tagNovels and NovellasThe Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door

byMichael_Butterfield©

I>Author's note: I was originally planning on this tale being a short story in the First Time category, but being a novelist at heart, it ballooned on me a bit. Even after editing, it's still better than ninety-thousand words. I didn't want to break it up into separately published sections, so I decided to put it here, in the Novels and Novellas category, where it doubtless belongs.

As usual, I've taken the time to develop the story and characters a little before the sex begins, but there's plenty of it, it's varied, and at least one bout of nookie happens in a location where I'd be afraid to go, much less do the wild thing.

We Literotica writers live for feedback, so please do me the honor of rating, and maybe even commenting on, this story.

Thanks!





On my tenth birthday, I made a solemn vow to my father. Thirty seconds later, he was dead.

That day had actually started out full of promise. I'd been bugging my folks for a long time to take me to the top of the Sears Tower and this was the day we were actually going to do it. Dad had been a construction worker on the project back in the early seventies and could tell amazing stories about assembling what would remain the tallest building in the world for a quarter century. I couldn't imagine anything more exciting than going up to the top of that beautiful skyscraper to take in the view that he had helped make possible.

On that fateful day, Mom rode in the backseat so that I could get the better view from the front. Dad drove us into the city from our quiet little suburban neighborhood. I had only been downtown a couple of times, and I was awed at the sheer size of the magnificent buildings around me. Dad was giving us the full tour, pointing out the sights and telling marvelous stories from the history of the city. Dad had lived almost his whole life in Chicago and obviously loved his home town.

I gaped at the Gothic architecture of the Temple Building and nearly cracked a vertebra looking straight up the side of the magnificent John Hancock Center, but when we came around the corner and the Sears Tower loomed over us, I thought I was going to lose it.

For some boys it's race cars, airplanes or fire trucks that really get them excited, but for me it had always been tall buildings. And now we were here, at the tallest one in the world!

It seemed to take forever to get parked and ride the express elevator to the observation deck, but then there we were, perched incredibly high above the city. It felt like I could see half of Illinois.

"Dad, this is the best building in the world," I enthused. He smiled that certain smile that told me he thought I was only partially right.

"Son, I have a certain affection for the Sears Tower since I helped build it, and it is the tallest for now, but I don't think that necessarily makes it the best in the world."

I'm sure I must have looked a bit perplexed. That didn't make any sense. To me, being the tallest was the very measure of best when it came to buildings. "What do you mean, Dad?"

"Well, when I finally went back to college to become an architect, they taught me a whole lot more about designing a building than just how to make sure the thing didn't fall over in the wind. It's not enough for a structure to be functional, economic and durable, it needs to be beautiful – like a certain young lady I married."

I managed not to roll my eyes. This was Mom he was talking about.

The aforementioned beautiful girl smiled tolerantly. "Don't be a suck up, Patrick," she said, obviously amused.

"Sorry Aileen," he said, obviously not sorry, and with a shit-eating grin on his face.

"Since my background was in construction," he continued, "I was all about the math, structural analysis and materials science at first, but they taught me that there are other things just as important in a building."

"Like what?"

"Well, skyscrapers come to represent their cities, so it's important that they have beauty and character as well as impressive height. I think the perfect building would have stunning looks, showcase the personality of its city, and be the tallest."

"Wow." That was something to think about.



We headed back out of the city with Dad pointing out more sights. I was still riding shotgun and loving every minute of it. Dad's '94 Bonneville was black, sleek and only a year old. My friends all thought it was an awesome ride. I remember thinking I was one lucky kid.

I had been looking in the same direction as my dad, but when a truck horn blared, I turned my head to the left to look past him, out his window. A window that was now completely filled by a huge, chrome grill.

I don't remember the sound of Dad's beautiful car being crushed into scrap metal, but I do remember the kaleidoscope of flying glass and souvenir bags, which pretty much exploded all over the interior of the car. We were all wearing our seat belts of course, but it wasn't nearly enough.



