After School Hookup Ch. 01byrockandroller©
Alice longs to wear a plaid skirt, and Halloween is her chance...
I don't have to apologize, not one little bit. The fates themselves planted the seeds in my head and even though I didn't recognize them at the time there was no way for me to resist their eventual flowering. I do, however, remember the exact season they were sowed.
I was a little girl of five and it was the beginning of autumn. Looking out our bay window one morning I discovered that there were tiny groups of girls walking by our house. Girls in white cotton knee socks, white blouses and shiny black patent leather shoes with a little strap across the top.
Most importantly to me, they were girls in plaid skirts.
I had no idea why those skirts intrigued me so, but I was enchanted. I liked the bright colors of the skirts, how they wrapped tightly around skinny waists, the way the motion of the legs under them caused them to swish softly to and fro. I was sure that if I ever got one I would have to learn how to walk a special way just to make them do that.
Every day giggle after giggle of girls went by holding books in their crossed arms, their blue plaid skirts swaying gently as they sauntered by. And every day I went to sit in the bay window to watch.
Sometimes I even noticed that there were boys walking along in groups of their own. They seemed to spend a lot of time watching the girls in blue plaid skirts, like I did. If a girl caught any of them, the boy would pretend that he hadn't been looking at all. Then he might throw a rock or punch one of his friends in the arm as if that somehow meant he hadn't been looking. And every once in a while one of the boys would nudge his buddy and whisper in his ear. Then he would nod at the swishing skirt on the girl in front of him and they'd both laugh. Of course I had no idea what that was all about. I could tell that the girls noticed, but for some reason they mostly pretended that they didn't.
But that stuff didn't really matter to me. What mattered was the pretty plaid skirts. Most girls my age dreamed of being princesses who wore long silky gowns in shiny colors and were named Ariel or Rose. But not me. I didn't want to be a silly old princess. I was proud of myself because my dreams were much more grown up than that. More realistic. What I wanted was to wear a plaid skirt.
I knew that somehow if I could only put one on, then everyone would look at me and admire me and tell me how pretty I was. Of course I would pretend that I wasn't as pretty as all that, but deep in my heart I would know that all of the compliments were very true.
I wanted to be one of those girls so very badly. I wanted to wear a pretty plaid skirt and carry my books and walk down the street and have the boys look at me while I pretended I didn't notice.
"Where are they going?" I asked my big brother Evan, who happened to be looking out the window too as I watched them going by one spring morning. Evan was six years older than me and the font of all useful knowledge as far as I was concerned.
"Those girls? They're going to school. Pretty soon you'll be old enough to go to school yourself."
"Really, Allison," he said, using my full name and patting me on the shoulder in that possessive big-brother way he sometimes had. "You'll have books and teachers, and they let you play on the playground. You'll really like it." It was reassuring to have a big brother who knew everything, and I couldn't wait to be old enough for school so I could wear a plaid skirt and black shoes and have the boys watch me as I walked.
As my first day of school got closer, I grew more and more excited. I was going to put on my new plaid skirt and my patent leather shoes; I would wear my hair in pigtails and all of the boys walking behind me would look and all of the girls would be jealous with how pretty I was. I just knew it.
But nobody had thought to tell me that we weren't Catholic and that the school down the street wasn't the school I was going to. When the first day of school came Mom laid out my prettiest dress and told me to get ready for the big day. I burst into tears.
"Why do I have to wear this?" I cried over and over. Mom had no idea why I was so upset, and no doubt thought my distress was somehow related to first day jitters -- her daughter fixating on the wrong thing because she couldn't articulate her real fear. Trying to keep me calm, she told me I could wear whatever I wanted. I couldn't understand why she was teasing me so. I ran to my room and pulled all of the clothes out of my drawers, looking for a new plaid skirt and new black patent leather shoes, but I couldn't find them.
Mom finally lost her patience and pulled me down into her lap. She asked me what exactly I was looking for. It took several tries to get the words past my tears and out of my mouth.
"My p-p-plaid skirt! And my black shoes! All the girls have them. That's what you're supposed to wear when you go to school." I could see the light bulb go off over her head as she realized my misunderstanding. She gathered me in her arms and soothed me, murmuring sympathetically in the perfect way that only mothers know how to do. She explained that those girls weren't as lucky as I was, and that I could wear whatever I wanted to my school. She tried to make it sound like my school was better than the one down the street, the one where all of the girls had to wear pretty plaid skirts that swayed when they walked.
"Sweetie, you'll like it much better at your school, I promise. Didn't you ever notice that all of the girls going to school down the street are lots older than you are? Your school is for little girls like you. Sally is going to your school, too, and she's your best friend. You wouldn't want her to have to go to school without you, would you?" Mom rubbed my back and whispered to me, just as if I really had a choice, "Will you do it for me?"
Miserably I caved in to her calm reassurances. I put on the dress she had laid out for me and went off to my first day at school. I even learned to like my public school, and as the years went by I gradually figured out that I really didn't mind not being Catholic at all.
