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Fiction Coming of Age Teens & Young Adult

This story discusses the Plan B pill and underage use of drugs/alcohol.

Plan A is to fall in love with him. To convince him to change. Plan A is to show him how wonderful sobriety or maybe even conscious moderation. I decided I could live with conscious moderation. We work behind the long, red, plastic counter of a deli downtown which is where he slid a large cola to me on his first date. “Hey Cutie, can you catch?” he asked. I remember the sound of the plastic blue cup scraping and bumping along. Turns out, I could.

Brian and I had coffee. Well, I had a coffee. He had tea. Because and I quote, “I’m not a big coffee drinker. But I like tea.” I offered to pay. Brian accepted the offer while he told me about the world he left behind. He drove across the country, all by his lonesome, from Illinois to Colorado on a whim. He took my hand and told me I looked beautiful in my backless red sundress. I knew that already. It was on that date that I formulated Plan A because Brian confessed he drank too much; especially, for an underage adult. He looked me dead in the eye and told me the words every sixteen year old girl convinces herself is the truth, “But I wanna change. I want to change for you.” So that’s why I lie in my bed, my worn, pink unicorn comforter pulled up to my chin. My window is cracked open as the lightning salsa across the sky accompanied by the thunder. Big, fat, raindrops hit my window and I wiggle my toes, relishing in the warmth of my bed. I stare up at the humongous, white, vaulted ceiling of my bedroom. My phone dings when he texts me back because I ask what he’s up to tonight. I like to imagine him in his own little cocoon, in his roommate’s dark. Maybe, someday, I’ll know how warm his bed is... 

I drive to the Big Box Store in the middle of the night because it’s not part of the plan to allow my brand spanking new boyfriend out into the world so late; my windshield wipers slowly and gently keeping tempo. Brian laughs at my jokes while drumming along to the music and calls me his Naive Nancy when I don’t get all of his dirty jokes. He’s three years older than me. It’s an age gap I take pride in; “I’ve got an older man,” I told my friends with a devilish grin. Brian walks like a grown man. It’s all confidence with just a dash of swagger, like he owns the place. He talks like a grown man. It’s a speech pattern unknown to my young ears; one filled with curse words and innuendos if he could just get me out of that sundress. He kisses me like a grown man. It’s passionate and I convince myself it’s honest. Brian texted me fifteen minutes ago: I gotta go out and run an errand. So I smiled and told him I’d pick him up. I tossed my warm blankets to the side of my bed and popped on a pair of black skinny jeans. I reached for my hot pink push up bra and a white tank top with a sneaky smile. I knew exactly what those emerald green eyes would be locked on. My mother knocked on the door and held out a blue Stitch mug out with little white marshmallows enjoying their time in the cocoa. It smelled heavenly. For a moment, I wondered what Brian would do if I just changed back into my blue cotton nightgown, accepted the hot chocolate, and tucked into another season of Grey’s anatomy. My mother’s mouth curled into a frown as I offered her a kiss on the cheek. “Save it for me,” I begged.

He held his worn, gray hoodie over his black curls to block the pounding rain as he bent down and sat in the passenger seat of my Civic. After a fifteen minute drive, I turn left onto the small side street which leads to the Big Box Store. The rain has stopped. I step outside and Brian reaches for my hand. We swing our arms gently. Brian skips over to a large puddle jumping in. I scream at him to stop and my boyfriend pulls me into the fun. When we finally stop his black skinny jeans are covered in dirty rain water, my bare legs are soaking wet. We’re gasping for breath as we walk through the automatic doors into the harsh, bright, white light.

The store is empty. It closes in 45 minutes. A few employees stand around, half heartedly opening cardboard boxes full of 4th of July decorations. The bright red, white, and blue streamers bring sparkles to Brian’s eyes. “I’m a bit of a pyromaniac,” he confesses with a mischievous grin as he fingers the large cardboard boxes of fireworks. Plan A is working, I decide. I calculate into the plan that he loves fireworks and picture us standing at City Park watching bursts of color paint the sky. I imagine him dipping me, his strong arms holding me up as I kiss him passionately. I smile back at him and peck his cheek, my soft lips are pricked by a few lingering facial hairs. “So, what are we here for, Baby?” I ask him. He skips to the frozen food aisle, piling pizzas into my arms. “Baby, you need to eat healthier foods!” I chastise. Brian looks over at me from the other end of the aisle, holding a pint of ice cream in each hand. The freezer door slams shut with a bang. It seems to echo off of the perfectly polished tiles. “You gotta start cooking for me,” says Brian. The plan has a new bullet point and I see myself in a tiny, dimly lit kitchen. I’m stirring a worn, little black pot full of chicken noodle soup. Brian comes home and I shiver from the sudden gust of winter air as he opens the door. I skip over to him and wrap my arms around his neck as he pulls me close by my hips. The bright lights of the store bring me back to reality. I inhale his cologne. We kiss softly. His tongue slips into my mouth and the taste of spearmint toothpaste fills my mouth.  

“Alright, baby, now for the real errand,” instructs Brian. He takes my little hand with pink, sparkly nail polish in his cold one. “Just sit there,” he indicates the little metal bench in the pharmacy section. I sit down and begin swinging my legs because I’m too short for my toes to touch the floor. Brian approaches the counter, where a balding pharmacist asks how he can help. “I need the plan B pill,” Brian says. I feel my heart stop and I can’t breathe. My cheeks burn red. There’s a lump the size of a plum in my throat. I’m a fifteen year old virgin. This. Is. Not. Plan. A. I watch my plan crumble like a skyscraper hit by an earthquake. Gone are my hopes and dreams that he’ll put down the bottle in lieu of a bouquet for me. The fantasy of us kissing in city park listening to crickets crumbles in my palm like a stale cookie. Shot down was my hope of us eating pizza sitting cross legged in our very first apartment. “It’s not for me, Baby; it’s for my roommate,” he smiles brightly because he is a grown man. I’m nervous because I am not a grown man. The balding pharmacist hands him the little white box and reads out his total. I scramble to pick my jaw up off the floor. He passes the pizzas across the counter, then the ice cream. We walk out with two plastic bags and Brian tucks a small paper one in his back pocket. He takes my hand and pulls me in for a kiss and I let him. 

July 23, 2021 21:53

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6 comments

Ray Weeks
03:47 Aug 22, 2021

This is some good writing. Made me uneasy, the predatory unease versus the naive innocence. Keep it up. (As the others mentioned, paragraph breaks would be good, especially because folks are reading this online, but that's a small issue.)

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Amanda Lieser
04:25 Aug 22, 2021

Hi Ray, I am so glad you felt the anxiety that the protagonist was experiencing. I have really appreciated hearing repeated feedback because it helps me hone in on areas of improvement. Thank you!

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Marie Ehlenbach
22:51 Aug 04, 2021

I think the quotes where one of us is talking should be in one sentence. Like this: Brian and I had coffee. Well, I had a coffee. He had tea. Because and I quote, “I’m not a big coffee drinker. But I like tea.” I offered to pay. Brian accepted the offer while he told me about the world he left behind. The rest is beautiful! Marie

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Amanda Lieser
23:50 Aug 04, 2021

Hi Marie! Thank you very much for taking the time to read the story and provide feedback. I appreciate it!

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Dhevalence .
16:04 Jul 25, 2021

I love the writing and the sentiments you expressed so beautifully. However, (and this could be just me) but I felt the paragraphs too long. I'm definitely gonna read your other stories.

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Amanda Lieser
20:44 Jul 25, 2021

Thank you for taking the time to read the piece. I appreciate the feedback!

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