Part Ten

"I just can't imagine Jeff doing anything so horrible as
to justify ending a relationship as great as yours.
What you two have is so wonderful! I'd give the poor
guy a second chance, Angelica." 

Jeff moped at home for the rest of the weekend, trying to think of some way to salvage his relationship with Angelica. He was not at all successful.
    He tried calling her at home but only Mama would pick up. "Jeff, Angelica won't come to the phone. I've tried talking to her but she won't listen ... not even one word. I've tried to explain, to apologize but she's having none of it. She's sorta barricaded herself in her room and won't come out, even for meals. I think you just have to give it some time. Jeff. Lots of time, actually," she added.
    "Thanks, Mrs Gonzales." The buxom mom was clearly "Mrs Gonzales" again and for keeps! "Just, ah, just keep me informed — okay? Like, if you're able to talk with Angelica and calm her down or if you can figure out an angle I can use to get her to talk to me or something? You don't have to call. Drop me a note and I'll take it from there. Golly, Mrs Gonzales, I love Angelica so much! We've just got to work this thing out somehow!"
    "I know, Jeff," Mrs Gonzales said, "and I hope you do. You were such a great couple!" Frankly, the buxom mom did not sound very hopeful. The fact she was already speaking of the relationship in the past tense was particularly disheartening.
    The young man thought about just showing up at the Gonzales apartment on Monday morning to take Angelica to school — just like always. Grab the damsel by the hair and ride off into the sunset ... well, the sunrise at any rate! He couldn't imagine that she would accept the ride, though. Besides, the scene that might result would likely take place in the presence of Mr Gonzales, who supposedly didn't have a clue as to what the problem between the two lovebirds was. The danger was that if Jeff pushed it and words were spoken, her father might begin to figure out what had happened. That would be a disaster for all the reasons Angelica had suggested during their fight. No, the risk of just trying to go on as if nothing had happened was too great. It just wouldn't work.

Jeff set off for school Monday morning in a high state of turmoil and trepidation. It was made all the more acute by the fact that there was a Student Council meeting after school. He would have to face Angelica. He was tempted to skip the meeting but as president that was not really a option. He suddenly remembered the mental health day Pam Fox had taken the day after he took up with Angelica. No, that was no answer; he would just be postponing the inevitable. Nope ... he had to take his medicine, as bitter as he knew it would be! And nope ... it was unlikely Angelica would take the Pam Fox option. A girl with her character would never take the easy way out. No, Angelica would be in school to face whatever consequences might arise. What a mature, courageous girl she was! This realization made Jeff appreciate all the more what he had lost. It was nearly enough to make him burst into tears.
    He spotted Angelica in the hall between first and second periods. She cruised right by, her eyes resolutely focused straight ahead. Jeff had just received a cold shoulder that was down around the area of absolute zero. His heart sunk. Angelica was so beautiful! She was so gorgeous inside as well. He loved her so much but she would not even acknowledge his presence.
    It was worse during the Student Council session. Jeff marveled at the adeptness with which Angelica ignored him. She did not do it in any pointed or obvious way but rather conducted herself as if Jeff simply did not exist. Their eyes never met — not once; he was not able to catch her looking at him, even out of the corner of her eye. No, Angelica had managed to discipline herself so as to negative Jeff's very existence. Somehow, that was even worse than being hated or yelled at or even punched. The unrelieved iciness of her reaction underscored once again for Jeff the terrible reality of his loss. For Angelica, he no longer existed!

Angelica had been notably smooth in the avoidance of her former boyfriend but it did not go unnoticed. Much as for Holmes the critical datum was that the dog did not bark, the fact that Jeff and Angelica neither walked into nor out of the meeting together, let alone sat together during the meeting, was a remarkable change in behavior.
    Hillary spotted it right away. "Hey, Jeff, what's with you 'n Angelica? Have you lovebirds had a spat or somethin'? Looks like she's put you in the deep freeze!"
    Jeff smiled wryly in response. "Yeah, you might say that! And I'm afraid it's more than just a spat. It's really serious. I think we're quits, actually."
    "Golly!" Hillary responded. "When I saw you 'n Angelica walkin' out to the parking lot last Friday, you two were all tangled up with each other? Sure looked like true love to me! And now it's over? I can't imagine what could happen over a weekend to ruin that? Really, Jeff!"
    "Well, it did, Hil," Jeff responded in a downcast tone. "Sad but true. Very sad but very, very true!"
    "Well, that's just awful," Hillary replied. "I mean, you two are just love personified! Can't you work it out? I mean, what problem could be so serious as to break up a relationship as solid as yours?"
    "Don't get nosy, Hil. Please. Just trust me — it's really serious. I sure hope we can work it out but," the young man shook his head sadly, "I just don't know if it's possible. I really don't! I'm gonna try but, we're talkin' a real long shot here."
    "Wow!" Hillary exclaimed. "Bummer! I sure hope you two kids do smooth it out 'cause, really, you two were made for each other! I mean it! Like, you know, in Heaven? If you two can't work it out, well, I'm gonna stop believing in love altogether!"

The next few weeks were extremely frustrating for Jeff. Angelica continued to ignore him — totally! He checked the mail every day in the hope of a letter from Mrs Gonzales that might hint at some glimmer of hope or some suggestion of a strategy. He even dreamed that he might find a note from Angelica. But there was nothing.
    Once, he tried a direct approach. Following a Student Council meeting, Jeff waited a few minutes after Angelica had left and headed to the young beauty's locker. Shades of their first afternoon together! As he entered the short corridor in which her locker was located, he spotted Angelica. There was no one else in the corridor. So far so good!
    At the sound of footsteps, the young beauty turned around. When she saw it was Jeff, she angrily compressed her lips. Her expression became very dark. In fact, she glowered. But she said nothing.
    "Angelica ... please ... let's talk," Jeff pleaded. "Just hear me out — please! Just for a second! You owe me at least that much! We owe that much to each other, for God's sake!"
    The buxom beauty did not agree to this request. Nor did she even explicitly reject it. She simply and calmly finished putting on her coat, donned her backpack, and swiftly walked past Jeff in stony silence.
    Jeff stood painfully rooted in the middle of the corridor as the young girl turned the corner and started up the steps. He felt as if he had been punched in the gut. Angelica would not even stoop to reject his plea. Hell, except for some initial and probably reflexive dirty looks she would not even acknowledge his existence! For perhaps the first time he felt the depths of her hatred and distain. Was this truly the end?

