"Come on, Stan! This is the moment of truth! You can do this! Just FUCKING KISS HER YOU PUSSY!" My mind was screaming that, but I couldn't do it…

"God damnit…" I muttered, turning away. Wendy stared at me concerned- not that fake-worry bullshit that some girlfriends do. Her brow was drawn together and her hands covered mine. God, I hated when she looked at me like that- all perfect emotion. It was impossible to deserve that concern. "I'm sorry…" I said hastily, pulling my hand out from under hers. Her expression softened a little (thank Jesus). I still pulled back. "I don't know why I can't do it. I really love you, Wendy. Maybe I'm just nervous. But, I want to kiss you, so don't try to kiss me instead…please, can you just wait for me?" I asked.

I knew I was being selfish, but I knew that if she really loved me, she'd let me do this. I had to be the one to kiss her. I had to prove to myself that I could…after the last break up.

It was messy. It kinda fucked me up for weeks. Let's just leave it at that.

She took my hands in hers and smiled vaguely. "Stan, I think you're just nervous… But, there isn't anything to worry about. I'm sure you're still a great kisser. I'm going to love you either way…just try again?" she whispered.

We were sitting on my couch, home alone. My parents were kidknapped by the skinheads- gone two days now- I was sure I'd have to worry about that soon, but for now… I leaned in, framing her face with my hands. I could smell her perfume, her shampoo, see all the little cracks in her lips under the gloss which just made her look more human, more desirable.

God, I wanted to kiss her.

But, something occurred to me. What if I missed? Or, what if my lips were chapped or my breath was bad- I had no way of knowing…it had been a long time since I'd done anything like this. And she had experience (partners- lots of boys, and maybe a girl or two…Wendy was always good at getting what she wanted)- points of reference she'd be comparing me to the entire time. I couldn't do this. She'd hate me if I ruined it…

She had her eyes closed expectantly. Oh God, if I didn't do this, I'd be ruining it just the same…but, what could I do? I couldn't make myself more forward, but I couldn't just pussy out again! I felt sick!


"Genetically speaking, the Ginger gene, or red hair gene appears in people who have two copies of the recessive allele that encodes a mutant form of the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) protein. The mutation renders the MC1R protein useless. This protein regulates the production of various forms of skin and hair pigment melanin. There are over sixty different mutations that can cause the various grades of red-ginger hair, often accompanied by pale skin, freckles, and proneness to sunburn.

"In conclusion, red hair is what you get when you have no functioning MC1R at all. It is very rare in humans, found in less than one percent of the world's population, and is not, I repeat, not a disease." I tapped my paper on the desk with a smug expression. I'd like to see the fat lard come back at that. His argument was invalid anyway…

He stood up, slamming his pudgy fists on his desk. "Would you call Autism a disease? What about sickle cell anemia? The prefix "dis" is synonymous with "un", and "ease"? …well I think we all know what that means?" he addressed the class. "The word disease means literally "unease" or "discomfort" just like the Gingers are a disease as well as all other redheads, people from New Jersey, and Jews. All of these peoples cause discomfort to the people around them, making them feel awkward and unsure of how they should interact with them. So, what do you have to say for yourself Kahl?"

"I am not a fucking disease Cartman!"

"Language Kyle!" Mr. Garrison snapped.

"He's calling me a disease!"

"Just don't use profanity to make your point!"

Cartman put his hand up to wave it off, "It's quite alright Mr. Garrison. It just proves that Kyle has nothing left to say. His feeble mind is just struggling to put his emotions into words by using vulgar language." He smiled like the little fucking angel his twisted perverse brain had made him believe he was. I hate that fat swine!

I sighed, he was going to make me be a smartass again wasn't he? "CARTMAN! YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH!" I yelled. He turned his attention to me, where it rightfully belonged.

I began, "The dictionary definition of the word disease is as follows: 'a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors; illness; sickness; ailment.' A disease is something physical. You couldn't call embarrassment or confusion a disease just because it makes you uncomfortable. Likewise, people can't be a disease just because they make you uncomfortable. So…there." I shrugged.

