Nerd Romance—Last Chance
“When your mother asks us, what movie are we going to?”
This is yet another chapter in a series I “finished” last year, but my characters kept talking to me. Then Roz Warren convinced me into fill out the series into a book, so now I’m working on that. Most of what I’ve been doing lately has been filling in gaps or adding to existing material, but this chapter felt like it could stand without the reader having just finished the one before.
Short summary of the story to date:
The series covers two academic over-achievers with limited social skills (aka “nerds”) in the last semester of their junior year in a suburban high school in the 1970s. They call each other by their initials, so she is “E” and he is “K.” They were engaged in a “practice” relationship, working from an agreed upon list of goals, trying to learn to be more like regular people before they head off to college. Both kids agreed that this was a mutually beneficial partnership, and not in any way a romantic association.
Which worked really well. Until it didn’t.
They arranged a clandestine camping trip, during which they planned to have sex. The planned beautiful spring night actually was cold, wet, and awful, so while they did admit to falling in love with each other and shared a sleeping bag, that’s as far as things got. They also decided that the “practice” part of the practice relationship was over, and they were going to be actual boyfriend and girlfriend. That fell apart for a few days, and then everything came together and so did they, having sex in the guest room at K’s house while his parents were out of town. E provided most of the guidance, having become an expert on making love after reading Our Bodies, Ourselves, which she had purchased and studied.
They looked forward to spending time together over the summer, and having senior year together; meanwhile they devoted their attention to finals (mostly — allowing for teenage hormones and all). Then Jenn, K’s older sister told them that K’s family would be moving hundreds of miles away. In a matter of weeks. E had a plan to fix things… that didn’t work. So the days are counting down.
As the garage door opened, it looked to E as if Chaos incarnate had picked this spot as a place to hide. Furniture was propped up along the sides, making it impossible to get into the Buick Electra 225 (on the left) and the Renault station wagon (on the right) from the outer car doors, and barely possible to squeeze in through the inward-facing doors because the cars were parked so close together. There were boxes, suitcases, pillowcases, and occasional odd knickknacks and artwork; all stuffed into whatever spare spaces presented themselves. Items filled up the cars so that it was impossible to see through the back windows.
“See, the idea, as it was explained by the realtor, is to make the house look as uncluttered as possible. So everything moves into the garage. Or the cars. And some stuff is in the storage shed in back.” K gestured at the result. “And this is why we are not able to make use of my parents’ cars. For anything, in general, and having sex, in particular.”
E sighed and took his hand. “Okay, you convinced me. And you didn’t have to show me the stark caricature of your guest room, I believed you. Although really, do realtors think buyers actually believe these places are real?”
“The concept is to have the minimal level of furniture in place. The buyer then fills in the empty space with their own furniture, and they love the picture they create in their minds. Or something.” K sighed. “Also, we don’t have a three-eff-are.”
E looked at him. “Sorry, what?”
“A three-eff-are. Eff-eff-eff-are. Stands for First Floor Family Room. Apparently every house these days has one, and our house is behind the curve because we don’t.” He shrugged. “Who knew? Somehow my family lived here since 1966 and never felt the lack. But this house was built in the 1920s with servants quarters, so there you go.”
It’s not a house, it’s a damn suburban mansion. Which you bought with your grandmother’s inheritance, so whatever. “Do you even have offers on the place?”
“Nothing like what my father was hoping for.” K gave a hollow laugh. “Although my father is, perhaps, not the best one to be making important financial decisions for the family, seeing as how he lost almost a quarter-million dollars. Anyway, my darling, the point is, I do not know of any place available to us to make love in the next week or so.”
“Okay, I have a plan.” She looked K in the face; there was a certain level of uncertainty and fear. Gee, you have one little plan that involves underage marriage, and suddenly everything you come up with is suspect. “We can borrow our car to go to the movies some night. Jenn says she knows places in the local forest preserves that are perfect for… um, romantic assignations.”
“Not the term my sister used, I’m guessing?”
“No, hers rhymed with ‘ducking our trains out,’ more or less. She had other suggestions, also, suitable for automotive venues. Anyway, I’ve checked with my dad, and we’re okay to borrow the car. And, unlike yours, it does not have every available cubic foot filled with junk.”
“What movie are we going to?”
“Dad doesn’t care.”
“When your mother asks us,” K looked over his glasses at her, “what movie are we going to?”
“Oh. Valid point. Okay, we’ll check the paper and come up with something.”
E pulled the car into the picnic area parking spot and turned off the engine. K could make out a faint skyward glow in a westerly direction (probably west… I’ll call it west) but the tree canopy was full enough that it was very dark around the car. He could almost make out E by her silhouette in the driver’s seat, but that was it. “Good job, honey! Dark, isolated, and private — we couldn’t ask for anything better. Now what?”
