Short Story Saturday- No Strings Attached: Charli and Tristan Part 1

Charli and Tristan: Innocent Love

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Charli had felt the pressure to lose her virginity and soon found out that it was not worth all of the hype.  The experience was not pleasant and when she got her next boyfriend he automatically assumed that they would have sex too.  She did but it was more so because she didn’t want him to break up with her rather than wanting to really have sex.  After all peer pressure was hell for a girl her age because having the maturity to say no just did not exist.  It was not until she met Tristan that she realized that not all boys were the same.

Charli had seen Tristan around school, and was actually friends with his brother Trae. She could not keep her eyes off of him, Tristan was everything.  Her heart skipped a beat when she would see him and wondered if he ever looked at her in the same way.  Having a crush on someone and them not knowing was a relief because it saved her the embarrassment of rejection.  But after a couple of years of watching him from a distance, Charli began to notice how his eyes always found a way to meet with hers.

She sat at the top of the bleachers one Sunday at the park and she spotted Tristan walking across the field.  He had matured a lot but still had his smooth baby face, and chocolate skin that made her heart flutter.  They had never spoken more than a few words to each other in passing, but this particular day something felt different.  Tristan dapped a few dudes up as he walked towards the basketball courts, stood in the crowd with some others because he was dressed to play this particular Sunday.  He headed towards the bleachers and Charli wondered if he would come her way and he did.

She felt a pinch on her side and there he was, Tristan, smiling up at her showing his beautiful white teeth.  “Hey Charli,” he said leaning as he propped his elbows up beside her hip slightly touching it.  “What’s up Trist,” she said looking down at him trying to play it cool.  They had been playing phone tag, and she was sure that he had gotten the message from his older sister that she had called him.  Charli wasn’t exactly shy, but sometimes leaving a message for him was scary especially when their grandmother answered the phone.  She always seemed so aggravated.

Whenever Charli and Tristan talked it was always long enough for him to tell her that he would be out and about for a while but he would hit her up later.  He was a corner boy and she knew what that meant and pretty soon his phone calls were long enough just to say, “I’ll be by to see you later.”  That didn’t stop Charli from calling, sometimes she’d call just so he would know she reached out.

They would see each other many times in different places.  The park on Sundays, the corner store where everybody hung out to shoot pool and listen to Tupac blasting from the jukebox, the teen club Paradise, and teen night up at Voodoo’s on Tuesday nights during the summer.  There was always a subtle hello, a slight grab of the arm, a glance across the room, or a whisper in the ear to step outside so they could talk.  No one was blind to it.  Charli and Tristan had the true what’s understood don’t need to be explained relationship.  Not exactly boyfriend and girlfriend but it was more than friendship.

Charli’s mom worked at night, so on the weekend her friends would fall through and parlay at the house for a few hours just laughing and shooting the shit.  Ironically the crew that would fall through was friends of Tristan’s that were also involved with Charli’s friends.  The circle was tight and everybody guarded each other’s relationships.  By the time everyone would clear out slightly after midnight, Charli would retreat to her room full of nothing but love for her friends and guarder of their secrets.  Her eyes would shut for maybe thirty minutes before hearing a tap at the front door.

Checking the clock, it displayed 12:57 a.m.  Without precaution, Charli walked to the door and opened it without asking who it was.  Many times this would happen.  She’d open the door, turn, and then walk back to her room.  Tristan would step in, shut the door, and follow the path leading him to her.  To Charli, Tristan always smelled like a freshly smoked blunt and Cool Water cologne.  He was tired from beating block and wanted to rest.

Stepping into Charli’s room, she walked towards him and wrapped her arms around his neck giving him her love disguised as a hug.  He’d wrap his arms around her waist squeezing her in return.  They’d stand there face to face.  “Hey Trist,” she said, “It’s late.”  Simple sentences, no questions.  “Yeah, I know but I wanted to see you,” he said smoothly.  Charli just looked at him and smiled, “Good, but I was laying down,” she’d say turning back towards her bed, climbing to the middle of it.  Tristan would kick off his shoes and join her.

There was no pressure.  There were no lies.  He was the only dude she was interested in and waited for him to come see her most of the time.  She knew that he was a corner boy.  He was also older than her but he never tried to take advantage of her.  Tristan turned her face towards his and kissed her.  His lips were soft, his tongue was warm, and his touch made her comfortable.  He whispered, “Thank you for not turning me away.”

Charli kissed him back, lovingly.  She looked in his eyes and heard his sincerity then turned on her side.  Tristan reached under her shirt and pulled her closer to him and held her while he napped lightly.  His internal alarm woke him up.  He’d grabbed his shoes and pulled Charli towards the door, he knew her mom would be home from work soon.  He hugged her again, and then walked out the door.  She closed it behind him.  She loved him at a very young age.

They spent time like this on the regular.  Charli was his safe place.  Tristan was hers.

To be continued…

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