Second First Chance (PG-13)

Erin was happy being friends with Jimmy Racine. He was a nice guy who was clearly smitten with her and she enjoyed his company, companionship and friendship. Their relationship was ambiguous and undefined but it obvious they were together even if they weren't romantically involved. A platonic relationship was safe and comfortable and Erin was okay with the status quo.

The two had "been together" since Jimmy moved into the neighborhood in fifth grade. They rode their bikes together, walked to school together, ate lunch together, hung around the neighborhood together, rode the bus to Greenville for shopping trips together, and often ate over each other's house. They just…..were.

Erin and Jimmy moved on to junior high together. He was her first "date" to her first dance. They went to the movies together almost every weekend and they began the tradition of Saturday night pizza at the Hillsboro Pizza House. They were in sync, had the same interests, and they had formed an unspoken bond that made them half brother-sister and half girlfriend-boyfriend. Life was good and Erin was perfectly content with the arrangement.

But then Andy Zicker transferred into Hillsboro High and fifteen year old freshman Erin was bowled over by the sixteen year old sophomore newcomer. The first time she saw him she was sitting in study hall when the new guy came lumbering into the room like a Greek God. Erin stared at him just like every other girl in the room.

Andy Zicker was beyond handsome. He was six foot three and his body was absolutely perfect in its muscle tone, size, shape, and appeal. He wore tight clothes that highlighted his best features and his face was perfect too. His black hair was longer than most and his green eyes appeared to have Superman's X-ray vision the way he looked at people. Erin noticed his long dark lashes and his smooth skin but he appeared detached and disinterested as he took a seat with some of the basketball guys and Erin figured a guy like that would never notice her.

Andy was added to the basketball team even though the season was half over and rumor had it that he had been kicked out of St. Anne's Catholic School for unacceptable behavior although nobody seemed to quite know what that behavior may have been. Erin didn't care what his story was. She thought he was the best looking guy in the school and she made it a point to pass him in the halls whenever she could.

Study hall and Earth Science were the only two classes she shared with the new guy and Erin noticed that the Andy didn't have much to say. She wasn't sure if he was quiet, bored, shy, turned off or stoned. Unfortunately for Erin (and most of the other girls in the school), it didn't take long for Valarie Sanders to get her long red fingernails into the new guy.

Valerie was the most beautiful girl in school. She ruled on the popularity scale. She was rich and she got whatever she wanted, a 'walking cliché' in Erin's estimation. Valerie's hair was long and blonde with perfect waves. Her skin was tan and her eyes were ocean blue. Andy, like most guys, noticeably reacted to Valerie's beauty and interest, keenly aware that he was supposed to jump when she snapped her fingers.

Valerie was tickled by Andy's response but she tortured him for a few weeks before eventually letting him know they had officially become an item (to nobody's big surprise). Erin sighed, knowing she was always going to be destined to be the smart girl behind the glasses and she had to be satisfied with the loyalty of Jimmy Racine because a guy like Andy Zickler was never going to look twice at her.

Jimmy was well aware of Erin's infatuation with Andy Zickler and he warned her that he was bad news.

"Any guy who gets kicked out of Catholic school can't have any morals or ethics," Jimmy theorized. "He's probably the Devil in a basketball uniform."

Erin noticed how plain Jimmy looked compared to the sexy Andy. Jimmy had glasses like she did and he wore his blond hair in a short boring style. He was good looking in a bland sense but Erin remembered the line she heard in some movie somewhere: 'Why settle for hamburger when you can have steak?'

Jimmy wasn't threatened by Andy Zicker even after overhearing Erin and some of her girlfriends talking about the jerk as if he was Prince Harry. Personally, Jimmy didn't see it. He knew Zicker was just another dumb good looking jock who made his presence known by his ability to play sports and Jimmy remained patient and calm regarding Erin's new found giddiness and interest in another guy. He knew it was just a phase and that Zicker probably wouldn't want much to do with her anyway.

But after a few weeks of thinking about her boring and routine life, Erin somehow found the motivation to be bold and daring for a change. Sitting in Study Hall, she scratched a note and dropped it on the desk Andy Zickler was sitting at.

"Aren't you bored with Valerie?" Is what she wrote and an unexpressive Andy read the note before putting it in his pocket which both surprised and excited Erin even though Andy hadn't even looked at her. Saving her note had to mean something, right?

A few days later during lunch, Jimmy was seated with Erin when Andy approached the table and handed Erin a small piece of paper, gave her a blank stare before leaving as quickly and quietly as he had arrived.

"Would I be just as bored with you?" he had written on the slip of paper.

