tagFirst TimeGood Hearted Ch. 02

Good Hearted Ch. 02


When Ethan woke the next morning, he felt different. It wasn't just his first kiss and first blow-job, but something else entirely. Then he remembered how is cock grew and he threw back his blankets and pulled down the front of his underwear. Alas, it was just as normal as always. Maybe it only grows bigger when you really want it to, thought Ethan. A wistful smile crept across his face. His encounter with the nurse, Becky, was fresh in his mind. Just thinking about it caused his cock to swell. It took eighteen years for his first sexual encounter of any kind, and Ethan prayed silently that it wouldn't take that long for his second.

He rolled out of bed and got ready for school. As he headed for the door, he stuck his head into his mother's room just to reassure himself that she was home safely from her night shift at the hospital. She was wrapped in her blankets, deep in dreamland. Ethan wished her happy dreams and grabbed a bagel from the bag in the kitchen and a bottle of orange juice from the refrigerator before he let himself out the front door and began his sixteen block walk to school.

When he arrived at school, Ethan could feel eyes following him. From each clique of students gathered around the outdoor commons, he knew they were watching him and talking about him. In his head, Ethan wished they would just leave him alone. He wished they would stop being so selfish and focus on making the world a better place, instead of holding up their classmates to their imaginary standards. When he looked up, Ethan couldn't find anyone paying him any attention at all.

"Hello Ethan," a quiet familiar voice called from behind him. He turned to face her with a smile. "It's great to see you in school. There was a rumor that you were jumped and nearly beaten to death. And yesterday three gang members were arrested right over there and taken away. The whole school was talking about it. Everyone says it's because they tried to kill you. It doesn't look like they tried very hard, I don't even see any bruises."

Alexa Wilson had been in the same grade as Ethan since kindergarten. She was his oldest acquaintance, his best friend, though Ethan was a loner and Alexa kept to herself as well. Like Ethan, she only had one parent, her father, who kept strict watch over her. Alexa was an honor roll student like Ethan. She was a talented musician, which Ethan was not. But as far as Ethan knew, she'd never been on a date either, so that was another thing they had in common.

"Well Lexa, you can see the stories were greatly exaggerated. I got beat up a little but I am ok now."

Alexa looked visibly relieved. Ethan had no idea how much Alexa liked him. Since the fourth grade she had a crush on Ethan, but she knew her father wouldn't approve. She never said anything to Ethan, and even now, when she thought she had lost him to violence, she couldn't work up the nerve to tell him the truth. Alexa had resigned herself to being dateless until college. Maybe later if her father had his way. He was loving, but he was very restrictive.

"You know Lex, that beating may have finally knocked some sense into me. You are the only girl I have ever liked, even when we were little, and I have never asked you out. I am going to change that. Would you go out with me? On a date?"

His words jolted her. She never thought Ethan would ever make the first move. She smiled but said nothing, trying to put her thoughts into some semblance of logic. Ethan had no idea where the courage to ask her out had come from. Maybe it came from the confidence that grew when Becky told him he was a great kisser. Maybe it stemmed from his near-death experience that jolted him out of his rut. In any case, he had asked the question he'd never had the courage to ask.

"Oh Ethan, I'd love to go on a date with you. But my father would never allow it. He won't let me date anyone. Ever!" she said with an apologetic sigh.

"Not even if I ask him nicely?" joked Ethan, acting more confident than he felt, trying to put Alexa at ease. "Do you think he'd give me a chance to ask?"

"I don't know Ethan. He can be very intimidating. Let me think about it."

Ethan wished he could find a way to make Alexa happy and to make her father understand he would protect his daughter.

"The offer stands until you tell me yes or no. I am not going to give up. Anyway, I have to go and see my teachers and get my assignments so I can start catching up on my homework," he said as he started toward the entrance to the building. "Let's sit together at lunch, OK?"

"Yeah, ok, sure," Alexa stammered. She'd sat at the same table as Ethan before, hundreds of times, but never had they sat together as part of a plan. "I'll see you then." But Ethan was gone. Alexa couldn't help but wonder what had come over Ethan. He seemed so much more mature than before.