All of Jeff's friends quickly figured out that he and Angelica had broken up. Their relationship had seemed so perfect that they couldn't help pressing him for the details. The break up was so sudden, so unexpected, that all his pals wanted to know the full story. For anyone who had seen Jeff and Angelica together even briefly, the split seem just unbelievable! Unreal! Inexplicable! Naturally, Jeff would not say a word.
    Once enough time had gone by to convince his friends that the split was real and seemingly permanent, the guys took the next step and tried to fix Jeff up with a suitably buxom and beautiful replacement. No thanks! He was in no mood to start dating again. He had no room in his heart or even his loins for anyone but Angelica. How different this was from his past breakups with Pam!
    His female pals tried some matchmaking as well. On account of simple observation and extended friendship, his longtime but strictly platonic pal Carrie Snodgrass knew all about Jeff's proclivity for huge chests. Unbeknownst to Jeff, she even knew a little bit about his remarkable anatomy. Jeff would undoubtedly have been embarrassed to learn that the size of his genitals had become a Maine East legend but it was true.
    For that and a lot of other reasons, Jeff was about as desirable a commodity in the dating game as one could imagine. Carrie thought that, out of friendship, she might be able to get Jeff back on the dating track. I mean, the guy was such a stud! It was a crime against nature to have him out of circulation! Plus, a regular diet of female company might get him out of his funk.
    Carrie's matchmaking efforts were triggered one afternoon when Jeff gave her a ride home after a student council meeting. When Jeff pulled up in front of Carrie's house, the young man noticed a short young girl practicing what looked like cheerleader stunts in front of the house next door. Jeff took immediate notice because this girl was petite only in height. She was decidedly not diminutive in the area between her neck and her waist. There, the girl was seriously and lavishly developed.
    Jeff had in fact spotted this girl in the halls at school a number of times. He did not know her name but he was certainly acquainted with her fabulous figure. He might, in fact, have considered asking her out but for the fact that the entire year had been occupied by (a) his relationship with Pam; (b) his relationship with Angelica; and (c) his current funk during which he was not interested in striking up any new relationships at all.
    Even so, Jeff could not help noticing the young kid doing her front lawn routines. In fact, he got out of the car for a better look under the pretext of walking Carrie to the door. He guessed she was perhaps an inch over five feet. Since he hadn't seen her before the current school year, he assumed she had to be a freshman. The young girl was awfully young, therefore, but made up for it by being awfully, awfully buxom. Her petite, awesomely curved frame sported a pair of cantaloupe-plus-sized hooters. They had to be DDs at least. Maybe even DDDs! Maybe even bigger than that! The truth is that when he had spotted her in the halls at school, Jeff had realized she was buxom all right but not as buxom as she looked now. The girl was huge! Not bad for a fourteen-year old. Plus she was really quite beautiful. A stunner, in fact.

Jesus! Look at the pair on that little girl! When I've seen her at school, her tits have looked big but.... she must have had 'em sort of disguised. Bound up or something. Maybe she wears tight bras. But not now! Man! They are on display! We might actually be talkin' FFs here! Wow! As a freshman! Man! She might have the biggest set in school. Well ... lest we forget, the second biggest! Which is why I don't mind lookin' at the merchandise but that's gonna be the extent of it.

    The buxom little beauty was wearing short shorts and a tight sweater. Her really huge, melon-shaped tits really bounced and floated against the tight, stretchy top during her acrobatic routines. Jeff could see that her butt was really trim and shapely as well. Even for someone who was not in the market, this was a fabulous show the little minx was putting on.
    The young girl stopped her practice and bounced over to the car as Jeff and Carrie got out. "Hi, Carrie," she enthused. "Nice to see you." But it was Jeff on whom she had her eyes focused.
    Carrie picked up on that immediately and made the appropriate introduction. "Diane, I don't know if you two have met but this is Jeff Weld. Jeff, I'd like you to meet my next-door neighbor, Diane Ulrich. Diane just made the Frosh-Soph Pom-Pom squad, and is doing her practicing, I guess, right, Diane?"
    "Right," Diane said. She then turned to Jeff with a smile. "Really nice to meet you, Jeff," she intoned warmly.
    Jeff could tell that Diane was very interested in him. She kept her eyes locked on the young man as they talked. She lightly touched him on the arm from time to time during their conversation. She kept reaching up to touch her long blonde hair, as if to keep it in place, as they chatted. The action had little effect on her coiffure but did make her big jugs jiggle and bounce in the process. If he weren't so distraught over his break-up with Angelica, this was just the sort of girl he could be interested in. Diane was definitely cleaner cut than the sort of girls he used to date during his Pam interregnums but from head to toe she sure had the sort of equipment that floated his boat. If only he were in the market — except he wasn't.

Wow! This girl is just way cute! She's really beautiful. And those tits! Man, do they fill out that sweater! She really acting interested in me, too. Not much doubt about what her answer would be if I were to ask her out. She seems intelligent and really sweet, too. Passing her in the hall 'n stuff, I always thought she looked promising. Up close, I can tell she's a winner. A bigger winner than I had even imagined! Just the sort of girl for me, except that she isn't 'cause there's only one girl for me and that girl won't even acknowledge I'm alive.

Carrie came up to Jeff in the hall the next morning. "You made a real fan yesterday, Jeff. Diane Ulrich, I mean. After you left, she told me how much she enjoyed meeting you. In fact," Carrie went on, "she told me she'd really like it if you would call." Carrie grinned. "I think I was expected to convey the offer, so I just did! I'm offering you a sure thing, Jeff. Make the call and a date is yours. I was thinking that she's awfully cute 'n all so that maybe...."
    By "awfully cute 'n all," Carrie was suggesting in code that Diane had just the sort of lush figure that Jeff seemed to go for. What's more, Carrie went on to hint, Diane was rumored to be quite affectionate. Carrie naturally did not go into details but Jeff certainly got the drift. Diane was, to be sure, much too young and prim to play hide the salami even with a super stud like Jeff but for the right guy — why not Jeff? — those huge tits might be in play. At least through her sweater. Plus maybe even a little manual release might be possible after a time if she really fell for a guy. Who knows? Jeff really could be that guy. Carrie, who could put 14" and 30FF together as well as the next person, was doing her best to broker the deal.
    No thank you! If anything, Diane's huge, fourteen-year-old-firm bosom would have only served to remind Jeff of Angelica. "Tell Diane I'm really, really flattered," he told Carrie, "but that I'm still licking my wounds after Angelica. I'd just mope around and be lousy company. She's really cute 'n nice but I'd just better not."

Word had certainly gotten around about Jeff's availability — his theoretical availability, that is! A number of the girls he used to date during his breakups with Pam started flirting with him in the hall between classes. So too did some of the girls he might have dated during these breakups but had not managed to get around to. In fact, Jeff was getting half a dozen calls an evening from such girls. They were all clearly ready to comfort Jeff in his moment of need. Thanks but no thanks!
    Jeff had even expected Pam Fox herself to suggest a Coffee Cup cherry Coke date. But she did not. Either her pride was still too injured to permit such a step or she could tell that this breakup with Angelica was not something that a mere soft drink could cure. In any event, Jeff was glad he didn't have Pam to fend off during this awful time. Thank God for little favors!

Jeff therefore fell into a sullen and remorseful solitude. To his horror, however, he discovered that that Angelica had not chosen a hermit's life for herself. About three weeks after they had called it quits, Jeff was in Romano's with the two Ricks, Rich Dimberg, and some other fellows. As was usual these days, he was out with the guys. He suddenly spotted Angelica sitting at a booth across the room. She was with a fellow. Harry Ford, no less! She was clearly on a date with the guy! How could she? And how dare he?

Oh, man! Angelica is so beautiful! She's so gorgeous! She's wearin' a little sports skirt. Look how it's all hiked up almost to her pussy! I had forgotten how great her legs 'n thighs are! They're so luscious! And those tits! They're halfway in her lap and halfway on the table. Oh, man! And then there's all that sweetness inside that fabulous exterior. Shit! It only takes a sight like this to make me realize how much I miss her! How could I have blown it so badly?

    Jeff felt sick. Still, just because he didn't have the heart to date didn't entail that Angelica would be similarly disabled — even though in light of the intensity of their love he thought she might have settled for a little longer waiting period before starting to go out again.
    The fact she was out with Harry Ford made things all the worse. Harry was a ruggedly handsome guy who was more interested in the school drama program than in sports or student government. He usually had the lead in school plays and had developed a following among female drama groupies as a result. From grade school on, he and Jeff had always been rivals of a sort — for reasons neither could put a finger on, they just didn't like each other very much. It was like that old Dr Fell nursery rhyme.

