Gerald Michaels was slouched low in his chair behind his big brown desk when Andrea walked in. He looked tired, flustered, stressed.
“Um, I could come back at another time.”
“No, no. Come in. Sit down, Andrea. Don’t mind me. This job’s just been sucking the life out of me lately. I’ll be just fine though. Sit.”
Andrea sat. She dropped her hands into her lap and sat with immaculate posture. Her breasts thrust out at him, round, ripe peaches inside the fabric of her sweater. She stared down at the little GUIDANCE COUNSELLOR sign on his desk. She reached up and straightened it.
“What can I do for you young lady?”
“I wanted to talk about some problems I’ve been having ... with some of the other girls on campus.”
“What sort of problems?”
“It’s kind of embarrassing actually. They’ve been calling me sorta mean names.”
He answered slowly. His voice was deep and calm, patient, like tides eroding a mountain.
“Well, I guess ... there’s just these rumours spreading ... and things have gotten kinda ugly around school.”
“Rumours can be very ugly. What exactly are people saying ... if you don’t mind me asking?”
She shifted in her chair, turning her knees to the right, away from him. Her chin dropped toward the floor.
“Well there was this party.”
“I guess I sorta slept with this guy who I shouldn’t have. I was kinda drunk, and I remember him being really cute, but...”
“But you weren’t counting on him bragging about it to all his buddies?”
“Well, no. He didn’t say a word. But we sorta got caught.”
“This girl named Marie came busting in on us, like right exactly when he was finishing.”
She blushed even deeper as she remembered it.
“That must have been intense.”
“Well, it wouldn’t have been a big deal, except for...”
“He was finishing in my face actually. Oh my god, I never shoulda...”
“Now, now. You have every right to do whatever you want with your body. It doesn’t mean you’re a worse person. It doesn’t mean you’re a slut or a whore or a ... ahhhh ... a bitch or anything like that...”
“Are you okay, Mr. Micheals?”
“Sorry. This chair ... I got a bit of a ... ahhh! Wow! Ooh...”
He shifted in his seat, rubbing at his leg beneath the desk.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to come back another time?”
“No, no. I’m fine. Go on with your story. What happened after Mary walked in?”
“Marie actually. She just looked down at me and ... and burst out laughing. I felt so humiliated. The guy was still shooting in my face, and she was standing there laughing at me. Anyway, a few days later I noticed people staring at me, whispering, pointing. And then I heard someone call me a ... cum dumpster ... as I walked out of the bathroom the other day. They’re so mean! I mean, they’re all doing it too. They just never got caught!”
“I agree, Andrea. And I think you ought to turn this thing around on them. That’s your best solution.”
“Turn it around?”
“Yes. Gossipmongers feed on the pain they cause. They see their catcalls and slander getting to a sensitive young lady, and it feeds their egos. They feel more powerful by cutting someone else down, less insecure about their own secret shames. You just gotta starve them out.”
“How do I do that?”
“Own the insults. Steal them away from the gossipers.”
“Huh? Wha’d you mean?”
“I mean, if they’re calling you a slut, be a slut. Enjoy it. Revel in it. Take ownership of the title and be the best, hottest, most sexy slut you can be.”
Her jaw dropped. Her eyes were dilated to wide sparkling pools. And her blush made her look like a little girl.
“Now I don’t mean go around jumping in bed with every guy who shows you a boner. I’m just saying, love your body, love your sexuality, enjoy it, make it part of who you are, instead of something to be embarrassed about.”
She was silent for a moment, thinking. He shuddered again, cringed, and reached down to rub at his thigh once more.
“You’re saying I just need to be more confident basically?”
“Not just more confident, but deliberately rebelling against the artificial standards they’re judging you against. You’ve gotta show them that they’re full of shit, that they’re all hypocrites, and most of all that you’re strong and confident, sexy, and self-assured, and you’re not bothered at all about being called a cum dumpster, or a slut, or anything else. Just laugh it off.”
“That makes sense ... rebelling against their artificial moral standards ... yeah ... They are full of shit!”
“You’re a very beautiful young woman, Andrea. And sometimes people get defensive when they’re challenged by a beautiful woman. Others see you as competition, so they try their best to cut you down, so they don’t feel so insecure about themselves. But the more you stand your ground, prove to them that you’re strong and confident, sexy and free, the more insecure they’ll be, because they’re not getting to you.”
She smiled at him, and he felt a pleasurable shiver rush through him. She was so pretty.
“I guess I sorta knew that, you know. I just ... when they’re attacking you, you don’t always think straight about the logical side of things.”