Ethan's classes passed like molasses dripping in winter. Nothing his teachers said held his interest like Alexa. He accumulated a mountain to assignments to catch up on and his mind was only on her. She was the female equivalent of Ethan, smaller than most of the girls in the senior class. While she was attractive, she wasn't one of the pretty or popular girls. Because of her bookish ways, and her over-protective father, she wasn't considered to be dateable when she was considered at all. But when she smiled, everything changed. When Alexa smiled, her face glowed a light from her soul. She didn't know how much it buoyed Ethan's heart when she smiled at him. When she smiled, she was more than pretty, she was the most beautiful thing on earth or in the heavens. Ethan thought of her smile and couldn't help but smile himself.

"Ethan Rome!" rebuked Mr. Miller, his Calculus teacher, breaking his reverie. "Since you find differential equations so amusing, why don't you explain to the class what they are and how they are different from each other."

Ethan found his daydream shattered and his real life a study in panic. He desperately wished he could explain the four types of differential equations in such a way that everyone would understand them and Mr. Miller would be happy and leave him be.

"The four types of basic differential equations are separable, homogenous, linear and exact. While their names give you an idea of their differences, I find it easy to classify equations when I look at them this way..." Ethan started as he rose from his seat and approached the board. He continued to speak for fifteen minutes and when he was done he looked down at the floor.

"That seems so much easier to understand Mr. Miller, is he right?" asked Caroline Mack from one of the front row desks.

"Yes Miss Mack, Ethan is absolutely correct," he replied. "I hope you all took good notes. Ethan has given us all new insights in how to approach classifying differential equations."

He turned to face Ethan. "He also has a gift for mathematics and would make an excellent math instructor if he so desired."

Ethan blushed at the praise. He rushed to return to his seat and to fade from the spotlight. The class continued and Ethan tried to pay attention, but his mind was locked onto thoughts of Alexa. The bell finally rang and Ethan hurried for the door. On his way to the dining hall, Ethan felt a shove from the side. He turned to figure out who was accosting him and found it was a freshman student. The freshman hadn't meant to run into Ethan, but he had no choice. Four of the school's biggest bullies were teasing him. All four were senior lettermen on the football team and Ethan was sure it would take all four of their IQs to reach a measurable number.

"Hey look, it's the Timex nerd, Ethan Rome!" called one of the pimple-faced meatheads. "He takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'!"

They all laughed. Ethan silently wished he could make those meatheads spend their time sticking up for little guys like this freshman instead of picking on people because they were bigger and stronger. Ethan grabbed the abused freshman and stepped between him and the bullies. He stood his ground when the four lineman approached to continue their torment of the frightened young teen.

"You guys are better than this," Ethan admonished quietly, his voice so low that only the bullies could hear. "Don't you remember back in third grade when the sixth graders picked on you? I know you hated it. I know it made you cry. Now you guys could rule the school and make sure none of the little guys get picked on anymore and you are doing the picking! It just seems like a waste of time to me. Wouldn't you rather be heroes?"

The words washed over the four bigger seniors like icy water. They stopped their forward progress and gave his words some real thought. Then they looked at each other and Ethan could see the shame forming in their eyes. Shame for becoming the kind of bullies they used to loathe.

"Aw man, Ethan. Why'd you have to go and do that? I forgot all about those bullies," said one of the football players. "Come here kid!" he gestured to the freshman. "We thought we were being funny and I guess we were being assholes. We're sorry. It won't happen again. Will it guys?" They all murmured apologies and tried to smooth it over with the victim.

Ethan resumed his walk to the dining area where he finally caught a glimpse of Alexa in the sea of tables and teenagers. He strode up to her.

"Hey, is this seat taken?" he asked with a smile.

"I'm saving it for someone special," she replied with a mischievous grin.

"Lucky for me, my mom thinks I'm someone special, so I guess you are saving it for me."

"Then you should sit down before someone EXTRA special comes along," she teased. Ethan sat in a rush.

"I've got it all figured out," stated Ethan, changing the subject. "Your dad is a lawyer, right?" Alexa nodded. "Then I'll just present my case as your date and protector and he will review the evidence and find in my favor. Simple, right?"