Butters began clapping. "W-wow…Kyle that was amazing!"

"Someone search and make sure his facts are straight!" Cartman yelled, slamming a fat paw onto his desk and standing.

This kid doesn't give up… I sighed and took out my phone. "You can use mine and get on internet, or if you think I might have rigged the internet because I'm a Jew and therefore have magic powers or something ridiculous like that, than feel free to use someone else's."

"Well, you are the only one who could negotiate with the internet…" he said slowly. But, he did as I said, and frowned when he read the first few definitions. But, by the time he got to the part about social diseases, he grinned and immediately started ranting. But, by this point; I'd won over every jury member on the debate team. I zoned him out and just took my seat. "Ha! Kyle forfeits his rebuttal!" Cartman cried, pointing at me and laughing.

Moses! He pissed me off so bad! "I don't need a rebuttal, Cartman. You're an idiot." I turned to the jury, "I formally yield my time."

After school, I walked back home with Stan and Kenny, our steps pacing together comfortably. Cartman's house was in the opposite direction (thank God). I never could understand how he convinced himself that we actually liked him.

"I can't believe you memorized the dictionary definition of "disease"…" Stan said, shaking his head in disbelief. Whether his disbelief was positive or negative was left unsaid.

"It helped prove my point, didn't it?"

"Everyone agreed with you from the beginning anyway. Cartman never stands much of a chance. Everything he argues is bigoted …"

"That's never stopped him from convincing people to agree with him," I muttered bitterly. Stan just shrugged in acquiescence- knowing Cartman well himself. "Besides, Cartman is never going to stop until someone shows him up for good. I'm the only one who's capable of it," I said seriously.

That just earned a withering look from both Kenny and Stan. "Wendy could," Stan suggested, and I had to give that consideration. Wendy could (and often did) destroy Cartman in debate. But, Cartman always found a way to convince himself that he'd won just because she was a girl.

"Cartman won't accept Wendy's victories." I gave half a shrug, "He accepts mine- with proper motivation," –like a fist to the throat.

Stan pinched the bridge of his nose the way he always did when we disagreed on something. "Kyle, you've been saying you'd tame Cartman for years. It hasn't happened yet. Face it, he's incased himself in so much fat that every punch is just going to bounce right off him…"

"I can't just give up hope-" I began, but Kenny cut me off to tell us he was leaving. We waved to him as he walked inside the McCormick's shack. Stan and I pressed on in silence for a minute before I got back to what I was saying. "If I believe that Cartman will never stop and leave him alone, than what else would he live for? If he's not fighting me, he'll find other targets. He might actually cause some real harm…"

"Fighting constantly with Cartman, that's got to get tiring…" Stan said sympathetically. "Cartman's a fat bitch."

"It's not bad. I mean, it's entertaining. And, see that 'fat bitch' comment is why I'm glad you're my best friend, Stan. Seriously, no one else could say that with so much honesty."

"Because we know him better than everyone else."

"And that's because no one else wants to know him."

"As if we want to?" he reasoned.


"Seriously, why does he always come crawling back to us?"

"Maybe we should kill him in his sleep?" I suggested hopefully.

"But, we might be arrested…"

"Don't be such a pussy, Stan."

"While this conversation's been fun, I've got to go," he said calmly. We were standing in his driveway now. I hadn't even realized we were here. "My parents have been abducted by a white supremacy gang, so the house is all mine until we decide to go rescue them."

I chuckled, elbowing him in the ribs, "Gonna call Wendy~ over?" I said lewdly.

"Stop being such a sex-addict," he teased.

"Shut up, dude! I'm only a porn addict; I'm not into the actual action…for myself."

"Oh yeah, I forgot you're monogamous-" he grinned at me for a second, and I could feel the punchline coming before it even left his lips, "with your right hand."

