My Best Friend

by Victor Thomas

Chapter 4

I arrived to pick up Allison for our date, but she wasn't ready. I had to sit in the living room with her father. His eyes bored into me as we sat there in silence. He looked at me like he was sizing me up as some kind of threat. I felt like I was a murder suspect or something, instead of a boy who had come to take out his daughter.

The silence was nearly unbearable, but when it was broken, I found myself longing for it's return. Her father asked me all kinds of questions. It was like the Spanish Inquisition or something. He acted like all I wanted from her was sex. He never came out and said it, but I could tell from what he did say, and his tone of voice, that I was being warned. His message was clear. 'Keep your dick in your pants, boy.' Of course, he didn't say that either, but I knew that's what he meant.

I was distinctly uncomfortable in there. It was hot and stuffy, and smelled funny. I bet they hadn't cracked a window in that place since Reagan was president. I kept looking at the stairs, willing Allison to get down here so we could go. I wanted nothing more than just to get the hell out of there. Her father grilled me about football, then moved on to other subjects. I thought I was taking some kind of test or something.

"How about baseball? You like baseball?"

"Not really. It's kind of boring."

That was the wrong thing to say. I knew it immediately from the look on his face.

"What's wrong with you, boy? Everyone likes baseball."

I just shrugged my shoulders. I didn't like baseball because nothing ever seemed to happen. The few times I'd watched it, all I did was sit there and wait for the guy to hit the ball. When he did, he just ran a little bit and then I waited for the next guy to hit the ball, and so on. Like I said, boring. I didn't like it and I wasn't about to say I did.

Things were going from bad to worse and then he noticed the earring in my left ear.

"Why are you wearing an earring, son?"

"A lot of my friends have earrings," I said. It was true.

"They must be girls then, or fancy boys. When I was in school, only girls wore earrings, girls and queers."

I swallowed hard. I really, really wanted out of there. First, this guy all but accused me of planning to fuck his daughter as soon as we were out the door; next he starts acting like he thinks I'm gay. I thought to myself, make up your mind, dude. It didn't seem fair that I should be accused of both.

I wondered what block of ice this guy had been frozen in. When he was in school! That was probably a hundred years ago or something.

"A lot of guys wear them nowadays."

I was also wearing a gold chain around my neck. I saw his eyes light on it and thought, oh fuck, what now. Just then Allison made her appearance. I practically jumped off the sofa and rushed to her side.

"Have her back by eleven if you know what's good for you, son!" he yelled as we slipped out the door.

Was I glad to get out of there!

We walked out to my car. She looked at me apologetically.

"Sorry about that. Dad thinks he has to question every guy I go out with. I didn't mean to leave you down there that long, but I couldn't get my hair right."

"It looks beautiful, as do you."

I wasn't lying. She was beautiful. The thing was, her beauty didn't do much for me. I recognized that she was attractive, but I didn't find her attractive, if you know what I mean. She just didn't get me excited. It made me feel very odd, because I knew a girl like her was supposed to excite me. I wondered if there was something wrong with me, or maybe I was just nervous. I'd read a that guy could have problems if they were nervous.

She smiled. She liked the compliment. I knew I'd said the right thing.

"Next time though, maybe you can just meet me outside or something."

"That bad, huh?"

"Yeah, your dads convinced I have nothing on my mind but sex."

I didn't mention the earring.


The way she said that made me feel uncomfortable. I think it was meant as I hint. I was already nervous over what I was expected to do. Should I hold her hand? Should I put my arm around her at the movie? Should I kiss her? What? If I didn't do things right, she'd either think I wasn't interested in her, or get mad because I tried to move too fast. As far as I was concerned, we could skip the whole thing. I had no interest whatsoever in kissing her, or any girl for that matter. I stopped. My face paled. She looked at me.

"What is it?"


I started driving again but I was still stuck on my last thought. I had no interest in any girl. I hadn't really thought much about that before, but now that the words had formed in my mind, I wondered a lot about it. What did it mean? Was there something wrong with me?

I liked girls. I didn't think there was anything wrong with them, but they just didn't do anything for me sexually. That was kind of weird since I was a very physical person. I would've thought that I would have been wild over girls, but I wasn't. Perhaps it was just fear. I had no idea how to act around a girl. it was all so much easier being with guys. I looked at her sitting beside me. She was attractive by anyone's standards, so why didn't she make my pants dance? Maybe I was just nervous. I was all worked up over whether I should kiss her and the thought of anything more terrified me. I felt like I was in over my head.

Allison was talking, but I was so lost in my own thoughts that I barely heard her. When she stopped talking, I didn't know what to say. I ended up mentioning the earring incident.

"I don't think your dad liked my earring, or my chain."

"He wouldn't," she said, rolling her eyes. "But I do. I think they make you look sexy. I love the way the gold accents your pecs."