"Oh Ethan! You wouldn't stand a chance," she said chucking her shoulder against his. "He's brutal in the courtroom. He puts away criminals for a living. Just wait before asking him. I'll try to get him in the mood to say yes."

"How long?"

"Until after the funeral."

"What funeral?"

"His." And they both broke up laughing.

"Well, I can't actually afford to take you on a date yet, so don't get too worried. First, I need to get a job, then I need to get paid, and THEN I'll have the wherewithal to properly ask your father's permission to date his only daughter, the goddess of my heart."

Alexa blushed bright red and turned her face toward the table. She secretly wished Ethan WOULD ask her father and her father WOULD give his blessing. She wanted to go on a date with Ethan in the worst way. She wanted Ethan to be her first boyfriend and her first kiss. She tried to think of something else. In her heart she knew these thoughts would only leave her frustrated and lonely. But she felt hopeful that Ethan would somehow make her father see it would be alright for her to go on a date with a boy. Especially one so kind-hearted as Ethan Rome.

Ethan met with Alexa after the final bell.

"I really can't stay too long, my dad gets worried and upset if I don't get home and call him by 3:30 each day. I'll see you tomorrow?" she asked hopefully, clutching her violin to her chest, her book bag slung over her shoulder.

"You are going to see so much of me you are going to think we are Siamese twins. I've decided you are going to be my first girlfriend Alexa Wilson," stated Ethan with only a bit of a boast. "I can't believe it's taken me 12 years to figure it out."

"Me either," answered Alexa with another blush. "I guess I'll see you tomorrow." She turned and walked away. Ethan continued to watch her, until she was at the end of the school grounds. When she turned and caught his eye and smiled, Ethan's heart filled with joy. He flashed a broad smile back. Then he turned and fairly sprinted downtown to the library.

"I have to give my notice as a volunteer," he explained to Helen Walters, the circulation librarian who managed the volunteers. "You see, I know this girl, and I kind of want to take her on a date, on a hundred dates, and my looks being what they are, I figured a job would help so I could actually pay for the dates, and you know what I mean, right? You were young and in love once, I am sure."

"What do you mean 'were young and in love once'? I am not THAT old Ethan Rome. But if it's a job you are looking for, maybe I can help. What kind of job are you looking for?"

"Something part-time that pays well enough, I guess. I can only work after school and on weekends."

"It just so happens we have a job as an at-large tutor that is right up your ally. We were going to mention it to you, but you seemed so content doing your own thing we never brought it up."

"What does an at-large tutor do?" asked Ethan, very much interested.

"Most of our tutors are subject-specific and age-range specific. An at-large tutor works with different age students and different subject matters, probably on a daily basis. That's why we thought you were ideal for the job. You have always had a way with the other children and you know a lot about a lot of different subjects. How about we give it a trial run for two weeks and then see if you like it as much as I hope?" she offered.

"Sounds like a deal to me. When can I start?" Ethan asked with a broad smile.

"In about fifteen minutes," the librarian replied.

"Why fifteen minutes?" asked Ethan.

"It's going to take that long to get your paperwork done and get you a time card number so you can clock in and get to work," she laughed. "But don't worry, we always have more kids that need help than tutors who can help them."

Fifteen minutes later Ethan found himself seated in one of the study rooms of the libraries second floor. Students who needed assistance would come to his room and he would help them either alone or in pairs if they were needing help with the same subject. There was a timid knock at the door. A junior high student that Ethan knew by sight was standing there.

"Hector Reyes! Come in. You get to be my first official pupil."

Hector was big boy for his age. At 13 he already had hair sprouting on his upper lip, dark like the thick hair covering his head. His English was good enough for Hector to be understood.

"Mr. Rome-a," he started formally. "I am needing help with my algebra."

"First, Hector, call me Ethan," Ethan replied with a smile. "Second, you can relax, I am fluent in algebra. Come sit, let's see what you need and how I can help you get it." In his head, Ethan wished he could speak Spanish so that Hector could understand what he was trying to communicate better.

The two reviewed Hector's homework and Ethan began to explain the logic of algebra to Hector and the pair worked for two hours before a knock at the door interrupted them. Hector's father was there to pick up his son.

