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Yes, Master: Rise of the Witch

Warning this material is for mature adults only. Graphic Sex and Violence that includes references of the occult and global deception. No minors. This is a work of fiction based on actual events. All character names, organizations, and establishments are fictional.  

 

Chapter One: I Dream of Jeannie

When I first met Jeannie, I was in the eighth grade, and she was the new girl who had just moved to our school. It was the first day for her, but the middle of the year for the rest of us.

The home room teacher Ms. Payne checked her office slip, wrote her name in her attendance book, and asked her if she would like to introduce herself; in-front of the entire class.

As a new student, I would have been horrified, to have to introduce myself in front of a room full of stranges. Especially this class, because these people were the worst of the worst. I got in so much trouble with my two friends, Kyle and Carlos, that I was moved to the other side of the room.

Jeannie was very composed thou, and she introduced herself with a poker face that hid any underlying fear, and spoke in an organized method that almost sounded like a speech she had rehearsed.
Jeanie started by telling us where she was from, the name of her old school, how badly she missed her friends, and how happy she was for the opportunity to make some new ones, and finally the reason she moved here in the first place.

Jeanie’s dad got a promotion, and that meant a move, but when her father accepted, the condition was on that they had to relocate within a month, they didn’t have a choice about the timing.

Otherwise her parents would have waited until the end of the school year when it was more convienant.

Then Jeannie concluded by looking over at Ms. Payne to see if she was satisfied. Ms. Payne told Jeanie that we were happy to have her, and we were.

I know I was because Jeanie, the new girl, was hotter than hell. There was only one empty desk in the classroom, and that was the one in front of me.

I sat in the second seat in the last row next to the windows, so Jeanie’s would be sitting in the first desk in front of me.

The student who used to sit in front of me was an authentic Native American named Johnny Wolf, and he lived on a reservation, with the other members that composed an actual tribe.

I would call him Johnny “Howling Wolf” behind his back, because he was always itching, sneezing, and coughing due to his allergies. And it was non-stop.

Nothing against him being an Indian, but I hated sitting next to him because of it. And one day I waited after class, when no one else was around, so that I could speak to Ms. Payne, about having me moved back to my old seat or another one, anywhere away from Johnny.

“Ms. Payne, I don’t want to sit next to Johnny anymore, I said.”

“Well, there are no other seats available so I can’t do anything about that, she replied.”

Truth be told, I didn’t even want to sit in the same room with Johnny but Ms. Payne didn’t take me serious, refusing to move me, and saying that Johnny sounded like he only had a bad case of hay fever.

Hay fever, how did she know, was Ms. Payne a doctor, I think not?
I never heard of someone coughing up a lung because of Hay-Fever?
Hell, my grandfather had bronchitis and he didn’t sound that bad. And what if whatever Johnny had, was contagious?

Another month went by, and I stayed after class again to talk to Ms. Payne, but now, I was really pissed.

“Ms. Payne, about Johnny, his condition sounds like its getting worse. I think he needs some conventional modern medicine and not whatever their giving him out there on that reservation, because whatever it is, it’s not working, Mark finished.”
Ms. Payne, looked at him annoyed, “What are you talking about Mark.”
“I’m talking about you blatantly overlooking your duties as a teacher, and ignoring one of your Native American student’s health conditions, Mark replied.”
“My duties, Ms. Payne repeated?”
“Well, I don’t have him in any of my other classes, Mark answered.”
“It is not the school’s policy to recommend treatment, or suggest medication, nor are we authorized to give it, now if you have a problem with that, maybe you should take it up with Principle White, Ms. Payne answered curtly.

“So, let’s me try to put this in perspective, the school’s position is to just ignore Johnny’s health problems,
and refuse to log it officially. If the schools denies any knowledge of a preexisting condition, and no official record is made, then if Johnny dies on school property, the school district may not get sued by the Native American Council, Mark summarized.”

“Well you can thank the Republicans for that, Ms. Payne, retorted.”
“What about your Hypocritical oath, Mark asked?”
“My Hypocritical what, Ms. Payne replied confused?”
“What if what he has is dangerous and contagious, I mean those Native American’s have all the money in the world because of the casino’s, but they still choose to live out there on their reservations, with those wild animals, like a bunch of savages, Mark said.”
Ms. Payne, was speechless.

“I mean why is it, that the Indians are so self-sufficient, with everything else, except when it comes to home-schooling their own children, Mark asked?”

“Maybe they want to modernize, and start indoctrinating themselves into modern society, Ms. Payne replied.”
“That’s fine, let them modernize, I’m not a racist, but I don’t want to suffer from whatever it is that Johnny’s suffering from, just because they don’t believe in the “White Man’s Medicine, Mark said making quotation marks with his fingers.

“Well, I can’t very well tell Johnny that he can’t come to class now can I, Ms. Payne returned.”

“Why don’t you just call in the Army then, let them storm in here and quarantine this entire town, I want a phone call first so I can sneak out.

I would hate to wind up on the wrong side of the plastic bubble if you know what I mean, Mark said with a straight face.”

Ms. Payne burst out laughing.
Mark stared at Ms. Payne in amazement, more like shock. Mark wasn’t even trying to be funny, but whenever he got really fired up about something, he started running off at the mouth, and when he did he couldn’t stop himself.
“This is the first time, I think I ever heard you laugh, Ms. Payne, Mark said. It sounded more like a revelation than a statement the way Mark said it.

Ms. Payne just kept smiling.
“I didn’t know you could laugh, Mark continued.”

Ms. Payne was tickled she laughed again, “Look, I can’t make any promises, but I’ll talk to Principal White, and see if there’s anything that he can be done for Johnny, okay? But as for me, my hands are tied.”
Mark was stunned at Ms. Payne’s warm response, she had a heart after all.
Who knew?
Then Ms. Payne returned to grading her papers. Just for that moment, Mark felt like he had a connection with Ms. Payne.
She could be a fellow human being, and not just a condescending adult.

Despite her age and profession she was just another person like himself, and stuck in the same horrible situation he was in.

The shared a common tragedy. It was like a worker from the boiler room of the “Titanic” talking with a passenger from first class.

After the ship hit the iceberg and started sinking, now they were all in the same boat. Maybe Ms. Payne was just as disgusted about Johnny’s condition as he was, but unlike him, she didn’t have the luxury of complaining, because she had a job to protect.

“You hate Johnny being in your class, as much as I do, Mark said out loud.”
Another revelation.

Ms. Payne looked up at him again, but this time she looked startled, she studied Mark and he saw a look of panic on her face.
She wondered if maybe she had said too much, and then after a long moment she said dismissively,
“Goodbye Mark.”
Mark slung his backpack over his shoulders and headed out. But before he left the classroom he stopped at the doorway and turned around, “Ms. Payne, I would love to tell everybody that you have a very
pleasant and contagious laugh. But I don’t think they would believe me, maybe if you did it more often, you could help me convince them, and then he left without saying good-bye.”

Never in her twenty-two years of teaching could she remember a student ever giving her a compliment. Not on her looks, not on her laugh, not on one of her outfits. Nothing. Margaret Payne continued staring at the empty doorway.

Mark learned that Ms. Payne had made good on her word, and she did indeed speak to Principle White because something finally happened regarding Johnny, his parents admitted him into a regular hospital, where they discovered that much of his illness was due to allergies.
The doctors discovered that Johnny had a rare condition thou, and that his lungs were super-sensitive.

The allergies to the dust and pollen created a constant state of irritation within the air sacks themselves. And given enough time, left untreated, his condition would have become fatal.
His family moved Johnny to another tribe North of the state, and Johnny lived on another reservation, one near a clinic that specialized in his type of illness.

After Johnny went to another school, no one ever heard from him again, Mark never got so much as a thank-you but if Johnny got the help he needed, that’s all that really mattered.

Anyway, Johnnys exodus was the only reason why there was an empty seat in the classroom. And now the new girl, Jeannie, would be sitting in it. Mark could not have ordered a better replacement.

Jeanie was beautiful, and Mark tried very hard not to stare as she walked towards him, but that was almost impossible.

Jeanie might have been the most attractive eighth grader in the world. And that was because she already looked like a senior. She might have had the face of a 13-year-old: young, fresh, and innocent, but she had the mature body of an adult woman.
Her tits were fucking huge.
Mark read somewhere that girls were maturing much earlier now than any time before in history.
And there was a theory that it was because of all the hormones, and steroids that they put in the cow’s milk.
Well if Jeanie ate her Frosted Flakes, she was proof of that. The contrast between her youthful, innocent looks, and her mature well-endowed figure, enhanced the other that much more. Mark couldn’t help but wonder, if Jeanie’s body was as innocent as her face looked.
Then Mark suddenly had a hard time concentrating, it started as a headache and then he closed his eyes, and rubbed his forehead to try and relieve the tension.

It got worse until Mark thought he might cry out. And then suddenly he started to get flashes of images.

They were about Jeanie. Sometimes Mark got “visions,” for lack of a better definition. It didn’t happen with everyone, he wasn’t psychic in a broad sense.

Usually it was a female who Mark found sexually attractive. Sometimes the pictures were accompanied by a sound, or a feeling, but other times they were just images by themselves.

The last girl was a blond named Tiffany that had given him oral sex. Aside from kissing a girl or feeling her up since fourth grade, she was his first sexual experiance.

Tiffany was one of the most popular and attractive girls at the school, but she was selfish and ultamitely every vision of them as a couple ended with tragedy and pain. Tiffany was the girl you lost your virginity too, not the girl you married.
She would destroy any man who fell for her, and when she was done she would move on to another. It was always the getting and not the having with Tiffany.

Now the visions were happening again but this time with this new girl Jeannie. Mark didn’t know why she suddenly “activated” his vision, and after Tiffany, Mark wondered if these flashing images were actually a warning?

When Jeanie sat down the pictures started popping off in his head like flashbulbs, image after image silently exploded.

<Pop, pop, pop>

Mark closed his eyes and started rubbing them to try and stop the flood of images that started to pour in.

After Mark started to see enough of these images, they would repeat themselves and start to formulate a story, like pieces of a puzzle that eventually completed a picture.

Sometimes the story told of a person’s past and other times it was of their present, but sometimes he even got glimpses of a future event. Sometimes it was all three!!!

Mark had the feeling that he could see things about the other person without them even being aware of it. I mean if they knew, they would have reacted, right? He would have.

But Mark didn’t know if his “mental-story images” of the person were accurate or just generated by the imagination of his own mind.

He had never gotten confirmation because he never asked the person that he had the visions about if they had actually happened to them.

Mark made it a point, never to tell anyone about these “visions.” Not his friends, not his teacher and certainly not his parents. They would just take him to a shrink, to try and fix him, before he was old enough to be an actual embarrassement to them.

Mark wasn’t going to let some fucking quack put him on some psychotropic medication that would do him more harm than good.

Going to a shrink would get him labeled as “crazy,” for the rest of his life. Being crazy was one thing, being labeled as crazy was far worse, and given a choice he would rather die first.

Now the images started to repeat themselves again. Marks first impression(s) was that Jeanie had involved herself with something taboo. She was in a cult. No, she was a student of the occult. Wicca, she practiced the dark arts, Witchcraft!!!

