that we could maybe play together. Mrs. Falcon saw us both as children. There we were, both well grown, with hormones raging through our bodies, and she treated us both like we were ten. Mia rolled her eyes. I stared at Mrs. Falcon's tits.

Sorry. Breasts. I don't mean to be disrespectful to Mrs. Falcon. It's just the word a kid uses when he's trying to grow up and also tries to talk "grown up."

But that meeting did, in fact, forge a relationship between myself and Mia Falcon. It wasn't the relationship I would have chosen, but we did become friends.

We became friends by virtue of the fact that she wasn't allowed to date yet, but she could hang out with "Little Bobby from next door." I had been branded as "safe" by her mother. Her father investigated me for all of a minute and a half, one day, and decided I was a wimp, like my older brothers had. So he considered his daughter's virtue safe with me too. Whether those evaluations of my manliness were somehow communicated to Mia, or she made them herself, I have no idea. Or, I should say, I had no idea then. I know now what she thought of me, but I didn't then. And that's because she never told me, back then.

I wish she had. I might not be standing in front of a group of bullies, apologizing to them for being the king of the bullies, if she'd told me then what I know now.

Anyway, there were two years of what I'd call "living next door to the Garden of Eden." That is to say that paradise was within sight ... but I just couldn't go there.

Mia and I spent hours together. Since the only things I knew best were the woods behind our house, I took her there on long hikes. I showed her the things I'd found that had been left there by humans long dead (my characterization). Sure they were only old bottles, or tin cans with faded labels, or strangely shaped pieces of metal, or the old hammer I'd found lying on a boulder in plain sight.

But the bottles had corks in them, and nobody had used corks in bottles for decades. And the labels of those cans were painted on, not on paper, like in modern times. And yes, I had no idea what the chunk of iron was that I'd found stuck in the crotch of a tree that had grown up under it, but it was thick with rust, and it was embedded in the tree, which had had time to grow around the object. So they were all old. And they had been left out in these woods by some human.

Who probably was long dead.

I know a lot of people would say "That's junk," but to me, each of those corks had been put there by somebody, and all the paint on those cans had been lovingly applied as somebody's job. People had created and used all that "junk". They had lived their lives each day like I was doing. I guess I felt some kind of connection.

Plus I imagined myself as an alien who landed on Earth and found all this stuff that was proof that intelligent, tool-using creatures had once lived here - and might even still be living here! (Pull out ray gun and be extra alert as you tread softly through the forest, being wary of possible predators, who might like the taste of alien flesh!)

I'll say this for her. Mia wasn't afraid to get dirty. She wasn't as enthralled with the junk I'd found as I was, but she could climb a tree and scamper over rocks and boulders with the best of them. And she listened to me, which was something most people never took the time to do.

I listened to her too, of course. She was a talker, but not in that annoying way that a lot of girls had. She talked about where they had come from, and how much she missed her friends, and how boys were treating her different, now that her breasts had gotten big and stuff like that. Mia would talk about anything.

And, of course, I was too embarrassed to talk about what was happening in my own adolescent body. I saw her as brave and strong. Somehow I felt like she was more grown up than I was. But being around her was fun in an agonizing kind of way. She was so beautiful. It didn't matter what she was wearing. Whether she had on cutoffs and a checkered blouse, or jeans and a parka, I'd get stiff in my pants. And you can't tell a girl she gives you a boner every time she looks at you.

At least I couldn't.

Anyway, that sweet torture continued for two years. I can't say we were best friends, or anything like that. I was sure she hung around with me because I was the only other kid her age who lived in that neighborhood. She had this odd kind of aloofness about her that seemed to prevent her from making a whole passel of new girlfriends at school. Oh, she got along with everybody well enough, but other girls were jealous of her looks, and all the boys at school could think about was the same thing I was constantly thinking about. And that was what those fabulous breasts might look like with nothing covering them up.

And then she turned sixteen, and was allowed to date, and things kind of went to shit.

