Too young, that's what Jan had told him, that first summer. They were too young to be so serious. Yes, she loved him, but she wanted the summer off. They should date other people over the summer.
Well, she had been very young, that first summer. She was one of those city girls who had skipped a grade. He'd met her for lunch, somehow there had been a mutual friend, and she hadn't looked too sexy, very quiet, shy, but she was a little sister, her big sister had been living with a guy for a while, and she was an art student, she spent her summers sketching nudes down at the Brooklyn Academy. She had been a little time bomb, a sex bomb, waiting to go off, and Tom had been the fuse. But she wasn't a dumb girl, and her sister had broken up with that guy, rather bitterly. So she wanted the summer off. She thought that they should date other people over the summer.
What was Tom going to say? And in truth, it hadn't worked out so badly. He'd taken the train up to see her three or four times over the summer. He'd even driven up to see her during her brief stint as a camp counselor. She had been as loving, as passionate, as ever. And when school started, they had started up right where they had left off. It was no big deal. He'd gone out on a few dates at home, well, maybe more than a few, nothing serious, some necking, maybe a little more than that. Maybe he had spent quite a few summer nights at the drive-in, watching or pretending to watch the triple feature. Nothing serious had happened, nothing he had to feel guilty about. And as for Jan, if she had found some nice Jewish boy back in Brooklyn she had never talked about it.
But now a second summer had rolled around, and Jan had announced that the summer rules still applied. Actually, she had phrased it as "of course," as if it was the most natural thing in the world to set aside three months for betrayal of your beloved. Adolescentry, that's what Tom called it. He was worried, more worried, this time. There was this guy named Claude, Claude the Clod as far as Tom was concerned, Claude was French, he was in his twenties, he had picked up Jan when she was walking in the park, wearing a pair of those hippie jeans. "Madame, you have a butterfly on your derriere." That was what he had said. That was what Jan had the nerve to tell Tom he had said. Plus, "you are very sexy." Well, she hadn't been all that sexy when Tom first met her. Mousy almost, shy and withdrawn. If she radiated sexy now, it was because Tom had drawn it out of her. Bitch. Tom was sure that Claude was lurking, at least in Jan's imagination, just waiting for the start of open season.
Which explained, perhaps, why Tom was on his way to pick up Maggie on a warm June Friday evening. Not that anything too exciting was going to happen. Maggie was an old friend, the girl friend of one of his best friends in high school, pretty, a bit chubby, a straight arrow. She'd gone off to a conservative Christian college in the South. He'd gone off to Columbia. She was still stuck in the Fifties. He had become a spear bearer, so to speak, in the sexual revolution. Even so, on a few nights the summer before, during the third feature, Maggie had actually let Tom touch her breasts. That had been a big deal for her. He should have told her, one of those times, that he was in love with someone else. But he hadn't. He should have broken things off. But he hadn't. He'd even seen her a couple of times over Christmas break, not dates really, they'd gone to a couple of movies, in regular theatres, and to one party. Maybe he had given her little polite good night kisses, maybe she had said she had really enjoyed being with him. It didn't matter. It was all so innocent. He'd headed back up for track practice the next day. Jan had been naked in his bed that afternoon and every afternoon for the rest of winter break. Really, Maggie was not that sexy. She was too chubby, too straight laced. He was almost embarrassed by those little snuggle sessions last summer. But here he was headed for another one.
She was waiting for him in her driveway. At least, there was a girl in the driveway the same height as Maggie, same blonde hair, same glasses, even. But this girl was thinner, a lot thinner. This girl looked like a supermodel.
"Wow." That was all he could say. She didn't give him a chance to be a gentleman. She opened the passenger door and crawled in next to him, right next to him, snuggling over to give him a little kiss on the cheek. "Wow," he repeated. "How are you?"
"Okay, I think. I've lost a lot of weight."
"You look fantastic."
"Thanks. It takes a little getting used to." Maggie had always been pretty, but she had veiled that beauty with a little layer of flab, not a lot, but enough. She wasn't used to turning heads. She wasn't used to having all conversation stop when she walked into a room. Of course, she could dress more modestly, bulky sweaters, baggy pants, and maybe she did that most of the time, but tonight she was wearing a little sun dress, the same kind Jan would wear on their summer dates, except that Jan didn't have all that cleavage. Or the little gold cross lodge incongruously in the middle of all that lovely flesh.
