This story has been set to a rating of R. Age verification is required to proceed.
Bette Porter had a secret: All the other thirteen-year-old girls fawned over Hotty Scotty and Beefcake Jake, but she didn’t. At every opportunity, like tonight, she hung around Tina Kennard, a cute tomboy who made her heart hammer so hard her chest hurt whenever she looked her way.
Why her and not a boy? Something had to be wrong. Right? Should she tell anyone? A resounding “no” screamed in her head. Whatever you do, don’t tell Tina.
Most girls from her junior high honor choir had already filed out of the auditorium side door to go home with their parents, all but her and Tina. Primping her long brown hair and fumbling with the contents of her book bag, she stalled as long as she could. When she ran out of excuses, Bette slipped on her prized brown leather jacket, slung her backpack over her right shoulder, and ambled toward the door. She hoped to hear Tina’s voice or catch a glimpse of her hazel eyes.
Every evening after practice, Tina gave her a casual smile and “See ya” before going their separate ways. But this time, as she drew closer, Tina surprised her.
“Looks like we’re the last two again,” Tina said.
Tina’s unmistakable sweet, silvery tone had Bette’s heart fluttering, waking the butterflies in her stomach. Then when Tina strained to put on her light blue jean jacket, pushing out her blossoming chest, Bette thought she’d faint. What’s wrong with me?
Tina extended her hand, paler than her own, inviting Bette to take it. “Walk out together?”
Bette had daydreamed at least a dozen times about holding that hand. When she took it, its warmth and softness reminded her of her blanket fresh out of the dryer. Then in an instant, her eyes rounded like hockey pucks—she had a crush. Those butterflies in her stomach swarmed harder, churning the chicken nuggets and shoestring fries from lunch.
Tina tugged, but Bette’s legs froze to the ground like a Michigan pond in the dead of winter. Making it worse, Tina’s short citrus-scented dirty blond hair had rows of orange trees popping up in her head. Say something you idiot, she told herself, but Tina had her tongue tied in a bosun’s knot.
“You okay?” Tina asked.