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We followed Derek and Akiko’s lead, following them on the five-minute journey to the somewhat shady motel room. As we got out of the car, Derek grabbed my shoulder and took me to the side.  

“Let’s go give the girls some time to get ready. There is a guy who will buy teens alcohol behind the liquor store.”

“Eh? Really?”

“You got your key?”

“Ah… yeah.” I pulled it out of my pocket.

“Haha… just down the hall from mine. Nice.” He grabbed my key and then while putting an arm around me, he gestured the girls over. “Hey, ladies, we’re going to take a stop. Why don’t you go make yourselves comfortable.”

He handed the two keys out to each lady with a grin on his face.

“What? You’re not coming with us?”

“I got to give Hakaru here some pointers. Besides, you guys have been dancing and sweating in those dresses all night. I thought you might want to… ahem…”

Kira’s face turned red, and Akiko’s eyes widened. They both grabbed their keys tightly.

“Y-yes! Of course! You do that! Don’t come back too quicky. Ten… no, fifteen minutes!”

Derek snorted. “You better hurry, I can’t wait to tear that dress off you.”

“Y-you…” Akiko shot me a look even as she blushed.

Derek took a step forward and then whispered something in her ear. Akiko turned as pink as Kira, and then both girls gave one last goodbye before turning and retreating to the motel without looking back.

“What was that about?” I asked as Derek turned me away from the girls and started heading toward the liquor store he had previously mentioned.

“Huh? I just encouraged Akiko to give Kira some advice. I’ll be fine, but I wouldn’t want a virgin like you screwing up your chance with a beauty like Kira.”

“Shut up! I’m not a virgin! Hell, I’m damn good at it!”

“What?” He smiled at me. “Name one girl you’ve slept with.”

“Easy! I…” I stopped, suddenly unable to recall a single name.

I felt a sense of strange confusion shooting through me. At the moment I had said it, I had been certain that I’d had sex before. In fact, I had a feeling like I had a lot of sex. I’d say I was pretty confident in my ability too like I had some experience. Yet, when it came to thinking about any time I actually had sex, my mind drew a complete blank.

As my silence continued on, Derek barked a laugh and shook his head. “Exactly! You’re hilarious, man! Well, don’t worry, I got your back. We all got to lose it sometime, right?”

He squeezed my shoulder and gave me a reassuring look before running across the street. My strange feeling of confusion steadily dissipated, and I shook my head. It was just one of those weird moments people had. I’ve had them a lot lately, but they didn’t mean anything. I ran after him, and the pair of us headed over to the liquor store.

While the store did have liquor, it also had other conveniences, so it wasn’t strange for us if we were to enter. I wasn’t actually as interested in the alcohol as he was. I wanted to remember the experience with Kira, and I actually didn’t feel that nervous despite the fact that it was our first time. In fact, if I closed my eyes, I thought I could probably imagine her naked. I felt like it’d be accurate too, even though I had never seen her naked. Then again, now that I thought about it, I could probably do the same for Akiko! Ah! I was thinking about weird things again.

The point was, I wasn’t really stressed, so I didn’t feel I needed to drink alcohol to ease things. I had a feeling from earlier Kira wouldn’t want to drink anything either, so while Derek went around back to make his contact, I just went into the store to look around. There was a guy behind the counter, but he was reading a magazine and didn’t even look my way. If you weren’t lucky, you could get a guy who gave you dirty looks the entire time you were in there.

I looked in the convenience section, intending to pick up some snacks for Kira and I. I didn’t know how long the act would take, or what she would feel like after. I thought about buying some Pepto Bismol for her stomach. Ah, crap! I forgot the condoms at Mrs. Fukumi’s. It had been so awkward that I left the box there. I had one in my wallet, but what if I needed more? Plus, she mentioned something about spermicide, which it definitely didn’t have.

Glancing at the nonchalant guy, I thought that maybe he wouldn’t notice or care if I tried to buy sex items. I definitely couldn’t ask Derek, since he would likely tease me about how much of a virgin I was. I was such an idiot.

There was a strange voice in the back of my head that told me not to use them. It seemed to suggest that it didn’t really matter if I did it or not and that I wouldn’t get her pregnant or catch an STD unless I wanted it to happen. It was just another strange thought, so I closed my eyes, trying to push it from my mind.

It was for this reason that when I walked into the aisle that contained the sex stuff, I ran into someone I hadn’t noticed. She made a noise as I bumped into her. My eyes snapped open, and I looked down to see an absolutely beautiful girl. She had a punk look to her, with hair, a nose ring, and rocker shirt on. She was wearing jeans and a black leather coat.

“Watch it!” She growled as I walked into her.

“Oh… sorry.” I said, blushing as I turned to look away from her.

She was very pretty, and I actually didn’t want to look away from her. Although I had ended up with Kira, a punk girl was actually closer to my type originally. I listened to alternative, used to wear black, and was a tall, pale kid. Eiko used to look a lot like this girl when we started dating, and it was why I was so interested in her. It was probably that exact reason that I went for a much more proper girl in Akiko given how we broke up. Then, of course, I ended up dating Kira, who was the Student Council president, and she was more of a Japanese beauty than a punk girl.

