The Club

Story written by BetsyBaby on Tuesday 18, July 2006

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A teenage girl learns a life lesson the hard way

Overall Rating: 85%

This writing has been rated by 1 members, resulting in a rating of 85% overall. Below is a breakdown of these results:

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I wasn't ready. I'm not ready. I'll never be ready. Ready to join The Club. But then, sometimes we aren't given the chance to opt out. I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world when Joshua started flirting with me at the party that night. I mean he's only like the most popular guy in school. What girl wouldn't count her blessings to have his arm around her? I certainly figured that someone was smiling down on me that night. Unfortunately, things start to get fuzzy when I think of how much beer was being downed. I wasn't a heavy drinker; I'm still not. But Joshua was chugging Miller Lite like it was water, or even Diet Coke and I didn't want to seem like I wasn't part of the in-crowd, so I started drinking, too. It was stupid, so stupid, and I know that, but I just couldn't help myself. It didn't even taste that great. Sort of bitter with something else mixed in. I don't know what. It could have been dirt for all I knew about beer. After a few drinks Joshua, who had been ever so slightly kissing my neck whispered to me, ?how about we blow this joint? This place is getting stale.? It was bad enough that I was drinking in the first place, but the thought of driving someplace made me feel like I was going to throw up. ?Do you really think we should be driving?? I asked him. ?I mean, we've both had way too much and...? I trailed off. ?Well,? Joshua said, standing up and stretching, ?if you don't want to, maybe I'll just- ? ?Wait! Okay, okay, let's go. But I'm driving.? ?I love a woman who takes charge,? Joshua said with a little grin. ?I'm following you,? he said and we both left the party. It was cold outside that night, and it had quite a sobering effect on me. ?Where should we go?? I asked him. ?Well, how about my place? My parents are away this week at their beach house in Maui.? ?Your parents just up and left you by yourself?? I was incredulous. ?My parents would never have dreamed of doing something like that.? ?Sure,? he said lazily. ?Why not? I'm 17 now, I can certainly take care of myself.? ?But what about school? And after school? And what do you do at dinner time?? I was still shocked at this news. ?I have my driver's license and I can drive to school. And I know how to use the microwave. My parents go away every year. They take a week off, usually in February, and go to Hawaii. I don't mind at all; it gives me the whole house to myself.? ?My parents would never do something like that,? I heard myself saying. Because they know that my brother and I would fight the entire time. They can't leave us alone for five minutes.? I have a 13-year-old brother who is the biggest pest in the world. My mom tells me all the time that things will be better when we're adults, but I seriously doubt it. ?So,? Joshua said, ?let's get going.? The drive to his house took less than five minutes and when we got there, Joshua started fumbling in his pockets for his house key. ?I know its here somewhere,? he mumbled. He finally found his key in his back pocket. The house was impeccable. Not a spot of dust anywhere and very elegantly furnished. The foyer had a wooden deacon's bench on which sat several teddy bears in various themed outfits. ?My mom,? Joshua said, motioning to the bears, ?loves teddy bears.? ?So I see.? We walked through the dining room and living room into the tiny den. There was just enough room for a sofa, an end table and the television on stand in the corner. ?Have a seat,? Joshua said. ?You want something to drink?? The though of another beer made me want to puke. ?Anything that's not alcoholic,? I said. ?Diet coke okay?? He asked. ?Perfect.? Joshua backtracked to the kitchen. ?You want ice in it?? He called. ?Sure, thanks.? ?No problem. Here you go.? Joshua sat on the over stuffed couch and motioned for me to sit with him. ?So,? he said, ?what do we do now?? Something about the look on his face told me he already had a good idea what he was planning next. Sometimes when I think back on it, things go differently. We simply sit and talk and then I drive myself home. I try imaging how different my life would be right now if that was truly what had happened. Instead, Joshua started kissing me and I kissed him back. And honestly, I can say it just happened. First we were sitting on the couch, then we were lying on the couch. Then my shirt was off and Joshua was touching me. Part of my brain was screaming at me to stop and part of my brain was just along for the ride. I guess that was part I was listening to. Joshua had my pants off and his, too, and before I even really knew it was happening, it was over. We lay there in silence for what felt like an eternity, but was probably only a half hour or so. I rolled over and looked at him. He was staring off into space, but then he caught me looking at him. He smiled. ?I'd better not get a bad reputation now, you know.? I giggled. ?I should really go now,? I said. I started to get dressed. ?So soon?? Joshua asked. ?But the fun is just beginning.? ?Really,? I said, pushing away his roaming hands. ?My parents are home, and I'm sure they're wondering where I am right about now.? Joshua grinned again, ?Okay, if you say so.? ?So, I'll see you in school on Monday, right?? I hoped I didn't sound too hopeful. ?Sure thing,? Joshua said. He had his eyes closed already. I was sure he was drifting off to sleep. My parents were both sound asleep when I got home. I changed my clothes and got into bed. What was I thinking? I barely knew this guy. And now I would probably be the one who would end up with a bad reputation. On Monday, I tried to catch Joshua's eye in English class. He looked right past me, as though he'd never even seen me before. After last bell, we ran into each other in the lobby. ?Hey,? I said. He looked at me, with a lost, confused gaze. Then suddenly it dawned on him, and his face reddened. ?Oh, hi... Jill, right? What's up?? ?Yeah. Nothing. How are you?? ?I'm okay.? He looked away and hadn't looked back. ?Look,? he said hurriedly, ?Sorry