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The Eclectic Pen - Any Ghoul Will Tell You Part 1

By: Paul A. (paularonson)  
Date Submitted: 4/26/2010
Genre: Teen & Young Adult » Series
Words: 2,565

  Any Ghoul Will Tell You


My name is Sophie and I just want to meet a boy with good manners and a reasonable degree of intelligence. I don’t know why I keep meeting all the losers. I mean, why do all the boys at my school have to be vampires, werewolves, or just plain dead? Don’t get me wrong, they are still cute and all, but when one’s skin turns pasty in the moonlight, or they suddenly have more hair on their face than my dad, I have to draw the line.
Take Stephen for instance. He is so dreamy and on the football team. Girls fall all over him just trying to get his attention. They would feel differently about him for sure if they knew he wears more make up than a TV evangelist’s wife. I found out by accident myself. The tragic part was that it was during my first ever date. I had waited for years until my mom finally relented and let me go on my first date without a chaperone. She did give me a break I guess, as she said I couldn’t date until I was sixteen. I was fifteen and ten months at the time, so thanks Mom.
I couldn’t believe Stephen actually asked me out. I also couldn’t believe I didn’t pass out on the spot. Damn, he was gorgeous. Never mind the fact that his girlfriend Brooke had been sick with strep for over a week. Maybe in his vanity and high school celebrity he felt he just had to be seen with somebody. That was fine. I was just glad he wanted to be seen with me, plain old Sophie Rose Doyle.
There’s nothing real special about me. I’m just your average looking girl. In that I mean, I think I’m too fat, I can’t do anything with my hair, and I can never get my eyeliner to look the same over both eyes. Oh man, I hate that too. I wish I could get my makeup perfect like my Mom. She always looks flippin’ beautiful. Of course, she spends hours locked up in her room “fixin’ herself”, as she calls it. But every time she comes out that door, it’s whoa supermodel! Well, except one time, she came out and her makeup was all smudged and then out came dad behind her. There were streaks of makeup on his face and lips where I assumed he had been kissing all over her. How disgusting… Believe me, no girl wants to picture her parents making out. Gross, man.
But anyway, back to Stephen. I was in the cafeteria line trying to decide which would be more health conscious, pizza or hot dogs, when I noticed he was right next to me in line. He gave me that dreamy smile of his, winked, and said something like, “Hiya Doyle.”
I prefer everyone call me Sophie, but he could call me butterscotch booboobutt and I wouldn’t have cared. I was so nervous all I could mutter was a quiet “hi.” I’m surprised he even heard me.
“What you doing this weekend?” he asked.
I turned around to see if he was talking to someone else in line. “Me?”
“Yeah you, Doyle.”
I must have blushed because he laughed. “No need to become a rainbow,” he said with a grin. “It’s just a simple question.”
“Nothing I g-g-uess,” I managed to stammer.
“Good. I was wondering if you might like to go to the point with me?”
I nearly dropped my tray. The Point is not only a popular swimming hole, it also happens to be an infamous make out spot.
“The point? With you?”
“Uh duh, yeah. I don’t want to swim alone. Brooke is sick and I thought you looked like you might like swimming.”
It’s more like I looked like someone who would sink straight to the bottom, but I smiled anyway.
“Yeah, I like swimming.”
“Cool. You want to go then?”
“Great, I’ll pick you up noon Saturday. We’ll go get us something to eat first.”
I had managed to keep moving down the cafeteria line and had now reached the end. My hands were clutching my tray so tight my knuckles were turning white.
“You mean like a date?”
“Well, uh yeah, a date.”
“I’m not allowed to go on dates.”
He frowned. “Oh.”
“Unless an adult is there, “ I quickly added.
Then he laughed. “Well that kind of defeats the purpose of a date.”
I smiled. “Yes it does.”
“Too bad you can’t date. It would have been fun.”
“I can ask my Mom,” I quickly added. “I’ll be sixteen in a few months. That’s when she says I can date.”
“Ok. Let me know tomorrow,” he said, walking off to join his friends, who were sitting at their usual table and watching our conversation with interest.
I just stood there watching him walk away. He looked just as good from the back as he did from the front. Oh man, did I say that out loud?

Mom wasn’t crazy about the idea of me going out. She had a whole list of reasons. One: I wasn’t old enough to date. Two –the boy was a football player, which in her mind was about the same as if he were a serial killer. Three – she had never met the boy and made it clear she wasn’t upset about it Four- see reasons 1-3.
After much discussion, -which amounted to me saying “please” over and over so much that it sounded like I was saying “peas” after the hundredth time- she finally relented and said I could go out. But only under one condition. We couldn’t go to the point. My mom, the friggin mind reader. I hadn’t even said where we were going.
“If I find out you’ve been to the point with this boy, you won’t date again until you’re 22.”
What could I do? I had to agree. Of course I was sure once I told Stephen the point was off limits he would just decide to take someone else. After all, I knew he really wasn’t that interested in me; he just wanted a swim buddy.
The next day at school I gave him the news. I was surprised when he just looked at me and said, “Well, you can still go out to eat with me, right?”
“Cool. Pick you up at noon Saturday. Maybe we can go to the movies afterwards or something.”
I didn’t know what to say. Images were flooding my head about going to the movies with Stephen. The image of “or something” was nice, too.
“See you then?”
“Yes,” I replied, grinning ear to ear as if I were a cat who just ate her favorite mouse.
“Later Doyle,” he said. And once again I watched him walking away from me. I thought I was going to need a drool cup.

