My road test for my driver’s license was scheduled for the afternoon of June 20th, which happened to be my seventeenth birthday as well as my high school graduation. Though I was fairly confident in my driving abilities, I’d never failed any sort of test before. It would suck if the law of averages caught up with me on something this important. Since I had every intention of asking Ms. Swan out on a date the moment I was no longer a high school student, failure was not an option. Consequently, I made my mother ride around with me every spare moment she had. I grilled her on relationships, and why she fell in love with my father, whom I was shocked to discover had been a bit of a player before he met my mom. After hours of weeding through superfluous details, I determined the following:

The human mind is the most significant erogenous zone.

We view individuals as extensions of how they make us feel while we are with them, and subsequently regard them accordingly.

Women like men who will put forth an effort, but not those who try too hard.

It’s better to focus on common interests, even if there are very few of them, than it is to pretend to be something one is not.

Confidence is good, but arrogance is not, and the difference between the two has more to do with perceptions than actions.

The birth of feminism does not justify the death of chivalry.

My father believes in love at first sight, and my mother thinks he’s full of shit.

Alleged premarital manwhoring notwithstanding, when it comes to love I’m more like my dad. Conversely, I suspected Ms. Swan guards her emotions quite carefully. I needed to show her how compatible we could be, despite all evidence to the contrary. As luck would have it, the Philadelphia Orchestra was playing Rachmaninoff the final week in June. It would make the perfect first date. I could get box seats and hold her hand in the dark while she listened to her favorite composer. When I brought her home, I could perform a reprise in private. I could kiss her goodnight at her front door, and call her seventy-two hours later and invite her out for a second date. My plan could work.

As weeks went past, I wondered how I could show Ms. Swan I continued to think of her despite my lack of contact. Flowers were cliché. A letter would be too intense. I was at a loss, until one day in early June when I looked west and saw a rainbow. Its vibrant perfection immediately brought her to mind, and I needed her to see it. On impulse, I sent her a text message telling her to look towards the city. I knew she’d seen it for herself when I got her response:

I miss you.

I wanted to be playful, and spent three minutes and forty-four seconds trying to come up with a witty reply before finally settling on honesty.

I miss you, too.

The final month of my senior year of high school played out with agonizing slowness. When I got out of bed on the morning of June 20th, I didn’t waste time analyzing the day’s significance. I fell to my knees and asked God that if He had any plans of teaching me humility through failure, that He please select another day to do so. I had visions of adding a caveat to my valedictorian speech–with belief in one’s self, one can accomplish anything with the possible exception of parallel parking a manual Volvo on a semi-circle in rush-hour traffic.

Three hours later, newly minted driver’s license in hand, I endured my final day of high school with an optimism even I would have thought impossible. One hurdle down, two to go.

Graduation itself was nothing more than a means to an end. As valedictorian, I was required to give a speech on behalf of my fellow classmates. The irony that I was chosen to represent a group of complete strangers did not escape me. I wanted to decline, but my dad insisted that with honor came responsibility. When I stepped up to the podium, I said I was honored and humbled, and would be eternally grateful for the opportunities afforded me over the past three years. I defined the word commencement, and reiterated that despite the fact this ceremony was taking place at twilight, it marked more of a beginning than a culmination. I made no attempt to speak for those I did know. I wished my class luck and happiness and thanked my teachers. I spoke for two minutes and twelve seconds. My classmates applauded my brevity.

Though the brightness of the setting sun prevented me from looking to where the faculty was seated, I felt a rush of excitement at the knowledge that Ms. Swan sat among them. I had no intention of approaching her this evening. To my knowledge, with the exception of that morning in the music room, she’d never seen me during the course of a school day. I thought that the fewer memories she had of me attending school where she taught, the easier it would be for her to eventually overlook them.

My final obligation was a mandatory senior night thrown by the Board of Education. The party itself was eight hours long and held at the YMCA. I made myself comfortable on the bleachers in the gym where my classmates were dancing. I was about to peruse what classic novels were available for me to read on my phone when I saw Ms. Swan coming toward me. Her dress left her shoulders bare and I noticed she had a light spattering of freckles.

I was never so grateful to have untucked my shirt.

“Hey.” She stood on one foot while twirling the other at the ankle. “Would you like to dance?”

“Yes.” As I leapt to my feet, I hoped I didn’t appear too enthusiastic. She took my hand in hers and led me to the edge of the dance floor.

