by David O. Sullivan
James sat in math class two seats behind Camille, wondering why he couldn't get the guts up to ask her out, and then figured she'd never want him anyway. He sucked in another deep breath. It didn't matter that he didn't pay attention to the professor; he knew math backwards and forwards, and the professor was repeating a point for another student.
Camille was awesome looking with long flowing light brown hair, an angelic round face and blue eyes, and smart too... a combination he found especially endearing. She was a take-charge type and far from wimpy or submissive. She was destined for a business career and would likely, at some point, take over her father's successful machine business.
They both intended to graduate early in January. James was smart and he fantasized the potential IQ of their kids. Shit. He couldn't even ask her out.
Class ended and the students flowed out. Camille drifted to the hall and Lincoln, or Linc, grabbed her from behind, spun her into his hold, and kissed her. She matched it and her hands drifted and squeezed his ass.
"I hate being in math class with you and we can't touch," she said.
"Yeah, damn college rules."
She stood 5'8" but Linc was way over six feet tall with bulging arms and thick legs and certainly on the handsome side. They walked off hand-in-hand and James seethed inside, wishing to be in Linc's place. He shook his head at his insecurity and lack of balls, thinking he'd be better off as a girl.
James headed to his small dorm room and cautiously entered to be sure his roomie didn't have another girl there. James hardly got laid but his roommate regularly had a line of girls visiting... on one occasion one of them laid James out of sympathy while the roomie watched.
He changed into his suit and tie and rushed to his part-time job at a local company. He loved business and had landed a sweet job where he was exposed to a lot of details and experiences, sure to give him a head start in a career after graduation.
Time flew and after work he dropped in at the dorm room, ate some leftovers in the fridge, and headed to the library after his roomie came back, intoxicated, with another girl who was on her way to being drunk. He took his roommate aside.
"Bruce, is she eighteen? Did you check her age? She's way intoxicated. This could turn bad for you later if she decides to claim rape. I'd take her home and come back and jack off."
"Just cuz you don't get laid enough don't mean you can rain on my parade."
"Dude, it's all over the news and Internet. You're stupid if you screw her. Flat out stupid." He left for the library, thinking of Camille, wishing he could get into her pants. He'd surely need to jack before bed.
He climbed the stairs to the sixth-floor reference section, found a table where he was alone, and spread his books out. He pushed his history text aside and might avoid it again. He hated history, or most of it, except for American history, which he excelled at. After two hours he stretched, stood, and stretched again. He got an energy bar from his backpack and took his time eating it and drinking berry juice, then got back to studying.
Thirty minutes later he heard, "Hi."
Lost in his work, he was startled but looked up. Was he fantasizing? Camille stood two feet away.
"You're James, right? We have like three classes together."
"Uh, yeah, math, history, abnormal psychology." He looked around. "Why are you here?"
"I come here to the reference floor because it's usually vacant. No distractions from others. You?"
"Same reason." He looked around again. "Um, I didn't think you knew my name."
She sat next to him. "You're sort of good looking, you're always polite, and you have a good reputation with girls... in other words you're not a jerk." She grabbed the last bite of his energy bar from where he left it on the table. "So, how are your studies going?"
He sat back. "Good except for history, which I hate."
"Oooooh, I love history, all of it. Why don't you like it?"
"It doesn't take to me. I think it hated me first. I felt lost the first day of class, but I need it to graduate." He cracked a bit of a smile, not believing he was having a private conversation with Camille.
They chatted for a while like old friends. She was so casual and nice and polite and open and friendly. She asked, "I hope it's okay that I ate your last bite. You hadn't touched it in a while."
"Yeah, I forgot about it." That meant she was watching him? Damn!
"I haven't eaten dinner yet. Been busy and I don't care for the cafeteria food. To blasť."
James perked up. "Uh, you're welcome to come back to my dorm room. I have a small refrigerator with left over salad, some veg with cheese sauce, and fettuccine Alfredo."
"From what restaurant?"
"I can't afford to eat out much. I made it. I love to cook. Small stove and cramped quarters there, but I can cook."
"Really. Is it okay? Do you have enough?"
"Enough for two unless my roomie got into it."
Camille walked aside James en route to his dorm room on campus. She wondered what it would be like. Her father always insisted she have a duplex with a decent yard, that he owned, for her campus housing and it was far bigger than she needed.
They chatted as they walked and she learned James was heading for an early graduation too. Aside from history, he was smart. He didn't work flipping burgers but in a business getting real experience. From what she gathered from other girls on campus, he didn't date much and tended to be on the quiet and shy side. He wasn't athletic and stood at her height of five-foot-eight.
