Quixie shuddered, almost dropping his test tube. Whoa—he caught it just in time. That would’ve been some explosion, he thought. He’d been facing the laboratory window and seen the SUV pull up blaring some No Doubt song.
He watched in terror as she hopped out, pink decorative purse strapped over one shoulder, her hysterically frizzy blonde hair getting wet in the rain. He froze standing. “Oh sh#t,” he muttered, snapping out of it, suddenly. Immediately, Quixie began hiding things in drawers. Papers, pens, pencils, bottles and test tubes, slide trays with specimens on them. “Fit!” he cried, fumbled and shook. “Fit! Why won’t you fit?!”
Too late. The lab door zinged as it swung open.
“Oh, Quixie…hey baby, got my stuff?”
Quixie could feel the little prick hairs of his neck, standing at attention under his collar. He was a big guy, big and sweaty. He fiddled nervously with his pocket protector as she approached.
Audrey Riley. That bitch. Look at her. Just look. A dream in denim. A body like Heather Graham but hippier. Oh man, look at those hips. They jutted. Side to side as she walked, as she got closer, they jutted. They swiveled. They did things that a man’s hips could never do, in pants that were but painted on. She set her pink purse down on the lab table and came closer.
“Hey, Quix. You ready to help me or what?”
He was petrified. What should he do? He’d known this was coming, he’d resolved to put a stop to it, yet, when the moment finally came, he was as pitifully unprepared as before. She was right up next to him now, rubbing on him like a cat. Rubbing her breasts. Not large, really, but those nipples. Oh, those nipples. They were pointing prominently under her pink tie-dyed T-shirt. She’d caught where his eyes were focused.
“Cold in here, eh? Nature’s thermometers. Y’like ‘em?”
No answer. Quixie was too much of a nerd to answer.
“Dontcha ever turn the heat up? What kinda crappy lab is this, huh?”
“Can’t have heat. The magnesium would react with the calcium residue on those slides. You’d never get a proper reading.”
“There you go again, talking that foreign language at me. C’mon, Quix, just gimme what I’m here for, baby doll. You wanna help a girl out, dontcha?” She reached around his yellow short-sleeve dress shirt and stroked his back. Some undertaking, given his massive girth, also how heavy he was breathing. Quixie was sweating like a stuck pig. His forehead shining like wet asphalt.
“So what did you do for me?” she purred. Then, seeing some scattered papers, “Are those it? Quix, you didn’t even staple them for me?”
“Quixie, you know I can’t operate a stapler. Come on, sugar. Do it for me.”
“No. Not that. Not staples. I meant No, I’m not doing it.”
“What?” she roared.
Something had come over him. Something had snapped. Some new resolve. “Look, it’s cheating, okay? Why do I have to do all the work?”
Her blue eyes batted, incensed but seductive, looking up into his. She ran a long red diamond decorated fingernail across his cheek. The kind of cheap nail job you’d expect from a bubble-blowing beautician or street harlot “Because, silly. YOU’RE the nerd, not me. Now are you gonna do it or do I have to hurt you?”
Quixie’s jaw muscles clenched as beads of sweat ran down the side of his face as she caressed his opposite cheek, raising her thick red lips up to collar level with him, her breaths carefully and strategically exhaled onto his neck. “You know you don’t want me to get angry,” she cooed “You remember what that means, right?”
“I don’t care!” Quixie blubbered. “Go away!” He was full bore crying now, but not for long.
Something had happened down there to him again. Something. A knee, a fist. Something. She was mean. A bad girl. She was a mean, bad, bad girl; his mind remonstrated foggily as he suddenly found himself starting wide-eyed at the linoleum tiles of the lab on all fours. There were her feet. Clean white Sketchers, one with green laces, one with pink, shiny silver tabs on the end of both laces. They were walking away.
With her victim down, silent except for the struggled exhalations, Audrey went to the desk and began assembling the papers. It took a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, Quixie began attempting a beaten down balancing act, trying to figure out how he could keep prop himself up on both knees and one hand, while his other hand cupped his stinging nuts.
“I have to do everything, don’t I? What’s it take to get a little cooperation around here, huh?—Hey! Wait just a minute here! This isn’t even it? Quixie! Um, Quix? Where the hell’s my thesis paper? Where is it?!”
