Terry Belcher’s hands were wet with perspiration as he nervously thought about his high school’s homecoming dance, which was scheduled to take place in less than a week. A senior at Cardinal Worthy High School in Scranton, PA, Belcher was determined to attend since this was the big fall event for his graduating class. Terry had planned to ask his good friend Lisa Brooks to the dance but was taken by surprise when she told him that she had “other plans” for the weekend. Other plans? What the hell did that mean? A few days later, the shy, introverted boy would finally learn that Lisa was seeing someone at another school. It was a twist he was not expecting and as a result, he was left with the task of determining who he should ask. This was assuming of course, that he would eventually get the balls to do that. His “easy option” of asking Lisa was off the board and now the quiet17 year old was in a panic.
Terry’s best friend Bob Scharno patiently paged through their junior yearbook as Terry looked at the girls in the Class of 2016. They were only in the B’s when Bob pointed at Karen Beumont.
“Here you go. You know Karen.”
Terry sighed as he looked at the young girl’s picture. “Um, I don’t know….”
“She has a nice rack.”
“A nice rack. T–s. Boobs, if you prefer. Breasts, if you want to be politically correct.”
“Scharno, am I supposed to pick a girl out based on her, on her boobs??” Belcher was embarrassed and worked hard at saying the word “boobs” since all the other options before him seemed so much worse.
“Amy Henderson says that Karen’s are a 36C.”
“Jesus Bob, can we just move on.”
Scharno grinned as he continued to page through the yearbook. He stopped again, this time in the M’s.
“Wow, Sue Mahoney. I’ve watched her walk down the hall at school. Man, she really has a nice….”
Belcher cut him off. “Good God Bob, don’t say it. Please….”
Belcher squirmed and sighed as he put his head into his hands.
“Sorry Terry. I was just trying to lighten things up.”
Belcher shook his head as he looked at his best friend. “Karen and Sue are WAY out of my league. They already have boyfriends. I need realistic advice. They would NEVER go out with me.”
Bob Scharno shook his head as he replied. “Karen and Sue’s boyfriends don’t have a full academic scholarship to Darmouth for next fall…”
Terry’s reply was quick and was given without any thought. “Girls don’t give a F–K about that.”
Scharno’s face showed immense surprise as he considered the comment. “Wow ! That’s the first time I ever heard you use the f-word.”
Belcher turned red as he realized what had slipped out. “Bob, I’m just in a panic over all of this…”
“OK. Let’s regroup. Who would you like to take out.”
“That’s not an option.”
“So who else would you like to go out with.”
Belcher couldn’t come up with any names. As he sat on the couch pondering the question, Bob Scharno finally offered a new name.
“How about Ashley Campbell?”
Belcher froze as he considered the name. Ashley Campbell. The slender blonde would normally be someone that Terry would never consider asking. But the girl had recently shown an interest in talking to him. He originally wrote this off as just being a sign that she was mentally ill. But after the girl had talked to him a THIRD time in study hall, he started to wonder if maybe, just maybe, she was kind of interested in him.
“Um, do you, you know, um, do you think she would go out with me?” Belcher started sweating again.
“Absolutely. Unless she’s an idiot.”
Belcher cleared his throat as he replied to Bob Scharno. “Um, OK. I’ll think about asking her on Monday.”
“No. Not good enough.”
“You need to call her right now.”
“YOU SHITTING ME???” Belcher looked like a man facing impending death.
Bob Scharno ignored the curse and instead focused on the mission. “No, I am not shitting you. Get on the phone and call her now.”
“God Bob, I think I’m going to wet myself…..”
Scharno restrained himself from laughing. “Then go to the bathroom first and then call her.”
Belcher was in a daze as he listened to the phone ring. Was he actually doing this or was this a dream??
“Hello?” Ashley Campbell had answered the phone. Oh God, there was no turning back now.
“Um, hi…. hi Ashley. This is Terry Belcher.”
There was a short pause as Ashley seemed shocked by the phone call. “Terry? Wow, hi. It’s good to hear from you. What’s up?”
In Terry’s mind he was replying “my blood pressure”, but he quickly put that sarcastic reply out of his head.
“Um, um, I was kinda wondering. You know, just kind of wondering if you, um, you know, if you might like to go to the homecoming dance with me on Friday.” The boy with a 760 score on his SAT verbal couldn’t put a coherent sentence together.
There was a pause before Ashley finally replied. “Wow. Um, well…”
Belcher didn’t wait for the answer. “I know that this is very, um, very, um short notice. So I understand if you can’t go with me.”
Ashley laughed lightly as she realized how nervous and embarrassed the young boy was. “Well, Terry, I was just going to say that I’d love to go to the dance with you.”
“I said yes, I want to go to the dance with you.”
Belcher was at a loss for words. “Um, wow. Um, ok. That’s great.”
“So when will you pick me up on Friday?”
