The Exchange Student
Chapters : Prologue | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | Epilogue
Monday Molly called the exchange program office and explained the
situation. She was eventually routed to
a woman named Amanda.
"We have a problem here," said Amanda.
"I would have thought that was obvious,"
"No, what I mean is that the Russians are very
touchy about this program, and any deviation from what they've agreed to is a
really big deal. Two years ago a host
family helped a young man get his driver's license and you'd have thought world
war three had been started."
"Because there's a standard clause in all the
Russian exchange student agreements that says the Russian youths will not be
allowed to drive a car. Apparently they
think we teach them bad habits. The
point is that they pitched a hissy and almost called all their students home
"Well what does that mean?"
"What it means is there is no other approved
family to send her to. If you don't let
her stay with you, as originally agreed, all we can do is send her back
home. Do you have a separate room for
"You mean keep her?"
"Well, you wanted an exchange student. Is it so horrible that it's a girl instead of
"Of course not," said Molly. "But won't the Russians be upset that
she's with the wrong family?"
"She's with the family they approved. How can they be upset?"
Molly thought about what great sex she'd had
already, as a result of this luscious girl showing up. That wasn't a good reason to keep her, but it
was a consideration. Nadia,
herself, had already settled in and seemed completely at ease with her new
family. And she really was a delightful
girl. Molly had never had a daughter,
and suddenly the thought of having one seemed appealing.
"I'll talk to her and see what she wants to
do," said Molly.
"If you don't call me back, I'll assume
everything is copacetic," said Amanda.
"Please let me stay!" Nadia
pleaded. "I promise to be good
"Of course you will," said Molly, hugging
Nadia. "But are you sure you don't
mind living with a boy instead of a girl?"
"No, I don't mind, really!" said
Nadia. "I like Ruth. I like you.
Mr. Cummins is very handsome. Please let me stay."
Molly stepped back.
"It's fine with me, dear.
But I think we should talk to your parents, and make sure all this is
okay with them too."
"I have only my mother," said Nadia. "She doesn't speak any English, but I
can talk to her for you."
"Well, then, let's give her a call and see how
she feels about all this."
Americans have gotten used to a communications
system in which you pick up a device, often handheld, press some numbers, and
then expect to be talking to someone within a few seconds. There are relatively few Americans alive who
remember hand crank telephones, that connected to a central switchboard, where
a human operator made connections that allowed people to speak to each
other. A few more people remember having
a phone number with only four or five digits, which was part of a local network
where four or five phones were on one circuit.
These party lines, as they were called, required that four families share
one line. If you picked up the phone at
any given moment, the line might be in use, and you could listen in on the
conversation. It wasn't acceptable to do
that ... but you could if you wanted to.
In those days, use of the line sometimes involved negotiation with
others on the party line. If someone was
using it and you needed to make a call, for example, you might interrupt their
conversation, explaining why you needed the line and, perhaps, promising to
only use it for a stated amount of time.
If the other party agreed, they would hang up and let you make your
call. If not ... well, there wasn't much
you could do except make a nuisance out of yourself by either interrupting the
conversation repeatedly, or just joining in.
That was the phone system of yesteryear. Unless you live in rural Russia, where
things haven't changed much since World War Two. Governments may come and go, but improvements
in rural Russia are never much of a priority with any of them.
So it was, to Molly, an incredibly complicated
project to call Nadia's mother. It
actually took twenty minutes, during which Nadia rattled off words, phrases and
sometimes emotional outbursts in Russian, as she talked to a number of people
who were required to make the connections necessary for Nadia to reach her
Her mother's reaction, when she finally came on the
line was frantic.
"What's wrong?" she wailed.
"Nothing, Mama," said Nadia. "I got here and everything is fine,
except that they sent me to the wrong family."
"Have they turned you out?" she asked,
tragedy in her voice.
"No, Mama, they are lovely people. They just sent me to partner with a boy
instead of a girl."
There was a long silence.
"Is he handsome?"
"Mama!" laughed Nadia. "Why would you ask me that?"
"Worse things could happen, my little pumpkin,
than that you married a nice American boy."
"You're being silly, Mama," said
Nadia. "I like him. I like his mama and papa too, but it is silly
to speak of marriage. I came here to go
to school so I can get a seat at the university."
"They have universities in America, no?"
"You don't want me to come home?" Nadia's voice had a catch in it.
"Don't be silly, golubushka. You know I love you more than life
itself. But if you had a rich American
husband, I could come live with you in my old age." She cackled, showing she had no real
"So it's all right if I stay with them?"
"Do you want to?"
"Yes, very much."
"Then you must do so. And remember to do whatever they say and make
"I will, mama. Thank you, mama. I love you very much."
