First Date Word Count 711
When I entered Murphy High School as a fourteen year old freshman in 1953, I met Laura Mae Brown, a beautiful and popular girl in my class. I immediately fell hopelessly in love with her. She was a cheerleader, and her parents were wealthy, high society, and members of the country club. My parents were farmers, and while not poor they were certainly not considered high society or wealthy.
We had several classes together, and she would often smile and say, “hello.” I made a point of trying to sit close to her in class. My buddies soon noticed my staring and yearning after her, and one teased me saying, “Roy, she is out of your league, quit pining after her.”
I noticed several of the football players hung out with Laura Mae, laughing, holding her hands, and putting their arms around her. Occasionally, I would see her riding through town, or hanging out at Peck’s Place, a local teen center, having a coke and burger with Brad, the captain of the football team.
Once, my friends and I were there when she came in with Brad, and as she entered she caught my eye, and smiled. One of my friends who had earlier teased me about her being out of my league noticed her smiling at me and said, “Roy, I believe Laura Mae has her eye on you.”
I ignored his remarks, and replied, “she isn’t interested in me,” but later I thought about her smile and mused about my friend’s quip, Could she be slightly interested in me? That night I played her look and smile over and over in my mind, as I tried to sleep.
The freshman year ended and as our sophomore year began I arrived, anxious to see Laura Mae, who was even more beautiful. We were in a biology class together and our teacher, Mr. Thompson, divided us, randomly, into pairs for lab partners. I said a silent prayer that I would be paired with Laura Mae, but it wasn’t to be. Instead I was paired with Cate, who my friends and I called Catie Bird because of her birdlike legs.
Cate turned out to be a blessing, because she was very intelligent and a super lab partner. Often other students, including Laura Mae, would come to our lab table for Cate to explain something or show them how to dissect a frog or a grasshopper. In those cases, I would sometimes get to talk with Laura Mae. Now and then I would show her the parts and proper methods to use in dissecting. I once asked her about Brad, “Do you still see him?” I asked. She answered, “Brad is away in college and since he’s on the football team, he doesn’t get to come home often, but I see him occasionally.”
Our junior year began, and I had finally obtained my driver’s license. Laura Mae was more beautiful than ever, and I still did everything I could to attract her. I spoke to her often, and she always flashed her beautiful smile and said, “hello.” I so much wanted to ask her out. My father had a 1949 Chevrolet truck he allowed me to use, but Laura Mae was used to Brad and his 1955 Corvette.
One day my friend, the same one who teased me as a freshman, caught me in the hall and said, “Roy, I hear Laura Mae and Brad broke up. This would be a good time for you to ask her for a date.” I was thinking about his comments, when I literally ran into her in the hall. As I helped her gather up her books, I asked her out for dinner and a movie. To my surprise she said, “Yes, I’ve been hoping you would ask me.”
I washed and polished Daddy’s old truck, picked her up at her house, and we headed out of town to a nice restaurant I had carefully picked out. On the way, the old truck’s engine sputtered and quit. I looked at the gas gage and it showed empty. I was apologizing and pondering what to when Brad in his Corvette drove up.
The last I saw was the two of them cuddled together, heading out of town.