The High School Years
Blondes and Bleachers
It’s just weeks before school starts--freshman year--during my first band camp, and Tabitha, a tall skinny blond Junior flute player, introduced herself to me in front of my friends. I was glowing. I felt important....Like a big-shot. A Junior classman flirting with me made me feel like a stud. I loved the attention. As I think about it now, it was a bonehead move. What can I say? I was fourteen.
Then, I thought of Laura. And a twinge of guilt pinched me, but as Laura would say, not hard enough...
Fast forward now to the first football game of the season.
I didn’t tell Laura when the game was, so I could spend time with Tabitha. But as Laura’s house was only a couple blocks from the school, she could tell when the game was on since the entire surrounding area was illuminated with the stadium sound and white lights of the football field.
With the sound of the band playing, I imagine her hearing the brass warming up in the cool fall air from her window that faced the high desert mountain. Perhaps she plucked the white oval push button phone in her room and rapid fire dialed her best friend and partner in crime, Tammy. Slipping on her tight faded jeans and snug white top, fluffing her hair as she flitted down to the end of her street for meeting Tammy at the crossroads, then continuing on together until they reached the high school stadium. This particular stadium is where we had shared many kisses, long walks and deep thoughts.
I can clearly remember her approaching the back of the bleachers where I was sitting next to my newfound flute player Tabitha. I recall Tabitha slumped over, holding her flute with her knees and me trying to sound witty and keep her attention. Then, in the backdrop of her blond crimped hair and green of the soccer field in the distance, I see Laura coming into view. Actually, it was the bundle of that unmistakable curly hair attached to her soft, pale face. (The one I’m looking at right now as we write.)
...to be continued next week.