Saturday couldn’t arrive soon enough. I went through the week with visions of Stephen dancing in my head, Stephen holding my hands, Stephen whispering in my ear, Stephen kissing me…all the dreamy things I longed for him to do. I know it was silly for me to entertain those ideas. Even if he was looking for a substitute for his sick girlfriend, I couldn’t imagine myself fitting the bill.
Finally the day came – Saturday 12 Noon. I think Mom was just as glad as I was. She said I was driving her crazy.
Stephen was a perfect gentleman. He parked the car in front of the house perfectly, walked up the front steps perfectly, and even won my mother over perfectly. By the time introductions were over I think she was ready to go out with him herself.
Before we left she said, “Remember what I told you.”
“Yes Mom,” I sighed.
We went to Dana’s Diner, a local burger shop that I think has been around since the war of 1812. We sat down in a booth and ordered our food. While we were waiting he kept staring at me so much I thought may be I needed to go to the drug store and get some Clearasil.
“What?” I finally asked.
He smiled. Reaching across the table he took my hand in his. I thought the room was going to start spinning on me.
“I’ve never noticed before just how pretty you are, Sophie.”
Not Doyle. He called me Sophie this time. My heart started pounding so loudly I’m surprised he didn’t ask where the jackhammer was coming from. But instead of taking the compliment the way a lady would, I tried to argue with him.
“No, I’m not pretty.”
“Don’t be so shy,” he said. “Just smile, nod your head and say thank you.”
He could have told me to jump on the table and do a polka and I probably would have done it for him. Instead I just smiled, nodded my head, and said thank you.
Our food came and he let go of my sweaty hand. I noticed something on my skin where he had touched me. it looked a lot like foundation. Was he wearing makeup? Perhaps he had stopped at his girlfriend’s house before picking me up and they had gotten all touchy feely. No, I didn’t want to think about that. I wanted to think that today his mind and heart were all on me. Before I could dwell on it any longer I noticed he was already starting to eat. I thought it kind of rude the way he just dug in without saying a thing. Mrs. Shandi, my home tech teacher, says the perfect gentleman always waits for the lady to take the first bite. But it wasn’t that he took the first bite that truly bothered me, it was the way he was eating it. You’ve heard of people chewing loudly? Well, Stephen sounded like an ogre feeding on a plate of hapless children. Groaning, growling, and chomping quite loudly, I was almost embarrassed to be sitting across from him.
“Hungry?” I asked.
He stopped short and looked up at me. A piece of meat dangled from his lips and I couldn’t help but giggle. He reminded me of a dog who while eating had just been told there was dessert too. Quickly, he composed himself and finished chewing his food. He wiped his mouth with a napkin.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I haven’t been feeling myself lately with Brooke being sick and all.”
I sat there with my mouth hanging open. Not because of what he said, but because when he had wiped his mouth a piece of his bottom lip had come off with it. He must have known something was wrong from my expression, and he quickly looked into his napkin.
“Oops, I hate when that happens.”
He pulled a piece of flesh from his napkin and stuck it back on his lip. It didn’t quite stay, so he took it, licked the back of it, and stuck it back on his lip. It stuck this time, but this had to be the most disgusting thing I’d ever seen. I mean I’d seen people lick their lips before, but not so they could stick it back on their face.
Stephen looked at me nervously and smiled. I knew he could see the revulsion on my face.
“Puberty,” he tried to explain.
“Uh Stephen, puberty doesn’t involve your lip falling off.”
“It’s advanced puberty.”
I rolled my eyes and then looked right at him. “You’re sick too, aren’t you? You caught whatever it is Brooke has.”
“No she has something different.”
“What does she have then?”
He looked away from me. “She has my heart.”
I couldn’t believe he came out and said something like that. “I don’t need to hear this. This is supposed to be our date, which means you shouldn’t talk about any girls except the one sitting in front of you.”
“No really, she has my heart.”
This date was turning out horrible. It was bad enough a part of his lip had fallen off, but now hearing him gush about Brooke..well, that was just too much for me. I know Brooke was his girl and all, and maybe I was just a substitute because she was sick, but still he should have been respectful enough to make me the focus of our date.
“I think I want to go home now,” I said.
“Sophie, please you don’t understand…”
I stood up. “I’ll call my mom to come get me.”
“You should see someone about your lip problem. I think it may need stitches. And you should go see Brooke abiut your heart, because it’s obvious you don’t have one.”
He opened his mouth to say something, but I didn’t wait around to hear it. I was mad and upset, and nothing he could say would make it any better. So I left him sitting there and went to the pay phone to call mom. She wasn’t surprised to hear from me.
“Turned into a jerk, has he?” she asked.
“Something like that. He said some other girl had his heart. Can you come get me?”
“Sure Honey, be there shortly.”
After hanging up, I realized I hadn’t told her where I was. I tried to call back but the phone just rang and rang.

2009. Paul D. Aronson.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Paul A. (paularonson)

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Comments 1 to 4 of 4
Julie N. - 5/4/2010 7:30 AM ET
This is hilarious! Rock on . . .
Michal W. (Princess101) - 5/9/2010 1:55 PM ET
I love this story! make a sequel!
Helene R. - 5/14/2010 2:56 PM ET
Fun read. Keep going!
ashlynnjames - 9/6/2010 11:47 PM ET
Very nice start to the story. Hopefully, you will continue. I definately would like to see where this story leads.
Comments 1 to 4 of 4