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ME & DALE
*** All characters portrayed in this story are 18 years old. This is a story of awakening, discovery and coming of age. While fiction, this story is based on true life experiences though names have been changed and some details altered.
I met Dale the summer before my junior year in high school. Well I didn’t actually meet her then, I just saw her. My family had moved to Hamilton Co. from Wilson at the end of my freshman year. I didn’t know anybody here yet, so I was pretty bored with myself on the whole. I learned that the school’s janitor/grounds keeper was looking for some part time help over the summer to help with mowing the grass and such. I decided that since I didn’t know anyone and that I could make a few bucks over summer break, I’d try to get the job.
It turns out that I was the only person to apply for the job, so I was hired. Mr. Reynolds… or “Bob”, as he liked to be called, was pretty cool as far as bosses go. About all I had to do was mow the grass around the school and the football/track field, trim the hedges, and do a little painting here and there. Also, because Bob was doing maintenance in the school itself, I was left pretty much to my own supervision.
The high school building was fairly new when I moved to Hamilton. It had a new gymnasium with locker rooms and showers for both girls and boys. It had a “trainers” room that was located between the Coach’s office and the boys’ locker room, complete with tables, benches and a whirlpool. The school also had an indoor, Olympic sized swimming pool. And when I was through for the day, Bob would let me go swimming till he was ready to lock up.
The first time I saw Dale, it was a particularly hot afternoon, and I was trimming the hedges by the infield bleacher on the football field. Dale was running around the track, and pretty much ignoring me, which was fine by me, because I had a lot to do and it was a bitch trimming that damned hedge with hand tools. Besides, I thought Dale was a guy, from a distance you really couldn’t tell.
I had drank a lot of water that day and I had to go! Being a teenage boy and not wanting to trudge all the way over to the school just to take a piss, I just unzipped and let go into the hedge. I mean nobody would see me, except maybe that guy running around the track, right? “He” did see me. In fact “he” just happened to be coming around the turn closest to me when I let go. I didn’t think anything of it, and when I finished, I just started back in on the hedge.
Bob came out to the field to check up on my progress about twenty minutes later, and saw Dale running. I noticed him watching and sadly shaking his head.
“Been at it for about an hour now… who is it?” I asked putting down the shears and picking up my water jug.
“Name’s Dale.” He said, again shaking his head. “Didn’t make the track team again this spring. Guess Dale’s still hoping that maybe next year will be different.”
I was watching Dale now. I thought the running style was a little awkward, maybe a little uncoordinated would be more descriptive.
“Too bad really,” Bob said, “She tries so damned hard, but she just isn’t cut out for track and field.”
“SHE?” I said snapping my head around to Bob and then back to Dale running around the far turn… My mind flashing back to a few minutes ago. I could feel the blood rushing to my face as I remembered taking a leak in the hedge as Dale ran by.
“Yeah… Tim… she… why? Couldn’t you tell… well I guess not.” Bob said smiling sadly for Dale. “She’s a nice kid though, she did the job you are doing last summer… never complained about the work.”
Since Bob’s revelation I’d been studying Dale as she yet again passed us on the near turn. She did look like a boy from a distance. She had a short hair cut in a wedge or maybe a “pageboy” I don’t know what women call the style. She was very slender, but had strong legs. She didn’t have any chest whatsoever. Her face was plain looking with dark eyebrows that were a little on the heavy side. She had a largish nose, but it was straight. All in all, aside from my wetting the bushes in front of her, I really didn’t find her of interest, and went back to trimming the hedge. I saw Dale off and on all summer. I’d wave to her and her to me, but we never talked. I’d usually be busy with one job or another, and she be going to or from the track.
Fall finally came to Hamilton Co. and so the school year began. As it turned out, Dale rode the same bus as I did, probably because, as I would later discover, she lived just a few miles from me. We would wave or nod in greeting, but we didn’t seem to have any interest in each other. Dale, I did notice, kept pretty much to herself on the bus, I did too but that was because I didn’t know anyone. I saw her occasionally in the halls between classes or at lunch.
