What a Guy

by Wendy Mills

English 50
Shannen Towbert stepped out of the shower and dried herself off with a towel. She slipped into her bathrobe and wrapped her thick, wavy black hair up in another towel, turban style. She gathered up her clothes off the floor and headed out into the hallway. She almost collided with her twin brother Shane as he headed toward the bathroom. Shannen couldn’t help giggling at her brother’s comical appearance. His dark hair flared out around his head in a kinky mass, his eyes were red from lack of sleep and he wore a pair of wrinkled pajama bottoms and nothing else. She wondered what the girls at school would think of Shane if they only knew how funny he looked in the mornings.

Both of them had inherited their dark hair, healthy tanned complexions and high cheekbones from their mother’s Cherokee ancestors. From their father they had inherited his dark blue eyes and curly hair. Shannen’s hair lay in wavy, but Shane’s was extremely curly. He kept the unruly mass tamed down with an assortment of hair products. But in the mornings when Shannen got the bathroom before him, she couldn’t help but laugh at the way Shane looked. She often received a scowl from her brother on those mornings, and this morning wasn’t any different.

“Very funny,” he said, slightly annoyed with her. “There are people in this house besides you, Shannen, that like to take showers in the morning. Did you save any hot water for me?”

“Maybe an inch or two.” She said sweetly as she stepped into her bedroom and closed the door behind her. She walked over to the white wicker hamper in the corner and placed her dirty clothes inside. Next, she went over to her walk-in closet and opened the burgundy saloon style doors and went inside. She reached up with one hand to yank on the crystal ball that hung from the ceiling on a silver chain and light flooded the closet. She moved from row to row, searching for an outfit to wear to school. Finally, she made her selection and left the closet, turning the light off, and closing the doors behind her.

She slipped the white denim halter dress over her shoulders and pulled the material down until the dress hung the way it should over her slim body. She laced up white sandals and then went over to her white vanity table and sat down. Applying makeup only took her a couple of minutes as she only used eyeliner, eye shadow, blush, and lipstick. Next, she set to work on styling her hair and finally arranged the mass of hair into a tight ponytail.

By the time her mother called up the stairs for her and Shane to come to breakfast, she was ready to go. She grabbed her books and purse off her desk and hurried out of her room. She met Shane at the head of the stairs and they descended the short flight together. As they stepped down onto the hardwood floor of the foyer, Shane suddenly grabbed her arm and dragged her back up a couple of stairs.

“Shane,what’s wrong with you? Have you suddenly lost your mind?” Shannen cried out and jerked her arm out of his grasp.
“There’s nothing wrong with me, but there’s going to be something really wrong with you, if Dad sees that hickey on your neck!” Shane whispered angrily.

“What are you talking about? I don’t have a hickey on my neck!”Shannen told him.

“There is one the size of a nickel on your neck, behind your right ear! If you don’t believe me, go look for yourself!” Shane suggested angrily to her.

“Fine, I will.” Shannen told him and went back upstairs to her room.

Shane followed her and watched as she went to stand in front of the three way mirror in the corner. She turned her head from side to side as she looked for the mark Shane had seen. Sure enough, she found the telltale mark on the back of her neck behind her right ear. Her mouth dropped open in surprise as she turned to face Shane.

“I swear Shane, I didn’t know it was there. You should know I would never willingly let anyone mark me like this. I can’t believe that Patrick didn’t tell me it was there. He knows how much trouble I would get into if Dad saw it. I’m dreading the day that he finds out I’ve been seeing Patrick exclusively for the last couple of months. You aren’t going to tell him, are you?”

Shane could tell how surprised and upset his sister was over the whole thing. He didn’t like the thought of her going out with a guy who showed so little respect for her and her feelings. He wasn’t going to tell their father though. Shannen had backed him up a couple of times and he wasn’t about to let her down. If things got worse though, he could always have a talk with Patrick Derrecks himself.

“I won’t tell Shannen. You better hope you see Patrick before I do. I don’t like the fact that he thinks he can treat you like you’re a piece of property or trophy. Why don’t you find a way to cover that up and I’ll go tell the parental units that you left something in your room and had to run back upstairs to get it.” Shane said and headed downstairs.

“Thanks Shane.”

Shannen called after him and tried to think of a way to hide the hickey from her parents. She finally settled the problem by letting her hair down and pulling the sides away from her face with clips. Then she rushed downstairs and into the kitchen. She took her place at the table as her dad gave her a stern look, before closing his eyes and asking the blessing on the food.

When Shane and Shannen arrived at Downey High School, thety searched for an empty parking space to park in the student parking lot. ‘There’s one Shane.” Shannen said and pointed it out to her brother.

Shane maneuvered the black Mustang convertible they had received for their seventeenth birthday three weeks earlier and got out. As they headed across the parking lot toward the quad, they heard a familiar male voice call out Shannen’s name. Both turned to see a tall, blond boy in a white tank top and black jeans walking toward them. Shannen felt Shane stiffen with barely controlled anger, and placed a hand on his arm.

“Let me handle this Shane. I’ll catch up to you in a few minutes.” She said quietly.

“I’ll wait for you by our locker.” Shane cast an angry look in Patrick’s direction before walking away.

