There was a tap at the door. Colby peered through the peephole, it was the FedEx guy, Everett. He opened the door.
"Yay, my phone! Thanks, man. You're working late, aren't you?"
"Not really. Since this was the last package of the night, I brought it by on my way home." Everett lived in the same complex, the next building over.
"Thanks, man. You want a beer?"
"I have to get home. It's our fifth anniversary. Got us a sitter and gonna take my lady out."
"Cool. Have fun. And tell Dina I said happy anniversary."
"Will do." He waved and trotted over to his building.
Delighted to have his phone again, Colby tore open the package. He was able to salvage the SIM card from his old phone and immediately accessed his text messages. There were seven, two each from Stan and Gavin and three from Avery. He looked at these first.
"Sorry," she said in one message. The next was a series of silly faces. The third was simply an emoji of a phone.
Colby took that as a hint for him to call. He dialed her number, waiting for it to ring.
"You got your new phone!"
"Yeah, about five minutes ago. Everett brought it by on his way home."
"That was nice of him. I'm sorry I was such a freak earlier."
"Not a problem. I pushed and I shouldn't have."
"No, it's okay. A girl likes a little bit of pushing...." Her voice drifted away. "Growing up sucks."
Her complete change of subject caught him off guard. Colby paused a moment, trying to figure out if she wanted a reply.
"Yeah, it does." His own youth hadn't been terrible, but it hadn't been stellar either. "Everyone has problems, Ave. Some are worse than others."
"I was lucky, though. I had you. You don't know what that's meant to me. I could always count on you. Even if there were other girls from time to time—I mean, I get it. I wasn't in a place where I wanted a boyfriend. I wanted to be one of the guys. Because being a boy meant safety. My dad wouldn't have beaten a boy. And Mr. Polk wouldn't have—he wouldn't have tried anything with a boy."
"And a boy could fight back better than you and your mom."
"Yeah. I really like you, Colby. Oh, hell—I love you. And I want to—to be—with you. It's just...."
"It's just that you're not ready for the wild humping, huh?" he chuckled.
"Idiot. But yeah. I want other stuff—the kissing was—nice."
"Just nice? I think I'm offended. I brought my A game. Those were my prime moves."
"More than just nice." Her voice softened. "And it does do something to me when you kiss me," she whispered huskily.
"Oh yeah?" He let his voice drop to a whisper too. "Like what?" he teased.
"It makes me wet."
Avery hung up so suddenly, Colby jumped, nearly dropping his phone. Stunned, he flopped onto his back, staring at the stains on the ceiling. His thoughts spun out of control. He was still trying to figure out the dynamics of the conversation when his phone rang. It was Gavin.
"So, how did it go?" he asked as soon as Colby answered.
"Not bad, I guess. Kind of confusing. But pretty good."
"Okay—clarified it—not at all."
"I'm still trying to figure it out. When I do, I'll let you know."
"Start by telling me what happened after you left."
"I went to Avery's and gave her the game time."
"I kissed her."
There was a stunned silence.
"I'm here," was the choked reply. "Kissed—like Kissed?"
"Lips meet, tongues dance—yeah. And she showed me her tits. Well, she had her shirt on—"
"Should you have told me—any of that? I swear, I'm scarred for life. I heard tits."
"She's a girl. Do you expect her not to have breasts?
"I know she's a girl, somewhere under all that baggy shit. So, did you cop a feel?"
"Chill, bro. You brought it up. I could've gone my whole life not knowing that."
There was another pause.
"So, were they nice?"
"I'm not going to discuss Avery's assets."
"They're assets now, not breasts?"
"Excuse me for not talking about my girlfriend's chest with my perv friend."
"Your WHAT? Dude, if you're jerking me around, I will fucking kill you in your sleep."
"That came up after she showed me her—um.... Yeah."
©2021 Dellani Oakes