"Diet?" Tom asked. "You swore off ice cream?" They were friends, just good friends. They had known each other since fourth grade, they had gone through Sunday school together, confirmation class, youth group. He was going to have a friendly conversation with her. He was going to tease her about her new found slimness. He wasn't going to sit there dumbfounded that he had a girl that looked like that pressing against him.
"Never," she giggled. "I just lost a lot of weight, all of a sudden. I've been going through some medical tests, to see if anything is wrong."
"Right now, though, I'm enjoying it."
"I bet. Has Jake seen you?"
"Jake hasn't talked to me for a while now."
"I see him all the time. We work out together."
"Really?" Maybe that had been the wrong thing to say. She edged away just a little.
"I'm faster than he is now. He was pretty pissed."
"Good for you," she giggled. "How does he like Amherst?" A little dig back. Jake had gotten into Amherst, Tom had to settle for Columbia. Just because Jake was the football star. Well, Tom was doing okay. Soccer, track, steady girl friend, on top of his class, on top of the world. Except for that little cloud, that Claude, on the horizon.
"He likes it." Plenty to keep you warm at night. That's what Jake had said, but Tom decided he'd better not pass that remark on. No reason to open up old wounds. "So what to you want to do?" He decided he'd better change the topic quickly. "Miniature golf?"
The little gasp of irritation she gave was worth it. She edged away even further for a moment, then came close again, so close she was whispering in his ear. "Too hot. Too buggy."
Jean Nate, she was wearing Jean Nate, just like Jan. The whiff of it was enough to arouse him. But he was not going to give in so easily. "We could go out to Longwood Gardens, and look at the fountains."
"Even more bugs. Do you really want to do that? I'll go put on a shirt and blue jeans." She was smiling at him now. She drew up her right knee so that her skirt slid back up onto her lap, revealing the full tanned length of her thigh. Then she actually made a move towards the door, put he grabbed a bare shoulder.
"That's okay. I like you the way you are."
"Well, I would think so. You know, I was working in the thrift shop, and I saw this dress, and I was thinking, who would ever wear a dress like that? But I sort of took it home, and now I'm wearing it."
"You look fantastic. Your mother let you go out looking like that?" He couldn't resist the jibe.
"I snuck out the side door."
"Well why don't we go over to the arcade? I can walk around with you on my arm and make every other guy very jealous."
"I'm not that brave."
"Well, what about the drive-in then?" Of course, every one of their dates the summer before had been to the drive-in.
"The James Bond movie. You haven't seen it, have you?"
"No." She sounded like she was lying, but it didn't matter. He turned on the car and Richie Ashburn's distinctive voice emerged from the radio. "Baseball, yuck." She hit the FM button without asking, and the Phillies were replaced by Eugene Ormandy. "Classical?"
"Of course, classical. Don't you like classical?"
"Sometimes. Not tonight. I'm not dressed for classical."
Now that, Tom thought, was not strictly true. Jan liked classical music. Jan liked to do little nude ballets. They never listened to rock in bed. Bach if they were in his bed, Joni Mitchell in hers. But now Maggie had found the Rolling Stones. She had turned up the volume. She was humming along. Then it was Steppenwolf, Born to be Wild. "We can fly so high, I never want to die." She sang that, then she shut off the radio. They were almost to the drive-in.
"Tom, how long do you expect to live? Do you think you going to get drafted?"
"I'm sure I'm going to get drafted." Jan was sure he was going to get drafted. There was a little clock in her head, counting down the months until he graduated.
"Maybe the war will be over."
"You could go to Canada."
"I wouldn't do that. What about you?"
"I don't know what I'd do, if I were a guy."
"No. How long do you expect to live?" Why did you even ask me that question?
"I used to think that I would live to be very old, that I would get married and have a family. Now I'm not so sure."
"A little. I don't know why this happened to me. I don't know if it's dangerous."
"Beauty is always dangerous." She rewarded him with a little smile. Of course her teeth were the same, gleaming white and perfect. He had just never realized quite how dazzling that smile could be. "Maybe," he added, "you need to live more for the moment." He tried to make that remark sound purely philosophical, purely abstract, just a suggestion to a friend.
