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Ellie-One for Tennis?

By Doc Sherwood

By Doc SherwoodPublished 5 months ago 6 min read

On Saturday Ellie and I were meandering round town, and eventually we found ourselves in a boys' underwear department.

"If you had some new sorts, it might improve your confidence," she mused.

The three-pack she was eyeing startled me. "I've never had ones like those, Ellie!" I exclaimed, in some alarm.

She had no idea what it meant to have to wear semi-see through white tennis shorts. There were very real codes and conventions bound up with it, and a boy had to be really good at tennis if he was going to go around flashing off fancy neon underwear like he didn't even care.

"Please, Ellie," I begged her. "I'd only look silly. Everyone knows I can't play as well as the boys who wear those," I confessed with a sigh.

"That's just what I mean, though!" cried Ellie. "About confidence!"

I squirmed that a girl should be lecturing me on PE confidence in the first place. Insisting on some plain white ones, the same as always, I took them to the checkout. Then I left the store with Ellie, feeling rather wan, and still thinking about the gaudy neon ones even though it was too late now.

Ellie saw me to the boys' changing room at the leisure centre. "I'll put my tennis skirt on shortly," she promised.

"Was that a pun?" I asked her, a little breathless.

If it was, it was an accidental one. Ellie went off to change, and I hurried through the door where the other boys were going.

Presently I wished once again I'd let Ellie have her way about the new underwear, and for a whole other reason - these new white ones I'd bought today didn't fit! "I must have picked up too small a size in the shop!" I exclaimed to the boy next to me, tossing my hair. No matter how I tried I just couldn't get the underpants on.

"That's a pain," said my friend, possibly making a pun of his own.

It was no use. All the puffing and blowing in the world wouldn't get this elastic waistband up! I threw myself down on the bench, defeated.

"Just wear the ones you had on," my companion advised.

They weren't white, though! So besides being grubby, they wouldn't have been any less embarrassing to wear than the colourful ones I'd turned down. I was at my wits' end over this. Why did it all have to be so complicated?

I was just going to have to play without underwear. Fuming, I tugged my shorts on and exited the changing room, already hot and bothered before I'd even started to play.

We were all absolute beginners in this grade, and hadn't started to play each other in actual matches yet. Each weekend we were still practicing with the ball-machine, and Ellie was going up to take her turn with a fair-haired boy as I stepped onto the court.

I tried not look too fidgety, but I knew I did, and not just because I didn't have any underpants on. Even this elementary activity was absolutely tantalizing for me, and sometimes left me infuriated when I just couldn't get it right. From the looks of several other restless boys, as leggy and awkward as me in tennis shorts, I guessed I wasn't the only one at least! Ellie was better, and somehow the pair of us being here with our whites on made me madly anxious to show everyone I could do it just as well as her.

The fair-haired boy, on the other hand, seemed to be taking a more realistic view. In fact, he looked positively scared of what was ahead!

I watched them prepare, Ellie doing little hopping exercises on the toes of her spotless sneakers, making it look like this was something really important. Then the barrage began to boom from the mouth of the ball-machine, and just as I'd suspected, the boy really couldn't do it. He was only succeeding in getting hotter and hotter and more and more agitated as he scampered about.  Ellie meanwhile just smoothly hit the balls into space every time, smacking each one dead-centre with her racquet in the most satisfying way.

I couldn't imagine how that felt for the poor fair-haired boy, especially with all of us watching!

That said, I was next. For the minute the cycle was done and he'd stalked off, a pink and triumphant Ellie beamed at me. That meant it was my turn!

I went over, earning a few whistles and giggles from the others because Ellie and I were widely known as a cute couple. She swished her racquet, all ready as usual. It was only here on Saturday afternoons I ever saw her with bare legs and white ankle-socks on, and the sight of her thighs, round and full and quivering ever so slightly as she waited, left me predictably weak.

"You've got lovely legs, Ellie," I blurted out in a kind of restless sigh.

"Thank you," she said demurely, and I nearly swooned.

Because she was a girl, the first ball was hers. Stepping daintily into it she swung a smooth accomplished hit. How did Ellie do it? I marvelled at her. Watching her ball sail over the net made me swirl with desire to make mine do just the same.

Ellie threw back her silky butterscotch hair and looked at me, telling me with a gasping intake of breath it was my go now. Like I didn't already know that, but that was Ellie for you!

All too mindful I wasn't wearing underwear I skipped forward on my sneaker-toes, already measuring up where the ball was, mustering all my strength but also tensing myself almost unbearably for the accuracy demanded, which so often was what flustered me most at this game. Whack! The hardest hit I could manage - wow, I may even have made it to half the strength of one of Ellie's returns! Of course, if everyone was watching me take the shot then some of them must surely have noticed I didn't have anything on under my transparent shorts, but I couldn't let that embarrass me right now. So I told myself it was just part of the game...but so too, it seemed, was losing out to girls. For even though I'd never flung my racquet-strings so furiously at a ball, it still wasn't enough. The record-breaking ace I'd hoped for flopped into the net.

The bus home was pulling up. "One of these days I'll make you get on in front of me," Ellie teased.

"You know I'd only stop coming to tennis club," I returned. It was my first of the day that was any good too, for Ellie giggled in an eye-rolling way, knowing full well it was time for her to play part in the little arrangement we had.

She strode up the bus steps ahead of me, trying to look innocent. My weekly gawp at the view made the whole lesson worth it, as ever. I was never going outdo Ellie at the game, or even get good at it, but I'd still be there every week as long as I was officially obsessed with those dainty white frills! Today in fact seemed to be one of Ellie's fullest and frilliest days, and now to be right below that big bunchy mass of lace was a tennis triumph all my own...!

All too quickly it was over. I hurried to the double-seat she'd chosen and threw myself down beside her with a bump. She was grinning.



About the Creator

Doc Sherwood

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Comments (2)

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  • Dana Crandell5 months ago

    Well, this would have beaten being on the football team, hands down. The views were not part of the appeal.

  • Mother Combs5 months ago

    Another great story, Doc

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