With my hand still in hers, she faced me, shrugging. “Okay, so I should have warned you, I don’t dance,”

“Not at all?” I asked.

She shook her head.

“It’s all in the leading. Just move with me.”

I placed my free hand at the small of her back and she rested hers on my bicep. As I lead her in a waltz, I maintained perfect form, hoping the rigidity of my posture would hide how much I wanted her.

“Am I actually waltzing?” she asked in disbelief.

“You are indeed. Quite well, in fact.” I smiled at her like an idiot.

“Happy to have graduated?”

“A bit. At the moment I’m just…” I looked down briefly, until I realized it would appear that I was looking down the front of her dress. I raised my eyes to meet hers. “I’m just happy to hold you in public.”

The song ended, and she stumbled clumsily out of my arms.

“Happy birthday,” she said when she found her footing.

“How did you know?”

“Your father may have mentioned it.”

I was mortified. “I should have known he’d seek you out. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” she insisted. “I should be getting back to work now. Thank you for the dance.”

I watched her ass sway as she returned to the table of chaperones. When she was seated, I took my phone out of my pocket and started rereading Ulysses. I only had six hours and thirty-four minutes to kill before high school was officially over.

My father was at the hospital when the party let out, so I couldn’t yell at him for approaching Ms. Swan. I should have been exhausted, but I found myself unable to sleep. I knew Ms. Swan would need to sleep off her all-nighter, so I waited until early afternoon to contact her. I sent her a text message asking her to meet me at our bench at four. I arrived early and concentrated on calming myself down. I knew I could do this. When I finally lifted my head up, Ms. Swan was approaching me. Thanks to her tight white tank top, it was apparent that my cock was not the only thing in the room that was erect.

I was never so grateful for air-conditioning.

I stood up when she was in front of me. “Shall we?”

“How does it feel to be a high school graduate?” she asked.

“Honestly? I feel like I’ve just been paroled.”

She laughed, but I wasn’t kidding.

“No, seriously. It’s amazing.”

“And you decided to spend your first day of freedom with Degas?”

“Wouldn’t you?” I said sarcastically. “No, that’s not why I came out here today. I wanted to spend some time with you, and thought the museum was my best chance at making that happen.”

“Ah, subterfuge.”

“Does that bother you?” I asked.

“No, actually. I’m thrilled you invited me.”

I was grateful for the confirmation that my attention was welcome. I just needed to get her talking about herself. I wanted to know everything about Isabella Swan.

“So,” I began. “Do you have anything planned for the summer?”

“Nothing whatsoever. My plans are to have no plans. My best friend, Alice, is getting married in September. She’s been borderline psychotic about the whole wedding thing, so I’m sure she will keep me very busy. Then there’s working on my house and heading to the beach when I can. Even without school, I feel like the next two months will fly by.”

“Where are you from?”

“Are we playing twenty questions?”

I loved that she was making me work for it.

“No. But you mentioned heading ‘to the beach’. No one from around here would use that expression. We’d say ‘down the shore’. So I would guess that not only are you not from this area, but you haven’t lived here all that long. Colloquialisms tend to be infectious.”

She stopped walking and looked at me curiously.

“I’m from a small town in Washington State, near the Olympic peninsula.”

She told me about her family, with whom she was not close. She moved to Philadelphia with her best friend from college and now lived alone in a house she’d bought entirely on her own. Her independence only increased her appeal. At no point had she mentioned being in a relationship, but I had a hard time believing she was single.

I knew I had to ask. “So that’s it, huh? No husbands, no children, no stalkers?”

“No,” she laughed.

“No boyfriends?”

“None worth mentioning.”

“Any at the moment not worth mentioning?”


I’d never felt more relieved. Newly confident, I moved ahead with my plan – date one at the orchestra.

“So, do you have any plans next Saturday?”

She shook her head. “What did you have in mind?”

“Well, I’d kind of like to surprise you.”

“I hate surprises,” she whined.

“All surprises?” I asked.

“Yes, all surprises.”

“You’ve never had a good surprise?”

“No. Not that I can recall, anyway.”

I could think of several very good ways in which I could surprise her.

She turned around and began walking away from me.

“Wait, where are you going?” I stopped her.

“We’ve seen everything in this gallery. I thought we’d start heading back.”

