II

By the time I was fourteen and a half I felt more cheated then ever. I was alone in a chaotic house. Couples started to form up like weeds at school. Beautiful full figured girls and boys with slicked back hair. I couldn't walk through the halls without hearing their whispers of love and lust. Or without seeing them arm in arm, or face too face. We had a rule at our school that no coupling was allowed but everyone did it anyway. It became a game, and a challenge to make out in the halls and not get caught. Everyone defied the rules, and no one ever got caught for it. I felt like I was drowning; I had never even been asked out on a date, let alone been put in the position to break rules like that. Though I knew for sure that if I was in that position that I would break them every free chance that I could.

It was during those bleak days- it was fall again and Alison who had been nicknamed Alli (as in my mother at dinner parties introducing her daughters as: "Jeni, and Alli" with rhyming first names) was two, that my mother stopped coming home for dinner. It suddenly became my job to pick Alli up from daycare. I would walk, even in the pouring rain because I couldn't ride my bike with her on it. I'd sign her out of the little building and then walk back home. As a child I had loved rain but as a teenager I had come to hate it. Alli cried the whole way home; she would wriggle and struggle in my arms.

For months during this time I would dream of accidentally tripping on my walk home and how Alli an infant again, would somehow roll into the street and get run over. It wasn't that I wanted her dead, it was just that I didn't understand why so much of my life had to be sacrificed for someone who couldn't even talk yet. Alli's ungratefulness, even if it was coming from a baby made me wish that she had never been born.

After I had come home one night, wearing a yellow rain jacket and still holding Alli in my cold and wet arms I went up to my fathers workshop over the garage. My father and I were practically strangers now. When I wanted to talk he listened, but if I didn't come to him he didn't confront me. I would read in a book years later that it's the opposite of what your parents do for you that you yearn for the most. I wanted more then anything in the world for my father to come in and kiss me goodnight again, but each night, he never did. I told my father that this wasn't working. That the only time mom ever came home was so late at night that we we're all asleep already. I told him that it wasn't my fault that Alli was so young. I told him that I wasn't her mother. I got his attention and after removing his plastic glasses he took Alli away from me and walked me back inside. He was standing over the stove, stirring a steaming pot of noodles when he told me the news.

My mother had been promoted at Sacson and Grant, not just promoted but assigned to a huge case, which by that time she was already winning. He told me in detail how she was suing a tobacco company for the family of a women who had recently died of cancer. How the women had been ill for years and had lost her house because of her medical bills. He said that if mom won, she wouldn't have to work anymore. I was young enough to know what that meant, and also old enough to realize that suing a company like that was big news. I was happy for her, I really was, I knew that this was what she wanted. What she had worked her whole life for, but still I felt like I was being cheated somehow.

The news came like a flash of lightening. It was one flash after another actually. My mother standing on the steps of the courthouse being interviewed by the news. Karen White standing almost dwarf-like in front of the two sons of the women who had died of cancer. The verdict rang throughout the State like bells, people knew my mother by name and shook her hand in the grocery store, even the kids at school knew about it, but no one ever made the connection that I was her daughter. I cut myself off from it, going days without turning on the television. I had seen my mother (in person) once in a little over a week and I had no planes on seeing her anytime soon. It was Spring and I began taking long walks around the neighborhoods and surrounding roads. It was still chilly outside and I put on an old sweater of my fathers and with a house key in my hand I just started walking. Part of me wanted my parents to realize that they had a baby at home who needed parents rather then a fourteen, almost fifteen year old girl hanging around to mess her up. But like always, another part of me wanted them to notice that I wasn't there.

I can remember walking so far that day that my feet were aching. I had on a pair of tennis toes and my ankles were throbbing. I had just taken a step when a rolling basketball hit my foot. I hadn't even heard people playing but when I picked it up to throw it back I saw that a few houses down a group of boys were playing a game. One of them; a taller Hispanic boy with a cubby face stepped out to me. He gestured with his arms and I tossed him the ball. "Good throw!" He said, I smiled and said thank you. I was a girl who had never really thrown a ball before in her life; getting a complement like that sent me into: "Jeni be on your best behavior" attitude. I'll admit though that I was acting a little coy. "You're that girl" he stammered, I felt like I had just been dunked into a black and white movie.

"What girl?" I asked, internally I was pleading with myself, please don't say your mother's the one of TV.

"You're mom's the one on the news!" It was more of a statement rather then a question, he knew who I was. I smiled again and shrugged.