She's goin' out with fuckin' Harry Ford? What's she thinkin' of? He's such an oily asshole! Those little boy facial expressions he puts on. His crooked, cutesy, adolescent smile! What a phony routine he's got. Gag!

    For the first time, Jeff knew exactly why he loathed Harry. Any guy who dated Angelica was going to earn Jeff's undying enmity. The fact the guy she was with was a handsome, reputed lady-killer like Harry Ford only made things worse. Jeff wanted to tear across the room and rip the unctuous son of a bitch limb from limb!
    Naturally, Angelica acted as though she had no idea Jeff was in the restaurant. Even worse, Harry Ford was being studiously oblivious as well. That made things worse — much worse! For Angelica to act as if he did not exist was one thing. For her date to do the same was unforgivable! It was so presumptuous! Jeff was ready to break a chair over the guy's head!

Well, well ... look who's over there! I hope this little tableau drives him crazy. He deserves it! God, I hate him! Hmm.... But if I hate him so much, why does my heart skip a beat every time I sneak a look at him? And why do I feel like bursting into tears right here in front of everybody? And why did it make me happy to see he's at a table full of guys with no girls in sight? Oh, Jeff ... Jeff ... Jeff! What we had was so real ... so wonderful! So ... forever! Why did you have to cheat on me and ruin it ... and with my mother, no less. My heart aches but there's just no way to overcome something like that!

    Angelica suddenly realized a tear had started to trickle down her cheek. She hastily brushed it off.

Sheesh! I can't let Jeff — or Harry — see me wiping away tears! How do you explain to a date why you suddenly got teary? And that's the easy part ... what if Jeff had noticed? That would have been just ... disastrous! I'd just die if he knew how much I still miss him in spite of everything!

    Jeff was gratified to see that Angelica and Harry did not seem to be particularly lovey-dovey. Whew! They were sitting on opposite sides of the booth. Thank goodness for that! They were not holding hands. They didn't seem to be particularly engaged with each other, in fact. Maybe it was a first date. Maybe an only date! Jeff could only hope!
    Nonetheless, Jeff couldn't stand it. "Fellows," he said to his pals, "I'm finding it difficult to sit here in the same room with Angelica and that unspeakable asshole Harrison Ford. At least when they're at the same table. Would you guys mind if I just split and the rest of you got a ride home from Rich? I just can't handle any more of this."

Although his heart was decidedly not in it, Jeff finally decided to start dating — at least platonically. Under the circumstances, he preferred going out with the boys but the fellows all had girlfriends or dated around on a regular basis. All too often a social life consisting of going out with the boys ended up being no social life at all. Sitting at home on the weekends was not Jeff's style. But hanging around couples like a fifth wheel was no fun, either. His friends and their dates were very understanding; they knew how distraught Jeff was over the breakup. It was fine with them to have Jeff hanging around as a solo. But Jeff knew there was no future in it; in time, even good friends would tire of having a sullen mope like Jeff hanging around. It was time to get back into circulation!
    The fact that Angelica was going out made his decision all the more easy. No way was he going to sit home when she was dating! Jeff would not have thought of it as getting even but clearly that fact was a motive as well.
    Jeff was under no illusions about his decision. He was going to date only as an entrée to social events and school activities. He was not looking for a relationship. He had a relationship — in his heart of hearts he did, at least — and simply found it impossible to consider starting up a new one with someone else. He supposed that his utterly trampled spirit might heal eventually — maybe years from now! — but for now there was only one girl for him — and she would not even acknowledge his existence. Anyone he dated was going to be an accessory and nothing else.
    The young man intuitively felt he should only fish in a pond that did not contain anyone he might actually get turned on by. This not only excluded girls like Diane Ulrich but also the entire group of girls with whom he had dallied during his Pam break-ups. He supposed that Angelica, who continued to go out with that despicable Harry Ford, might take notice of his companions. It seemed important for him only to date girls whose choice would indicate to Angelica that he could not truly be serious about them, that it was still she and only she he loved and desired. Angelica was too important to him to risk any false signals! He would date but in his choices he would send Angelica the message that she was truly still The One. No arm candy, in other words!
    Jeff had considered asking out Karen Black, a very popular and personable member of the senior class. He understood she wasn't going with anyone in particular at the moment. Moreover, he had caught her giving him the serious eye in the halls recently. She was very active in the theatre group so that if he dated her, he would be likely to bump into Angelica and Harry. That contact might be painful — that's putting it mildly! — but Jeff felt that the more contact he and his former girlfriend had, the more likely she would continue to see how much he still loved her. Jeff was sure his hangdog looks in Angelica's presence would deliver that message loud and clear! The problem was that Karen was really quite a looker. It was rumored she had had a screen test out in Hollywood during spring vacation. She might actually have a future in the movies! No, although Karen's theatre activities made her a great logistical choice, she violated the arm candy rule. Sorry, Karen!
    For that general reason Jeff particularly eschewed asking out any girl with big tits. He considered the possibility that dating someone like, say, Diane Ulrich might make Angelica jealous and thus want to make up. Unfortunately, she might also conclude that by dating a girl with a huge bosom, Jeff had moved on. Dating Diane might hint that things truly were all over between them. The same considerations applied to picking someone who was really gorgeous even if less buxom. It might work to shake Angelica up but might also backfire. The risk was simply too great.
    In the end, Jeff decided that dating a merely presentable, relatively flat-chested girl was the way to go. He'd show Angelica that he was not dropping out of life altogether while at the same time signaling that he still considered her to be the love of that life.

But who should get the nod? Suddenly it hit him — Carrie Snodgrass! Of course! She was perfect for his purposes. She was undeniably cute in her way but by no means beautiful. She was slim with an okay figure but he doubted her twin treasures required more than a B-cup bra — if that!
    Carrie was also a great choice because she too was active in student theatre. This meant that Jeff and Carrie would be traveling in the same circles as Angelica and Harry. Best of all, Carrie had gone out with Harry for a few weeks the year before so that an interesting dynamic would be introduced into the equation.
    Another plus was that Carrie was a very chaste young lady — perhaps even more than Pam Fox. It was ironic — the qualities that in Pam had driven Jeff nuts were now exactly what he was looking for in a new girlfriend. He had no interest in bedding down Carrie — zero! Hell, he was not even interested in a goodnight kiss. Moreover, Jeff was sure that was fine with Carrie. In view of her strict religious training, Jeff figured he had found a girl who would not wish her boyfriend to put the moves on her. A goodnight kiss would probably suffice. Besides, their long friendship — it dated from first grade for Pete's sake — pretty much precluded any passion, let alone sex. It probably ruled out even that goodnight kiss. Jeff and Carrie had been pals too long for anything like love or romance to raise its disruptive head. They just knew each other too well for that! Hell, if Jeff were to try to put the make on Carrie, they'd both very likely burst into laughter. Yes, Carrie was just what he was looking for! Assuming, of course, she was willing to go along with the program.
    Carrie was first puzzled by Jeff's attention. She actually laughed the first time Jeff asked her out. "Come on, Jeff! This is Carrie. Your pal since first grade? Hello! Since when do you date your pals? Are you serious?"
    Jeff had to keep at it but in the end, Carrie accepted his repeated invitations to go out. In truth she got the picture. She knew Jeff was still sick with love for Angelica; she knew, therefore, that she would be merely a platonic companion with whom Jeff would go to school events, parties, and such. But that was fine with Carrie. She had no regular boyfriend at the moment. The idea of going out with a pal like Jeff was fun. She knew that there would be no romance involved but so what? Until someone she was truly romantically interested in came along, going out with Jeff would be both fun and useful. Having a boyfriend — even one in inverted commas — made it possible to do a lot of things and to go a lot of places that were simply foreclosed to unaccompanied singles.
    Within a few weeks, Jeff and Carrie were considered a couple. If Carrie was bothered by the fact that her former boyfriend was now dating her present beau's girlfriend, she never mentioned it. After all, in a large high school like Maine East, a lot of boy-and girlfriend shuffling went on. And in that shuffle she had ended up with the biggest stud around.

