Rusty and Claire were in the middle of yet another mind-numbing game of Guitar Hero when the door to the apartment suddenly opened, prompting immediate gasps from both of them but not allowing either of them enough time to do anything to rectify the situation. In stepped Sandra Gutierrez, a career woman in her late forties dressed in an impeccable black suit that nearly matched the color of her hair and eyes, and when she saw the barely dressed teenagers standing exposed in the middle of the living room, it was her turn to gasp, dropping her purse in her terror. "What the hell is going on here?" she shrieked.
"I should probably get dressed," Rusty said calmly to Claire, and so he set the guitar down on the coffee table (the sight of which caused his mother to cover her eyes) and then walked back into his bedroom for some clothes. "Hi, Mom!" he shouted from the other room.
"What's going on?" Sandra demanded while Claire, dressed only in lingerie, scrambled for the clothes she'd brought with her. "Claire!"
"It's a long story," Claire replied while slipping her shirt back over her head.
"I've got time."
"The short version is, my boyfriend's being kind of a dick, so I—"
"You decided to cheat on him?" Sandra said, rolling her eyes. "Yeah, that's the mature solution."
"No," Claire said. "Rusty and I, our bodies never touched! This was all about teasing Jimmy!"
"Jimmy, the guy who raped you, that Jimmy?" Sandra said, crossing her arms. "Why are you still seeing him, Claire? Does he even know about this?"
"If he did, do you really think we'd be together anymore?"
"Is that supposed to be a bad thing?"
"Maybe, maybe not. That's not the point, Mrs. Gutierrez. The point is, I needed some catharsis from all the shit Jimmy had been putting me through, so I—"
"You cheated on him."
"I did not cheat on him! I would never stoop that low!"
"But you're apparently willing to stoop pretty damn close to that level. Face the facts, Claire, you and Rusty may not have had sex, or even kissed, but when it comes right down to it, this is cheating."
"So I saw Rusty naked!" Claire said. "So what? It's just a penis!"
"It's never just a penis," Sandra shook her head in shame.
"Hey, I kept my underwear on! Rusty didn't see anything that might belong to Jimmy."
"Your body doesn't belong to Jimmy! It belongs to you!"
"Exactly, so it's mine to use as I see fit. If I want to spend all day in the buff with one of my best friends, then I can do that if I want."
"If you'd just broken up with Jimmy and had sex with Rusty here, today, I would've had less objections. As it stands, though, you're just acting like an idiot, and what the hell is taking Rusty so long to get dressed?"
"Hey, Rusty, are you jacking off again?" Claire shouted.
"Again?" Sandra gasped. "Claire, please don't tell me you were here for—"
"Of course I wasn't! Rusty has dignity, he knows better than to do that around me! Right?" she asked loudly.
"I'm getting dressed!" Rusty replied.
"Thank god," Sandra said with a loud sigh.
"You think this is awkward?" Claire added. "You should've been here when we ordered pizza for lunch. The delivery boy thought he'd just walked into a porno." This attempt to lighten the mood only shocked Sandra even more, but Claire was adamant that the anecdote would work. "But if it's any consolation, Pizza Hut was a bad choice, Mrs. Gutierrez. Should've stuck with Domino's, like usual."
"Okay, I'm back," Rusty smiled, appearing behind Claire, the two of them now both fully clothed. "You weren't supposed to see this, Mom."
"But I did," Sandra said. "Did you happen to hear what I was telling Claire? What you two were doing, it was essentially cheating." The lawyer in her then revealed itself with the statement: "It'd be grounds for divorce, if she and Jimmy were married."
"Mom, you love me, right?"
"You're going to ask me to not tell anyone about this, aren't you?"
"Yeah," Rusty nodded. "It was just a little bit of fun, is all. If Jimmy were to find out, he'd kill me. And if anyone else finds out, they'll just be like, 'how could you get that far with Claire and not have sex?'"
"Hell, I'd be like that if he'd done this with any other girl," Claire said. "Rusty's a great guy. He deserves some action. I'm sure you agree with me on this, Mrs. Gutierrez."
"I'm tired of driving on a one-way street."
"I won't tell anyone," Sandra assured the teens, with a face that couldn't believe the words it was saying. "Why would I even want to?"
"I'll go home now," Claire said, heading towards the door Rusty's mother had just entered. Walking backwards, she continued, "So, um, I guess I'll see you later."
"You're not seeing each other until school starts again," Sandra said defiantly.
"You can't stop us," Claire replied. When she saw the look this produced on Sandra's face, she took another few steps, blushed, and explained, "By which I mean, yes, ma'am."
The three of them stood there in silence, the Gutierrez mother and son in their apartment and the Zielinski daughter just outside the door. Finally, just as the tension was growing too much to bare, Rusty quickly said "Bye," Claire echoed that farewell even before he finished the first one, and lives returned to as normal a state as was possible after such a day's copious exposure of skin.
"It's for you," Calvin said with the phone in hand to Kent while the latter was perusing his field guide and admiring all the birds he was seeing here that he couldn't (usually) see in California.