"Papa, this is Mr. Ethan Rome-a," Hector said rising. "He has helped me to understand algebra so much better."

"Your Spanish is impressive, Mr. Ethan," stated the elder Reyes, extending his hand. "Where did you learn it?"

This caught Ethan by surprise. He hadn't been speaking Spanish to Hector, though Hector had been speaking better English during the session. Unsure if Hector's father was pulling a joke or not, Ethan went along with it.

"I guess I picked it up on the streets," he replied sheepishly, not knowing what else to say.

"It's very impressive. Thank you for helping my son. If it's not too much trouble, can he continue to come back to see you until he catches up with his classmates? He's going to be the first Reyes to go to college and be somebody!"

"Papa, I don't want to go to college. I want to go to work like you and my uncles."

"No son, you won't be going to work like your uncles and me. You are going to be a boss, a foreman. You are going to run crews of guys like your uncles and me. You are smart and you are strong. You will be someone special!"

"I guess I will see you tomorrow, Ethan," said Hector as he walked out with his father. "I am understanding algebra much better. Thank you."

It was nearing six o'clock and no other students were waiting to see a tutor, so Ethan made his way down to the main desk to clock out for the night. The librarian was placing a stack of books that needed to be re-shelved on one of the carts where the books were segregated. Each cart carried books for a particular floor. They accumulated all day until they could be returned to the stacks.

"Let me help you with those," said Ethan with a smile. "I can get them back on the shelves in a minute." He grabbed two carts and noted which sections the books came from. One cart he put in dumbwaiter for the fifth floor and the other in a dumbwaiter for the sixth floor. "If you send up four and three when I send the carts down, it won't take me very long to get these back in the stacks. I know you have more cataloging to do."

"You are always so helpful, Ethan. You have a good heart. But shelving six carts of books will take two hours. Let me help you."

Ethan shook his head and called over his shoulder as he jogged up the broad marble staircase that rose the six floors up the center of the main city library, "I got this. No worries. I'll have it done in fifteen minutes."

He climbed to the top, two steps at a time, and reached the sixth floor just as the rickety dumbwaiter full of books rattled to a stop. He opened the outer door and the inner according door and pulled the cart out. Ethan glanced over the cart of books, reading each Library of Congress number before he started moving through the stacks. Without breaking stride, and barely slowing down, he slid the volumes exactly in place on each shelf, precisely where they belonged. Ethan didn't even notice that he wasn't looking at the spine of each book again as he moved through the stacks. He would reach a spot where a book belonged and he would pull the correct volume of the cart and slip it into place. He re-shelved thirty books on the sixth floor in under three minutes. He shoved the cart back into the dumbwaiter and sent it rattling down to the circulation desk.

The loaded dumbwaiter was waiting on five so he unloaded that cart, glanced at their catalog numbers, and moved through the stacks quickly and efficiently. Ethan never back-tracked, never rechecked the spine, never missed. He sent the book cart back down and headed to the fourth floor where another full cart was waiting. He jogged through the stacks, sliding volumes in their proper places and moving on. Ethan didn't notice his new ability to memorize an entire cart of books with a glance. To him it felt old-hat, both normal and natural. In short work he was back on the first floor, gathering his personal belongings. Re-shelving six carts of books on six floors took him less than fifteen minutes.

"Ethan, one minute please," said Helen as he was getting his coat on. "Why didn't you put bilingual on your paperwork?"

"I'm not bilingual, Mrs. Walters. I only speak English," he replied honestly.

"Mr. Reyes thinks otherwise. He told Mrs. Altuvia that he spoke to you and thought you were a nice young man. Did you speak to Mr. Reyes?"

"Yes, I did," he admitted. "But we only spoke in English."

"That's odd. Mr. Reyes always speaks to Mrs. Altuvia is our bilingual librarian. She is the only person who ever speaks to Mr. Reyes. Mr. Reyes doesn't speak English."

Ethan didn't know what to say. He carried on a conversation with the man a half hour before.

"Is Mrs. Altuvia still in the back? I'd like to speak to her." Helen Walters nodded and Ethan walked around the long counter and through the door to the open office littered with desks, books, papers and forms.

"Mrs. Altuvia, can I speak to you for a minute?"

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