She reached down, grabbing his bow tie, nearly choking him as she tried pulled him back upright. “Stand! Stand up!” she commanded. “Dang it, what do you weigh, 300 pounds? You dumb fatso—get up! C’mon!” No use. Nobody could lift this whale of a nerd but himself. Squatting and reaching further, reaching in, her cruel decorative slender fingers found what they were after. Audrey pinched one testicle. “Up!” she repeated. Quixie stood up in rapid fashion, sweating, shaking.
“Please…please,” he said, the second please coming out in falsetto.
“You told me you would have my thesis ready. I have to pass this class. Do you understand?”
“But it’s not fair!” Quixie cried, “I do all the work and you get the same grade! It’s not fair! It’s not! It’s—ah! AH! AAAHHH!!” She’d applied a bit more pressure. Only her thumb and index finger, but to Quixie it felt like a giant heavy industrial crane of some kind.
“Go away!” he shrieked.
She let up a bit. “Quixie, darling, I’m just not getting through to you, am I?”
“Then help me.”
Pressure. Oh geez. The pressure. It felt like Wonder Woman had hold of that nut, not her. Not Audrey. Quixie knew better. It was her. It was Audrey. She’d only been doing this to him all semester.
“My mom says you’re a little tart. That I shouldn’t help you anymore.” Quixie’s fat face contorted, exuding liquid like a squeezed sponge. A long black lock of his unkempt hair fell in front of his face.
“When’re you gonna get a haircut, Quix? I told you—get a haircut. You wouldn’t look like such a loser then. Geez, you’re such a NERD!”
“No. No. I’m not stopping till you get me through this lousy class.”
“But it’s chemistry!”
“Like, duhhhh. Dontcha think I know? It’s not my fault—all this prerequisite crap. I just gotta get through it so I can get that bachelor’s. That’s all I want.”
“What—hotel management? You call THAT a bachelor’s?”
Pressure. Up against this desk, oh my, the pressure, he thought. More than a standing proton in an unstable nucleus could stand, his mind was sure. Quixie’s bulbous countenance shot toward the ceiling and stayed, exposing his throat to her. With her pretty little other hand, she ran five more decorative red fingernails up and down over his naked Adam’s apple as it bobbed. It bobbed when he struggled to swallow. It bobbed when he struggled to breathe. It bobbed helplessly in the wind as he was chagrinned to find that, so long as she’d kept up this amount of pressure, he couldn’t lower his chin. Beads of sweat ran down his neck.
She let up again, allowing him to look down at her. Her face was rather beautiful. He’d “touched himself” thinking about her face quite often. Now again, she was the one doing the downstairs touching on him, however. And that face—that gorgeous face—it was so in close to his. Golden sand hair flares. The aquiline nose, her nostrils flared. She was upset, all right. Inches away upset, and squinting her baby blues. Oh. The sandy gossamer eyebrows, the soothing arc to her delicate chin structure, those soft milky bonbon cheekbones. How could she be so hard and so soft?
“Are you gonna help me or am I gonna have to destroy a nerd today?”
“Look,” she said, more impatiently still, “it’s very simple. You’re a chemistry major. I’m not. But I need this class. You’re gonna help me. There. See how easy?”
“Please…please,” he flustered.
“Oh all right.” She let her fingers ease back a bit. “There. Now talk!”
“But…but what’s in it for me? What? You still never said.”
“Oh my. Quixie. Are we still gonna go there?”
“Look Quix, it’s very simple. I touch you down there, right?”
He still sobbed.
“Aye! AYE! AAAYEE!!” Quixie squealed. “Okay! Okay! OKAY!!!”
“Well, so there. I touch you. Now—does any other girl do that for you?”
They both knew the answer to that one.
“Is any other girl EVER gonna do that for you?”
They both knew it again.
“So there. There you have it. I perform a service which you will never get elsewhere.”
“But WHAT, you damn nerd? I’m getting sick of this.”
“But you only hurt.”
“Of course. What do you think? You think of I’m gonna do otherwise? Quix, look at you. You’re a big sweaty nerd. You gotta take what you can get, buddy boy.”
Quixie cried convulsively. Inwardly, he’d made a decision though. The next time she let up, he was going to act. Finally. At last, he would lash out, fight back, be a man. He, Quixie Poindexter, would be the man he was intended to be. He would show this girl that much. It came. She eased. Oh my, she even let go altogether.