E unfastened her seatbelt. “Now you kiss me. Wait! First, roll down the windows a little bit. Jenn said that was important, otherwise the windows fog up. Just enough to let fresh air in and humid air out.” E proceeded to roll down her window slightly.
Or that’s how K interpreted the sound. He fumbled a bit for the window crank on his side; finding things in the dark in a strange car was a bit tougher than he’d anticipated. After giving the crank a turn and checking the space at the top of the window with his hand, he announced, “Done! Okay, I’m leaning over.” His body jerked to a stop as he tried to reach the driver’s side. “Okay, I’m undoing my seatbelt and leaning over. At least your dad should be happy.” He bumped noses with his girlfriend and they figured out how to get their lips lined up properly. Their tongues glided over each other’s, and K could hear E’s breathing already getting deeper as his own body reacted. He moved his right hand over to caress the side of her head, and instead smacked it hard into the steering wheel. “Ow! Damn! Sorry, I hit the steering wheel. I need to move more slowly and feel my way, I guess.”
“Why Mister P.,” E giggled, “please feel free to feel whatever you want!” Her tone changed to serious. “Wait, why would my dad be happy?”
“Um, as we were leaving? He told me to be careful?” K flexed his hand and decided there was no major injury. “He meant wear my seatbelt, right?”
E snorted. “Yes, dear lad, that’s what a father means when he loans his car to his daughter so she can have clandestine sex with her boyfriend in the middle of the local forest preserve. Your seatbelt, that’s what he wanted to be sure you were wearing.” She gave him an enthusiastic kiss. “Doofus!”
I’m sorry, that part still feels weird. “Are you sure — ”
“Would you rather have a discussion about my paternal parent’s well-meaning motivations, or would you prefer to screw your girlfriend’s brains out?” Her hand found the back of his head, and her mouth made sure he understood it had been a rhetorical question.
His right hand — moving more carefully this time — found the side of her head, and gradually moved along the side of her neck to her shirt collar. He undid the top two shirt buttons, then paused.
“Keep going,” she mumbled out of the side of her mouth, “the buttons go all the way down on this shirt. I’m learning. And you’re wearing shoes you can kick off this time?”
“Learning!” he replied cheerfully. He continued to unbutton her shirt down to the bottom, where she had thoughtfully left it untucked. Yup, we’re learning! Now if we only had more than three days left to practice, we might get good at this. Actually, it won’t even be three days, will it? This is probably it. Our last time until… we don’t even know, do we? It could be — no, idiot, focus!
E had gotten K’s shirt unbuttoned and was working on his pants. She gave a sharp breath intake as K’s hand cradled her breast over her bra. “Careful, remember what I said about the nipple, you need — nope,” deep breath, “you got it!”
How do I get her bra off with her still in the driver’s seat? Wait — “E, honey, shouldn’t we be in the back seat? I don’t see how — ”
“No no, I need to get over to your seat. There’s no room in back. The passenger’s seat flops back. It’ll work, I just need to get on top.”
What? “On top of — ”
“Do I need to draw a diagram? Wouldn’t matter, you couldn’t see it in the dark. Don’t sweat it, hon, I’ll do the work. I read it in Our Bodies, Ourselves, it’s fine.”
If she mentions that stupid book one more time, I will scream. “Okay, so we need to get you over here…?”
“Um, yes, um… okay, wait, I may not have thought this through. Okay. You can get undressed in the dark, right?”
You may not have thought this through? Now you think of this? “I can get undressed fine, honey, I just don’t think I can undress you in the dark. Not while you’re sitting on the other side of the car, anyway.”
“Okay, um, okay, I’m coming over to your side, hold on… Crap, the stick shift and parking brake are not making this easy.”
“Want me to release the brake?”
“NO! It’s a manual transmission, K, you can’t release the parking brake! We’ll roll — I don’t know where we’ll roll, but no place good. Hold on, I just need to move slowly.” K could feel her shifting around. She hit her leg on something and cursed under her breath.
“Is there a flashlight in the glove compartment? Would that help?”
“There is, and it would, but it’s dead, the batteries keep dying. Hold on… wait, let me get my bra undone, it’ll just be easier… crap… nope, the shirt’s going to have to come off… wait, can you feel the seat release on the right side of the passenger’s seat? If you can tilt the seat back, that might help. More room. Have to do that anyway, at some point. Oh, and the catch for the seat is under it from the front, move it back. The seat, I mean. Then tilt the back, back.”
K was losing track of everything that was supposed to be happening. “Wait, hold on… okay, let me try this.” He pulled the handle he’d found when reaching under his seat from in front. E, who was already partially on his side as she worked her way over the parking brake and stick shift in between, squawked as she lost her balance and fell over on him when the seat scooted backward several inches. She hit him right in the solar plexus. Oh my god pain pain pain can’t breathe oh my god… K felt pinned to the seat and unable to inhale. The edges of his vision, already dark, seemed to get darker.
