Robyn thought about what she was about to sacrifice to win the man of her dreams. She thought about her sisters, newly aged up to Teens, but already so sure of what they wanted to do with their lives. They’d almost convinced their parents to let them leave for Germany of all places. Robyn wasn’t sure about much, but she was sure about her love for and dedication to Baby Branham. She had probably gone temporarily crazy, but she decided to go all in on her gamble.
Robyn: All’s fair in love and war, right? Yeah, just keep telling yourself that.
She looked at Erik Rocca, who was standing stock still but eyeing the bush with longing in his eyes. She touched his arm and like a statue unfrozen, he turned slowly to look at her.
Robyn hoped her words didn’t sound as cheesy out loud as they did in her head. “Well, is it ladies first or are you going to lead the way?
He took a deep breath and took a step towards the bush.
Robyn took her own deep breath and followed him into the bushes. She hoped what she was doing would work, but it was too late to turn back now.
“Whoa,” said Robyn, “that was… really something.”
“I’ll say,” responded Erik. “Do you, um, want me to get rid of my friend Carter? We can sit and talk, turn this into a real date.”
Robyn: Carter! Right, that’s his name.
“A real date?? Oh, well, that’s sweet of you to say,” said Robyn, “but actually my dad texted me to come home, I’m already breaking curfew.”
“It’s past your curfew already?”
“Oh yeah,” said Robyn. “Compromise of the family bulletin board. The curfew is ealier than it should be for the teens, and later than it should be for the kids.”
“Oh… well, then I’ll see you at school tomorrow?”
“I guess, I mean, sure, yeah,” said Robyn, trying not to sound dismissive, but probably failing. “Thanks for asking me out Erik, you were great.”
“Um… okay, good night then.” Erik walked away with a confused look on his face and headed back towards his friend who was waiting for him, looking very ready for high fives and cheers and congratulations.
Robyn headed in a different direction, trying her best to not overhear the guys.
“…and she’s hot and rich and never gives any of us the time of day. What made you so lucky? And how far did you get in that bush anyway? This is insane, ya gotta tell me everything!”
“I don’t really want to talk about it right now,” said Erik, watching Robyn’s departure and feeling very confused, “let’s just drop it and head home.”
“Drop it?! Man, no way! That kiss she laid on you…”
Finally their voices were drowned out by the oppressive silence that hung over Forgotten Hollow. Robyn made her way home, feeling very conflicted at first. But the more she thought about it, the more she was sure her plan would work. She really hadn’t intended to go all the way with Erik, but it just made sense.
After her kiss with him, she realized how inexperienced she was. She didn’t want to embarrass herself when she finally was with Baby, so it was kind of like market research, as the twins might say.
Robyn wasn’t a dumb girl, though she was aware of how her recent risky behavior might make it seem that way. She was smart enough to know that she was stupid for actually having sex with Erik. There was really only one thing she could do. If she was going to cross into the moral dark side for the sake of love, she might as well go all the way.
She prayed to the Creator that her parents wouldn’t still be on the couch when she walked through the door, ready to ground her. She peeked in the window when she got home and thanked her lucky stars. She called Baby to hang out at her house, and he agreed.
Robyn stalked the front door until he arrived and opened it before he could ring the doorbell. She was back in the house so she wasn’t technically breaking curfew anymore, but she didn’t want to draw any attention that she was no longer home alone.
“You know, you’re a lucky girl that I still have so many single friends that like to hang out late,” said Baby. “Not many parents to a toddler can leave their home this late at night.”
“Ah, the benefits of a two parents household,” said Robyn, thinking of how to steer the conversation away from his home life. “Listen, it is late, and I don’t want to wake anyone up. But I really need to speak with you. Can we head up to my room so we don’t disturb the whole house?”
Baby wasn’t so sure he should be alone with Robyn in her bedroom, but he reminded himself he’d made it clear to her last time they were alone that he wanted her to focus more on boys her own age. He told himself that she was a smart girl and probably listened to him. He also told himself that the thought of her out on dates, maybe even letting some punk kid put his hands on her, didn’t make him jealous.
And he told himself that this moment didn’t eerily remind him of a previous night. The previous night he’d hung out alone with Lesley, who he’d been just friends with up to that point, for the first time. The same night his daughter Luz was conceived. The same night he’d changed the whole course of his adult life. He shook off the thoughts swirling in his head and agreed to head upstairs.
To Be Continued…