I couldn’t believe she’d never seen the Marcel Duchamp at the far end of this gallery. Tucked away in a dark corner, were two wooden doors with peepholes drilled through them. Behind them was a three dimensional display of a nude woman lying spread eagle, the pink flesh at the junction of her thighs plainly visible. By today’s standards, it was fairly tame, though the viewer could clearly see into the woman’s vagina. I was taking a huge risk and I knew it, but Ms. Swan didn’t strike me as the kind of woman who would shy away from erotica. If she was comfortable viewing it in my presence, I would get confirmation that she could be attracted to me sexually.

I took both of her hands in mine and led her through the small archway, waiting until we were in the dark before I spoke.

“What, you’ve never been back here?”

She shook her head.

I turned her so that she faced the peepholes.

“Go ahead,” I whispered. “Look.”

She gasped audibly when she saw what lay behind the doors, before raising herself up onto her toes to get a closer look.

Holy Jesus.

Her tank top rode up in the back, exposing a sliver of flesh where her skirt hung on her hips. A narrow scrap of lace poked out above the waistline of her skirt, nestled between the soft curves of her bottom. I could probably snap the tiny strings holding the fabric in place with my teeth, maybe even with my cock, which could then situate itself between her cheeks.

My penis was actually jealous of polyester.

I wanted to touch her, but I didn’t want her to know I had a raging hard-on. I put my hands on her hips and carefully pressed my chest against her back while keeping my pelvis a safe distance from her. Even in my awkward position, the feel of her body against mine was by far the most erotic sensation I’d ever known. I was amazed my jeans managed to contain my cock. Her breathing deepened, and I no longer doubted that she wanted me as much as I wanted her.

She wanted me, and she was wearing a skirt with only a g-string underneath it. I was so hard I was twitching. If she was experiencing even a modicum of the feelings I was, she would be wet. I studied the back of her skirt for signs of her arousal and found none. I wondered if the consistency of vaginal secretions would enable her moisture to be contained by her lips and her pubic hair, if she had any, or if it would coat the inside of her thighs…

I leaned into her and spoke softly. “Are you surprised?”

“Yes,” she whispered.

“Would you consider the feeling unpleasant?” I traced circles on her hips with my fingers before turning her to face me. As slowly as I could muster, I raised one hand up her side while continuing to cup her hip with the other. Though my wandering hand stayed far away from her breast, her nipples became even more pronounced than they had been. I grazed the bare skin of her neck and shoulders before touching her face. I gently nudged her face toward mine and brushed my thumb across her lip. I needed to kiss her, and her sharp intake of breath seemed to indicate that Ms. Swan wanted me to do so.

Ms. Swan?

Could I actually bring myself to tongue a woman who would not permit me to call her by her first name? As much as I needed to taste her, I only wanted to do so as her equal. I pulled my hands away and took a step back. She seemed like she was in shock.

“You aren’t mad at me, are you?” I asked.

She shook her head.

Equals, I reminded myself. I had no intention of calling her Ms. Swan when I finally came inside her.

When I came inside her, I thought again.

Somehow, I knew the fruition of my fantasies was inevitable, and in my fantasies I called her Isabella…

“Isabella, please say something.”

“Bella.” Her voice was only slightly louder than a breath. “I prefer Bella.”

“Bella,” I repeated, smiling. “Are you meeting your friends tonight?”

She nodded.

“You should get going then.”

She seemed a bit out of it as I walked her to the taxi stand.

“So, about next Saturday,” I began. “Can you be ready at six?”

“I don’t recall saying yes,” she muttered, as if she could possibly fight an attraction as strong as ours.

Complete inexperience notwithstanding, I’d watched women throw themselves at my dad enough times to be able to recognize lust when I saw it. She was every bit as powerless in this as I was.

“Bella, we both know you have no intention of ever telling me no.”

I opened the door of a waiting cab and she settled herself onto the bench seat.

“Until Saturday, then.”

“Until Saturday,” I repeated, shutting the door.

Bella. She asked me to call her Bella. I smiled victoriously as the cab disappeared down the parkway.


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  1. on 06 Jul 2010 at 10:28 amluckyduck0076

    lol OMG! I loved “My penis was actually jealous of polyester”!!!


  2. on 08 Jan 2011 at 8:27 amSea4Me

    Two surprises after seeing E through only Bella’s eyes: 1) all of his research/planning/prep when he seemed so naturally able, albeit nervous & 2) the frequency with which he thinks about his cock. Yes, he must be a teenage male! (or is that standard for any age, lol?)