The Gentiles

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Callie

Harry groaned. “Of course not.” He let his knuckles brush my cheek as he murmurs, “Don’t be afraid of me, baby.”

I’m not. I trust him with my life. But why would he ask me if I’m scared of him? I was only worried that I might be a bad kisser.

I’m not about to tell him that.

Then, the worst possible thing happened.

I wasn’t supposed to get it until after three days. I should have anticipated it. I mean, I did feel more easily aroused these past few days which I would have rectified if not for the watchful eyes of the people who takes care of me.

I swear I wasn’t given a private time to ease my frustrations.

Not with Harry, Fely and Jared around me every waking minute.

Harry shifted his body from me, sensing my discomfort. Worry deepened the creases on his beautiful face.

Hurt.

I’ve never been shy about anything with Harry.

He’d seen me at my worst when I got a really bad case of gastroenteritis and had to take care of me because my parents weren’t around, and they couldn’t come back home immediately.

He’d taken care of me every time I got sick, had to endure the sweat and the vomit and the no-showering.

He knew about the humiliating rejection I got from Gerald, my classmate from kindergarten, and all about my fantasizing a wedding to Chadwick Boseman with Will Smith barging through the church doors to claim me for himself.

Harry knows me like the back of his hand, the reason why he can play me like a fiddle and still, I’d be begging for more.

It’s just that… there are some things which I wish not to discuss with him no matter what the circumstances are.

Ever.

And no matter how I would like to tend to the matter discretely, I’m afraid I just don’t have the luxury to.

“Callie.”

Harry’s face blurred in my vision as he leaned back and stare at me, demanding an answer.

His voice wavered a little bit, panic rising.

I pushed him back, grabbed my glasses to put them on, and jumped from the bed and hurried for the bathroom, praying he will just allow me to do what I have to do.

“Callie, wait,” Harry called. He sprinted after me, catching me without any complication, and twisting me gently to face him.

I have to get away from him quick or else…

It hurt a bit when I tried to pull my arm from his hold because he tightened it the more that I resist.

“Let me explain first, please. I told you not to run away from me, Callie.”

His voice is as desperate as my attempt to go.

“No, Harry. I need to –”

Oh, no.

I can feel it.

The stress and strong emotions are causing a deluge.

“Sweetheart?”

Tears bore into my eyes and before I know it, those are flooding, too.

Finally, Harry loosened his grip. But that was because I also stopped fighting altogether.

“What’s the matter?” he asked.

I hit him on the chest and tried to explain without combusting into pieces.

“What?” Harry asked me softly when he didn’t hear a word I said, tugging my hair on the back of my ear. He lifted my face to look at me, all tears and snot.

I sniffed. “I just got my period.”

Tears burst forth once again.

The shame.

Harry’s eyes widen a fraction, the muscles on his face, taut. It only lasted for a beat before his tense body relaxed and he gazed at me with a tender expression.

“Oh, baby.”

With pursed lips and a determined look, he nodded and pulled me towards the bathroom.

“What are you doing?”

He handed me my towel and laid a feather-like kiss on my forehead.

“Go wash up,” he commanded. With that, he thankfully left the bathroom.

As I was about to pull my shorts down, he bursts through the door with a pair of my own folded underwear in one hand.

I was beyond mortified.

“Harry! What are you doing with those?”

As much as I would like to take them back, I couldn’t risk any sudden movements. I begrudgingly watch while Harry rummaged through the cupboards in my bathroom, stopping to take something from one of the cabinets below the sink, and almost making me faint because of what he was holding.

“Why are you still dressed? We need to soak your panties –”

Oh. My. God.

“– so the blood wouldn’t stain… Are you alright?”

At last, Harry noticed my perplexed expression. This was way embarrassing than if I get caught masturbating under my sheets.

Well, may not really but just as much, I suppose.

“Could –” I cleared my throat. “Could you please just leave me? I can do it on my own.”

My goodness, I couldn’t even look at him.

Harry ignored my plea. Another wave of anxiety hit me as I heard the ripping sound which could only mean one thing.

My cousin is putting the sanitary pad onto the crotch of my strawberry-patterned Sanrio panties like the act is as natural as breathing.

I couldn’t take it anymore. I stepped forward a little enough for me to reach out to yank my childish knickers from him.

He smoothly swayed to avoid my grabbing hand, giving me an incredulous look as if he had every right to do so.

“What are you blushing about?”

I’m not sure I’m blushing. Of course, his accusation heated up my face regardless of whether I was already blushing or not.

Harry snickered. “I know how to put a tampon on panties, too, Callie. Remember, there isn’t very much anything I couldn’t do.”

Sometimes, I love Harry’s confidence. At times, I hate how it morphs into cockiness. He’s still charming, sure. Just annoying to the extremes especially when he’s right. Not to mention he’d probably done this a million times with other girls.

“First of all, it’s a pad. A sanitary napkin, not a tampon.”

Never thought I’d educate my eighteen-year-old cousin with period semantics but here we are. The confusion on his face was priceless, though, I have to admit.

I don’t know what his girlfriends have been telling him, but he has got to learn the difference between these things. It’s a crime again females not to.

“Secondly, that huge head of yours would definitely get the best of you someday. You’ll see.”

At this, Harry’s eyes got huge. He opened his mouth to say something, but I beat him to it.

“Lastly,” I sighed, “of course, you do. I didn’t doubt it for a second.” I muttered the last part so he wouldn’t hear it.

He still did.

What he was about to say before was forgotten in the change of his expression from amusement to taken aback. He raises one thick eyebrow at me. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”

Does he really want me to say it out loud? He’d never stop pestering me until I do.

“I mean, of course, you’ve got practice.”

Harry bit his bottom lip in thought. One hand rested on the sink counter, the other, the one still holding on to my now padded panties, he rested on his hip.

“I’ve never done this to anyone before.”

Now, he’s just being an utter liar.

He holds out one finger, stopping me even before I get any syllable out.

With one side of his lip lifted up, he tells me, “I was the one who helped you when you first got your period, remember?”

I’ll never forget.

“We called my mom, asking her to call for an ambulance, then we found out what was going on.”

I was always proud of having an aunt as a doctor and will always be thankful for aunt Lou for instructing us what to do on that particular day.

“I was the one who changed your sheets. Washed them before aunt Michie and uncle Ted got home because you were terrified they’d scold you.”

Harry inched towards me and I feel him searching my face. For what, I don’t wat to know.

“I bought your tampons or you, googled how to place it correctly on your undies,” he glanced at the ones in his hands, “not much different than this one.”

Harry inspected the garment, and I closed my eyes in embarrassment.

“You still have those pure white panties, Callie?”

As a matter of fact, I do. They mostly sag at the waist now, having lost the elasticity of the garter due to repeated washing but they’re so cute with a tiny ribbon at the front I can’t stand parting with them.

A hot gust of breath fanned across my face and I opened my eyes, gazing at a pair the same color as mine.

“See? I know how to do it because of you,” he murmured. “I’m just doing what I did back then.”

“That was different,” I dismissed with a wave of a hand.

On the inside, I was screaming.

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