That's because one of the very first guys she went out with was Dennis Thurman, who took her to a movie and tried to grope her in the dark. I say "tried" because every time he put his arm around her shoulders and let his hand fall way too low, she moved it. And when he put his hand on her thigh, she moved that too. She did kiss him a few times, and she did let his hand stay on her butt for a few seconds before moving that too, but that was all. I know this because she told me about it the next day, while we were walking to school.

But Dennis bragged to his buddies that he fucked her to screaming orgasms.

And every guy who asked her out after that expected to get to do the very same thing.

She didn't tell me about all of those. Not back then, anyway. Instead, she learned - the hard way - that guys all want just one thing. She resisted giving it to them. In fact, she resisted giving it to them for another year and a half. But she was up against a brick wall.

That's because of what I'll call "The reputation quandary." Males and females look at the concept of having a reputation differently. Girls want to have a reputation that engenders respect and popularity. Boys, on the other hand, want to be viewed as men. Or at least as having manly attributes. They want to be the fastest runners, the longest hitters, the top scorers and the guys who get the most pussy. They think all those things will make them look more grown up. I'll admit there's a biological component in there too, but there are lots of guys who don't get any pussy at all (me, for example) and who don't excel at sports (me, again) who still feel manly. We can't explain exactly why we feel manly, but that's not the point. Suffice it to say we get boners just like the popular guys, and that makes us men too.

Anyway, these two phenomena work against each other. The guys are all trying to get into the girls' panties, while the girls are trying like crazy to be popular while not getting a reputation of being a slut. The problem is that the guys don't get nearly as much pussy as they think they're supposed to. And, of course, they have to claim they have conquered, and taken that pussy - whether that is true or not.

So some guys lie about their conquests. They feel like they have to ... to appear as manly as Joe over there, who probably also lied, but you don't know that for sure.

The only defense against this pack of wolves is similar to the herd mentality that sheep use. Girls band together in small herds for protection, going shoulder to shoulder, eating the same things and trying to look as much like the other sheep as possible. And when a wolf - let's call him Dick - says he tapped one of the sheep in the herd - let's call her Cindy - all her friends loudly proclaim it's a lie. They are willing to go to bat for their friend because it must be a lie. That's because Cindy didn't tell the rest of the herd all about getting her adolescent pussy well reamed by Dick on their date last night.

But if you're a loner ... if you don't have a herd to protect you ... then you end up like Mia, with a reputation you don't deserve. Especially if the whole wolfpack claims to have plundered your flower of femininity.

The other part of all this is that no wolf is willing to admit to the rest of the pack that he struck out with Mia. So he lies, just like the rest of them lied. And they all believe each other, because they want to believe the lies. And what happens then is that the pack members all get enraged that she gave it up to the others ... but not to him.

So they attack the lone sheep again, trying to claim what they now believe, they are owed.

I know I might be taking this analogy too far, but stay with me a minute longer. If you're a ram (that would be me again) and you look longingly at that lone ewe out there, surrounded by wolves ... you know you don't have a chance in hell. So you wander off and eat some grass somewhere else. Or maybe chase after one of the ewes in the herd. That would not be me, by the way. I just went and ate grass. The point is, the only guys who asked Mia out were the wolves. And her only alternative was being the girl who never went on dates. That really fucks with a girl's self-confidence. Or so I hear. I'm pretty sure it fucked with hers, because she kept going out with them. I knew she wasn't spreading her legs for them. I knew she was just trying to lead a normal, adolescent female life.

Anyway, it was perfectly by accident that I was in the right place at the right time one night. It was a Friday night, and Mia was out on a date with Jerry Harper. He was the alpha wolf. He was the quarterback of the football team. He was also a bully. Everybody knew that. He did things like knocking books out of people's arms. (Yes, * sigh * that would be me, once again) but he got away with it because he always apologized profusely. They were false apologies, and everybody under the age of nineteen knew it, especially the other wolves, who all chortled when the books went flying. But all the adults heard were those profuse apologies, so they smiled at his good manners and walked away. I was told he made other kids do his homework and do chores for him and things like that. That never happened to me, probably because I got solid C's in my classes and didn't excel at much of anything, with the possible exception of imagination. But that doesn't count for much in high school.

