The Great Pretenders- Andrew and Keely have been best friends since diapers. When Keely lies to her boyfriend that she's not a virgin, she goes to Andrew, the person she trusts the most, with a proposition: take her virginity, so that prom night, her boyfriend won't know that she lied. But if you want to lose your v-card to your best friend instead of your boyfriend, isn't it time to do a little thinking? *
As far as first boyfriends go, Dean Thompson seemed like a pretty good one. He had dark hair and eyes, and a crooked smile that sent all of the girls at Prescott Prep into a frenzy.
Of course, Dean hadn't been Keely's completely first boyfriend. That honor had gone to Bobby Larson in the fifth grade. He had been the best in the class at four-square and had had a smile that made her heart melt. One day after lunch, he had approached her with a grape popsicle—the kind that was really two popsicles stuck together and had a joke on the bottom of the stick. He had broken it in half and handed her one, asking if she would be his girlfriend. It was brave of him at that age. Usually boys sent their friends to ask a girl if she was interested first, but Bobby had been confident. Of course Keely had agreed and they had sat on the school steps eating their popsicles, their tongues and teeth stained a deep purple color.
From then on, it had become a habit. Every day after lunch, Bobby would bring her a popsicle and they would sit on the stoop and eat them. The pair never spoke, simply licked their icy treats together and watched the other kids play on the blacktop.
Three weeks later, Bobby had decided that he liked a girl named Tracy better than he liked Keely, and without even letting her know that the two were breaking up, Tracy had been sitting on the steps with a popsicle of her own.
Trent Johnson had followed in the eighth grade. He was on the basketball team, and Keely had developed a huge crush on him after he had told her she looked pretty at a school dance. From then on, she and her girlfriends had taken to sitting in the bleachers of the gym during basketball practice to watch Trent play.
After a while, he had started giving Keely 'the nod,' which her friends had insisted meant that he was into her. One afternoon, when she had been waiting in line for the school bus, Trent had approached her and asked if she wanted to hang out.
He was her first kiss—an awkward make out in her friend's dusty basement. They had talked on the phone every so often, and had brief conversations. But eventually, he had broken up with her over Instant Messenger.
But Trent and Bobby didn't count. No, Dean was her first real boyfriend and he was perfect. He had transferred into Prescott Prep—her prestigious boarding school on a secluded lake in Vermont—halfway through their senior year, and had immediately become a top commodity. He had come in on a baseball scholarship and was planning to stay an extra year before joining the major leagues.
His good looks had had all of the girls swooning when he first arrived, but somehow, Keely had been the lucky one to catch his attention. After countless pick up attempts, flowers at her door, and secret notes on her pillow (with help from her roommate), she had finally accepted his proposals and the two became a couple.
She loved the way his eyebrows furrowed together while he was eating, as if his food was the most important thing in the world. She loved the way he always tucked her hair behind her ear when he said hello. And most importantly, she loved the way it felt when he kissed her.
Still, though Dean was a hugely important part of her life, there was one person who had always taken precendence—her best friend Andrew Evans. They had met in the park when they were only toddlers, and had bonded over a missing shovel in the sandbox. Their mothers had been chatting on the bench nearby and had become fast friends, bringing their children over quite often to play together during barbeques and get-togethers at the pool.
Andrew was the most vivid memory of her childhood—She could think back to making forts, climbing trees, catching frogs in the nearby pond and getting stuck in the mud.
Keely could remember starting Junior High with Andrew. All of the girls in her class would giggle when he's say hello to her, insisting that he liked her. But she would always reassure them that they were simply best friends and would never be anything more. "Eighth grade Trent" had hated Andrew and had often asked her not to talk to him. Of course, she had refused—the main reason that their three-month relationship had come to a close.
When Andrew informed her, at the end of their eighth grade play, that his mother was forcing him to transfer to boarding school, she was devastated. She cried and begged her mother for weeks to let her switch as well. After eons of pleading, her mother finally did a little research and decided that Prescott Prep was indeed a better school than the public high school in their town. Only then had she relented.
So, Andrew and Keely had started Prescott Prep together as freshmen. Of course, everyone at Prescott thought they were obviously "secretly in love," and so they were forced to debunk new rumors. It was weird to their peers that a boy and a girl could be best friends without any sexual tension. They didn't understand the fact that she had known Andrew since he had been wearing pull-ups and couldn't possibly imagine herself dating him, even if he was admittedly a very attractive guy.