On their fourth date, Jeff and Carrie finally ran into Angelica and Harry. It was at a cast party. Harry and Carrie (and Karen Black, too) had starred in a student production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town. Jeff and Carrie were at the buffet table when Harry and Angelica walked into the room.
    The Latina teenager looked so stunningly beautiful that Jeff thought his legs were going to buckle. She was wearing a form fitting linen dress that showcased her staggering measurements to a T. Her hemline was four or five inches above her knees — modest for the Angelica who had just arrived from El Paso but fairly breathtaking by Maine East Standards.
    Harry took Angelica by the arm and walked her right up to the buffet table. The couple were not standing particularly close but Harry still looked very pleased with himself. He clearly knew he was with the most dazzlingly beautiful and stunningly voluptuous girl in six counties, if not beyond — way beyond. What an asshole! Jeff wanted to pick up a plate of food and slam it in his face.
    The two couples were standing on opposite sides of the table. Jeff looked up and for the first time since the breakup managed to catch Angelica's eye — just for a second. She seemed to be giving him an appraising look at that moment but as soon as she saw she had been caught she abruptly looked away.

Carrie Snodgrass? Carrie Snodgrass? What on earth is Jeff doin' with Carrie Snodgrass? Hillary had told me they were dating but I really didn't believe it. She's cute, I guess, but not much of a looker. They say she's got a real nice personality — maybe that's it. But if she does, why do I feel like ripping her eyes out? Her figure's sort of cute, I guess, in a boyish kind of way, but it's nothing at all like the voluptuous types Jeff seems to go for. If Jeff were gonna go the theatre group route, I would have thought he would picked someone like, say, Karen Black over there. She is seriously cute! Not really voluptuous but still nicely stacked. But Carrie? According to Harry, she's a real ice princess — a guy'd be lucky to get a peck on the cheek even when they've been goin' out for ages! Yet she and Jeff seem to be an item? That makes no sense. Hmm.... Could he be sendin' me some sort of a message? If so, I wonder what it is.... As if I didn't know. And as if I care! I do know this, though — the hell with Carrie Snodgrass. I hate her fucking guts!

    Angelica hurriedly looked down at the food and began nervously to spoon some seafood Newburg onto her plate. It was definitely time for downcast eyes!

Which reminds me. Poor Harry! First, Carrie and then me. I bet he hasn't gotten anything more than a chaste kiss at the front door since who knows when! Certainly not even that from me! The poor guy. But he knows the score — I've certainly laid it on the line clearly enough! — so if he wants to keep goin' out on a buddy-buddy basis, that's okay with me! I'm sure not ready for anything more than that — that's for sure! And who knows when I will be? At any rate, there are advantages to dating good old Harrison — I think I can trust Harry not to hit on my mother, for one thing!

March had turned into April and then into May. Winter finally ended for good and the warm sunny days of spring arrived — fitfully at first and then permanently. Trees were becoming green and flowers were budding. Jeff had gotten an agreeably thick letter from Yale — he was in! Angelica had agreed to run on Hillary Rodham's slate for secretary of the student body for the upcoming academic year. The election was imminent. Everything was changing, and for the better. Everything, that is, except the Angelica and Jeff situation. It remained the same.
    The former lovers continued to see their new partners. It continued to be obvious from the couples' body language, however, that these new relationships were something short of red-hot. Nobody had seen Carrie and Jeff or Angelica and Harry even so much as hold hands.
    Angelica's and Jeff's friends despaired over the situation. It was as plain as could be that both of them were involved in highly Platonic relationships of convenience. These friends were willing to bet that was because neither had gotten over the other. Not even close! Why couldn't the two dopes just realize they were still totally in love and make up, for God's sake! How could any problem be so serious as to keep these two perfectly suited kids apart?
    Hillary noticed how Jeff would direct lovesick looks at Angelica during Student Council meetings. He was clearly still hopelessly in love with the Latina beauty. At the same time, though with much less frequency, Hillary had begun to catch Angelica sneaking furtive glances at Jeff. Yep — as angry as she seemed to be at her former boyfriend, the gorgeous teenage girl clearly had retained some very steamy feelings for Jeff. So why didn't she just wake up and smell the coffee brewing!

Hillary finally decided to take matters into her own hands. She hated to butt into a friend's private affairs but somebody had to do something! The dopes! The school year was winding down and in a few months after that Jeff would be leaving for four years in New Haven. Hillary felt it was her duty to try and bring Jeff and Angelica back together while there was still time for the kids to rebuild their relationship. She owed it to her two friends, for God's sake!
    Hillary offered Angelica a ride home after a Student Council meeting. Her pretext, aside from simply making a friendly gesture to a car-less friend, was to talk about their last minute election campaign plans. After pulling up in front of Angelica's apartment building and discussing school politics for a few moments, Hillary quickly shifted gears.
    "Tell me to shut up if I'm out of line, Angelica, but I'm amazed that you 'n Jeff haven't gotten back together. I mean, everyone considered you two absolutely the perfect couple! People just can't believe you're still broken up. Plus, from all I can see, you too still seem interested in each other. Like big time, I mean. I see you two checkin' each other out all the time — you can't fool me!"
    "Well, you are out of line, Hillary — way out of line. So please butt out." The buxom teenager repented of her outburst. She immediately tried to modulate her tone and be a little nicer to her friend than her feelings would have dictated. "I know it's hard for people on the outside looking in to understand but, believe me, breaking up was absolutely the thing to do. The only thing! It was a must! It wasn't even a close call. You'll just have to trust me on this, Hil. It's really over and there's not a chance in the world we'd ever get back together."
    Hillary persevered; she was not going to be put off with an unhelpful answer like that. "I just can't imagine Jeff doing anything so horrible as to justify ending a relationship as great as yours. What you had was so wonderful! I don't care what it was — I'd give the poor guy a second chance, Angelica. Really I would. I mean, I've known Jeff since before kindergarten! If he had any hidden character defects, I think I'd know about 'em. He's such a great guy! I just don't understand!"
    Angelica smiled and patted her friend on the hand. "Look, Hil — I really appreciate your concern. But trust me — it's really over for keeps. The subject is closed."
    Hillary got a thoughtful look on her face. "Well, Angelica, when you insist on being all mysterious like this, a person's forced to try and figure out what the big deal is all by herself. I mean, what could have happened? Hmm.... I can't imagine that he was too pushy about sex 'cause, frankly, honey, people could just look at you two in public 'n just see you were awfully involved already. I can't imagine that bein' a problem!"
    "Hillary! Stop it!"
    Hillary noticed a sudden edgy nervousness in Angelica's voice. Hillary knew she was on to something! Definitely! Stop it? Not likely! "So let's see," she continued, "what could it be? I can't imagine Jeff dating someone else on the side; somebody would have seen him, for sure, and busted him. Plus, you're frankly so beautiful 'n all, Angelica, why would he stray off the reservation in the first place. So it can't be that. Hmm...." Hillary suddenly got a stricken look on her face. "Oh, no! Angelica! It couldn't be...."
    "Look, Hil," Angelica broke in, "I'm not playing this game. I'm not going to discuss it. Not at all! In fact, I think it's time to thank you for the ride and go up to the apartment."
    "Angelica, just let me try out this one last possibility. Was Jeff hittin' on your mother?"
    The buxom Latina beauty suddenly got very agitated. "Hillary! I told you this was all out of bounds. Now stop it! Just shut up! Please!"
    Hillary was not to be stopped. "Honey, that's the one thing that could fit the pattern. Sweetheart, if that's what happened, I don't blame you one bit. I can't imagine what I'd do in a similar situation. Wow! I do know that if I caught any guy I was datin' on a regular basis foolin' around, I'd feel like cutting his nuts off. If he were actually hittin' on my mother? Man! I can't imagine what I'd do! Something worse, assuming I could figure out what on earth that could be!"
    Angelica slumped back into her seat, looked straight ahead but said nothing.
    "Honey, assuming that's it...."
    The buxom teenager compressed her lips. She neither agreed nor interjected a denial.
    "Assuming that's it, I can see where you're comin' from. That would be an awfully hard thing to forgive. Or forget! Oh, Angelica!"
    Angelica sat silently for a few seconds, and then said grimly, "Gotta go. Thanks for the ride, Hil." She paused. "And — really — I do appreciate your concern. I know it's not meant as meddling ... I know it's done out of friendship 'n all. It's just that ... well,, things are just beyond repair, that's all. So let's not have this conversation again, okay?"
    "I understand," Hillary smiled. "Finally, I truly think I do understand. After all, I've met your mother and ... well ... I get the picture. It's a really tough deal. I just make one suggestion, though."
    "What's that?"
    "I'd try to get a full picture of what happened. You could be throwing away the love of your life on the basis of what might be less than the full story. If that's really what happened, I can see why you might have to call it quits for good. I'd just make darn sure I had all the facts, is all."