Accident scene investigators later reported that my dad had entered the intersection against a red light and had been struck on the driver's side by a city garbage truck which was traveling at between forty and forty-five miles an hour. This caused the car to spin as it continued across the intersection and struck the Mansfield bar of a parked moving van. The end of that bar intruded into the passenger cabin just above the safety beam in the driver's door, striking the occupant in the chest.

The original impact shifted the trajectory of the garbage truck to the left and it followed the wreckage of the car across the intersection, impacting it again and further crushing it against the moving van.

According to the report, the juvenile male in the front passenger seat received minor injuries and was released from the hospital into the custody of Social Services after overnight observation. The adult female passenger in the left rear seat suffered five fractured ribs, a shattered left arm and a closed head injury. The driver...



"Dad!" I cried. "Are you okay?" I'd been momentarily stunned by the impact, but with a sudden rush of adrenaline, I was able to release my belt and turn. Mom was fumbling with her belt in the back seat and looked to be okay, but my dad... I'd never seen so much blood, not even in the R-rated movies my friend Josh and I watched on the VCR in his room when his mom wasn't paying attention. My dad was most emphatically not okay.

Amazingly, though, he was conscious, despite the piece of square steel tubing that was sticking through the door and deep into his chest. "I'm sorry," he rasped. Bloody bubbles frothed at the corner of his mouth.

I realized then that I was going to lose my father. It seemed impossible. My dad was big. He was strong. He couldn't die, but it was happening, right in front of me.

"I wanted to be there for you," he continued, his voice barely audible.

My dad had always told me that his biggest responsibility as a father was to teach me the things I would need to know to become a man someday. Even now, facing the certainty of his own death, it was evidently the foremost thing on his mind.

I desperately wanted him to have the comfort of knowing that I would grow up to be the kind of man he'd hoped I would be, even without him there. I needed him to have the assurance that he wasn't leaving me in the lurch. I didn't know how I could do that, but then, with a sudden inspiration from I don't know where, I had it.

"Dad," I said, choking back my tears and talking around the huge lump in my throat, "someday I'm gonna build the biggest, tallest, most beautiful building ever, and I'm gonna take my own son there to see it."

He actually managed to smile and nod, almost a scary sight with the rivulet of blood now coursing down the side of his neck. I could see on his face that that had been the right thing to say.

"I'm gonna do it, Dad," I said, my voice now barely more than a squeak. "I promise."

"You do that son," he gasped. "Take care of your mom and make me proud."

"I will, Dad. I love you."

His mouth opened to speak again, and I have to believe he was about to tell me he loved me too, but then his breath stilled and his eyes went blank. He was gone.



It wasn't until I was eighteen that I was able to get my hands on that copy of the accident report. It helped me make sense of a sequence of events that had been a blur in my mind since that day. I hadn't actually realized that the garbage truck had hit us twice, or that the moving van had been illegally parked. I hadn't suspected that the steel bar that was supposed to keep cars from running under the back of the van was built in such a way that it became a lethal weapon for cars hitting it from the side.

The report was detailed and thorough, very professionally done, and as far as I could tell, every detail but one was true. That little detail, though, was extraordinarily important to me and my image of my father. I'd been there and I'd seen it as clear as day.

Our light had been green.



* * * * *



For a twelve-year-old I was quite small, but fleet of foot. Unfortunately, two of my three pursuers were several years older than me. Worse, my backpack was weighed down with a heavy load of textbooks – things that Nate, Kevin and Diego would never bother to carry home from school. Unless I did something quick, my chances of getting away this time weren't good.

"Foster," Kevin yelled, his voice deep and distressingly close behind me, "you might as well give up. Getting beat up hurts even worse when you're out of breath."

Yeah, now there was some real incentive to let them catch me! I dodged around the '73 El Camino up on blocks in front of Old Man Willis' porch and cut left around the side of his house. As hoped, the busted gate into his backyard was still leaning up against the house. I went through the opening at full speed and with grim determination. I had a little surprise in store for my tormentors today.

