Caleb came over to my house after school to ‘study’ but we both knew what it meant. We didn’t do much studying. Instead we spent the time we had alone before my parents and brother get home by making out on the couch…
…some experimenting on the kitchen table…
…and, even though it was strictly prohibited by my father, even more experimenting in my bed.
“We should probably get dressed.” Caleb suggested after a while.
“Aww…are we nervous?” I teased him.
“Not nervous,” he shook his head, “terrified.”
I laughed. “Come on. Dad is not that bad.”
He was about to disagree when the door to my room opened.
“Hi Em, did you see….” My mom froze when she saw our half naked bodies.
My boyfriend and I were just as shocked as she was and we just stared at her for a few seconds.
How come she’s already home?! I thought we had more time!
“What is going on here?!” Mom finally spoke, tryin to keep a calm voice.
“Nothing, we just….we were…” Caleb was mumbling while clumsily climbing over me to get up.
“It doesn’t look like nothing to me. My husband will be home any minute so I would get out of here if I were you.”
Mom pointed at the open door and Caleb didn’t wait to be asked twice.
As soon as he was out of my room, she turned to me. “Get dressed young lady, we need to talk.”
I quickly picked up my shirt from the floor and pulled it over my head.
“What do you think you’re doing? You know you’re not supposed to have boys in your room, especially when no one else is home.”
“I know,” I looked down, embarrassed, “but…Caleb isn’t just any boy, mom. I love him and I think….I think I’m now ready for the next step in our relationship.”
“Oh..you are?” Mom’s attitude suddenly changed, her voice softened.
“Yea.” I nodded. “I mean you always said I should come to you first so…”
“I know,” she smiled, “and I’m glad you told me, honey. I just…didn’t expect it to be so soon.”
“I’m almost eighteen, mom.”
“I know, I know,” she reached for my face and touched it gently as if she wanted to make sure I’m real, “you just grew up so damn fast.”
“So you will take me to the doctor to get birth control pills?”
“If you’re really sure, yes, I will take you.”
“Thank you for telling me.” She said and pulled me in for a hug.
“So,” I started the conversation carefully as I was sitting in bed next to Trevor, spreading lotion on my hands, “I had an interesting conversation with our daughter today.”
“Yea?” He looked up from his phone. “What about?”
I wasn’t sure how to tell him this. I knew he was very protective of Emmalee.
“Well….apparently she is ready to…uhm…have…you know…sleep with Caleb.”
Trevor jumped up from the bed, furious. Just like I expected.
“I knew the kid is trouble, I’m gonna kill him!” He paced the room. “He is definitely pressuring her.”
“Honey, honey.” I stepped in front of him and put my hands on his arms to calm him down. “I don’t think he is pressuring her to do anything. Em is going to be eighteen in two months, they’ve been dating for over a year. To be honest, I’m surprised they waited this long.”
“Ugh…I know you’re right.” He agreed. “It just kills me that she’s so grown up.”
“Me too, Trev. But we did a great job raising her, we should be proud.”
“We did, didn’t we.” My husband smiled and we finally went to bed. But I knew he won’t sleep well tonight. It was hard for him seeing his little girl grow up.
“I can’t believe your mom caught you and Caleb half naked in bed.” I laughed as we waited for our coffee to be ready.
“Shut up,” she slapped my shoulder, “it was embarrassing.”
“Skim vanilla latte and caramel latte for Caroline.” The girl behind the counter called our order.
“I bet, but at least you’ll finally get your birth control pills. Did you tell Caleb?”
“No. I thought I could surprise him on prom night.”
I scoffed. “You’re such a cliche.”
“It’s romantic. Night to remember. Who are you going with by the way.”
“You know, Caleb’s brother doesn’t have a date either.”
“Jimmy? He’s like a year younger than me!”
“Everyone at school is like a year younger than you.” Emmalee rolled her eyes.
“I know.” I sighed.