"No it's cool." This boy wasn't particularly attractive, but he was paying attention to me, which no matter how he looked glued me to my spot of the sidewalk. "I'm Chris, by the way."

He put out his hand: "Hi, I'm Jeni."

"Yeah I know."

"Do you go to Northridge?" Northridge was the school that I was going to at the time.

He smiled; "No, I'm about to graduate from OHS." OHS was the high school.

One of the other players in the game stepped out from the driveway: "Hey Chris common?" I could already tell that he and Chris we're brothers by the way that they looked.

"Well it was good meeting you, Jeni from Northridge."

I smiled; I was beyond speaking at that point. I made it a part of my routine to walk by that house every chance I got. Over and over again I would casually stroll by, walk slow, but make sure that I looked flirty enough that should Chris see me in the window or something I would look approachable. He never came. I learned though that he didn't actually live there, that it was the house of another boy, who was also playing in the basketball game that day. I thought about ringing the doorbell and asking him about Chris, but I worried that he would think that I was stalking him or something.

About a month past before I saw Chris again. It was at the same house and he was talking to his friend -the one that lived there- in the driveway when I walked by. He called out to me, and I stopped. "How've you been?"

"Good." It was starting to warm up and I was in a long sleeve shirt and my hair was up in a ponytail. With him standing so close to me now, I realized just how tall he was; how dark his eyes were against his olive colored skin.

"Do you want to go for a ride or something?"

He had his car with him; it was a brand new blue car. I could see it shinning across the street from the corner of my eye. I smiled wide: "Ok." I had never gone 'this far' with anyone before, and I let him take my hand as he walked me across the street. I felt kind of like a kid again with my parents holding my hands when I walked, his palm was hot and sweaty.

"Where do you want to go?" He asked.

"Anywhere's fine." I realized that I should have had a mental list of places to name off should anyone ever ask me that question. Later that night when I got home, I would narrow a list down to ten and read them over until I memorized them.

He took me to a sit down restaurant and we ordered bacon cheeseburgers and fries. I was starving and I ate every bite. We talked about everything; my family, his family. It turned out that the boy who had called out to him at the game was his brother. That he was the oldest and that he lived with his father and two younger brothers in a posh neighborhood; he was practically next-door-neighbors to the Governess Mansion. We talked about school; how I had a good four years of high school left while in the fall he was going off to the University of Washington. I told him that my mother had gone there and he sounded impressed. He asked how old I was, and I told him that I was fifteen and he laughed. "Fifteen is a huge year" he said, "and I missed your birthday, someday I'll make it up to you."

By the time I got home it was dark and later then I thought it was. Chris dropped me off in front of my house and said that he would be happy to go in and explain why we we're so late to my parents but I told him no. I realized that this had technically been a "date" and in the rush of getting home so quick their had been no time for the 'first date rituals'. I quickly licked my lips; I had already taken my seat belt off and partially opened the door when I turned back to him. "I had a really fun time Chris." he smiled, and said that he had as well. I leaned in, and he didn't stop me. I wanted this to be beautiful; a loving, lovely, tender moment. I wanted him to grab me and throw me against the dashboard, but I was too scared too linger, it turned into a momentary peck on the lips and before he had time to react I was out of the car and running toward the front door. I waved before he drove away and I realized in a fright that we hadn't exchanged phone numbers. In my dread I came to the conclusion that he wouldn't want to see me again anyway.

When I opened the front door it was like World War III had landed. My mother was home for a change and my father was sitting beside her on the couch. Though my mother was small she could pack a lot of anger into her small frame. The first thing I heard was shouting and her finger in my face. And then my father shouting at her, to stop shouting or they'll all wake Alli up. "Where have you been? Do you know what time it is?" My mother screamed. I really had no idea what the exact time was. I had never had reason to go out and so I had never really been given a curfew. I poked my head over my mother's shoulder and looked at the clock, it was almost midnight.

"Oops." I wasn't trying to be funny, but it was all that came out.

"Oops?" My mothers questioning tone made me angry.

"Where have I been?" I shouted, "Where have you been?"

"Don't take that tone with." She said it in the same tone that she didn't want me to take with her, and I couldn't help but laugh. I watched as she bristled.

"Please, or we'll wake the baby." My father always the voice of reason.

I wasn't in the mood for either of them, "I'm going to bed."

"What does that mean?" She asked.

I started walking up the stairs, at the top I turned around and waited for them to look at me: "What time did you get home, mother."

