Sample Pages 4-From The Past

George was embarrassed. In fact, he was embarrassed beyond belief, beyond any type of embarrassment he’d ever had. Even having a snuggie rip his underwear in half his freshman year of high school wasn’t this mortifying. He looked at his clothes again. He was also a mess-though he did look good in tomato soup, he thought. It was how he ended up wearing his lunch-and the resultant fallout from it-that he was still attempting to make some sort of sense of. He reviewed it in his mind yet again, attempting to piece things together.

He’d been in the Cafeteria, getting his lunch, when he’d come in contact with a very pretty girl named Jane. The resultant shock of that contact, meanwhile, had startled them both so much he’d tossed his lunch…literally. Three feet straight up, then down on top of him, creating minor burns and considerable embarrassment. Then the comedy of errors got worse; she’d tried to help him up and there was that electric shock thing again. But it was the look in her eyes that made him forget all about the soup he was wearing, the cheese sandwich he’d stepped on, and the spilled soda that had likely prevented him from having second-degree burns. The look in her eyes was one of familiarity-like she’d seen him before, somehow. The fact she was really pretty didn’t hurt matters, either. Once on his feet again and apologizing all over, she looked him over then smiled at him. “Tell you what” she said. “Let me make this up to you. Let’s meet for dinner. I’m Jane Collins, and you are…?” “George. George Roberts. I’m pleased to meet you, but you really don’t have to….” She stopped him before he could say anything else. “George, I want to get to know you a little. After all…you have such an electric personality.” She said the last with a straight face that warmed areas that were now cooling rapidly. He’d hastily agreed and then, grabbing a sack lunch, went back to his dorm to change. He promised her he’d pick her up at 5 PM in front of her dorm. “She’s just being nice. If she’s there at all, we’ll meet and have a nice dinner-or at least, as nice as anything the cafeteria puts out to eat-and that’ll be all” he thought, as he tossed his clothes into the hamper after rinsing them pretty well and wringing them out. “Besides…what’ll we talk about?” While George was bright, he was rather clueless when it came to girls, after all.

————–

Back at the house, Liz took another look at Jane’s ankle. Touching it briefly, it felt a little better than it had; Jean was still a little inexperienced. She also touched George’s back; found Jean had done a better job there as there were mostly tired, sore muscles. A minute’s work there and the young couple was ready to take on four teens in a bowling mini-tournament. Gene slipped the kids a few bucks; as it was his idea to send them down there he figured he owed them that much. They got out to the car, and George opened the door for Jane, then closed it as she unlocked the passenger side of the car for him. And once the car got down to the end of the street and turned the corner, they both sighed quietly. At the first red light, she reached over and kissed him. “You up for this?” she asked quietly. “Not really-but it might be fun. I hope you’re a good bowler; I’m not all that great.”

The evening turned out to be a lot more fun than either couple had planned. As promised, Jane easily took the first line, beating Tom by six pins-and everyone else by fifteen or more. Tom took the second game, beating Jane by four pins-and Jean by seven. Chuck and Joan were ten pins back. George was sixteen pins back. Jean smiled at her sister. “Isn’t he wonderful?” she asked, her eyes bright and shining. Jane tried hard not to gag; George looked at what had to be the ugliest bowling shoes ever and smiled. “Young love is wonderful” he thought to himself. In the third line, however, it was George that won-beating Tom by one pin and Jane and Jean both by three pins; Chuck and Joan could have thrown gutter balls and wouldn’t have cared. They were lost in each other’s eyes, and more than once Tom had to remind one of them they were up. George raised an eyebrow at winning; something didn’t feel right about halfway through the game. It was almost like someone-or something-was pushing his ball just right, too many times. He was no slouch, certainly-but his 115 average was about to jump up slightly, as he rolled a 150 game. “So…what do we do from here?” George asked. “Well…we were thinking of going to the Wagon Wheel for a few minutes, if that’s okay.” Jean said shyly. “You don’t need our permission-though I admit a malt sounds good. Do you all mind if we crash that party as well?” George asked. “Nah. Come on down-meet you there” Tom told him. The fact that Jane was Jean’s older sister didn’t faze him; there would be other times to be alone later on. And Jean, as much as she wanted to be alone with Tom, didn’t mind sharing her evening. While George was a part of Jane’s life, he was willing to share-and treat her and Tom like adults. That meant a lot to her.

Once back in the car, George asked Jane “You weren’t adjusting my ball on that last game, were you?”, knowing full well her ability to lift things telekinetically. “No, I wasn’t; that would be cheating. Let’s just say I convinced it to move a little differently about halfway down the lane-but only three times; the rest of the time, you were doing pretty well on your own and didn’t need my help. Besides, it’ll teach Tom a lesson in humility. He’s too good at bowling.”  “You know Jean’s head over heels….” “I do. I’m hoping this summer maybe we can convince Dad to let her go out with him-he’s not much different than a certain collegian I know-just younger.” George considered that for a moment. “I don’t know if I’ve just been insulted or not.” She giggled. “Of course not, silly. But a woman knows when another woman is in love-and can see it in the man as well.”

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