[41—Verre Slippers]


It takes a lotta chutzpah to show a date films of you when you were a little girl.  Especially if you no longer were.

I was atwitter with excitement, but some part of me—the part other people always called 'spoil-sport'—kept trying to warn me that this was not for me.  I liked Topher a lot, but he seemed to be intent on having more than I might be able to give.  It was starting to worry me.

The film hit showed me told old spoil-sport to mind her own damn bidness.

Hit was a cute baby-girl, with chubby cheeks and dimples.  Dimples!  I watched hir grow into an adorable adolescent.  Then hit became a boy. 

But he hardly hogged the screen; his whole family was there and I found myself sitting in the middle of a stereophonic running commentary.  By the end, I felt like calling them familiar.

It was a short film, and when it was done, I looked at my watch.  It was only 9:30 but it had already been such a full evening.  I was tired, but I wanted to stay.  Mom said I could stay out till midnight.

"So, tell me about your day, Dani," Topher said, stretching out on one end of the couch. 

"Stressful.  I've been run ragged.  I took some time off school today."

"What for?"  He didn't approve of me skipping school.

"Topher, my sister had sex, Halloween night."

"So why did you take off of school today?"

"Because, the boy was seventeen.  I went to see him at his grandmother's dance school."

"Your sister's boyfriend is a dancer?"

He chuckled.

"That's not funny.  And he's not her boyfriend.  Well, maybe he is."

"I know it's not funny, Dani, but what can you do about it?  If it's what they want to do, then why can't they?"

"They didn't use a condom."

"I'll kill him."

"Yeah, know what I mean?"

"Yes, my sister has sex too, and I don't think she uses condoms.  The nerve of some people!"

"But my sister's thirteen.  Yours is a grown woman."

"It's not good that they didn't use protection, but surely something could be done about that."

"Already done.  I went and confronted Sonjin at the school.  I gave him  condoms and told him if they were together again, he'd better use them, or else."

"Or else what?"

"The blowtorch!"

"Ow.  Does your sister know how to use one?"

"I don't know."

"You should show her."

"I still got a box in my coat."

"Well if need one for any reason, there are plenty around here." 

He pointed out a bowl on the island, a kitty on a bookshelf, each full of them. 

"I bet," he said, digging into the cushions, "that you could even find one in the couch, but I won't guarantee it's effectiveness."

He came up with a sad looking package with dog-eared corners.

"This one has a rip."

He pulled it out of it's package and held it between his thumb and forefinger.

"What are you gonna do with that?"

"I don't know.  I saw a guy once put one on his head and blow it up three feet tall.  And some guys say they're too small."

"It's really lubricated; take of your shoes," hit requested, "and put your feet in my lap.  I think I might have a use for these after all."


I woke up and realized I was not in my own bed.  I was on a couch, under a thick wool blanket.  I was barefoot but otherwise in my street clothes, minus overshirt and pocket stuff.

I tried to get up but my feet had been tenderized. 

Topher had put condoms on them and then gave me the best foot massage ever.  I don't know about sex, but it was certainly better than 'better-than-sex-cake'. 

I highly recommend it.

I was gonna do his, but I must've fallen asleep.

What time was is?

I couldn't read my watch in the dark—the moon had already set.  I started stumbling around, trying to orient myself.


I heard hir get up and open hits door.  Hit clicked on the light

"What time is it?"

"It's 3:00 AM, Dani, go back to sleep."

"Three AM?  Topher, you have to get me home now.  My folks are never gonna trust us again."

"Calm down, Dani.  I'll make you some tea.  They know you're here, I called them earlier."

"So why aren't they here, banging at the door with a pair of tin-snips and a fire-axe?"

"Did you sleep through the whole storm?"

"What's going on," Mary Jane asked blearily, appearing in the doorway in a black silk teddy under her open terrycloth robe.  She was definitely not a Rarebit.

"Dani's scared," Topher explained, "and disoriented."  Hit went into the kitchen and put on a kettle. 

They worked together like automatons, hir making tea and setting out the cups and saucers, her making crumpets, with butter.

So we had a late, late snack.

"You called my parents, and they said what?"

"That it was safer if you stayed with me and Mary Jane tonight, and that I could take you to school in the morning, if there is school."

"What?  Why wouldn't there be school?"

"Dani, haven't you looked out the window?  There was an ice storm while you were asleep.  It's crazy out there."

I went over to the window and looked out.  Hit wasn't exaggerating, it was thick with ice. 

"Wow, and they said I could spend the night with you?"

"They know Mary Jane is here."

"How do they know she's real?  My Momma won't fall for the Christy routine."

"She started talkin' smack about my youthful indiscretions with you mother—the kind nobody tells about themselves—she knew it wasn't me."

I drained my tea.  It never woke me up quite like coffee did.

"Thanks for the muffin, Mary Jane, but I think I want to go back to sleep.  Topher, can I sleep in your room?"


"Or do you only have a single?"

"No, I have a double.  I like to stretch out.  Do you mean sleep with me?"

"Sure, why not.  We can snuggle.  I'd like that, and I'm sure we'd both be comfortable with that."

"Omigodyess," hit said so quickly it looked rehearsed. 

"Come on," I said, holding my hand out to hir.  "Let's go to bed."

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