Today we are starting a new Wednesday Romance. I will be writing this as we go along, so I encourage any and all feedback. Just leave me a comment, or if blogger is acting up, drop me an email and let me know your ideas! rachelrager(dot)romance(at)gmail(dot)com
Unfortunately, I don't have a title for this yet. I just can't come up with one. Let me know if you think of something!
I sat in front of the light and sound boards, the blinking lights telling me what is going on in the meadow below. Looking over the ledge of the booth I could see the signs of the simulated thunderstorm. Well, it would look much better at night, as opposed to early evening, but I knew what I was looking at.
“Hey, up in the booth! That’s not how it’s supposed to work.”
I sighed and shifted my attention to the approaching adolescent. I worked at a summer camp, and over the past three summers I had encountered this exact scene almost weekly. I stifled a groan. If I could endure until this group was finished practicing, I’d be done with my shift and would have the night off. I couldn’t be done soon enough.
The kid came jogging up the small hill to complain. I’m pretty sure he said his name was Justin. “It’s supposed to be a flash of light and then the boom.”
I inhaled and turned to him. “If you had watched carefully, that’s exactly what it did.”
“You forgot the flash.”
I didn’t even dignify that with a response.
One hand on his hip and the other clutching a stack of papers I knew to be the script to a skit he was directing, he looked down his nose at me. How old did this kid think he was? He couldn’t be a day over sixteen. Therefore, I was older than him by more than five years. Ugh!
He puffed out his chest. Believe me it didn’t make him look any more important, just arrogant and ignorant. “What’s your name again?”
I didn’t say anything. I’d already told him twice in the last thirty minutes, and it was embroidered on my shirt.
“So listen, why don’t you let me have a try at running the controls. I’ve done stuff like this before.”
I shook my head and moved to stand in his path. “Campers are not allowed to touch the equipment. Just tell me what you’d like, and I’ll make it happen.”
He gave me that look, you know, the one that says, ‘And I suppose you’re going to stop me.’
I put my hand out to protect the board. “If anything were to happen, you’d be sent home immediately, and you will be responsible to pay for the damages. It’s in the contract you signed when you registered for this camp. Trust me, that’s not what you want to do.”
He met my gaze for a minute and then stepped back. I saw it as the resignation that it was and sat back down. “Now if you’d like to watch again, I’ll show you that there is only one flash before the sound. Unless you’d like something else to happen, which I assure you, I can do.”
I pushed the appropriate buttons and the lights flashed and a loud boom followed. I glanced at him with a smirk and saw him scowl. In the few minutes his complaint had lasted, the sky had dimmed enough for him to see that I really had accomplished what he had asked. Instead of acknowledging my success, he turned and stomped down the hill. I could hear him mumbling under his breath and did my best not to burst into triumphant laughter.
A quarter hour later, I sighed with relief as the campers moseyed out of the meadow. I leaned back in my chair and spun away from the table. The cup of soda Wes had brought me several hours ago sat in a puddle of water from the condensation. I lifted the cup and took a deep sip from the straw. It took everything in me to swallow and not spit out the slightly flavored, luke-warm water all over the walls of the small booth.
I walked to the door, threw out the drink, and threw the cup in the garbage under the desk. Hopefully there would be some fresh soda in the cafeteria. I desperately needed some sugar if I was going to enjoy my evening.
I reached to turn off the boards when I heard someone breathing behind me. I spun as fast as if the door had slammed open. My shoulders relaxed when I saw Stacie leaning against the door jam, a hand to her heaving chest.
“Did you run here?”
“Did you forget your inhaler?”
She nodded again.
I reached for the generic one I kept in my bag for such occasions.
“Not…that bad…. Be fine…in a minute.”
Well, her speaking wasn’t terrible, but I still held out the inhaler. She looked at it like she would a steaming plate of broccoli, but reluctantly accepted it. Within seconds she was breathing better and handed it back.
Stacie walked into the small room, her hand trailing over the dials she had no idea how to use. When she looked at me, her eyes twinkling, I knew she had not just come to see me for a social call. She must have news of ‘The Wall.’
She flipped her hair over her shoulder. “Vernaun is doing the campfire tonight. Are you going?”