I went out for the football team that year, and actually made it! I wasn’t very big to be playing football, but I did like to play and I guess the coach saw that too. In the locker room after the first week of practice, I overheard some of the seniors talking about “that girl” who wanted to be a trainer. I’d never heard of a girl being trainer so I asked them what they Ataköy escort were talking about. Ron told me that the school board had ok’d girls to be trainers in athletic events, providing that there was a separate area for them away from the locker room and showers. So we now had a girl trainer to help the coaches and the team doctor with errands and wrapping ankles and such. I shrugged and didn’t think much more about it.
About halfway through the next week, I sprained my right ankle. It was after I hobbled back to the training room from the ball field, that I actually first met Dale. I didn’t know that she was the girl that Ron and the others had been talking about. She saw me hobble in and noticed it was me. She smiled for the first time that I had seen in any case. It was a pretty smile, even if she was a little plain. She had pretty full lips now that I could see up close. They actually made her nose look a little smaller and pretty. Her skin was clear, which is more than I can say for my own at the time.
“What seems to be the problem?” She asked, looking down at the foot I was holding just off the floor.
“I think I sprained my ankle… coach said to come in and have it looked at.” I said grimacing.
“Ok… hop over to the table and we’ll get that shoe off and have a look.” she said motioning to the table.
I hopped over and plopped down and started to bend over to untie my shoe. Bam! Our heads ran into each other as she was bending over to do the same.
“Sorry.” I said blushing and rubbing my noggin, trying not to make eye contact.
“I think I can manage untying your shoe… I am a trainer after all.” she said with a chirping little laugh as she too rubbed her head, and smiled at me. “Didn’t I see you this summer working for Mr. Reynolds?” she asked as she untied my shoe and eased it off.
“Yeah…” I said gritting my teeth as pain shot up my leg from the swollen ankle. “You ran a lot this summer didn’t you? Why?” I asked trying not to yelp from the pain as she pulled my sock off.
“I’ve been trying to get on the girls track team since I was a freshman,” she said distractedly, “but I just haven’t been fast enough the past two years. Hopefully next spring I will be.” She said as she gently probed my ankle here and there, turning it a little to the side.
“Two years? Then you are a junior this year.” I said still gritting my teeth with tears threatening to form in my eyes.
“Yeah.” She said looking up at me to smile,” it’s all right to let me know if it hurts or not. Otherwise I’m going to keep poking and turning till you do.” She said trying not to smile but not doing a very good job of it.
“Yes!” I gasped out at last. “It hurts! It hurts! All right?” I was holding the edge of the table so tight that my knuckles were turning white and so was my face.
“Yep! Looks like it’s sprained to me.” She said standing up to get an ice pack from the cabinet. It was one of those chemical things that you had to pop and shake up a second to activate. She set it on the table next to me and slapped the palm of her hand down on it, then picked it up and tossed it to me and said “Shake that up and put it on your ankle when it gets cold… I’ll be back in a minute.”
I shook the ice pack until I could feel it getting cold then I eased my ankle up onto the table and gingerly put the pack on it. A few minutes later Dale came back jangling some car keys saying “Ok.
“Go where?” I said a little lost.
“To the hospital dummy… got to get that ankle looked at by Doc Willis… you know… the team doctor?” she said raising an eyebrow.
“You think you can hop out the door to Coach’s car?” She asked.
“Uh… I guess so.” I responded as intelligently as I could muster.
At the hospital the doctor looked my ankle over and ordered some X-rays done and told me I was probably not going to be playing for the first part of the season anyway. That just made my day. He said that nothing appeared to be broken and that if I stayed off of it for a while and let it heal I might be able to make a few games before the end of the season. He wrapped the ankle up in ace bandages and sent me and Dale on our way.
“Bummer about the season huh?” She asked as we pulled out of the parking lot. “Maybe you can be a trainer too until the ankle gets better?” she added brightly, looking at me sitting there with a long
“I suppose.” I answered, not feeling very enthusiastic about it. As it turned out I didn’t become a trainer. I didn’t see much of Dale for a few weeks either because of having been driven to and from school by my mom while I was letting the ankle heel. It was a real bitch trying to get from class to class carrying books and hopping along on crutches. Finally after six weeks the doctor said that I could go back to playing as long as I took it easy on the ankle and I might wrap it if it got to feeling weak again. There were three games left in the season and I got to see them all… from the bench.
