Saturday, June 15, 2013

E.R. Frank's FRICTION: Rumors of a Middle-School Student and Her Teacher

In Friction, 14-year-old Stacy informs 13-year-old Alex and some of their middle-school classmates that Simon, their science teacher and soccer coach, likes Alex, which takes on significant meaning after Simon's hand accidentally brushes Alex's, "... little, but not a bad shape," breast in school, which left Alex's chest, "... warm and soft ..." And after Alex accidentally sees Simon's penis, "... his rain-slicked wet thing above a jiggling sack of skin, and a nest of brown hair. Everything." on a camping trip, Alex couldn't get her science teacher's, "... thick-looking and sluggy ..." thing out of her head.

After Stacy continues to spread the rumor that Simon is attracted to Alex, Tim, a middle-school classmate, informs a bewildered Alex that, "Older men like younger women...Everybody knows it, Alex. Come on." Subsequently, Alex begins to think that maybe she likes her science teacher as well. She said:

"What if that slow, sliding feeling I've been getting lately is because I like him? Most of me knows it can't be, but then why am I suddenly restless sometimes, in the middle of the night or at school, or even on the soccer field? Why do I want to feel something light, maybe on the arm or the lips, and how come, even though I think it was an accident that time Simon touched my chest, I can't get it out of my mind?"

I'm not going to spoil the ending, but I will say that it involves another dramatic age-discrepant relationship that explains why Stacy insisted on spreading the rumor that Alex and Simon were having an affair. 

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