She was a novice, someone who wasn’t especially disciplined. Reckless.
But she had a natural gift for it.
But she rushed in impatiently.
Love. Pain. Regret. Horror.
Jeanie had belonged to a school, no a coven. But something had happened.

Jeanie was “expelled” because she was a student who practiced on her own, outside of the group, which was dangerous and forbidden. But was that the reason for her relocation.

Pain. Suffering. Jealousy. Rivalry.

Was she banished?

No. Wicca, the study and practice of witchcraft was her religion, and every religion had rules; and the rules were strict. And Jeanie had disobeyed theirs.
But why?

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Sex? Love? Desire? A boy, no, a man. In her previous school there was a boy, an older boy, named Joe…John… Josh.
His name was Josh, and Jeanie became instantly attracted to him. He was her first crush.
He was older but because of her intelligence she was mentally, if not emotionally, his equal. The two of them shared some of the same classes, but Josh never seemed to notice her, Jeanie was attractive, but in a girlish way. Cute.

She did not know that Josh was not interested because she still looked “under-developed,” She still looked like a child and not a woman. And besides Josh was a breast-man.

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One day Jeanie overheard Josh talking to a friend of his, and that he needed to go to the Mall this weekend to buy some clothes.

Jeanie made plans to be there so that she could “accidentally” run into him. So at the Mall she made sure to get there before him, so she could “accidentally” get there early and run into him.

When she finally saw Josh at the Mall, Jeanie walked over and made up an excuse to talk to him.

He smiled, flirted, complimented her, and even laughed at her jokes, Jeanie was sure that Josh was going to ask her out.

But then just like a scene from a tragic romantic comedy, a very well-endowed female walked past them, and her timing could not have been worse for Jeanie.

Like an electric magnet, Josh’s immediate attention switched from Jeanie to the other girl in an instant.

Josh also knew this girl from another one of his classes and he immediately made up some horribly, transparent excuse to leave Jeanie so that he could catch up with the other girl before she got away.

Jeanie had been outclassed, simple as that. Game, Set, and Match.

Josh’s reaction was so abrupt that it would have been comical under different circumstances, but the shock of his sudden abandonment was devastating, and the humilation she felt in his absence was
monumental.

Jeanie was frozen at first and unable to even move, her mind refusing to accept what had just happened.
He’s gone.
He left me for another girl, older mature, endowed?
And she was right in the middle of the mall where everybody could see her pain. Her face turned red from embarrassement. She could not stop it.

 

Jeanie wished she could suddenly turn invisible so nobody could see her while she walked to the mall bathroom desperately trying not to cry, feeling like a fool, and trying to maintain her dignity.

She had to force one foot in front of the other and her steps felt mechanical like a robot, even as she locked herself into one of the stalls and then broke down crying hysterically.

Jeanie was in the bathroom stall for almost twenty minutes, she tried to get as much grief out of her system as possible. At least enough so that she could make it out of the mall without breaking down in front of the entire mall to see.

Josh was Jeanie’s first crush and he was devastating; so muscular and handsome. Perfect. His sense of humur and laidbackness could make any girl feel at ease despite his overwhelmingly handsome looks, which could be quite intimidating.

 

Jeanie cried herself to sleep that night wondering what she did wrong, and why she wasn’t good enough for Josh.
They were perfect for each other, why couldn’t he see that?
For the rest of the week Jeanie was inconsolable, she couldn’t eat, or sleep, or even confide to her friends.

It felt like a setup the way everything happened. It couldn’t haven’t turned out worse if it had been planned. Why did that bitch have to walk past her at the exact moment Josh was about the ask her out?

 

Jeanie found out the other girls name was Judy. And now the two of them were even dating. But she hadn’t won Josh, she had stole him, and with an unfair advantage!!! Jeanie was going to use a magical incantation that would emulate the body of this other woman, that way Josh would be as interested in Jeanie as he was her rival. And then Jeanie would be able to compete against this other woman on a level playing field.

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But this incantation was a very dangerous thing to attempt. First, Jeanie did not have enough experience. Second this spell was not a one-person ritual, and third, she did not have permission from the coven to perform it. Howver, none of this mattered to Jeanie, and she insisted on doing it anyway in secret.

She knew if she asked, that her request would be denied automatically. Plus, Jeanie didn’t even think she could actually bring herself to ask for a sexual endowment, it was humiliating. Impossible, impractical, a childish dream, immature, and insane. Did Jeanie honestly think that she could manipulate the forces of nature itself? That was madness. Madness!!! But Jeanie was in love.

Jeanie a natural practioner of the arts, was a gifted apprentice and a brilliant student of Wicca. But she was young, and she did not have the power, confidence or experience, to complete such a complicated ritual. And yet she attempted it. Jeanie had performed the magic rite meticulously, and it had been effective, despite her lack of experience, mainly because Jeanie herself was still in puberty, and her body quickly began to change and mimic the same form and shape of the other woman. She began to mature. But something went wrong.

Some variation, or deviation unnoticed. Too much emphasis on one thing or not enough on another. And that is why there is no substitution for experience in any field. Jeanie did not know, but the ritual had not completed correctly, despite her success. And as a result the other woman died.

 

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When the elders found out what Jeanie had done; the mother superior, Janice, shook her head in both shock and amazement. She told Jeanie that she couldn’t believe that she herself had not been killed during the incantation.

What Jeanie attempted, had never been done before, which was a true testament of her abilities, and her potential. Jeanie was by far the most gifted student Janice had ever witnessed. In time Jeanie herself would have been the one to replace Janice because of her ability, it was only natural for her to be the next “Superior” and the next to lead in succession.

 

Now, none of that would ever be possible. Janis was Jeanie’s mentor and personal teacher. Janis was unable to have children of her own. She loved Jeanie like her own daughter, and was the most protective of Jeanie, especially with her being the youngest member of the coven, but Jeanie had to be held accountable for her actions the same as everyone else. No one was above Wicca Law.

 

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During the next full moon all thirteen female members of the coven gathered in a circle, with Jeanie in the middle, and every woman, clothed only in a hooded robe, all of them were crying miserable, and that included Jeanie herself.

Another senior member of the council, a beautiful blonde, seductive but merciful named, Teresa spoke up, “Mother Janis, forgive this child, I beg thee, her intention was not malice. “Yes, she was reckless. yes, she was foolish, but this folly was for first loves sake, and who among us has not been deceived by love, or made a fool of by the same, not once, but many times even afterwards?”

Suddenly it stated to rain in cold, heavy drops. And every woman except for Jeanie, put the hood of their robes over her heads to keep their hair from getting wet. Janice could not rule on intention, but only on outcome alone. Jeanie could not have preferential treatment.

Janis responded “I did not make the laws, sister Teresa, and Jeanie despite her age as very aware of them, the laws are in place to prevent exactly what happened, from happening, now we all have blood on our hands.”

Another woman, Cassandra now hooded, and her face hidden in the shadow of the moonlight spoke up, “She is but a child, Mother Janis, have mercy on her for she is young, she is young, Cassandra repeated.”

But Janice shook her head. “She was old enough, old enough to know better, yet she chose against the law, and now she must be held accountable by it. One Law. One Coven.

Jeanie took off her robe and even thou she was completely naked underneath, she threw herself on the ground, kneeling before Janice, wrapping her arms around her kness, and begged her for an alternate form of punishment, even before Janis announced her verdict.

She would take the lash until her back bled and was scarred for life. Or the fire until it burned the beauty from her flesh. And they could cut her skin with a razor, and scrub the wound with steel wool, and salt water until the first three layers were peeled back.

The wind started to howl, and it carried Jeanie’s appeal to the heavens, but there was would be no latitude given from Janis, she was about to make her decision, and that verdict would be final.

Janis spoke: “Jeanie you have caused the death of another, and although unintentional, you were reckless, selfish, and disobedient. You knew of the law, but ye made the decision to break it anyway. Had this other woman lived, another punishment may have been considered, but as it stands, the punishment will fit the crime.”

Jeanie was crying hysterically. Janice raise her voice so she could be heard above the wind, “Jeanie, you are now excommunicated from our sisterhood forever, and swear an oath upon your life that you will never practice witchcraft again, either now or with another coven in the future. Nor may you have seek assistance, of guidance from another coven as well,, and then Janis looked down on her, So mote it be.”

The group of women repeated the last sentence in unison, “So mote it be.”
Jeanie looked up at the Janice and pleaded, “Please Mother, you are my family, do not abandon me, I would rather you kill me, than banish me, that would be a kinder fate, but to live without my sisters is unbearable, Jeanie cried hysterically.”

“Some punishments in life are worse than death, Janis said, and you more than anyone should know that, and then they exchanged a knowing look between them.

“Swear the Oath, or suffer the curse Janice warned.”

“Please you are truly the only woman who has been a mother to me, no one was as kind to me as you were, Jeanie wept.”

Janice slapped Jeanie in her face hard, and Jeanie fell to her side and into the mud, which covered her. Janice waited patiently for Jeanie to get up and then repeated her demand, “Swear the Oath or suffer the curse, Janice repeated.”

The other women in the coven joined in unison, “Swear the Oath, or suffer the Curse.”

Jeanie did not see hatred in the eyes of Janis, she saw pity, anger, but most of all disappointment. Both women were broken-hearted.

Jeanie had no choice, “I swear Mother, Jeanie said terrified.”
“Leave us now, and do not call me your mother, or these other women your sisters, for we are not your family anymore, nor shall we ever be again, Janis said sternly. The thunder sounded and the lightening illuminated the sky for effect.

And then Janis walked away from Jeanie as the rain continued to come down, but now even harder. It was as if even Nature itself was washing its hands of Jeanie. Now she was no longer kneeling, Jeanie was in a fetal position, and screaming, “I am alone, I am alone, I have no one, And no where to go,”
Jeanie screamed this over and over.”

And each time she cried out, the thunder sounded to drown her out. Yet no member of the coven would stay to comfort Jeanie, or cover her with her robe and help her up. Not one member would even look back on her as they walked past her still writhing on the ground.

The group of woman silently followed Janis back into their small fortress and locked the iron gate behind them. It shut with a metallic clank.

“Mr. Winters, can you give me the answer, Ms. Payne asked?

Mark jumped back in his seat, his “visions” were gone, the story was over. He didn’t know it at the time but he had been holding his breath, and now he was breathing heavy as if suffering from an asthma attack.

Hearing Ms.Payne’s voice brought Mark back to the present. To the here and now.

“The Answer?” Mark said, clearing his throat.”

“Yes, the answer, weren’t you paying attention, Ms. Payne asked?”

No, I wasn’t paying attention, isn’t that why you called on me in the first place, Mark thought to himself?

How could she even ask him that with a straight face?

Mark wanted this new girl Jeanie, and he had already decided to ask her out, but if Ms. Payne made him look bad in front of her, it could ruin his chances with her forever.

“I’m sorry Ms. Payne, I couldn’t hear you, can you repeat the question, again,
Mark asked.”

Ms. Payne scoffed.

“Who shot our 16th President Abraham Lincoln, Ms. Payne repeated?”