Much to Erin's chagrin and disappointment, that was about the extent of their communication. Andy never talked to her, looked in her direction, or seemed to be interested in her. He continued hanging out with Valerie and Erin wondered if Jimmy Racine was cramping her style. Maybe Andy thought they were together and he didn't want to interfere or break them up so Erin started avoiding Jimmy, blowing him off, and telling him to get lost.

She felt awful being so shallow and mean to her long time best friend but since the first moment she laid eyes on Andy Zicker Erin knew that Jimmy was hamburger and that Andy was steak.

A few weeks later, Erin and Andy were paired for a research project in Earth Science. The assignment required the two to work together outside of school. One afternoon, Andy came to Erin's house to work on the project.

"How come you never talk to me?" Erin wanted to know as they sat at her desk in her bedroom going over some research.

Previously, Jimmy Racine had been the only guy in her bedroom so Erin was excited about her new guest's presence.

"I guess I have nothing to say," Andy replied.

"How's Valerie?" She had to ask.

"Boring," Andy revealed.

"Are you bored with me?" Erin dared to ask.

"No," he admitted. "You're okay, I guess."

"Gee, thanks," she muttered sarcastically.

"You're welcome," Andy replied with a straight face.

Andy started paying more attention to Erin after that first project get together in her bedroom and it didn't take long for her to start falling in love with him. There were complications of course, including her increasingly strained friendship with Jimmy Racine and Valerie's displeasure with the unexpected competition. Erin didn't really care what Valerie thought (or said) but she was feeling guilty about her continued snubs and rude treatment of Jimmy who was clearly becoming an obstacle in her social agenda.

Erin tried to be gentle in letting Jimmy down easily but he didn't take the hint even after she stopped going out for pizza with him on Saturday nights as had been their custom and she was forced to become rudely confrontational in an effort to get rid of him.

"Will you please just leave me the hell alone!?" Erin screamed at Jimmy when her frustration and annoyance became too much for her to handle.

Her outburst took place in the school lobby in front of dozens of students and Erin felt bad that she had humiliated and embarrassed the poor guy but it was his own fault for pushing her. She hoped he'd get over it, respect her wishes to pursue Andy, and still be her friend even if she landed a new boyfriend.

Jimmy gave her a pained look of betrayed sorrow before turning and walking away without saying a word and she felt bad about that but Erin was definitely head over heels about Andy and she couldn't concern herself about Jimmy right now. Despite his cool exterior, she sensed that Andy was really a sensitive guy underneath his gruff persona. He told her about his family life (some), how his father owned a successful business but was never around for the family and how his mother was stuck in an unhappy marriage. Andy had three younger sisters and he felt responsible for them although he admitted that he wasn't around all that much either and that he wasn't the best role model given his past troubles.

Erin learned that Andy had been kicked out of St. Anne's for repeated fighting and Andy owned up to having an anger issue. He felt basketball was good therapy for him because it kept him disciplined. Erin wasn't sure if Andy really liked her or was just using her for 'shits and giggles' as he would say. She certainly wasn't as pretty as Valerie or most of the other girls and she was convinced that she was boring being so intelligent and studious. She didn't even know the rules of basketball so she forced her cousin Elaina to go with her to a few games.

"Where's Jimmy?" Elaina wanted to know.

"Don't worry about him," Erin said as she kept her eyes on the sweaty Andy on the basketball court.

Andy was at Erin's house hanging out a few days later.

"Zee-Zee," Erin asked (that was the nickname she had given him even though he hated it). "Have you ever been in love?"

He looked bored as he glanced at her. "Yes," he replied without fanfare.

"Are you in love with her now?" Erin asked.

"Yep," he replied.

Erin's heart sank. She was convinced he was talking about Valerie, the prettiest girls in the school. Why would he love Erin? She was certainly nothing special. She sighed with resigned defeat.

"Is she pretty?" Erin asked, unwilling to let it go.

"Yep."

Of course. Erin sighed again. "What's she like?" Her heart was breaking with each breath.

"Intelligent, studious, artistic, a great reader and a pretty good writer," Andy replied.

Huh? That didn't describe Valerie! Actually, it sounded a lot like Erin! She looked at him dumbly as he popped out of his chair and cradled Erin's face in his large basketball hands, looking into her eyes with more expression than she'd ever seen before.

"It's you, stupid," he whispered, inches from her face.

Erin was shocked and without thinking she leaned in and kissed him. "I think I love you," she said shyly.

It was Erin's first kiss. Andy's lips were warm and soft. The kiss didn't last long and she pulled away, her cheeks flushed but he pulled her back to him and they began making out. Before Erin knew it, Andy was shirtless and his hands were unbuttoning her blouse. She wanted him but she was frightened because she was a virgin and all of this was new to her. Jimmy Racine held her hand and pecked her on the cheek occasionally but no guy had ever removed her blouse before.