The group of girlfriends she had met freshman year thought she was crazy.
"Andrew Evans is number one on the list of hottest guys in our class!" her friend Danielle had squealed to her once at a sleepover in one of their dorm rooms, as if it would somehow sway her opinion. "You could totally date him and you don't want it to happen. You must like girls, Keely."
She had tried to explain to Danielle, but the girl had simply thrown a bag of cheetos at her and then changed the topic to the new boy she was madly in love with. Danielle had always been obsessed with the male species. She flitted from one boyfriend to the next, always claiming that no one was good enough for her. She was an attractive brunette, who always wore headbands, had constant pink fingernails, and was consistently adorned with a set of pearls.
Her best friend Ava, another in Keely's group of friends, had similar opinions about boys. She was a dark skinned beauty who was always up to date on the latest gossip—something Keely didn't care about, but which she always got told anyway. The two friends were attached at the hip—always seen whispering to each other, passing notes back and forth, and texting, giggling at jokes that only they understood.
While some of the students at Prescott Prep found the two flirts to be annoying, Keely enjoyed their charm. They were so completely different than she was that it was fun to be around them.
Her best girl friend, Anna, was a little more subdued. She had been Keely's roommate freshman year, and then they had requested to live together for the remaining three. She was a quiet girl with curly auburn hair and porcelain skin, who was respected for her kindness by the student body. She always knew the right thing to say in every situation, and was a great listener.
"I understand it Keely," Anna had said to her in regards to Andrew, at that same sleepover, once they were alone. "He's like your brother. You can comprehend that he's hot, but you couldn't ever date him. It would be gross." Keely had smiled and told her that hooking up with Andrew wouldn't feel quite like incest, but it would still be odd and it was something that she never wanted to experience.
Little did she know, that in a short three years, she would convince herself to do just that.
It was a perfect spring day—one of those days when the sun warms the back of the neck and the smell of summer is a calm breath in the breeze. One of those days where even the trees and the flowers seemed to sing; a day where sitting inside would be criminal. It was a welcome day, after the harsh winter, and everyone at Prescott Prep had decided to eat lunch outside by the lake, sprawled out on blankets, sitting in trees, or testing their bravery in the water.
Keely had made a quick sandwich in the dormitory kitchen, not even bothering to cut off her crusts, because she ached to go outside so badly. She, Andrew, and Dean had just gotten out of a tough chemistry test, and they had decided, after texting Danielle, Ava, and Anna, that spending their afternoon lunch break by the lake was the perfect medicine. Keely had told the others to go on ahead as she made her sandwich, and now meandered out to meet up with them. It wasn't long before she found her group of friends sitting under their usual tree, sprawled out in the grass.
"Hey you," she greeted, scruffing up Andrews shaggy, sandy brown hair with a stray hand, as she reached down and kissed Dean in greeting.
"I can't believe the year's almost over!" Danielle wailed. "We were just freshman, I don't know what to do!"
It was true. All that was left was Prom, Senior Banquet, Graduation—and then they would be done. Keely and Andrew had both decided to attend George Washington together in the fall, while their other friends were going elsewhere in the country.
"It all goes by so fast," Anna replied, biting into a carrot stick. Keely leaned back into Dean's arms as he leaned against the tree, making herself comfortable. He was the strong silent type—he rarely spoke, but she enjoyed the mystery.
"I remember when Keely here was in diapers," Andrew added with a sly smile. "My little baby's growing up."
"I did not wear diapers when I was five," she responded, shoving him playfully.
"Maybe not," he smirked.
"Keely, don't tell me you lost your shoes again!" Danielle groaned, looking down at her friend's bare feet, which were resting in the grass. Keely looked down sheepishly and then laughed.
"Yeah, I must have left them in chem."
She had a habit of losing shoes. She felt so much freer going barefoot, and so she would subconsciously take her shoes off in class or in her room and then forget to put them back on. Students had made a practice of finding random shoes around campus and then dropping them off in a box in front of her dorm room.
"Someone will find them," she shrugged, leaning forward to tie her sandy-blonde hair into a messy French braid.
"I don't see how you can be so relaxed about a missing pair of shoes!" Ava piped in. "I would be heartbroken."
