Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Lot in Common

            I decided to slip back inside the house to tell my boss thank you for a great party, nice of him to invite me, but it was time for me to go. Then the glass door to the deck where I was standing slid open, and a tall young man stepped onto the warm summer night with me. The party clamor followed him until he pushed the door closed.
"Hi," he said. "I saw you escaping several minutes ago.
I thought I might join you."
"I needed a breath of air."
"Pretty loud in there. "
He strolled to the edge of the balcony, stood next to me, and looked across the lake. "What a view!" he said. "You work for Leo Goldwyn?"
"I'm his secretary. Laura Prescott. And you?"
"Tim Crockett. I'm Leo's mechanic."
"Your boss is into sports cars big time," Tim said. "Porsche and Jaguar." Then Tim explained he owned his own gas station and garage in Fairfield, thirty miles from here, and was the only guy for fifty miles around who worked on foreign cars. "Leo's going to be in a car rally Sunday and wanted his Jag tonight no matter how late. I drove it over—purring beautifully—gave him the keys, and he asked me in."
"How will you get back?"
"He'll loan me his Mustang and drop his wife off next week to pick it up." Tim pointed at the sliding glass door separating us from the party. "You're boyfriend's probably wondering what happened to you."
I turned and rested my elbows on the railing that surrounded the deck. "No," I said. "I'm not with anyone. I wouldn't even be here except..." My voice trailed off.
"Except if you're the boss's secretary, and if you're invited, you have to at least show up."
I nodded. "Mr. Goldwyn is a wonderful man, I have a great job, but this isn't my kind of affair, I guess."
"Mine, either," Tim said. "A lot of glamour and glitz in there." Then he hesitated a moment, and asked, "Want to walk on the beach?"
I looked at him curiously. "A Saturday night—you don't have a date?"
"No girl, no date," he said.
I peered at the stairs leading from the balcony to the ground. Wearing a  summer dress and heels, I wasn't exactly dressed for a stroll on the beach. But Tim said, "Nothing like soaking up a lake breeze in the light of the moon and stars."
"I agree with that," I said. I pushed off my heels and set them on the railing.
I followed Tim down the steps to the grass, already delighting in the pine scent from the trees close to the lake and the hoot of an owl. When we passed the corner of the house, a motion light above us flicked on. We halted in our tracks, like deer caught in headlights.
My heart skipped. I saw instantly how handsome Tim was—chiseled features, wavy blonde hair, and blue eyes. After he'd had a good look at me and we'd stepped out the light's glare, he said, "You any relation to Curly Prescott? Runs the bait and tackle shop in Cascade."
"My dad. Why?"
"Small world, " he said. "I've been buying bait at your dad's place since I was a kid."
"Really? We might've met. I mean, I worked behind the counter when I was a kid."
He tilted his head and peered at me. "You were skinny with freckles and braces, right?"
"Right! You were tall and"—I smiled—"kind of clumsy."
We laughed and ambled across the grass to the sandy beach. The trees on the far side of the lake silhouetted the brightly lit sky, and the breeze blew my hair. We were silent for a while. Finally I said, "Look at that moon. Beautiful, isn't it?"
"Yes it is," Tim said. "You like to hike in the woods?"
"Whenever I get a chance."
"Paddle a canoe?"
"My favorite."
"Sit around a campfire?"
"Nothing better."
Tim let out a long breath, and I became warmly conscious of him standing close to me. "We really do have a lot in common," he said. "You have a car here? You like pizza?"
I nodded twice.
"Rudy's Pizza Palace okay?"
"Let's split—unless you want to go back to the party."
"I'll pass on the party," I said. "But I have to get my shoes and say good night to Leo."
"Right. I'll tell him I won't need to borrow his Mustang."
As Tim and I started toward the deck, my heart skipped again. I wondered what else we might have in common. "Do you like black olives on your pizza?" I asked.
"Love 'em."
My smile felt as wide as the moon above us.

The End
Enjoy reality! Contemporary YA fiction with an impact. Don't wait! Visit: