If his mother had known what he was about to do she would have shut herself in her office with a bottle of scotch and not come out until she had finished writing a whole new book about his relationship with his penis.
Being 15 years old was difficult enough as it was without one’s mother documenting all stages of one’s development (all details included, naturally) from the day one closed one’s lips over a red, swollen nipple for the first time to the first time one actually wished to repeat the experience (preferably with one of the girls in those magazines his father kept in the garage).
Anyway, his mother would have a field day if she’d known why he was currently cooped up in his room with the portable telephone tightly clamped in his trembling teenaged hand, not unlike how his mother described his grip on his penis as a 2-year old. But what was he to do, really? He was short, stocky, curly-haired, and bespectacled. Not to mention hopelessly pale and obsessed with everything that got short, curly-haired boys like him beaten up in the shower after P.E. every Wednesday. Star Wars, Star Trek, Dragons, to name a few. And his name was Leonard. It had ‘nerd’ in it. Leh-Nerd.
No, there was nothing he could do. There really was no other option for him.
He’d turned the lights off as he entered his room, thinking it might signal to his parents that he was asleep and didn’t wish to be bothered. Not that his mother would come in to kiss him or bid him goodnight anyway. But being a scientist he couldn’t rule out that there was a slight chance that she would – and as a son there was always the faint hope that she’d… no, no it was purely scientific. Nothing more, nothing less.
“Okay” the boy exhaled, retrieving a flashlight from the drawer in his nightstand so he could make out the numbers on the tiny paper slip that he’d just pulled out from his pocket. He’d waited all day by the radio for the commercial to come on so he could scribble down that phone number that made his hands all sweaty and his chest all tight. Other things were tight too but he hoped that whatever this phone number held the key to would take care of that.
“Okay, so… 9-7-9…” Leonard dialed, feeling droplets of sweat beading at his temples as his thumb pressed down the keys. He put the receiver to his ear before his fears got the better of him, and waited as the call went through. One signal, two signals, three signals…
“Cooper residence” a teenaged, male voice answered.
“Oh shit” Leonard mumbled, putting the phone to his chest so the person on the other end wouldn’t hear him. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. He must have misdialed. He should just hang up. Maybe he should just explain that he’d…-what, that he’d intended to call that kind of service? To a stranger? A boy? No, he should just hang up.
“Hello? Hello?” The muffled voice at the other end said, sounding irritated. “If this is one of you perverts again…”
“I’m not a pervert!” Leonard spat into the mouthpiece, not realizing that he’d put the phone back to his ear again. “I wasn’t... I mean, I was just calling my… aunt. And I misdialed. Alright?”
"Oh Dear" the boy at the other end sighed. “Look, sir, I host no ill feelings towards the likes of you but I’d appreciate it if you would stop bothering my family. This is a Christian household. Not that I believe in any of that mumbo jumbo but my mother is very sensitive…-“
“The likes of me? Sir? What are you, 40?” Leonard laughed sarcastically, not understanding why he was still talking to this guy.
“16 years, 3 months, 5 days, 21 hours, and 48 minutes to be somewhat precise” the boy corrected him, the insult going completely by him. “And don’t think I don’t know why you called. I’ve watched MTV once you know.”
“How do you know I wasn’t really calling my aunt?”
“That’s none of your business.”
“I don’t follow. You asked, yet you have no intention of answering.”
“Well I…” Leonard stuttered, thinking he was crazy for trying to reason with this lunatic. He’d met some geeks over the years while playing chess but this guy was something else alright.
“Oh don’t bother trying to talk yourself out of this” the other boy huffed before Leonard could think of a good comeback, “Matters of human lust and sexual urges bore me anyway. A complete waste of time if you ask me, and one that must surely shrink the brains of mice and men alike. The fact that the vast majority of you lot can’t seem to tell the difference between 1 and 7 (“Oh!” Leonard groaned at that point, suddenly understanding how he’d gotten himself into this situation) is very telling if you ask me.”
“I wasn’t asking you anything” Leonard snapped, suddenly finding his tongue again.
“Oh but you’d be wise to” the other boy informed him, sounding almost shocked – as if the fact that Leonard had no intention of discussing this with him was some sort of atrocity – “I possess in-depth knowledge of everything in the known Universe!”