“Uhhh……That John…. Telephone…… Booth guy, Mark finished quickly.

The entire class erupted in laughter.

“That-is-not-funny, Ms. Payne addressed the class, and enunciating each word carefully to let the room know she meant business, all of you quiet down this instant, Ms. Payne commanded.”

When the class quieted down, Ms. Payne picked up right where she let off, and turning to Mark she followed up, “You mean John “Wilkes” Booth, Ms. Payne corrected?”

“Yes, that’s exactly who I meant, Mark answered.
“Then why didn’t you say so in the first place, Ms. Payne asked him?”
What? Are you kidding me? I gave you the right fucking answer and your still fucking with me, No, no you need to move on bitch, Mark thought panicked.

Why was Ms. Payne giving him such a hard time for? Mark felt like Ms. Payne wanted to deliberately embarrass him in front of the new girl, she had never acted like this before.

“Ms. Payne, you told us last semester that if we couldn’t actually remember the answer to associate something with the answer instead, like a picture, So, I took the last name “Booth,” and I tried to think of picture that I could associate with his last name, and Telephone Booth was all that I could come up with. Telephone Booth & John Wilkes Booth, that was my connection, Mark said, and then shrugging his shoulders.”

Ms. Payne was both, amazed and confused, the latter probably because Ms. Payne never told her class to link words with pictures. In truth, Mark had made that up on the spot.

While could see that Ms. Payne was still confused, but sensed that she was trying to think of a comeback, so he pre-empted her attack with a response before she could put him on the spot again.

“Look, Ms. Payne, I don’t know why you’re always picking on me, unlike these snobby rich girls, I like your casual shoes, and then he looked at them for effect. Mark wanted the attention off him and back on Ms. Payne.

“They look comfortable too, Mark said.”
The entire class erupted in laughter again.
Ms. Payne looked down at her shoes, and even lifted one of them up to check and see if gum was stuck on the bottom. Then she looked back at Mark. The laughter was dying down.
She didn’t bother to yell at the class to quiet down this time, she waited for them patiently. Maybe Mark had earned that laugh.

But before she spoke, Mark thought that maybe he had gone too far, and that he should have quit while he was ahead. But he couldn’t help himself, he was still reeling from the images that he’d seen from Jeanie’s past and now his mind was racing into over-drive. Mark couldn’t have stopped his mouth even if that meant a one-way ticket straight to the principal’s office.

Secretly, Mark hoped that Ms. Payne would cut him some slack, ever since she laughed at his joke that one day after school, he saw her in a new light. And Mark even thought that Ms. Payne might have a great sense of humor, but in her profession, she rarely got a chance to show it. Now that the room was quiet again, a composed Ms. Payne with a Mona-Lisa smile scanned the classroom.

Her tone and mood seemed much lighter this time as she spoke, “Well, I hope the rest of you will be able to associate pretty pictures with answers this Friday, because there’s going a test on it, and you can bet that question will be on there, Ms. Payne guaranteed.”
The entire class grumbled in protest and then Ms. Payne stood in front of Jeanie’s desk, “I’m sorry, honey, but that includes you too.” Jeanie nodded without looking at her.

Suddenly the bell rang, and everybody got up to filter out of the classroom and into the hallways. And that included Ms. Payne. Mark straggled behind as most of the class disappeared, some of the girls turned around to look at Jeannie before they left.
Mark’s two friends, Kyle and Carlos, who sat together on the other side of the classroom, and were waiting for Mark by the door, but he waved them on impatiently to leave.

He didn’t want those two idiots sticking around, he needed to have Jeanie alone when he talked to her, if they stayed they would only fuck things up for him.

Jeannie didn’t act like she was in a hurry to get to her next class. So, while she was taking her time collecting her things, Mark took his time, keeping pace with her. But desperately trying to think of a legitimate reason to start talking to her so that he could ask her out.
It was common for Ms. Payne to leave for the teachers’ lounge to refill her coffee in-between classes, so when she left with the rest of the class after the bell rang, Mark took that as a good sign.

He turned to face Jeanie, and to his surpirse she was already facing him and for just a moment an awkward silence passed between them before she spoke first.
“You were funny, Jeanie said.”
“What do you mean, Mark asked?”
“Complimenting her shoes, Jeanie said.”

“Oh yea, that but I wasn’t really trying to be funny, Ms. Payne really did catch me daydreaming, and then he checked the doorway again to make sure she didn’t double-back.”

“So, you were lying when you complimented her shoe’s, Jeanie smiled.”
“No, but I like yours a lot better, Mark answered.”
Jeanie laughed, she had on a cute pair of “shoe-boots” that were a very fashionable style at that time.

“Our teacher “Ms. Pain” is well named because she loves to try to embarrass me every chance she gets, Mark explained, causes me nothing but grief.”

“Bad boy, huh?”
“Well, this time my distraction was legitimate Mark answered.”
“Why’s that Jeanie asked?”

“Well for one thing, Ms. Payne’s voice itself can be a distraction. You ever try to listen to a radio station that doesn’t quite come in clearly, plus sometimes her voice cracks and her volumn goes up and down, and sometimes it even gives me a headache, Mark said.”

“Are you sure you’re not exaggerating just a little, Jeanie asked?
“Didn’t you have a Ms. Payne back at your old school, Mark asked her?” Jeanie thought about it, then changed the subject, What had you distracted, she asked?”

“You had me distracted, Jeanie, he said.”
“Why me, Jeanie asked?”

Why you! Don’t you own a fucking mirror? It might have something to do with those two-bowling ball titties you have strapped to your chest, Mark thought to himself.

She noticed Mark was using her first name, almost every time, and he was very comfortable in doing so.
“Well, it’s not every day we get to meet a new student from a faraway school, so around here that’s very exciting, Mark answered.”

“Exciting, Jeanie repeated, what do you mean by exciting, she asked?”
“You’re a mystery, nobody knows anything about you, Mark explained.”
“Even after I told you my life story in front of the entire class, Jeanie said.”

“Yea, I can’t believe Ms. Payne made you do that, I hate going up to the front just to give a book report, let alone telling a bunch of strangers my autobiolgraphy, Mark agreed.”

“Oh, my God, Mark, I was so embarrassed, please tell me I didn’t look like a fool, Jeanie begged.”
“No, you were cool, maybe a little shy, but for your first day, you did great.”

“I have to admit, out of all my teachers, Ms. Payne was the only one who made me do that, Jeanie said.”
Mark moved in to whisper to Jeanie, she smelled of expensive perfume.
“I should warn you Jeanie, Ms. Payne is a real bitch, so don’t take anything she does personally, I heard she even drinks inbetween classes, Mark said seriously.”

Jeannie laughed.
“Thank you, Mark, Jeanie said, smiling, you’re good at making a new girl feel better.”

“Well, I know it can’t be easy moving to a new school, especially in the middle of the year, Mark said compassionately.”
“You don’t know the half of it, Jeanie replied.”
“But I’d like to, and then Mark handed her his pen and paper, give me your number so I can call you after school, and you can tell me all about it, he said smiling.”

Jeanie stared at him, and behind those emerald-green eyes, Mark could see her trying to decide if this was a good idea or not. He nodded slightly as if silently encouraging her.
“Mark, I don’t even know your last name maybe we shouldn’t rush into anything, Jeanie said.”

“My last name is Winters, he replied.”
“Yea, and I’m the new girl, Mr. Winters, and this is my first day of class, Jeanie said a little defensively.”

“And you just made your first friend, Mark said sincerely.
Jeanie flipped over the front cover to write on his notebook when she saw notes from a previous class.

“Can I write on the back page instead, she asked?”
“You can write over the notes if you want, Mark replied.” Jeanie laughed as she quickly scribbled, her number.
“Okay there you go Mark Winters, she said.”

“Jeanie Winters, Mark repeated in a low voice as he admired her signature.”
“What did you say, Jeanie asked immediately?”
Mark paused.
“I’m sorry Jeanie, I must have thought one thing while saying another, he said absently.
Jeanie looked at him a little suspiciously.
“Thank you, Jeanie Grants, he said speaking her name correctly on the second attempt.”

Jeanie never took her eyes off him while Mark put his notebook away and slung his backpack around his shoulder, then he picked up Jeanie’s pink backpack and handed it to her.”
“Thank You, she said accepting it gracefully.”

“We better go, Jeanie, Mark said, as he noticed the other students for the next class starting to pour in, as he walked beside her.
“By the way, do you know where your next class is, Mark asked.”
“Yes, I memorized my schedule, Jeanie said.”

“Jeannie, I was just thinking, as you gave your number that maybe you better give me a time so that I don’t wind up talking to your dad, he asked.”
Jeannie laughed, “How about Saturday around noon.”
“Twelve noon, he repeated, it’s a date, Mark confirmed.”
Instinctively Jeannie squeezed her notebook tighter to her chest, and lowered her head slightly embarrssed.

A date, she thought to herself, and then Jeanie started blushing.
Ms. Payne was returning from the teachers’ lounge to her class with a fresh cup of coffee. She had just poured a shot of bailey’s crème from a disguised container that she hid in the back of the fridge.

This would be her third shot of the day, on the way back to her class she wondered if the Mall was having a sale on shoes this week-end.

Chapter 2: Proximity is Everything

After school Mark was up in his room lying on his bed. He was throwing a rubber ball against the wall, throwing it with one hand, and catching it with the other.

Sometimes he did this to help him think and other times he did it to relieve stress. Periodically Mark would pick up his notebook lying next to him, the one that Jeanie had written on earlier, and study her handwriting.

Mark wanted to call her right now. But he knew that would make him look desperate, so he continuously talked himself out of it. Then he periodically keep checking to make sure her signature and number were still there and not just some cruel illusion that would fade away and disappear like a mirage after so much time in-between glances.

The whole episode in homeroom class seemed like a daydream. Mark had already rewritten Jeanie’s number on a post-it, and put that on his corkboard, in-case anything happened to his notebook. Then Mark wrote down her name and number a third time and hid that piece of paper in a shoe box on top of his closet.

Mark constantly needed to prove to himself that everything that happened earlier wasn’t a dream, and that Jeanie was real, and he had her handwriting to prove it. Everything about Jeanie was sexy, he studied her signature, light, soft, and feminine.

He was still thinking about what he was going to say to her when he called this weekend. And when he did those images of her past kept running thru his head; then Mark heard his mom calling him from downstairs and that interrupted his thoughts.

“Mark, can you come down hear please, you have company.”

Mark just thought it was just one of his guy friends, Carlos or Kyle.

“Just send them up Mom, you don’t need to keep me in suspense.” 

“No, you’re going to have to come down here, his mom answered.”

What the hell was going on, Mark thought to himself?

Mark only had on his shorts and sandals as he walked down the stairs heavily, then turned the corner that led to the hallway that connected the hall to the kitchen and that’s when he saw Jeanie sitting at the table.

Mark was stunned. Instantly he felt that surreal memory from earlier. Mark couldn’t even talk for a second, and when he studied Jeanie from his position, the sun was shining thru the cracks between the blinds, which outlined her body and casted an aura of white that made her look like an angel. An angel except for the wings.

