Bette On It: Weird Adolescence. June 1, 2004. Excerpts...

Bette took some time to walk around the event center to find other people to sign her yearbook and talk about old times. A guy named Raymond told her that her Lady Marmalade dances at prom were a total turn on, and he grunted and put his hand on his crotch. They had flirted once or twice in physical science class freshman year, but she couldn't believe he was telling her this. She told him to call her, but the look on his face was total shock when she was sincere. He was joking around, she wasn't. The politics of high school didn't matter anymore, she didn't care what people thought. She was single. He was a blond, auto shop, farm boy-type; totally different than anyone she had been interested in before. She wasn't even sure if she was interested, but why not give someone new a chance? It was more of a chance than most guys had given her. She wrote her phone number in his yearbook, applied a layer of lipstick, and put a kiss print next to it. It was another What the fuck am I doing?! moment, but when she walked away, she could feel her face turn red. Ray's buddies with him made lewd comment about getting 'two hands full' and his 'wick dipped,' and she heard all of it. She found Skye and Terry and told them about what had just happened with Raymond. Skye told her she had heard that Ray likes to 'take care of his ladies' but make sure to make him wear a condom. Bette said that anyone who wants in her Wheelhouse is required to have Rubbermaid tires.

...

Greyson, Tylor, and Ozzy got off the course and the trio was laughing and joking. They returned the clubs to the service desk and they heard Raymond and his buddies talking about how he was going to fuck Bette and were taking dates as to how soon it would happen. Ozzy came up behind them and asked if they were serious. Raymond was under six feet tall and not intimidated by Ozzy. Ozzy and Bette's friendship, relationship, and breakup were public knowledge. Ozzy said there was no way Raymond had a chance with her. He opened his yearbook and showed him Bette's entry: Raymond- We once had physical science, maybe we could have chemistry. Call me. (You Can) Bette 'on it' Wheelan. Along with her kiss mark and her phone number, Ozzy couldn't believe she had been that forward with Raymond. He couldn't remember a time when they had ever even talked about Raymond. Raymond asked Ozzy if he had any tips for him. Ozzy cheerlessly told him not to lie to her.

But what was Raymond's perspective?

***Warning: Contains crude language and dialog***

June 1, 2004 - The All Night Grad Party

Raymond, Ted, and Brock G were sitting at a table grazing on cold pizza, drinking Coke, talking, and paging through their yearbooks.

"Angela. Stella, Monica: marry, fuck, kill?" Ted asked.

"Easy. Fuck Angela, she's got that sick body. Marry Monica because she's kinda conservative, so I think she'd be a little submissive, and probably secretly kinky and a freak in the sack long-term. And kill Stella: biiiiiitch!" Answered Brock G.

"That tracks, but I'd switch Angela and Monica. I think Angela might be less of a nag long-term." Replied Raymond.

"I'm with Ray on that one." Said Ted.

They snickered and continued their game of 'Marry, fuck, kill.' with more girls from the yearbook. Raymond looked up and saw Bette emerge from the far corridor. "Hey. Switch it up. Marry, fuck, or kill: Bette Wheelan?"

Ted and Brock G gave Raymond confused expressions.

"You bang half the chicks in the FFA and you wanna play marry, fuck, kill with Bette?" Brock asked confused.

"I'd fuck her then kill myself before she could." Said Ted. "Or before Ozzy could." Ted was tall but rail-thin; a strong sneeze could knock him over.

"Yeah, you must be insane. She didn't just break up with Mark Hall. Rumor is she straight-up banished him. You ever see her wear a cross or anything religious? No. Just a five-pointed star and some rune symbol. Her jewelry is all trees, animal teeth, and weird stuff. Nothing like the normal girls wear. Pretty sure she's a witch. What do you think they mean when they call her a 'Powerful Lady?'" Said Brock G.

"No way. She doesn't hang out with the Wiccan kids. She might be pale with black hair, wear a star, but she was cool with me," said Raymond. He watched her stop hand and exchange yearbooks with a couple people.