But I couldn't get the images of those schoolgirls out of my mind, and I never did stop wanting to be one of them.
* * *
I stuffed the thoughts of plaid skirts and patent leather shoes away in the back of my mind where they could do no damage. Oh, I never forgot them. And as I grew older and began to learn a little about life I slowly came to recognize the undercurrents of sex that were inextricably tied to schoolgirls in uniform. But there was nothing I could do with my realizations. If you're not actually in a school where the girls wear uniforms you look kind of silly parading around in a plaid skirt and knee high socks. So I wore tight jeans and tops that showed my tummy and I kept that little fire banked in a far corner of my mind, ready to be fanned back to life when the right occasion arose, which it didn't do until high school.
Just after I turned eighteen, Jamie Nelson was throwing this big Halloween party and all of the cool kids were going. Sally and Hannah and I were at my house trying to decide what to wear. We weren't sure what we wanted to be, but the one thing we knew was that we wanted to go dressed alike.
"How about cheerleaders?" Sally said.
"That's not bad," I said. "Short skirts. And the boys always drool over the cheerleaders. Look at how many guys are always drooling over Ella."
"No way!" said Hannah. "Ella and the squad were invited, and we don't want to look like we want to be one of them or anything."
"That's true," said Sally, sounding a little disappointed. Sally's attempt to join the squad had failed, and I figured that was the real reason she had made the suggestion.
"Hannah's right," I chimed in. "Those girls are too stuck up already. It wouldn't do at all to make them think we admire them or something. We need something different. Sexy, but not too slutty."
"Yeah," said Hannah. "We don't want to go as strippers or anything like that."
Sally laughed. "As if your dad would let you out of the house wearing stockings, heels and a feather boa." Hannah stuck her tongue out at Sally.
"I've got it!" said Hannah, clapping her hands in delight. "What if I went as a dead bride, and you two could be my dead bridesmaids?"
Sally and I looked at each other and giggled. "Not bad," I said. "But doesn't the thought of standing next to a bride make a boy nervous?"
"Oh, come on," Sally said. "They'll like thinking that they're going to get lucky without actually having to get married. And I don't think anyone else will think of it. I kinda like that idea."
We all thought for a minute or two, picturing ourselves dressed in white gowns.
Sally said, "What if we went as sexy witches? We could wear black stockings and short skirts and pointy hats. Maybe I could even take Teeka with me!" Teeka was Sally's pride and joy, her little black cat.
"There's no way Teeka would put up with being carried around in a stranger's house all night," I said. "Besides, don't you think the whole witch thing has been overdone? Remember how many there were last year?"
"Yeah," said Hannah. "Elsa was one."
"And Hailey and Abigail," said Sally.
"Abigail," I said. "Really?"
"Yep. Remember? She had that stuffed cat puppet that she carried in her arms all night?"
"Oh, yeah." I said. "So that's no good. We need something that hasn't been done to death."
"Well, what's your big idea?" said Sally.
As I said, I had kept the idea tucked way far away in the back of my mind. So far away that I was surprised myself when it suddenly bloomed in front of me.
"How about schoolgirls?" I said. "We could wear plaid skirts and white knee socks, and patent leather shoes. It'd be sexy, and it wouldn't even cost too much."
"Sexy?" said Hannah. "You're kidding, right?"
"No, she's not!" said Sally, clapping her hands in glee. "It's perfect! Boys all drool over those Catholic schoolgirl outfits. Haven't you ever seen them watching the girls walking to St. Joseph's?"
"Listen to her," I said. "Boys love girls in schoolgirl outfits. Especially if they aren't used to seeing them like that. Besides, your dad won't accuse you of looking too sexy. How slutty can it be if every Catholic schoolgirl in town is dressed the same way?"
And the decision was made.
We went shopping at Park Hills Mall and I was surprised at how many different plaid skirts there were to choose from. Blues and pinks, grays and reds. There were all different lengths, too. We finally settled on a baby blue plaid, a color that really brought out the color of Sally's eyes. The socks were no problem, and neither was the blouse. In order to save money we passed on the black leather shoes, and instead we bought matching tennies.
The night of the party I stood in front of the full-length mirror, smoothing the short skirt over my legs. It felt so right -- an unfilled and all but forgotten promise to myself from childhood finally coming true, as if my life had been pale and dreary until my skinny waist was wrapped in plaid. I looked innocent and sexy all at once, and I just knew the boys at the party were going to go crazy. Just for fun I popped my thumb in my mouth and pouted, and I had to giggle at how dirty and silly I felt.
There was no reason at all to let our parents know that we were going to a party in sexy outfits, but we had a plan for that. I started out by tousling my hair. Then I got out the makeup I'd bought and pancaked my whole face and neck in a ghostly pallor. I applied too much mascara, the non-waterproof kind, so when I splashed some water on my eyes it ran down my cheeks. For the piece de resistance, I attached a fake bullet hole to my forehead. I added some blood red gel which I let drool down over my eye and onto my cheek. I have to admit, it all looked pretty gruesome. And far, far from sexy.
