HIGH SCHOOL NORMALITY contains strong language and some themes not suitable for audiences under 17. Viewer discretion is advised.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Under Pressure

"You met her parents already?"
"By the end of the night, I was calling them 'mom' and 'dad'!"
"So when is she meeting your folks?"
"I want to meet your parents."
"I've--never had sex."
"So you're the little lady who has made David so happy lately?"
"Unless there's another woman that David's not telling us about."
"No, dear, David's father is the one with the other women."
"Are you Calvin Adler?"
"No, I'm his son. Can I help you?"
"Just make sure he gets these papers and let him know that he's being served."
"Who is Lucy Greer?"
"Some woman I worked with one time."
"Don't let my dad's past shape your opinion of him."
"David, I'm sure I will love your dad just like I love his son."
"I love you."
"I don't know what to say."

It was probably the wrong thing to say, but at that point in time, it was the only thing I felt I could say honestly. Honesty is supposed to be the best policy, but whoever said that probably never had a high school girlfriend.

"I shouldn't have said that."

"No. I'm glad you did."

That was a lame response, but I figured it was better than "I don't know what to say."



"Do you love me?"

I hate being blind sighted like that.

"I really really like you."

As if that made things better.

"Look, Joy, I really appreciate hearing that. You have to understand no one's ever told me that besides my family and my boys, but even than it's more of a casual thing."

"No, I understand. You're not ready to say it."

"Exactly, and until I am ready to say it, I don't want to say it without meaning it."

I looked into her eyes to try and find the hurt. I admit that I felt bad, but what could I do?

After I reassured her once more that someday I would be able to say it, I walked back to Rebellion the Pontiac and drove home, feeling like an idiot AND a failure.

My name is David, and I'm a normal high school student.

But the question I was facing at the moment was, "Is it normal for you to say the three little words in high school?"

I met up with my three best friends, Mark Adams, Michael Florence, and Aaron Stanwick at school early the next morning. Michael, Aaron, and I all had parking passes, so we would just have to wait for Mark's bus to get to school.

"She said the 'l' word?"

"Isn't that a lesbian show?"

"I take it you watch this program, Mark?"

"On occasion, when I don't have anything else to do...or anyone."

"You're a virgin, remember?"

"Who asked you?"

"So, David, what are you going to do?"

"I don't really know what I can do. I mean, I like her a lot, but we've only been going out for three weeks. I just don't understand how this happened so fast."

"You can't really control love. One day you're just walking down the street, and then, seemingly out of nowhere, the love bug comes walking beside you, crawls up your pant leg, and bites you in the ass."

We all took a moment to stare at Mark. Even though we all knew about the situation with his past lover, Faye Winston, but that didn't stop us from getting uncomfortable when he talked about love.

Just then, we caught a glimpse of Faye with her boyfriend, Remi. He was from some other country and had an accent. I still don't understand what's so great about accents. I feel like they would get in the way of a perfectly good conversation. Oh well, at least my girlfriend's from the USA.

"Look at them, all sexually active. God, if I hadn't passed up that chance, I would be--"

"In a very dark place. Being a virgin's not so bad."

"That's because you're a Mormon. Well, I'm Atheist, and I say to hell with abstinence. I have GOT to get laid!"

I really couldn't tell you why we were so shocked by Mark's latest endeavour. I mean, we were used to it by now, hearing of his "escapades" and finding out which girls never to get involved with due to their tendency to cling their shyness, or simply by their bushes of pubic hair. You would think that Mark wanting to move past third base would not surprise us. We hadn't even known he was a virgin until a month prior to this.

But we were surprised anyway. All of us were virgins, and ever since we had found out that Mark was, it has almost been a bond that we shared. Of course Mark would probably be the first to lose his virginity, and then depending on how far I would get with Joy would depend on my status, and Aaron would definitely be the last since he was waiting until marriage. But we never thought about the idea of any of us losing our virginities. We weren't the kind of guys that will fuck the first thing that came their way.

"I will fuck the first thing that comes my way if I have to."

Ok, most of us were not like that. Michael had been on and off with Leslie Lawrence enough times that they could have had sex, but they didn't. Michael never really said anything about it either other than stating the fact that he was a virgin. Which posed a question.

"Hey Michael, how come you and Leslie never had sex?"

"She's waiting until marriage."

"But if she wasn't waiting until marriage..."

"I don't know. I wouldn't exactly call myself a very sexual person. Women aren't objects."

"EXACTLY! And there's nothing wrong with waiting until marriage."

"I never said there was anything wrong with it. It just wouldn't be my choice."

"I don't understand why, though. I mean, why do you think Mormons have so many kids?"

"Because they're secretly rabbits and they multiply rapidly?"

Aaron shook off my comment. "It's because they've waited so long to have sex, and by the time they get married, it doesn't matter how great the sex is by other people's standards because they won't know the difference. And then they'll just continue consummating over and over and over."

We looked at our friend for a few moments in silence. It was the first time he ever really talked about sex as a good thing.

Than, as if out of nowhere, Faye Winston walked over to us. Remi probably had to go talk to a teacher or something.

"Hello, Mark."


"Lost your virginity yet?"


"No reason. Just wanted to know if you found whatever it was you were looking for."

"Faye, can you please leave Mark alone? You haven't talked to each other in months."

"You know, Michael, you always did have trouble staying out of other people's business."

