Always on Sunday
The last bell had rung and it was time for the students of Taylor Allderdice High School to go home. I had forgotten a book that I needed to do my homework, so I was walking back to my locker when a classroom door opened and Mitch Feinstein stepped out. He grabbed me by my arm and, drawing me into the room, kicked the door shut.
He put his arms around me and kissed me, long and hard. I put my arms around him but very soon I stepped away from him.
He smiled. "What's wrong, Laurel? Don't you like me anymore?"
I giggled. "Of course I like you. But what if someone found us here? Or if Joanie or Seb saw us?"
"Don't worry. We won't stay long. I just wanted to remind you that something quite special is going to happen this Sunday," he said playfully.
"As if I could forget. Don't forget what your job is, now. Pull up your socks, gather your courage or whatever you say at times like this. Go to Murray Pharmacy and get one of those things. A rubber, I think it's called. Look, I can understand that at least half of Squirrel Hill goes to Murray Pharmacy to get prescriptions. Why don't you go at closing time when there are less people around?"
"My darling Laurel. I have some news for you. I found a stash in my father's dresser drawer, under his shirts."
"Won't he know that some are missing?"
"No. This stash was huge. He had about 50 of them. You know what a good boy I am. I only took three."
Mitch moved me up against the wall. "And don't you forget what your job is, OK? Wear that dress of yours, the one with the big buttons. And no underwear.
I giggled again. "Oh God, what would my mother think if she knew how convenient that dress is for-you know. But Mitch-the last time I went without a bra my mother noticed. I don't have to wear underpants, though."
Mitch squeezed my breasts. "Oooh, you're delicious. Until Sunday."
"My handsome partner in crime." I kissed him. "Until Sunday."
I had grown up with Mitchell; we lived near each other on the same street. We were practically related. Our parents were close friends and our younger sisters and brothers played together; now Mitch and I were both 16, in 11th grade.
For three years now, our mothers were business partners. This business grew out of mutual regard for each other's tastes in clothes, furniture, and jewelry. They had created a business together-clearing houses, situations where, due to death or divorce, a family wanted to sell everything in a house and clear it. This was a perfect, ingenious method they developed where they could tend to their primary roles of mothers and housewives and make money at the same time. They put an advertisement in the Pittsburgh Press and very soon they received calls. During school hours my mother and Mrs. Feinstein could visit the homes they were called to see and negotiate prices, while the sales themselves were scheduled for Sundays. When Mitch and I became 15, we were asked to help, always spending the day in the basement, selling not the fine luxurious items upstairs, but attending to people who wanted to buy old irons and ironing boards, board games, books and other toys, and loads of miscellaneous objects. It was fun; Mitch and I had always gotten along well and our mothers paid us a generous wage.
He and I had a steady boyfriend and girlfriend. This didn't detract us, however, from taking advantage of moments of quiet in these basements to "fool around." We never went on dates; our parents would have been happy if we did. As we said once, "Let's skip the overture and dance to the music." It was an odd phrase my grandmother used sometimes, and Mitch and I agreed that it fit our situation perfectly. Why we hadn't "fooled around" much up until now was the problem of no privacy. All the women on our block were good Jewish housewives and mothers, and they all watched all the children, even children not their own, "like hawks." We loved the street we lived on except for one drawback: nobody could get away with anything.
Mitch and I had kissed a lot but that was all. Once, we shut ourselves into my mother's walk-in closet and kissed passionately, rapidly running our hands over each other's bodies. But we weren't brave and we heard my mother going into my sister's bedroom so we quietly crept out of the closet.
The basements of the houses we worked in were clean and neat; our mothers would never accept a client whose basement was a nightmare of dead insects and moldy furniture. However, there were long periods of time when nobody came down there on sale days and we could usually disappear behind a furnace or stacked outdoor furniture and kiss and touch each other, always laughing quietly about how bad we were. One Sunday, after working for our mothers for about five weeks, Mitch got frustrated from just "petting" and took his pants off. That was the first time I saw a penis. Mitch was proud of his erection and asked me what I thought of it.
"Handsome and upstanding," I laughed. "Do they really fit into women's bodies?" I was never very serious about sex in those days. Sex was too much fun to be serious. I didn't listen to the lectures my mother delivered about staying a virgin until marriage. I didn't think she knew what she was talking about.
"There's only one way to find out," answered Mitch. "I'll put it in you. But not now. Let's just have fun. Before I put my 'handsome and outstanding' prick into you we have to think about birth control. Here, just touch it."