She's right, of course! I've never talked to Mama about it. She keeps wantin' to talk to me but I refuse to listen 'cause I'm still so furious with her. Almost as mad as I am with Jeff. Talkin' to Jeff about it is obviously out of the question. Maybe I owe it to myself to have that talk with Mama. Still, I know what I saw — there's no getting around that! — and I can't imagine what sort of an explanation there could be. Still, maybe I should listen to her anyway. At least that way I'd be sure I had the whole story. Whatever it is!

    "That's good advice, Hil. Maybe I'll do that. But in the meantime," Angelica said in a very determined and steely tone, "I really don't want to talk about this subject again. Really! Okay? I just can't! It's way too painful. Is that a deal? Can we consider this a closed book? You promise never to bring it up again?"
    "Deal!" Hillary replied after a moment's hesitation.

Hillary kept her end of the bargain — at least under a shamelessly legalistic interpretation of its terms! She did not actually talk with Angelica about the matter. That does not mean, however, that she did not think about it. Still less did it mean that she didn't plan to do something about it!
    Student Council was discussing the Senior Class Gift one afternoon in early May. Every graduating class traditionally gave a gift to the school. The problem was that, although Maine East's classes were large, its members were fairly broke at that stage of their lives. The result was a gift that usually was on the wrong side of chintzy.
    Students and faculty alike had been discussing for some years the need for a prominent sign at the corner of Potter and Dempster to identify the school. What people had in mind was a large, sturdy, double-faced wooden sign mounted on a solid flagstone base that would announce the name of the school to passers-by on both Dempster Street and Potter Road. Although no one had really priced such a marker, the feeling was that it was probably too expensive to be a workable class gift. Yet the need for such a sign was generally accepted. It would be such an appropriate addition to the campus!
    Dick Sandberg had a suggestion. "What if we combined class gifts? Like, this year's senior class and next year's senior class pool their money to build a really first class sign?"
    Hillary not only thought this was a great idea but had a sudden inspiration as to how adopting the suggestion could solve a whole bunch of problems at once.
    "That's a great idea," she exclaimed. "And I have an idea how to make it work. I move that we form a committee from both classes — a small one so it can act quickly before graduation — to explore the idea. You know, prices 'n timing 'n stuff?" Hillary got a little smile on her lips. "I know the perfect people for the committee. Therefore," Hillary took a deep breath, "therefore, I nominate Jeff Weld from the senior class and Angelica Gonzales from the junior class to investigate the idea and report back to us at our meeting next Monday and is there a second?"

Hillary, you lovable old busybody! Could this actually be a way to get us talkin'? I feel like jumpin' up and seconding the motion! Thank you, Hillary!

    Angelica thought she was going to choke!

That meddling bitch! How could she? She broke her word to me! But I can't just jump up and say no — I'd look like a jerk. I'd better wait until the meeting is over and then have it out with Ms ... Malaprop! How dare she pull a stunt like this? This is just despicable!

    Jim and John Hagar not only immediately but simultaneously seconded the motion — wasn't that just so typical of the Hagar twins! The Council was enthusiastic. Most members simply assumed that the suggestion meant Jeff and Angelica were talking again and were happy to vote "yes" on that basis. Those who knew better thought it was a brilliant scheme to get the couple into the same room where they might be forced to discuss their relationship. If the school actually got a handsome new sign in the process, well, all the better. In any event, the committee concept was unanimously passed without any discussion. Even Pam Fox enthusiastically raised her hand in agreement!
    As soon as the meeting ended, Angelica waited for the room to empty and then made a beeline for Hillary.
    "Hillary! How could you! You lied to me!" Angelica's voice was shaking and the young girl was nearly in tears. "What a dirty trick to pull on a supposed friend!"
    "I didn't lie, Angelica," Hillary replied evenly. "I promised not to talk about it with you ... to bring it up. That's all I promised. And I've kept my promise."
    "Well I don't have a transcript of our conversation so I can't really argue with you about that. But didn't you ever hear about the spirit of a promise?" Angelica asked bitterly. "This kind of quibbling is ... is just contemptible!"
    "Look," Hillary replied. "It's not going to kill you to talk about signs 'n junk with Jeff for a few minutes before our next meeting. Do it at the Coffee Cup or something. You could do it over the phone for God's sake! Come on — it's a dirty job but somebody has to do it and you too are just naturals for it! We really do need that sign. And who better from the two classes to do the planning?"
    Hillary smiled softly. "Look, honey, I'm really trying to do the best for you and for Jeff. Really, I am. I just think you ought to get together to talk at least one more time. Won't you give it a shot? Especially when the school could really benefit out of the deal?"
    Angelica really saw no way out short of looking like a real bitch. What made matters worse was that the school election was to take place next week. If she flatly refused to meet with Jeff word of her refusal would travel around the school in no time. She was willing to bet Hillary had figured that all out before making her motion. What a natural politician her friend was turning out to be! Refusing to participate would make Angelica look as if she was putting her personal feelings above the welfare of the school. That was no way to win an election! In other words, she was trapped!
    She felt slimy making a decision like this for political reasons but lots of people were working hard for her and Hillary and Dick's election. She supposed she owed them at least enough not to blow the election in the last week! She guessed she could have this one little meeting with Jeff and then go back to never seeing him again.
    Angelica sighed. "All right, Hil, I'll do it. But I still think you pulled a dirty trick on me and I'm very unhappy with you! Not to mention how I feel about meeting with Jeff. It was really an outrageous thing to do."
    Hillary ignored her friend's outburst and grinned. "Thanks, Angelica! I knew you'd do it! I can see them putting up that sign at the corner already."

