The One Who Wouldn’t Go Away
In the seventh grade I went to a dance at our local athletic club. Most of my class was there as well as students from other rich schools around the area. This was the first time I met Todd. For a seventh grader, he was cute. He had dark hair and was dressed better than any other 13 year old I had ever seen. We danced and exchanged numbers, compared stories about our drama filled, adolescent lives and then parted for the evening.
Todd lived in Lake-Oswego, the part of town where no houses sold for under 10 million. Boy, had I found a winner. Todd and I chatted on the phone for a couple weeks and talked about going to the movies but nothing ever came of that and I was starting to get bored. Then one afternoon, things took a slight turn.
“Hello?” I answered the phone before my dad could pick it up.
“Hey, Lydia? This is Andy, Todd’s friend.”
“Oh.” Why was he calling? “How’s it going?”
“Fine, fine. How are you?”
“So, Todd wanted me to ask you a couple questions.”
“All right.” What was this, some sort of interview?
“He wants to know how far you’d go with him?”
“Excuse me? Go where with him?” My poor innocent mind only thought in distance, not in terms of sexual relationships.
“You know? Would you ever go to third base with him?”
Oh, the bases. Now I got it. But my definition of third base and his definition of third base probably didn’t match up. None of my friends could give me a clear answer on which base meant what deed.
“No,” I decided. “And that’s a gross question.” Who the hell has their friend call and ask something like that? Who did this guy think he was?
“But it’s one he really wants to know.”
“Then he can ask me himself.”
There was a long pause where I am assuming Andy was relaying this information to Todd.
“He says he wants me to ask.”
“Well I say I’m done with this phone call.” I promptly hung up the phone and thought I would never have to hear from Todd again.
I was wrong.
I didn’t see Todd at any more of the athletic club dances that year. Thank God. I knew my friends and I wouldn’t be able to resist making fun of him so it was probably in his best interest to stay away. Eighth grade passed and so did most of ninth when we found ourselves at the very last dance we would be eligible to attend at the club.
My friends and I dressed up and I did the most I could with what little hair I had and our parents dropped us off. It was bittersweet, to say the least. We had so many fond memories of these dances but we could now graduate to high school dances which were decidedly better. Sometime during the middle of the dance, a tall, dark and handsome kid tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to dance. I blushed and set my fruit punch on the table and walked behind him to the dance floor.
Something was oddly familiar about this guy but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I’d probably just seen him around the club before.
“What’s your name?” He asked after a few awkward seconds of slow dancing.
“Lydia. What’s yours?”
“Todd?” This was going to be fun. “Do you live in Lake Oswego?”
“Yeah. How did you know?”
“Just a guess,” I answered quickly.
“Where do you go to school?”
“Lincoln. Hey, have you ever been to these dances before?”
“I used to go when I was younger but this is the first one I’ve been to in a while. Why? Have we danced together before?” He smirked at me and I gave him a brilliant smile.
“We have, as a matter of fact.”
“Really? I think I would remember…”
“Would you remember having your friend call some girl you had been talking to and asking her if she would go to third base with you?”
“Oh,” his face fell like an anvil. “I would remember that.”
I blinked at him, the smile still on my face, and waited for him to do something.
“I should go,” he finally announced and dropped his arms from my waist.
“That’s a good idea.”
He ran off into the crowd and I ran back to my friends laughing hysterically.
Skip ahead another two years and I had just dumped my boyfriend because he refused to go to prom with me. Sad. Now I was without a prom date, without a boyfriend, and without my virginity. Things couldn’t get any worse. Luckily I had Betsy who had been in a relationship with a guy, Hamilton, for the better part of our junior year. And Hamilton, being a life saver, had a friend who was dying to go to our prom. Would wonders never cease?