"Probably because she never heard you play marry, fuck, kill with her involved." Said Brock G. "You know how people give Jason Kaye shit once in a while?"

Raymond furrowed his brow, "The no dick thing? I thought it was because he would tuck it back to make people laugh at parties and shit?"

"Yeah. Now that's how the story goes." Said Brock G. "I went to middle school with them, you two didn't. I was there for the original chant at the end of seventh grade. The big chant. Over 100 kids yelling that Jason Kaye has no dick. It was funny, because he was a prick back then and probably deserved it, but if it had been me, I would have been just as horrified as him." They looked down the event center at Bette hugging classmates. "The story goes that she's the one who gave Jason Kaye no dick. She's the Powerful Lady. Witch or not. Cool with me in class? I keep my distance for my own safety. I'd rather keep my dick and not be banished thank you very much."

"He's got a point. I mean, look at what happened to her and Ozzy. Pretty sure she dumped him on the Winter Solstice, or Christmas. Then he comes back to school with hair as black as hers. If that's not some witch-shit, I don't know what is," said Ted.

"You guys are paranoid. That shit isn't real, it's coincidence. And the Jason Kaye thing, a bunch of people did that, not just her. If she was a witch and wanted to flaunt her power, why wasn't she Homecoming Queen, Winter Spirit Queen, or Most School Spirited all those times she dressed up? Nah. She just different." Said Raymond. Bette kept watching in their direction. "Watch." Raymond got up and walked down the steps from the seating area. Ted and Brock G looked at each other a little scared and followed behind him.

"Hey Bette," Raymond held up a hand and stopped Bette. He didn't get in her way, he stood perpendicular to her path and smiled.

"Raymond, Ted, Brock, Hey. You guys having fun?" Bette asked cheerfully.

"Yeah. I was wondering if you could settle something for us," said Raymond with a playful smile.

"Just to be clear, he's on his own on this, we had nothing to do with this," said Ted pointing to himself and Brock.

"Ya. Ray alone is asking," said Brock G.

Raymond looked at his buddies. "You guys are weak." He looked back over at Bette. "Marry, fuck, kill. Us three."

Bette closed her eyes, laughed, and covered her mouth with her free hand.

"You didn't say you were gonna say that!" Barked Ted.

"And I wanna tell you how sexy you looked doing the 'Lady Marmalade' dance at prom. Last year too. I threw a dollar. I don't think you saw," Raymond said confidently.

Bette started turning red as she stopped laughing and collected herself. Brock G and Ted got wide eyed looking back and forth at the two of them.

"You really think so?" Asked Bette, she wasn't laughing, she had an intrigue to her face and voice.

"Oh yeah. Total turn on." Raymond grabbed his crotch, bent over slightly, and spoke in a slight grunt. "I hadn't gotten any since November. I wanted to be that chair." He grunted harder after.

Brock and Ted took a small step back from their friend. Brock whispered to Ted, "She's going to do something to him."

Ted whispered back, "It's not gonna be good."

"You can call me," Bette said with a little grin on her face.

All three guys got wide eyes. "Yeah, sure." Raymond said with a sarcastic laugh.

"I'm not joking." Said Bette. She held out her hand and twitched her fingers to him. "Give me your yearbook." She looked Raymond straight in the eye when she said it.

He handed Bette his yearbook, still a little stunned. Bette opened the back of it and wrote on the hard back cover. "You know, I remember you were one of the people who said something nice to me when I first dressed up for Winter Spirit Week freshman year. You may not believe this, but that was a real turning point for me. It meant a lot to me." She wrote a message in the book. "Do you remember?"

"I don't. I'm sorry." Raymond cringed a little.