It was the next day that I learned about 'the plan'. To begin with my mother was home when I woke up which startled me. Second was that she had quit her job at Sacson and Grant. The day continued on its unusual track when my mother sat me down and told me the story about how she had taken Theater classes all through high school and college. That she had minored in it at the University. I sat there listening to her and I got blurry eyed from the way that she was talking. I had never heard her speak with so much enthusiasm in all of my life. She was actually smiling.

She said that she had already looked into it, and that there was a job in Kent teaching Drama at a high school if she wanted it. She said that she had wanted it for so long that it hurt to think about not doing it. She said that they had already looked into renting the house out, (it was a family home and I knew that my father would never sell it.) She said that they were already looking at land to build a house on. "Daddy and his company can build it for us; we can design the whole thing ourselves."

I parted my lips to speak but only air came out; my fingertips were numb from holding my hands so tightly. "We're moving?"

When I told Chris that I would be leaving I expected a grand spectacle, him telling me that we would always be together, that distance would never part us and so on. But really all he did was roll his shoulders; he would be leaving in the summer anyway to go to college, and we would actually be living closer together with me in Kent. He kissed me and told me not to worry, by then we we're really kissing. He told me that all I had to do was open my mouth and that he would get it started and then when I felt like it I could start moving my tongue with his.

At the end of April he took me out for the 'birthday celebration' that he had missed. He took me to the same restaurant that he had taken me to that first night, and ordered me a cake and had the whole staff sing me happy birthday. I smiled, but my cheeks we're turning red. I was so conflicted, a part of me wanted everyone in the world to see that I was here, at this restaurant with a boy and a huge group of waiters and waitresses singing me happy birthday as though I was someone who mattered. But another part of me wanted to scrunch up and hide.

When the singing ended and I had already taken a bite of my tiny cake Chris brought out a tiny silver box and slide it over the table to me. I looked at it, my fork was still in my hand and I realized that I would have to put it down to pick the box up. He had gotten me a present? Why would he do that? I put my folk down carefully, I worried that I might have food stuck between my teeth. "You shouldn't have." That was what you we're supposed to say right?

"Yes I should!"

I took the box in my hands, the covering was as soft as velvet and I pushed the top up slowly. Inside was a necklace. Again I said that he really didn't need to do that, and he stood up from his side of the booth to come around and clasp it around my neck. At best it was a twenty dollar necklace that you buy at a grocery store with the price tag already on it. It was littered with tiny cubic zirconium-like diamonds incrusting the outer layer of a gold heart. It was a staple piece for all jewelers, and every girl in America had a necklace like that. I knew that I should give it back -for some reason I didn't feel right about it- but I didn't. When he sat back down I brushed my fingers over its ruff edge of sparkle and smiled at him. I liked feeling that I was worth something.

After dinner Chris took me back to his house. It was a mansion, as I had originally suspected, styled after an old Italian Villa. It had creamy yellow walls and a brown singled roof. He said that his father had built it for his mother and he showed me to one of the windows in the living room where you could see the Governors Mansion down the hill. I was struck dumb. I met his youngest brother Tito, who was twelve and playing video games on the couch. His other brother Horado; the one that called out to him the first day that we met was in his room listening to music. I could hear the booming bash through the walls, the singer was screaming and the melody was haunting. "Do you want to go upstairs?" He asked and I said yes.

He took my hand and lead me up the stairs, with each step the music from his brothers room got louder and louder. I liked it. I realized that these boys had a freedom that I had never even seen before. At home I could never be this alone with so many people in the house. The only time that I had heard music that loud was from sporty cars that sped by my mother's Jetta with the windows down.

Chris' room was huge, at least twice the size of my own room. It was dark and shadowy with only a tiny yellow light in the corner on but I could see everything just the same. He had posters up on the wall and a large bed in the corner, I was standing in the middle of the room turning my head around to look at everything, and when I turned back he was sitting on it. "Come here" I did as he asked and sat down next to him. The music from the other room was muted with the door closed; thick walls, I thought, my father would love to see this house.

Chris kissed me soft at first but then harder. I could feel a ball forming in my stomach and a knot in my throat. He grabbed my hand and I pulled away slightly. "What do you want to major in?" I asked, I couldn't think of anything else to say. I was biting my lip waiting for him to answer.

Pulling back a little he whispered: "Lets not talk about it."

Its strange to think now how I turned myself off, before I knew it I was lying on his bed and he was on top of me. Though Chris was not as tall as my father- he was only a inch or two taller then I was- he was bulky. His arms were fat and heavy at my sides and his gut weighed me down. His mouth was so hot that it burned my lips and his hands we're all over me. As he kissed me he began rubbing my stomach, his hand moving up and crawling under my bra. Then his hand went down further until he was rubbing my legs and then my crotch. His hand was outside of my jeans but I could feel the sensation of an electric numbness when he cupped his hand and began to stroke. I felt trapped by his mouth, his body, and his hand. I knew that I wanted to go all the way, but I wasn't sure if this was the right time to do it.

