I didn't understand a single thing he said, but I smiled and nodded politely anyway. My mother always told me to be polite. But, honestly, I was bored out of my skull. I didn't know anything about this car he was planning to get and restore. Why wasn't he like most guys; why couldn't he spend his time talking about sports? Sports, I know. My father is a big football fan and he has been dragging every member of our family to games for as long as I can remember. My best friend, Mary, says that is why guys like me so much, because I don't mind sitting around on the weekends watching sports. I would like to accuse her of holding incorrect stereotypes, but to be honest I have never been out with any guy who didn't love sports.
Until Greg. Greg has been talking about this car for the last half an hour and all I have understood is that it is red. Personally I don't know why anyone would go to so much trouble to restore an old car when there are really great, new cars out there. I tried to tell Greg, but he scoffed at that idea.
"Great, new cars? I don't think so. They just junk them up with stuff people don't really need. And anyway, there is nothing quite like the look of an antique."
I nodded politely. And then I tried to change the subject.
"So how did you do on Mr. McKinney's test today?"
"Oh, I think I did really well. I am pretty good in math. It comes in very handy when you are working on a car. For instance..."
How did we get back to this? I nodded politely again. I am going to have to thank my mother for teaching me that. And I think I am going to have to kill Mary for setting this up.
I never talked to Greg in Trig. class. But I saw him. And Mary saw me see him. I suppose I could not have been more obvious. My chin almost hit the floor. There he was standing there in jeans and a flannel and I could tell he had a beautiful body, which matched his smile. His eyes sparkled when he smiled, letting little specks of gold intermingle with the brown. His hair was short, so short I wasn't even sure if it was blond or brown. Now that I have been sitting here looking at his hair for almost an hour, I can definitely say it is brown, very light brown, but just a bit too dark to be said to be blond. Of course, it is probably a judgment call.
Mary was the one who talked to Greg first. I couldn't. I wanted to talk but I just stood there, next to Mary, smiling like a fool. I did notice, though, he kept looking at me, even when he was talking to Mary. I was so nervous I just grabbed Mary's arm and dragged her to two empty seats in the back, as far away from him, as possible. And there we sat for two months. Every day I would sit in my seat and stare at the back of this completely gorgeous person and daydream about how our date would go, if he ever asked me out.
According to my daydream, he would pick me up in one of those sporty cars which he has spent the evening decrying. He would walk up to the door wearing a three-piece suit. I don't know what it is about a guy in suit that makes me swoon, but I can't help it. I would come down the stairs, wearing a pale green (to match my eyes) dress, backless, of course. He would be so enamored with me, he would almost drop the flowers he was carrying for me. After handing me a bouquet of a dozen white and pink roses, he would take my arm. I would hand my flowers to my father, who would be standing there, nodding approvingly. I would glide out on Greg's arm and he would open the door for me. Then he would drive me to an elegant restaurant, where he would order for us and we would laugh and eat lobster and drink champagne. Then he would take me to go dancing and we would be so good that the other people would stop dancing and just watch us. And then he would return me home with a soft kiss on my lips.
Okay. I realize that was a big fantasy. I don't even own a pale green dress, let alone a backless one. My father has never approved of any of my dates. No high school student could afford lobster and we aren't old enough to drink. And I can't dance. But everyone has to dream. And that was my dream.
The reality was different. He picked me up in a station wagon, his mother's station wagon. He didn't bring me flowers. My father did not nod approvingly. My father didn't kill him, so that’s a start. I am wearing jeans and a tee shirt from our high school. First we went to a movie, which was a fine movie. Not great, not terrible. And now we are sitting in the local fast food restaurant/hangout. And I am listening to him talk about the car he wants to buy and restore. I can't believe this is happening. I smile and nod politely.
The food is gone and I am truly bored and I am just thinking I want to go home and go to bed and forget tonight even happened. I start to put my trash on the tray. Greg takes the hint and starts to clean up his trash. We stand and go to the trash can. We dump our stuff and walk out to the car. He does hold the door open for me. I get in and he walks around and gets in the driver side.
"So, I hear you are really into sports. I don't really know much about any of that. What is your favorite sport?" he says to me.
I am a bit taken aback. But I start telling him about football. He asks me some questions and I answer them. He looks genuinely interested. I hope I looked as interested in what he said about cars. We reach my house and he comes around and opens my door. He walks me up to the door. He looks at me, a bit nervous. And then he leans in and kisses me. Sparks. Definite sparks. My legs tingle. Oh, this is nice. I have never been so happy. Very happy.
Pulling away from me, he asks if he can call me tomorrow. I find myself unable to speak. I smile and nod politely.
"Great, maybe we can watch the game," he says.