"I wore my green flapper dress. It was one of the only times I ever had a reason to wear it. I really liked that dress. You said it looked nice on me. You weren't creepy or gross about it. You reminded me that there are more than two or three non-creepy guys out there." She signed her name in the book. "Even if you grabbed your dick just now." She reached in her pocket and grabbed her lipstick. "I understand you're probably peacocking for your buddies here. There's a wager or a dare or something going on here. I'm not going to ask, but I'm going to help you win. You were sweet to me when I was going through a hard time. I never forgot that."

Raymond looked back at Ted and Brock G and they had stepped further away than he realized. He silently mouthed to them in an exaggerated way, "Oh my God." And looked back to Bette casually.

Bette applied a layer of lipstick and put it back in her pocket. "But it's funny you bring up prom. No one asked me. I brought a friend, a freshman. I always thought I was radioactive or invisible or too weird to nearly all guys." She put her kiss mark in his yearbook next to her message and phone number. "But if you're serious, you can call me." She looked at him out of the corner of her eye, snapped his yearbook closed, and handed it back to him.

Raymond gave her a flirtatious smirk as he took it out of her hand. "Either way. I'm already a winner." He could see how red her face had become as they spoke.

"Either way, Raymond-Ray." She said with a slight shake of her head and a laugh. She waved with her fingers to all three of them as she walked away.

He could see that she covered her face with her hands as she walked away. She was just shy of guys this whole time? I had a chance years ago?

Brock G and Ted jumped over to Raymond's shoulders nearly knocking him over. "Holy shit! You're gonna get two hands full of Bette!" Cheered Ted making a lewd mime of breasts.

"You're gonna dip your wick in her white wax man. And you know a chick that freaky has gotta be waxed. She's gotta be dripping now!" Brock G made thrusting motions. "Uh! Brock's gonna get laid! Ow-Ow!"

"Wait." Brock looked down at the book. "What did she write? She might just be messing with us." He opened the back of the yearbook where Bette's lip-print was. It had stuck to the other side of the book too. It made it look like Josh S had left a kiss for him too. He read Bette's message: Raymond- We once had physical science, maybe we could have chemistry. Call me. (You Can) Bette 'on it' Wheelan. Along with her kiss mark and her phone number. "Oh fuck," sighed Raymond.

"Fuck is right. When is the next full moon? Witches love that full moon shit." Said Brock G. "You ask her out for the night of the full moon, I bet you nail her then."

"No, you gotta work your way up. She might be crazy, but if you're going to pursue that, you gotta gauge the situation first. Get the lay of the land before you lay her land." Said Ted.

They walked away from the tables and chairs where their cold pizza was and towards the service desk. "How did you put it Brock: Bette's a Powerful Lady? It would be a pretty cool notch in the bed post. She seemed pretty into it. Did you see how red she got? Maybe Bette wants on." Raymond said confidently to his friends.

Ted and Brock G's faces dropped as he said it.

"Are you serious?" Raymond turned around to see Ozzy standing behind him. "There is no way Bette's into you. She has a type, and it isn't you, Raymond," said Ozzy calmly.

"You two broke up months ago. Maybe she wants to try someone new," Raymond said casually. Ozzy may have been big, but he was a total kitten. Raymond had never seen him raise his hand to anyone or anything and especially wouldn't at an event like this. And the look on Ozzy's face told him he wasn't angry, he looked confused, almost sad. Bette was his ex-girlfriend after all.

"You didn't see it, Oz. She laughed. She flirted. She was into him," said Ted.

"She never did answer the game of marry, fuck, kill," said Brock G.

"Yeah right," said Ozzy as he gave back the golf club to the service counter.

"See for yourself," said Raymond. He opened the back of the yearbook and showed him Bette's entry. "Does she seem serious to you?"

Ozzy, Greyson, and Tylor saw what Bette wrote, her phone number and her lipstick. "Shit, that's a good line. I wish I had thought of that, except I might have said anatomy or physics." said Tylor.

"Not now Ty," said Greyson.

"I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see it," Ozzy said plainly. "She wrote that. That's the same lip color she was wearing earlier." He turned to Greyson and spoke low. "The photos she let me take. She wore that same color. She loves that color."