Three nights before, I had snuck out and removed the wood screws on the bottom of two of the cedar fence slats at the back of Willis' yard so they could swing up and away, allowing me to squeeze through. The opening would be too narrow for Kevin and the guys, though.

I had carefully noted the location of the slats and practically dove through them now, shoving my backpack in front of me. I figured that the barbed wire along the top of the fence (common for the neighborhood, but pointless with a broken gate) would keep them from coming over. I should have a large enough lead to make it back to my place easily.

I was completely through the hole and starting to get back to my feet when a large hand shot through the narrow opening and grabbed a hold of my skinny little ankle. "Not so fast, butt munch!" Kevin yelled victoriously, but his elation was short-lived as I stomped on his wrist with my other foot. He swore a creative oath as his hand let go and I stepped out of his reach. I was free!

I picked up my backpack and took two steps down the alley before my own sense of victory was brought to a sudden and painful end. The horizon suddenly rotated upward as Diego hit me from behind. I seemed to do a perfect swan dive for a long moment, but then my face slammed into the gravel. Diego followed up his vicious shoulder block with a healthy kick to the gut and my breath left my lungs. Instinctively, I curled up in a fetal position as I gasped for air. I hadn't even heard him coming.

"Foster's down," Diego announced, his voice monotonic. He was always so emotionless that I often wondered if he was short a few connections. That wasn't foremost on my mind at the moment, though, as he picked up my pack. He began to go through it, evidently secure in the knowledge that I wouldn't even try to go anywhere as long as he was standing over me. Kevin and Nate showed up a minute later. Kevin gave me a good kick to the ribs in retribution for stepping on his wrist. I curled up even tighter.

"So what's he got today?" Nate asked.

"The usual stuff," Diego said. "The twit's a regular Poindexter. If he spent as much time learning to run fast as he does on his homework, we'd never catch his skinny little ass."

I knew better than to expose my face, so I couldn't see what they were doing, but the sound of papers being torn out of my notebooks, crumpled up and dropped to the ground next to me was highly distressing. Luckily, there seemed to be some kind of code, even among bullies like these, that textbooks – not being our property, but the school's – were out of bounds. They landed on the gravel next to me, but were otherwise unmolested.

"Look, he's been drawing skyscrapers again," Nate said.

Oh crap, they'd found the sketches I'd done during Social Studies. I heard them shift around to where they could all see.

Mrs. Gregory's third-hour class was usually the longest fifty-five minutes of my day. She taught and tested straight from the textbook – which I'd already read from cover to cover, thank you very much – so it was a mind-erasing, tedious waste of time. I'd spent today's hour working out some new concepts for a building that could rival the recently announced Petronas Towers in Malaysia. The artist's renderings of those buildings – which would ultimately relegate the Sears Tower to second tallest status – were impressive, but ultimately uninspiring in my book. I'd sketched out something that I'd felt was much more dramatic. Unfortunately, I was fairly certain that the finer points of my design would be lost on boors like Kevin, et al.

I cursed myself for being stupid enough to let the guys find my sketches again. My obsession with tall buildings was what had gotten me into this predicament in the first place.

It had been almost a year since I'd gotten up in front of the class to present my report on what I was going to be when I grew up. I'd told the class about the promise I'd made to my late father about building the world's greatest skyscraper. Then I'd shown them some of my best colored sketches. I'd gotten oohh's and aahh's from most of the class.

Unfortunately, Nate had just done his presentation on being the next Hulk Hogan and had received some not-so-discreet sniggers from much of the classroom. The teacher had intervened and reminded them to be respectful, but the damage had been done. Nate was a year older than me, having flunked the second grade, and was big for his age. The daggers of jealousy his eyes shot at me as I finished told me that I was henceforth going to be the number one target of the class bully.

Unfortunately, Nate's older brother, Kevin, was cut from the same cloth and had been only too willing to add another target to his list. Even worse, Kevin's best friend, Diego, rarely missed an opportunity to pop open a fresh can of Whoop Ass either, so I was triply screwed. Since then, the walk home from school had felt like a trip through the seven levels of Hell.

"Hey, those are sorta cool."