"Hello?" It was Mrs Gonzales. It looked as if she was still screening Angelica's calls.
    "Hi, Mrs Gonzales, this is Jeff? Is Angelica in?"
    There was a pause. "She is, Jeff, but I don't think...."
    "I think she might talk to me just this once, Mrs Gonzales," Jeff replied. "Could you ask her and see, please?"

Jeff had to wait nearly two minutes for the phone to get picked up. He was beginning to wonder if the connection had been broken. Or if Angelica was going to refuse to talk to him after all.
    "Hello!" Angelica's greeting was sullen, perfunctory, clipped, and curt.
    "Hi, Angelica," Jeff began with an affected heartiness. "I apologize for calling but I guess we've got to talk about that school sign project?"
    "So talk!" Angelica was not going to make this very easy.
    "Well, I've got some plans 'n brochures 'n junk. It really wouldn't work very well to do it over the phone, though. You really have to see them. Don't you think we could meet face to face to discuss things?"

Oh, shit! I just knew he was goin' pull somethin' like that. I guess I'll have to say yes even though I know all that brochure stuff is a bunch of crap — he's just lookin' for a way to get together in person. I guess there's no way of avoiding it. It's gonna have to be in a very safe, very public place, though — that's for sure!

    Angelica sighed. "I guess so, Jeff. Where did you have in mind?"
    "I don't know ... someplace uptown, I suppose? The Coffee Cup, maybe?

Well at least he isn't crass enough to ask to come over here after school for a Coke! But the Coffee Cup would be too full of people who could overhear us 'n junk. Plus they'd all start chattering, "Look who's back together!" No thanks! Piper's or the Pickwick would be just as bad. It's gotta be more private so we're not, like, on display... yet public enough so that Jeff wouldn't dare try anything. And public enough so that I can bolt if things start going badly. Hmmm....

    "How 'bout a bench in Hodges Park instead. It's supposed to be a nice day tomorrow. We could sit in the park and talk for a few minutes about this sign business. Does that suit?" Angelica's voice was so stern ... so unyielding!

Man! She's really layin' down the ground rules. Time, place, and subject matter! But at least she's willin' to do it! I'm gonna have to take what I can get!

    "Great, Angelica! Would, um, you like a ride from school into town?"
    "No, Jeff, I certainly would not! I'll catch one of the United Motor Coach school specials after school. I'll meet you in the park at 3:30? Okay?"
    "Okay! See you tomorrow!"

Oh, brother! This is gonna be so hard! Plus, I haven't even talked to Mama about that awful, awful day yet. I keep fending her off. Maybe this is the time ... like, tonight! This meeting tomorrow with Jeff is gonna be short and businesslike and then it's goodbye forever. But as Hillary put it, it still might be a good idea to know all the facts about That Day in advance. Just, you know, to be, um, fully informed in case Jeff tries to bring it up or something. Which I know he will!

Angelica got to the park first and chose a bench as deep inside its precincts as its relatively small size would allow. In line with her current thinking, the more secluded the better! 3:30 came and went but no Jeff.

He's late! Now I've got to sit here 'n wait 'n be nervous 'n junk! I wonder if he tryin' to one-up me? If Jeff does come, he'll never know how many times I nearly bagged it 'n went home instead of showing up. Or got up and left after showing up! That conversation with Mama last night ... it got me so totally confused! Now, I don't know which end is up! I'm not sure our talk will make any difference in the long run but, still, if I had listened to her earlier.... But now I'm so uncertain about what to think or do I can't stand it! Shit!

    At about 3:35, Jeff crossed Vine Avenue, walked into the oval, vest-pocket park, and spotted Angelica sitting on a bench in the middle. His heart almost broke at the mind-boggling panorama she provided — even though she was wearing what for her was a modest skirt, the leg and thigh show she was putting on was still so sexy! She was wearing a sweater. Jeff supposed it was on the loose side but on account of the size of Angelica's honkers, the garment was necessarily and amazingly packed with tit. The sight of her giant cans resting in her lap was just overwhelming! Oh, man! And then her face — so stunningly gorgeous! The window it provided to the sweetness of her soul was almost too much to bear. The poor fellow nearly burst into tears on the spot as he realized anew the magnitude of his loss.

Jesus! She's so amazingly beautiful! So sweet 'n wonderful, too! You don't see her for a while and then — wham! — her spectacular looks 'n goodness suddenly smack you in the face. Look! She's spotted me. Wonder of wonders, she actually seems to have a tiny smile on her lips. That's the first time she's had something other than a scowl for me since ... since, well, you know when! Is this some sort of a sign? A hopeful one? On the other hand, her bosom seems a little smaller than usual. Or maybe just more, I don't know, bound up? I know her tits are resting in her lap like always but they just seem ... I wonder if she's wearing a real tight bra? I guess that's what I could expect her to do. No way is she gonna show 'em off for me anymore! She's probably got that sort of longish skirt on for the same reason.

    Jeff approached the bench. As he got close Angelica looked up. their eyes met for an instant before the buxom Latina looked away. The frightening moment of reunion — even if it was going to be both brief and transient — was at hand.

Here he comes! And, yep — my heart's sure fluttering! Those shorts sure do show off his legs. Jeff's a handsome guy, for sure! Too bad that's all academic! Irrelevant! Looks like he's carrying some papers — guess he really does have some brochures to show me, at least for show — the big phony! I'm gettin' so scared! How are we ever gonna carry off this conversation? At least I put on this super tight bra so that my tits aren't wobbling all over the place. The last thing I want to do is to put on a tit show for Jeff. Plus, this skirt covers up most of my thighs. No more leg 'n thigh show, either. Well, not as much of one, anyway. Them days is gone forever! Well, for Jeff, anyway. Darn it!

"Hello, Angelica?" Jeff's voice was both shaky and very tentative.
    There was a long pause. "Hello, Jeff," the young girl finally replied in a monotone. She was frowning. Her eyes were focused on the ground. Angelica was not going to get the ball rolling with any eye contact. As a result, the conversation was starting off on an extremely stilted basis. No surprise there!
    "I've ... um ... got some stuff about institutional signs I picked up in the library? Plus, I drove by some places in Niles that make those sort of things and they gave me some junk to look at. You know, pictures 'n prices 'n stuff?" Jeff sat down on the end of the bench as far from Angelica as he could get. He began to hand over some of his data for her inspection.

Oh, this is just impossible! Grotesque, even! Sit here and talk about a school sign as if everything were, you know, just jake? I just can't do it ... I thought I could but I really can't!

    "Jeff, this is just impossible! I can't sit here and discuss institutional signs 'n stuff with you like this. I just can't! Not after.... you know! It's so totally weird!"
    Jeff got a woebegone look on his face. It looked as if this shot at a reconciliation was going nowhere fast. In fact, it was going to be over before it had even begun! How could he have been so dense as to think it had a chance? It was really nice of Hillary to set it up but....
    "Yeah, I guess you're right," Jeff mumbled in a low, crestfallen voice. "This was a bad idea. A stupid idea, in fact." Jeff put the packet of papers on the bench, pushed it in Angelica's direction, and stood up to leave. "Look, just take these home 'n look 'em over, okay? We could talk about 'em over the phone or, better yet, you could just discuss the whole thing with Hillary. That's probably best. I'll go along with whatever you two decide."
    Angelica shook her head. "Jeff, you complete idiot — would you take back those ... papers and sit down? We certainly do have something to talk about but it's not institutional signs. Not by a long shot!"
    Jeff dutifully sat down.