I did what I was asked. The skin was smooth and silky, the head of it a pretty pink color. Mitch began to moan and told me to stop.
"I showed you mine," he laughed. "Now it's your turn. Let me see your breasts."
The dress I wore one Sunday was sky blue and it had big buttons up the back of it. It was oddly made but I liked it. This was "the dress" that Mitch referred to when he grabbed me after school and reminded me of our "special" Sunday upcoming that weekend.
The Sunday I showed my breasts to Mitch was coming to an end; after 4:00 PM few people came. We looked at each other.
"Come on, quickly, let's go behind the furnace. I can't think about anything but seeing your breasts. I haven't been able to think about anything else for a week."
We went back to the secluded corner, and I pulled my sweater off and unhooked my bra. Mitch stared, then cupped them in his hands. He looked at me.
"They're so beautiful. So beautiful." He kissed them and I told him to stop. I thought I heard footsteps coming down the basement stairs. I speedily put my clothes back on. It was Mrs. Feinstein calling out in her musical, ladylike voice: "Mitch-ell. Laur-el. How are things going down there?"
We began to laugh hysterically and covered our mouths. The situation was just too crazy.
"Crazy," said Mitch later, when we went home, "but not impossible."
There was "D-Day" that we learned about in history class; then there was "Special Sunday." Every time Mitch and I encountered each other in the crowded hallways of Allderdice High School, most of the time walking with our arms around our steady boyfriend and girlfriend, we'd flash a grin at each other. As much as I loved spending the weekend time with Seb, and Mitch with Joanie, time began to drag. Finally Sunday came.
Our mothers were both in a good mood. This house they were clearing was quite big, richly furnished, with lots of quite good women's clothing and jewelry. My mother told Mitch and me that they were depending on us to "take care of things" in the basement and be "good and cheerful sales people."
"No problem there, huh, Laurel? We'll be good and cheerful today, no problem." And as usual I began to giggle.
That day still lives in my memory and Mitch's also as a kind of zany "Marx Brothers/Laurel (!) and Hardy" movie. People continually climbed up and down the basement steps, talking, laughing, looking for bargains; however, little gaps kept occurring where Mitch and I could disappear behind stacks of boxed furniture and grab at each other. My bra would be hanging, half off me, while Mitch kissed one of my breasts; then his pants would be down and I was playing with his penis; and without fail we would hear people coming down the steps. Mitch ejaculated several times that day, once when he was kneeling in front of me, feeling what was between my legs with his fingers. The semen made a huge spot on his good dress pants, which, because of the tense excitement of the day, sent me off into hysterical laughter. He laughed too when I quickly tied an apron around him to hide the stain. Most fortunately the apron was meant for a man to wear; it was the kind that had an image of a bottle of Worcestershire Sauce on it.
I was taking a break from all of this and straightening a huge pile of old silverware into forks, knives, and spoons when Mitch came quickly behind me. Nobody was near. He began unbuttoning the back of my dress, the "special" dress that he told me to wear.
"What do you think you're doing?" I asked. I meant to sound indignant but I couldn't help laughing once again, but it was laughter mixed with a kind of feverishness. Everything had been leading up to this.
"You know what I'm doing, Laurel."
Except for the top and bottom buttons, my dress was open and I wore no underpants. I could feel Mitch's erect penis rubbing against my backside. Mitch began to moan. It felt good.
"Oh Laurel, your ass is so perfect…"
"Shut Up. There's someone coming down the stairs. For God's sake don't just stand there. Get the hell away from me and put your apron on."
Too late. It was our mothers, coming down to see how we were. They stopped on the stairs and looked at us. Mitch was quickly tying on his apron.
"Laurel," my mother said slowly, "why is your dress unbuttoned?"
"I'm hot, Mom. Don't you think it's warm down here?"
This was one of those moments that children and teenagers have. They have been caught doing something forbidden but their parents are too tired, overwhelmed, and beset with problems of their own to act. My mother was tired and just didn't feel like getting mad at me and Mitch. She had had a long day. She said that yes, it was warm in the cellar and went back up the stairs.
We were not able to use the rubbers that Mitch took from his father's drawer. We agreed that we'd been a little ridiculous to think we could fuck-and for the first time-in a corner of a basement with customers arriving, expecting to be waited on. I also admitted that I wasn't ready to have intercourse with anybody. To make up for this loss, after both our families were asleep that night, Mitch and I met in my back yard and lay with our arms around each other, looking up at the sky. We kissed a lot and talked about the next naughty and nasty deed-something less ambitious- we could try next Sunday.