I knew they were out because I'd seen him drive up in front of the house and honk for her. If her dad had been home, he'd have gone out and suggested that a gentleman comes to the door to escort his date to the car, but Mr. Falcon was working the late shift that night. Mrs. Falcon would have agreed with him, but she wasn't the confrontational type.

It had been a week since we'd hung out, and I was feeling neglected. Okay, I was feeling sorry for myself. The love of my life was out with shit-head Harper and I was too chicken to ask any other girls out myself. So I went outside and took it out on a tree. I fashioned a "morning star" out of a stick by driving four or five nails through it, leaving the points poking out in vaguely different directions. Then I did battle, in my imagination, with a dragon's neck, which was the tree trunk, of course. The nails bent a bit as I whacked away at the awesome creature, but that turned out to be a good thing. Had I not dulled my spikes on the armored scales of the dragon, I might have done really serious damage later to Jerry Harper when I caught him trying to rape Mia.

I heard them drive up and park in front of my house, instead of hers. I'd been out there in the dark for quite a while, so my night vision was good. Nobody got out of the car, which was parked in front of the wrong house in the first place. So, being curious, I sort of wandered over that way. When I saw the car rocking a little on its springs, I confess the voyeur in me blossomed. I knew what was going on in that car. My princess was in there, spreading her legs for the Black Knight.

And it pissed me off like no dragon ever could.

But that was nothing compared to what I felt when I got close enough to hear her saying, "No, Jerry! I said I'm not going to do that! Let me go!"

And then he said, "You bitch. You've given that pussy to every other guy on the team. You're going to give it to me tonight. You're going to give it to me right fucking now!"

"No!" she squealed, as I opened the door.

She was lying down on the front passenger's seat, which had been reclined. He was between her thighs with his knees on the leading edge of the seat, holding her wrists as he fell on top of her, crushing her. His pants were down around his knees.

Those two pale, round butt cheeks were a target I simply couldn't resist.

So I whacked them with my morning star.

I didn't realize I did it until it was done. I hadn't even realized I still had the makeshift weapon in my hand. All I was doing was approaching the car to peek inside and see what was going on in there. But when I heard her tell him no, and then heard him say he didn't care what she thought, I just lost it.

As I said, the dragon's neck had thankfully bent the nails, so at least they didn't penetrate their entire length into his backside. It would have been real trouble if that had happened, because those nails were sticking out a good two or three inches when I first nailed them through.

But they did penetrate a little bit.

Four dark red spots popped into view on his white backside. He screeched, and I backed up, suddenly aware of just what I'd done.

He was going to kill me.

But then a funny thing happened as his ass lifted off of Mia. Blood ran from his wounds ... wounds I had inflicted. And I realized he was only human! He bled just like anybody else would have.

And that made me feel powerful. It was an epiphany I can't really explain, but suddenly the biggest bully in school was just a kid who I had drawn blood on, and could do so again if I wanted to.

It turned out I wanted to.

Mia had stopped crying and was breathing normally. We were sitting on my front porch. But I need to back up a little, because what happened before we got to the porch is important. He'd ripped her blouse open and pulled her bra up under her chin. That's how I first saw her when I finished punishing Jerry with my morning star, as he danced, screaming for me to stop and saying, "What the fuck?!" and, "Are you crazy?" and other things I can't remember. Eventually he ran. Actually, he shuffled. I let him go and he pulled his pants back up. Then he ran.

I turned to find the breasts I had so often dreamed of seeing, right there in front of me, just below her smooshed up bra, which was just under her chin, which had dropped down as her jaw sagged, as she watched me beat the living shit out of Jerry Harper with the handle of my morning star. She'd been so shocked by seeing me doing that that she couldn't even think to rearrange her clothing.