Quixie struck. The man in him took over. He, Quixie Poindexter, this very day, would stand up for himself at last. He swung. He swung again. She moved backwards. They were the kind of swings you would expect from someone like Quixie—arms and fists flying over and over, side-to-side, windmill style, striking with the sides of his palms and with balled up fingers. Amateurish blows which wouldn’t have had much behind them, but given Quixie’s vast, enormous bulk, they did carry something. They drove her backwards across the lab. The ungainly blows striking her side, her shoulder, her arm--her breast. Quixie felt the soft fleshiness. He knew what he’d connected with. Holy smokes! So THAT’S what a BOOB feels like, he thought. He stopped swinging, partly out of excitement, partly out of fear for what boundary he’d just broken, partly out of some immature scientific curiosity—he wanted to see her reaction to that last blow.
What happened was…she winced. Her baby blues, they scrunched up into little half moon slits as she cupped her stricken right breast with both hands.
“Ha—HA! You have owie spots too!” he bellowed. Quixie, with room to move, now adopted a ridiculously exaggerated, hunchbacked fighting posture, one flabby arm up going out and in, out and in, in slow, mailed-in jabs at the air. “Now go away from me!” he wailed. “Get away or I’ll hit you there again! Leave me alone!”
Just then a bomb went off in Quixie’s belly. Quixie saw linoleum squares and tasted molecules of residual shoe rubber. He was back in the womb. Audrey’d sent him there, a fallen fetal failure, gasping for air but otherwise completely silent.
“Not as owie as yours, #sshole.”
He saw rolled up red socks over attenuated ankles, then downwards the pink, petite Sketchers with red and pink striped laces. Weapons of co-ed destruction. His mind pondered the velocity it must’ve been traveling, what happened when the hard-rubber-backed-by-bone collided with the softer atomic structure of his owie bits. His mind was awash with anatomical diagrams of delicate nerve structures from the wall of his biology 270 class. He got scared. He’d never
been kicked there. He never played sports like other boys. He had no idea, no idea of the pain—not this pain. Something was wrong. Something was wrong. His imagination fueled the pain and he was filled with ghastly terror. What had this girl done to him? What had she done? Unable to talk, he began to cry.
“Awwwww,” said Audrey, in baby-coo teasing voice. “Did I hurt your little ballie-wallies?”
Quixie’s crying intensified. Tears fell from his face, forming a puddle on the floor where his face lay on its side. They forged itchy, little streams over his nose and on both cheeks which he desperately desired to itch but dared not raise his hands away from belatedly protecting his balls.
Audrey sauntered away to the lab table where Quixie had been working. “What’s this?” she asked, peevishly, flipping through a thick notebook she found. “A-ha! What have we got here?” she declared. It was a typed thesis paper, eleven pages, stapled together. She held it up where even Quixie could see.
It was his; his thesis. It stopped him crying.
“What’d ya’ say I just take this and we call it even.”
Panicked—for he’d worked three weeks compiling the research for that—Quixie struggled, stumbling up to one knee.
Audrey stood, cocking her head to one side out of curiosity but otherwise quite obviously unworried. Quixie panted, grabbed the seat of a nearby plastic chair with one huge, fat paw. He grunted and ground his teeth together. She couldn’t steal his thesis paper. She couldn’t.
“C’mon, Quix,” Audrey insincerely exhorted. “C’mon. You can do it.”
“Ohaaa-oohh,” cried Quixie, and at last he stood, shaking, stooped over, the hands clutching his groin now formed into hard, fat fists. From his standing fetal position, both knees involuntarily knocked together, he strained to look up at her. She was smiling at him, smiling with big, white teeth like perfectly straight hominy kernels.
“Atta boy!” she chortled.
Just like that, one knee buckled, and Quixie hit the ground once more with a slap, landing flat on his flabby side.
“Uh, ohhh,” cooed Audrey, laughing. “Um, Quixie dear, I’ll just take this and we’ll call it even, ‘kay?” Brandishing the flapping paper, held at the stapled corner by sparkly thumb and forefinger, she pulled her purse strap over her shoulder and headed for the door. Three weeks of research gone up in smoke. His crying bout over, his abdominal anguish still going strong, Quixie managed only a final, feeble grunt of protest.
“Poor Quixie,” taunted Audrey, closing the door behind her.