"Are you really happy with this thing so
"I am very happy, mama."
Stay with this boy and learn many things. And try to get him to ask for marriage before
you get with child, rather than after."
Nadia was speechless, until her mother cackled
again, signifying she had made a joke.
She heard the clicks of the connection being broken,
and hung up the phone in America. She
turned to Molly, who was leaning forward, her eyebrows raised. "Well?" she said.
"Mama says I should try to get a rich American
man to marry me so she can come live with me in her old age," said Nadia,
Molly looked at the beautiful young woman, who had
already made an impact in America.
"She was just joking," said Nadia. "She approves of me staying here."
"Wonderful," said Molly. "I'm so glad. I just know we're going to have a wonderful
"Me too," said Nadia, and she flowed into
Molly's arms for another hug.
Both women noticed the softness of their breasts,
pressed together. It was a warm,
exciting feeling, and both women's core temperature raised a degree and a half
as they reacted to each other's embrace in a firmly positive manner.
Later that night, after an emotional supper at which
the rest of the family was brought up to date, Ruth and Nadia sat on opposite
ends of the couch in the living room. The TV was on, but muted at the
moment. Bob and Molly were again
"doing something in the bedroom."
They didn't know it, but Molly had shared with Bob that Nadia thought he
was handsome, and now she was reaping the benefits of that.
"Are you really glad to be staying?" asked
Ruth, who couldn't believe his luck.
"Yes," she said. "I had been looking forward to having a
new girlfriend, but I think you will do."
"That's a word we probably need to talk
about," said Ruth. "In America
'girlfriend' has several different meanings.
Girls who are friends call each other girlfriend. But when a boy and a girl are involved, then
'girlfriend' means there is romance involved.
It means they don't have romance with others."
"It's the same in my country," said
Nadia. "What is the name of your
"Oh, I don't have one," said Ruth,
"Why not?" asked the beautiful blond
across the couch from him.
"Girls don't find me interesting, I
guess," he said.
"That's silly. I think you're very
"Well, you just got here. I'm sure you'll see guys in school that
you'll find more ... um ... interesting.
Most of the girls like jocks and popular guys."
Nadia tilted her head.
"Athletes," said Ruth. "Football players and such."
"Ahhhh," she said. "Like rugby in Russia, no?"
"Something like that," he said.
"And these football players ... they are cuter
Ruth blushed again.
"Well sure," he said.
"They have muscles and are taller and handsomer and stuff."
"Then I cannot wait to see them," she
said. "You are very cute, so they
must be amazing."
Ruth was speechless.
"The girls here must be very stupid if they
turn up their noses at you," she said.
He felt the heat in his face, but he also felt really good.
"Thanks," he said. There was a momentary sound, the suggestion
of a soft wail, from the direction of Bob and Molly's bedroom,
"You're welcome. Your parents have sex a lot, yes?" Nadia looked in the direction of the bedroom.
"I guess," said Ruth, uncomfortably.
"And you have had sex too?" Now she looked at him.
"No," he gasped. "Like I said, girls don't much go for
"Stupid girls," she said. "If I was going to have sex, I would
"Wow," said Ruth.
"I think we are too young for that,
though. There is much education to get
finished before I have time to think about having sex. What do you think?"
"Um ... well ... I think that most of the kids
you meet won't think that way."
"Many of the kids back home are like that. All they think about is getting drunk and
having sex. I think they are
"Well we have that kind here too," he
said. "I'll try to warn you when
one of them hits on you."
"No. When someone hits on you, in that sense,
it means they try to get you to like them and have sex with them."
"Seduces," she supplied.
Some guys will just walk up to you and start giving you compliments, or
just say they want to hook up. That
means they want to have sex with you."
"I thought you said that wasn't proper to do in
America," she complained.
"This is very confusing."
"It isn't proper," sighed
Ruth. "Most adults won't do
that. But some stupid jocks will,
especially to a pretty girl like you.
Lots of guys will try to hit on you because you're so gorgeous."
"You're very sweet," she said. "I am plain, but you try to make me feel
"You are not plain, Nadia.
You are very beautiful."
"So, you are giving me compliments. Are you hitting on me, Ruth?" She smiled.
He blushed again.
"No. I don't know how to do
She blinked slowly, and stared at him. "I think you do," she finally
said. "If the other boys are better
at this hitting on me thing than you are, I'm going to have to be very careful."
"Wow," he sighed. He was so off kilter that he didn't even
notice that he adjusted his erection so it was less uncomfortable in his pants.
She watched what his hand did, and then stood up.
"Very careful," she repeated, a half smile
on her face. "I must go to bed
now. We have school tomorrow, yes?"