"You're hurt," she said, staring at me.

I tore my eyes away from her pale orbs, with their mysterious dark centers, and looked at my right wrist, where she was staring. Some part of my mind had insisted that a continued beating of Jerry with the business end of my weapon would be counterproductive, in terms of my continued freedom. So I had turned the thing around after hitting him with it a second time, and whaled away at any part of him I could reach with the handle. That had turned out to be most of his parts, because he couldn't defend himself with his pants down around his calves. I hadn't cared whether it was a fair fight or not.

But the bent nails in the end had torn my own flesh as I had wielded the handle to beat him with it.

"It's okay," I said, as the enormity of what I had done finally sank in. I was dead. What difference did some scratches on my arm make? "It doesn't hurt," I added.

I looked back at her breasts, whereupon she immediately saw where my eyes were and realized her condition. She hastily pulled the bra down and closed the blouse together to cover up Nirvana. I think I sighed. She looked at me sharply.

"I can't go home like this," she said. "My dad will kill me, and then go find Jerry and kill him."

"I like the part about him killing Jerry," I said. "But not you."

"Does your mother sew?" she asked.

"Are you kidding?" I replied. "She's got more crap in her sewing room than my dad does in the whole garage."

"Can you get me a needle and some thread without anybody knowing about it?" she asked.

I looked at our front windows. They were dark. My parents liked to go to bed early, now that us kids were all grown up. And there were still three of us at home, so someone walking around this time of night wouldn't draw any attention.

"I'll try," I said.

"And get some antiseptic and some bandages for your arm," she said.

"Really," I said. "It's okay."

"No it's not!" she said, her whisper conveying the sharpness of a spoken word. "Do what I said! Get some bandages and something to clean the wounds with!"

"Okay, okay," I whispered. "Wait here."

"Like I'd follow you around so your parents could catch us and see my blouse is torn?" She sniffed.

I went inside, where my brother Chuck and my sister Tiffany were in the family room, watching something on TV. The sound was down low so it wouldn't bother Mom and Dad. They ignored me. I went to Mom's sewing room. Finding a needle and thread was too easy, but I didn't know what color of thread I should get. So I pulled a couple of feet from four different spools and bit them off with my teeth. I took them back outside and gave them to Mia.

"Thank you," she said. Then, as she picked the blue thread, pulling it free from the others, she said softly, "Nobody ever fought for me before."

"He was wrong," I said. It was all I could think of to say.

"You saved me," she said.

"Of course," I replied. Again, it was all I could think of to say. Then I ruined it by adding, "We're buddies."

"Turn around," she said.


"I said turn around. I have to take the blouse off to fix it."

"Oh," I said. I turned my back to her. "You want me to go inside?"

"No." Her voice was soft, and held no malice. "Just don't look at me right now."

"Okay," I said.

It was quiet for a while. Sewing doesn't make much noise.

"You were staring at me," she said, breaking the silence.

"No I'm not. I turned around," I complained, defending myself.

"I mean before ... when I was still in the car. Before I fixed my bra."

"Oh," I said, closing my eyes and remembering the startling look of her breasts. It was like a dream. I might have smiled. If I did, it was a good thing she couldn't see it.

"It was like you'd never seen any before."

She had just been saved from being raped, and watched as her next door neighbor beat the crap out of one of the toughest guys in school, admittedly with a stick, but still there had to have been a lot on her mind. But for some reason, part of her brain recorded the fact that her savior had stared at her naked breasts. Not only that, but some mysterious magic that women have had told her it was virgin eyes staring at her breasts. I was astounded. In fact, I was so astounded that my own brain didn't work. Instead of saying, "I'm sorry," I said "You're so beautiful ... I couldn't help it."

"I'm not beautiful," she said. And this time there was malice in her voice. I wouldn't find out until much later that she was disgusted with herself. She didn't think she was worth much, because nobody other than her family ever told her she was. All the guys wanted was to fuck her, and all the girls thought she was a slut. Enough people send you that message and it sinks in, whether you want it to or not.