Patrick Derrecks noticed the quiet exchange between Shannen and her brother and wondered why Shane had given him a dirty look. He knew something was really wrong when he tried to hug Shannen and she pulled away from him.

“Shannen what’s going on? Why are you acting so funny?”

“What do you think about me Patrick? Am I your girlfriend or your piece of property?” Shannen asked him.

“What kind of a question is that?” Patrick asked her, puzzled by her attitude. “Your my girlfriend.”

“Then how do you explain your reason for putting a hickey on my neck! I’m not one of those girls who are going to allow themselves to be treated badly by their boyfriends. I will never be anyone’s piece of property Patrick!” Shannen told him angrily.

Patrick was taken about by her anger. He had never thought she would ever get this upset over such a little thing as a hickey. Guys gave their girls hickeys all the time and none of those girls ever complained. “I don’t see what the big deal is Shannen. So I gave you a hickey? Everyone does it. Why are you so upset?”

“Because it is a big deal to me! You know how strict my Dad is. If he had seen this hickey on my neck, I would have been grounded for weeks. On top of that he would have made me break up with you. I’m starting to think that might not be a bad idea. Obviously you don’t respect me or my feelings.” Shannen stormed away before he could say another word.

“Shannen wait,” Patrick called after her.

Shannen ignored him and kept walking. Tears of anger and hurt filled her eyes as she thought of how nonchalant he had acted about the whole thing. Respect was high up there on the mental list she kept on what she wanted in a relationship. Next to trust and honesty, respect to her was a major ingredient for being happy in a lasting one.

Besides, a lot of the girls she knew who sported hickeys around school, were also sexually active. She didn’t want anyone spreading rumors around about her and Patrick having sex. She wasn’t planning on being intimate with anyone until she got married. She loved Patrick, but she would not do so at the cost of her self-respect.

“Are you okay?” Shannen looked up to see Shane standing near the entrance to the school.

He hadn’t felt right with leaving her and had waited a short distance away from her and Patrick. He had heard only the last part of the conversation because of the raised voices.

Shannen nodded and wiped the tears from her eyes. She was grateful to Shane for letting her handle things her own way, and appreciated the fact that he always seemed to know when she needed him. Sometimes he could be too much a big brother when she didn’t want him to be, and that often led to bickering between them. Words weren’t necessary as Shane hugged her and then led her into the school.

It wasn’t until lunchtime that she saw Patrick again. She had done her best to put their argument aside so that she could focus on her morning classes. When she saw him waiting for her at their regular table in the cafeteria, she hesitated. She wanted to go over and makeup with him, but decided against it. If anyone was going to apologize, it was going to be Patrick. She took her tray of food outside to eat it.

The warm California sun beat down on her bare shoulders as she carried her tray across the freshly mowed grass to the picnic tables and sat down. She said a quiet blessing over her food and had just started eating when she sensed someone behind her.

Without asking if he could join her, Patrick set his tray down on the table and sat down beside her. He had seen her hesitate in the cafeteria and realized how hurt and upset she really was with him, when she turned around and walked out. He had never intended to hurt her and realized that he should have told her about the hickey when he had done it. He hasn’t really meant to do that either. He was just playing around when he nipped her neck on their last date.

“Can we talk?” he asked.

Shannen nodded. He struggled to find a way to tell her how he felt without hurting her anymore than she already was. Silently he hoped that she would open the conversation, but she didn’t. Shannen sat quietly beside him, staring down at her food. Reaching out with one hand, he gently grasped her chin, and lifted her face so that she met his chocolate brown eyes with hers.

“I’m sorry Shannen. It was wrong for me to give you the hickey without asking you first. In fact, I really didn’t mean it to happen either. I just get carried away sometimes when I am with you. I was just playing around when I bit your neck on our last date, but I never expected for it to leave a hickey.”he told her softly.

“Yes it was.” she said quietly.

“What is so wrong with everyone knowing that you are mine?” Patrick asked.

“I’m not a possession you can own Patrick. I’m a human being with thoughts and feelings of my own. There are other, better ways of letting people know that I’m your girl. Holding hands, wrapping your arm around my shoulder, or giving me a ring or pin of yours to wear. Not marking me up like I’m some piece of property. I will NEVER be a beck and call girl. If you are wanting someone like that, then I suggest you go find someone else.” Shannen said heatedly and pulled her chin free of his grasp.

“I don’t want a ‘beck and call girl’, I want you, Shannen.” Patrick whispered, before gently kissing her.

“Do you think kissing me is going to make everything alright between us? If you do you are sadly mistaken.” Shannen said.

“I don’t think that way at all. I just want us to be okay. I love you, Shannen. I’ve never felt this way before, and I’m not sure how to act. ” Patrick told her.

“I’ve never been in love before either.” Shannen confessed.

“I promise I will try harder to not be like other guys.” Patrick swore.

“Seal that promise with a kiss?” Shannen smiled at him.

“As you wish.” Patrick felt relief flood through him at her words. He was willing to do anything it took to keep Shannen in his life.

As Patrick’s lips met hers, Shannen felt the last vestiges of her hurt and anger fade away. She had made Patrick understand how his actions hurt her, and his apology meant the world to her. She didn’t know if he was the one she was destined to spend her life with, but their relationship definitely had possibilities.