Spring came before too long and with it came track and field. I went out for hurdles and the 100 meter dash. I made the team as an alternate. Dale too made the team this year, she ran Ataköy escort bayan the 440 relay,
and the mile. We saw a lot of each other that spring at practice and at the meets. We got to be pretty good friends too… she just kind of grew on me I guess. I did come to like her quite a bit, but I was infatuated with another girl at the time and I really didn’t notice Dale as a girl. I didn’t notice that she seemed to spend a lot of time with me, and that she wasn’t going with anyone. But she never said anything that would make me notice I guess.
That summer Dale’s dad gave her his old car for her 18th birthday and then he got a new one. She teased me that she was older than I was, even if only by one month. She used to pick me up in the mornings and take me to the school to work and she would run till lunch time and then we would go out and get something to eat. I always paid for the food because she wouldn’t let me give her gas money for driving me to work. I guess we got to be pretty close friends that summer, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t notice that she was starting to fill out a little in all the right places. But I still thought of her as a friend, and didn’t look too much. I learned to love her chirping little laugh, and her pretty smile. She really wasn’t all that bad to look at I decided one morning as she drove us to the school. She still wore her hair short in that wedge cut I guess you’d call it. Her hair was a light color, not really blond but too light to be brown… it had sort of a red highlight when the sun shone on it. Her eyebrows were dark and outlined her big brown eyes just so. The nose was still a little big I thought, but she had recently started wearing a little lipstick that highlighted her full lips so that they complimented her nose and face as a whole. She didn’t wear much eye makeup but then she didn’t need to. She always smelled nice too… not perfumed or anything like the other girls at school did. Just clean… maybe bath powder or something, I liked it whatever it was. Her hair always smelled like strawberries I thought. I liked that too. She did paint her nails though. She didn’t have those long claw looking nails, in fact they didn’t even go past the ends of her fingers, but they were always neat and even, and she’d paint them in subdued colors like peach or pale red.
In the fall school started again, and so football. Dale was again “that girl trainer” and I was now on the Varsity team. I was a starting lineman on both offense and defense. I was kinda small for a lineman, but that was more often than not a plus for me. Being quicker and lower than most of the brutes I played across the line from I could do a pretty good job. And I had fun too. As a trainer, Dale doubled as the ‘water boy’… or is that water girl? Anyway, anytime there was a time out or the play was stopped for anything she would race out onto the field and squirt water through our face masked helmets into our mouths if we wanted water. Sometimes she’d spray me in the face whether or not I wanted water… and then run off the field giggling as I sputtered and wiped my face… much to the amusement of my team mates. I on the other hand didn’t think it was too funny. I even got angry at her a couple of times.
“Hey man! Cool it would ya?” One of my teammates said on one of these occasions, “The girl is just trying to get your attention man!”
“Huh?” I said, about as intelligent as it sounded.
“Man…The chick likes you…didn’t you know that?” He added looking a little confused.
I was a little taken aback by this revelation. I had never even thought of Dale as anything other than a friend. I was kinda stunned to think that she would even be interested in ME! I mean c’mon! She was a senior even, and I was just a junior. I dismissed the idea and forgot about the comment.
By the third game of the season, my ankle was getting weaker and weaker. The team doctor said that if I wanted to keep playing and not risk another sprain like last year, that I’d have to start wrapping it before every practice and game. Up until then, I had never wrapped my ankle, and really didn’t know what to expect.
Before the next practice, I went to the trainer’s room to get it done. Dale saw me come in and had the tape already waiting for me. She looked down at my leg and arched one eyebrow then looked at me and asked. “You didn’t shave your leg?”
“Of course I didn’t shave it… what do I look like, a girl?” I said somewhat indignantly. I had no idea why I should or even would want to shave my leg. I found out though!
“Okay…” Dale said with a mischievous grin and a twinkle in her eyes. “But I bet you will want to next time.” She added shaking her head and reaching for the tape. She did a good job taping it up, it felt great during practice. I could make sharp turns on the ankle and generally treat it like it had never been sprained before. However, I found out at the end of practice just why it is a good idea to shave the leg, at least where the tape will be applied.
Back in the trainer’s room after practice, Dale gave me a wicked little smile as she came at me with the tape scissors. She cut down from the top of the tape line all escort Ataköy the way down to the ankle then across the side of my foot to the other end. She laid down the scissors and rubbed her hands together looking up at me to say.
“Uh… why don’t you put your other foot under you knee and then hang onto the edge of the table.”
