Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Coming of Age: 14

The prompt for this upcoming week's [fiction friday] is "A coming of age tale."  The piece I'm working on is way too long for a simple fiction friday post, so I decided to post it day by day.  The story is titled Jenny and it's written in sections based on Jenny's age.  I'll post the first one here today   and then continue until posting the thrust of the story on Friday as my fiction friday entry. Follow along if you like.  I would love any constructive criticism or comments.



Sitting in her ninth grade Algebra class, Jenny struggles to complete her homework assignment before  class begins.  Jenny usually had all of her homework finished ahead of schedule, but last night she couldn't put down her copy of The Outsiders.  Mrs. Sweeny, her English teacher, had only assigned two chapters, but Jenny had read long into the night, finishing the entire novel in just one sitting.  

Daniel Samson, the school playboy, walks in and catches Jenny alone.  She is careful not to make eye contact.  She knows his reputation.  She's heard the rumors.  He saunters over to the desk in front of her and sits down.  Jenny keeps working, trying desperately to concentrate on the numbers and letters that scroll across her page.  She knows if she looks up she will see that dirty blonde hair, the curls swirling around his ears in wisps.  From the corner of her eye she sees him turn around in his seat and prop his perfectly square chin atop his hands on the seatback.  He's so close she can smell his subtle cologne.  The light, musky scent makes her head feel light and her stomach flutter.

"Hey, Jenny, what's up?"  Daniel says
"Nothin' just finishing my homework," Jenny says.
"Guess what Melody told me?"

Jenny closes her Algebra textbook, looks up from her notebook, and sits up straight in her chair.

"What?" Jenny says.
"She says you haven't even started the rag yet?"

Jenny blushes.  Feeling the heat in her face, her heart begins to race.

"It's none of your business," she says.
"Oh, come on, Jenny, don't be a tease," Daniel says.
"So what if I haven't."
"You have no idea.  You're such a little girl."
"I'm not a little girl; I'm 14, just like you."
"Oh you're just like me, huh?"

Daniel lifts up his head and reaches for Jenny's notebook.  Jenny slides her fingers to the corner of the notebook and grips it tight.  He starts to pull the notebook from her grasp and the force of it brings their faces close together.  They're nose to nose. Jenny looks into his baby blue eyes and quickly pulls herself back.

"You're not like me.  You're a virgin." Daniel says.
"So," Jenny says.
"So, if you knew what was good you'd be screwing every chance you get.  You can't get pregnant if you haven't had the rag yet."

Jenny's mouth drops open and she shakes her head.  The bell rings and her classmates start to file through the door.  There's so much noise.  Jenny hurries to open her Algebra book as Daniel moves so Melody can sit in her usual spot.  He doesn't head to the back of the room like normal.  Instead, Daniel circles Jenny's desk and sits in the chair right behind her. He leans back with his arms behind his head and props his feat on the bottom of her desk.  She sits up straight and tries not to notice his stare boring into the back of her head. Coach Montgomery walks in, whistle dangling around his neck.

"Pass up your homework," Coach Montgomery barks.