Thursday, September 14, 2006

Summer love, con't 2

"I don't know how to tell you this. . ." he began.

"You're chickening out on me, right?" I said.

"No, I just gotta do something tonight. I just can't make it, Rachel." He stood aways from me, saying my name over and over. "You just have to understand, Rachel. I don't want to hurt you."

My heart was breaking. Hurt, mad and sad, I tried to be brave. He couldn't see my tears.

Finally, Pete asked, "Don't you have anything to say?"

I stood. "I have to get my head on straight, Pete. I'll be back." I walked out, feeling his eyes watching me.

Away from him, I burst into tears and ran out to the parking lot. My dear male bosses tried to help me (can you believe I sucked them into the drama) but what could they do? They listened, and counseled. But certainly couldn't make Pete keep his word.

Pulling myself together, I went to find Pete. (Yeah, I'm going to have to punch in somewhere here and get to work. But please, the soap opera first!)

I tried to tell him how I felt, but he insisted I could do better than him. "I'm too crude for you, Rachel. I'm too selfish. I need to stay focused on becoming a millionaire."

(Yeah, he had a lot of B.S. in him.)

But when he confessed, "Rachel, I don't want you to be upset, or to hurt you. I never meant for it to go this far," my tears sprang up again.

The confession cut deep. I tried not to cry. Finally, he said, "Look, if you want me to take you out-"

"No."

His big brown eyes held me. "Look, I'll take you to lunch and we can talk about it, okay? So hang loose."

I agreed. (Hey, I'm 16 what do you expect? At least I said no to the mercy date! I had some savvy.)

He went back to work whileI cried, cried and cried.

By the time I punched in, all the males of the store and most of the females were completely on my side, (poor Pete) and coddled me. One of the manager let me make sales signs instead of working on the register.

When it came time for lunch, he drove me over to McDonalds. At first we just stared at each other or in opposite directions, but finally started to discuss the problem.

"I'm too selfish, Rach. I'd rather drive golf balls. See."

I didn't buy it. "Well, maybe I'd like to drive golf balls, too. Ever think of that?"

Anyway, sitting in Cutler Ridge McDonalds, we talked for a long time. About our families, our lives, dreams and goals. We really had a great time. Maybe I had my date after all.

He went home and I went back to work. The heart break eased, a little.

Then my friend Joanie caught me in the back hall and said, "Rachel, I talked to Pete before he left."

I could feel the blood draining from my face. "Oh no, you didn't."

She nods. "I did. Here's what I told him. . . "

2 comments:

Mom of 5 said...

Rachel, I remember Pete - could we say he was your first love? Or how about the boy from Lexington in the 4th grade who played baseball? It amazing what I'm learning about you in these blogs :-) Love Mom
PS the Sixteenth birthday dinner was Dad's idea. Remember you said "This place is TOO DARK I can't see the menu"!! so funny

Audra said...

Oh what another cliff hanger. WHAT DID SHE SAY? :)