Shrugging my shoulders and not knowing why this would be of any use, I did what she said. I sat on my good ankle and grabbed the edge of the table.
“This is going to hurt a little.” She said with that little mischievous grin again, “So don’t kick me or anything.” She peeled back the top edge of the tape along where she had just cut it. I could feel the hairs on my leg being pulled out, and started to say that. Then without warning, Dale just yanked straight down and back for all she was worth. Needless to say, the pain caused by several hundred hairs being pulled out at once pretty much distracted me from saying anything coherent for about thirty seconds. I did cuss a blue streak during this time however.
Dale was across the room by now trying to cover her mouth with one hand to both keep me from seeing the smile that was on her face and to keep from laughing out loud at my antics. She did have an apologetic if not amused look in her eyes. I was, on the other hand, neither amused nor apologetic. I was hopping around on my good foot and holding the other in both hands.
“Thanks!” I said not very thankful at all.
Dale finally gave up trying not to laugh and between those chirping little giggles and the guffaws, she asked me if I thought I was going to shave my leg before I had it wrapped next time.
“WHAT HAIRS?” I shouted, still doing my one legged dance and rubbing my abused leg. “YOU PULLED THEM ALL OUT!” and reached for a half empty water bottle and squirted her with it. Dale, with tears in her eyes from laughing so hard by now, ducked and darted out the door giggling all the way, and yelping in addition. I chased her as best I could, and ran right into the coach coming the other way in the hallway.
“Uh… Tim?” He said seriously, but with amusement in his eyes, “The showers are in the other direction…you want to go use them? Now!”
“Right coach… just on my way to do that… bye!” I stammered very red in the face. A little from embarrassment and a little from the anger.
Still grinning, Dale said peeking out from the door of the coach’s office.
“I’ll bet he shaves next time!” And yelped again as I threatened to squirt her again with the water bottle. Coach took it away from me and pointed to the shower room. As I turned to go, he squirted me with the bottle. That got a giggle out of Dale, until he turned it on her. He pitched it to her and said to go finish her duties smiling the whole time.
Dale gave me a ride home that night, like she did most nights, unless I went somewhere with the other guys. On the way home, I was still rubbing my leg. In the shower I had discovered that there were in fact still hairs on my abused leg, much to my amazement.
“I’m sorry that it hurt Tim.” Dale said with still a remnant of a twinkle in her eyes. “But, I did warn you didn’t I?” I could see her swallow the beginnings of another giggle.
“Yeah… you did.” I admitted a little reluctantly. “But how was I to know? I mean I didn’t think… I didn’t know… well? Besides…Only girls shave their legs!” I added trying to smooth over my dignity.
“Not really…” She said “the pro’s do it all the time… at least up to where the tape will end anyway.”
“They do?” I replied looking out of the side of my eyes, not sure to believe her or not.
“Yeah. They do.” Turning to me saying. “I can show you how next time if you want.”
“Anything to not have to go through that again!” I intoned very acidly. She just chirped in reply and didn’t say anymore about it the rest of the way home.
The following Monday after school, I again went to get wrapped before practice began. I got there a little early so that I could get my leg shaved this time however. Dale had me take off my sock and put my leg and ankle in the sink to wet it with water. Then she had me sit down on the trainer’s table and hang my leg over the side. She put on shaving gel and worked up a lather then with a razor, she started at the point where the tape would stop and shaved down. It was a strange sensation for me. Not just the shaving but the having someone else do the shaving. Her hands were very gentle, and she didn’t cut me. When Dale was satisfied that she’d gotten all the hair off she had me rinse my leg off in the sink again then hop back up on the table. She took a towel and dried my leg off then ran her hands over the smooth skin on my leg… My skin seemed to tingle under her feathery touch. She looked up at me and smiled a little self conscious smile blushing a little, then turned away to get something. She came back with some talc and the tape. She put a little talc in her hand then rubbed them together then again rubbed my leg. Her hands felt, if anything, more feathery, and by now, my leg wasn’t the only thing tingling. Something not popularly known or at least mentioned about sweatpants is that they don’t hide a great deal of the ‘male’ anatomy… at least not in the situation that I was now in. Dale pretended not to notice as she started applying the tape, but I caught her glancing at me other than my ankle or face. I was turning a bright red I’m sure… and I know that Dale was practically turning pink.
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