Dominic slammed his locker shut, clearing his throat as he adjusted his backpack on his shoulder. It was 7:30 a.m., first day of school and already he was beyond disgusted with the school year ahead of him.
Navigating his way through the halls of East Boston High, he spoke to all who spoke to him and waved to the two or three teachers that he could tolerate. Having tried everything possible to persuade his mom to give him an extra day, Dominic was trying to shift his mind into thinking mode; hoping to plot out a way to get sent home early without being suspended.
Turning down the left corridor that led to the commons area, walking out the huge double doors, he spotted his best friends sitting on the lawn, talking to two girls who they’d probably never speak to again past the weekend. He was about to make his way across the yard to swoop in on the girls’ lonely friend when he was stopped.
Stepping in his viewing path, Marcy. “Hey Dom.”
He tried not to show his agitation on his face. Clearing his throat, he gave a tiny smile before throwing his arm over Marcy’s shoulder, turning her in the opposite direction. “Marcy, what’s going on?”
“It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve talked to one another. I don’t know, first day of school, I wanted to see where we stood in our relationship.”
Inwardly, Dominic cringed at that word. They were officially juniors, and although he was of age to handle a relationship, and could if he wanted to, he had no real desire to be tied down to one girl.
Now that she’d stepped to him asking, her concerns about their ‘relationship’ reminded Dominic that it was Drop & Draft Day. He couldn’t even be mad at Marcy for asking because he hadn’t taken the proper steps to cut her loose. They’d spent most of spring and summer ‘87 together and this was what it’d led to. Her assuming there’d been a real relationship.
“Well, to be honest with you Marcy, I kind of stopped calling ‘cause things have been kind of hectic. You know, had to get ready for the new school year. Work, taking care of my siblings and all that. My focus just wasn’t on what you and I had going on.” His focus was on all he’d said, and other girls too.
Moving his arm, she stood directly in front of Dominic and folded hers, determined to get a straight answer from him. While he may have been oblivious to it, they’d spent a full six months seeing one another, and though she tried to fight it, she was madly in love with him. When she admitted it to her mother, the older woman said that she was entirely too young. Simply infatuated or going through the puppy love phase, she’d get over it after a week or two. It’d been seven, and she was still holding on to some type of hope that Dominic wasn’t cheating or over her altogether.
“So, what are we, Dominic?”
His eyes darted back and forth for a few seconds before he broke into a smile, shrugging. “I am Dominic. Number ten on the basketball team, going up for co-captain of the East Boston High Jets.” Marcy rolled her eyes. “You are Marcy. You’re a softball player.” That was all he remembered.
“Damnit, Dominic, I’m being serious. Where do we stand?”
“Ahh, look Marcy, don’t come at me acting like you don’t truthfully know what’s up about me. I don’t do relationships for long.”
“But I thought…”
“What? That you had the golden box? Baby Doll, no. I mean, you do, but it ain’t enough to make me say oh, yeah, I’m ready to settle down. No, I just turned seventeen, I just wanna cool out and live a little.”
“Hoe a little.”
“A little, a lot. Long as you understand. Okay, I know that you’re attracted to me, that you’re feeling me. And I’m supposed to have the same feelings by now, but I don’t.”
Marcy sighed, brushing her hair behind her ear as she looked around, not wanting him to see that she was upset, but she was. She’d honestly believed that they had something special, shared something special. She wanted to be mad that he’d essentially used her for sex, but as he said, she knew how he was. And, he always stated that she could say no at any point, and he wouldn’t put no pressure on her. He never put pressure on her.
Thinking it’d make him change, she willingly gave him all of her. “What’s so wrong with me?” Looking past her shoulder, he saw that his boys were still laughing, and there was still a lonely girl sitting next to them, looking as if she needed some company. Focusing back on Marcy, he pulled her into a quick embrace, grabbing her by the shoulders a few seconds later.
“Nothing Baby Doll, nothing all. You’re gorgeous. You’ve got a pretty smile, very nice body, you’re funny. You’ve got a big heart, so kind. Marcy, you’re pretty much the kind of girl that dudes dream about. Loyal, honest, supportive. Like, you’re someone a dude would be proud to show off.”
“Then wassup? Why isn’t that something you want?”
“Ahh, I don’t know, Ma. Look, I’m not trying to put you down or make you feel bad about yourself, because you shouldn’t. I’m not saying you don’t deserve to be respected or that you don’t deserve someone to care for you, because you do. It’s just not me. I’m a dog; all of East Boston High knows this, and I’m sorry but there was no way you were going to change that.”
He watched as she wiped away a single tear, but he didn’t move to hug her like he contemplated, knowing that would only send another mixed signal or two. “So what; is this your official drop processes?”
“Yeah, I guess it is.”
She sighed, suddenly questioning what it was that she needed to change about herself. “Maybe if I…”
“Marcy, you’re perfect, just not for me. You’re not my kind, not to settle with seriously, but know that you’ll find a real decent dude soon. And if I hurt you Ma, I’m truly sorry.”
“Yeah, me too Dom.”
Before he could say anything else, Marcy ran off, disappearing through the double doors that led to the inside of their high school. Drop and Draft day was never easy in the world of him and his playboy friends, but it was never rough enough for them to stop. They knew what they liked.
Dominic knew what he liked, and he doubted that there’d ever be anyone that would be his kind of girl. He most definitely wasn’t about to stop and settle for one he felt nothing for.
Walking over to his friends, finally, he said hello to the young women in their company and smiled as he sat down, introducing himself to the lonely friend.
Jason, Dominic’s main best friend smiled, clearing his throat. “Yo, I saw you talking it up with Marcy just now, what’s up with that. Finally got caught up?”
“Haha, nah. You know what the day is.” Both Jason, and their other best friend Quincy nodded understandingly. “Just tied up some loose ends, that’s all. Even though, I’m almost positive that when I open my locker, something will pop out at me.”
“Or your name will be thrown back into the rumor mill again.”
Dominic nodded and shrugged, focusing his attention back on the lonely friend. The more they spoke, the more he realized that she wasn’t his kind or type either. But, that didn’t mean he wasn’t about to go with the flow for a while.
Continued as a full novel ==> “If It Isn’t Love”