An excerpt from Seat Belts, a short story by Clay Cunningham

This short story was originally published in Hoosier Writers 2012 by Clay Cunningham

I was thinking too much again. I wasn’t disarming a bomb; I was feeling up a teenage girl. It shouldn’t have been exceptionally difficult.

It was. I quickly discovered that I’d needed the momentum created by my perfectly positioned hand more than I’d hoped. My efforts to blindly locate an entrance to the inside of her top were remarkably awkward. My hand kept shooting off in various, incorrect directions, failing to adhere to the commands of my brain, as I was again running the risk of ripping the shirt’s fabric.

The whole process seemed like it would go on forever before I finally felt something. My hand had clearly navigated through some sort of obstruction and was now resting on a soft, bulgy protuberance. I’d officially broken through, all the while maintaining visionary focus on the road. That expedition was over. I was now free to fondle at will.

And yet, something wasn’t right. As I blindly groped and massaged Lana’s left breast, I wasn’t getting the sensation I had anticipated (perhaps a honking sound would have offered some type of reassurance, but alas, that did indeed prove to be a false prophecy). Granted I hadn’t felt a breast before, but I had felt human skin, and all previous experience never would have led me to anticipate feeling something so oddly cloth-like. At first I thought it might have just been the bra, but unless her bra was a foot tall, I should be feeling flesh and I wasn’t. Something was afoul.

After confirming it was momentarily safe to again avert my gaze from the road, I looked over to investigate, my eyes going straight to the location my hand, which, as I had thought, was perched upon her breast. What I hadn’t anticipated was that said hand would still be in my direct line-of-sight.

Sadly my lack of focus while attempting a move that clearly required my full attention backfired, as I was actually pawing at her from the outside of her shirt. Turns out the penetration hadn’t been of any article of clothing, but rather the passenger side automatic seat belt! For the second time this little mechanism, one of the great life-saving mechanisms in human history, had played a significant role in not only killing my love life, but burying it in a shallow grave of perpetual virginity.

I had no idea what I was supposed to do and Lana, no doubt stunned by my ineptitude, had no initial reaction. So I just sat there, exchanging glances between her and the road, one hand at ten o’clock, the other clinging for dear life to her chest.

Whatever sex appeal there was to fondling a breast clearly didn’t exist in this situation. What was supposed to be a sweet, sensual expression of my newfound feelings had been carried out with all the grace you’d expect to be exhibited by a trench coat wearing pervert hiding behind park bushes, waiting for the opportunity to flash his vile dick at whatever woman had the misfortune of walking by. Even worse, I had gone from being nervous to downright scared, and this fear had rendered me almost paralyzed, completely unable to react on my own. So until she gave me some sort of instruction, I was staying put.

“Please let go,” she finally said.

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