“What’s going on here?” a boy asked.
“Oh, hi Johnny. We have us a sissy. Look at his long hair. He’s wearing a pink sweater and lipstick. He carries his books like a girl.”
I was so terrified by now that I could not move. Then this beautiful boy’s face was in front of me. “What’s your name?” he asked.
“Ronni with an i,” I said.
“How precious!” a dark-haired girl said, “Ronni!” She said, and clasped her hands at her chest. The girls laughed more.
Johnny grabbed my face and pooched out my lips. “Come with me,” he said.
Johnny was taller than me by a head. We went to the bathroom across the hall. He snatched down some brown paper towels and I set down my books. He wet them and handed them to me. I took the towels and he grinned at me. He was so pretty, black hair, and his smooth white skin.
“Stop staring and grinning at me. Turn around to the mirror and wipe that shit off your lips. You’ll get beat up wearing lipstick to school, Ronni. If you can, try to find something besides that pink sweater, too.”
“It used to be red,” I said. My face was close to the mirror as I wiped.
I saw his reflection. He smiled at me. “What?” I asked and grinned shyly. We stared at one another smiling.
“Are you sure you’re a boy?”
Emotions flooded me again, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but I knew one thing. He hit a nerve that I didn’t know was there. I spun and put my hands on the sink behind me. My hair flew in my eyes.
“How’s this?” I asked sexily as I could and puckered my lips into a kiss for his inspection. He slapped me, hard.
“You queer!” he yelled in my face, and I turned my head away. He stormed out of the bathroom. The bell rang and I was late. I was crying my eyes out as I gathered my things. I snatched off my pink sweater and tossed it in the trash on the way out. I opened myself to him and he stomped on me. It was such a huge error. I ran down the hall crying.
Word got out that I tried to kiss Johnny Bumpers in the bathroom and he slapped me. He told. He had to have because and we were the only ones there. I was heartbroken on top of heartbroken. Rumors flew, and sooner than we knew, both Johnny and myself were in the Vice Principal’s office to explain what happened. The office was small, a big desk for him, a small table for the secretary, and three wooden chairs against the wall facing the desk.
He spoke to Johnny first, but I butted in. How do you explain wearing your mother’s lipstick?
I was so scared. My heart pounded out of my chest. “Sir, if I may, I’m Ronni King. All this is my doing. Johnny was just trying to help me out. You see, I’m a sissy I suppose, and I had on my mother’s lipstick,” I said, wide-eyed. The Vice Principal’s secretary was there taking short-hand. She snickered when I said that.
I looked at her, then him, and continued. “Johnny was helping me clean it off and giving me good advice about never wearing lipstick to school, when I puckered my lips at him like this,” I said and showed them what I did. The secretary giggled, then I giggled. “He did not slap me, sir. Somebody made that part of it up. I was way out of line and I’ll take whatever punishment comes from this.”
Vice Principal Childers sat and rocked in his chair, his fingers laced over his portly belly. He looked at me.
“You didn’t actually kiss him,” he said.