It was a Friday night and Fin had just left my apartment to go see Carrie. Kevin got up onto the couch where I sat and put his arms around me. I snuggled in closer, never tiring of this show of affection.
"So, how'd I do?" he asked in a hopeful, childlike manner.
"You heard Fin. You're doing amazingly. He said, and I concur, that you are making remarkable progress. I mean, a month ago even, you still weren't sure this was real, even after you performed your first spell. Now you're almost as powerful as Fin."
"Now, let's not take this too far," he said, half-joking, half-serious.
"I'm serious, Kevin!" I said, turning to face him. "You pick this stuff up like lint, pardon the cliché."
"Well, it's easy!" he declared, and then the expression on his face humbled. "I mean, at the beginning it was hard, but I think that's just because I was stuck, you know? I mean, I couldn't get the telepathy thing because I couldn't believe it was real yet. But now, its like. . .it's the most amazing feeling in the world, and for once I don't have to study my butt off just to remember something. It stays in here," he said, tapping the side of his head. "For once in my life, it feels like I might not be stupid after all."
"You were never stupid, Kevin," I said seriously.
He had his eyes averted and I knew that he was in one of his easily embarrassed and slightly insecure moods.
I said, "Look at me." Still his eyes were away. "Please," I whispered.
This time he looked and I could hear the unformed, general apology floating around in his head. Cupping his face in my hands I held his gaze and said, "You are not stupid. You re one of the most intelligent people I know." He scoffed at this and tried to turn away. "No, listen to me! You are very intelligent and school smarts has nothing to do with it. You are one of the most amazing people I have ever met. Stellar, even," I added, smiling.
"Stellar?" he laughed.
"Yeah, come on, baby, it's stellar! Stellar is in!"
Kevin just laughed and wrapped his arms around me for a tight hug. "I love you so much."
He froze. His heart beat faster. He pulled away from me muttering, "I mean, I didn't. . .all I mean was. . .that i. . ."
I ran a finger down the side of his face to his lips and stopped him from talking. Looking deep into his eyes, mind, and heart I whispered, "I love you, too."
I felt his breath release and his muscles relax. He smiled sheepishly. He leaned forward and kissed me gently. His lips never felt so good against my own.
When we pulled away we looked into each others eyes for a moment before I smiled, jumped up, and said, "Come on."
"Where are we going?" asked Kevin, tentatively taking my hand and standing.
"Well," I started slowly, walking toward the bathroom, "for a long time now, I've thought to myself, wow, Kevin's hair would look absolutely fantastic if I just. . .changed it a little bit. I tried it once before but you weren't sure. Now I want to do it properly. And your clothes. . .Will you let me dress you, Kevin?"
His mouth opened and closed a couple of times without making any noise while he sought words to speak.
"I know, I know. It's not what you were expecting me to say, right? But that's okay. Please let me do this." Still he hesitated. "Come on, if we're going to go party my way tonight, you have to look the part. . .well, you don't have to, but you would look really hot if you did."
"What, I'm not hot now?" Kevin asked in mock offense.
I poked him playfully in the stomach in response.
"Okay," he said, putting his hands up. "Okay, okay, I relent." Kevin spread his arms wide and put his head back. "Have your way with me," he declared.
"There'll be time enough for that later. What I need you to do is go into the kitchen and grab a chair. Then come back here and take off your shirt."
"Yes, ma'am," he said winking and giving me a kiss before he left.
While Kevin was getting the chair, I went into my bedroom and looked in my closet. I pulled out a pair of plain black dress pants that would fit Kevin perfectly. Off of a hanger I pulled down long-sleeved shirt much like the blue one I'd gotten for him earlier, except that this one was black. I then went to my dresser and pulled out a black Godsmack band T-shirt from their most recent tour, a pair of black sock and a pair of boxers. When I was through I brought them all back to the bathroom where Kevin was waiting, topless, as I'd asked.
I placed the clothes on the sink counter and told him I'd be right back. There was only one other thing I needed to get. I grabbed an extra large bath towel from the closet and brought it back.
"Now what?" he asked.
"Now," I replied, "I'm going to ask you nicely to lean your head over the tub so I can wash your hair."
"Why do you need to wash my hair? Do you think I'm dirty or something?
"Yes," I said, smiling coyly, "but not the way you're thinking about." Kevin sat with his mouth open, trying to think of something to say. "Just put your head over the tub, will you?"
He looked at me questioningly, and for a brief moment I felt him try to get into my mind to see my plan. I blocked his gentle probe and said, "Nice try. But you're just going to have to trust me on this one."
Slowly he got off the chair and to his knees to lean over the tub. I ran the water until it was warm and gave his hair a quick wash.