I smacked the back of his head. "I jerk left-handed!" I lied- just for a good comeback. "You know I'm asexual." I lied again- really, I was just turned away from the idea of sex after…after what I did to that innocent little girl. "I haven't even liked anyone since fourth grade and that was the biggest mistake of my life."

"Ah…yeah…Rebecca. Didn't you turn her into a whore or something?" he said apathetically.

"Shut up…" I said voice clipped. The last thing I wanted to hear about was her.

Rebecca Cotswold had ruined my social life ever since she'd come to public high school. Not that I cared much for a "social life", but the rumors were really painful. It wasn't that she started them, but there were some people who had tried to explain the extreme change in the girl after she'd met me. There were some pretty harsh and lewd stories about me. I was only nine! I mean fuck!

The rumors would've faded eventually- if she hadn't come back to school. She had invited me to stay with her family in a country villa over the summer before freshman year. I accepted. I figured that, if the Cotswalds were thinking of coming back to public school, maybe I could give them some advice, prepare them a little for the social jungle they were entering. It would be good for everyone since I needed to brace myself for high school as well. I chose to forgive Rebecca for the trouble she'd caused me in elementary school. By then, it had been such a long time ago- water under the bridge. So I came for one night…in which Rebecca kissed me, licking into my mouth and rubbing a hand over my crotch. She tried to talk me into having sex with her for 'science'.

I had demanded to be driven home late that night.

By the time school started after that summer, she had already had two pill-abortions. She came into high school and solicited sexual knowledge from half the freshman class within two months. By the end of the first grading quarter, everyone knew her as the resident cockslut, a name which Wendy protested endlessly on her behalf. And, everyone knew that I was the start of it- that somehow, I had gotten her started on this self-destructive path.

I insisted that I was a virgin. Still, most of the school believed I'd stolen her innocence and must have beaten her or something to make her lose all her self-respect.

It had done emotional damage as well as social damage. I couldn't allow myself to date. The one and only time that I'd ever kissed someone of my own will, I'd made her obsessed with kissing. The one and only time I'd let someone else lick into my mouth, they had demanded sex- then sought it from everyone. Somehow, I'd corrupted Rebecca. Something like that couldn't happen again. I couldn't just go around turning all the girls I knew into 'sluts'… This was a dangerous, terrible power I possessed (no matter how much Kenny disagreed).

At this point, I was considering just talking to her…I was sure she'd understand what her actions were costing me. It was making me un-dateable. Not that I was into that sort of thing (she'd single-handedly changed my opinions on the matter).

I walked in the back door and up through the garage. Ike was already home, working on his homework while watching the news. "Hey Ike," I said, ruffling his hair as I walked past. He growled a response, but I didn't really listen. I went up to my room and put in my headphones so I could start working on my history project about Coca-Cola.



"I'm…sorry, Wendy. I can't do it," I said, defeated. I'd tried so hard. We had the house all to ourselves, we were in tenth grade- plenty old enough, and I couldn't do anything. I was pitiful.

She frowned. "Stan, do you really love me?" she said, voice edging on heartbroken.

"Ah, ah…" I moaned frustrated. "Wendy, don't pull that card!"

"What card? It was a question!"

"I mean, don't think that, since I can't kiss you, I don't love you!" I pleaded.

"Then what does it mean? Is there someone else? Stan, I'm not going to be angry if you've fallen for someone else and this is your way of telling me. But, you haven't cheated on me have you?"

"Oh my God, Wendy!" I said, grabbing her thin shoulders. Her eyes were glimmering with unshed tears. I knew I would hurt her, I knew I'd fuck it up. "I'm not saying I don't love you, and I'm not saying that there's anyone else! There's never been anyone else! I've loved you since third grade! I just…I'm afraid of messing up."

She smiled and bit her lip. "I love you too, Stan. Seriously, what other guy would say something like that? I'm really lucky." She leaned forward and tried to catch my lips in hers. I leaned back compulsively and she fell forward into my lap. "STAN!" she yelled, frustrated.

"I wasn't ready!" I cried.