God! What is goin' on here? Are we actually gonna talk about...?

    "Jeff, I talked with my mother last night. For the first time since you know when, actually. In fact, we stayed up almost all night talking. We talked about ... well, you know! It's the first time we'd ever discussed it. She's wanted to ... lots of times ... but I ... I've just refused. I was too angry with her. But last night I asked her about it. I just thought that since we were gonna ... meet like this, you know? ... that maybe I should?"
    "I know."
    "Well, she tells a different story than you. A very different story, in fact. Mama claims that she seduced you not vice-versa like the way you told it."
    "What's more, Jeff, she says that she really had to work at it ... that you said "no" about, like, a couple dozen times ... that you got up to leave a number of times too but she seduced you into staying? She claimed she nearly had to tie you to the bed!"
    "Aw, Angelica."
    "'Aw, Angelica' nothing! Is she telling the truth or not, Jeff Weld?" The buxom beauty suddenly got a very angry look on her face. "Or is this just some sort of attempt on her part to cover for you. And maybe vice-versa? Some stupid kind of loyalty up and loyalty down? It's very important I find out which is which! This is crucial stuff, Jeff!" The gorgeous young girl was only a decibel or two from shouting.
    "Look, Angelica ... even if what your mother says is true it doesn't change the fact that I should have left! Should have kept on saying 'no.'"
    The buxom teenage beauty looked her estranged boyfriend dead in the eye. "Jeff, you utter dope! Of course, it doesn't change that. Of course, you should have left. Of course you should have kept saying, 'no.' What you did do was terrible! Unbelievable! Maybe even unforgivable! But right now the part you apparently didn't play is even more important. It makes all the difference between us! Can't you see that?"
    "I suppose so," Jeff allowed glumly.
    "You suppose so? So is Mama's version true? It's really, really important for me to find out the truth, Jeff, so please stop bullshitting me. Tell me the truth. No more beating around the bush. Right this second!"
    Jeff hesitated. "Yeah, it's true," he said in a low voice.
    Angelica got to her feet to her feet and angrily glared at her former boyfriend. "Jeff, that is just totally intolerable!" The Latina beauty's voice was shrill and getting shriller. "I've been under this mistaken ... impression now for months! Worse, I've acted on it! It's not fair! I deserved to know the truth, not some ... cockamamie fable!" Angelica's eyes were flashing with rage. "It's lookin' like I've been living my life on the basis of a lie! I mean, what Mama says happened and what you now admit happened was bad enough. It's terrible, in fact." The teenage girl paused to glare with even greater intensity at Jeff. "But what you led me to believe was so much worse. You not only betrayed me, Jeff, but followed it up by deceiving me a second time! I ... I just can't believe it! What were you thinking of?"
    Angelica was angry! Her body language was so expressive that her giant bosom was floating and jiggling in spite of her super-tight bra.
    Not that the wretched fellow was in any state of mind to notice. Jeff lowered his head and began to cry.

What a nightmare. First I let myself get ... seduced ... into havin' sex with Mama — that was so, so wrong. Then, I try to be a stand-up guy — a gentleman! — and take the blame. Now that turns out to be wrong, too. But wasn't that the right thing to do? But now I'm gettin' blamed for that, too. Turns out I fucked up twice! I can't win!

    Angelica looked down at Jeff as he sobbed and shook. She gently shook her head.

Golly! Jeff Weld, the BMOC ... the leader of the pack ... cryin' his heart out? Amazing! Maybe he really was just tryin' to do the decent thing by takin' the whole burden on his shoulders. Pretty dumb but maybe ... hmm.... Could he had done that out of love for me? Could be! After all, the more I think about my conversation with Mama last night, the more I'm convinced her version is the true one. Even if I had any uncertainty, this little scene with Jeff removes all doubt. Yep ... at long last I think I know what really happened! The question, though, is whether that can make any difference. To Jeff 'n me, that is. I mean, whoever seduced whom, the fact remains that it did happen!

    The teenage girl sat back down on the bench. "Jeff ... Jeff ... Jeff! Why did you take on the whole load for this ... thing? Was this some ... some sort of misguided gallantry?"
    "Something like that," Jeff acknowledged between sobs. "I didn't want to ruin things between you and your mother any more than they already were. I figured that was the relationship that really mattered. Plus, it really was my responsibility 'cause I didn't leave and didn't keep saying, 'no.' I mean, I have to take responsibility for that."
    "Of course you do, you big dope, but that doesn't mean that you have to flip things around so it looks like you were the one to doin' all the hittin' instead of vice-versa. That it was all your fault! Don't you know what that did to me? And not just me — look what that did to us! Golly, Jeff!"

Angelica scooted down the bench toward Jeff. There was still a good foot between them, however.
    "Jeff Weld, you stupid, stupid lug!" The overdeveloped teenager was shaking her head in wonderment. "Give me your hand."
    Angelica then scooted a bit closer. She laid Jeff's hand on her knee and began rubbing and caressing it. The fact his hand was suddenly in close proximity to Angelica's lap-bound tits was starting to make Jeff very aroused! He wasn't sure that was an appropriate reaction at this precise point in time! But what's a guy to do?
    The Latina beauty looked deeply into Jeff's eyes. "Honey, I don't know if I can forgive what you did do. My feeling right now is that even if Mama was the aggressor, it still makes things awfully difficult for us. I mean, how could we go on in a relationship after you'd been to bed with my mother? Really! No matter what the circumstances. I mean, it's just impossible. How could the three of us even be in the same room together? Can't you see that?"

Honey? I'm honey again? Could there be a shred of hope here?