That was also why I dressed up Tiana in such a… hmm? Tiana? That name just popped up out of the blue. I seemed to remember a girl who had a tattoo and piercings. She got them because I asked her to? No… that was impossible. I was dating Kira, and there was no girl who would do something so extreme for me.

I turned away from the beauty who met my strike zone and started looking over the condoms. The girl was standing right there too. She was looking in the same place, actually. I suddenly felt extremely embarrassed. How could I select condoms with this cute girl watching me? Maybe she was trying to get condoms too. Was she waiting for me to pick? I ended up standing there for several minutes while the girl was standing right next to me. Sweat was dripping down my forehead.

It didn’t matter! I was ridiculous! I reached out to grab a pack of three. I didn’t even care what. I didn’t have the experience to know what was better or worse, so my movements were just completely to what condom I like the packaging of the best. Unfortunately, as my hand went out, this was the time the girl’s hand moved out too. Our hands ended up touching.

“Ah! S-sorry…” She said, pulling her hand.

“No! Go ahead!” I gestured way too much.

“N-no… I’m not sure what I want yet…” She responded, and then glanced at me. “Rather… can you help me?’

“Huh? Help?”

“You’re experienced with sex, right?”

“What? No, I’m not!” I fought those weird feelings in the back of my head and went with what my mind told me.

“Eh? But you’re buying condoms…” She frowned and then looked at the one I had reached for. “Magnum… extra large, for big men… oh my…”

My face turned red. I wasn’t so full of myself to say I was an extra-large size. I was big enough to please, but I wasn’t a giant, and I was fine with it that way.

“Ah… It’s um… prom night… you know…” I mumbled awkwardly.

“Oh? Ah… I was homeschooled. I didn’t go.”

“You were homeschooled?” I asked, my eyes wide.

She pushed back her blue hair, suddenly looking shy and cute. “Is that weird?”

“No… not at all!” I mean, there were standards at school, a girl like her wouldn’t be allowed in a standard high school, so it made sense that with her appearance, she was homeschooled.

“I-if you don’t mind my asking, why are you looking?” I asked.

She blushed, looking down. “That…”

“You don’t have to tell me anything!” I waved my hands, realizing I had asked something a bit personal of a complete stranger.

“D-do you promise not to tell anyone?” She responded, her cheeks pouty.

“No, I won’t, no one!” I said a bit too readily.

“Ah… well, I wanted to… practice…”

“Practice?” My mind froze.

“N-no!” She gestured wildly. “I mean… practice putting it on… l-like… a banana… oh… I didn’t mean it. Don’t girls in Health classes practice putting them on a banana?”

She was very cute and flustered, and I wanted to laugh and tease her a bit. “I don’t actually think any school really does that. It’s one of those things they made up in the media.”

“R-really!” She said, her eyes teary. “I mean, I haven’t met the right guy yet, but just in case I did, I wanted to be ready!”

“Sorry to burst your bubble,” I responded. “But you’ll just have to learn with experience…”

“I-is that what you’re doing?” she asked, still looking embarrassed.

“Huh! Oh… getting experience? Um… yeah, I guess. My girlfriend…”

“Oh… you’re in a relationship.” She seemed really disappointed.

My heart suddenly pounded wildly for a second. For a brief moment, I regretted not being single. She was really cute, and I totally wanted to know her better. It was clear to me she was interested as well.

“Sorry… yeah…”

Bang. Bang! “Hey, I got them!”

Derek was standing there with a 12-pack pack of beers in his hand. This caused the guy behind the counter to finally look up and give a frown. Feeling embarrassed, I excused myself from the girl and ran to the guy and immediately bought myself. At this point, he was giving me a stern look, likely having realized an underaged kid had managed to get alcohol through his shop somehow. Keeping my head low, I paid for the stuff, which didn’t include a condom.

As I headed for the door, someone grabbed my arm, and I glanced over to see the girl standing there. She leaned over close to me.

“I think you’re a good person, so I’ll tell you something.”

“Huh?”

“That friend of yours? He’s not a good guy. I can tell.”

I smiled awkwardly. “I know… he’s kind of a bastard, but he’s the only close friend I have.”

“If you keep feeling confused… give me a call. I’m a wicken. I can see auras. There is something strange about yours.”

“Ah… sorry, I don’t believe in supernatural stuff.”

She smiled and then handed me a piece of paper. “You don’t have to believe it, for it to change your life. Just call if you find something strange happening.”

“Ah… okay…” I didn’t say anything more as I left.

She was watching me with a worried look. She was kind of a strange girl, but she seemed nice. Plus, she was cute. Ah… I didn’t even get her name. I glanced down at the sheet of paper she had given me.

“Mary.” Her name was written above her number.

“Damn, dude… you got some girl’s number just as you’re going to bang your girlfriend? That’s cold.”

“Shut up!’ I crumbled up the paper and shoved it in my pocket. “She’s just some psychic or something trying to sell her wares. What about you announcing you got alcohol like an idiot?”

“Haha, whatever. Here, take half. You’ll need it.” He ripped the twelve in half and shoved six into my back without giving me a chance to refuse.

I sighed and accepted his offer. We headed back to our rooms. I pulled out my spare key and Derek did the same.

“Alright, bro, to manhood!” He held up his fist.

“To sex!”

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