Mark was mesmerized, and he continued to stare at Jeanie until even she got uncomfortable, and looked away not meeting his gaze. 

Mark’s mother, Beth had to clear her throat.

“Is it Saturday, already, Mark asked pretending to shake the cobwebs out of his head?” Jeanie laughed, but she would not make eye contact, mainly due to his semi-nakedness.”

“No, I’m early, Jeanie said embarrassed.”

Beth threw Mark a clean shirt, and it hit him in the head and covered his face. He pulled it down in a slow-motion gesture. Jeannie laughed again, but still avoided eye contact until he put it on. 

“I’m sorry Jeannie, I thought it was one of my stupid guy friends.”

“Sorry to disappoint you, Jeanie said smiling.”

“I was just laying on my bed and thinking about you, Mark said.”

His mother coughed again.

“I mean when we were in school earlier.”

Jeanie laughed again.

“Mom this is Jeanie, she’s my girl-friend, he paused between words, then he corrected himself, a friend from school, and today was her first day, Mark tried not to stammer thru his introduction.”

Nobody could be cool in front of their parents, not even Mark.

“Yes, I met Jeannie, his mom said, and she’s a lovely girl. I’m going downstairs to finish the laundry, why don’t you take her out, and show her around, maybe introduce her to some of your friends, Beth said.”

“Great idea Mom, Mark agreed.”

When his mom was out of earshot, Mark repeated himself, “I really was dayddraming about you upstairs.” 

“Am I still dreaming, Mark asked her?”

Jeanie laughed, “Oh you mean like in class?”

“You seem to have that effect on me, Mark said?”

“What were you daydreaming this time Jeanie asked?”

“What I was going to say to you on Saturday, he answered.”

“Hmmm, your funny, Jeanie replied.”

“How did you find me, he asked?”

“By accident, I discovered I only live a few houses up from you, I was walking to the store when I saw your last name on the mailbox, I took a chance to see if you were the same “Winters,” from my class, Jeanie said.”

“Wow, that was brave of you, Mark said, impressed.”

“Not brave, desperate, I needed to get out of the house, but I didn’t want to go to the store by myself either, so when I saw the name “Winters,” I rolled the dice.” 

“Would you like to come with, Jeanie asked soft and a little sultry?”

“Indeed, I would, Mark replied.”

He was so caught up in the moment that he was rushing her out the door before Jeanie had a chance to stop him.

“Wait Mark, you can’t just leave, tell your mom were going and when you’ll we’ll be back, Jeanie said.”

Mark went back down the hallway and yelled down the stairs to his mom,
“Mom, I’m going to the store, do you want anything, he asked?”

“No, but you better not ruin your appetite, dinner will be ready in about a half-hour and invite Jeanie, she can stay if she wants, his mother offered.”

Mark grabbed his Levi denium jacket, that he bought at the Gapp, and ran back down the hallway to meet Jeanie.

“What were you going to buy at the store Mark asked.”

“I don’t know, I have a craving for Ice Cream, Jeanie said.”

“What flavor, Mark asked?”

“Vanilla, Jeanie answered.”

“Good call, Mark said, but I have to have mine dipped in sprinkles, he said.”

“Strawberry, Jeanie asked as if that flavor had just popped into her head?”

“Yea, Mark looked at her dumbfounded, there my favorite, he said.”

“Mine too, Jeanie agreed, she couldn’t believe that they liked the same flavor with the same topping.”

While they were walking Mark started telling Jeannie about the history of their subdivision, their school, and some of the major events that happened just recently in town.

“They want to make this sub-division into a gated community, Mark told her?

“Why’s that, Jeanie asked?”

“Because of my father, if you can believe that. Last year he came home early from work, and discovered four or five inner city kids from the ghetto had broken into our yard and swimming in our pool, Mark told her.”

“You have a pool, Jeanie asked?”

“Yea, and we can go swimming tomorrow if you like, Mark said without skipping a beat.”

Jeanie laughed, “Well finish telling me your story first, she said.”

“Well my dad caught these black kids swimming in our pool, when he came home and I guess he fricking lost it, Mark said.”

“You were there, Jeanie asked.”

“No, I was at school, Thank God, but I heard all about it over dinner that night, it was even in the paper and everything. My dad even saved the clipping and had it framed. The next day everybody in school asked me about it a million times for the rest of the year and I wasn’t even there, it was horrible, Mark said.”

“He called the cops, actually he and the mayor are golfing buddies, Mark said.”

“What does your dad do, Jeanie asked?”

“He’s an attorney, a prosecuting attorney, who works for the city, which translates into making sure blacks, and mexicans and any other non-white races, stays out of Crystal Heights.”

“He sounds just like my dad, Jeanie said.”

“I not like that, Mark said.”

“Why didn’t they just swim in the lake, its just down the road, Jeanie asked.

“I guess they preferred our pool, Mark answered.”

“What happened after he called the cops, Jeanie asked?”

“I think he got a promotion, Mark said.”

“No, I mean after he ran out of the house screaming with his rifle, and started waving it at them, Jeanie asked, he didn’t shoot anyone, did he?

“No, he didn’t I don’t think they were actually trying to steal anything, Mark said, they were just a bunch of kids skipping school and looking for something to do. When rich kids go to poor neighborhoods they call it “slumming,” I don’t know what they call it when poor kids, go to rich neighborhoods, Mark said.”

“Trouble, Jeanie replied.”

“Exactly, Mark agreed.

“So the cops came and arrested them, she asked?”

“I guess they where swimming when my dad ran out of the house, when they saw him he said they tried to scramble out of the pool, like roaches, but then he shot his gun off in the air, and it was so loud they all froze until the police actually got there, Mark said.”

“Do you think he would have actually shot them, if they ran, or was he just trying to scare them, Jeanie asked?”

“I think they thought he would have shot them, Mark said.”

“Did they do any damage to your pool, Jeanie asked?”

“No, not the pool itself, but they did trash our yard, tear out my mom’s rosebuds, and break a window trying to get into the pool house. But no major damage. I don’t think they even tried to break into the house itself because the home alarm never went off, and even if they had ran from my father, he could not have legally shot an unarmed person in the back, even if they were trespassing or trying to break into his house. I mean I’m not a lawyer and even I know that.”

 
“Well, I glad they didn’t test your dad, Jeanie said.”

“Yea, he wanted them to run just to give him an excuse to shoot them. You see my dad doesn’t believe that prison is a punishment, not for thugs, it’s more of a finishing school.

“Finishing school, Jeanie asked?”

“Yea, like a status symbol for the inner-city youths, you see most blacks are abadoned by their biological fathers so they don’t actually have any positive male role models, in-fact most of their fathers or boyfriends or whatever, might be in prison for killing, robbing, selling drugs, pimping, or whatever, so growing up in that enviroment would seem completely normal.

“That not just something the media pushes, Jeannie asked?”

“No, my father get his statistics from the FBI, and the FBI are more like accountants than policeman. All they do is collect the numbers on crimes geographically, actually I think globally, they study who commits them and why. In fact its the media who decieve the public because the actual number of crimes committed by blacks are actually much higher than reported to the public.

“Mark that’s hard to believe, Jeanie said.”

“But its true, its so bad that any other race, I mean other than the blacks who committ a crime, whether there are Mexican, Arab, Chinese, or Indian are all labeled as “White,” that way it looks like the whites who commit the crimes in their neighboorhood are more equal to the number of blacks who commit crimes in theres.”

“It’s not just a sterotype then, Jeanie asked?”

“No, it is a sterotype, a sterotype is a list of facts associated with a paticular race that it is widely known and established. It is accepted as true, not based on racism like everybody thinks, but becase it has happened enough times to be proven consistent with the populus.”

“All black people are not criminals, Mark.”

“No, but its the black man whose going to rob a 7-11 for maybe $30 dollars, while the white collar criminals who went to Harvard embezell 30 million, and not the other way around, but unlike the black guy, they usually get away with it.”

“What about drugs are the Mexicans soley behind that, she asked?”

“Depends on what drug your referring to, Mark said.”

“So your father would have no problem shooting those teenage boys, Jeanie asked?”

“I don’t think he would have lost sleep shooting whatever race was robbing his house, but because my father is a prosecuter he has to understand the facts first in order to prepare his case.

If you want to win a war you want to know what your enemy is thinking, and why. To most people in the ghetto, “stealing” is a legitamate job. I mean it actually takes skill to hot-wire a car, I don’t know how to do that.

“Or bake up “Crack” like a reciep for cholate chip cookies, Jeanie asked?”

“Exactly, Mark said, they even have a legal term called “Career Criminals” whose violaters think the justice system is just a game, its a joke. To them the police are just another gang, and the crime and violence are a reward for the risk of money, power and status. Remember the Gangst Rap of the 90’s the worse there criminal record the more money the artist made.”

“How, Jeanie asked?”

“You’re not a real gangster until you served time in prison. That is what my I meant earlier when I was refering to prison as a finishing school. Gangster Rap were rappers who have commited actual crimes, its street credibility to boost their CD sales. Its so bad now, that my father only believes the only punishment left is the death penalty.”

“Why Jeanie asked?”

The people in prision lift weights on thier “free” time. They learn from other cons how not to get caught the next time. The drug trafficers make even more contacts so when they get out so their network has expanded.

In actuality there is no rehabilitation.

“The system has failed them, she said.”

“Worked for everyone else, With so many criminals, society cannot afford to house, cloth and feed people who are locked up for pretty much the rest of their life, and only released after they are deemed too old to be a danger to anyone.

“I could never do his job, Jeanie said.”

“Thats why so many policeman, judges and lawyers are alcoholics because they are forced to deal with a recurring problem that has no solution.”

“I guess that would be frustrating, she said.”

“I’m sorry for getting all serious, you want to hear something really crazy, Mark asked?”

“What, she said?”

“One of black kids even left his undergarments in our pool, Mark said.”

“Ewww, Jeanie replied.”

“Yea the idiot was naked the whole time in our pool and even jumped out of the pool naked when my dad caught them by surprise.

“Your dad wouldn’t let him get dressed?”

Not until the police came, whose knows maybe he thought it was a deversion for the rest of them to escape, or that he maybe had a weapon?”

“Maybe he knew he wasn’t in real danger at that point and wanted to be cruel, she said.”

“Did you meet my dad too, or was it just my mom back at the house, Mark joked?”

“How long did it take for the police to get there, Jeanie asked.”

“Maybe fifteen seconds.”

Jeanie rolled her eyes.

“Of all the houses to break into, they had to pick ours, Mark shook his head. They may have been kids, but they were big kids, and they were all as tall or taller than my dad, and he’s over six foot, Mark explained.”

“What happened to them after there arrest, Jeannie asked?”

“I have no idea, I never heard about them again and after they got arrested, my dad wanted to prosecute them personally, but the city wouldn’t let him, and they never came back for another swim so it’s a complete mystery, Mark said.”

“Whatever happened to the underpants, Jeanie asked?”

“I’m wearing those right now, Mark said pulling down his jeans low enough to show Jeanie his Joe-Boxers.” 

“Ewww, Jeanie replied as she looked away modestly.”

