Authors: Alex Sanchez
SIMON & SCHUSTER BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS
An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020
This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright Â© 2006 by Alex Sanchez
All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
is a trademark of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Book design by Steve Kennedy
The text for this book is set in New Caledonia.
A glossary of Spanish words appears on page 211
Manufactured in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Getting it / Alex Sanchez.â1st ed.
Summary: Hoping to impress a sexy female classmate, fifteen-year-old Carlos secretly hires gay student Sal to give him an image makeover, in exchange for Carlos's help in forming a Gay-Straight Alliance at their Texas high school.
[1. Coming of ageâFiction.Â Â 2. HomosexualityâFiction.Â Â 3. FriendshipâFictionÂ Â 4. Mexican AmericansâFiction.Â Â 5. High schoolsâFiction. 6. SchoolsâFiction.]Â Â I. Title.
Also by Alex Sanchez
So Hard to Say
To first love
With gratitude to my editor, David Gale; my agent, Miriam Altshuler; associate editor Alexandra Cooper; and all those who contributed to the creation of this book with their encouragement and feedback, including Bruce Aufhammer, David Bissette, Bill Brockschmidt, Kevin Case, Jeremy Coleman, Erik Ekman, Mariel Fox, Bill Hitz, James Howe, Chuck Jones, Jingjo Kongmun, Erica Lazaro, Kevin Lewis, Mark Lyons and Joe Scavetta, P. J. McCarthy, Sara McGhee, John Porter, John “J. Q.” QuiÃ±ones, Phoom, Bob Ripperger, Kara Skubel, Kelly Stewart, St. Andrew's High School, Pattawish Thitithanapak, Tim Vance, Mike Walker, Scott Wiggerman, and the McCallum High School GSA. Thank you all.
IFTEEN AND STILL
a virgin, Carlos Amoroso wanted more than anything to get a girlfriendâand hopefully get laid.
Yet he broke into a sweat and lost his breath anytime he went near a girl. Like now: He was carrying his tray across Lone Star High's crowded cafeteria, peering out from beneath the frayed hood of his sweatshirt. Ahead of him, a group of golden-skinned beauties garnished their hot dogs at the condiments counter, chatting and giggling.
In the center of the pack stood Roxana Rodriguez. With each laugh, her clingy top inched up her bare slim midriff above hip-hugging jeans. Long, shading lashes fanned her jade-green eyes. Thick eyebrows arched like the wings of an angel. Above her ruby lips rose the graceful nose of an Aztec princess. And long, blonde-streaked hair curtained across her shoulders toward her mesmerizing boobs. She was the girl Carlos yearned for.
For her part, however, Roxy didn't seem to even notice Carlosâand since starting high school the previous year he'd yet to summon the nerve to utter a single word to her. But in his secret dreams, the JV cheerleader swarmed all over him.
“I totally want you,” she panted, making such crazy love to him that his heart nearly burst.
The day after such reveries he usually slinked past her, his head down, a little hung over with embarrassment. But in last night's dream, the vision of her tearing his pants away had seemed so real it had startled him awake. And he'd resolved that today he'd give her his screen name.
During morning classes, he'd turned the folded note over in his damp fingers, rehearsing what he'd do: He'd stride straight up to her, jut his chin out, and say, “'S'up? Here's my screen name. IM me.”
Simple. Clear. Confident. Except â¦ First, he glanced over at his lunch table to make sure his friends weren't watching. Then he took a deep breath and jostled his tray through the cafeteria crowd toward the sophomore girls.
“He's not getting into my pants,” a girl in a leopard-print top said, “but I might get into his.”
“I know.” Roxy extended her hot dog across the condiment counter, one chrome-studded-jean hip thrust out. “Guys can get so needy when you start dating them.”
Carlos wasn't sure what Roxy meant. He knew she wasn't dating anyone. He'd asked around. Everyone confirmed Roxy was single. He put his trembling tray down.
But Roxy failed to notice him as she stroked the ketchup pump, protesting with a sly smile to her friends: “I can't get it to squirt.”
Alongside her, a girl with cherry-red lipstick burst into giggles. “If anybody can, you can.”
“Yeah,” Leopard Girl agreed. “Try talking dirty to it.”
Carlos recognized his chance to be Roxy's hero, though he didn't want to become the butt of the girls' joke.
Too late. Roxy's eyes latched onto him, as if he really was her hero. “You're a guy. Show us how you do it!”