"Stan, loosen up. I'm not going to hate you if you're a bad kisser. Making out is one of those skills that you can learn…" she said, trying to sound comforting. Maybe it would've worked on someone else.

"Well, how would you know? Been making out with anyone lately?" I huffed.

"Stan!" she snapped, furiously.

"Well, don't take this the wrong way, but it's not like you've always been just mine," I huffed. "You break up with me at least three times a year. And, whenever you do, I'm always a wreck and you're always with someone else." I was really just complaining. She had every right to move on when we were broken up, but it really bothered me that she could do that so easily. It was like it didn't hurt her at all! "And then…that last time-" I cut myself off. It was too dangerous to talk about how fucked up I'd been the last time. She'd never forgive me if she knew how I'd hurt myself.

"Stan! You can't expect me to just wallow in remorse for breaking up with you! Every time I broke up with you, I had a good reason! You can't expect me to just be an object you can possess! You don't own me!"

"I'm not saying that, it just bugs me that you can get over me so easily. Shouldn't it bother you a little bit? Isn't there a statue of limitations or something that says you can't date a different guy within two days of breaking up with the last one?"

"Are you saying you doubt my faithfulness?" she demanded, standing up and putting her hands on her hips.

Oh no…we were going downhill, I could feel gravity pulling. I had to measure my words from here on, this was thin ice. "I'm not trying to say that at all…I'm just saying that you could try to miss me next time?"

"Of course I missed you when we broke up! It's not like I didn't love you enough to get upset over the break-up! You're the one who doesn't love me enough to kiss me properly! We're fifteen! Couples that've been in as long as we have are fucking at our age!"

"Don't bring that into this!" I snapped. I got to my own feet. She was being impatient, forcing me to her pace, and I was getting pissed, so I brought out her worst. "You never even answered my original question! Who did you make out with?"

She frowned, crossing her arms and huffing at me. Her cheeks were turning red with anger. "Who did you expect?! Token!"

I folded my arms over my chest, "And after that?" I demanded.

She huffed, fists clenching and jaw locking in defiance. "Lucas."

"The senior!" I jolted, shocked.

"Then Matthew, Bethany, Jake, and Craig."

"Oh my God, Craig?!" I groaned, stuck in disbelief. Who the fuck cared that Wendy had made out with a girl? …she'd kissed Craig.

"It's not like you wanted to be my first or anything!"

"Of course I did! I thought we were saving that for each other!" I cried. "I thought we promised that!"

"Well, if you still mean that promise, than kiss me now!"

"Well, now I don't want to!"

"Good! I bet you suck at it anyway!"

"Hey!" I wanted to shove her, but I held off.

"I can't believe you! You're so unreasonable! Why can't you just kiss me? Am I repulsive to you?" she yelled. We were practically in a screaming fight. Why did this always happen?

"Well you're being pretty unattractive right now!" I yelled.

"Why? Because I'm standing up for myself?" she demanded. "I didn't know it was unattractive for a girl to have a bit of independence!"

I pinched the bridge of my nose. She was right- she had every right to kiss other people, and I shouldn't be jealous. But, I was getting a headache. I took a breath and fought down my irrational anger. "Wendy, I love that you're strong and feminist, but I just can't kiss you. I don't know why." That was a lie… "I need you to give me time. I'm going to keep trying because you're my girlfriend."

"Not anymore," she said, glaring at me intensely.

My head shot up, "W-wha-?"

"I'm done with this! You've been trying for seven years! I can't wait for you forever!" With that, she stormed out of the room, leaving me in the dust. I stared after her, watching the dust settle back to the ground and cringing when I heard the door slam shut.

I sat there quietly for a minute, waiting for the impact when this would finally hit me. It always took a minute…just give it a second…wait for it… "AHAHHHHAAAAA NOOOO WWEHENEEEEDDDYYY! PLEASEPLAASE IMSORRYPLEASE DON'T LEAVE!" I collapsed onto the floor.

I needed to get to the phone…