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And so it continued. Every time Agatha approached there were looks, and when she left there were denials, and soon Cuppo and Sausage had created a series of Agatha jokes. "How many Agathas does it take to screw in a light bulb?" Cuppo would say. "A hundred. One to deal with the bulb and 99 others to stare at Myles's dinger while her back is turned."
"And to diddle her vajiddle," Sausage would add. "What? We're talking about Berger, not about you."
Here's also the truth: I was Agatha's only friend. And after school, what Cuppo and Sausage didn't know — or chose not to know — was that I spent hours with her. Her family had a pool house that was built for guests, fully furnished with a bedroom loft and a kitchen and a television with premium cable. Her father, like you and so many other men in this town, did something inscrutable with stocks and her mother was at work somewhere and so for hours we would roll around half-clothed on that bed, dry-humping and sucking face and rubbing our paws over each other's zippered crotches, until one day she opened my fly and pulled out my dick and squeezed it in her fist as if trying to strangle a goose. I wasn't sure she knew what to do with it, so I helped her and she helped me with the labyrinth of buttons on her baggy pantaloons and then the sliding off of her polka dot panties and then we were fumbling on each other, naked, writhing around, embarrassed and happy, as though we'd freed each other from the unfathomable burden of adolescent secrets. Here, we said, Look, this just happened beneath my clothes, I couldn't share it with anyone. Here, we said. See? See me? This is what I've become.
"My friends in Oregon want to meet you," she said one evening in the empty silence as we lay atop the sheets, recovering.
"Are they coming here?"
"No, probably not." She sat up, her breasts wobbling like goat skin canteens. "But we could go there."
"Drive. You and me, this summer."
"That's a long trip," I said, rolling onto my side.
"Or fly. We could fly."
I climbed out of bed and slipped my boxers on, then searched for my t-shirt in the heap of clothes. I liked to dress immediately after. It felt cleaner. I would pretend to pee so I could scrub my hands, and I would flush the condom so there'd be no trace.
"You don't have to meet them if you don't want," she said, when I came out of the bathroom. She had the sheet up to her shoulders like a dress. "It was just an idea."
"No, I'd love to meet them someday. I really would," I said, looking for my balled socks in the leg of my corduroys.
"Your friends aren't very nice to me," she said.
"What? Where did that come from?"
"I'm pretty sure they think I'm a skank. I think they think I'm stupid."
"Ridiculous," I said. I kissed her dry lips, then pulled my corduroys on.
"Do they even know about us?" she said, but I could tell she intuitively knew the answer.