Because I can't resist writing a good goose-bump inducing, love story...
Ben jumped to his feet as the ball shot to the outfield. He clapped his hands and whopped.“Yeah! Nice play!”
“Way to hit it!” Julie yelled from where she stood beside him, wincing as the words left her mouth. She’d never watched sports a day in her life until she started dating Ben six weeks ago. And now look at her. Her boyfriend had morphed into a ventriloquist, and she the dummy that sat on his lap, parroting his words. She should be mortified.
She totally wasn't.
She totally wasn't.
Ben wrapped his arm around her waist and cheered the runner on third on to home base. Fifteen minutes later and their team won, 6-3. Julie clapped while Ben hollered and shouted good tidings to his buddies on the field. Then he grabbed her hand and helped her down the bleachers.
Six weeks, and she was half in love with him. He was a junior, and why sweet faced, brown haired Ben had ever wanted to ask her - a lowly sophomore whose most well known trait was going unnoticed - out, Julie had no idea. But he had. She had gone from wondering how he’d ever noticed her in the first place to imagining how adorable their babies would be if they had her freckles and Ben’s chestnut hair. And their smiles. Oh stars, Ben’s smile on a baby would surely set off a series of events that would shatter the universe’s existence. She shook her head, dislodging the mirage of a perfect future from her brain.
Ben opened the passenger door of his truck and smiled at her. “We should go do something crazy.”
It sounded like he wanted to plan an armed heist of the local Piggly Wiggly. You know, just for fun. Ben was like that. Casual, laid back. Whereas Julie thought squandering time was practically criminal, and had once been so overwrought with guilt at having accidentally taken a pen from the bank that she waited in the parking lot the next morning until they opened and she could return it.
Again, why was he with her? Not that she wasn’t grateful. High school without a boyfriend, and she would fade into an existence of obscurity. She could picture her high school reunion, everyone scratching their heads, wondering who in the world she was and if they really spent four years of their lives with her.
Ben helped her into the truck but didn’t release her hand. Instead, his thumb drew circles on the little patch of skin between her thumb and forefinger. “What do you want to do?”
Julie bit her lip to keep from blurting out the first thing she thought, which was Have your babies. If Ben wanted to plan an armed robbery of a bank, Julie would go with him right now and buy ski masks and weapons. And after they’d robbed the bank of money, she’d go steal all the pens, too.Oh gosh, she had it bad.
The senior deck stretched out across the entire length of the cafeteria. A few heads turned Carly’s direction as she hesitated. She glanced from one table to the next, her face heating up and now doubt flaming bright red, a scarlet letter of her crimes against the entire male gender and all of East Austin High’s baseball team.
Good grief, she’d dumped Brock Rankin three months ago. Not that anything bad had happened to cause it. She just didn’t develop feelings for him beyond friendship. Crime of the century evidently. You’d think from the reaction of her peers that she’d admitted that she slept with the principal or something.
Now she was wary of everyone, not knowing who would write dirty things about her on one of the bathroom stalls. Jenna Lawson smirked up from the table nearest Carly, her eyes flickering over Carly and then back to her lunch that consisted of a Diet Coke. Jenna had been eyeing Brock since before he and Carly started dating. And since they’d broken up, she practically stalked him. Poor Brock. Carly should have stayed with him just to keep Jenna’s claws from coming out. Though no doubt Jenna thought he had broken up with her.
Carly fought the urge to beat Jenna’s smug smile off her face with her lunch. Death by turkey roll up.
Carly slid into an empty table. First day of senior year and no one to sit with her. Fine. She and Brock had a mutual breakup and were civil with each other. If the rest of the school wanted to see it as something it wasn’t, then fine.
She was three bites into her turkey wrap when John Atkins eased his lanky frame into the seat beside her, his plastic lunch tray clattering on the table.
“What do you want, John?”
He smiled. “I knew a spark of anger lurked underneath that smile of yours.”
Spark of anger her foot. Carly extracted a carrot from her lunch and waved it at John. “I could poke out your retina with this thing, John. I know they sent you.” She motioned to where half the baseball team sat around Brock. He and John had been best friends since grade school. “What do you want?”
“Easy tiger, no one sent me. I’m just having lunch.”
Carly stared at his tray, piled high with french fries and a disgusting combination of ketchup and mayonnaise swirled together. “You call that lunch?”
John chomped on a fry and grinned. “It’s my cheat day.”
What was he, a girl? Carly cocked her head. “Are you going to go home later to watch Oprah and wash your panties?”
John narrowed his eyes and dropped his voice to a whisper. “I’d appreciate you not talking about my panties so loudly.” He glanced around, as if conscious of who might overhear, then grinned and shoved three fries in his mouth.
Carly chewed her carrot, then took another from her bag and handed it to him. “At least eat this. It will help me sleep better.”
John took it obligingly then looked at her. “Big game night.”
She nodded. First home football game of senior year.
“I like to eat at Gavino’s pizza before I go to the game,” John said.
She stared at his towering plate of fries. “I bet you do.”
He laughed and swallowed another fry. “I wanted to see if you wanted to join me.”
Her heat skidded to a stop. If he was teasing her she’d cram fries up all his orifices.
But his eyes were serious as he stared at her. “What do you say Sparks, can I take you out on a date?”
She glanced at Brock then back to John, feeling as conflicted as a preacher at a strip club.
Ok, maybe preachers before they became preachers, cause this wasn’t as hard as she thought.“Sure.”
“And that’s why transaxles are only used on vehicles with front wheel drive.”
Mandy nodded her head, her brain scrambled to pieces. “Gotcha.”
Biggest lie ever. He’d lost her at differential.
She flipped a strand of blond hair around her finger and wondered if she looked as big a ditz as she felt sometimes. Why must blonds always be portrayed as dumb, big boobed idiots anyway? Mandy glanced down her chest. That part of the description she didn’t live up to. She was all long limbs and no curves.
Not that David seemed to mind. She snuck a glance at him as he drove, a shock of strawberry blond hair falling over his forehead. He hadn’t even kissed her yet and already his very essence was like the metronome her heart beat to, perfectly drumming along in time to him.
Her big brother Erik had called David her boyfriend when David’s car pulled up to the house earlier. Mandy had snapped, saying that he wasn’t her boyfriend and telling Erik to shut up. She wanted David to be her boyfriend. She just loathed the reminder that he wasn’t.Yet.