“Well my mom wanted to mail them back to the kid, after she washed them of course, but there where like five of them, and it’s not like he wrote his name and phone number on the inside tag or anything.” 

“Jeannie laughed, and when she did, her whole face lit up.”

“That’s so nice of your mom to think of them, I mean despite everything that happened, Jeanie said.”

“Yea, but in the end, the under-garments were confiscated by the police, so they could be used as evidence to prosecute him.”

“I would have been horrified, if they had been my underwear, Jeanie said.”

“What would you have done, Mark asked?”

“I would have denied they were mine of course, Jeanie said.”

“Even if they arrested you naked, Mark said.”

“Yes I would have told them that those undergarments just happened to be floating on top of the water when I wanted to skinny-dip.”

“What if the judge made you try them on to see if they fit, like that glove on that Ojay guy, Mark said.”

“Ewww, Jeanie repeated.”

Mark laughed.

“I would have died from embarrassment first, then as an afterthought she asked, Was you mom home when all of this happened.”  

“My mom, no, if she had been home by herself and they actually did do something haneous -like rape her, she probably would have baked them all those chocate chip cookies you were talking about earlier.”

“Mark that’s not funny, Jeanie said, and then she shivered, her nipples became erect from the cold breeze, and she crossed her arms for warmth.”

Taking off his jacket Mark asked her, “Jeanie can you help me out, this jacket seems a little too small for me anymore, and I don’t want to carry it, would you wear it for me please, you would really be doing me a favor, Mark held it open for her to try on.”

“Thank You, Mark, Jeanie said smiling.

Mark inspected her massive cleavage glancing over her shoulders,

No, thank you Jeanie, Mark thought to himself.

Then Jeanie adjusted her long red hair, which cascaded over her shoulders and flowed down the back of his jean jacket.

Mark was instantly reminded of that song by the Police, “Every little thing she does is Magic.”

They could have written that song for Jeanie. Mark was glad that Jeanie decided to wear his oversized jean jacket that was too big for her everywhere except in her chest. There might be other guys at the party store, it was a popular location, and Mark didn’t want them staring at her chest or making rude comments.

“I’m just an old-fashioned guy, Mark said, and I know how to treat a lady.”

“Well I’m a modern, independent woman, Jeanie replied, who can still appreciate the manners of a man from a more civilized era.”

“Jeanie, I know this is going to sound weird but can you do me a favor, he asked?”

“It depends on the favor, she said.”

“When we walk in the store, would you pretend to be my girlfriend, Mark asked?”

“What, Jeanie replied?”

“There’s a guy in here, I want to impress, Mark said.”

“Mark, I just met you, and I don’t know anything about you…”

“If you play along, I’ll buy you a double scoop of vanilla ice-cream, he offered.

“Jeanie wasn’t going to take his first offer,
“…with strawberry sprinkles, she countered?”

“Done, Mark settled, and waved his hand thur the air and signaled to “Stand” as if he was at a blackjack table.”

But Jeanie made him shake on it. The Oasis, was a party store owned by Assad, a second generation, American citizen of Arabian descent. He inherited the store from his father, who bought it back in the seventies, under the Jimmy Carter administration.

Assad was a shorter, balding, overweight, middle aged man, who wore several thick gold chains, and a Hawaiian-styled shirt. Mark thought Assad resembled a modern-day Arabic disco-dressing pimp who was a 21st century’s version of the 70’s. But for some reason Assad could just pull it off because that was Assad.

The Oasis was a party store that primary sold liquor, but when he inherited it from his father, he had expanded it so that in addition to liquor he had in new freezers put in, because the old ones kept leaking water.

Then he had a pizza oven installed and added a deli counter, flavored coffee, frozen Slurpee machines, soda fountains, and finally was able to sell lottery tickets. Now, most recently Assad added a second freezer stocked with some of the best all-natural hand dipped ice-cream in the county.

Assad’s store was a commercial building in a residential neighborhood, and within a sub-division at that. But it was still legal because it was granfathered in, even thou they changed the zoning laws soon after his father bought it.

Under the old ordinance you could have residential and commercial within the same zone. But now he wasn’t even allowed to expand or add on to the store on its own lot. 

The previous zoning laws only affected new businesses and not the existing businesses, legally the store could remain where it was, and the white community could do nothing about it. Michigan was not California, and it was not a state known for its liberal views, but more for its work hard, play hard ethics.

Assad father didn’t pay taxes when he started his business, and after seven years he would have to sign the business over to another blood relative so that he could they could extend the tax loophole indefinetly.

Most of the first-generation Arabic culture was very alien to America and they were not very hospitable. Yet despite all the racism, cultural differences, and language barriers, Dearborn, Michigan had the second largest concentration of Arabs in the World, outside of the middle-eastern countries themselves, like Iran, Iraq, or Saudi Arabia.

But a party story in an upscale sub-division was considered as tacky as it was convenient, and no-matter how first rate a commercial building was it didn’t belong in a sub-division, where houses started at half a million dollars.

Plus being non-white himself, Assad already had two strikes against him. He knew he would never be accepted as one of “the white establishment, and just considered another undesirable with money. 

Most regarded him no better than a drug-dealer or filthy-ass pimp, who made tons of money from hordes of desperate women who fucked all night to bring him thousands of dollars that he would never pay taxes on.

A pimp like this could afford to golf at the most expensive resorts in the world, but every member would avoid him like the plague because they knew he was still a lowlife no matter how much money he had, and the money was just as illegitimate as he was.

 

But the upper middle class white community tolerated Assad because his store was convienant, and he was constantly trying to improve, it which was already first-rate, immaculate, and frequently modernized. Plus Assad was smart enough to know that he would never fit in, but he tried very hard to be likable in spite of that. And they couldn’t get get rid of him.

And so, the same people who went to Assad’s store, spend money, shook hands, and were all smiles to his face, were the same ones who tried to change the zoning laws to have Assad ousted behind his back, which of course was impossible. Mark’s father wouldn’t even go to his store.
Legally the home-owner’s association could not do anything to overturn a federal law, so as far as Assad was concerned, if they bought his shit that was the only thing that mattered.

Assad was good at remembering names, and he would give you a pack of cigarettes or a six pack on the birthday. Servicemen always got discounts, and he even helped the elderly by carrying the heavier groceries to their cars. Assad had a real knack for making you like him when he wanted to.

 

But regarding Mark, Assad was cool as ice, and God only knows why but the two of them became good friends, despite their race, culture, and age difference. For one thing, no-matter how old Mark was, Assad never treated him like a child, Assad always treated Mark as if he was more mature than his actual age. For example, Assad would openly curse in front of Mark, watch the baseball game on TV with him, and explain to Mark what was going on.

As Mark got older Assad would tell him dirty jokes, make fun of the obnoxious white customers, even let Mark flip thru all the girlie magazines he sold on the rack. One time he even gave Mark one of his illegal Cuban cigars and they both smoked together.

But the absolute best was when Mark spotted Assad and five of his identical looking brothers-in-laws, drunk off their asses, celebrating a wedding, and loading four kegs of beer into their expensive SUV’s. They were also passing around a fifth of Jack Daniels, and talking gibberish behind the dumpster of his store.

Mark, riding his bike on his way home surprised them all by suddenly popping out from the other side. Everybody froze, except Assad who was not facing him, and as Mark came up from behind him, Assad turned to see who it was, Mark looked at Assad and then his identical relatives with a confused look asked the group, “Assad where did you go?”

Assad translated what Mark said into Arabic and everybody started laughing hysterically. Mark thought Assad translated what he had said directly into Arabic, but Assad had giving his own interpretation and it was more like, “Oh yea, and this is that crazy white mother-fucker I was telling you about, and then handing Mark the bottle and putting his arm around him.”

Assad was drunk off his ass, and Mark had to even had to held keep him propped up, as everyone kissed Mark on the cheek, and introduced themselves in Arabic. Assad roughly translated between the two parties. Assad had made Mark feel like family. Never had Mark felt so adult in his  life, all thirteen years of it. After that, at least in Mark’s eyes, Assad could do no wrong.

Mark helped them load two more kegs into each of their new SUV’s, and Assad invited Mark to come with them to the reception, Mark explained that he was coming from a baseball game and he only stopped by because he thought someone might be breaking in the back of his store, and besides if he got home too late. His dad would beat his fucking ass. 

“Fifteen minutes, Assad said.”

“I can’t, Mark replied.”

“I’ll let you drive, Assad shrugged, throwing him the keys.”

That was all the coaxing Mark needed to hear, he put his bike in the back of Assad’s SUV, and jumped in the driver’s seat, and once inside he slowly followed the other two Mercedes SUV’s in front of him.

Assad was talking to him the whole time, impressed at what a good driver Mark was. Mark told him that his parents had a cabin up-north with a four-wheel jeep that his dad let him drive in a circle around their property.

Once they were at the hall where the reception was being held in, Mark followed Assad to his table then he was introduced to the bride and groom, which was a huge honor, and then they made their way to the buffet line.

They ate together and Mark was even served wine, Assad was filling Mark in on the backroad of some of the more important people at the wedding.

After he ate, the band began to play and Mark was drunk enough to walk to the center of the floor, and start dancing with two extremely attractive Mediterranean girls who were both several years older than himself. They were real close to each other but that did stop Mark from getting in between the two of them.

Well soon fifteen minutes turned into two hours and It was past midnight, Assad and his cousins where playing cards in the back, and Mark was sobered up enough to hug Assad from behind and told him he had to get home.

Assad looked at the clock and waved him off telling him to stay and play poker, if he was already in trouble what difference could it make now. Assad said that he would even stake him his first ten thousand and handed Mark a fist full of hundred-dollar bills. Mark had never seen so much money on one table in his life.

But Mark refused, shaking his head, “Obviously you forgot about our gun trigger city prosecutor with a bad temper who would love to beat my underage ass for coming home drunk, and embarrassing him publicly.

Assad had met his father only once and he knew he didn’t like him, after his father found out the store was owned and run by an Arab, he never returned.

“Maybe your right I’ll drive you home, just don’t tell him where you the alcohol, Assad winked at him.”

“Assad your drunker than I am, Mark said, you can’t drive; motherfucker you shouldn’t even be walking.”

Assad nodded his head and laughed, “I’ll call you a taxi, ,he offered.”

“I thought you said you didn’t want him to know, Mark said.”

Assad handed him the keys, to get his bike which was in the back of his SUV.” 

When Mark returned he handed kissed Assad on the cheek and said, “Hey, thank these guy for me, you throw a great party.”

Assad laughed, and spoke to the group in Arabic, everybody at the table cheered and waved goodbye.

“Call me tomorrow, Assad said, so I know you got home.”

When Mark got home that night he snuck upstairs by climbing up to his second story bedroom from the outside without waking his parents, even thou he did stumble while in his room on the way to his bed, he didn’t wake up until almost noon the next morning. 

As Mark entered the store he “What up Assad, Mark said giving him the peace sign sideways,”
“Hey, what’s up Mark, Assad said, looking up, from his newspaper, and then he did a double take, after he saw Jeanie.”

Assad had never seen Mark come in with a girl wrapped around his arm before. No, not a girl this was a woman.