“Really? Everything?” Leonard huffed sarcastically, propping himself up against the headboard.
This was madness, complete madness. This boy on the other end of the line, whoever he was, was crazy.
“You’re crazy” Leonard mumbled, shaking his head in disbelief.
“I’m not crazy, my mother had me tested” the boy quipped, the tone in his voice informing Leonard that this was not the first time someone had pointed out to him that he’d be better off in an institution somewhere far far away, so as to spare the world its first Marvelesque super-villain.
“Maybe she should have asked for a second opinion” Leonard muttered and took off his glasses to rub his left temple, which was suddenly pulsating painfully.
Just as he was putting his glasses back on, something absolutely mind-boggling happened. Something that was both familiar and utterly, utterly new. Familiar in the sense that he was threatened and insulted – albeit that he’d never been challenged to a duel before – and new because he’d never been told off in an alien language before.
“You speak Klingon?” the bespectacled boy asked, and decided to ignore the invitation to battle each other with bath’leths at sunrise. His eyebrows were firmly glued to his hairline and his thoughts were swoshing by at Warp 9 – what did this mean? Who was this guy?
“As I presume all civilized human beings do” the other boy replied, his voice softer now.
“Of course” Leonard exhaled, suddenly realizing that he’d made a friend. Just like that. He’d never had any friends in his life and all of a sudden he’d found one while calling a phone-sex line. Despite the fact that he was currently studying Experimental Physics at a university level he was unable to calculate the odds of that happening.
Perhaps he should introduce himself.
“I don’t… You know, this is so awkward. We’ve been on the phone for almost 7 minutes now and I don’t even know your name” Leonard giggled nervously, knowing very well just how incredibly strange this entire situation was. He should have done what any normal person would have done and hung up as soon as it dawned on him that he’d misdialed. But there was something about this boy, whose name he did not yet now. A strange, magnetic pull if you will. One that tore anyone who dared come close to it into pieces, but still… magnetic.
“Ah, pleasantries. I’ve heard of them. This is where I’m expected to tell you my name, so we can continue this unproductive, uncomfortable conversation. Correct?”
“…Come to think of it I should probably just hang up now.”
“Fine. I guess I should be grateful that we’re on the phone so I don’t have to shake your hand. I’m Sheldon. Sheldon Lee Cooper.”
“Aw jeez, and I thought Leonard Hofstadter was bad enough” Leonard sympathized, grimacing at the thought of being named ‘Sheldon’. For some reason his thoughts went to a giant praying mantis. He grimaced once again as the boy…Sheldon, lined up another string of Klingon insults, surprised at the amount of venom this seemingly quite naïve kid was capable of producing.
“Hey! I was not attempting to buy… that. I just wanted to…You know, talk to a girl for once. About something other than what she’s gonna do to my testicles if I don’t help her cheat on her math test. And alright, maybe I wanted the conversation to be… intimate. I’m a 15-year old guy after all. You’re my age, you know what it’s like” the curly-haired physicist-to-be explained himself, not liking what the other boy was insinuating. Klingon or no Klingon – some lines you just didn’t cross.
“I beg your pardon!” Sheldon gasped. “Forgive me, but I don’t like what it is you’re implying!”
“What I’m implying? What about what you just told me?” Leonard yelled, his hand flying to his mouth as he realized he might wake up his family.
“That was the truth, Leonard Hofstadter, one I should expect you to be able to handle.”
“Don’t talk to me like you know me.”
“Au contraire, I do know you. You’re no different from all the Neanderthals who chase after my twin sister, except your chances of ever – forgive me Mother for using this expression but communication is all about speaking the same language – “hitting that” are significantly lower than theirs if my calculations are right… and they always are. “
Leonard was breathing heavily now. This boy triggered something within him. Half an hour ago he didn’t even know he existed, and now he wanted to slam his stupid face (he was sure it was stupid) into something hard, and preferably made of concrete. He could not understand why though: he’d spent most of his life being bullied and tormented. But this… this was different.
“I stand corrected. You don’t know what it’s like” he let out slowly, mourning the loss of this 5-minute friendship, “because whereas my chances are significantly lower, yours are non-existing. What female in her right mind would ever come within 15 miles of you?”
“I wouldn’t “hit that” because she’s my sister. Your insult is rendered moot.”
