She got off her bike and looked in the direction of the U-Haul. When we locked eyes everything escaped me, the past a distant memory. The moment I saw her I stopped caring about it all.
Stepping off her bike, she walked my way and gave me a smile, a kind, welcome-to-the-neighborhood expression, her dirty blond hair tied in a ponytail, making it easy to see her brown eyes.
I was about to start my junior year of high school – not old but not too young to recognize this as a moment. I wanted to know everything about her. I wanted to go wherever she’d take me. I started daydreaming then and there. “Pet Sounds” started playing in my head. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” I was so entranced by her confident, welcoming stride I almost dropped the Packard Bell monitor in my hands.
I nodded to her, grinned.
Now I have to say something, but what? Easy, Andy…a little at a time. Not too strong.
“Hi,” I said, wanting to say more, wanting to break the ice.
“Hi, she said, stopping about a yard in front of the U-Haul.
Stop what you’re doing, I thought. So I set down the computer and casually walked down the ramp to greet her, thinking of lines the whole time.
No pick-up lines. Be cordial…cordial.
“I’m Andy,” I said, sticking out my hand, hoping it wasn’t sweaty. Colorado in August. Hot but not humid, not unbearable like Louisiana. Didn’t miss it.
“Alex,” she said, taking my hand. Her skin was soft…and electric.
Or maybe the electricity was coming from me. My body could have gone into cardiac arrest then and there, and I feared she knew it. She was blushing already.
Be confident. She knows you’re attracted to her and she’s not walking away. She’s curious about you.
“Welcome to Sandstone,” she said, letting out a small laugh.
Is she nervous, too? Oh, man, if she’s nervous, you’ve got this…just be yourself and let the chips fall where they may.
“It’s good to be here, Alex,” I said, and, for the first time, I meant it. “How do you like it here?”
“Well, I’ve lived here all my life. There are some things – and some people – that drive me crazy. But it’s getting better all the time. I’m actually excited about junior year!”
She was pretty and positive. What a breath of fresh air.
“Me too!” I said, perhaps with too much enthusiasm. “I mean I’m a junior too.
She blushed again, let out a giggle I couldn’t believe how cute she was.
“You’ve lived here your whole life and we’re classmates. Want to show me around? Give me the grand tour? I want to know all about where I’ve landed.”
“Sure,” she said, giving me her biggest smile yet.
“Where’d you come from?” she added.
Whoa, I kind of blacked out there for a minute. How long was she waiting for me to say something?
“All over,” I answered, finally. “My dad’s military. He was in Baton Rouge last. Great food, great music, hot as hell. Felt like I was in a swamp half the time. I like being in the mountains, but it’s gonna take me a while to get used to suburban life.
“It can get a little redundant. You just have to create your own fun. I’m good at that. Are you?” she asked, a glimmer of mischief in her eye.