Chapter 21: Answers

I walked Olivia to the door of her floor and said my good nights to her. We spent nearly ten minutes kissing and struggling to leave each other. I didn’t want to leave her. I wanted to go back to her room and spend all night talking, finding out every single little thing about her. I knew at last I had to leave her or I would be late for curfew and it would go on my permanent record. I couldn’t risk it.
By the time I got home, the lights were all off in our dorm. I assumed that Thomas had already gone to bed.

I went straight to my room and carefully hung up the suit. I hid my other purchases in one of the drawers in the dresser and started up my computer.

I logged in to check my email and found that aside from a couple of course updates from professors, there was an email from my mother.

After apologizing profusely about sending me to this school for several paragraphs, she finally got to the point.

It explained everything, including where the extra money in my account came from. She and my father had put it there to help with any expenses I might have. She claimed to have heard from Professor Firestone who had called to discuss my marks and my progress.

According to her, she and my father were both very proud of my current marks and how well I seemed to be adjusting. I couldn’t be sure. My father never told me directly that he was proud of me. But when he was angry or disappointed in me, he always found a way to tell me that.

I replied to her email, sending her a quick few lines about my room mate, my classes, and telling her that I was spending some time with a girl I’d met named Olivia. I didn’t elaborate about my starting relationship with Olivia, I just left it that I’d met her and we were friends. I didn’t need to go into all of the gory details.

I sent the email, switched off the computer and stripped off my clothes. I climbed into bed in my boxers and tucked my arms behind my head. I lay awake for hours, just thinking about Olivia. I was distracted by the scent of her hair, the beautiful dark chocolate curls that framed her pale face perfectly. Her green eyes that were bright and intelligent. They were the most beautiful shade of green I’d ever seen.

Things between us seemed to be going extremely well. I had been a little worried about kissing her. I felt like it was all I ever did when we were together. But I simply couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t keep myself in check when facing those beautiful plump lips of hers. I couldn’t trust myself to be in complete control.

I shook my head, trying not to think. I had to keep chasing the wonderful thought of her from my mind, but finally I managed to get some sleep.

I woke the next morning, for once feeling rested. I groggily cranked open the window and snuck in a quick cigarette. I carefully angled the direction of my smoke out the window, before butting out the cigarette on the side of the building. I made sure the butt was out before burying it at the bottom of my trash bin.

I yanked on a tank top and stumbled into the main room.

Thomas was standing at the table, using a butter knife to try and open a cardboard box. He was frowning in concentration, his broken glasses slipping down his nose. The masking tap nosepiece had left a red line across the bridge of his nose.

“Morning.” I mumbled, sleepily. “Please tell me there’s coffee.”

“Good afternoon. It’s twelve forty-five.” Thomas corrected. “There should be some coffee left; it might be cold by now. I made it this morning.”

“Hell, coffee is better than no coffee. I’ll drink it cold.” I shrugged, walking into the kitchen. I reached a mug down from the cabinet and poured myself a cup of coffee. I needed the caffeine and drank it black. I was half tempted to fill the cup with sugar for the extra energy.

“What’s that?” I asked, lifting my chin toward the box in Thomas’ hands.

“My glasses.” He answered, reaching into the box. He removed a smaller case and opened it. He took the glasses from his face and replaced them with the new glasses. He blinked rapidly.

I took a sip of the coffee in my hands. It was lukewarm, but I wasn’t about to pass up caffeine.

Thomas dropped the packaging and his old glasses into the trash can. “So, how did your date go last night?” Thomas asked.

“Amazingly well, I think. I mean, we just did some wandering around and went out for dinner. I found out a lot about her. It was really cool.”

“Did you tell her about yourself?”

I nodded. “She knows almost everything by now. She hasn’t run away screaming yet… in fact she wants to have another date tonight. She said she wants to make me dinner and go to some thing run by the film society?” I asked in confusion. “I didn’t even know there was a film society.”

Thomas nodded. “Yeah, it’s kind of like going to a regular movie at a theatre or something… you know? I mean, it’s run in one of the auditoriums. They usually pick a movie as it’s released on video and play it for the students at no cost. Just one more thing that student council puts on to keep the student body from going complete cabin fever.”

I nodded. “Actually, that’s probably smart.”

Thomas chuckled.

“What are your plans for the rest of the day?”

“I have a chest club meeting tonight. We meet on Saturday nights to play against each other. It’s good practice.”

“Dude, you give up your Saturday nights for chess?” I asked. “That’s kind of…”

“Kind of sad?” Thomas asked. “I know, but these guys are actually alright. I mean, they get picked on by the football team too, so…”

“Oh, great. More guys that I get to protect from the football team? You guys should hire me as a bodyguard.” I suggested.

