Welcome to another installment of TNBBC's Tell Me a Story!
Tell Me a Story is a monthly series that will feature previously unpublished short stories from debut and Indie authors. The request was simple: Stories can be any format, any genre, and any length. And many amazing writers signed up for the challenge.
This month's story comes from the hands of Michael Kimball. His most recent novel, Us, was given TNBBC's "next best book" status when it first released in the states back in May. Michael is the creator and co-host of the 5ive:ten Readings in Baltimore, and is a super sweet human being to boot. The story you are about to read is part of a new novel that Michael is working on, and I am humbled that he chose to share it with us today:
I Wanted to Go With Her
It was my sophomore year of high school before I received a telephone call from a girl. Her name was Ellen Bonner and she sat across from me in our beginning typing class. I used to tease her about anything that I could think of—the way she styled her hair, the shape of her nose, the width of the stripes on her corduroys, the flowers on her blouse, the way that she spelled her last name, which was almost funny. Of course, I only did this to Ellen Bonner because I really liked her.
I don’t know exactly why Ellen liked me at first. I was even skinnier than most teenage boys and I had a haircut that hadn’t been popular for years. But I was really fast at typing and there weren’t many other boys in the typing class. Also, I had just turned sixteen years old and had just gotten my driver’s license on my birthday. Being able to drive changed me and, even though we were just teenagers, I feel as if Ellen Bonner thought that I might be able to take her somewhere. Wherever it was, I wanted to go with her.
Whatever it was that Ellen Bonner liked about me, it was enough for her to ask me out, which made it easy for me. She knew that I wasn’t going to say no. The whole rest of the week, all that I could think about was Ellen Bonner naked. The picture of that in my head made my whole body vibrate.
That Friday, I almost stood up Ellen Bonner because I was afraid to ask my dad if I could use his car. I didn’t know what he would make me do to get the keys. My request seemed to surprise him and he just gave me the car keys. I still don’t know if he was surprised because I had a date with a girl or because that meant that I probably wasn’t gay.
I don’t remember what restaurant we went to or what movie we saw or what we said to each other when we were driving in the car. All that I really remember is sitting with Ellen Bonner in the dark of the movie theater and the warmth of our touching arms on the armrest between us.
The next Monday, Ellen Bonner and I met each other at our lockers and we walked to our classes together. All of our classmates in the hallways looked at us between classes and the way that they looked at us together changed who we were. We became so much older in just a few days.
After a few weeks, Ellen Bonner and I started talking on the telephone nearly every night. We had long telephone conversations almost every night of the week. We talked about classes and other people at school. We talked about why we liked each other and if we were going to have sex. I don’t remember what my argument for having sex was, but her reasons for not having sex were fear and God. That seemed as if it mattered so much then. The best part about talking with Ellen Bonner was how great it felt to be somebody else’s favorite person.
My ear usually hurt after my long telephone calls with Ellen Bonner. After I made it upstairs to my bedroom, I would lie on my back in my bed and touch my telephone ear with my hand. I could still feel the telephone there and I could still hear her voice in my ear.
I want to thank Michael for participating in TNBBC's Tell Me a Story. If you like what you've read, please support Michael by checking out his website and books. Help spread the word by sharing this post through your blog, tumblr page, twitter and facebook accounts. Every link counts! And be sure to check back with us next month for the next installment....