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Hasty Act: Aftermathby: Anne ONonymous
Mornings can be cheerful, dreary, or just another useless day starting. Birds singing can be pleasant or annoying, depending on your point of view. Joe Harper woke up wishing, well, he had no idea what he wished--no matter what, it would be to no avail. It was another day, and he was feeling lousy! His room looked worse than it usually did, like a messy trash heap.
"Oh boy, I really screwed up this time," he said with reddened eyes. "I made a real mess of things; am I just naturally an idiot?" Looking at the clock, he wondered if he should get up, or spend the rest of his life in bed.
"Joe, Joe. Are you going to get up or what!"
"Damn, Carolyn will never forgive me for what I did. Well, I guess I had better do something!" Joe thought, rolling out of bed. He went over and removed the chair he had shoved under the doorknob. Next, he unlocked the door and headed for the bathroom. In the bathroom mirror, he saw a face that vaguely looked familiar: red eyes, reddish lips, and a hang-dog look of sadness or a defeated man!
"Joe, are you coming down. Please, Ive got some breakfast here for you! Please come down," Carolyn said pleadingly.
"Ill be down soon, sis. I just want to wash up a bit," Joe said, amazed that she would even be talking to him after the way he acted. He grabbed a washcloth, soaped up, and washed his hands and face thoroughly. Returning to his room he found a robe and slippers, put them on and tried to compose his thoughts: "How can I apologize to her? What do I do by way of an apology?" and, "How can I face Monica and her friends!"
He went to the stairs and slowly descended, trying to put off the inevitable. As he reached the bottom, he could smell bacon, sausage and eggs cooking. Upon his entering the kitchen, Carolyn said, "Ill have a breakfast ready in a few minutes. You want OJ, right?"
"Yeah, right. Carolyn, I . . .,"
"Eat first, talk later, O.K.?"
"O.K., sis," Joe mumbled. He sat down and ate. He was extremely hungry, and wound up eating hash browns, four link sausages, four strips of bacon, two Bagels, two glasses of OJ, three eggs scrambled and a cup of coffee! "Funny," he thought, "shes feeding me a lot; I guess she isnt as mad as I thought."
"Ill make another cup of coffee, and we can drink and talk, O.K.?"
Joe nodded his head in complete agreement. He stared down at the table, afraid to face his sisters wrath. She had every right to be angry with him!
Carolyn made more coffee, poured two cups and brought them to the table. It was then that he saw his sisters eyes! They were redder than he could ever remember.
"Joe, Im so sorry! I never, never would do anything to hurt you! I . . ., I spent most of the night crying. I thought I hurt you, and I just wanted to make you happy. Youre my brother, I love you more than anything! Im just so sick, please," Carolyn said with tears rolling down her cheeks, "I will do anything to make it up to you, just please dont be mad at me!"
"Oh, God, sis! Im the one you should be angry at. I ask you to do something for me; I go and foul things up! Im the one who should be apologizing to you. Im sorry, it was . . . I dont know, I saw them laughing at me, and you know how they treat me at school! I just wanted somebody to like me, is that so bad? I just wanted to be their friend, not date them or anything like that. I only wanted them to like me!"
At that moment there was the insistent ringing of the telephone. Carolyn, using a handkerchief, wiped her face free of tears, and answered the phone.
"Hello," she said, "Oh, hi Monica. Yes, hes alright. I know, its just that they give him a hard time at school." She listened for a moment, then answered, "He did look real cute, didnt he." There was a minute of silence, then, "He didnt know, Monica. We agreed not to tell him," then, "What! When! Wait a minute, Ill tell Joe," she held her hand over the mouthpiece of the phone, and said, "Theres been an explosion at the school. The heating/air conditioning system. Its out, schools closed for Monday and Tuesday."
Joe listened for a bit, then heard the news, "No school? They arent sending us to another school?"
"No, they think the damage is mostly in an electrical junction box. Thats what blew up! They can replace that rather easily, its just theres no power in the school. Monica, are you busy this afternoon?"
He watched, as his sister nodded and then said, "I have never seen so many people wanting to apologize for anything! O.K., well see you in an hour, if I can get him out of the house. Bye-bye, Monica, see you soon!"
Carolyn hung up the phone, turned to Joe, and said, "Monica says shes sorry. She, and Maggie, want us to come over to her house, you game?"
A myriad of thoughts ran through Joes fevered brain. He had to face her, sooner or later. All the trouble, possible misunderstandings, grief he thought he may have caused. He had to make it up to her somehow, some way--any way he could. Maybe a good start would be to try to understand her better--what was her motivation for doing what she did!
"Sis, Monica, what do you know about her. I mean, you know her pretty well, right?"
"Not as well as you think. There are some things that she will not talk about. I suggest you try to avoid asking her questions about her past," his sister replied.
Joe thought he should put on some clothes, other than a bathrobe. He decided slacks, a T-shirt and loafers, then asked Carolyn, "Is it alright if I wear boy clothes, I mean I, well you know!"
"Sure, its alright. Im sure she wont mind, at least not this time," Carolyn said with a big smile.
Seeing Carolyn smiling like that made Joe feel a little better. One thing he knew for certain, he would never reveal anything she told him in private.
Twenty minutes later, they were in a car heading to Monicas house. After a short drive, they reached Monicas house. Carolyn pulled into the driveway, shut off the ignition, and said, "This time, if you dont feel alright, if you cant handle it, I will take you home and we can try again whenever you want. Im trying to make up for what I did to you. I do feel a responsibility for that disaster!"
"Dont sis, it was as much my fault as yours, maybe more. I dont know, I guess I just had a different view and that clouded the whole issue. Well, lets get this over with. I just hope she isnt too mad at me," Joe said sadly.
