Quest For Zach, Part 1

(by Gray Haze, 28 December 2007)

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Quest for Zach
By Gray Haze

Part 1

"Dad, please?"

That's my dad, always trying to light up in the car while I'm with him.  He
knows that I hate it when he smokes in the car, and he always refrains after
I remind him.  He smokes so much, though, I guess he doesn't even realize any
more when he lights up.  But at least he is good about it, unlike mom who
doesn't care whether it bothers me or not.  No matter how vociferous I am,
she smokes in the car regardless of my complaints.

Anyway, dad was taking me to Mary Murphy's big pool party that night.  School
had just ended for the summer and she was having a bash to celebrate.  Most
of my friends were going.  In fact, dad was picking up Paula and Peggy Price
on the way there.  Paula and I just finished seventh grade whereas her sister
Peggy had just finished eighth grade.  Paula and I have been classmates and
best friends since kindergarten.  This was our first year in middle school.  

That first year in middle school was quite an adjustment for me.  For the
first time in my life I no longer felt like a little kid.  I guess I didn't
feel like a little kid anymore because I was starting to really develop
physically.  I had my first period earlier that fall, and throughout the year
I watched as my hips expanded out and my boobs grew bigger and bigger.  My
height had stayed the same at 5'3".  It's the same height as my mom and
probably will be my final height in life.

Another big adjustment had been the new friends that I had met that went to
other grade schools.  Mary fit into that category, as did Zach.  I haven't
mentioned Zach yet.  I fell in love with Zach the very first time I saw him
at the beginning of that school year.  He is an absolute hunk.  He is tall at
5'7" with blue eyes and blond hair.  He also was the starting quarterback on
the town Pop Warner football team.  All the girls in school think he is the
cutest guy in our class and yet, to my knowledge, he didn't date anybody all
year.  I was hoping I could change that.

So you are probably wondering what made me think that he would have any
interest in me.  Well, about a month before the party, I was sitting in the
school cafeteria with Paula eating lunch when Zach and his friend Joey
surprisingly sat down next to us.  I almost died.  I was so nervous.  It
turns out that Joey was interested in Paula.  Joey is quite cute, although
he's no Zach.  Joey really isn't my type, though Paula seems very interested.
So over the last four weeks of school, Paula and I had had plenty of chances
to talk with Zach and Joey.

So, was Zach interested in me?  I wasn't sure.  He was always very friendly
though, and we seemed to get along with each other just fine.  I was hoping
that night we would take the next step.

Paula, Peggy and I arrived at Mary's house about 7 o'clock that evening.
Mary's family is quite well off.  No, maybe that is an understatement.  They
are downright filthy rich.  She lives in a really big beautiful house, with a
pool, tennis courts, botanical gardens, the works.  Usually rich kids are
very snotty.  But that was not the case with Mary.  She is as down to earth
as she could be.  Thus, she was very popular and that was reflected in the
huge turnout for her party.  Overall, there were at least 60 kids at the
party, split about evenly between kids my age and Peggy's age.  This was
basically the cream of the middle school, and I was very happy to be a part
of that group.

Once out of the car, the three of us headed to the pool located at the back
of the house.  We could hear the music and the voices of laughing kids as we
walked toward the pool.  Once there, Peggy headed for her group of eighth
grade friends while Paula and I headed for ours.  For the next half hour or
so, we socialized with our friends.  During this time I kept an eye out for
Zach as Paula did the same for Joey.  

Finally, both Joey and Zach showed up together.  Zach had a tropical
patterned bathing suit on with a Hawaiian styled shirt.  The shirt was open
in the front.  Around his neck was a beach towel in which he held in place at
the bottom with both hands.  God, did he look gorgeous.  Soon, both Joey and
Zach took off their shirts and dived into the pool.  Wanting to get a better
view, Paula and I grabbed our Coke's and headed to the chase lounges near the
side of the pool.  

Joey and Zach swam for quite awhile.  There was a large group of boys in the
pool, throwing Nerf footballs around, diving off the diving board and horsing
around - typical stuff for teenage boys.  Off and on during this time, Paula
and I were joined by other girls.  We all were watching the boys, probably
with each of us admiring the pecs on one guy or another.  Of course, I
couldn't get my eyes off of Zach.  His muscular, quarterback style body stood
out from all the rest in my eyes.  

Finally, both Zach and Joey got out of the pool and immediately grabbed their

"Here they come," Paula said to me as they started to walk toward us.

"Hi, Joey."

