Originally posted on January 23, 2017 by Gordon Savage
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Bill was a hunk. At six two he was actually taller than me, which I considered a plus. Dark brown hair and green eyes and a gorgeous tan just made him more handsome. He was the star quarterback for our football team. I wondered if going out for the cheerleader squad would make me more interesting to him, but I knew that wouldn’t really do anything for me. I suspected he felt that because father was a rear admiral and his dad was a chief petty officer I was out his class … ridiculous! He glanced up from his game and saw me. “Hi, Red. How long have you been standing there?”
Long enough to get a good look. I couldn’t say that. “A couple of minutes. You play well.”
“Just killing time.” His eyes were fixed on the screen. He took out a pair of zombies while he was talking. Suddenly the game was over. He turned to face me. “You want to join in? It’s a two person game, and Matt didn’t want to play Lisa anymore.”
He loaded the game up and we started playing. The game wasn’t that exciting, but being with Bill kept me fascinated until Renee tapped me on the shoulder. “They’re shutting down, and we need to get home.”
Bill hung up his “shotgun” and nodded to Renee. “Yeah, it is late.”
My heart thudded. Oh my God! It really is late. Father will kill me. I stuck my gun in the holster.
We headed for the main doors, the rest of the gang with us. Rosemary looked like I felt. She panicked. “My folks will ground me for a month.” she moaned. “We’ve got to come up with a good excuse.”
Just like that I got over my scare. I had something that would make father mad if not sorry. I didn’t have an excuse, and if I was unapologetic, it would really get under his skin. I’d show him. “Sorry, Rosemary, don’t include me in your excuse.”
Renee and Rosemary hashed out an excuse for Rosemary as we rode home while I sat beside Bill in silence. Yes, his crew cab had a bench seat up front.
We dropped Rosemary off first, then Matt. I was third. “Thanks for the ride, Bill.” I didn’t have any experience with flirting, so I was going to leave it at that even though I was dying to say something inviting.
“Any chance we could see a movie together next weekend?” Bill asked.
I smiled at him. “I’d like that, but it will depend on how much trouble I got into tonight.”
He laughed. “You don’t seem too concerned.”
“I’m not, but I suspect I’m going to be grounded for a while.”
“Well, maybe a raincheck.”
“Sounds good to me. Thanks again.”
I climbed out of the truck and headed up the walk. Mom opened the door. “Samantha, where have you been? We’ve been worried sick about you.”
I stepped past her into the foyer. Father stood there with a scowl on his face that would have peeled the wallpaper of the walls. I almost lost my resolve to be unrepentant. “We went to the mall, and I lost track of the time.” True.
Father, as usual and despite his expression, spoke dispassionately. “Why didn’t you at least call to let us know where you were?”
“Didn’t think of it.” Also true.
He glared at me. I was getting through to him, but he spoke in controlled tones. “We were getting ready to call the Security Force and report you UA.”
“I’m not in the navy.”
I could see his self-control eroding. “See here. You frightened your mother half out of her mind.”—I hadn’t really thought about that. I almost said I was sorry.—”I had to leave an important meeting to be with her.”
There it was. This was working out better than I thought. I knew the next statement was going to seal my fate, but I had to say it. “You should thank me. Meetings are boring.”
Father’s face turned a shade of red I hadn’t seen before. For a second he seemed to be choking on his words. Finally, he spoke very slowly and distinctly. I could see he was fighting to keep from blowing up. “Go to your room. Your mother and I are going to discuss what to do about this incident.”
I didn’t sleep well that night, and I didn’t find out my sentence until the next morning.
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