He’d never heard a girl say that word. Was Brandy serious? Judging by the looked on her face, eyebrows raised, a doubting smile on her face, like she, and all the other girls had stumped him and there was no way he could get out of it.
Could he get out of it? He could walk away, he realized. Just like the your book picture. He could turn around and not even pretend to have heard them. All the boys playing basketball wouldn’t even know he had wussed out and he suspected that the girls wouldn’t tell them, embarrassed by what they had asked him to do. He scanned the eyes of the other girls, of Suse, Gretchen, Tommy (a boys name for a girl), back to Brandy. She was biting her lip, as if surprised what she had asked him to do, though she had sounded so confident.
Perhaps it was because he knew it would shock them, maybe because what they’d asked was so bold and they’d thought he’d chicken out, maybe it was show them that he could be brave and do things that other boys might do–or wouldn’t do. He would do.
He strode forward and the girls stepped back, but not as if afraid, instead they formed a semicircle around him. His hands went to his pants and all the girls looked down at his crotch. He could feel those eyes and it was as if he wasn’t even there, but a far way away, and he unbuttoned his jeans and pulled them and the boxers down, just a little.
Brian stared down just like the girls. His penis was small and shriveled and pale. The skin over it was like a hood and his testicles were bunched close to his body against the cold and fear.
“Put it away,” said Tommy.
Brian scooped it back up with his boxers and snapped his jeans back into place. When he looked up none of the girls looked at him. They looked at each other though, their faces pink and little confused smiled on their faces. Brian had thought he’d feel courageous for doing something so scary. He’d thought he’d feel manly and somehow confident in his actions. But he didn’t. He felt as though he’d been duped into doing something more childish than saying no. He didn’t know what the girls had seen, but he realized what he had seen wasn’t very interesting to look at. In fact it was a little gross. Like a sea creature you couldn’t identify the head of.
Then Brandy spoke and made everything worse. “I thought it was suppose to be bigger,” she said.
Suse, Gretchen, Tommy–all the other girls began to giggle. They began to laugh. Brian took a step back. Then another. Their laughing bounced off the brick walls and sounded like far more people, as if everyone Brian knew was laughing at his inadequacy. He felt his face turn hot. Crack an egg on it and I’ll take over medium, Dad would have said. But Brian doubted Dad would have known what to say now.