I heard Sally and Hannah arrive, and I ran downstairs to find them waiting for me. They looked amazing -- innocent schoolgirls who had been mercilessly slain on their way to school. The crisp clean plaid skirts and white stockings contrasting sickeningly with the blood and gore they had applied to their faces. We congratulated ourselves and went to find Mom and Dad, who thought we were suitably teenager-y and scary.
"But what are you supposed to be?" Dad asked.
"Murdered schoolgirls!" I said, and we all giggled with how silly we were being.
Mom and Dad laughed and had us pose for pictures, making dead schoolgirl faces. And non-the-wiser to our true purpose, they waved us goodbye.
Once we pulled away from the house in Hannah's car, the washcloths came out and we scrubbed our faces clean. On the drive over to Jamie's we applied our real makeup -- a hint of rouge to suggest a pre-teenager's cheeks, a chaste shade of pink lipstick and mascara and liner carefully applied to give us a wide-eyed look. We brushed our hair and braided it into pigtails to add to the illusion of innocent ingénues.
Hannah went the extra step and put a big blue bow on top of her hair. "To tell us apart," she laughed.
After we stopped giggling, Sally showed us her accessory -- a pair of reading glasses that she'd borrowed from her mom's night table. "There," she said, putting them on, batting her eyes and forming a moue with her pink lips. "Do I look suitably brainy?"
We laughed and told her that yes, she looked very brainy. And we reassured each other that there was no way we couldn't have any boy we wanted.
None of us imagined how successful we'd be.
I swear, everyone stopped what they were doing when we walked in just so they could look. I have to admit, amongst all of the witches and farm girls and princesses we did stand out. And just why is it that boys always dress up in something bloody, anyhow?
Jamie's parents were cool, even though they made sure everyone stayed together so they could keep an eye on us during the party. They had set up a table full of munchies and punch with corny names like 'Crushed Crickets' and 'Troll Blood.' We wandered through the house, saying 'hi' to everyone before we settled into a spot near the kitchen counter. Pretty soon we had a bunch of boys around us, vying for attention.
Sally and Hannah and I stuck together to enhance the illusion -- after all, schoolgirls come in groups, right? It also helped us watch each others' backs. We fielded so many compliments that it was just easier to keep our panties on and the boys' hands off if we guarded each other.
Not that we were perfect little girls, though. There wasn't a moment that there weren't a few boys around us, and there was almost always a hand to be slapped away from caressing a plaid skirt or trying to feel a bra strap through a white blouse. Of course we always stopped the exploring hands just a few seconds later than we could have. But I couldn't believe all of the attention! Boys who'd never given us the time of day before were suddenly interested in us; talking to us and trying to paw us even though we were the same three girls who were relegated to background status when we were at school.
The only difference was the plaid skirts.
Hannah let Matt Martin monopolize her company. He was big enough to discourage the other boys from getting too close to her. And I got my first kiss ever that night from Johnny Stafford, who had never paid me any attention before at all.
But the strumpet of the night award went to Sally. She took to her part a little too well, pretending that she was a little girl by keeping her thumb in her mouth and talking with a lisp. It drove the boys crazy.
Tyler Pasder never strayed from her side and somehow managed to be touching her almost constantly, his hands roving up and down her back, getting too low until Hannah or I would notice and slap them away.
Kidding, he asked Sally what she wore under her skirt.
"Pan-ties," she said, drawing the word out in the innocent lisp of a five-year old.
"Can I see them?" Tyler asked, drawing his fingers up her arm as if he didn't really care about her answer.
"Mommy wouldn't like it if I showed you," she said, shaking her head from side to side.
"Please? I won't tell."
"Pretty please? It'll make me sad if you don't." Tyler stuck out his lower lip in an exaggerated pout, which looked pretty comical coming from a guy in a Boba Fett costume.
Sally pretended to think about it. "Well, OK." She took a quick look around to see if Jamie's parents were watching, and then before anyone could stop her she bent over and flipped up her skirt, showing that she was indeed wearing white cotton panties. The boys all cheered and Sally stood back up and put her thumb in her mouth.
"Did I do all right?" she whispered in her baby girl voice.
The boys allowed that she had done just fine and Sally beamed a thousand watt smile at them. Then of course, they wanted to see some more. Sally's refusals kept them pleading for the rest of the party.
I didn't lose my virginity that night, but Hannah may have. I've never asked and she never told. To my relief Sally stopped acting like a little girl the moment we left the party and never acted that way again.
My lesson from the Halloween party was something very powerful, something that I'd always suspected but never known for sure. A short plaid skirt gives a girl lots of power when it comes to boys.
Next: Alice is surprised to learn who shares her desire...