“Hey, who’s the princess, Assar asked, as he stood up and walked towards them.”

Then he eyed Jeanie up and down as if appraising a slave-girl before a purchase. It was no secret that Assad loved white woman, especially white girls with big tits and asses, and Assad appraisal was not distracted by Mark’s friendship or Jeanie’s age.

“This is my girlfriend Jeanie, Mark said, and Jeanie this is Assad; coolest Mediteranian this side of Mecca, Mark avoided using terms like “Arab” around Assad, he never said anything but Mark knew it bothered him. 

“Hi, Assad, Jeanie said shyly, and when she raised her hand to wave, the sleeve over-lapping her hand and flapped.”
“Girlfriend, Assad, said doubtfully, I don’t believe it!”
But it’s true, Mark said, and then looked at Jeanie for validation,”

Jeanie, as if on cue, immediately hugged Mark dramatically, even raised one leg off the floor, and bending it at the knee.”
“When did all this happen, I mean how come I’ve never seen you with this Jeanie-princess before, Assad asked suspiciously.”
“Jeanie, is a new student who just moved into our school, and she lives next door so I thought I would do the neighborly thing and show her around, Mark said.”

“And that’s makes her your girlfriend, Assad asked?”
“In your country, we would have to get married by now, Mark countered.”
“Assad, and Jeanie both laughed.”
Assad looked at Jeanie with a straight face, “Ms. if your being held against your will, just blink with one eye, and Assad started blinking as if he had a nervous tick.”

Now Mark and Jeanie started laughed.
“How can you not love this guy, Mark turned to Jeanie?”
“Well if this girl will have you, then you have my blessing, Assad conceited gracefully.”
Jeanie could feel her face turning red, and she tried to hide her embarrassment by turning her face into Marks embrace, when her face turned red her hidden freckles displayed like cinnamon specs on her flawless white skin.
“We would like two double scoops of vanilla ice-cream, Mark said.”
“Soft cone or Sugar, Assad asked?”
“Sugar, Mark said.”
As Assad was leaving Jeanie whispered in Mark’s ear,
“Oh yea, and dip those in Strawberry Sprinkles, Mark said as an after-thought.” Assad gave him the okay sign as Mark got out his wallet.
After Assad handed him the cones; Mark handed Jeanie hers, and asked him how much?”

“On the house, Assad said graciously.”
“I don’t what to say, Mark replied.”
“Say Yes, Assad said.”
“And let me add a thank you as well, Mark replied.”

“Even better, Assad said.”
“Can we go in the back, Mark asked?”

“Of course, Assad said casually, and then he looked at Jeanie, “Honey don’t let Mark, make himself too comfortable back there.”
Mark and Jeanie both laughed and Jeanie promised him she wouldn’t.
Assad walked back to his stool, behind the register, where his newspaper and a.m. radio was broadcasting a station in Arabic. It was low but discernable.

Mark took Jeanie by the hand and led her in the back which was closed off most of the time was closed off. But Assad always let Mark and some of his other regulars sit there wherever they wanted. Assad removed most of the tables he had in the back because he was running out of room. Sitting down gave Mark and Jeanie a chance to relax.

“How long have you known Assad? Jeanie asked.”

“Well he was here before my parents moved here, so ever since I was old enough to walk to the store by myself, Mark said.”

“He’s colorful, how did you two become friends.” 

“When I first moved here, I didn’t know anybody so I would just hang around the store and start re-organizing his comic books in the racks so that I could find them. Which was easier for me to find them the next time I came in.

“How did you organize them, she asked.”

 

“Well usually alphabetically, you see Assad just threw them in altogether,  I mean he had the Marvel and D.C mixed together and they are two completely different companies.  

“Did Assad give you permission, Jeanie asked.”

“No, at first I don’t think he was even aware of it. Anyways every week he would get a new shipment of comics and I would arrange the new shipment. One week he saw me and when I looked at him he said, “Hey kid if you wanted a job, all you had to do was ask.”

“Jeanie laughed, So you started working for him.”

“Only during summer vacation, Mark said.”

“So he knew I was into comic books, and one time Batman was on television. And he had a tv in the back, so he put in on for me so I could watch it on my break. When he ate pizza with he would start watching it himself. Pretty soon he came as big of fan of Batman as I was.

 
“A grown man watching cartoons, Jeanie asked?”

“Not just a cartoon, Batman, Mark said.”

Jeanie rolled her eyes.

“One time a customer came in and tried to return a four pack of Toliet papper with two rolls missing. Assad was so upset that after the customer left, he started cursing in two languages, our and his.” 

Another time a customer went to the back of the coolers, took something out, then decided they didn’t want it, but instead of putting it back, they just left it in the isle.

Assad was walking down the isle singing like a lark when suddenly he saw that spoiled ice cream melting on his floor, and then he instantly starting cursing alternately in two languages.

“What did you do, Jeanie asked?”

I never laughed so hard in my life.

“He was like an Arabic “Yosemite Sam. You see messes are Assad’s pet peeve, but the madder he gets the more ridiculous he sounds, and then Mark imitated Assar: “Blah, blah, blah, white piece of shit, blah blah, blah, that motherfucker didn’t look retarded, blah blah blah, and no amount of money is worth this shit.”

“That’s terrible, Jeanie said laughing, she couldn’t help herself.”

“You had to be there, he said.” 

“What’s Assad’s native language, Jeanie asked?”

“I don’t think anybody knows for sure, half the time I think Assad just makes up his own shit, Mark said.”

“You mean you don’t even know what country Assad’s from, Jeanie asked unbelievingly?”

“I think where at war with them, so maybe it better if if we don’t know, Mark said.”

Jeannie laughed.

“Anyway, as I got older Assad started to curse more in English and less in
Arabic, Mark continued”

“Your joking, Jeanie said?”

“Oh no I’m not, maybe it was because I was getting older or maybe Assad just wanted to become more “Americanized,” Mark said.

“I don’t think Assad was setting a very good example for you, Jeanie replied.”

I was the one correcting him, Mark said.”

“What do you mean correcting him, Jeanie asked?”

“Sometimes when Assad cursed in English he would mispronounce a word, I already knew the words so I it wasn’t anything new to me, so I would help him pronounce it correctly, Mark said mischevously.”

“You helped Assad curse correctly, Jeanie asked unbelievingly?”  “No, no, not motorfuggar, mother-”

“Hey mister, your with a lady, Jeanie interupted.”

“Sorry, I just didn’t want Assad making a fool of himself, I mean he was going to curse anyway, so he might as well say it correctly, Mark explained.”

“I don’t know Mark, your relationship with Assad sounds slightly
dysfunctional to me, Jeanie said.”

“Slightly, Mark repeated as an understatement.” 

“Well I was trying to be nice, Jeanie replied.” 

“I would prefer to think of our relationship as being more “cathartic,” Mark explained.”

“How so, Jeanie asked?”

Mark paused to think about it, suddenly he couldn’t come up with an answer.

“Maybe your right, Mark considered, Assad still mispronounces his curse words, and I never feel better after correcting him.”

Jeanie licked her ice-cream cone in a comical expression.

“Thank You for playing along with Assad earlier, by letting me introduced you as my girlfriend and all, you were great, Mark said.”

“I don’t mind pretending, I mean you did buy me ice cream, Jeanie said.”

“With sprinkles, he added.”

“There gone now, she said, showing him her icecream cone.”

I don’t know what state you moved from, but in Michigan, when a guy buys a girl a double scoop of vanilla ice-cream, it’s kind of binding, like a common-law boyfriend-girlfriend thing, Mark said.”

Jeanie stopped eating her ice cream, and a look of suspicion came over her face, but she would play along.

“What, Jeanie said, slightly dismayed?”

“You know, were like an “item” now, Mark explained.”

“An item, Jeanie replied.”

“I don’t know for sure, I’ll have to check the statute with my dad, Mark said.”

“You do that, Jeanie replied.”
“He’s an attorney you know, Mark said.”

“Yea, a prosecutor who works for the city, Jeanie answered.”

“You heard of him, Mark asked?”
“Only by reputation, Jeanie said, licking her ice-cream cone.”
“What state did you say you moved from again, Mark asked?”

“Oklahoma, Jeanie said.”

“Oh, yea, yea, and what a happy coincedience that Okalahoma is one the few states that shares Michigan’s Common Law of Ice-Creme Reciprocity, Mark made up on the spot.” 

“Reciprocity of what- Jeanie replied nervously?”
“Common Law boyfriend and girlfriend, Mark replied cooly.” 

“Never heard of it, Jeanie replied.” 

“Well its real big down here, Mark said.” 

“What is it, she asked?”

“You know when like a guy buys a girl a ring it means she’s taken.”

“You have a ring, jeanie asked.”

“No, no but but not that I bought you an ice-cream so now you belong to me.”

“I want to see the ring first, she laughed.”

“Because of the ice-cream, he corrected.”

“Wait, your telling me I belong to you know because you now, because you bought me an ice-cream cone…”

“…with sprinkles he interputed.”

“…like a farm animal, she asked getting upset?”

“Farm animals are big up here, especially cows, he smiled.”

“Uh honey, you can’t claim ownership of a human being; all the states outlawed slavery over a-hundred fifty years ago, Jeanie replied.”

“Even Mississippi, Mark challenged playfully?”

Jeanie stopped like she had to think about it, “Were not in Mississippi, she said.

“That was the only other state, he laughed.” 

God this boy was so cute Jeanie thought to herself, he was talking like a fool and trying to get her all worked up but, she wasn’t going to encourage him. 

“I think you’ve been hanging around your friend Assad, too long, Jeanie
replied.”

“What do you mean, Mark asked.”
“This is America, and no statute is going to give you the rights to another human being, whether you bought her two bought her two scoops of ice-cream or not.”

 

“What about the about the sprinkles, Mark replied.”

“Whats sprinkles Jeanie said holding up her ice-cream cone”

“Okay, okay, Mark laughed, and changed the subject, Have you been to the beach yet, he asked?”
“No, not yet, Jeanie said.”
“Can you swim, Mark asked?”
“I’m okay until I can’t feel the sand at the bottom, then I start to panic when I realize the water is over my head, Jeanie said.”
“That’s real common with girls, Mark replied.”
“Really, Jeanie asked?”
“Oh yea, my mom’s like that too, Mark said.”

“She won’t go near the deep end of our pool.”

“How big is it, Jeanie asked?”
“I think eight feet at the deep end, Mark answered.”
“Yikes, you won’t catch me down there either, Jeanie said.”
“Jeanie, I know your scared of the water being over your head, but it’s only psychological. If you can swim in three feet of water, then you can swim in threehundred feet, or three million feet for that matter, Mark said.”
“I know, I know Jeanie agreed, not wanting to argue about it.”

“I thought maybe it was just me, Jeanie sounded relieved.”
“Oh, no, not at all, Mark answered.”
“Any other fears, Mark pressed.”
“No, Jeanie said.”

 “C’mon, fess up, I know you hiding something, Mark said.”
“No, you’ll laugh at me, Jeanie replied.”