"What the fuck are you talking about?"

"Oh. Must be a new problem."

"Were you born a bitch, or did it develop over time?"

"Who are you again?"

"We're Mark's friends, and he's a much better person than you will ever be."

We all stood in defense of our friend.

"Fine. Let your friends take care of you like the pussy you are, and you can watch the pussy you could have had walk away."

I looked at Mark as Faye walked away.

"Why were you involved with her again?"

"She wasn't always like that. She used to be such a nice person. We would talk for hours about the stupidest things, and whisper sweet nothings into each other's ears..."

It was at this moment where I knew that we were all thinking the exact same thing.

"You're still in love with her."

"What? That's crazy. How could I still be in love with her?"

"Because of the nonsense phone calls and the sweet nothings of which you were just reminiscing."

Mark knew that we were right. We could tell from his facial expression. But he would never admit it. We could tell that from his personality.

That night, I called Joy. We hadn't talked since she told me she loved me, and I figured this would be a good time to talk.


"Hey, babe."

"Hi. How are you?"

"I'm great, but I miss you."

"Than why don't you come over?"

I didn't really have anything else to do, so I said "Ok. Be there in a few."

"I'll be waiting."

There was something strangely seductive in her tone. It was almost strange.

I drove to Joy's house, wondering what her tone could mean? Maybe it was all that talk of sex today at school. I wasn't thinking straight.

But it seemed my suspicions were true when my girlfriend answered the door wearing a white silk robe. "Hello, David."

"Joy, I--"

"Don't say anything, just come in."

At this point, I would normally say that this was a very stupid idea and that we shouldn't do this, but this was not a normal occurrence, and unfortunately I was thinking with my other head.

"My parents are spent the day in Flagstaff. They won't be home for hours."


"So why don't you get naked and you can meet me in their room."

As Joy left, seductively twirling her robe belt, I couldn't think straight. I was about to lose my virginity. I instantly thought of Aaron, who would probably say something about how having sex with Joy probably ruined our entire relationship. Mark would have been furious at the idea that I had lost mine before he lost his. Michael probably wouldn't have said anything. I don't really think he would have cared.

By this time, I was standing in my boxers, continuing to think with my dick and not with my brain, disregarding any thoughts that had to do with Aaron, Michael, or Mark. But somehow, as I was about to take off my boxers, my brain turned on and I started thinking about the consequences. What if it did damage our relationship? Or worse, what if she got pregnant, and we were forced to stay together. I didn't love her--at least not yet--and I was certainly not ready for a sexual relationship and all of the strings that were attached to it.

I put my clothes back on and walked into Joy's parents' room. I opened the door to find that she was completely nude. I have to say it was a beautiful sight, but I had to stop my penis from taking over again. I was using my brain.

"Why are you still dressed?"

"Joy, I don't think this is such a good idea."

She stared for a moment.

"I guess I just thought that if we had sex, well, it would make me feel like less of an idiot for saying I love you."

"But you're NOT an idiot for telling me that. I'm the idiot for not loving you. I'm just--"

"--not ready."

"Just like I said the other night. And when I am ready, I will say it every day, and maybe we will have sex. But I guess I'm not ready for that either."

Joy and I shook off the entire experience. She put her clothes back on, and we went downstairs to watch a movie. I loved spending time with her, and I loved being her boyfriend. I loved everything about her; her smile, her laugh, the way her lips felt when they were pressed against mine. Could it have been that I loved her? I decided to take my chances.

"I love you too."

She looked at me lovingly. "What was the sudden change of heart?"

"Because I have run out of reasons not to love you."

We kissed for a while, and then when the movie was over, I went home. I probably said "I love you" about a million times before I got into Rebellion and left. But when I got home, the lovefest was over, and reality was back.

"When were you going to tell me about this, Cal?"

"I can't do this anymore, Linda. I won't take your abuse anymore."

"There's the door. You're not contributing anything to this household anyway."

"So all I am is money to you?"

"No. Now the only money I see is the money that you're being SUED FOR!"

"Linda, when you are ready to have a civilized conversation, let me know. I'm going upstairs."

"Fine, then. Run away to your safe little computer and sweep everything under the rug."

"Shut up, Linda."

"Fuck you, Calvin."

My dad went upstairs and my mom sat down on the couch. "Is this the Lucy Greer thing?"


"So, what's he going to do?"

"He's probably going to dodge it. We don't have two thousand dollars for him to give the woman. We don't really have any money for anything."

"No one does."

My mom looked at me for a moment.

"David, you need to get a job. You need to be able to help out with some things. If nothing else, you need to help pay your car insurance and pay for your gas."

"I'll go look for one this weekend."

"And be aggressive. I know that people are struggling financially right now, but you won't be the only teenager with a job."


For some reason, I didn't tell my mom about telling Joy that I loved her. I mean, it really wasn't her business, but maybe part of me didn't want to make my mom think of relationships.

I spent so much time being angry at my family that I never really thought about how much trouble they were in. My father needed a job, and my sister was paying rent, and Jake was being scarred for life everytime my parents opened their mouths. Now I was being affected. A job would cut into my social life, and I would have a little less time to do the rest of my work, but I needed to help my family. Part of loving someone is being able to make sacrifices for them, and despite all of my problems with my family, I did love them, just like I loved Michael, Mark, Aaron, and Joy.

David Adler

Normal High School Student