chaptertwo

Three Years Later

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Eighth Grade

By the time our eighth-grade-year came rolling around, milk was definitely doing a body good. Jason’s body, that is. In the three years since our first meeting, or confrontation, whichever you prefer to call it, the hostility between us had continued. The only differences were physical developments. I’d changed drastically from the tall, lanky, skinny girl who moved there and now had boobs and an onion ass. You know, the kind of ass that supposedly makes men cry when they see it? I may have grown another four or five inches in height but leveled off at five-foot-four. Jason, on the other hand, shot up like a tree. He was already six feet even and still growing.

We were both thirteen, and puberty was barreling inon us like a ton of bricks. I had a crush on this boy Mohammed, a Muslim. I used to be so mesmerized when he would recite Islamic principles to me. In my eyes, he was arealman who respected his women, even when they were only thirteen. He was older than I was, sixteen, and had a car. I just knew I was the bomb, and all my girlfriends were envious. My parents hated him though. They dreaded the thought of a boy taking advantage of their little baby girl. Little did my parents or friends know, it was nothing like that. In fact, Mohammed respected metoomuch; the few times I tried to French-kiss him, he gave me a peck on my lips and sent me on my way.

Jason had himself a little hoochie mama. I’ll never forget the anorexic beanpole bitch. Her name was Chandler, and she came from an upper-class family. Just because she wore the finest clothes and got her hair done every week at the beauty parlor, she thought she was the end-all and be-all. When I used to talk trash about her to Brina, who was my best friend by then, she would say, “Oh, girl, you just jealous! You want Jason for yourself! Just admit it, walk across the street and get that boy, because you are getting on my last nerve!”

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My response was always the same. “Heck, no!”

It was a Friday afternoon in October when I realized Brina had missed her calling as a child psychic. It was a beautiful day for that time of year. I was out in front of my house jumping rope with Brina, who caught the bus home with me to spend the night, and some of the other girls from the neighborhood. I had just jumped in between the ropes, doing the double-Dutch, when I tripped and fell on my knees. It wasn’t lack of rope-jumping skills that made me take a tumble. It was Jason’s fine ass mowing the lawn.

He was maneuvering his daddy’s brand-spanking-new ride-on mower, and his shirt was off. I noticed hewas growing a goatee. His black, wavy hair, along with his hazel eyes, were sparkling in the sunlight.

As I got up from the ground and wiped the dirt off my knees, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. All the girls noticed and started chanting,

Zoe and Jason

Sitting in a tree

K-I-S-S-I-N-G

First comes love

Then comes marriage

Then comes Zoe with a

baby carriage

Thank goodness he couldn’t hear them over the engine of the lawn mower. I simply would have died. The strangest thing happened at that very moment and I know this is gonna be hard to believe. Looking at Jason and his muscles and his face and hiseverythingmade my panties wet. When I went inside, half-scared because nothing like that had ever happened before, I went to the bathroom and discovered I was bleeding. Somehow, my newly discovered puppy love for Jason brought about my first menstrual cycle. Ain’t that a bitch?

Later that evening, Brina and I went to a birthday party at our friend Eugene’s house. Brina was spending the night with me so my mother could drop us both off and pick us up. Her mother was a single parent and had to work late that night.

The party was cool. However, I was depressed because Mohammed couldn’t make it, and Jason was there with histhing.We didn’t dance much because Eugene’s parents were kind of old-fashioned and didn’t want a whole lot of touchy-feely going on. They made one vitalmistake though: they bought Eugene the game Twister for his big day.

Somebody spiked the punch with grain alcohol and set the party off. I don’t quite remember how it happened because I was tore up, but some time between watchingBeach Blanket Bingoon TV and playing charades, Jason and I ended up on the Twister mat together. Boy, was Chandler upset! I think she was a bit psychic as well, aware of something I wasn’t. She knew Jason liked me just as much as I liked him.