I knew I was in for a rough ride. She was already telling me she thought I was sexy. She was always hinting around about how good I looked. She was always devouring me with her eyes, too. I had the distinct impression that she wanted in my pants. Why hadn't I picked out one of those girls who wouldn't so much as kiss on the first date? I should've gone for one that would probably be a virgin until she got married. Allison wasn't exactly diving into my pants, but I had the feeling she expected some kind of action pretty soon. I didn't have a clue as to what I was supposed to do. Fuck!

When we got to the theater, I made it a point not to sit near the back where most of the heavy making out went on. I sat where I always sat, in the center, about two thirds of the way down. That's the best place for watching a movie. While the previews were playing, I went out and bought us some popcorn and cokes. I handed them to her and went right back to the lobby. I had to use the restroom. I was so nervous I felt like I had to go every five minutes. I made it back just as the movie was starting.

She sat really close to me. That was cool, but I wondered where it would go. I'd never dated a girl before; I'd never dated anyone. I was a total virgin, unless you counted jerking off, then I was about as experienced as you could get. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be doing. I thought girls should come with instruction booklets. I guess all guys felt like that. Guys are supposed to know everything about dating, even if it's their first date. Guys are expected to be more experienced than girls in that sort of thing. Where did everyone think they got that experience? Unless they were going with another guy, a date required a girl. I wished I was with a guy, then we could have just watched the movie and not have anything else to worry about. A picture of me sitting there with Todd popped into my head. I had my arm around him. Panic surged through me. What was I thinking? I put my arm around Allison as if to shelter myself from the disturbing image. She snuggled up against me. It did kind of feel nice.

I was still nervous and I needed to make another trip to the restroom, but I just held it in. I tried to lose myself in the movie and not think too much about the fact that I was on my first date. It wasn't easy. She was pressed up against me and I could smell her perfume. Her presence was impossible to ignore. I kept thinking about that picture of me with my arm around Todd. It really got to me. I couldn't get it out of my head. Why would I be thinking something like that?

After the movie, I took Allison to a nice Italian restaurant near the theater. It had some of the best food in Joplin, and it wasn't even all that expensive. It was dimly lit and very romantic. I thought it was just the place that a girl would like. I was rather fond of it myself, but for the food and not the atmosphere.

We were halfway through eating before I thought again about us being on a date. My nervousness was all but gone. I'd loosened up and was having fun. I guessed dating wasn't so bad after all. I was beginning to understand what my friends saw in it.

Allison looked very sweet as she smiled at me from across the table. She was certainly a pretty girl. I'd noticed a couple of guys looking at her at the theater. They were definitely interested in her. I noticed the look they gave me too. It was an envious look that made me feel good. I guess having a pretty girl was like having a nice car. There was a certain satisfaction from having something that someone else wanted. I felt a little guilty thinking of her as an object. I knew that wasn't right. It still felt good being envied, however.

While we were talking, she placed her hand on my wrist. She rubbed up and down my arm a little. I didn't know how to react or what to say, so I just smiled. That seemed to work. She smiled back. I wondered what signals I was sending her and where they would take me. I felt like I was conversing in a foreign language. My nervousness returned.

On our drive home, my nervousness was fanned to new heights. The closer we got to her house, the more I worried about what I should do when we got there. I sure as hell wasn't going in, but I knew there would be some awkward moments at the door.

The porch light was on. We stopped just short of it's golden glow. Allison turned to face me, then leaned in, just a little. My instincts kicked in again and I pressed my lips to hers and kissed her. It wasn't what I'd expected. I felt no passion, no love; it didn't get me excited at all. It was no more significant or meaningful to me than a hand shake would've been, or a pat on the back, or something. It was just… nothing. She seemed to like it, however.

She smiled at me and said goodnight.

I climbed into my car and drove home, with a sick feeling in my gut. My lack of attraction to Allison and my thoughts about Todd upset me. I felt lost, like I didn't know where I was going. I knew I was supposed to be dating. I knew I should've liked it. But there was something wrong. It just didn't feel right at all. I didn't know whether I wanted to continue it or not. It would only get more difficult as time went on. The longer we dated, the more I'd be expected to do with her, and the truth was, I didn't feel anything for her, nothing sexual anyway. I almost felt like I was selling my body or something. The only reason I kissed her was that I felt I had to do it.

By the time I reached home, I decided to stick with dating her, at least for a while. Parts of it had been fun and maybe the rest would fall into place. Maybe my nervousness screwed up my feelings. I was still disturbed; my lack of desire bothered me. A very significant thought about that began to form in my head. It wasn't a clear thought, but I knew I didn't want to think about it at all. I pushed it out of my mind, as I did with all such thoughts. No, I just wasn't going to think about it.

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