They had arrived at the drive-in. It was early still. The lot was almost deserted, but Tom headed for the outskirts.
"Can we park closer to the stand?" Her request caught him off guard.
"Sure, it that's what you want." He was feeling an immense wave of disappointment wash over him. The drive-in, live for the moment, the sun dress -- all those little signals had just been turned to nothing.
"It's just that," she paused, "I have to pee all the time. I'm sorry."
"It's okay." He parked right next to the rest rooms.
"We don't have to be that close. Over there."
"This is okay? It's sort of off to the side."
It was getting dark enough to start screening the marching hot dogs. There was something new this year though in the parade -- beer kegs with plump bare legs and mustached heads with little Tyrolean hats.
"Look at that," he said. "They've got beer."
"Let's get some."
"It will only make you pee more." He regretted that as soon as he said it. What was he thinking? But she was already out the door and headed for the ladies room. When she came out, she found his arms wrapped around a big plastic bucket, each hand clutching a paper cup.
"That's a lot of beer." She took the cups and he shifted his grip to the bucket handle.
"Cheaper this way."
"You're hungry already?" He had expected to wait until after the first feature to go after those marching hot dogs.
"I'm always hungry. I eat and eat and I'm still losing weight."
"Nice problem," he said, but maybe it wasn't so nice.
"You go ahead with the beer. I'll get us something."
"My treat." She came out to the car with three cheeseburgers, one of them for him, and a huge barrel of popcorn. It was still too light to start the main feature.
"We're too early."
"Longest day of the year, almost. Want to go do the miniature golf and come back?"
"It's okay. We can just talk for a while." She emphasized the just talk by sliding away from him and piling two empty cartons between them.
"You want my cheeseburger?"
"I had big dinner."
"So did I." She gave a little giggle and bit into it. She was already on her second glass of beer. Or maybe it was the third. "Do you ever read the Bible?"
"Not much," he admitted.
"I started to read it again. I've started to do a lot of things." She gave a little giggle. "You remember Paul's letters? He thought that the world was going to end, right away. He thought that everyone should be very good, very pure because God was going to judge them. What would you do, if you thought things were going to end, very soon, at least for you?"
"Eat, drink and be merry." Tom hoisted his beer glass.
"Maybe. I'm doing a good job on the first two." She drained the last of the beer out of the bucket.
"You're not going to die. At least not right away."
"Maybe. Maybe they won't find what's wrong and I'll just keep getting thinner, until I look like I just came out of a concentration camp. Maybe they will find what's wrong and fix it and I'll get fat again."
"Maybe you'll just stay gorgeous."
He attempted to refill his cup, but the bucket was empty. She gave a little, not so little, a very unladylike belch. "Oh my God," she started to giggle, then hiccupped. "I'm not used to all this beer, oh my God!" She went rushing off in the direction of the refreshment stand. Power of suggestion, he trailed after her, and waited politely for her to emerge. Just as well, she was leaning on his arm for balance on the way back to the car.
"I'm merry, so merry," she was singing, not quite on key. Tom remembered that first date with Jan, the Blanket Permission dance, you provided a blanket, a bottle, and a girl, they provided setups -- and Jan had staggered back to his room, the blanket draped over her head. A little time bomb, waiting to go off -- and what was Maggie?
"I have a confession to make," she said, as they got into the car. "I didn't quite make it to the ladies room. I wet myself." She started to giggle. "Good thing I was wearing a dress. But I had to rinse out my panties."
"You'll get chafed."
"I know. They're already, like, really really itchy. You don't mind?" She was wriggling them down her legs. "Well Tom, have you ever been in a car with a girl with no panties before?"
"No," he lied. There was that ride to Monticello the summer before, when he had gone to see Jan during her brief unhappy career as a camp counselor. Two weeks she'd been off in the boonies, with another six in the offing. He'd driven up to see her on her day off, just an afternoon really. They'd gone back to his motel room and fucked to exhaustion, at least his exhaustion, and then driven over to see his roommate. The road had been deserted, his hand had found her lap, somehow, he didn't remember why, the panties had come off. Then all of a sudden they were in town, and she never had a chance to put them back on.
