Towelhead

Towelhead by Alicia Erian Read Free Book Online

Book: Towelhead by Alicia Erian Read Free Book Online
Authors: Alicia Erian
woman likes me a lot.”
    â€œOkay,” I said.
    He pointed to the letter. “Now write, ‘I love you, Grandma,’ and sign your name.”
    Afterward, he looked the whole thing over and told me it was very nice. “Your grandma will really like to see your penmanship,” he said. Then he got a new piece of paper out of the package and started translating my English into Arabic. He said I could go, but I stayed for a while and watched him write from right to left. When he was done, he asked if I’d like to sign my name in Arabic, and I said sure. I thought he would show me how on a scrap of paper, then let me copy it onto the onionskin, but instead, he gave me the pen, then held my hand in his as he guided my movements. I knew he was just trying to help, but I really couldn’t stand for him to touch me. My arm went kind of stiff, and when we’d finished, he said that Grandma was going to think I was retarded.
    In bed that night, I squeezed my legs together and tried to have an orgasm just from picturing the lady in the golf cart. I didn’t think it would work, but it did. When it happened, instead of thinking terrible things, I thought about Mr. Vuoso. I thought about his hand around my waist, and his nice cologne, and how he had let me go home when I wanted to. I thought about how he had called Daddy a fucking towelhead, but he still liked me.
    Â 
    At school the next day, I was nervous. I wondered how things would go with Mr. Vuoso that night. How we would ever be alone again so he could touch me. While I sat in Social Studies, listening to Mr. Mecoy talk about how Texas used to be its own country, I started pressing my legs together under the desk. I was very still and quiet, so no one would notice, and I had an orgasm. When it happened, I looked across the aisle at Robert Serling, the boy who had stuck my maxi-pad to his forehead. He had blond curly hair, and I realized in that moment how handsome he was.
    That afternoon at the Vuosos’, Zack said, “We’re not allowed to look at magazines anymore. My dad put them in the garage.”
    â€œCan’t we just go out in the garage?” I asked.
    Zack shook his head. “My dad says he’ll know if we sneak and look at them.”
    â€œAll right,” I said, though I was disappointed.
    â€œHe says you should’ve known better,” Zack said.
    â€œYes,” I said. “I should’ve.”
    â€œI know what you were doing in that chair.”
    â€œWhat?”
    He laughed. “You know.”
    â€œI wasn’t doing anything.”
    We went outside then to play badminton. For once, Zack didn’t hit me in the boobs, and we actually ended up finishing a game. We had to quit in the middle of the second one, though, when we hit our last birdie into the yard next to Zack’s. We thought about climbing the fence, but it was too tall. We’d have to wait until the newlyweds got back from their honeymoon. They’d moved in a week earlier, then left right away for Paris. I hadn’t met them, but Zack had. He said the lady was pretty and the man was tall.
    We went back inside and turned on the TV. I couldn’t remember what we had done before looking at magazines, and now that they were gone, I couldn’t imagine what we would ever do again. After a while, I went upstairs to steal a tampon from Mrs. Vuoso, but there were too few in the jar to make it safe.
    On the way downstairs, something caught my eye in the master bedroom, and I stopped. It was a large green duffel bag at the foot of the canopy bed. I walked in and knelt down on the floor. I was quiet for a moment, listening for footsteps, and when I didn’t hear anything, I unzipped it. Mostly there were just clothes: white T-shirts, camouflage pants, boots, sneakers, boxer shorts, belts. I reached a hand in to see if anything had been slipped between the neat piles, and it had. Something wrapped in plastic or

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