"That actually felt kind of nice," Kevin allowed as I towel dried his hair. "Like a head massage." I laughed a little and kissed the top of his head. "Now what?" he asked.
"Now, I take this towel that I brought in here before I washed your hair and wrap it around you. Then," I said grabbing a clip from under the sink, "I'm going to put this clip here to hold the towel in place."
"April," Kevin said seriously, "do you think you're going to cut my hair?" There was a tone almost like nervousness to his voice.
"I don't think. I know."
"Oh, no you don't," he replied, standing up and trying to unclip the towel. "You are not cutting my hair!"
"Why not?" I asked. I took the scissors out from under the sink.
"Because you're not!"
"Kevin, that's not an answer. Just trust me, okay? And if you don't like it, then you can grow it out again and I will never cut it again." He looked at me closely. "Please."
"Fine," he conceded, sitting back down on the chair. "But if you screw this up you are never touching my hair again. . .Have you ever done this before?"
"Nope." And I took the first cut of his hair.
Twenty minutes later I had achieved the length I had wanted. "See? Not so bad."
"Could I have a mirror to see what it looks like?"
"Sorry, I can't do that. So, now I'd like you to put these clothes on, and then let me finish up with your hair."
"Um, okay, I think I can do that," he replied. "But why the socks and shorts too? The ones I'm wearing are clean."
"They may be clean, but they aren't black. Hawaiian boxer shorts just don't work. They don't match."
"Since when does underwear have to match?' he asked, looking at me as if I were nuts.
"Just humour me, okay?"
Kevin sighed but undid his belt. His pants dropped to the floor before he bent down and took off his socks. All that was left were his boxers. When those came off the heat rose to my cheeks almost immediately. It didn't matter how many times I'd seen Kevin naked, his beautiful body always got to me.
I walked over to him and cupped his balls with my left hand while my right hand reached around and caressed his buttocks.
Kevin made a very pleased noise before he said, "What are you doing that for? I thought you wanted to dress me or mess up my hair or something. His penis twitched above my fingers as it started to get hard.
"I'm sorry," I said, moving my hand to stroke his growing erection. "I just wanted to let you know what you have to look forward to tonight."
He grained again. "You mean you got me all worked up for nothing?"
"Not for nothing. It'll give you something else to think about tonight instead of what to say or how to act when we get to Shaggy's."
"You're taking me to Shaggy's?" he exclaimed.
But instead of answering, I just winked, bent down and kissed the tip of his penis.
"Don't be so nervous," I said to Kevin as we walked in the door of Shaggy's.
"How can I not be?" Kevin asked as he once again probed one of the spikes I'd made of his hair. I pulled his hand away as he said, "This is only the only goth club in town, and I've probably either made fun of, or beat up, or both, half of the people in here. I don't think my reception will be too welcoming."
I turned to him. "Kevin, despite what you may think you know from past experiences, people here won't hold too many grudges. And besides, they probably won't even recognize you. I did do a marvelous job," I concluded in a mock proud tone of voice.
"You're good at everything you do."
I stood on tiptoe and kissed him. "Are you ready to have some fun?"
That night I lay in Kevin's arms, listening to his breathing slow back down to its normal pace after we'd made love for the second time. I stroked his arm with the tips of my fingers as I let myself feel everything I never thought I would. Uncertainly I asked him, "Did you really mean what you said tonight?"
I knew he knew what I was talking about so I didn't feel the need to clarify myself. Kevin turned me over in his arms so that I was looking directly into his eyes. He said, "I meant everything. I do love you very much."
I smiled. "Kevin?" I asked. "Will you move in with me?"
"Nothing would make me happier." And he made love to me again.
Two weeks later saw the last of Kevin's things moved into my apartment. His mom, Lynda, and sister, Jayme, helped bring in everything and carry it up the stairs. Even Kevin's just turned three-year-old brother, Justin, was there to help. He carried some of the smaller things, like one of Kevin's previously forgotten portable CD holders. Now all that remained to do was to find a home for all of Kevin's stuff.
"Would you like anything to drink?" I asked Lynda and Jayme.
"No, thank you," replied Lynda. "I've got to take Justin home and get him ready for bed."
"Oh, okay then." I walked over to Lynda and gave her a hug. "Than you so much for all your help."
"Yeah, thanks mom," Kevin said, coming forward and giving his mom a hug. "I really appreciate everything you've done for me." We all knew Kevin meant for more than just helping him move.
Lynda turned to Jayme. "Do you need a ride home?"
Before Jayme had a chance to respond, I offered, "Jayme can stay here tonight. You could help us unpack some stuff if you want. We could order a pizza, rent a video."
