Episode 17 – Doubts
Hadley, her campers and I finish picking up the last of the storm debris…don’t talk much. Knowing Hadley hung with Lowell is an incredible turn-off…makes me worry our relationship’s doomed…can’t get it out of my mind! Maybe that’s why Lowell hates me so much…because he wants Hadley back and I’m a cock blocker.
“You okay?” She asks. “You’re awfully quiet.”
“Yeah, fine,” I mumble. Realize I’m acting cold, but can’t help it. Doubts are worming into my brain.
“Wanna get together later?” She obviously senses something’s changed…never needed to ask before.
“Okay,” I say without looking. Why am I suddenly being an asshole? She didn’t do anything so terrible…I just can’t help it. How could she like a guy like Lowell? Christ!
As I walk to my cabin, more doubts surface. Know Hadley and I are interested in similar stuff, but she’s used to the super-prep crowd….although that’s not fair. There are preppies…and then there are real, disgusting preppies. No way we’ll stay friends if it’s the latter…wonder if we’d be friends if we were at the same snotty school. Shit! The doubt’s killing me!!!
I think of Courtney…Hadley’s best friend. Okay, she’s somewhat preppy, but down to earth as they get…they wouldn’t be friends if Hadley didn’t have good judgment about people.
Suddenly, I wonder if Hadley fucked Lowell…a nauseating thought! If she did, and it wouldn’t be surprising, I’ll probably never be able to get it up with her…just knowing he’s had his junk in there. Ugh!
Decide to skip dinner…just sit in my cabin and sulk like a fucking baby…it’s not like me…usually. What if I’m just Summer amusement for her…an experiment with an ethnic guy, but that doesn’t make sense. Every school’s multi-cultural now! Thoughts spin round and round and I lose track of time. The later it gets, the more fucked up I feel…I start getting seriously paranoid. Maybe Hadley’s reporting back to Lowell and Kyle? Seems unlikely, but possible??? The senior counselors have been coming here for like ten years…as campers, then counselors, and fuck buddies. What a nest of shit! Lowell and Kyle actually seem respected. They fix shit, go on field trips, drive motorboats, act as eyes and ears (and pimps) for the Kramers. They’re part of the whole camp “machine,” but what the fuck am I?
The screen door slams. It’s Hadley. “Why weren’t you at dinner? I was looking all over?”
“Wasn’t hungry,” I mumble.
She’s concerned…looks freaked. “Jesse, what’s the matter? I’ve never seen you like this.”
I shrug…bury my head in the pillow…feel lower than whale shit.
“Are you mad because of Lowell and Kyle?”
“Sort of.” I’m afraid if I’m honest, our whole relationship will crater…figure I’ll just zone out and let it blow over.
“Talk to me, please!” She cries.
“I’m thinking of packing it in and going home.”
“Why? We’re getting so close, and you’re doing a great job…you saved a kid’s life.”
She kneels by the bed and holds my face in her hands. “Jesse, why are you upset…really?”
“Don’t wanna discuss it.”
“Is it because of what I said about Lowell?”
I reluctantly nod. “Uh huh.”
“Are you jealous?”
I look her in the eyes. “Yeah, of course. Who wouldn’t I be? Lowell’s been around a long time, and you guys know each other better than we do…and he’s a fucking asshole.”
“Jesse, stop. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
“But you like…dated, right. Be honest.”
“We didn’t date exactly. Two years ago, I got so hard up…we were fuck buddies for three weeks.”
The swinging Kramers pop into my head. I have to ask. “Did you party with the Kramers?”
“You know about that?” Uh oh…my heart sinks.
I hold up my hands. “Forget it! I don’t want to know.”
“No. I have no problem telling you. I did go a couple of times. The first time, Lowell and I hooked up in their guest room…then, right in the middle, we looked up and they were watching. It was totally creepy.”
“So, what’d you do?”
“Came right back here…didn’t know what to think, then the second time I didn’t want to go, but Lowell told me they were cool about the first time…that is was a mistake or something. So I went, and after dinner they suggested strip poker or some shit, so I totally bailed. Wouldn’t be caught dead there, or with Lowell, again.”
I feel better, but doubts are still swirling. “Look,” I say. “I sort of understand, but what we’ve got going isn’t exactly normal. We have a lot in common, but there are big differences.”
We study each other as my comment sinks in.
“I don’t get it,” she says. “What big differences.”
“Well…schools. I go to a multi-cultural city school and you got to a…uh…country club.”
She glares at me. “I don’t go to a country club. It’s just as hard as your school…and getting more multi-cultural by the minute.”
I’ve got to admit I don’t really know squat about her school. “Okay, you might be right, but look at the preppy New Englanders you hang with. They’re total snobs…I’m worried we’ll get really close and then, after camp, your parents will wonder what you’re doing with me.”
“You think Courtney and Sue are snobs?”
“No, but I’m totally into you, and back at school I was a loner…definitely not a party animal. On weekends I’m usually in my room reading fashion magazines and sketching designs.”
“Don’t you have a girlfriend? You’re so good looking, I figured girls’d be crawling all over you.”
“No. I wouldn’t be with you if I did, but last Winter I had an intense relationship…until her little brother caught us going at it, and her parents broke us up…grounded her for like six months. We’d still be together, but she got paranoid and her parents treated her like a whore or something. What about you? Are you dating?”
“I’m seeing someone on and off, but it’s going nowhere. We have sex, and he’s popular…but shallow as shit…I’m definitely evolving away from relationships like that.”
As Hadley talks, I get more confused. My parents tell me I have “a good head on my shoulders,” so the more I listen, the more I think Hadley’s not going to be long-term. It bums me out, and I wonder if I should just suck it up, and not be such a perfectionist or whatever…charge ahead with the fashion corner…keep up the fucking…Hadley’s totally stunning…the most beautiful girl ever, and her body’s spectacular. Slipping my cock in her is fucking awesome….so, why am I talking myself out of it? Guess I’m afraid I’ll crash in flames…or whatever.
She’s sitting beside me on the bed, and suddenly I don’t give a shit…kiss her, and she tells me I’m the perfect guy…mature, sensitive… and, in spite of everything, we have great sex, even with questions churning in my head. What the fuck is wrong with me?
As she’s leaving, she insists what we have is special and shouldn’t end, but I still can’t get over her fucking Lowell. The guy is a supreme asshole! How could she make a mistake like that? So, as she dresses, I stare at the ceiling without saying a word…wish I was experienced enough to just let it go. It was two years ago! Why am I acting so self-destructive…she said she doesn’t like the guy any more….loves me…and everybody makes mistakes, right? Even me.
To be continued…. Read next episode.