Being young is fun, but perhaps the best part of being a teenager is discovering the opposite sex and subsequently, discovering your own little teeny bopper sex drive. When I was in high school, I was dating this gorgeous running back from a rival high school. It was my junior year and I had recently realized just how much I liked boys. Okay, I knew this long before as I had been boy crazy since I came out the womb and winked at my male doctor, but junior year was different. Junior year, I went from being boy crazy to make out crazy. So, back to Gorgeous Running Back. We were both in the same phase apparently and our make out sessions were prize-winning. Monumental. The kind that leave your lips red and numb. Hickeys all over your neck. Always a good time...
Junior year's homecoming was sure to be a blast. My friends and I were all coupled up and heading to the big dance. I was wearing a glitzy black gown that was halter style and criss-crossed in the back. My tendrils were piled on top of my head, diamonds pricked my ears, french manicure on my acryllic nails. When Gorgeous Running Back saw me, the smile that lit up his eyes was like the finishing touch.
The night was perfect. We danced all night, kissed during slow songs, took the prerequisite hold-my-elbow prom picture. It was one of those nights where my brain took as many snapshots as possible, so my memory could recall it easily in the years that came and went. When the night ended, we decided to "call it a night" and send our friends off to Friendly's and the myriad of after parties that would surely hold nothing but keg-stands and beer pong.
We had other plans.
My mom was out of town and while I was old enough to stay home with my younger sister alone, my mom decided my aunt should stay over since I would be out most of the night. My mom's sister, Laurel, was perhaps one of the coolest chicks out there. I'd never called her Aunt Laurel. She wasn't a grown up figure. She was Laurel, who I smoked weed with for the first time a couple years later. Laurel, to whom I asked all my sex questions and cursed at. More homey than aunt on any day, so she wasn't a problem.
We arrived home and instantly plopped ourselves down on the couch in the family room. Laurel came down, cigarette in hand, said hey and then headed back up the guest room. My little sister was long asleep. Gorgeous Running Back and I had plans. And no hurdles in the way.
We started kissing furiously, hands pawing each other, embracing in a way that reeked of desperation and passion at the same time. My house was huge, so the different nooks and crannies we could hide ourselves away in seemed obsolete as there was no one to catch us really. It was like being home alone.
"Let's go in the dining room," I said.
"What's in there?" He asked breathlessly from the tangles of my once up-do, now resting on my shoulders. I winked and did my best impression of Jessica Rabbit sashaying out the family room, through the kitchen and foyer, into the formal dining room. Gorgeous Running Back followed.
"What are we doing in here?" He asked once we entered the room designated for Thanksgiving dinners and formal events. It was off limits, which made it even more enticing for some reason. At least to me. I grabbed him around the waist, pulled him close and just before kissing him said, "It's the dining room. You're supposed to eat in here." I winked again-I'm really good with the winking-and kissed him. This time he hoisted me up on the dining room table. The same table where we celebrated my grandma's 75th birthday with a cake and catered meal. The same table that drove me crazy whenever I had to pull the leaf out the middle and shorten the table for decorative settings. Now I was laid out on that table and Gorgeous Running Back climbed on top of me ready to, well, dine on me, I suppose.
There was something in the air. We had never gone all the way, but that little something lingered, letting us know it was a go situation. My sweatshirt was off and thrown somewhere. His shirt completely unbuttoned. Pants unbuckled. We were in it to win it.
I heard a creak in the floorboards. I thought it to be nothing and continued. Moments later, I heard it again, closer this time.
Laurel was awake.
Laurel was coming downstairs.
Laurel was going to catch me in a position that would force Laurel from "friend" to aunt. The kind of aunt who used make me finish an entire bowl of her famous firey chili before letting me touch a morsel of juice. I was mortified, not to mention completely out of time.
The staircase led to the foyer, which fed into the kitchen in one direction or the living room in the other. If you stepped into the living room, a giant archway awaited you and you'd have front row seats to me and Gorgeous Running Back's show. I prayed she'd go through the kitchen. At least then I'd have a fighting chance before she swung open the saloon type doors that connected the dining room to the kitchen.
Gorgeous Running Back seemed to hear the footsteps at the same exact time and popped up from the table faster than I'd ever seen on the football field. We grabbed for clothes, mouthing to each other to be quiet. His shirt was buttoned wrong, but he had no time. I threw my sweatshirt on, thankful that I'd changed clothes, just as Laurel pushed the door open.
"What are you guys doing in here?" She asked, hand on hip.
"Just talking," I said, feeling hot all over, especially on my neck where I knew dark bruises were forming.
"Uhhuh," she said looking back and forth between us. The seconds ticked by. I knew we were in for it. I thought of the groundings to come. The "You've Lost My Trust" conversation my mother was sure to have with me, which was worse than any punishment. But then Laurel turned to walk out the room. We were safe. We exhaled as if we'd been holding our breath for days.
She turned back.
"I didn't know kids were wearing their sweatshirts inside out these days." She raised an eyebrow and headed back up the stairs. That was the day I realized brown girls could in fact turn red from embarassment.
"He should be getting home too, right?" Laurel tossed over her shoulder. It wasn't a question. It was an imperative statement. Gorgeous Running Back grabbed his stuff and took his blue-balled self home.
A couple weeks later, at Thanksgiving dinner, Laurel looked at me, and said to my mother, "The table looks different this year, doesn't it? Did you do anything different to it?" My mom shook her head and shrugged. I wanted to melt into the floor. Laurel winked at me and smirked as we all gobbled up Thanksgiving dinner.
A few years ago, my mother replaced the dining room set and as they carried the table out the front door, I thought of all the meals eaten on it. All. Of. Them.