It was my second time being a high school senior. As much as it sucks, I’m glad I got through the worst when it comes to my eating disorder. I will probably struggle for the rest of my life but my therapist is pretty happy with my progress and the doctor says I’m in a healthy weight range. Now I just have to do my best to stay there.
“So? Should I ask him for you?” My best friend interrupted my thoughts.
“No. I’ll text him tonight. It won’t be a date though.”
“Don’t tell me that, tell him. He does have a crush on you though.” She chuckled and took a sip of her latte.
I ignored her comment and picked up purse. “Let’s go get ourselves some dresses.”
I really wasn’t planning on going to prom with someone. In fact, I wasn’t even sure if I’m going to go at all. But I missed it last year because I was in the hospital and now I have a chance to experience it with my best friend. I didn’t care for Jimmy, I never really talked to him even though we hang out with the same group of people, but he didn’t have anyone to go with and neither did I so I guess it’s a win win.
“Hi grandpa.” I said as I walked into my grandfather’s house.
I stop by once or twice a week for a game of chess. Every since grandma died, he was all alone in this house that was too big even when it was the two of them. I always loved the house, despite my grandparents’ age, their style was very modern and sophisticated.
“Emmett.” I heard his voice coming from the kitchen. “I was just making tea, do you want some?”
“Sure, I’ll take tea.” I took off my jacket and sat down on one of the bar stools.
“How are you? What’s new?”
“Nothing. It’s a prom madness in our house. Emmalee can’t decide what dress to wear, mom is trying to help her decide and dad wishes she’d stay at home and be nine again.”
Grandpa laughed. “I thought prom isn’t until next week.”
“You thought right. Which means this will last for days.”
“Are you going to the prom?” Grandpa poured the hot tea into two cups and carried them to his office where his chess table was. It was very old, but he refused to replace it. The paint on all the figures was peeling but he refused to buy new ones. It was a gift from my grandma, it was too precious to him to ever get rid of it.
He took a seat and I sat across from him before I answered his question. “No. You know I’m not into this stuff. Melissa asked me to go but I don’t want her to get the wrong impression.”
“Wrong impression? And what would that be? Do you not like her?”
“I do, but not like that. She’s my best friend.”
“Hmm,” he paused, “and is it because you don’t like Melissa or maybe because you don’t like…girls in general?”
“Huh? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Actually, believe it or not, my first wife, Julia, was gay.” He chuckled at the memory. “She even married me before she realized..”
“I’m not gay, ok?!” I interrupted him angrily. “Are you gonna play? It’s your turn.”
“Sure, I’ll play.” He nodded and looked down on the chess board to think about his next move. “I just want you to know that no matter what, I will always love you and so will your parents and sister. That’s all I’m gonna say.”
I can’t believe that only because I’m seventeen and never dated anyone, my grandpa now thinks I’m gay.
After we finished the game, he offered me a ride home.
“It’s ok, I’ll take Uber.” I said and pulled up my phone and opened the app. “It will be here in three minutes. I’ll go wait outside.”
My grandfather nodded and hugged me goodbye. “Come over if things get crazy in your house again.”
I didn’t answer. I was still upset about his stupid assumption earlier.
In exactly three minutes, a blue Honda civic stopped in front of the house. I told my grandpa I’m going home but there was one more stop I needed to make.
I rang the bell and waited.
The door opened and, thankfully, it was Melissa who opened it.
“Hey.” She said surprised. “What are you doing here?”
“Do you have a dress?”
“Dress? What kind of dress?” She covered her arms with her palms in an attempt to warm up since she was only wearing a short sleeve t-shirt and it was a cold January evening. “What’s going on?”
“I’m taking you to prom.” I said. “So do you have a dress?”
“Well..yea, but what made you change your mind?”
“Doesn’t matter.” I smiled at my friend. “See you tomorrow at school.”
“O-Ok,” I left her standing there, confused, and walked back into the car that was waiting for me on the street…