The other girls darted conspiring glances at one another, grinning and giggling.
“Um â¦ sure â¦ um â¦” Carlos wrapped his fingers around the pump nozzle. “You justâ”
“Mmm, muscles!” Roxy squeezed her fingers around Carlos's
biceps, shooting bright, unexpected heat arrows up his arm. The blood raced in his arteries. Sweat burst from his pores. His body quivered. And a spurt of ketchup shot out sideways from the unclogged pump, striking the front of his jeans.
“Oh, my God!” The girls exploded into peals of laughter.
“You must do that a lot,” remarked Leopard Girl.
“I'm surprised he hasn't gone blind,” squealed Lipstick Chick.
“Nice technique.” Roxy smiled as she ketchuped her hot dog. Then the group strode away, laughing and whispering.
Carlos's heart crumpled like the folded note still inside his sweatshirt pocket. Not only had he failed to give Roxy his screen name, he'd made a complete fool of himself. How would he ever get her to like him?
But at least she'd talked to him. And with that encouraging thought, he lowered his tray to cover the splotch on his crotch and headed toward his friends' table.
S CARLOS APPROACHED
his buddies' table, Playboys eyes flashed at the red ketchup stain. “Dude, what happened? You get your period?”
Beside him, Pulga snorted so hard that Coke exploded out his nose. “You forget your tampons?”
“For that you'd better get a super-size Kotex,” Toro chimed in.
“Shut up.” Carlos plopped his tray down, secretly reveling in the attention.
The group had been his friends since boyhood, beginning with flea-size Pulga. He'd latched onto Carlos in kindergarten, newly arrived from Veracruz, not speaking a word of English. Carlos translated in whispers to him, and in turn, Pulga rewarded him with what seemed like the world's funniest booger jokes.
In second grade, Toro joined their class. Eager to make friends, he showed Carlos and Pulga how to pitch softballs, shoot baskets, and kick field goals. His athletic prowess, strong, thick build, and calf-brown eyes quickly prompted his nickname, Spanish for “bull.”
Later that year, Playboy transferred to their school, sporting a self-possessed confidence that drew the boys like a magnet. His slick black hair, handsome looks, and wide-set eyes gave him an air of utter scorn. On a dare from Pulga one day, he brought his stepdad's
to show-and-tell, and his nickname was born.
“You going to walk around like that?” Playboy now tossed Carlos a wad of napkins to dab the ketchup stain.
“You'd better put some water on it.” Pulga handed Carlos a cup of ice water.
“Uh-oh,” Toro remarked as Carlos dripped water onto the crotch spot. “Now you look like you peed yourself.”
“So how'd you get Roxy to talk to your sorry ass?” Playboy asked, obviously impressed.
“Yeah.” Toro leaned forward. “Why was she squeezing your muscle?”
Pulga snickered. “I'd give her a different muscle to squeeze.”
Carlos's buds knew all about his crush on Roxy. He never stopped gushing about her. And though he now gave them a modest shrug, inside he glowed with pride.
“She wants you, man,” Toro said, punching Carlos's shoulder.
“Yeah.” Pulga chuckled as Carlos wiped his crotch, making a wet red smear that totally looked like he'd gotten a period. “She wants you to use a tampon.”
“What you need is backup,” Playboy advised, laying an arm around Carlos's shoulders. “I'll help you with her.”
Playboy boasted the most experience with girls, having been the first of them to lose his virginityâwith a senior girl he'd met on a teen website. He'd gloated to the group how she'd been so hot for him she'd yanked out a condom and ordered him to put it on. Since that first time, Playboy had become practically a pro at web hookupsâthough Carlos was never clear as to exactly what constituted a hookup. Sometimes Playboy described it as just making out; other times he claimed going total. Whichever the case, it was more than Carlos was getting.
“Thanks, but no thanks.” Carlos slid out from beneath Playboy's arm. He trusted Playboy with almost everythingâexcept Roxy.
“Why don't you hook up with someone easier?” Pulga suggested. He'd become devirginized six months earlier with Carlotta Romero, the tallest girl in sophomore class (nearly a foot taller than Pulga).
Since then, he got an afternoon matinee once a week when her mom volunteered with the homeless. Yet Pulga insisted Carlotta wasn't his girlfriend. “She's just a friend”âhe grinned wrylyâ“with benefits.”