Betsy told me I would really like this guy. She had hung out with him before and he was totally hot. He was Italian and lived in Lake Oswego. His name was Todd. I didn’t think twice about it, my heart still broken into a million pieces and my mind still on Michael, until I showed up at Betsy’s house the evening of the dance. My dress was hideous, an unflattering salmon pink with beaded straps and a bust that I couldn’t fill. The skirt was lined with a ridiculous amount of netting so it stuck out like a princess gown. It was itchier than anything I had ever worn.
Betsy grabbed my hand and dragged me into the dining room where Hamilton and Todd were sitting. I recognized him instantly but he stood up and gave me a hug, introducing himself with a smile. Wow. He had turned into a stud! I mean, seriously, where did all those muscles come from? And that smile…I could get lost in it. Maybe tonight wouldn’t be so bad after all. And, this really wasn’t a blind date anymore since I already knew the guy. Of course, I wasn’t about to bring up that fact around him, seeing as he hadn’t figured it out yet, but I was hoping his personality had changed as much as his looks.
The night was nearly perfect. The prom was being held outside and in the middle of downtown Portland. Everyone looked amazing and the venue was beautifully decorated with white lights and candles. My date was such a gentleman, never leaving my side and always asking before he led me to the dance floor. But I had to tell Betsy about my past with Todd. I mean, wasn’t it some kind of sign that he kept popping back into my life?
I explained the whole situation to her on a trip to the ladies room and her eyes went wide with mischief.
“Maybe the third time is the charm!” She said, way too enthusiastically.
“He does seem to have changed,” I admitted.
“Of course he has. Seventh grade was such a long time ago.”
“I know. But do you think he remembers me?”
“He would have told Hamilton by now. I don’t think he remembers a thing.”
That was a relief. “I won’t bring it up then.”
“Good idea. Just wait and see where things go. You never know, you could be laughing about it months from now.”
A huge smile spread over my face and we walked back out to our boys.
The four of us went back to Todd’s house after the dance. Betsy and I changed into sundresses and the boys into jeans and t-shirts and we settled down to watch a movie. Pretty soon Betsy and Hamilton had been kicked out of the living room because their make-out session was getting too out of hand and there were just some things that the best friends should never have to be witness to. Todd and I were now alone on the couch watching the movie when I felt his hand creep around my shoulder. That wasn’t so bad, I thought, and so I leaned into him.
One thing led to another and pretty soon his tongue was halfway down my throat. I hadn’t kissed a guy since Michael and for some reason that felt like an eternity, although I suppose it was only a few weeks. Todd was a good kisser and I was having a great time making out with him until I felt him pull away. Frowning, I opened my eyes and glared.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, a little upset. Was I not a good kisser? Did he really want to stop?
“Nothing. I just need to readjust,” he said with a smile and my mouth fell open as I watched him unbutton his pants.
“What are you doing?”
“You should button your pants.”
Why? Why??? I mean, I know we were at his house, but he had company over and his idea of ‘comfortable’ was definitely not suitable for entertaining guests.
“Whatever,” I said and sat back against the couch cushions.
Todd relaxed back as well and we watched the movie in silence for a few more minutes. But pretty soon I felt his hand creeping around my shoulder again. He pulled me back to him and I glanced down to make sure everything that was supposed to be covered was still covered. But it wasn’t. Little Todd was now on display and sticking through his boxers.
“Okay, seriously, put that thing away!”
“What? Why?” he asked as I felt his hand start to push my head down. “If I put it away then how are you supposed to…”
“I am not going to third base with you!” I nearly screamed and stood up from the couch.
“Third base?” He gave me a curious look.
“I’m not going to do it,” I reiterated and grabbed my phone to call my mom. I was so ready to get out of there.
“Whatever,” he said, shoving Little Todd back into his pants.
We sat in an uneasy silence until my mom had arrived and, being the polite girl I am, I thanked Todd for accompanying me to the dance. He was somewhat of a gentleman and walked me to the front door but he was smart enough not to kiss me again. I explained the entire story to Betsy the next day who had been really excited about the possibility of me and Todd hooking up. We were able to laugh at the entire situation by Monday at school because apparently the third time is not always a charm.
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