Marty was treating Caroline like the protagonist in a fucking Jane Austen novel – in another eight or nine years, he’d have progressed to holding her hand.
I had no problem with Caroline. Actually, I didn’t know her all that well. I’d been trying to stay away from her – and to keep her sisters with me – to give Marty some room. Lord knows what he was doing with it.
He kept asking me to go to their house with him – and I kept going. I asked myself why: really, I did. Maybe 60% of it was loyalty to my buddy. The rest? Fucked if I know.
Tanya was jailbait. Avoid at all costs. That didn’t mean that I was blind. She was funny, with a caustic sense of humor and a sharp tongue. Ron was probably right: one of these days she was going to turn into a proper little hottie. Couldn’t fault her taste in music, either.
Sam was a conundrum, shrouded in a mystery, wrapped in a nutbar. I couldn’t figure her out – and I couldn’t decide how I felt about her. Dumb as a bag of rocks. Pretty. Sweet, at times.
Best left alone.
Against my better judgment, I took up with Anne again. That was a mistake. We both knew it, right after the first time we ended up in bed. But it took a second fuck, in her bedroom, before we were smart enough to call it quits.
Then Marty invited me to a cottage party.
– “I’ll drive, if you can get us a case of beer.” he said.
– “Let me guess: we’re taking the sisters.”
– “If that’s okay with you.”
It turned out to be a massive party, with incredibly loud music, over 100 people, and a beautiful night sky.
– “Sit near me.” I ordered Sam and Tanya. I didn’t want either one getting into trouble.
Quite a few beers were drunk that night – many of them by me. I was feeling a bit … melancholy. Maybe it was breaking up with Anne again. But I snapped out of it when I heard the first chords of Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ blaring over the speakers.
– “Listen to this.” I told Tanya. “The drums. Everybody hears the guitar – or Ann Wilson’s voice.”
– “She’s awesome.” said Tanya.
– “I know – but the listen to the drummer. He’s kicking the shit out of this song!”
Tanya just grinned. She loved it when I talked to her, made her the centre of my attention. She listened to me for twenty minutes solid, as I switched to Zeppelin, trying to explain what made John Bonham such an incredible drummer.
– “Tanya? Could you get Uncle Joe another beer? And one for yourself and your sister, if you don’t mind.”
– “I’ll get them!” yelled Sam, as she sprang to her feet. She was no longer a brunette – she’d dyed her hair blonde again. Off she ran. Tanya watched her go, and then turned to me.
– “If I was 18, would you go out with me?”
– “Tanya – you’re a bright girl.” I said. She could tell that I was building up to a ‘but’.
– “I think you like me.” she said.
– “You’re smart, and you have you good taste in music.” I told her. “You still have to recognize why Neil Peart is a fucking great drummer, too … but you’re pretty cool.”
– “You didn’t answer my question.” she said.
– “What was the question?” I asked. I’d already had more beers than I needed.
– “Here you go!” shouted Sam. She handed us both a fresh beer.
I have to admit it: I was on my way to getting seriously blitzed. I hadn’t intended to. But keeping track of Sam and Tanya was hard work.
We ended up sitting around a huge bonfire. Sam was drunk, and clingy. Tanya was drunk, and growing incoherent. I was drunk – and not sure what was going on.
I do remember someone hijacking the turntable, and putting on ‘Achilles’ Last Stand.’ Martin found us there. While Caroline glared at us, he got us to our feet. Somehow, we got the drunken sisters into the back seat of his car. I ended up in the middle, with a sister on either side of me.
Tanya was fairly wasted, and a bit queasy. We rolled down her window, and made sure that she got a steady supply of fresh air. Sam wasn’t so far gone.
I was. I saw her pretty face, hovering near mine. And I leaned forward – and kissed her.
Lord knows what I was thinking. Maybe I wasn’t thinking at all. Her lips tasted sweet, though. Sam tickled my lip with her tongue. I did what any red-blooded male would have done, and slid my tongue into her mouth.
Yes, I was kissing Sam. French-kissing Sam, to be exact. Marty drove, while Caroline talked to him. I kept Tanya’s head near the open window, in case she was tempted to spew. Other than that, I necked with Sam. I did have the occasional lucid moment, and I did ask myself: what the fuck are you doing?
I ignored myself, and kept smooching with Sam. She was a good kisser. I did pull back, once, to look at her. Maybe I was drunk. Actually, I was quite drunk – but she looked just fine. And she tasted very nice.
On my other side, Tanya was snoring. At least she didn’t puke.
Marty got us home safely.
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