I turned around. I couldn't help it. She had just said something preposterous. I blinked. There she sat, wearing only her bra on her upper torso.

"Of course you are," I said vehemently. "Are you insane? You're the most beautiful girl in school!"

"You're not supposed to be looking at me," she said, her voice low.

"Tough," I said. "When you stop saying stupid things, I'll turn back around."

"You want to see them again," she said. "All the boys do. That's all they can talk about. 'Take your top off, Mia.' 'Come on, Mia, let me see those sweet titties.' 'You let Allen suck them ... let me too!'" Her voice had gone lower as she tried to sound like a boy. "That's all they want. That's all you want." She sounded like she was going to cry.

"No it's not," I said. "That's not what I want at all. I just want to be friends. That's all. Come on, Mia. You know I'm not like them."

She glared at me.

I turned around and went inside.

I was not to know it for a while, but when I left her sitting on my front porch, sewing up a tear in her blouse, it got me laid.

Seriously. Walking away got me laid.

Granted, it wasn't for another six months, but that was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back when it came to how Mia felt about me.

But I don't want to get ahead of myself. I want you to hear the whole story.

I guess Jerry came back and got his car later that night, because it wasn't there when I got up to go to school the next day. I didn't see her for three days after that. I didn't see her at school or at home. That is to say I saw her in school from afar, but we didn't talk. Our eyes didn't even meet. I think both of us were a little embarrassed.

Jerry didn't say a single word about how he got his injuries. I know that because I heard one of his best friends pestering him about it.

"Come on, Jerry. What happened? How'd you get all those cuts and bruises? It looks like somebody beat the crap out of you, man."

"Never mind," said Jerry, who happened to look up and see me at that exact moment.

I didn't know what to do. So I just stared back at him.

I didn't act any different than I had all through school. I went to classes, and went to Choir, where I sang tenor. The school musical was coming up, and they were having tryouts. It was Oklahoma this year. I had tried out for parts in the school musicals before, but hadn't gotten any really good parts. It took a lot of free time to rehearse for those things, so I wasn't too keen on wasting a couple of months doing that. It wasn't like I was going to a college for performing arts after high school. In fact, I wasn't sure I was going to college at all. I'd sent off applications, like everybody else, but I didn't really care if any of them accepted me. I think I was having an attack of the blues. I had become a criminal by assaulting Jerry, and the love of my life had scorned me as being just like every other boy. The fact that she was disgusted with boys meant she was also disgusted with me too. I mean ... isn't that how it works?

So imagine my surprise when she caught up to me after school and walked next to me like she had hundreds of times before. She didn't say anything, not even a greeting. Then, after about a block, she asked, "So ... are you trying out for Oklahoma?"

I didn't know what to think. I was a little rattled, you know? So I just told the truth.

"I don't think so," I said.

"Why not?"

"I'm getting a little old to be in that stuff," I said, trying to convince myself, most likely, instead of her.

"No you're not. You should try out for Curly's part."

"Curly? That's the lead, Mia!" I said, looking over at her. "I can't play the lead!"

"Why not?" she asked, like there was only some trifling reason I couldn't do it ... like maybe I had a dentist appointment that day or something.

"Because I'm not lead material," I said.

"I think you are," she replied.

Now, at this point, I realize all this might seem like just some stupid conversation between a guy and the girl who lives next door. But it was way more than that to me. It wasn't just some girl who lived next door. It was Mia. And Mia was the girl I had done battle over. Granted, it hadn't gotten me anything. I didn't get to ride off into the sunset with the princess. In fact, she hadn't even spoken to me for three days.

And now, suddenly, she was saying I was the kind of guy who could play the leading man in a world famous musical? It was such a ridiculous idea that, instead of freaking out, I just conversed with her about it as we walked along.

