An Excerpt from
At fifteen and a virgin, Carlos Amoroso wanted more than anything
to get a girlfriend--and hopefully get laid.
Yet he broke into a sweat and lost his breath anytime he went near
a girl. Like now: He carried his tray across Lone Star High's crowded
cafeteria, peering out from beneath his frayed hood sweatshirt. Ahead
of him, a group of golden-skinned beauties garnished their hot dogs
at the condiments counter, chatting and giggling.
In the center of the pack stood Roxana Rodriguez. With each laugh,
her clingy top slinked up her bare slim midriff from hip-hugging jeans.
Long, shading lashes fanned her jade green eyes. Thick eyebrows arched
like wings of an angel. Above her ruby lips rose the graceful nose
of an Aztec princess. And long, blonde-streaked hair curtained across
her shoulders toward her mesmerizing boobs. She was the girl Carlos
For her part, however, Roxy didn't seem to even notice Carlos-and
since starting high school the previous year he'd yet to summon the
nerve to utter a single word to her. But in his secret dreams, the
JV cheerleader swarmed all over him.
"I totally want you," she panted, making such crazy love
to him that his heart nearly burst.
The day after such reveries he usually slinked past her, his head
down, a little hung over with embarrassment. But in last night's dream,
the vision of her tearing his pants away had seemed so real it startled
him awake. And he'd resolved that today he'd give her his screen name.
During morning classes, he'd turned the scribbled notepaper over in
his damp fingers, rehearsing what he'd do: He'd stride straight up
to her, jut his chin out, and say, "'S'up? Here's my screen name.
Simple. Clear. Confident. Except
First, he glanced over at
his lunch table to make sure his friends weren't watching. Then he
took a deep breath and jostled his tray through the cafeteria crowd
toward the sophomore girls.
"He's not getting into my pants," a girl in a leopard-print
top said, "but I might get into his."
"I know." Roxy leaned her hot dog across the condiment counter,
one chrome-studded jean hip thrust out. "Guys can get so needy
when you start dating them."
Carlos wasn't sure what Roxy meant. He knew she wasn't dating anyone.
He'd asked around. Everyone confirmed Roxy was single. He quickly
pulled the folded notepaper from his sweatshirt pocket, his breath
quickening. He stretched out his hand, mumbling, "Um, 's'up?
Here's my screen
But she didn't hear him as she stroked the ketchup pump up and down,
protesting with a sly smile to her friends: "I can't get it to
Alongside her, a girl with cherry-red lipstick burst into giggles.
"If anybody can, you can."
"Yeah," Leopard Girl agreed. "Try talking dirty to
Carlos recognized his chance to become Roxy's hero. Yet he didn't
want to become the butt of the girls' joke.
Too late. Roxy's eyes latched onto him, as if he really was her hero.
"You're a guy. Show us how you do it!"
The other girls darted conspiring glances, grinning and giggling.
" Carlos put his trembling tray
down and wrapped his fingers around the pump nozzle. "You just--"
"Mmm, muscles!" Roxy squeezed her fingertips around Carlos's
biceps, shooting bright, unexpected heat arrows up his arm. The blood
raced in his arteries. Sweat burst from his pores. His body quivered.
And a spurt of ketchup shot out sideways from the unclogged pump,
striking the front of his jeans. Splat!
"Oh, my God!" the girls exploded into peels of laughter.
"You must do that a lot," remarked Leopard Girl.
"I'm surprised he hasn't gone blind," squealed Lipstick
"Nice technique." Roxy smiled as she ketchuped her hot dog.
Then the group strode away, laughing and whispering.
Carlos's heart crumpled like the notepaper he shoved back into his
sweatshirt pocket. Not only had he failed to give Roxy his screen
name, he'd made a complete fool of himself. How would he ever get
her to like him?
But at least she'd talked to him. And with that encouraging thought,
he lowered his tray to cover the splotch on his crotch and headed
toward his friends' table.
Read the rest, starting Oct 2006 - wherever
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