about Friday night. I know it shouldn't have happened. Can we just forget it?? Forget it? Was he kidding? I looked at him carefully. He wasn't kidding. I stopped walking. ?Sure. It?s forgotten. What was it we were talking about?? ?Thanks, Jill. Listen, I really have to go. Practice starts in 10 minutes. I'll see you around though, okay?? ?Yeah, sure, okay. See you around.? And that, as they say, was that. It was a one night stand and it was over. But things are never really over are they? A few weeks later, rumors began to circulate through the school. I heard just rumblings at first. Nothing more than hallway chatters. The rumor was that a girl from school, Tina, had joined The Club. I was at my locker getting my jacket after school one day when my best friend, Rebecca, came up behind me. ?How about what they?re saying about Tina?? she asked me. ?I?m not sure what to think,? I said, slamming my locker shut. ?Is it really true?? ?Don?t know,? she said. ?But I haven?t seen her all week. I heard that her parents took her out of school. There?s a hospital somewhere upstate that specializes in... well, you know. From what I?ve heard she?s going to be there a while.? I looked at Rebecca. ?What?? she asked. ?What?s wrong?? ?Nothing. It?s just... Well, I didn?t know her all that well, but I just feel bad. Do you know how easily it could have been me or you?? ?Yeah, I know. But it wasn?t me or you. Don?t sweat it, okay?? ?I know, but still...? ?I know. It?s just creepy. Tina was always pretty popular, too. In fact, I heard that last year she and Joshua had a pretty heavy thing going.? I felt the color drain from face. ?Joshua?? I squeaked. ?Yeah. I heard that they got caught in the girl?s bathroom the night of the Junior Prom. Don?t know what they were doing in there, but I bet I could take a wild guess!? She winked at me. I tried to chuckle. ?Yeah, I can only imagine.? Tina and Joshua? If that was true then Joshua could be a member of The Club, too. I hadn?t spoken to him in nearly a month, but at that moment, I thought maybe he and I needed to catch up. The next morning I spotted Joshua at his locker. He was talking to Abigail, another girl from our class. She was holding her books and leaning against the row of lockers and grinning at Joshua. My mind was racing. I wanted to yell at her to run, run before it?s too late. I swallowed hard and walked up to them. ?Oh, hey!? Joshua said. ?Jill, this Abigail. Abigail, Jill.? I smiled brightly. ?Hi Abigail. Do you mind if I steal Joshua for just a minute?? Abigail looked at me suspiciously. ?Sure, I guess.? She turned to Joshua, ?So, after school, right?? ?Sure thing,? he smiled at her as she walked away. ?So, what?s up?? I wasn?t sure how or where to start. ?Look, I need to ask you something personal. And I need an honest answer, okay?? He looked at me closely for a minute. ?Okay, shoot,? he said. I took a deep breath. ?Well, I?m sure you?ve heard the rumors about Tina lately.? ?Oh, yeah, that?s really too bad,? he said. ?Well,? I said, ?I also heard that you and her were somewhat involved last year. Is that true?? He looked at me again. ?Yeah, actually it is true. But if you?re thinking that I... No, no, see that was last school year. There?s no way that...? he trailed off. ?Joshua, that doesn?t matter. That kind of thing can lay dormant in your body for years. Didn?t you pay attention to anything Ms. Schuster said in Health class?? ?Look,? he said visibly irritated, ?there?s nothing wrong with me. I?m not sick. I feel fine, really. There?s nothing to be worried about.? ?It?s too late. I?m already worried. And you should be, too. You really ought to get checked out.? I walked away from him, madder than ever. How could I be so stupid? How could he? Our Health teacher had mentioned the free clinic just outside of town several times in class. I think she meant it for girls who were afraid that they might be pregnant, but she had also said they do free blood testing for all sorts illnesses. The day I went, I was so terrified that I didn?t say anything to anyone, not even Rebecca, and she knew almost everything there was to know about me. Almost. I had never mentioned my night with Joshua. Rebecca had not been at that party because she?d been home sick with the flu. And because the whole thing turned out as icky as it had, I just never said anything to her. The young nurse at the clinic was very nice. Her name was Renee and she gave me an informational brochure that explained everything the blood samples would be tested for. Pregnancy, Chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and of course, the free ticket into The Club. She explained that the results would take about a week and she would be in touch. That was the longest week of my entire life. I couldn?t concentrate on anything. My mom thought I was coming down with a cold or something. I barely ate anything and I found my mind wandering all over the place, especially when I was in school. I saw Joshua and Abigail two more times, and each time, they had their hands all over each other. Abigail was making a huge mistake, but there wasn?t anything I could do about it. I got the phone call from Renee late on a Friday afternoon. My parents were both still at work and my brother was at hockey practice. ?Jill? It?s Renee. How are you doing?? ?Hi, Renee. I?m okay. So, what?s the good word?? ?Have you got a few minutes? There are some things we need to discuss.? ?Sure,? I said. ?What?s up?? ?Well, we have the results from your blood tests. The good news is you?re not pregnant.? ?Well,? I said. ?That?s a relief. What else?? ?Well, your counts are good and the platelet levels are within normal range. All of the tests came back negative except one.? My stomach felt like it dropped to about my knees and my mouth suddenly went dry. ?Which one?? I whispered. ?Jill, honey, you tested positive for HIV. We?d like you to come in for some follow-up tests and so we can monitor you. And anyone you?ve had sexual intercourse with should be notified, but we?ll leave that up to you.? ?Okay,? my voice was still barely a whisper. I made the appointment with Renee and hung up the phone. Well, rooty toot, guess who just joined The Club. I wasn?t ready, but then again, who ever is? Really, who ever is...? ##########

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