2:20 came around and Caroline, Daniel, and Rowena made their way across the street to the Bluewater Transit Center as buses started pulling in. As almost always, their bus – the Blue Line – was the first to pull in to the Center. The kids sat down up front in their usual seat after tapping their school IDs on the farebox’s Smart Card reader (which counts as valid bus fare). Daniel was a nervous wreck as he started thinking about the Senior Dance & Dinner that was coming up in a few hours. The Blue Line dropped Caroline, Daniel, and Rowena off at their stop and they made their way inside the house. Daniel was having one of those days.
“You’ll be fine, Danny,” His sister Rowena said, “We’ll be at the transit center for the 9:30 bus so you can ride home with us.”
His cousin Caroline started giving him a massage and said, “Danny, enjoy yourself. This is going to be your last chance at Bluewater High before the Prom.”
“I’m just so nervous. How many times have I been dumped on,” He asked rhetorically, mainly directed at Rowena who would know this better than Caroline.
Caroline said, “Well this time, you’re going for just yourself. You took me to Ring Dance last year – and I really enjoyed it – but this time it’s Seniors Only. Just go and enjoy yourself.”
Daniel arrived at Bluewater High on the 5:30 PM bus. As planned, he hugged his sister and his cousin goodbye since this Dance & Dinner was only for current Seniors. “We’ll be waiting at the transit center in time for the 9:30 bus,” Rowena said. Rowena, Daniel’s sister, was referring to the Bluewater Transit Center, located across the street from the school, and the 9:30 PM bus which was going to be their ride home.
“Alright, see you two later,” Daniel said. He hugged them again; then he was off to the school as they got back onto the bus to head home.
He entered the school and made his way to the cafeteria where the Dance & Dinner was being held. He didn’t have any love interest – the woman of his life would be his sister – and only went because it was something to do (and after a lot of convincing from his cousin and sister). He entered the line to get his food and sat down alone at a table. He knew he was pretty much a loner. Sure, he was extremely close with his sister and cousin, but he never quite figured out how to find a special someone.
He started eating his Mac & Cheese dinner when a couple of girls sat on either side of him. He never met them before and didn’t really recognize them, but decided to be polite when they started conversation with him.
“We know you’re not good at attracting the ladies,” The other girl said.
The first one added, “Daniel is it? I’m Jordan and my friend is Emily.”
Emily said, “Here, come have a dance with me.”
Daniel mumbled nervously, “I don’t know how.”
Emily said, “I’ll teach you. C’mon. If you get tired, we’ll return to this table with Jordan.”
Daniel, who was still feeling very unsure of himself, followed Emily to where other students were dancing and started showing him how to get going. The song was a fast pace song and he was exhausted by the end of the song.
He decided to stay up because up next was a slow song, a new-couples romance tune. One of his sister’s favorite Canadian artists. Emily took his shoulder as he took her waist. As the song progressed, Emily slowly adjusted his hand so that it slowly went from her waist downward. As the song came to a close, Daniel found himself with his hand on Emily’s butt and that made him very uncomfortable (he tried to pull his hand away, but Emily kept placing his hand back onto her butt). After the song was over, Daniel wanted to sit down. They returned to the table with Jordan and sat down. Emily then passionately kissed him on the cheek, which made him further uncomfortable.
“I’m beat. That was too fast pace, and I thought my sister’s Soccer was quick,” Daniel said. He was all red-faced and very tired. He just wanted to sit as he looked at his watch. It was 8:50 and just about time to go.
That’s when his friend and neighbor, Opal Raymond, Jr. came over. “Hey Daniel,” She said.
“Hi Opal,” Daniel said. “Emily, I’m going to chat with my neighbor,” He continued.
Emily said, “Ok baby. Be quick now, Jordan and I are waiting.”
“I’m here on my own,” Opal said as she gently led him away from the table, “I know you’re just a friend, but may I have the last dance with you?”
“Sure. Thanks. I was beginning to get uncomfortable, that other girl seemed to be rushing things. Calling me baby and we just met? That frightened me,” Daniel said, with a frightened expression on his face.
The DJ chimed in, “This is for all you lovers out there. This is your last dance and I’m going to close the night with You Were My…”
Opal said as she hugged him tightly, “You’re a great friend, even though this song is for lovers, I still want this last dance.” The song began with the lights being killed for a more romantic atmosphere.