"Shut up, Diego," Kevin snarled. "The punk likes to doodle, is all." He punctuated his rebuke with a swift kick to the shin. Mine, not Diego's, of course.

"So what's with this shit?" Kevin asked me. "You still think yer gonna be a building designer or somethin'?"

This was a conundrum. On the one hand, if I said no, I'd get kicked for lying. On the other hand, if I said yes, I'd get kicked for daring to imagine a life beyond these streets. But on yet another hand, I could get kicked for refusing to answer at all. In any case, the result was going to be about the same.

"Lemme remind you, fucktard," Kevin said, evidently deciding that his question had been rhetorical, "you ain't goin' nowhere. Foster, your ass belongs to us. There ain't no way out."

I feared that he might actually be right. My daring to work hard in school and aim for prospects beyond this neighborhood had been enough to call me to their attention in the first place.

I tucked in even tighter as the blows began to fall in earnest. Then I swore to myself for maybe the twentieth time that I would never again tell anyone about the promise I'd made to my dad.



"Oh my God!" Deloris exclaimed in exasperation when I finally dragged myself through the front door. "Connor O'Leary, what did you do to yourself this time?" (My tormenters only called me "Foster" because of my family status.)

"I'm sorry," I mumbled. "I was climbing a tree and I fell. I'm sorry about the shirt."

"That's the third one this quarter!" she growled angrily. I had managed to mostly protect my face and I would keep the bruises that marked the rest of my body covered until they healed, but I suspected that even if Deloris saw them, she'd be more upset about my torn clothing. That came out of her state-provided budget for me.

"I'm sorry," I reiterated. I didn't like making her angry. My foster mom wasn't allowed to lay a hand on me, but her words could cut like a knife.

My real mom had fallen unconscious before the firefighters had managed to cut us out. She'd lingered in a coma for eight days before the doctors had decided that there was no point in keeping my only remaining family alive. I had been given five minutes to see her one last time, then they'd ushered me out of the room so they could do the dirty deed.

My parents had been very private people, each finding the other sufficient to their needs. The funeral was a sparsely attended affair, with mostly business associates and a few casual friends in attendance. I was the only family. I'd wondered if any of these people would even remember my parents in five years, but I redoubled my quiet resolve to keep that one last promise I'd made to my dad.



* * * * *



College was always a big and necessary part of my plan, but I knew it would be expensive. My parents had been responsible people and had, of course, purchased life insurance, but Social Services had helped themselves to the proceeds to defray the cost of keeping me in foster care. All perfectly legal, of course, but I'd never see a penny of that $525,000.

My teachers stressed the importance of good grades for getting into college, so I worked my tail off to keep up my streak of straight A's through junior high and high school. I'd also found out that varsity college athletes could get full-ride scholarships, so I explored that route as well. The kinds of inner city schools I'd been attending were short on tennis and golf programs, and long on football and basketball. I'd never liked basketball, so when I was fourteen, I went door to door in my neighborhood, offering to do odd jobs and run errands for cash. Eventually I came up with enough to afford the equipment and fees to play football.

It took me a couple of years, but I eventually got good enough to earn a spot as a starting cornerback on our less-than-stellar high school varsity team. Unfortunately, I was halfway through my senior year before I could admit to myself that, try as I might, I just didn't have the goods to play college ball. That money and effort was down the drain, but I supposed the experience had been worth something. I finished the season, then hung up the pads for good.

My dedication to my coursework paid off a little better, and I was eventually offered a small scholarship to attend a top-notch architecture program at a major Chicago university. Emphasis on "small." Full ride academic scholarships are a very rare bird. The only other money I had to apply toward my continuing education was what I'd managed to set aside during the last two years of high school, when I'd worked part time at a fast food place.

When I graduated and was turned out onto the streets, aged eighteen years and seventeen days, I figured I had enough money to get through one year of college if I worked overtime over the summer and part-time during the school year. After that, any further education was going to be on a wing and a prayer.

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byMichael_Butterfield© 32 comments/ 50090 views/ 120 favorites

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