"Yes," said Ruth, who was suddenly also
interested in getting to bed ... where it would be dark ... and private.
School being just a massive bureaucracy these days,
nobody on the staff paid any attention to the fact that a female exchange
student was staying in the home of a male native student. Blanks were filled out, and boxes
checked. Had there been any boxes that
could not be checked, there might have been a problem, but basically the system
perked along based on its own momentum.
Of course it wasn't that way with the students
themselves. They noticed this
mismatching of genders instantly, and instantly Ruth became a celebrity. Then Nadia did something that made him
practically a legend.
She actually thought it out before she did it, and
she did it for very good reasons, though with only the minimal conversation of
the night before as her basis. She did
it because she thought it might give her more control over her situation. What she did, when Ruth introduced her to a
group of his friends, was say "I'm so happy to be here and meet all of my
"Ruth is your boyfriend?" asked Thomas
Finkle, a somewhat geeky kid wearing glasses who was a wizard when it came to
"Of course," said Nadia. "I think he is cute."
She thought that would hold the hustlers at
bay. She knew of such men and boys in
Russia, and assumed those were the types of men Ruth had been talking about
when he named them jocks. And, based on
what Ruth had said, the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship sounded the same as
what she was familiar with, in terms of couples being less exposed to the
efforts of the hustlers. So she thought
that naming Ruth as her boyfriend would help insulate her from approach, until
she knew a little more about the social landscape. And he'd said he didn't already have a
girlfriend, so she wouldn’t be hurting anything by the ruse.
"Holy shit!" sighed Nathan Crosby, who was
the top debater on the forensics team.
"Ruth Cummins has a hot Russian girlfriend!"
"And she's living with him!" moaned
David Koonce, president of the computer programming club.
"Wait!" said Ruth, his eyes wide.
But it was too late.
His three friends had already turned and were speeding away from him,
like photons from the sun, on their way to illuminate something that wasn't
actually as it appeared to be.
There was a frenzied conversation between Ruth and
Nadia, but it took place much too quickly and with much too little true
communication, before bells started ringing and they had to go to their
classes. All Nadia knew for sure was
that Ruth was sure no one would believe he was her boyfriend.
She thought she could handle that.
By the end of the day Nadia had made a whole raft of
new friends, among them the whole cheerleading squad, all of whom salivated at
the thought of enticing this gorgeous, mysterious, sexy, interesting foreign
girl to join the squad. She also had
extensive experience with being hit on, though she still wasn't used to
it. American boys were a lot pushier
than most of their Russian counterparts.
Still, she found that if she said "Ruth is my boyfriend" often
enough, that eventually discouraged most of them. Several said things she didn't understand,
and she had tons and tons of things to ask Ruth about after school.
There was no time, though, for idle chit chat. Molly had decided Nadia needed to be included
in chores, and a list had been made that rotated the chores between Ruth and
Nadia. There was also homework, which
Nadia needed significant help with. When it turned out that Ruth wasn't
equipped to help her because he had the same questions, Bob stepped in and did
some tutoring. Shortly after that was
finished, he said he needed to speak to Molly alone in the bedroom.
"Not now, you goof," she laughed.
"I'm fixing supper."
"Put it on simmer," he said, darting a
glance at the two kids who were doing their homework at the kitchen table. "This will only take a minute."
"Not if I have anything to say about it,"
she teased. "Put a leash on it,
buster, and take it for a little walk or something. You can wait until later tonight."
"Mom! Dad!" barked Ruth. "I can't believe you're talking like that
in front of us!"
"Oh, pipe down, junior. You're all grown up now." He turned to his wife. "You're gonna pay for this, darling
wife," he growled.
"Good," she said. "Now go check and see if we got any
After homework it was time to set the table, and
then they ate while Nadia tried to tell them about her first day in American
school. It was fascinating for both the
Americans and the Russian at the table as they communicated and learned things
about each other.
After supper, the chore Ruth and Nadia shared was
washing the dishes. It was done by hand
in the Cummins household, because the dishwasher was old and didn't work
well. Molly preferred hand-washed dishes
anyway and it was a good way to slow the day down, if it had been hectic. The adults headed toward their bedroom as
Molly said "Your father has something to discuss with me. You two get the dishes done and then you can
watch an hour of TV. After that you can
read, or go for a walk or play a board game or whatever until it's bedtime."
With that, Molly followed Bob, who was already in
the bedroom, already naked, and proudly displaying his bone to her when she
walked in the door.
"What if she had been with me when I came in
here?" asked Molly, trying to sound scandalized.
"Then she'd have gotten a lesson in sexual
education," said Bob, stroking his erection slowly. "Now get over here, woman. You've made
me wait too long already."
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