"Stop," Erin begged, pushing Andy away suddenly. "My mother will be home soon."

Andy looked confused. "You said nobody comes home until after five," he said.

"Just leave," she sighed.

"What's wrong?" He wondered.

"You just need to go," she said, more forcefully this time.

"Come on, just tell me what's wrong," he said with annoyance.

"Nothing's wrong," she said bitterly. "I just need for you to go. Right now!"

Andy shook his head with disgust as he put his shirt back on and left the room in a huff. Still in her bra, Erin fell onto her bed and cried. She loved him but she wasn't even sweet sixteen yet and she wasn't sure if she was ready to go all the way no matter how she felt about Andy.

A few days later, Erin's cousin Elaina was in a car accident. The girl was in a coma and the prognosis was not good. Erin and Elaina had been close growing up, playing together as kids and hanging out a lot as teenagers so the accident was emotionally devastating for Erin to cope with.

There was an around the clock vigil at the hospital and Erin went home to catch some sleep while everyone else stayed. She took a refreshing shower and styled her hair so it was silky as it fell down her back. She hoped the make over would help ease the stress and make her feel better. She thought of Andy and realized how much she missed and needed him at a time like this. Jimmy Racine had been kind and thoughtful enough to stop by the hospital several times expressing his concern and compassion even though Erin had treated him so badly but she found herself remaining detached from Jimmy, not wanting to 'cheat' on Andy in the emotional sense.

All she wanted to do now was to talk to Andy. She loved him and she continued to think about him as she put on her favorite nightgown made of white silk, short to her mid thighs. She finished combing her hair out and she curled her eyelashes. She needed Andy so much. She called his cell several times and left messages even though she wasn't expecting to hear from him at this time of night, but then the door bell rang and she scooted down the stairs fearing bad news about her cousin or maybe an unwanted visit from Jimmy Racine.

Erin opened the door and saw Andy standing there! She froze.

"What are you doing here?" She asked with surprise.

"You called a million times," he replied. "I heard about your cousin. Sorry."

"It's so terrible," Erin cried, collapsing into Andy's chest. "I'm so upset."

"Yeah," he agreed.

"And I want to apologize about the other day," she sobbed as he walked her into the house and closed the door behind them. "I was so scared and I just couldn't handle it. I'm really in love with you though."

Erin's voice cracked and her eyes were welled with tears.

"It's okay," he said softly.

They looked into each other's eyes and suddenly they were kissing passionately. Erin sensed his wanting and she didn't protest when he carried her to her room where he sat her gently on the bed. They kept kissing with more passion and his hands moved to her shoulders and pulled down the straps of her nightgown.

Suddenly, the garment dropped to the floor and Erin was topless with only her panties remaining. Andy stared at her breasts with appreciation and then he reached with his hands to feel them before stuffing one into his mouth. Erin was too overwhelmed to say a word as she dropped her head back and moaned.

Andy started to work her panties down her legs and she was too weak and stimulated to fight him and the panties joined her nightgown on the floor. Andy lay on top of her on the bed and they kissed as she helped him pull off his shirt. Erin ran her hands over his muscular tight back and then Andy stood and took off his sweat pants and boxers and Erin stared at his…..thing…something she had never seen before.

He looked so beautiful naked and revealed and Erin was speechless. Andy returned to the bed and he wrapped his arms around Erin. His bare skin felt good against hers. She ran her hands over his naked body, feeling the muscles underneath his warm smooth skin. She could even feel his heartbeat as he lay on top of her and they kissed and groped each other.

All of a sudden, Erin felt nervous. She was a virgin, she had never done this before, and she knew the first time was usually painful, at least according to poor sweet Elaina. Erin was excited but nervous.

"I'm a virgin," she whispered into his ear.

Andy paused. "You're kidding." He almost laughed.

"No," she said nervously.

"It might hurt."

"It's okay," she told him.

And that was the end of the discussion. Andy proceeded to push his thing inside her. The first thrust didn't hurt like Erin expected and Andy looked into her face for the okay to do it again. Erin nodded and Andy thrust into her again. It felt so warm inside her.

"Oh, it feels so good," she muttered.

Andy thrust faster and Erin began to pant as it felt better each time. She soon felt something amazing coming but she had no idea what it was. She dug her nails into Andy's hips and he pushed harder. Erin moaned and Andy shouted her name and then it happened. Erin saw stars and felt something she had never felt before. She knew they were one when she saw the look on Andy's face. They kept making love until they were both spent and when it was over Erin felt exhausted. She was falling asleep when she felt him stirring as he moved her head off his bare chest.