"Holly?" Kent asked.
Shaking his head, Calvin answered, "He said his name was Rick."
Kent sighed and took the phone from his uncle, thus prompting Calvin to rejoin his wife and in-laws in front of the television.
"You gave Rick their phone number?" Rod said to Kent as he was preparing to speak to his friend. "You idiot."
"I didn't!" Kent insisted, covering the receiver with his free hand. "He probably looked it up!"
"Why? What could possibly be so important that he absolutely has to make a long-distance call?"
"I don't know, Dad, I'll ask." Having settled yet another dispute with his father, Kent turned around and finally acknowledged Rick. "Hi Rick, how's it going?"
"Mount Holly," the eighth grade boy on the other end replied calmly.
"What?" Kent gasped.
"Mount Holly," Rick repeated. "I'm looking at my atlas right now, and not far from Pemberton, where you are, there happens to be a town called Mount Holly. Mount. Holly. As in Holly, but with mounting."
Kent sighed, rolled his eyes and grumbled. "Your point being?"
"This can't be a coincidence, Kent!"
"I'm willing to bet a lot of my Dad's money that it is."
"You're telling me that you don't believe the globe is trying to tell you something?" Kent refused to comment on such a preposterous suggestion, at least until Rick expanded on it to make it even more so. "You and your Fort Dix are this close to Mount Holly! Not to mention Jersey kind of looks like a penis anyway."
"No, that would be Florida," Kent said. "Rick, you called to tell me this? Seriously?"
"Come on, man, you need to get on that."
"Great, but was it really necessary to call me and tell me something I already know when I'm not even in a position to do anything about it and your so-called hints that she and I should be together are a stretch to say the least?"
"Yes." An awkward silence followed this bout of honesty, which ended when Rick finally brought some logic into the conversation. "Iris isn't putting out."
"Can you blame her?"
"I need to live vicariously through you, Kent. At least until my own girlfriend decides to get physical."
"No, you don't! Rick, we are not going to have this conversation!"
"Please? Help a brotha out?"
"I would," Rick said, "but I told you, she won't let me."
"You want a suggestion? Stop treating her like an object! You and Iris have been friends since you were kids, there's no reason you should be seeing her the way you are right now!"
"Well, that's not my business, and I don't want it to be my business! You don't see me giving you a call about Holly's accelerating sex drive!" A second after saying this, Kent realized he'd said this, and followed it with a well-earned, "Oh, crap."
"Awesome!" Rick said. "Details, man, details!"
"I'm hanging up now," Kent said.
"If you don't tell me anything, I'll tell everyone about this!"
"They're not going to care."
"A sexy teenage girl is itching to do the horizontal mambo? People are going to care, Kent. Look at me: I care."
"'The horizontal mambo'?" Kent said. "Rick, you only care in the sense that you're horny. You just admitted that like thirty seconds ago."
"Yeah, but see, I'm not the one lying here. That'd be you, Mr. They-won't-care. I know you'll care if I tell people your girlfriend is looking for a bone to jump."
"You've got to stop with the euphemisms."
"Okay, she wants to fuck somebody."
"As you were," Kent sighed. "All right, fine, you've got my attention."
"And I hope she's got yours."
"Trust me, she does."
"So will you help me?"
"I did help you, Rick. I told you to respect her, to treat her as a person and not an object."
"I meant help me get into her pants."
"That'd probably do it."
"I meant quickly."
Kent groaned. "You guys are fourteen! Don't you think you're a little young?"
With a laugh, Rick replied, "No!"
"Well, I'm sure Iris thinks so; and I'm sure that if you do find some patience, she'll reward you for it eventually. It's a virtue, remember."
"It is not," Rick said. "If that were true, girls wouldn't be throwing themselves into the arms of guys like us in the first place."
"I'm not a guy like you, Rick."
"You're rebelling against your corrupt parents. And everyone knows it doesn't matter what you're rebelling against—as long as a guy is rebelling against something, girls will flock to him."
"So what are you rebelling against?" Kent asked, not really caring in any way for the answer he would receive.
"Authority in general, I suppose. I'm quite a handful."
"…If you know what I mean."
"Was that necessary?"
"Help me, Obi-Wan Kent-nobi," Rick said, audibly cringing along with Kent at the pun he'd just created. "You're my only hope."
"Remember when I said I was hanging up?" Kent said. "I mean it this time. Grow up, Rick!"
"I am growing up, that's the whole point! I'm becoming a manly man of manliness, and I want to make use of every minute of it!"
"Manliness!" Rick shouted before being cut off by the hanging up of the phone, which Kent had meant this time.
"Sorry, you guys," Kent said to his relatives as he stepped up to them to apologize for someone else's insatiable horniness for the second time today. "I really don't know what's gotten into all my friends."
"They're hormonal," Rod said. "And you are too, Kent, don't deny it. Remember what we talked about earlier with the Porsche."
With a sigh, Kent admitted, "I just want this day to be over."