"Well thank you," I said, first. "But I sort of suspect that Mrs. Templeton would disagree with you about that." Mrs. Templeton was the music teacher, who also directed all the musicals. I was in her choir, which was an honor and all, but she'd never called on me to sing any solos or anything like that. And she had never suggested that I try out for anything in particular in one of her musicals. I always got a part, but it was always a supporting part. "Not to mention that Rick Voles would probably revive giving people wedgies if I went up against him." Rick Voles always got the lead roles. His parents were rich. He always got anything he wanted.

"Rick Voles couldn't stand up against you," she said. "I've seen you fight."

"You've seen me go off on some guy with a stick," I reminded her.

"I couldn't believe it was you," she said.

"Neither could Jerry," I said. I smiled for some reason.

"Thank you, by the way," she said.

"You're welcome." We walked on for another block before either of us spoke again. I was the one who broke the silence. "Of course he's probably going to beat the shit out of me any day now."

"No he won't," she said. She sounded very positive about that.

I looked over at her. "What makes you think that?"

"Because when I told him I'd have you beat him up again if he told anybody he'd had sex with me, he promised he wouldn't."

I stopped. My mind was whirling.

"Wait. He promised he wouldn't beat me up?"

"No. He promised not to tell anybody he had sex with me."

"He had sex with you?" My heart hit the bottom of my stomach like it was made of lead.

"Of course not!" she said. "I'm still a virgin, you idiot. You know that!"

"But you just said - !" I stopped. I didn't want to repeat what she'd just said.

"I said I made him promise not to lie about having sex with me, because he didn't have sex with me. That was thanks to you, by the way. You sure are dense for somebody who's so smart."

"Wait," I said, holding up my hand. "Just tell me exactly what happened, and exactly what you said to him."

She lifted her shoulders and sighed as she let them drop, like this was a horribly hard thing for her to do. I didn't buy it, though.

"We saw each other in the hallway. He was with his friends. When he looked at me, he looked scared, but I knew he was going to lie to all his friends. They all lie to each other about me. So I went up and grabbed his collar and pulled him away from the group. And I told him that if he lied about our date and said that he had sex with me, I was going to tell you to beat him up again."

I stared at her. "I am so dead," I whispered.

"No you're not. He promised he wouldn't lie, and then made me promise I wouldn't sic you on him again."

I blinked. "You're shitting me."

"No I'm not. He also made me promise not to tell anybody you were the one who beat him up."

'Daaayum!" I sighed.

We started walking again.

"So do you understand now?" she asked.

"Probably not," I admitted. "It's so strange to think of Jerry Harper being afraid of me."

"Well, he is."

"Huh," I said. I was getting more and more amazed.

We walked on while I thought about everything.

"If he wasn't afraid of me you'd have gotten me killed," I mentioned.

"I know," she said, as if that wasn't important. "But he is afraid of you. That's always the way it is. Stand up to a bully and he won't bully you anymore."

"How did you know he'd be afraid of me?" I asked.

"Are you serious?" She looked over at me. "I saw what you did to him. You were like a raging bull. Except it was more like ballet. You danced around and whacked him, and then you danced some more and whacked him again. You were so fast that it seemed like it was in slow motion or something. It was awesome!"

"You think it was awesome that I beat the crap out of some kid with a stick?" I have to say I was a little disappointed in Mia at that moment. I mean I had dreamed about being violent before, lots of times, in fact. But I didn't actually like the concept of violence. After all, the only violence I was actually familiar with up until that night was violence I perpetrated against inanimate objects - like trees - or which was perpetrated against me .

"I think it's awesome that Jerry Harper won't treat me like a slut anymore," she said.

I think I was still a little grumpy, which is probably why I said what I said then. "Well, you're going to run out of guys to date if you have me beat them all up."

She didn't laugh, which is what I expected her to do. Instead, she stopped, and reached to stop me too.

"Do you want to know why you haven't seen me for three days?"

"I'm not sure," I answered, honestly.

"It was because I couldn't be around you." She frowned. "I was afraid to be around you."

"You're afraid of me?" I was astonished. "Mia, you know I'd never hurt you."