"Hey Paula, how you doing," Joey said while stopping near the chase lounges.

"Hi, Zach," I chimed in as he stopped as well.

The four of us chatted for the next five or ten minutes.  It was mostly small
talk.  Zach didn't say too much during this time.  He mostly just listened
while Joey and Paula did the majority of the talking.  

"Hey Joey, let's head over and get some drinks," Zach said as he started to
walk away.  Joey followed while Paula and I started talking about the boys.
Both of us were confident that the two would return.  I figured that at least
Joey would for Paula.  I was only hoping that his constant side kick Zach
would follow.  But as the minutes passed, neither one of them came.  Soon,
Paula was noticeably worried as she saw both of them starting to talk with a
couple of eighth grade girls that neither one of us knew.  I was even more
worried myself.  There was at least some hint that Joey liked Paula, but Zach
never seemed to have much interest in me.  

Before long, a half hour passed and both guys were still glued to the two
eighth grade girls.  Paula was becoming visibly upset while I was starting to
wonder what they saw in those two girls.  Paula was clearly more attractive
than either one of the girls.  I myself like to be humble, but, oh why not.
My looks are far superior then theirs as well.  But what came next shocked
me.  First one of the girls and then the other pulled out cigarettes and lit

So, why the surprise?  Well everyone at the party was either 13 or 14 years
old.  In fact, I was still only 12.  My thirteenth birthday wasn't until late
August.  Sure there were some kids that smoked at school.  But they were
usually not associated with this crowd.  They were the trouble makers and the
unpopular.  To most of us, smoking was considered disgusting.  

Several other girls soon followed suit and lit up as well.  But the vast
majority of the kids at the party didn't smoke.  I was hoping that these two
girls smoking would turn both Zach and Joey off.  I watched as clouds of
smoke flowed from the girls' mouths, fully expecting them to leave and then
come talk to us again.  But neither did.  In fact, another hour and a few
more cigarettes later, they were still with them.  

Soon, Zach started dancing with one girl and Joey and the other started
dancing on the deck near the pool.  They were joined by several others.  It
was all Paula could do not to burst out in tears at the site of Joey dancing
closely with another girl.  I don't know how I felt.  I guess shock and
despair could best describe it.

As the night wore on Zach and Joey continued to hang out with the smoking
girls.  Finally, at 11pm, after watching Joey start making out with one of
them, Paula had seen enough.

"Terry, let's go," she told me as she started searching for her sister.
Personally, I was becoming quite upset myself.  I couldn't take watching Zach
cuddle up with his girl himself. 

"I'll call dad", I told her as I grabbed my cell phone.

While we waited for dad to come, Paula found Peggy as I gathered my stuff to
leave.  Peggy didn't want to go, but after seeing how despondent Paula was,
she soon understood why.

"I don't get it Peggy, what could he possibly see in that girl?" Paula told
her on the verge of tears.  

Peggy had known both girls since grade school.  In fact she was pretty good
friends with both.

"You know Paula, she is pretty nice.  Don't get too down on yourself," Peggy
said to Paula, trying to calm her down some.

"I know, but my god, she even smokes!" Paula said in strong disgust.

"So, what does that have to do with anything?" Peggy answered.

"It's so, like, disgusting, don't you think?  Why would any guy want to smell
that all the time?"

"I don't know, most guys don't seem to mind.  In fact, some even seem to like
smoking girlfriends.  I'm not sure why, but I think they like the bad girl
image," Peggy said, ignoring Paula's disgusting comment.  "Don't be so quick
to put down something that you have never tried before.  Maybe smoking isn't
all that bad.  Look, mom smokes, and she seems to like it.  Do you think
she's disgusting?"

"Oh, and I suppose you have tried smoking before?" Paula said with a little
smirk on her face.

Peggy looked at Paula without saying a word.  She just stared at her trying
to think of what to say.  Finally, after a brief moment of silence, she
decided to be honest.  "Yes little sister, I have tried smoking a few times.
Please don't tell mom though, or I will kill you."

Paula was now the one without words.  She couldn't believe that her sister
was smoking.  "Oh, well then, do you like smoking?"

"I don't know, it's OK and everything," Peggy answered.  "I just don't have
any desire to smoke the rest of my life."

Dad came to pick us up shortly after we heard Peggy's revelation.  To be
honest with you, I hardly gave smoking a second thought after hearing Peggy.
In fact, I asked dad to please put out his cigarette as we got into the car.
I figured Paula didn't think about  it again, either.  But boy was I wrong!

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