"Do you think you can behave yourself?" She giggled again.
"Not a chance."
She gave another giggle, but instead of sliding next to him, she moved as far away as she could, over against the passenger door. What game was she playing? He tossed the debris that separated them into the back seat and slid over next to her. She was shivering.
"Are you okay?"
"I'm okay." She took a deep breath. "How about you?"
"I'm fine." The question startled him, but he realized he was trembling also. "Too cold?"
"No, no. It's okay."
The feature had started, at last. The opening credits were playing, sultry music and brief images of women who might have been naked in pastel lighting. Tom had seen it before, with Jan. That time he'd actually paid attention to it. It was one of their dinner dates where they started in his bed first and then worked their way downtown for dinner and a movie, then out to Brooklyn, and if her parents were asleep they would crawl into her bed and shed their clothes beneath the covers.
Forget Jan. There was a beautiful girl shivering next to him, and she needed to be hugged to warm her up. There was a beautiful girl crying, and she needed her eyes kissed, and then her lips. There was a beautiful girl sitting next to him with no panties, and his hand was on her thigh, close to where those panties should have been. Her hand was on his wrist, but it wasn't stopping him. She didn't have her legs pressed together. He kissed her, hard, tongue thrusting into her mouth, and he moved his fingers upward.
Of course, he knew what he would find there. He knew how to slide along the moistness of her groove, how the find the little nub, not so little, a lot bigger than Jan. She was gasping at his first touch. Her hand was still on his wrist, but more now to hold it in place. She pulled one knee up, and he sent his little finger back to find her anus. Coyly, coyly, thumb on the clit, middle fingers working their way into her moistness, and that little finger -- it was being massaged now by a tight ring of muscle. The time bomb was ready to explode.
There was a tapping at the window, a flashlight shining in on them. The security guard was making his rounds. She sat up and smoothed her dress back over her lap. "I guess we're getting started too early." A car had pulled up next to them, full of little kids.
"We could go somewhere else."
"No. I want to see the movie. We'll just have to behave ourselves for a while." She sat there, prim and proper as she could be in a sundress with no panties, looking straight ahead at the movie screen, but her hand was on the zipper of his shorts. He gave her a little help. He unbuckled the belt. He undid the button. He slid the shorts down, and tried to pull his shirt over his lap to hide his erection. She was starting to stroke him. No, she was sizing him up, opening and closing her hand to measure the length of his shaft.
"You're going to get us arrested." He pulled her hand away.
"All right. We'll just sit here nicely and watch the movie." She slid over and sat on his lap. "What could be wrong with that?" She hunched up a little and pulled up the back of her skirt, so that it was out of the way. He rolled down his shorts so that he could feel her cool thighs against his. She reached beneath her skirt and started to stroke again. Then she shifted, she gave a little grunt, and he was sliding within her.
"Oh! It worked!" He could feel her hand tracing around the intersection of their flesh. "I've been practicing," she added.
"With a dildo. What? I didn't want my first time to be a problem. I didn't even want anyone to know it was my first time."
"Good idea." I wish Jan had done that, he added to himself. It would have saved a lot of trauma. "But this is, your first time?"
"Yep. I've been getting ready for a while now. Got the pills, got a book, got the dildo."
"And the guy?"
"Not at school. I'm a straight arrow, remember."
"Summer rules," he muttered.
"Yeah," she giggled, "summer rules. I'm so glad it's you. Do you want to get married?"
"Tomorrow then. We'll fly out to Vegas and get married. What?" She could feel him shriveling inside her. :"Just kidding," she added, too late.
"We have another year of school."
"I'll drop out. I'll come live with you in New York. I'll be a supermodel and we'll have a huge apartment. I'll pay your way through grad school."
"It may be the army. It will be the army."
"Oh. Maybe I'll be a centerfold instead.." One of the Bond girls was filling the screen with cleavage. "What do you think?" she giggled. "How do I stack up, so to speak?" She found a hand and put in on a breast. She wiggled it out of the top of her sun dress. Just in time Tom saw the flashlight heading their way again.
"You're going to get us arrested!" He pulled the dress back up just in time. The flashlight swept across them. Tom tried to keep his expression perfectly blank, but Maggie was giggling. The flashlight lingered for a moment, and moved on.