Play Me Backwards

Play Me Backwards by Adam Selzer

Book: Play Me Backwards by Adam Selzer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Adam Selzer
    â€œI don’t know,” I said.
    â€œI think some did,” she said. “There was a trickle of it that went all the way down, Mr. Harris.” She traced a fingertip from my belly button to the waist of my jeans. I squirmed, because it tickled like hell. She snickered.
    â€œAre you ticklish, Mr. Harris?”
    â€œA little.”
    â€œWell, don’t worry; I’m a nurse. And I think we’d better get thosepants off, just to check. We have to clean you very thoroughly so you don’t get cherry lime disease.”
    â€œIsn’t your sister right upstairs?”
    â€œShe won’t come down. And if she does, she won’t tell.”
    She took hold of my zipper and started to undo it, and I tried to decide whether to move her hand away. Any worries I had that she didn’t really want them down were gone now, and it would be rude, really, if I stopped her. She’d probably be all upset and worry that I wasn’t attracted to her or didn’t like her or something, even though she had to be able to see the bulge for herself.
    Still, I wasn’t convinced that I wouldn’t completely disappoint her if we tried anything.
    My problems vanished when we heard the sound of the garage door opening.
    â€œOh, fuck!” she said. “That’s probably my dad.”
    She stood back up and handed me my shirt. I started to put it back on, and she rushed to throw the paper towel and newspaper into the trash.
    â€œShould I get out of here?” I asked.
    â€œProbably not,” she said. “It’ll look worse if he sees you running away.”
    The door opened, and a middle-aged guy with gray hair and a tan stepped in. A tan. In February. In Iowa.
    â€œHi there,” he said.
    â€œHi, Daddy,” said Paige. “This is Leon.”
    â€œHi, Mr. Becwar,” I said.
    â€œGene,” he said. “Just call me Gene.”
    He shook my hand and smiled. It did not seem like a sinceresmile to me. It was an “I just caught you alone with my daughter, but I’ll act friendly to get your guard down” smile.
    â€œYou okay?” he asked, looking at my shirt.
    â€œYeah,” I said. “We just had a little malfunction with a cherry limeade Slushee.”
    He laughed a sort of half laugh that was probably fake. “You look like somebody stabbed you.” He leaned closer and whispered, “Which, incidentally, is what happens to boyfriends who misbehave.”
    Then he slapped me on the shoulder and offered me a can of Coke.
    â€œWe have to go, Dad,” said Paige. “Leon has to work at five, and I’m meeting Leslie to go over yearbook stuff.”
    â€œWell, I’m sure we’ll meet again,” said Gene.
    Paige took me by the hand and let me out of the front door and back to her car.
    â€œDid Dad say he was going to stab you?” she asked.
    â€œYeah,” I said.
    â€œHe never stabbed Joey, did he?”
    â€œWell, he hated Joey. But he never stabbed him. He just threatened him a lot.”
    â€œHe’ll probably hate me, too.”
    â€œProbably. But he won’t really stab you, obviously.”
    That wasn’t really as obvious as it probably should have been.
    Paige hadn’t taken me to the mall and tried to give me a makeover or anything, but now and then, while we were talking during the first couple of weeks of being together, she had worked in some notes for me that gave me some clues on what she expected of meas a boyfriend. Perhaps the most memorable instance was when she told me about one of her exes.
    â€œHe lied to me,” she’d said, “and that’s one thing I can’t stand. And I’m pretty casual. I could probably get over it if I found out that some slut got her hands in your pants at a party, you know.”
    â€œThat won’t happen,” I told her. “I’m not like that.”
    â€œI’d be more upset if you

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