Jayme looked at Kevin to see if this was okay with him too since he did live here now. "Um, sure, I'll stay," Jayme said after Kevin let her know it was alright with him.
"Okay." Lynda picked up Justin and brought him to the door. "Well, you kids have a good night unpacking. Jayme, I'll see you tomorrow after school. Kevin, give me a call when you get settled in and I'll have you and April over for supper."
"Sure thing, mom."
When all the final good-byes were said, I turned to Jayme and said, "Do you want to order pizza now for unpacking, or later for the movie?"
"Now, I think," she replied. "That way we'll be hungry again for popcorn during the movie."
"Okay, I'll order us some pizza."
Half an hour later when the pizza arrived, the three of us were already half way finished unpacking. As we ate we talked and Jayme started asking me some questions, which ultimately led me to the realization that Pink is not a good last name for me.
"So, April, when is your birthday?"
I smiled a little. "Two days from now."
"Two days from now," Jayme repeated quietly. "You were born on April Fool's Day?" She laughed a little. "That's kind of funny, you being born in April and your name is April. Ha. April Fool's Day."
"I know," I replied. "You can thank my father for that. He just had to call me April."
"What's your middle name then?" asked Jayme in a mock worried tone of voice.
"You don't want to know," I answered.
"Come on, what is it?"
I wasn't answering her. It was kind of embarrassing. But before I protested or answered, Kevin poked his head out from behind a box and said, "Rose." I cringed.
"Rose?" asked Jayme. "Is that your middle name?" I nodded. "April Rose," she mused. "That's actually kind of pretty."
"Yeah, well, you can thank my father for that one too."
"Yep," said Kevin as he rose to get another piece of pizza. "When we get married, she'll be April Rose Pink. Kind of has a springtime feel to it, doesn't it?"
"Oh, shut up," I said smiling. "Did it ever occur to you that I might want to keep my own last name?"
"Nope," he said, and ducked as I threw a ball of paper at him.
"So, you guys are actually thinking about getting married?" Jayme put in.
Kevin and I looked at each other. "Well, the subject had come up every once in a while, but we're not making plans or anything," I answered.
Jayme responded, "I think it would be very cool if you guys got married. April, you'd be the best sister-in-law ever."
"Thank you," I said. "Oh, and peaking of together, how did things go when you talked to Alex? Not too bad, I assume, since you aren't seeming too down."
Jayme looked at me for a moment before responding. Then she broke out into a huge grin. "It was fantastic!" she declared. "He was so great about it. In fact, he was actually very interested in what I was saying. He thought it was very cool. He told me that he didn't care about if I had funky powers or anything, he said he liked me and if being me involved powers, then he liked them too." Here she sighed. "He's so great, isn't he?"
I laughed. "Well, he took it a lot better than Kevin did when I first told him."
We all laughed then. Jayme knew the circumstances around what happened and how Kevin had that mild break down. We can all laugh about it now, but at the time Kevin and I were both very scared. Jayme, on the other hand, took the news very well. It turns out she'd already discovered that there was something different about her and was already learning to feel other people's thoughts. That was how she was able to defend Justin so quickly all those times.
"Well, I'm happy for you guys," I declared.
Kevin said, "You know what? I've had enough unpacking for one night. Who wants to go with me to get that video?"
Jayme and I both raised our hands.
Two days later, on my April Fool's Birthday, there were a lot of people packed into Carrie's and Fin's apartment. A lot of those who were there I knew only through acquaintance, and others, like Kevin's friend Jamal, who I didn't expect to see at all.
When Jamal showed up, he came over to me and wished me a happy birthday. What surprised me the most was when he pulled me into a hug and whispered into my ear, "I just wanted to say I'm sorry for everything. You're a good person and you've made Kevin very happy."
When we pulled apart I had tears in my eyes, and I was barely able to whisper a thank you. Just hearing those words meant so much to me. Maybe my life won't be so lonely after all.
Later, after cake had been served and gifts opened, Carrie and Fin stood up and announce that they had one more gift for me.
"I know that we are all here for April on this day," began Fin with his soft Irish lilt, "and it has been such a joyous day. But we wanted to offer one more gift that we know will be appreciated and loved by April." Here he turned to Carrie and she smiled as she looked at me.
"We're pregnant," she announced, and I don't think I've ever seen her look happier.
Angie and I both let out squeals of joy as I jumped off of my chair and raced to embrace Carrie and Fin. Not seconds after, I felt Angie's arms around me as well.
"Oh, my gosh," I said through muffled sobs and three pairs of arms. "This is so great."