The DJ chimed in, “This is for all you lovers out there. This is your last dance and I’m going to close the night with You Were My…. Daniel immediately felt so much more comfortable with Opal than with Emily under Waiting for You (Inside my Heart), even though Opal was just a friend. He was grateful that Opal pulled him away from Emily and Jordan.
The lights died and spotlights kicked in as the song started. Opal knew exactly what she was doing as she grasped Daniel, gently pulling him onto the floor away from Emily and Jordan. She allowed him to place his hand on her waist, as she held him in a lovers’ embrace without going overboard the way Emily did. She didn’t care that they were only friends, she wanted Emily and Jordan to think that he was taken by her. He began to speak, but she put her hand gently on his mouth to keep him quiet. She wanted to show him how to dance with a lover, and she wanted him to be able to tell both his cousin and his sister that he genuinely enjoyed the night, with someone they trusted.
Tears started flowing from Daniel’s eyes, since he did not want this to end. He wanted to have Opal walk him to the Bluewater Transit Center, where Caroline and Rowena would be waiting, and he wanted her to ride the Blue Line with them since her house was next door to his anyways.
After the most enjoyable four and a half minutes of Daniel’s life, all good things had to come to an end as the lights slowly came back on. The DJ said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, this was a great evening. Here’s a little something to send you home with, one of my father’s personal favorites. He played Take You Home Tonight to send the students home with.
Opal said, “Let me collect my coat, then we’ll head to the bus together.”
Daniel said, “Caroline and Rowena will be waiting at the transit center for me.”
That’s when Emily spotted him. She said, “There you are! Jordan and I were looking for you. How about a hotel room? Just you and me. The limo is waiting outside.”
Daniel looked startled. He gasped, “I promised my cousin and sister I’d catch the bus home with them. They’re expecting me.”
Emily said in a very suggestively inappropriate voice, “You can call them. C’mon, just you and me.” She continued in a whisper, “We can have sex if you want. Just you and me, baby.”
Opal came back from collecting her jacket. She looked disgusted – she did hear what Emily whispered – and said in kind of a forceful voice, “Daniel, time to catch the bus. I’ll walk you to the transit center. Please have Caroline and Rowena meet us at the school entrance if they can. I want to make sure you get home safely.” She gave a very dirty look to both Emily and Jordan as she put her arm around him, and guided him towards the front door.
As she was walking Daniel away from the situation, they both heard Emily saying, “Jordan, we’re getting laid tonight. Don’t care with who, but we’re both getting laid.”
“Glad you’re not into that crap,” Opal said. Daniel nodded in agreement. The only girl he would sleep with (and no, not in that sense) would be his sister Rowena and his cousin Caroline. They’ve shared a bed ever since before they could remember, and Caroline often joined.
Opal noticed Emily and Jordan following and said, “I think they’re following us. Quick, to the transit center.”
Daniel and Opal made their way to the school entrance and he called his sister. Considering his fright, he spoke in Bluewater Transit radio lingo (which his cousin and sister knew very well), “Ro, please 10-76 to BHS, Declaring a 10-1.” He was glad Opal bumped into him.
Rowena responded, “10-4. We’re both 10-76.” She knew to speak in code just in case.
Caroline spotted Daniel exiting the school with Opal and she started explaining what happened: “One of my classmates noticed Daniel sitting alone and decided to get him into The Warp. The DJ then closed with You Were My…, a slow dance song. They sat back down at the table and Emily, that classmate, wanted to get a hotel room with him. She whispered, ‘We can have sex if you want. Just you and me, baby.’ I decided to help get him away from there and now we’re here and I want to make sure he gets home safely.”
By now, Daniel was tearing up. “Rowena’s here,” His sister said as she hugged him. She continued, “Thank you Opal. Thanks for getting him to the transit center safely.”
Opal said, “You’re quite welcome. I just didn’t think you’d want your brother being entangled with someone who thinks of him as their baby and they just met.”
Rowena said, “You thought right.” She looked at her watch. It was 9:25 and buses started pulling into the transit center. After finding seats together on the bus, Rowena continued, “I feel comfortable with you being friends with Daniel, but please keep it as friends.”
