Chapter One: Prom Night.
“Jen you can’t be serious, you’re not missing out on prom.” Alex had turned on his little boy pleading strop act. Somewhere deep down he felt so bad for Jen not being invited to prom and if Ben would let him, he would take her himself, but Ben wouldn’t let him and no one else had asked her.
“Don’t be silly Alex, I’d only hate it, you know I can’t dance, I look awful in a dress...” she tailed off. All the excuses on the planet weren’t going to get around the fact that she desperately wanted to go and it wasn’t as if she were the ugliest duckling in the class, she was average, but Ben threatened any boy who looked sideways at her, and the whole school did as Ben Maxwell said, even the teachers.
“Which unlucky lady has your unwanted attention?” she teased playfully, they had known each other since kindergarten and were almost as good friends as Alex and Ben.
“Adele Lewis” said Alex, stifling a snigger. She playfully punched him in the shoulder, and they both laughed. Adele was the year 13 'easy girl' and they both knew why Alex was taking her, and as much as it caused a stab of jealousy in Jen’s heart, she knew there could and would never be anything between her and Alex, so the last thing she wanted was for him to take a girl to the prom he may actually fall in love with. She wouldn’t be able to handle that. Still, Jen felt bad for Adele. Adele hadn’t realised that sleeping with guys didn’t make them fall in love with you and she was already telling the whole school, that her and Alex were made for each other and how he knew that she was the one for him. Poor girl was in for a rude awakening. At least the pictures would be nice, Adele was a pretty girl, who in a year or two would be in a council house with a screaming baby and no idea who the father was. All coarsely bleached blonde hair, heavy make-up and huge breasts. Alex knew better than to make fun of anyone in front of Jen, she wouldn’t abide by it, she was far too kind, so he said nothing and they smiled. Jen looked down at her hands, to Alex it was such an endearing gesture she exhibited and he tucked a strand of frizz behind her ear. Ben chose that moment to enter and gave his death glare to the two of them. Jen was a little sick of it, Alex couldn’t even be nice to her any more without Ben getting irate. Nobody could be nice to her without Ben getting irate, and Jen was beginning to wonder if Ben just had a problem with her.
“Later Av." Ben said almost nastily, making the point that she was not needed, not wanted in his beautiful vicinity. Jen left, she didn’t have many female friends, as all the girls had ever used her for was to get close to Ben, from as young as she could remember. So she couldn’t have many female friends and she sure couldn’t have any male friends, so she had two friends, the two nerdy girls in the year, ‘Sally’ and ‘Leigh’. Even her social networking consisted of her parents, Sally, Leigh, Ben, Alex and people interested in Taekwondo, something else she was average at, but rather enjoyed. Ben naturally was a fourth Dan in Judo and she had been adamant she wasn’t going to the same class as him.
Prom night came, their mother took loads of pictures of Ben and uploaded them to her social networking page. She was so very proud of her son and rightly so, Ben was a straight A student, and if the governors of the school could have named the prom the Ben Maxwell – Alex McBride prom night, they would have done. The awards night had certainly been all about the two boys. Mrs Maxwell looked at her daughter who was sat on the bottom step watching her take pictures of Ben.
“Jen come and have a picture taken with your brother.” At that moment Alex opened the door and Jen was able to beat a hasty retreat up the stairs, Jen liked cameras about as much as they liked her, about average.
Ben was the last on the list to be collected in the limousine - the four of them had hired it between them. Ben wouldn’t lower himself to take a loose woman to the prom, he chose instead, Penelope Ashbridge, school prefect, straight A student, and fully developed young woman, who he would get lucky with, but wasn’t likely to give him a bad reputation or sexually transmitted disease in the process. Adele looked rather uncomfortable, albeit beautiful in her short ruby red prom dress. Alex wasn’t paying her any attention, in fact, one could be mistaken for thinking his date for the night was Ben as the two of them posed for pictures like a pair of male models. Penelope was decidedly keeping her distance from Adele, that was one society she did not covet, guilty by association, and remained by the front door looking almost terrified in her beautiful, sequined, full length gown.
Ben and Alex had chosen white tuxedos and trousers as their attire for the evening, with dickey bows and kerchiefs, for Alex ruby red and midnight blue for Ben, to match their dates gowns. Both of them knowing full well they would stand out in the crowd. Ben, wasn’t a philanderer, he was very selective about which ladies he was associated with, and his last girlfriend had been a college student, even
though he had barely turned sixteen when they met. Lindsey at eighteen had her own car and drove Ben to school she, however, had got annoyed that he was taking another girl to prom and had given him an ultimatum, the prom or her? Jen didn’t want to think of Ben as cold, but the truth of the matter is that he was.
The prom party left and Jen went back to re-reading Tolkien. Somewhere in the night she started crying and cried herself to sleep. She vaguely heard Ben come in and registered the time as a little after one in the morning. She registered Alex’s voice too, but no girls. No doubt Alex would dish the dirt the following day and it would be all round the school on Monday what a tramp Adele was. All the girls loved both boys and in very different ways, both boys had a stinking attitude toward girls. Jen couldn’t understand why, their parents had been married for twenty years and their father treated their mother with the utmost respect, as did Alex’s parents who, although not married, were an immensely strong couple.
“Dirty bitch,” she heard Alex say, then there was a retching sound.
Ben was cussing under his breath, telling Alex to stand still. “There’s no way the tailors are going to accept this back in this state.” Ben pronounced. “What were you thinking having sex with her, you in a white suit and she on her period?”
“I didn’t know!” Alex protested, continuing to retch. Ben told him to take his clothes off and get in the shower, while he tried to get the blood out. Alex didn’t have the stomach for it. Ben made his way downstairs and put the washing machine on, Jen followed him down to see if there was anything she could help with. He was stood with his back to the washing machine.
“How’d it go?” Jen asked politely.
Ben looked at the clock on the wall then back at his sister narrowing his eyes as if trying to decide if she were stupid. “It’s nearly two in the morning, I am here ‘sans woman’, washing another woman’s menstrual blood out of my best friends white hired suit, how do you think it went?” he gestured with his hands as if to say, obviously not very well. Jen could see he had it all under control, as he always did. There was a stain devil for blood in his hand, the suit would be good as new in the morning, she shrugged her shoulders and returned upstairs.
Alex was coming out of the bathroom as she reached the landing, he had obviously just had a shower, as he wore only a towel round his waist and his hair was dripping wet. He shook his hair and soaked Jen, which had obviously been his aim. She cussed at him. He put his arms around her, “Oh Jen if only all women were like you...” at which Ben miraculously appeared at the top of the stairs and pushed Alex into his room, giving Jen the sideways death glare as he did. Alex was obviously worse for wear, so he could be excused for that behaviour, Jen hadn’t controlled the situation, ergo, it was her fault.
Jen went back into her room, fantasising about the singular most sexiest thing she had ever seen - Alex dripping wet in a towel. His smooth toned slender chest, slight six pack, and the little trail of dark brown hair leading down from his navel. She was still a woman, even if she were a virgin, she had matured the same as every other woman she knew, she just didn’t make a spectacle of it, or herself. And what had Alex meant? If only all women were like her? Teasing her again no doubt.