“What a pathetic attempt to throw it back at me. You know very well what I mean.”
“Indeed. I’ll let you have that one. It doesn’t matter because as I’ve previously informed you, I don’t share those urges that prompted you to seek comfort in the imaginary arms of a phone-sex line operator tonight. While you are but a slave to your reproductive organs, I am the master of my own brilliant mind. So ha-ha-ha.”
“Oh really? The master of your own mind?” Leonard mocked, feeling his pulse elevating. “You’re no different from anyone else. All of your big talk is just… talk.”
“Take that back!” Sheldon sputtered, so aggressively that Leonard could swore he felt specks of saliva on his cheeks. “Take that back right now!”
“Or what?” Leonard challenged, his voice laced with something thick and velvety now. Something that made his insides tingle.
Sheldon panted into the mouthpiece, and Leonard instinctively knew the other boy was so angry he couldn’t get a word out. He imagined smoke coming out of his ears, like on Animaniacs.
“So if I were a beautiful woman, I could just walk into your room right now… and you wouldn’t be affected?” he asked, his voice still strangely thick and low.
“Not at all!” Sheldon confirmed, his voice too sounding strained.
“I could just… unbutton my blouse… and slip it off my shoulders… and unclasp my bra… and nothing?” Leonard continued, picturing the scene inside his head. At some point during their conversation he’d stepped into some sort of alternate reality, some realm where he was existing and not existing at the same time. He felt strangely disconnected from himself. It was just him… and the telephone. And this beautiful woman he’d summoned from the depths of his subconscious.
“W-what are you doing?” Sheldon stuttered quietly, as if he were scared of what was happening. But he didn’t ask the other boy to stop.
“I could let my breasts spill out from beneath the cups… round, heavy, pinkish… You could take one of my nipples into your mouth and suck and it would do nothing at all to you. It’s just flesh. It’s nothing special” Leonard continued, having slipped into some sort of trance where he was apparently reading out loud from some sort of mommy-porn novella. He never should have read his mother’s ‘Earth’s Children’-series.
“Oh” Sheldon gasped, sounding as distant as Leonard felt. The bespectacled boy closed his eyes, letting his hands wander. This was insane. This was insane. This was insane. But ‘insane’ felt surprisingly good.
“I could lean over you… You could grab my hips and pull me onto your lap. I’d let my hand slip beneath the waistband of your pants… Up, down, up, down… And you could hear me pant into your ear…”
His pants were down by his knees now, and his hand seemed to have a life of its own. But what a life. He moaned into the mouthpiece, shivering as he heard the other boy do the same.
“It’s nothing” Leonard whispered, his hand moving quicker now.
“Nothing….” Sheldon groaned, the quivering tone of his voice sending a shot of electricity through Leonard’s body.
“I’d move slowly, slowly… I’d let you have a taste of it, but just a little... But I’m sure you wouldn’t beg me to take you inside of me. You’d be fine, wouldn’t you?”
“Oh dear… Oh dear…”
This heat, this shameful pleasure… This shouldn’t be happening, this wasn’t real, but oh, he couldn’t stop whatever what going on. His movements were rapid now, and his bottom lip was bright red, the teeth marks so deep that he was sure everyone would ask about it tomorrow, but he didn’t care… The woman in his mind had her pale, glistening back to him, her imagined movements bringing him closer and closer to the point of no return.
“I could… I could” Leonard panted, barely able to speak now, “I could let you have it.”
“But it’s nothing to you.”
“Ahhh!” Leonard screamed into his pillow, having dropped the telephone as the entire world dissolved into atoms before his eyes. His body convulsed violently, and salty tears trickled down his cheeks from clenching his eyes shut. He couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe. As he opened his eyes he spotted the telephone laying forgotten on the bed, and all of a sudden he returned to the real world with such a force that he felt as if someone had punched him in the stomach.
“Oh God” he mumbled, his body still shaking like a leaf. What on Earth had just happened? What the hell was he supposed to do now? Was Sheldon still on the other end of the line? Should he pick up the phone and apologize?
For the second time that night his body gained a life of its own. Before he had the chance to reconsider it, he’d picked up the phone and pressed the button and hung up on Sheldon.
“It’s for the best” he told himself as he reached for the box of Kleenex on his nightstand.
“It was nothing anyway.”