Ugh! If there was one thing I’d learned over the years, it was to avoid Vernaun Jones. Vernaun. What kind of a name is that anyway? Why couldn’t his parents name him Vernon like any normal person. But no! He’s special. Give him a name like Vernaun and he’s sure to be a success. And it’s pronounced ver-nawn, stupid, I know.
I’ve always just called him the nickname that he went by at the camp. ‘The Wall.’ It suited him really. He’s the quarterback type of guy in build and attitude. There’s really no other way to describe him.
“Andy, did you hear me? I said Vernaun….”
“Yes, I heard you. I chose not to comment.”
I saw the gleam in her eyes and wanted to run.
“Are you sure?” She took a step forward and clutched my arm. “It looked more like you were daydreaming about the most gorgeous guy in the entire camp.”
“I was not daydreaming. More like trying to find a way to get out of campfire tonight.”
“And did you come up with any brilliant ideas?” She steered me out of the booth. “Do you have the keys?”
She locked the door and pulled me down the path. “Well?”
“You or Wes could tie me up in the forest somewhere and come get me when you’re done.”
“Ha! Then I would be late. Not a chance. No. You’re coming with me.”
I placed a hand to my stomach as it grumbled. “I’m starving. I need to eat.”
“Wes is getting us food. He’ll meet us there.”
“Oh, come on. It won’t be that bad.”
“It always is, Stace. You know how all the girls fall at his feet. They’d like nothing more than the chance to touch him. If he actually singles one of them out for anything, they get all giggly and girly. It’s ridiculous.”
Stacy narrowed her eyes at me. “He is hot.”
I narrowed my eyes back at her. “He’s not that hot.”
“He is so. I think you just like him and are secretly jealous.”
“Why would I like him? He doesn’t know I exist.”
“True. But if you would step out of your little bubble, he might. Face it, Andy, you haven’t done anything new or exciting in three years. You’re as old as Nurse Mary.”
I stopped and pulled her to a stop. “I am not!”
“You’re not what?”
I looked up and saw that Wes had joined us. He gave Stacie and I a brown paper bag, and I gladly took a sip of my soda.
“Andy thinks she’s not as boring as Nurse Mary.”
Wes smiled and took a burger out of his bag. “Sure you are. You like predictable. You like to know what’s going to happen.”
My mouth dropped.
He shrugged and took a big bite. He then began talking around his huge mouthful of food. I leaned away from him so I didn’t get spewed with lettuce.
“That doesn’t mean we don’t like you. It just means I know what to get you each night for dinner.” He winked.
I looked in my bag. A cheeseburger and apple slices. Just what I always had on Wednesday nights.
“It means,” Stacie said, “that hot guys like Vernaun will never notice her.”
Wes looked up, his brow wrinkled. “She doesn’t like Vernaun.”
I smiled. “Thank you.”
Stacie’s voice drowned mine out. “Sure she does. Every girl does.”
“I do not!”
Wes shook his head. “Vernaun may be a good looking guy, but he’s a shallow curd.”
Stacie rolled her eyes. “We know. He always flirts with the hottest girls at camp.”
Wes took another bite. “True, but he’s finicky too. Neither of you want to get tangled up with a dude like him. He’ll only cause heartache and trouble.”
The next second of my life seemed more like twenty minutes. You know, those moments where you experience everything in slow motion.
I took a bite of my cheeseburger – the first bite is always the best – and I looked up to see ‘The Wall’ headed for me as though I were the goal line on a football field. Perhaps I’m invisible to some people. I don’t know. The only thought that entered my mind was, ‘Surely he will see me and stop.’ But no. Of course not. Perhaps I was boring and predictable. Invisible even.
So I continued to walk because I couldn’t stop mid stride, and I collided with ‘The Wall.’ I think I will start calling him ‘The Brick Wall.’ The solid muscles of his overly wide chest met my cheek, and I felt warm drench my entire body. (Okay, that was my drink.) My teeth clattered in my head, and I think my head snapped backward, though everything started to go a little fuzzy at that point.
As I began to fall backward, I looked up into his well chiseled face and thought he could probably use a shave. One of my unruly hands reached out to touch his stubble but never quite reached his face. His arms wrap around me and I felt him pull me toward him.
My world swam as I steadied myself. His head leaned toward mine.
He was going to kiss me!