    Angelica herself had now begun to sob. The pain the couple were feeling was unimaginable. How does a couple come back from a betrayal like this?
    Angelica finally stopped sniffling. "Like I said, no matter why you did what you did, it's just about unforgivable, really. But it sure is a lot easier to work through that than what I thought you'd done! What you told me you'd done!" The young girl paused in thought. "Look, I know what a beautiful 'n voluptuous woman Mama is. I know how utterly horny she was back then. I'm not excusing you, no way!" — Angelica shot a sharp warning look at Jeff — "but I can understand how you might have ... succumbed. The flesh is weak, and all that. But until now I didn't know the whole story and so we've had to go through all of this ... pain! All 'cause you didn't tell the truth on account of some misguided sense of ... chivalry!"
    The young girl paused for a moment. Then, she added in a soft voice, "Honey, I mean, the truth really is painful enough. I can forgive you for makin' up a story about how all this happened 'cause I think you did it out of good motives and a pure heart." Angelica smiled softly. "I do think you have good motives and a pure heart, honey. As for what you and Mama actually did ... well, that's a lot harder. I've gotta work that out. If I can."
    Angelica paused again for emphasis. "The real question, Jeff, is whether this is something we can work out. Something we should even bother trying to work it out."
    Jeff nodded his head. "I don't know, Angelica. I don't know if we can either, frankly." The young man then gently touched the young girl's arm. "What I do know is this. I'm ready to do all it takes. All I know, baby, is that I've been just sick since this happened. I've missed you so much. I mean, I love you with all my heart. Never doubt that, Angelica! To be apart from you is so ... so awful! It's like ... death!"
    Angelica smiled. "Don't you think it's hasn't been the same for me, too? I've hated you with all my heart but missed you terribly all at the same time. I think contradiction is the word I'm looking for! I was in a state of hopeless contradiction. But after my talk with Mama ... and then seeing you this afternoon like this ... I just don't know. Could there be some hope for us? Some tiny sliver of hope?"
    "Oh, baby," Jeff exclaimed, "I pray that there is!"
    "Don't get me wrong, Jeff — at best it's iffy — very iffy. We have a lot of things to work out — that is, if you even want to try. That's the big question."
    "Do you even have to ask that question? Of course I want to try. But," Jeff continued, "I do have to ask you a question. Can you ... will you ... forgive me, honey? For the awful thing I did. I'm so terribly, terribly sorry. From the bottom of my heart. I'm just begging for your forgiveness. Will you forgive me, sweetheart?"
    Angelica looked deeply into Jeff's eyes for a few moments before answering. "That's a complicated question, Jeff. At least it requires a complicated answer."
    "That's okay, honey, I can understand if...."
    "Shut up and listen, Jeff! For once keep your mouth shut! Even after talking to Mama last night, and after our little talk today ... I still can't forgive you. Not yet. But what I can do, Jeff, is to be willing to work toward being able to forgive you. Someday."
    Jeff responded with a wan but grateful smile. "Thank you, dearest," he said. "I can't ask for more than that."
    "It's even more complicated than that, actually," Angelica went on. "It's not really a matter of forgiveness but of trying to get around the whole darn situation. Can I ... we ... live with that situation? I mean, I want to have fully committed relationships with you and Mama! Is that possible in light of what happened between you and Mama?"
    "I see what you mean," Jeff allowed.
    "But let's suppose that I am able to forgive you someday. And let's suppose, too, that this situation sort of fades away. What about forgetting? Forgive and forget?" Angelica continued. "I doubt that, Jeff. No, I'll never forget. I couldn't! Besides, I don't want to sweep it under the rug. But I don't want to beat you over the head with it, either. At least not all the time," she smiled. "So," the buxom teenage beauty continued, "we've got to talk about it without getting into recriminations 'n stuff."
    "That sounds right to me," Jeff agreed.
    "The tough part," the gorgeous Latina went on, "will actually being able to steer a course between ignoring the problem and obsessing about it." Angelica started to giggle. "Hmm ... honestly, Jeff, not hitting you over the head with it when I get angry might be the toughest part of all," she laughed.
    "That's okay ... hit me over the head with it as much as you want," Jeff interjected with a smile.
    Angelica shook her head. "No, honey — that's not the answer, either. I think you'd like me to hit you over the head with it 'cause you feel guilty. You want me to punish you! But that wouldn't be healthy. Not for us! You see, I've gotta give up my anger but you have to be willing to give up your guilt. I think you're using your guilt as a way of dealing with the problem. You're just saying, 'All my fault,' and then curling up on the floor and giving up. That's no good. You've got to acknowledge you did wrong — boy, do you ever! — but then get beyond it to clean up the dirty messes you made. See, for you, honey, guilt is the easy way out just like for me, anger is my easy way out. We both have to throw away these crutches if there's gonna be any hope at all for us."
    Angelica sighed, her massive bosom heaving in the process. "Look, Jeff, if we both do our part, if we really, really work at it, we might — might! — be able to restore our relationship. I have my doubts — I really do — but it's possible. That means that we might — might! — have a future." The buxom teenager had an inquisitive, challenging look in her eyes. "At least some slim hope of one. Are you willing to go for that, Jeff? Willing to work hard — and I mean hard! — for that goal?"
    The young man shook his head in wonderment. "Man! That sounds complicated! Difficult, too!" Jeff paused for a moment. "Sounds like you've got this all figured out ... seems like you've given it a lot of thought!"
    "Sure have," Angelica admitted. "Like, I thought about it all last night and all of today as well."

And a whole lot of time before that, too, buster! Like, ever since I caught you and Mama in the act! I don't feel like admitting that, though. Not now, anyway. I'm not willing just yet to admit how much I still loved you even after what you'd done.

    "So it is difficult and complicated," Angelica explained. "But we could do it. The question is whether you're willing to give it a try, remembering that there are no guarantees it will ever work."
    Jeff looked into Angelica's eyes. "Willing to give it a try? To be back with the girl of my dreams? Angelica — from the bottom of heart, yes! Absolutely yes!"
    "Look, Bub," Angelica responded with a flash of anger," I'm not looking for some sort of flip answer just 'cause you want me back so much. No easy way out! I'm looking for an answer that really acknowledges how tough this is gonna be but then, on the basis of that understanding, means you're willing to give it a try anyway."
    Jeff paused for nearly a minute. He looked up with tears in his eyes. "Honey, I know how tough it'll be. I know it better than anyone. But I also know that it's not possible for one human being to love another person as much as I love you. Tough? You bet. Worth it? Baby, there can't be anything else in the world worth more than you ... than us! Let's go for it."
    "Oh, Jeff!"

By this time Jeff and Angelica were sitting thigh to thigh. She was continuing to caress his hand. Jeff couldn't stand it. He leaned down the necessary seven or eight inches and kissed Angelica gently on the lips.

Oh, God! He's kissing me! And I'm gonna kiss him back — I know it! I sure never had that in mind for this little over-and-out get together. I mean, I think the odds of getting back together are so long! Why am I letting Jeff kiss me then? Hmmm ... it sure feels great, though. Hmmm ... I suppose that if we're gonna to try and see if things could work again, there's gonna have to be some kissing. Probably lots of kissing. Other stuff, too. Hmmm ... maybe the thing to do is to go with the flow until we see how things are actually going between us. I do know this — if we keep our hands, not to mention other appendages, to ourselves, the chances of getting back together are zilch! Hmmm ... I guess I should just lean back, relax, and enjoy!

    Angelica didn't object. In fact, she parted her lips slightly in response. After about ten seconds, Jeff pulled back. It was such a sweet, sweet kiss!
    Angelica gently touched Jeff on the cheek. "That kiss tells me that we really might have a shot at it after all. Maybe even more of one than I had thought. Oh, Jeff — I've missed you so. But I don't want to sit here in the middle of town makin' out. Let's go somewhere 'n talk some more. We've got so much to work out!"

I think we just leapfrogged the Coffee Cup stage. Wonder if she'd go back to the house? Course, that's why I parked the car up there ... so that if things worked out well, we'd have to walk up there to get my car so I could give her a ride home.

    "How 'bout my place, honey? My parents are out of town. They took the Capitol Limited to Washington yesterday afternoon. My father's testifying at some Congressional hearing. Mom went along to keep him company. I dropped my car off at home before comin' down here so I could, you know, do some thinkin'? Give me some time ... to try 'n figure things out a little?" As much as he wanted to be honest with Angelica, Jeff reluctantly decided that one last little white lie was called for. He instinctively felt that the fragile state of their reconciliation required shading the truth a bit as to his true motive for walking uptown instead of driving. "That's why I was late — sorry about that — but we could just walk up there 'n talk 'n stuff on the way?" Jeff then engaged in a Significant Pause. "And then I could give you a ride home later?"

Hmmm ... sounds a lot like the good old routine! Well, why not? Like I said ... lean back and relax!

    Angelica smiled broadly and, for the first time in ages, without reservation. "I'd like that, Jeff."


Part Eleven
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