“Bluewater Transit Blue Line going to East End Library via Sumner Street,” The bus’s automated voice called out and Daniel was never more grateful to hear their Blue Line, as well as the other buses, calling out their destinations. He looked back one last time across the street at the school, and saw a couple of big guys getting in a taxi with Emily and Jordan. He tagged his school ID on the fare reader, then found a seat with his friend, cousin, and sister.
Once they had a seat, continuing their conversation, Opal said, “I can respect that.” Rowena thanked her as the bus started pulling off. About ten minutes later, they arrived at their stop, Indigo Rd & Sumner St. Opal hugged Daniel goodbye so she could enter her half of the duplex; meanwhile Caroline, Daniel, and Rowena made their way to their half and down to their basement “apartment.” Before leaving, Opal said, “Rowena, one more thing and this will upset you: Jordan and Emily smelled of booze.”
Rowena said, “Eww. Opal, thanks for rescuing my brother.”
Aunt Rachel let them in and they decided to head off to bed. As usual, the kids headed down to their basement “apartment.” Daniel and Rowena hugged Caroline tightly as she went to her bedroom.
Daniel and Rowena headed to their room and he started tearing up. “What’s the matter,” Rowena asked her brother. He started hugging her tightly, gripping her like a teddy bear. He only did this when something was really bothering him. Rowena assumed, “You were frightened by what happened tonight?”
Rowena started figuring out what was up with her brother. “Be honest with me,” She said soothingly, “and I won’t be mad if you feel this way. Jordan offering to do it with you sparked your curiosity. I understand if you’re curious.” Daniel nodded his head slightly, not sure of how to respond. He continued to hug his sister very tightly and started trembling. He was honestly frightened from earlier. Rowena suggested, “How about I bring Caroline in here so we can both comfort you.” Daniel clutched her tighter, not wanting her to leave his side. Realizing why Daniel was tightening his grip, his sister suggested, “Come with me then.” By now, Rowena was very worried. Her brother never kept anything from her or their cousin Caroline.
Daniel really started thinking about what happened earlier. He started thinking about how it would’ve been so neat to see what a girl looked like since he really was curious. He wasn’t sure we wanted to tell his sister or his cousin. He wasn’t sure if they’d yell at him or what. All of his life Daniel has never been this quiet, which frightened Rowena.
There was a knock on the door. “It’s Caroline. May I come in? I’m worried about Danny.”
“Please do,” Rowena said, “The door is unlocked.”
Caroline came into the room and Rowena said, “Lock it please.”
Caroline then sat on the bed at her two cousins’ sides and said, “Normally when I head to bed, I hear you two chatting. Ro, considering what you were saying, I was getting very worried.”
“Thanks, Caroline,” Rowena said.
Caroline continued, “I was on the phone with Opal as well and she was telling me exactly what happened.” Daniel gripped his sister even tighter, wanting to be comforted real badly, as his cousin continued, “Daniel, we’re not mad at you. Please, tell us what’s on your mind. I think I have an idea based on what Opal was saying.” Daniel still kept quiet and continued to hold his sister tightly.
Rowena couldn’t wait any longer. “Caroline, if you’re thinking what I think you’re thinking, please tell me.”
Caroline said, “Based on what Opal told me, I think he’s honestly curious. I think that he honestly wants to know what a girl’s body looks like. No, I’m not trying to be gross about it.”
Daniel started tearing up – the kind of tears when he knew he was hearing the truth, but didn’t want anyone to know. Caroline recognized those tears immediately and decided to take action. She got up and proceeded to take her clothes off. “Daniel, I’m letting you look,” Caroline said as her cousin turned a blind eye. She continued, “You may even touch my private parts if you want. I’m letting you.”
Daniel wasn’t sure he wanted to do this, and both girls recognized it. “Do you want me dressed,” Caroline asked.
Daniel nodded Yes and was still frightened. Caroline and Rowena both slipped into PJs as by now it was coming close to 11 PM and they still had school that next (Friday) morning. Rowena then picked out PJs for her brother and after changing into them, he asked, “Would both of you climb into bed with me?”
Sensing how frightened he was, his sister and his cousin both happily snuggled at his side and they were off to trying to fall asleep. Daniel didn’t care that it looked wrong; he wanted to be protected and comforted. He was grateful for both women and was trying his best to fall asleep, but kept tossing and turning in fear.