Together they walked up to the front door, and just as Joe was about to ring the bell, the door opened and Maggie came out onto the porch. She grabbed Joe, said, "Carolyn, get his other arm," which his sister did, and together they pulled him into the house.
They took him into the family room, and seated him. Maggie went to get Monica, saying, "Dont run off again until you know more!"
In a few minutes, which seemed like hours, Monica entered the room. To Joe, she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. Then, he saw her eyes. Tear stained, red with crying, bloodshot from lack of sleep--what else could he say, they were a mess.
"Hello Joe," Monica said softly, almost in a whisper, "Im so glad you could come. I just want to say, Im so sorry about what I did, and I wouldnt blame you for hating me for the rest of your life. What I did was unpardonable, I was wrong. Joe, if you want to leave now, Ill understand, but I just want to say one more thing: I really would like for us to be friends."
"Oh great, now what do I do? I was in the wrong, Carolyn says she was wrong, now Monica! We cant all be wrong. How do I apologize now, and do I apologize. What do I say," thought Joe. In his young life, this had never before happened. So, accept her apology gracefully, apologize myself, blow it all off, what.
Joe started, "Monica, if anyone needs to apologize, its me! I wanted to meet you, asked Carolyn to help, then acted in a stupid manner. I accepted your terms, and should have abided by them. I didnt. Its as simple as that! If anything, I should be on my knees begging your forgiveness and your acceptance as a friend."
"Well, well, isnt this touching! Joe," Maggie said, "you are too damn nice a guy, you know that. You are one of a few in school I can, or will ever, call a friend. I was here yesterday, you know, because I wanted to see you and Monica get together. Over the last few weeks, I saw how you looked at her. No, not lusting, kinda like a lost puppy looking for a friend. I was here because I thought I would be a familiar face, one you would trust, you know. I thought, if he sees me, he will know I wont let anybody hurt him, but I guess I was wrong. But, and I do confess this freely, you do make a cute little girl."
Monica left the room for a few minutes and returned with glasses filled with soft drinks, and said, "Anybody want chocolate chip cookies?" After their assenting vote, Monica left again, returning a few minutes later with a plate of cookies. In a few minutes, everyone was digging into the teenage feast.
"Joe, do you want to hear a little about me?"
Joe answered, "If you would like to tell me anything that is a secret, I promise I will never reveal what I hear. On that, you have my word! Even if we arent friends."
"This is going to be hard, as I have only told this to Maggie. Well, here goes. When I was eight years old, I was raped by a neighbor boy, ten years my senior. I went through a hard time what with my parents and all. At ten, I was pulled into a vacant house and gang raped by four high school kids, all boys, and I was put under the care of a psychiatrist. For some unknown reason, they thought I was asking to be raped by the clothes I wore. How stupid! I was put on a medication, drugs you might say, so I know what Maggie went through with alcohol. During this time, my parents moved several times. Dads promotions mostly. When I was twelve, it occurred again. This time, the bastard was caught and sentenced to a long prison term. He was a serial rapist! I kinda got to hate males, at least the macho kind. You know, the ones always trying to prove how manly they can be. I saw you in school. You always looked like a nice kid, a gentle man. Every time I saw you, I wanted to meet you, but I thought you already had a girlfriend, at least somebody that nice should, you know what I mean?"
"God, Im so, so sorry. I never knew you had it so bad," Joe said sadly, tears running down his face, "how could anybody do anything that mean to a girl as nice as you?"
Monica looked at Joe crying, gave him a wan smile. She walked over close to where he was sitting, and, suddenly, Joe jumped up and grabbed her in his arms. He pulled her into a tight, warm embrace with his left hand, his right stroking her black hair, repeating over and over, "Im so sorry, Im so sorry." She had meant to comfort him, but he was now doing that to her.
Both Carolyn and Maggie were in tears, some happy that the two found each other, some sad because of Monicas past. A past no one wanted to dredge up, least of all Joe.
Monica finally managed to pull free, and said, "Joe, please sit down!"
As Joe sat, Monica sat on his lap, took his left arm and put it around her, laid her head on his shoulder, and said, "That, I hope, is all in the past. When I see a boy I like, I want to see how he would be as a girl!"
Maggie broke with, "That was the idea of the clothes. The real girly stuff, the frilly frou-frou all over. The manly jerks just cant handle it! The idea was to get you dressed in a little girl way with all the petticoats, frilly panties and stuff; we really thought you could handle it. We didnt realize that you would think we were making fun of you. When we were laughing, we were just so surprised how cute you looked, and, well, we were thinking about how much fun we were going to have!"
Now it was Carolyns turn. "Joe, you are the best brother a sister could have! I also wanted to do something for you. But, actually, it is now too late. I sort of conspired with Monica when we set a date for you two to meet. Yesterday was to be a special day for you. You would meet a girl that is perfect for you, and, well, Maggie I guess we should show him."
"O.K., Ill get it ready and bring it in," Maggie said, as she left the room adding, "Monica, can you help me?"
Monica got of Joes lap and went with Maggie.
Joe was completely in the dark. What was going on!
Maggie walked back into the room, said to Joe, "Close your eyes for ten minutes."
He obediently closed them. "No peeking," that from his sister.
"O.K., you can open them how!"
As Joe opened his eyes, he saw a large cake with fifteen lit candles, heard them singing, "Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you!" He heard the song, but he was mostly concentrating on the spectacle in from of him: Monica, completely naked.
"Happy Birthday, Joe. Im your Birthday Present!"
Finis--Thats all folks, Annie O
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