E, unaware of the damage she’d done, pulled her right leg over so she was completely on the passenger’s side, straddling him. “Hold on, let me pull the release, it’s tricky.” She reached down between the door and the seat, found what she was looking for, and pulled up the handle.
K’s seat back flopped backward abruptly, propelled by his and E’s combined weights. The back of his head smacked against the headrest.
E, caught by surprise at the speed of descent, found her head smacked against K’s nose.
K tried to cry out in pain, but was limited by empty lungs.
They lay still together for several seconds. E became alarmed by his silence. “Honey…? K…? Talk to me, K! What’s wrong? What’s wrong?”
K finally dragged in a ragged breath. “Can’t… breathe…” His entire world suddenly became trying to get air into his lungs.
E shifted her weight to her knees and elbows. “Oh god, honey, I am so sorry, I am so sorry…” She caressed his face, then cursed. “I think your nose is bleeding! Hold on, hold on…” She reached into the back seat and retrieved something. “I have a towel. Jenn suggested it. She said nobody likes — well, nobody likes body fluids on a car seat, we’ll leave it at that, although blood wasn’t what she had in mind. Hold still.” She attempted to dab gently at his face.
He yelped in pain. “Careful!” His nose was horribly tender. He happened to look out the window. “Flashlight!” he whispered fiercely.
“It doesn’t work, hon, I told you. I’m so, so sorry, but I can’t get blood on my dad’s car seats. Hold still!”
“No! Outside! Flashlight! Somebody there!” K could see occasional flashes as someone was moving a flashlight beam around the woods. He heard footsteps on the gravel of the parking area as someone approached.
“SHIT!” exclaimed E. She grabbed her shirt and quickly put it on, buttoning every other button. The flashlight beam came close and shone into the windshield, then came around to the passenger side.
“Hello there!” announced a masculine voice, speaking through the partially-open window. “I’m sorry, folks, but nobody is allowed to be here in the forest preserve between sunset and sunrise. I’m going to have to ask you to move along?” The flashlight shone into the car. “When you’re ready. I’ll be back along here on my rounds in another half an hour or so. I’m trusting you will have moved along by then? Have a nice night, now.” The flashlight beam left the car, and footsteps crunching on gravel became more distant and then vanished.
K had taken the opportunity given by the flashlight beam to take the towel from E, dab his nose, and check for blood quantities. “Honey? E? You okay? I don’t think my nose is bleeding all that badly.” He felt under his nose with his hand. “I think it may have stopped.”
E slowly lowered her weight on top of him. “I thought we were going to be arrested, and my mother and your father were going to come and have to bail us out.” She cuddled into him, shaking from reaction.
Oh honey! That would — hey, I can breathe again! Sometimes it’s the little things you appreciate. “E, it’s fine, it’s fine, honey, it’s fine.” He pulled her closer to him. “Here, you stretch out, I’ll stretch out, just lay on top of me.” He gently stroked her back over her shirt. “It’s okay, honey. Hey, did I mention I love you? Lately? Since we’ve been parked here?”
“I love you too!” She lifted her head slightly to give him a tender kiss, being careful of his nose. “We are just never, ever going to make love in the woods, are we? It’s a curse or something, I guess.”
“Okay, so, let’s pretend that we just made love. I did all the right things, this time, and it was fantastic for both of us.” She laughed as she stroked the hair on his chest, still exposed by his unbuttoned shirt. He undid the few buttons she’d buttoned on her own shirt and opened it, so that they were bare chest to bare chest. “And we are lying here afterward, enjoying the moment. And I tell you what an amazing, wonderful woman you are — ”
“And I tell you what an amazing, wonderful, awesome man you are!”
“It’s not a contest, honey — and we enjoy lying here with each other, being with the person we love more than anyone else. And for right now, right here, that’s enough. Right?” He gently stroked her back under her shirt.
“Right!” She kissed him again. “Thank you!”
For…? Whatever. “You are most welcome, my love, my life, my inspiration!” Just lying here with you… sex would be nice, but I can just beat off later. Nothing compares to lying here and holding you.
After another ten minutes or so, starting to fret about the time, they decided to leave while they could. They buttoned up and departed.
When I was working out the storyline, I found I had written myself into a corner. It made the most sense for the kids (based on age, resources, and historical era) to try to have sex in a car before K had to depart. Problem: I never had sex in a car. Nor had my advisor on the female side of sex, my wonderful wife. So I reached out to my ex-wife (Linda) and her wife (Carol) to see if they had any experience or ideas. They did! So thank you to both of them.
Next: Know what would be great? Making out in the back of the theater! Wait, do they always leave the lights on like this?