"They're just shoes," Keely replied, picking a dandelion off the ground and twiddling it in her fingers, before tucking it behind her ear. At her comment, Danielle and Ava shared a look. She heard one of them mutter something to the other, but she couldn't make out the words.
"Can we not talk about shoes?" Dean said, speaking for the first time. "Two-thirds of the group doesn't give a shit."
"Dean, don't be rude," Danielle scolded, although it was obvious she wasn't insulted.
Just then, Andrew let out a chuckle.
"What?" Keely asked, turning to him. He looked sheepish.
"Oh, sorry. I was just reminiscing." He smiled. "Thinking about when we were kids."
"You've been thinking about that this whole conversation?" Keely asked with a smirk. "Since the diapers thing?" He ignored her question.
"Remember your sixth birthday?" He grinned at her.
"Yeah the one where you pushed my face into the cake? I remember that clearly," she responded. "I didn't talk to you for weeks!"
"It was funny though."
"It was not funny. You ruined my birthday and I've never truly forgiven you. You were a mean mean child." She grinned at him, and unwrapped her peanut butter and banana sandwich. Andrew instinctively removed her crusts, and then ate as they talked.
"Actually, not much has changed," She said, after a pause to swallow.
"Yeah," he admitted, "I'd probably still push your head into a cake. It's funny when you're mad." He grinned, and locked eyes with her, raising his eyebrows mischievously.
"Oh really?" She responded sarcastically, and then without breaking eye contact, grabbed an unopened bag of Doritos out of his lap.
"Hey! Mine!" He whined, reaching for them. She held them out of reach.
"Nope!" Keely jumped up and started running towards the lake, Andrew immediately hot on her heels.
"Give them back!"
She turned around and started jogging backwards, making faces at him, holding the chips behind her back.
"Never!" She stuck her tongue out and laughed, turning back around.
Andrew was gaining on her. When he reached her, he grabbed her around the waist and lifted her into his arms. She screamed and started flailing her limbs wildly, sensing what he was about to do. She knew him like the back of her hand. The bag of chips lay forgotten on the ground.
"Caught you!" He said, chuckling.
"Andrew! Put me down!" She squealed. He did not reply, and just walked closer to the lake. The water was sparkling in the light of the sun, the surface barely rippling. Because it was such a warm day, Andrew knew it wouldn't be too cold. She struggled as he inched ever closer. Then without warning he answered,
"Ok, Keely dear, I'll put you down" and with a splash, proceeded to drop her into the water. She had a plan however, and when she landed, she hooked her foot around his leg, bringing him down with her.
They landed, one on top of the other, with a great splash. Almost at the same moment, they both sprang up, dripping wet. Their group of friends had abandoned their food and run over to watch the commotion.
"I can't believe you threw me in the lake!" Keely shrieked, but happily. She could never truly be mad at Andrew.
"I can't believe you pulled me in with you!" he nudged her with his hip, trying to get her to fall. But she merely stumbled, and splashed him in retaliation.
"I can't believe you two just went in the lake!" Danielle called out, "You guys are crazy!"
"We have class in fifteen minutes!" yelled Anna.
"Screw class! It's the end of the year!" Andrew called back. The pair ambled out of the water, wet clothes hanging uncomfortably off of their wet frames.
As soon as Keely reached dry land, Dean ran over, and possessively put an arm around her shoulders. She gave him a big wet hug, purposefully getting his shirt damp.
"Keely, hey! This is a nice shirt!" He whined.
"And now it's a nice, wet shirt," she laughed. "Get over it." He turned and locked eyes with Andrew possessively, and then linked his fingers with hers. She rolled her eyes, used to his antics.
"Hey, what do you think about skipping class?" He whispered. "Want to skive off and do something fun?" The way his lips grazed her ear sent a shiver down her spine, and she turned towards him, putty.
"Obviously," she answered, bringing her face towards his for a kiss. "My room or yours?"
Anna chuckled next to them.
"I have to study, and I don't feel like being sexiled, so go to Dean's," She said, skipping away with a grin.
Keely blushed, and Dean led her away towards the senior boy dormitory. She turned and gave a half-wave to the other girls, and Andrew, who gave her a quick nod and a teasing smirk. She simply stuck her middle finger out in his direction as a response, and turned back around to enjoy her afternoon with Dean.