Friday came quickly. Terry Belcher drove his older brother’s Camaro over to the Campbell’s house to pick up Ashley. He was expecting to have to talk to Ashley’s parents for a while since girls are never ready on time. But to his surprise, Ashley answered the door.
“Hi Terry ! All set?”
Belcher didn’t realize that the comment had come out. He was too taken by Ashley’s appearance. The girl was drop dead gorgeous. The light makeup and blush on her cheeks accented her face well. A black “Hard Rock Café” t-shirt and sleek black jeans rounded out her appearance.
“Um, wow. You look great.”
The girl giggled while Belcher went to the car to open the door for her. He now wished that he had brought his asthma inhaler along. He didn’t need it very often but he sensed that he might need it tonight.
Panic set in for Belcher as the couple reached the dance. Terry was an inexperienced dancer and was now starting to fret about what to do. Ashley sensed the nervousness in the shy boy and simply suggested that he “follow her”. Well, that helped.
“Just put your arms around me.” Belcher understood the suggestion but was struggling with it since Ashley’s entire body seemed to be flashing “do not touch”. He eventually put his arms around her upper back with his hands finally resting on her shoulders. He sighed as they danced to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking out Loud”.
As the dance continued, Ashley reached up and took hold of Terry’s left hand. She guided the hand off her shoulder and onto her back. Terry thought that she might just be interested in holding his hand but as he would soon find out, she had other thoughts. Slowly, the girl guided Terry’s hand down her back. Belcher turned red as his hand traveled over the back of her bra and down, down her back. Good God, where was she taking it? At first, he thought the trip would end at the middle of her back but she continued on. Next, he thought that his hand would be placed on her waist but she went further. “Oh God, she is going to place my hand on her….backside.”
That was not to be. Instead, Ashley took Terry’s hand into “no man’s land”, the area in between a girl’s waist and her butt. She then returned her right hand to the middle of Belcher’s back.
Using his strong analytical skills (Belcher had a 710 on his SAT Math score), Terry realized that he was expected to put his other hand in the same general location. So Terry’s right hand made the same trip down Ashley’s back to “no man’s land”. Belcher once again had a strong reaction as his second hand went over the back of Ashley’s bra. The fact that Terry didn’t have bladder failure during all of this was a testament to the great bladder function that all members of the Belcher family possessed.
The danced moved on and, over time, Terry started to finally get enough nerve to move those hands to where he was sure Ashley really wanted them. Just a short distance down to “the prize”, Terry was convinced that it was now or never.
Just as Terry was finally ready to make his move, he noticed with horror that Mr. David Miller, a teacher chaperone for the dance, was glaring at him. At least he thought the man was glaring at him. And David Miller was no ordinary teacher. It was David Miller who had written a letter of recommendation to Dartmouth College stating that Terry Belcher was a young man of “high moral character” and “worthy of the Dartmouth Presidential Scholarship”. Now it appeared that Mr. Miller was seeing his young protégé getting ready to grab some girl’s a-s.
Belcher stopped in his tracks as he looked back at Miller. The look felt like it went on for several minutes but Terry knew that it had to be much shorter. Finally, the man moved on and made no comment at all to the h—y teen. But the moment had been broken and Terry was now finding that he was not inclined to try to make the move after all. The boy’s conscience and Catholic upbringing were finally winning out. D–n teachers.
As the dance continued and as things moved on, Ashley suddenly dropped her head down to Terry’s shoulder. She rested her head there and continued dancing. “Holy crap, she is either getting tired and needs a nap or she is trying to seduce me.” Belcher was convinced it was likely the latter and that was OK with him. Assuming of course, that he didn’t have heart failure in the process.
As Belcher and Campbell danced to the Michael Bubble song “Home”, Terry could softly hear Ashley singing along. The girl had a good voice, well actually an excellent voice. And Terry started to feel guilty as he realized that she was just enjoying the song and probably wasn’t on the verge of jumping his bones. It was just his hormones getting the better of him.
Terry was disappointed when the dance finally ended. The evening had been wonderful and was easily the highlight of high school.
“I’m sorry the dance is over Ash.” Where the hell did “Ash” come from? He never had called Ashley that before.
The teens walked up the stairs from the school gym to the Camero and drove off towards Ashley’s house. The moonlight framed the young girl’s face and made her look angelic as Terry took the long way to her house.
“Stop by the mailbox.”
Belcher was confused. He was planning to drive up Ashley’s driveway and escort her to her house. “OK.”
Terry turned off the car as he parked beside the Campbell’s mailbox at the end of the driveway. As he turned to talk to Ashley, the young girl lightly grabbed his head and moved in toward his face. Before he could even comprehend what was happening, the girl was kissing him lightly on his lips.
“I really had a good time Terry.”
Belcher stammered but somehow managed to reply “me too.”
They talked for a few minutes before Ashley gave him a final, short, goodbye kiss. And with that, the girl scampered up the drive and into her house.
“Holy s–t,” thought Belcher as he watched Ashley disappear into the night. “I don’t think Dartmouth can top this….”