"What was that?" Asked Tylor. "Photos?"

"Bigger issues, Ty," said Greyson.

"Yeah. Bigger issues." Said Raymond. "Like any advice? One man to another? I mean, it's water under the bridge, right?"

Ozzy got a pained look on his face. He spoke cheerlessly, "Don't lie to her." And he walked away. He held up a hand to Tylor and Greyson to indicate he did not want to be followed.

"Is that actually good advice for her?" Raymond asked Tylor and Greyson.

"Bette's a powerful lady. She doesn't like to be deceived." Greyson walked away from them.

"She said no to me when I looked like this." Tylor waved his hand in front of himself. "I had a chance when I was shorter than her, had baby fat, and boyband-blond highlights. Nothing makes sense to me." He took a few quick steps to catch up with Greyson.

Raymond turned back to his friends. "What the actual fuck?"

"Yeah. Were those endorsements or warnings?" Ted asked confused.

"I still wouldn't mess with her. But I'm not you," said Brock G. "She liked you."

"Yeah," Raymond said slowly. "But did you see how messed up Ozzy was?" He asked thoughtfully. "What did she do to him?"

"Enough to make him look like that." Brock G pointed over his shoulder with his thumb in the direction Ozzy went. "They were friends for years. You said one or two nice things to her."

"It's a totally different situation," said Ted. "They were in a relationship. Do you want a relationship with her?"

"No," Raymond answered plainly.

"But you still want to fuck her, right?" Brock asked.

Raymond got a strange look on his face. "I don't think I do. It's too real now. You know?"

Ted and Brock exchanged glanced and answered at the same time, "No."

"Look again at what she put in your yearbook. How many other people do you think she did that for?" Ted asked.

"She thought it was a game. She didn't think it was real. She thought we were joking around. I was nice to her once freshman year and she did that," Raymond said deflated.

"Imagine what she would do for you if you ate her pussy! You love that, I'm sure she wouldn't mind," Brock punched him in the arm as he said it.

"Don't you get it?" Raymond snapped. "She doesn't really want me! She did something nice for me because I did something nice for her. She said I caused some kind of turning point or change or something. What kind of person would I be if I messed that up?"

"The kind of person who made something nice into something nice," Ted implied lewdly.

"That's not the point. I don't think she's actually interested," Raymond sounded deflated again.

"You didn't have an issue with the FFA chicks. How many of them were you actually interested in?" Ted asked.

"She's not some horny farm girl using a tractor as a vibrator," Raymond said bluntly.

"No. she's a horny witch." Brock said pointing. "She probably enchants her broom to vibrate or something." He chuckled at his own joke.

The bell rang from the top of the high ropes course; there was cheering. They had been applauding people who had rung the bell earlier in the night. Bette was the one who rang it this time. All three of them saw it was her.

"Ding, ding. If that's not a sign, I don't know what is," said Ted. "Ring her bell."

"No." Raymond looked up at Bette. Even from a distance, he could see she was smiling at the end of the plank. She waved to everyone below, seemingly to no one specific. "She's a totally different species. She could probably fly off that platform if she wanted to. She already touched the sky. I'm keeping my feet here on Earth."

"Jesus fuck, Ray." Cursed Ted. "You brought her up ten minutes ago and you look like she already dumped you."

"Maybe it's better that way." Raymond opened his yearbook and looked at her entry and the double kiss print her lipstick made. He knew it would be smeared and smudged soon enough and wouldn't last. He would have to wipe it away eventually. He looked across to the yearbook message that her duplicate lip print landed on.

Ray- The last couple years of auto shop have been a blast. All the best times happened under the hood, am I right? Can't wait to have you come over this summer and have you work on my driveshaft with me. We always had the best times when we were elbow deep in grease and oil. I hope we get to do that again and again. Grease Monkeys 4 Life! AH AH! -Josh S.