"Wait!" I breathed, I had to bite my lips to keep the sensation inside of me. He pulled himself up slightly, enough to let me breath for a moment. In the stillness of us I realized now that he had unbuttoned my jeans and that his finger was inside of me now.

He looked taken aback: "What's the matter? Don't you want to?"

"I do," I said, and kissed him sweetly, a childish peck as our first kiss had been, he was still leaning against me, unmoved like a statue. "I'm just not sure." I could feel his stiffness against my leg, I knew that already it had gone far. I watched as he sat up, a strange look on his face. His pants were undone as well and I could see his erection. I felt like I had been the one to do this to him, and if I didn't do something then he would think that I was a baby. I leaned against his ear; "I'll give you a blowjob if you want?" His eyes were closed and he didn't answer but I knew that I could.

Slowly I got down on my knees on the floor while he stayed sitting on the bed. His fists were clenched at his sides and it seemed like his whole body was pulsating. I didn't know what I was doing but I did it anyway. Pulling his boxer shorts down slightly I pulled him out, the skin was thick and red in my hand and when I cupped my fingers over him and started sliding it down he trembled. I could feel his pleasure in the bones of my hand and I licked my lips and went down to him. I put only the tip of his penis into my mouth to begin with, moving my tongue in a circular motion slowly. He moaned and I brought more of him into me. As disgusting as it had always seemed to me when thinking of this, I realized that it wasn't that bad. I was rubbing the top of his legs with my hands and I could feel the necklace that he had given me against my breast. He moaned quietly at first and then began to rock back and forth. His breathing became labored and he put his hands on my head, his fingers so tight; mimicking the pressure of my lips. He stroked my hair and I listened to his loud breaths. I knew that he would cum soon and started to pull myself off but his hands kept me there. Suddenly my mouth filled with his liquid and before I could think to spit I swallowed.

When I was finished he pulled me up onto the bed and we lay there together. He was calmer now; less forceful then before and he held me tight, only kissing me lightly when he did. I wondered if all of it had been a dream, if I had done something wrong or if I was dirty for doing it. I wondered how many of the boys that I had grown up with all my life had been like Chris. I wondered what their own moans of pleasure sounded like. Or how many of the girls that I knew had done this. Was I the only one who hadn't already?

"I'm ganna miss you when I go away." His voice was hoarse as though he had been shouting. I wondered if he really would miss me? After all he barely knew me. As I lied there thinking I realized that I didn't know yet if I would miss him either.

Before we left I asked him again what he wanted to major in at school. He had gotten up and was changing his pants while I buttoned mine back up. "Theater" he said matter-of-factly. "I want to be an actor." I realized with a strange jolt that he would be the perfect boy to bring home to my mother.

When Chris dropped me off at home it was dark inside and my parent we're still asleep. On the night that I had actually done something worth yelling at me for they had fallen asleep. I could hear their breathing as I walked up the stairs. Did they even know that I was out of the house? As I made my way to my room I saw that Alli's door was open. Her room was an identical replica of mine and I stood in the doorway and watched her. The curtains at the window we're open and I could see the stars; bulbous balls of light in the darkness. I went to the window and stood there watching, my throat felt thick and I could still taste Chris on my lips; the sour scent of skin. I turned to Alli, sleeping so sweetly in her crib. She would be three in a month and already I could see that she would look nothing like me. She had a full head of curly brown hair and a beautiful face; she was the exact opposite of what I looked like as a baby. "I'm not their real daughter," I whispered into the darkness, "you are!"

By the end of the school year my parents had given me a cell phone of my very own. It was blue with tiny stars on it and I flipped it up and down when I was board. But by the end of the summer Chris was the only person that I had given my number to, and even after he left for college he never called.

A/N: Finally we have chapter two, and I'm sorry that I haven't updated this since March. Its funny that I had this all written and I had actually planed to upload it the week that I had my car crash. But with the explosion of inspiration that I got from that, all of my poetry kind of pushed this to the side. I'd like to thank all of the people who reviewed this and gave me such positive feedback. This is a story that's been running around in my head for so long that I have multiple versions of it everywhere and I've never really been sure if it was good or not. Thanks again for reading and I hope that you enjoyed it. Much love, Juliet.