“I promise I won’t, Mark said.”
“Swear to me and cross your heart, Jeanie said.”
“On my heart, Mark said crossing.”
“You know those flying monkeys from the “Wizard of Oz, Jeanie asked.”
“Yea, Mark replied?”
“I had nightmares for weeks after I saw that movie, Jeanie said.”
“Why, Mark asked?”
“Because I thought they would try to steal me while I was sleeping, Jeanie said.”
“Well how much do you weigh, Mark asked.”
“Never you mind, Jeanie replied.”

Mark laughed, “That movie scared me too, Mark said.”

 

“You promied me that you wouldn’t tease, Jeanie said.”

“I’m not, I really got scared the first time I saw the fiery image of the “Great Oz” before I knew it was just a man behind the curtain, Mark said.”

Jeanie smiled, she beleved him and she was glad that Mark hadn’t made fun of her for fearing a children’s movie.

“It must be nice to have your own pool, she said.”

“I wasn’t trying to brag earlier, I never thought about it but I guess it is a little flashy having a swimming pool in our backyard when we live so close to the lake. I wonder if anyone else in the neighborhood has a swimming pool, Mark said.”
“We don’t, Jeanie said.”
“Maybe I said it because I was trying to impress you, Mark winked at her.”
“The best way to impress me is just to be yourself, Jeanie said.”
“No, that wouldn’t impress you, Mark replied.”