James told her about his roomie and how he counseled him about the drunken girl. He embarrassed himself by telling a tale of how he had a crush on a girl in senior year of high school but she'd never go out with him, preferring older boys. Then at a party, he took her keys when she tried to drive drunk. He drove her to her apartment and undressed her to her bra and panties. She came on big time to him and wanted to screw but he said no, that she didn't want him sober so he wouldn't take advantage when she was drunk. Turns out he was right and she called him the next day to ask if they did it and she later told all the girls what a gentleman he was.
He laughed. "I don't think any other guy would have turned her down, but I knew it was wrong so I didn't do it."
"Wow. That was an honorable thing to do. I'm proud of you. So, did you go home and jack off?"
"What? You can't ask a guy that. Crap, I'm embarrassed." He glued his hands to his face.
She pulled him into her as they walked. "I'm sorry. Don't be embarrassed." She kissed the side of his head. "Did you?"
With his hands covering his face he mumbled, "Yes." They laughed. He let them into his apartment to find his roomie watching TV.
The roomie sat up. "Hey, do you need the place to yourself?"
"No, we're just going to finish the leftovers, unless you ate them?"
"No, the girl and I got burgers and fries."
"Where is she?"
He sighed. "I took your advice and took her home. Don't want to face a rape charge later."
"I'm proud of you." James got two plates out and bowls for salad. Turning to Camille he said, "I made the salad dressing from tomatoes and avocados, but I have no other dressing. Sorry." He plated food and put it in the microwave at a warm setting. They ate salad.
"Wow, James, this dressing is wonderful."
They chatted about life, philosophy, and food. When Linc came up, Camille said, "I broke up with him. He was too immature and bossy. He likes to run relationships like he runs the baseball team, he's the captain you know." She ate more. "And he didn't last long in bed and left after he came. Didn't know how to please a woman." James mumbled but she let it go. "I've never had good luck with guys. Never really been in love except high school freshman year and I think that's way too young for love." She finished her food about the same time as James did. "So, what did you mumble a minute ago?"
"Nothing. I, um, I forgot."
"No you didn't. If you tell me I'll help you with your history homework. If you keep avoiding it you'll get a crappy grade, far below your intelligence level."
"You'd tutor me?"
"Sure, why not. You're not a jerk and you cook well." She looked out the tiny window of the kitchen. "Not much of a view. So, what did you mumble? It's okay to tell me. I won't tattle to the Internet. I don't even have a Facebook page."
He swallowed and checked out the dorm ceiling. "You said Linc didn't know how to please a woman. I do. My mother was an old hippie and into sex. Since I was in high school she bought me books... books that women would read, and made me read them. She got me DVDs on sex and women masturbating and having sex and climaxing. She wanted me to know how to please a woman. She taught my dad. They still have sex." His face was red like a traffic light.
Camille smiled softly and pulled him into a gentle hug. "Oh, you have a great mom. Thank you for dinner. It was really good. Better than a restaurant. I eat out too much."
James pulled up to Camille's place and was in awe. It was in the neighborhood just west of campus, in an upscale area. Only nice cars and well-maintained homes, many were duplexes bigger than the home he grew up in. He felt out of place with his 1999 Chevy Metro. Camille opened the door before he could ring the bell.
"Doesn't your doorbell work?" He grinned at the joke.
"Silly boy, of course it does. Daddy makes sure everything works and works well." She took his jacket, hung it on a hook in a big closet, and asked, "Where do you want to study?"
"Um, I've never been here. I guess the kitchen table."
She led him past the expansive living room with a couch, love seat, and two recliner chairs. She wore tight pink sweats that showed off her fine figure and a whale necklace. There were real paintings on several walls and realistic looking artificial flowers in different vases. The walls were more than plain white and there was a skylight in the living room and another in the kitchen, which had professional grade equipment that James could swoon over.
"Wow, this is a really nice place and I love the kitchen."
"I don't cook. Too busy. Don't enjoy it."
"If you'd marry me, I'll do all the cooking." He slapped his face. "Duh, I don't know why I said that. I'm sorry."
"Didn't you mean it as a joke? Then it's a joke, duh. I'm not thin-skinned. I have a sense of humor." She winked and gave him a sideways hug. "Let's get to work. History. Your favorite subject. You love all history, and especially European history, right?"
"You're using positive psychology on me."
"Is it working?"
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