Thomas smirked. “You could, but they seemed to pick on me a whole lot more than the other guys. I don’t know why. They’re Neanderthals anyway.”

“Right.” I agreed. “Don’t let them get to you. And if they bug you, tell me. I’ll put them in a locker for once, see how they like it.”

Thomas grinned. “I think I’d like to see that. Probably a little too much.”

I shrugged.

“What else did you and Olivia do?” Thomas plopped down on a chair.

I cocked one eyebrow.

“Hey, let me live vicariously. I play chess on Saturday nights. I could never in a million years get a girl like that.” Thomas shrugged.

I laughed. “She helped me pick out something to wear for the Founder’s Formal, and we kissed. A lot.” I paused, vividly remembering the night before. “She gets this adorable, sexy blush going on when she gets flustered. I mean… man, that girl is hot!”

“You’re officially dating the hottest girl in school. You’re a lucky bastard.”

I laughed. “I know, tell me about it.”

“So what are you doing today?” Thomas asked.

“Well, I definitely need to do laundry before tonight… but I think I’ve got some time to whip your ass at Grand Rapids Racing.” I nodded toward the video game console.

Thomas shrugged. “No way. I think today might be the day I beat you.” Thomas shrugged.

“You’re on. Give me two seconds to make a sandwich and I’ll play you.”

“Deal.” Thomas moved around the sofa and began switching on the television and the game consoles. He untangled the controllers and put the game into the machine.

I carried my sandwich into the living room and plopped it down on the coffee table without a plate and watched Thomas set the game up.

We played for the remainder of the afternoon, taking periodic breaks for me to run down to the lobby and put on loads of laundry or remove something from the washing machine to put into the dryer. I simultaneously got my laundry done and beat Thomas three games out of five.

It was much more fun to tease him about being a total genius and loosing to an ordinary, average guy like me.

He sulked a little, and insisted that the next time he would beat me.

I couldn’t possibly keep playing. I had to get ready for my second date with Olivia. I took my time as I showered, shaved and trod back to my room with a towel knotted around my waist.

It took me longer than usual to decide what to wear.

I wasn’t used to this type of formal dating. Usually when I was with girls, it was just a general meet once, have a couple hours of really great sex (or bad, quick sex depending on how drunk or stoned we were) and never see them again.

I felt inexperienced, but completely determined to win Olivia’s heart.

I brushed my hair into the careful ponytail I always wore it on, sprayed on some cologne and yanked on a gray t-shirt and a pair of loose black jeans. I pulled on a flannel button down shirt and fastened it halfway.
I slid my arms into a black hoodie and sat down on the edge of my bed.

I drew in a deep breath and concentrated. Tonight had to go well. I couldn’t screw it up. Olivia was beginning to be very important to me, and I couldn’t screw this up.

I had to manage to control myself around her. I was sure she was starting to think I was only interested in her to get into her pants; especially with the way I kept kissing her all the time.

However to be completely honest, that wasn’t my intention at all. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I would love to sleep with her. I thought about it often, and there were times when I couldn’t get the image of the two of us rolling around in the throws of passion in my sheets. There were times I was desperate to get the thought of kissing her and touching her out of my head I had to get up and take an icy shower.

But if I wanted to keep Olivia, I knew I had to control myself. I had to prove that I wanted more from her than just her body.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but at the very last minute, I crossed my bedroom again and opened the top drawer on my dresser. I rummaged through it until I produced the box of condoms that I had purchased the night before.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but I needed to be prepared just in case things got hot and heated between us. I tore into the box and removed one. I shoved it into the bottom of my wallet. There was a permanent ring there from always carrying one with me.

I wasn’t expecting something would happen, I couldn’t possibly expect that. But I had to be sure that if something did happen, I was prepared. There was nothing more embarrassing than being in the middle of something, and finding out that you have to stop because you don’t have protection.

I pushed myself up from the bed and removed my brown leather jacket from the back of the door knob. I pulled it on over my hoodie and went out into the main room of the dorm.

Thomas looked up from the textbook in his lap. “You’re on your way?” He asked.

I nodded. “Wish me luck.”

“I don’t think you’ll need it.” Thomas mused.

“Hmm.” I mused. “Are you sure you don’t want me to ask if Olivia’s got a friend I could set you up with?”

Thomas shook his head, then shoved his glasses up onto his nose as they slid. “I think that’s kind of awkward.”

“Not really.” I shrugged. I was determined to ask anyway. It wasn’t healthy for a guy to be sitting at home like this. I was starting to worry about the poor kid.

“Alright. I should go. I don’t want to be late.”

“See you later.”

“I will.” I chuckled.