“Jeannie laughed, “You’re doing okay so far, Jeanie said.”
“Really, Mark asked?”
“I just think you’re just a little cocky, Jeanie said.”
“I just need the right girl to help straighten me out, Mark replied.”
“Any prospects yet, Jeanie teased?”
Mark started laughing. He was having such a good time with Jeanie, and it was effortless, he was amazed.”
“There’s this new girl at school, and she is super cute, maybe the best-looking girl I’ve ever seen, and I even got her number, Mark boasted.”
“How did you pull that off, Jeanie asked?”
“Well, I could tell that she was upset when the home room teacher made her stand up in front of the entire class, and introduce herself, so I hung back a little to check and make sure she was okay, Mark said.”
“That was very observant of you, Jeanie said, and kind.”
“Well, sometimes I can see what other people miss, especially when that person tries to hide how vulnerable she really is, Mark said.”
“What are you going to do next, Jeanie asked?”
“I’m supposed to call her this Saturday around noonish, but maybe I’ll play it cool, and call her around one instead, that way she won’t think I’m too eager, Mark smiled.
“No-no, you should play it safe, and call her on time, keep your word like you said you would, otherwise she might think you’re a jerk, and be tempted to go out with another guy who asked her out the same day instead, Jeanie warned.”
“What other guy, Mark asked?”
“There might be another guy who asked her out the same day that you don’t even know about, Jeanie replied.”
Mark figured she was just bluffing, but she was damn good at it.
“I guess we’ll just see on Saturday then won’t we, Mark smiled.”
Jeanie licked her ice-cream cone just suggestively using her tongue; starting at the bottom of the cone, and slowly working her way up to the top, Mark had never seen anything so sensual in his life. If he wanted to play games, Jeanie just took it to the next level.
And then as easily as she turned it on, she turned it off, and without missing a beat Jeanie glanced out the window and made some nonchalant comment on the weather. Mark was stunned.
His jaw must have hit the floor because it was still open when she glanced back and then pointed at the spot on the table underneath his cone, which had begun dripping.
When Mark looked at what Jeanie was pointing at, he saw the small puddle that looked like he had just “shot a load” on the table. And he almost did.
“Jeanie, you got me so hot and bothered that I didn’t even notice my ice-cream melting, Mark said.”
The truth was, despite the fact that Assad had air-conditioning, it always seemed warm inside his store, and the ice cream melted fast so you had to eat it fast to stay on top of it. Jeannie handed him some napkins from the dispenser on the table, but instead of absorbing they just smeared the drippings making an even bigger mess.”
“I’m going in the back and get a towel, Mark said.
“Do you want me to help, Jeanie asked?” “No, you’ve done enough, Mark replied.” Jeanie laughed.
“Mark went in the back, and found two hand towels hanging over the sink. He grabbed one of them and made his way back, but then remembered Assad had a slot for a two-way mirror that he installed to spy on people he suspected of shoplifting, mainly high-school students. Now he had security cameras, but he never removed the mirrors.
Mark moved some cardboard boxes out of the way blocking the two-way glass, so he could study Jeanie for a moment without her knowing. Jeanie had given up trying to clean the mess with napkins and now she was waiting for Mark. He couldn’t believe how beautiful Jeanie was. He had fallen in fall in love with her just on her looks alone.
But he couldn’t let her know that, because then she would have him. He couldn’t let her call the shots. He had to get control in the relationship and fast, which meant he had to fuck Jeanie as soon as possible, then he would have her control of her from there on out, otherwise he would lose any leverage and play the waiting game, which was for chumps. You start with that shit, the next thing you know you’re holding her purse for her at the mall while she’s looking at shoes.
Jeanie turned from the window, and looked directly into the two-way mirror that Mark was watching her from, and Mark almost jumped out of his skin when she did. Then Jeanie looked away again as if it had just been just a coincidence. Mark caught his breath and put the boxes back.
That was strange.
Why did Jeanie look directly at him?
Did she know that he was watching her?
Jeanie could not have known about the two-way mirrors, unless she could see Mark thru them, and that wasn’t possible, and yet Mark still had that same unsettling feeling,
She knows you’re watching her.
At least it looked like she knew. After Mark put the boxes back, when he came out with the towel, Jeanie turned from Assar’s Neon store window as if she had been staring out it the entire time. After Mark cleaned up the mess and pushed the chairs in, he went back to throw the towel in the sink, and washed his hands. And then he noticed a transparent plastic cup and he grabbed it because had had an idea. He hid the cup in the front pocket of his pullover.
When he came out a second time, Jeanie reminded him of the time.
“Mark it’s getting late, I think we should start heading back, Jeanie said.”
“Yea, your right, Mark said, looking at the digital clock, on the wall, and then he took Jeanie’s hand to escort her out.”
He didn’t ask her first he just did it, but secretly Jeanie liked his boldness.
Before they left the store they both said their good-byes to Assad, who was busy with customers.
“Assad, were taking off now, Mark said, with he and Jeanie said waving.” Assar looked up and waved back, they did make a handsome couple.
“Okay, thank you for coming in, I want to see you two again soon thou, Assad said.”
Mark held on to Jeanie’s hand almost the entire way back to his house, he loved the way she felt and if she would have let him, he would never let her go.
“Did the ice cream spoil your appetite, Jeanie asked?”
“No, by the way did you want to stay for dinner, my mom wanted me to ask you, Mark said?”
“I can’t, Jeanie replied.”
“How about tomorrow then, Mark countered?”
“How about if we talk about this Saturday, Jeanie asked?”
“I don’t want to wait that long to see you again, Mark said.”
“You’re going to see me in school tomorrow, Jeanie replied.”
“That’s not the same thing, Mark said.”
“Your moving really fast Mark, she replied.”
“I know Jeanie, but I already feel like I’ve known you forever, Mark said honestly.”
“We have to take things slow, honey, Jeanie said.” Honey!!!
Jeanie was putting him off and turning him on at the same time. “But your making my heart beat so fast, Mark said, trying to be clever.” Jeanie laughed.
“Hey, wait a minute, Jeanie we have a test Friday, we have to study anyway, why can’t we do that together, Mark asked?”
“Because of my parents, Jeanie said, they don’t want me dating, they think I’m too young she said embarrassed.”
“Dating, I am only talking about studying together for a test and we would be right in front of them the entire time, Mark said.”
“Same difference, it’s my first day and if I came home with some guy I just met they would flip, Jeanie said.”
“Why, Mark asked?”
“Because they’re weird, you know old-fashioned, Jeanie replied.”
“I’m not talking about running you off to Vegas, Mark, said, I’m talking about someone who is trying to help you pass a test the same week that you just moved here.
He thought about what he had just said out-loud and something didn’t sound
right.
“I don’t want to push it Mark, please that was really embarrassing for me to admit, Jeanie said, no humiliating, she almost wanted to cry.”
“Now that I think about it, Ms. Payne was acting a little weird too, Mark said.” “What do you mean, Jeanie asked.”
“Do you remember earlier in class today when Ms. Payne asked me if I was paying attention, and I told her to repeat the question, because I wasn’t?”
“Yes, I remember Jeanie answered.”
“Usually when I bluff myself out of a bad situation, Ms. Payne lets me off the hook, but today for some reason, she was really giving me a hard time, it was almost as if she wanted to embarrass me, Mark said.”
“Why would she do that, Jeanie asked?’
“Because of you Jeanie, Mark said.”
“Why me, Jeanie asked.”
“Because I think she sensed that I liked you, and maybe she wanted to ruin my opportunity of making a good first impression, Mark theorized.”
“Even if that’s true, why would she care, Jeanie asked?”
“I don’t know, because she female, jealous of the new girl, maybe she has a crush on me, Mark said, I mean, students develop crushes on teachers, maybe teachers develop crushes on students too.”
“That sounds far-fetched, Mark, and like you said before, maybe she was just being a bitch, Jeanie said.”
“Yes, but when she tried to put me on the spot the second time, that was out of character, even for her, I came up with that whole linking pictures with the answers thing on the spot; she never told us that, and she knew it, yet she still took credit for it, by remaining silent, Mark continued.”
“So, you think she thought you were going to ask me out after class and she was trying to sabotage your attempt, Jeanie asked?”
“Yes, even after I gave her the right answer about Lincoln, she was still trying to put me on the spot, and that’s why I made the crack about her shoes, because she wasn’t going to let it go.”
“Maybe she was planning to give the test on Friday anyway Mark, and your timing was just a coincidence, Jeanie shrugged.”
“Okay fine, but no teacher, not even Ms. Payne, would ever make a new student, who just moved to her class in the middle of the school year, take a test the same week, as everybody else, Mark said.”
Jeanie stopped to think about what he had said, “Maybe you’re making something out of nothing, Jeanie said.”
“Like I said before, sometimes I can see things that other people miss, Mark replied.”
Mark got so involved in the conversation that he didn’t realize they were almost back at his house.
“Okay Mark, thank you for everything, but I better say goodbye here, Jeanie looked panicked, I don’t mean to be rude but-
“I don’t understand, I can’t even walk you home, Mark stated?”
“Like I said, my parents are weird and their embarrassing, and I don’t want them to see me with a strange boy my first day of school, Jeanie said.”
“Strange, Mark said, pretending to be offended, whose strange?”
“I’m sorry, I mean strange to them, you know what I meant, Jeanie replied.”
“Look Jeanie, I won’t try to kiss you okay, Mark said?”
“Kiss me, Jeanie asked, what are you talking about?”
“The real reason you don’t want me to walk you home is because you’re afraid I’ll try to make a move, and your too embarrassed to admit that you don’t know how to kiss, because you never kissed a guy before, Mark said.”
“What, Jeanie asked, as if the fool had lost his mind?”
Mark had not forgotten about Jeanie licking the ice cream cone but he was trying to change the real reason into something made up, but believable, so that he had a chance to change her mind about walking her home.
“You never kissed a guy before, you don’t know how, so you’re embarrassed, Mark said making fish lips and puckering sounds, teasing her.”
When Jeanie saw his fish lips, she found him adorable but pretended to be disgusted.
“Ewww, Jeanie said, that’s not why; I have so kissed before, Jeanie said, my first kiss was in fourth grade.”
“Prove it, Mark said licking his lips and moving in.”
“No, I’m not going to kiss some creepy boy that I just met my first day here, especially not one with “fish-lips,” Jeanie said, and then she stuck out her tongue as if to gag.”
“Fish-lippers are the ones who need to be kissed the most, Mark said.”
“Sorry Charlie, Jeanie replied, if my parents saw me kissing you on the first day we moved here, they would move us right back again, Jeanie replied.”
“Back to Oklahoma, Mark said.”
“No, Nebraska dummy, Jeanie corrected.”
“What’s the difference, Mark said.”
“Nothing as far as your concerned, because you’re not getting me moved to either one, Jeanie replied.”
“How about if I just walk you to your driveway, and stay out of sight, Mark asked?”
“No, Jeanie said taking off his jacket and handing it to him.”
“Just so, I know you got home safe, otherwise I won’t be able to sleep Mark said, and tonight’s a school night.”
“You’ll be fine, Jeanie replied,”
“But I bought you ice-cream, Mark said.”
“So, Jeanie said, crossing her defensively, but feeling guilty.”
“Don’t you remember the statute, he asked?”
“What statute, Jeanie replied?”
“The Common Item Ice-Cream Statute,” Mark said.”
“Are you going to start with that bullshit again, Jeanie said starting to ge angry?”
“Kiss your mother with that mouth, Mark asked?”
Jeanie put her hand to her mouth as if embarrassed, “I’m sorry, it’s just that you’re getting me all whipped up with that bogus ice cream talk.”
“With sprinkles, Mark said, exacerbated?”
“Whatever, Jeanie replied.”
“You going to break the law, Mark asked?”
“No, what law, Jeanie said, starting to get frustrated.”
“That Mississippi Law, Mark said.”
“I don’t believe it’s any truer in that state, than I do it is in this one, Jeanie was starting to lose her cool.”
“Well until you know for certain, I demand you honor my eminent domain, Mark said.”
“Eminent Domain, what the hell are you talking about now, Jeanie asked looking confused?”
“Mark didn’t bother to answer her this time, he just grabbed Jeanie by her hand and started walking in the direction of her house, even thou he didn’t exactly know where she lived.”
Mark became bolder as he was winning her over.
“Mark, please don’t do this, Jeanie begged.”
The tone of her pleading was unintentionally sexy, and instantly got Mark erected.
“I can’t let you walk thru this sub-division alone, didn’t I tell you before how dangerous it’s become and how they wanted to make it a gated community, Mark said?”
“Believe me, I’m a lot safer without you than I am being seen with you, Jeanie replied”
“You girls all use the same lines, Mark said.”
“What other girls, Jeanie asked curious now?”
“Remember the jacket, I’m old-fashioned, Mark reminded her, we shared an ice cream, I shared my jacket, and now I feel responsible for you, like a girl-friend, he insisted.”
“Well don’t, Jeanie snapped.”
“Just to your drive way, Mark said casually.”
“I said No, Mark.”
Mark dropped to his knees and begged her right there in the street, Jeanie could not believe how childish he was acting and he stop at nothing to embarrass her if it meant getting his own way.
Jeanie held her breath, this boy got on his knees for her and in public, that was so unexpected and so romantic, she fell for him right there. “Get up you fool, your embarrassing me and yourself in front of the entire sub-division.”
“I don’t care, I want you to let me walk you to your drive way, Mark insisted still on his knees.”
“Yes, you can, now please get up, get up, get up, she repeated until he was standing once again.”
He dusted off his jeans at the knees.
“Just to my drive-way, no tricks, I want you to promise me Mark Winters, she said pointer her finger at him.
“Yea, yea, whatever, Mark said, blowing her off, and taking her hand once again.”
Jeanie was beginning to feel like she belonged to this guy, especially the way he took her whenever he damn well pleased, and she was going to say something to him about it, well maybe she was going to mention it in passing, she didn’t want to make him upset, she didn’t know anybody else, and beside he was really cute.
After they walked another block, Jeanie tried to get away at the beginning of it but Mark wasn’t having it-
“Hold-On their Cherry Bomb, the agreement was the drive-way, he reminded her.”
“Don’t you call me Cherry Bomb, Jeanie threatened trying not to smile at how angry he was making her.”
They trekked on half a block more before Jeanie stopped him at her drive-way.
Her house was smaller than Mark’s but just as nice.
“Okay, Mark thank you, you can go now, and then Jeanie put out her hand so he could shake it goodbye.”
Mark stared at her hand like he was unfamiliar with the gesture.
“Thank You for walking me home, that was really nice or you, and I’ll see you at school tomorrow, Jeanie said hurriedly, checking for her parents.”
Mark looked up at her and immediately dropped his smiled and stared at her chin for a moment.
“What are you looking at, Jeanie asked?”
“Don’t move Jeanie, Mark whispered.”
“Why, Jeanie whispered back.”
“Are you allergic to Wasp’s, Mark asked?”
“I don’t know, Jeanie said frightened.”
“Shhhhh, don’t talk, just close you’re your eyes, and don’t move, Mark said.”
Mark took out a plastic container that he took from the Assad’s Oasis, he was going to use the container to trap the wasp with.
“Stand still, Mark whispered.”
“No, Mark please don’t Jeanie said but she had her eyes closed, and tears were already forming in them.”
While Jeanie was frozen and waiting for Mark to tell her when it was safe, Mark grabbed her by the waist, and pulled her into his arms, kissing her on the lips, and shoving her hips into his. He could feel her large soft breasts smother against his chest, and her nipples instantly became hard, from his unexpected move.
When Jeanie tried to squeal in fear and protest, Mark shoved his tongue into her mouth, and made quick strokes that tickled the roof of her mouth. He wouldn’t let her go from his embrace and even when she finally did stop struggling, he relaxed his hold but still held onto her just tightly enough to let her know that she wasn’t going to get away. He locked Jeanie in his embrace until she surrendered and knew there would be no escape until he was finished with her, and not before.
He continued to work her mouth until Jeanie went limp from his passion, it’s like he was draining all the strength from her, until finally her knees weakened, and he actually had to hold her up for her to stand.
No one had ever kissed her with as much passion or intensity as he had, and she was spellbound. Then Mark gentle released his hold on her to gauge her reaction. Jeanie had a mesmerized look in her eyes, like she was just waking from a trance, or going into one, her nipples were rock hard and her panties wet. Jeanie gazed at Mark submissively, signally him with her eyes that she was ready to be taken. Bedroom eyes.
Apparently, the wasp had been completely forgotten because Jeanie had sensed there was no immediate danger, and her face and body were flush with passion, as if to condone what Mark was doing, even if her head did not.
Mark was erected and he wanted to take Jeanie right there, and he made sure she felt it, “I’ve been wanting to do that all day.
“But what about the wasp, Jeanie said in a dreamy voice?”
“He left an hour ago, Mark said smiling.”
“What, she asked still confused?”
“My first kiss was in fourth grade too, he answered?”
Suddenly Jeanie came to her senses, and in an instant her entire sleepy, sexual submission/arousal now turned to anger, not just because he tricked her, but because he broke his promise and lied to her.
Now Jeanie wasn’t just angry; furious might be a better word. She broke free from his grasp and with a rage in her eyes that changed them from an emerald green to a golden yellow, she let him have it.
“Mark Winters, did you just kiss me in front of my parents’ house and the entire neighborhood, after I specifically asked you not to, Jeanie demanded?”
“Yes, I did but-
“But you tricked me, scared me, lied to me, and made a fool of me- Jeanie said angrily”
“When you say it like that, it sounds like a bad thing, Mark defended.”
“How else would you put it; you untrustworthy, lying, miserable creep, Jeanie demanded?”
“I didn’t want you to feel awkward during your first kiss, Mark said.”
“That wasn’t my first kiss, Jeanie screamed angrily?” Now Mark froze.
“Well, I just thought if my kiss was a surprise, and completely unexpected, you wouldn’t have time to feel awkward or embarrassed, Mark said, and then he complimented her, you were fantastic, Baby!”
“Don’t you call me your baby, Jeanie said in a lowered voice but equally intense.”
“It’s your fault for having thick, pouty, kissable lips, Mark said.”
“My fault, =pouty, Jeanie said put her hands on her hips, and in a very sexy, defiant posture, and trying to keep from yelling and crying,
“Do you have any idea what you just did, Jeanie said unbelievingly?”
“Kissed you on the lips, Mark said innocently?”
“She shook her head in frustration, “No you have no idea, Jeanie said.” “You didn’t like it, Mark asked?
She paused and waited, he didn’t understand, he wasn’t one of them.
“I just wish you would have waited, that’s all, Jeanie said.”
“I didn’t mean any harm, Mark said honestly starting to feel bad.”
“I know, she said, but you didn’t respect my wishes, Jeanie said regretfully.”
“It was just a kiss, Jeanie, he said.”
“Jeanie Winters, she responded.”
“What, Mark asked confused?”
“In school, you mispronounced my name on purpose and called me
“Jeanie Winters, she said.”
“You remembered that, Mark asked?”
“Of course, I remembered, but why did you do that, Jeanie asked?”
“The same reason you came to my house tonight, Mark replied.”
The two of them just stared at each other, and to an onlooker it seemed like they were trying to communicate a message with each other telepathically, a message of thought or emotion, because to express it with words would be impossible.
“If my parents saw us, I will be grounded for at least two months, and you will never be allowed to see me at my house, and this is only my first day, Jeanie said unbelievingly.”
Mark stood there and was just now beginning to realize how serious Jeanie was.
“Are you trying to ruin my life on purpose, Jeanie asked bewildered?”
“No, we have a date on Saturday, Mark said smiling, trying to lighten the mood.”
“Oh no, we don’t, Mr. Winters, I’m not going anywhere with you, not to the mall, not to the store, not to your Pool, not on Saturday, Sunday or any other day of the week, not at school or any place else, do you hear me, you…fishlips!!!
“Well, well I guess it true what they say about Ginger’s and their fiery tempers, Mark said kicking a stone off her drive-way.”
“Oh, no child, you haven’t seen my temper yet, Jeanie warned, as she stepped to him.”
Mark put up his hands defensively and stepped back.
“I knew that you were a lying creep the first time I laid my eyes on you, but I didn’t want to believe it, I wanted you to give me the chance to prove me wrong, but I was such a fool, I should have never given you my number.”
“You got off light, I wanted to grab that gorgeous ass of yours too, Mark waved her off dismissively.”
He thinks my ass is gorgeous, Jeanie thought to herself?
Then she just glared at him for a moment and double-timed it up her driveway, hoping that she made it to the door, before she started crying.
“I’ll call you at one, instead of noon, Mark yelled after her, not worried about her being angry anymore.”
“I won’t be home, Jeanie yelled back; then lifted her head towards the heavens and screamed.”

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