"Not that," she said, waving her hand as if there was a bothersome mosquito flying around her head. "I wasn't afraid of you. I was afraid of me."

"What?" I was confused. That didn't make any sense at all.

"You fought for me," she said.

That made me sound like the white knight. But I knew I wasn't the white knight. I had only approached the car that night to peek through the windows and see the love of my life naked, being fucked royally by the king of the popular guys. I was merely a peeping Tom, a slimy little weasel who couldn't get his own girl, and could only watch while some other guy got his girl. And then, when I had reacted to what was going on, it had been just that - a reaction. I hadn't thought about it, or gotten indignant at how he was treating her or whatever. I had just gone into a rage, become a berserker. I hadn't done all that out of feelings of righteous indignation. I beat the motherfucker up out of jealousy and mindless rage.

"I just made him stop," I said.

"You make it sound like you told him to stop and he did. He was hurting me, Bobby! He was raping me! And you saved me. It was no little thing, Bobby!"

"Okay, okay," I said, getting a little embarrassed. Part of that was because she was so passionate, and that made her face darken, which made her even more beautiful. And I'll just admit it. I got a boner. "You're welcome," I said.

"You still don't get it," she groaned. "The reason I couldn't be around you until today is because every time I thought about being next to you, all I could think about was doing this!"

And then she kissed me.

I have to mention here that while Mia didn't go all the way on all those dates, she did engage in osculatory exercises. Apparently with abandon. What I'm saying is she was a good kisser. And I mean a really good kisser. In the next thirty seconds, I understood completely why guys ached to crawl between her soft, white thighs. If she kissed them like she was kissing me, they couldn't want anything else. I even felt a little sorry for Jerry Harper ... but only for a few seconds. My cock leaked in my pants, which is when I stopped thinking about Jerry, or anybody else except Mia, and tried to kiss her back. I say "tried" because unlike Mia, I did not have lots and lots of kissing practice under my belt. The only women I kissed were my mother, my sisters and Aunt Gertrude, who had a better mustache than I did. And I only kissed them on the cheek.

I realized I was dying, because even though my eyes were closed, I could see a tunnel with a bright light at the end. Then she took her lips away from mine and I realized I'd been holding the half breath I'd taken in, for the whole kiss. I wasn't dying. I was only oxygen starved. Which might be why I said what I said after I breathed in deeply.

"I'm not sure I understand," I said dreamily. "Could you do that again, please?"

She laughed, which woke me up. But it was a delighted laugh, that made my balls try to pull up inside my body. She was happy with me.

"No way, Jose," she said, pushing me toward our houses. "You're dangerous enough as it is."

I didn't understand that, but she didn't give me time to think about it. She kept me off balance by saying the most outrageous things.

"I've been so stupid," she said, conversationally. "I kept trying to find a guy who would listen to me, and respect me, and not treat me like trash, and all the time he was right next door to me."

"Say what?" I managed.

"But those days are over," she said, marching along. "The days of being sneered at, and laughed at are over. No more jerks for me. No more fighting off wandering hands, or listening to boys talk about me like I'm a hooker."

"Okay," I said.

"And it's all thanks to you," she said.

"Say what?" I asked again.

"I don't have to put up with that any more," she said. "Because I have a new boyfriend, a boyfriend who does respect me, and who will listen to me."

My heart hit the bottom of my stomach again. I wondered who it was who had finally seen that she was a real jewel, rather than a bauble to play with.

"Who's that?" I asked, dully.

"Don't be stupid," she said, as if we were disagreeing over what kind of bread one should buy. "It's you, of course."

"Me?" I'm quite sure I sounded like a girl at that moment.

"Of course," she said. "You're my new boyfriend."

"Me." I stopped and stared at her. She stopped too, but stepped back instead of toward me. It was almost like she was afraid of me.

"There is one problem, though," she said, frowning at me.

"What?" I asked, automatically.

"With all those other guys I had to fight them off," she said.

She took another step back.

"With you ... I don't want to."

Chapter Two >>