"Where are you going?" She asked with surprise and disappointment.

"Home, before your parents get back," he whispered. "Get some sleep." He kissed her lightly on the forehead.

"I love you," she said before falling asleep.

When Erin awoke later she realized she was alone. She smiled when she thought about what took place between her and Andy and she knew everything was going to be okay between them.

### ### ###

Andy didn't call the next day. He didn't call that night when Elaina passed away at 10:04 p.m. Jimmy Racine was there but Erin could barely look at him knowing she had betrayed him. Andy didn't show up for the wake or funeral although Jimmy Racine never left her side.

Andy was nowhere to be found. Erin kept waiting for him to call or stop by but he was a continuous no show and that freaked her out. It was clear (although stunningly unbelievable) that he had dumped her after having his way with her. Erin cried a lot, both for Elaina and for herself. She was all alone now. She had no one, not even Jimmy Racine whom she had tossed aside for her own lust and want. Jimmy had been wonderful these past few days but she knew it was different between them. Elaina was the only one who would understand but she was dead now. Erin stayed in her room and cried all night. She felt so hurt. She dared to called Andy but he wouldn't answer.

Days later, after the funeral and grieving (both for Elaina and Andy), Erin managed to drag herself back to school. She saw Andy and tried to approach him but he refused to talk to her, making the message official: he had her he now he didn't want her. She was crushed and badly hurt. Andy didn't love her. Probably never did. He was just a guy out for one thing.

Erin drifted through the school days in a daze feeling alone and lonely. Valerie seemed to be laughing at her and Erin felt even worse about everything. Erin was standing by her locker trying not to cry when Jimmy Racine approached her.

"You okay?" He asked with little emotion in his voice.

She was actually glad to see her long time friend but she wasn't going to admit that. "What do you want?" She sneered instead, resenting Jimmy for being so good and honest and trustworthy and real, mad at herself for being such a fool.

"Can we talk?"

"About what?" She wondered with a frown.

"Anything," he answered sadly.

"Why do you want to talk to me of all people?" She sighed. "I've been treating you like shit."

"I forgive you," he replied.

Erin didn't know what to say. "I um, I uh," she stammered and then she started to sob.

Jimmy took her in a hug and rubbed her back soothingly. "It can't be that bad," he said, wrapping his arms around her.

"Yes it can," she sobbed.

"Shhh," he whispered, wiping a tear from her cheek.

"Don't you hate me?"" She whimpered.

"I could never hate you," he answered.

"I hate myself," Erin said heavily.
"We'll go have pizza Saturday night," Jimmy said cheerfully. "That will make you feel better."
She was amazed the he was so easily willing to pick up where they left off after the way she had treated him. "I don't deserve you," she sighed.
Saturday night found them back at the Hillsboro Pizza Shop after a several week hiatus.
"You slept with him, didn't you?" Jimmy asked after all the pleasantries and small talk was out of the way.
Erin looked down, ashamed to look him in the eyes.
"I knew that guy was a snake in the grass," Jimmy grumbled.
"I went along with it," Erin told him. "I thought I was in love with him and I was upset about Elena."
"He took advantage of you," Jimmy stated bitterly. "You were emotionally vulnerable."
"I knew what I was doing," Erin said.
"We're too young to have sex, Erin," Jimmy told her. "I thought you knew that much."
"I forgot," she admitted. "I know it now."
"The bastard used you."
"I'm sorry I hurt you," Erin said, her eyes teary. "You're the only friend I have left now that Elena is gone."
"I'll always love you, Erin," Jimmy assured her. "No matter who you're with, no matter what you do."
"What if I'm pregnant?" She asked, fear in her voice.
"Didn't the jerk use protection?" Jimmy asked with disbelief.
Erin shook her head no.
"And you didn't stop him?"
"It just happened," she explained lamely.
He stared at her for a long time. "If you're pregnant, I'll be with you," Jimmy vowed. "Were you ovulating?"
"I don't know."
"When's the last time you had a period?"
"I should be cycling again pretty soon," she said.
"I think you're going to be okay," Jimmy said.
"I'm too young to have a baby," Erin moaned.
"That's why we're too young to have sex too," Jimmy pointed out.
"Is that why you never put the moves on me?" She realized.
He shrugged. "You're the only one I want to be with."
"You should be running as far away from as fast you can, Jimmy," Erin sighed. "I betrayed you."
"You deserve a second first chance," he smiled.
"A second first chance?" She asked with confusion.
"I was your first chance all along," he explained. "Ever since we met in fifth grade."
"And now I get a second first chance because you're the nicest guy I've ever known."

"Forgiveness and compassion are the only things that matters in any friendship or relationship," Jimmy told her. "Now eat your pizza."