I did figure it out during the game, though. Jason had to put a hand on red, I had to put a foot on blue, and his

pelvic area ended up pressed against my behind. Before the hand on the spinner landed on the next color, his dick was hard, and the gigantic, elephantine sanitary napkin my mother made me wear was twice as soaked as before the game. It wasn’t soaked with blood, however, but with my pussy juice.

I jumped up off the mat in the middle of the game— not because I didn’t enjoy the way his hard dick was feeling, but for fear he would somehow catch wind of the sanitary napkin. The damn thing was so big, I thought for sure he would discover it, and I was so embarrassed.

My mother couldn’t get there fast enough to pick us up, and when she finally did, I flew out the house like a bat out of hell, wanting to put the whole episode behind me. We went back to my house, and Brina was brushing my long, light brown hair that reached my bra strap. “Zoe, what’s the matter with you?”

“What makes you think there’s anything wrong with me?” I snapped at her and immediately regretted my tone. Even though Brina was my best friend in the whole world, I was ashamed to tell her what had happened.

“You’ve been acting weird, is all!” She pinned myhair up with a giant hair clip. “Is it because you started your period? Don’t sweat that. I’ve been having them for almost two years now, and they’re not so bad.”

I got up from the padded bench of my vanity table, cut off the lamp on my nightstand, and got into my double canopy bed. “It’s nothing, really. Let’s just get some rest.”

Brina got in the bed and instantly fell asleep, since she was tipsier than I was. Girlfriend put a hurting on that punch. For me, sleep would not come easy, and an hour later, I was sitting in the window seat and looking up at the moon and stars. I began to imagine Jason looking at the same moon and same stars from his bedroom window, but for all I knew, he was out necking with Chandler. The mere thought of him touching her was devastating. It was hard to imagine falling for my archenemy. That’s exactly what happened, though, and I made a promise to myself that somehow, some way, I would win his heart and make him mine. The sun was coming up when I snuck back in the bed with Brina, pretending to have been there the entire time.

The very next day, I forgot all that nonsense about winning Jason’s heart. I think it had something to do with the way he was sucking his teeth and smirking at me when I came out of the house and started down the street to the corner market a few blocks away.I ignored him and kept walking. I winced when I heard him approaching fast behind me on his skateboard, yet another item my father had helped him make.

“Zoe, wait up, girl!”

I rolled my eyes for my benefit alone, since my back was still facing him. “I’m in a hurry, Jason!”

I could hear him speeding up even faster then. “I said hold up, girl!”

I swung around and glared at him. Damn, he was fine! “Whatchu want, nucca?”

He caught up to me and used his heel to kick his skateboard up into his hand, placing it underneath his arm. The sunlight hitting up against his eyes was nothing short of mesmerizing. I wanted him, and at the same time I couldn’t stand his ass. I was madconfuzzled.

“Can I ask you a question?”

“You just did, dummy,” I hissed at him and folded my arms, repeating the eye roll so he could see it this time.

He sighed in frustration. “Aight, damn, can I ask you another question then?”

“You just did, dummy,” I reiterated, giggling at the ingenuity of my comment.

He glared at me like he wanted to slap me. “You’re a trip, girl!”

I looked down at the red-and-yellow Swatch watch I was sporting because it matched the red stirrup pants and yellow baby-doll shirt I had on perfectly. “Are you going to ask this question sometime today? Because I have things to do.”

“Where you headed? Over Brina’s?”

“Brina’s? Brina lives like fifty million blocks away. I’m not walking all the way over there. Nucca, please!”

“So where you headed?”

For the first time, I noticed how deep Jason’s voice had gotten. Boy, was I getting overheated! “To the store to get sumptin’ I need.” Jason laughed like I had just told an Eddie Murphy joke. “What’s so damn funny?”

“Nothing,” he chuckled. “I was just wondering if thisthingyou need from the store has to do with last night and what happened at the party.”

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