A Cautionary Tale, Full of Sidetracks, Which Does Not End Well

She had spent altogether too many years metaphorically floating downstream, going wherever the water might take her.

This same thought will be revisited many years hence, but for now, suffice it to say that she felt it time to step out of the stream, to attempt becoming someone. Too many years spent tending bar, waiting tables, suffering the slights society inflicts on its ‘help’ left her wanting something different, something more, finally willing to spend her energy at whatever work it might take to attain.

She was going to college. She would make something of herself and when she did, she would always tip well.

School was a breeze. The hard part was being alone. There had always been a man…men…for comfort, for dinner, to help pay the electric bill, but there was no time for that now.

Knowledge was heady, and she reveled in grasping concepts she’d once thought were above her understanding. Debates, long nights spent arguing the finer points of some esoteric theory or another with classmates, study groups for exams…she excelled. In what seemed far too short a time, she was walking up an aisle to receive a diploma, with honors.

Grad school was next on the docket, because an economist needs more than a BA to be taken seriously. And there were so many good schools to pick from, so many offers of graduate fellowships. Chosen for its exceptional program then, she decided she would head off to State in just two short months. Moving out of her college apartment, she found a spot to store her things until it was time to leave.

There was this very cute young guy running the storage place. It had been, she mused, an eternity since she’d enjoyed the company of a cute guy. As she pulled up in her classic drop-top Chrysler Town & Country, he met her in the driveway.

“Great car! And you’ve got a new ragtop on it, I see. Mind if I take a look?”

It was warmer now than when she’d moved her things in the month before, and being hopeful that he’d be there, she’d worn her cutest new outfit, red and stripey, with short culottes and a snug top that hugged her close. And what did he have eyes for? The car?

“I will never understand men,” she thought to herself. “I wasted several hours this morning trying on clothes, only to be upstaged by an old car.”

“It’s beautiful, but your brakes are making a lot of noise.”

It was true, they were, frighteningly so. But she didn’t really have the money to take care of them, not until the fellowship money started coming in next month.

“I’ve got a lot of experience with cars, brakes especially. You buy the parts and I’d be happy to do the work for you in trade for an opportunity to drive this baby.”

She looked down at him, where he was kneeling next to the car, suddenly aware that he was dressed only in a pair of red shorts, and a lot of lean, tanned muscle. His hair was light brown that glinted blond in the sun, curling across his forehead. His smile revealed a brilliant flash of white and his eyes were incredibly blue.

That smile… She had no idea how many tight spots that smile had gotten him out of, how many pairs of panties it’d gotten him into.

“Sure!” she replied, shaking her head to clear those thoughts. “That’d be wonderful. Thank you.” She scribbled her home phone number on a piece of paper, then realized that he already had the number on her paperwork, but gave it to him anyway. “I have to work tonight and tomorrow afternoon, but maybe Saturday morning?”

“My time is flexible,” he responded, taking the slip of paper. “Saturday would be fine.” He stood up, complimenting her outfit and remarking that they both were wearing red, flashed her that grin again.

They stepped into the office where she paid her monthly storage bill. Thanking him, she took her receipt and left. Driving off, she said to no one in particular,  “This could be interesting. I wonder how old he is? “


~ by perchance2knit on January 5, 2011.

7 Responses to “A Cautionary Tale, Full of Sidetracks, Which Does Not End Well”

  1. and maybe the fact I live in Jacksonville?

    • Right. As if we never talked…

      ETA: Oh, right…we didn’t. You were raising a child, working and going to school. I was hanging out playing. I definitely should have told you more and gotten your counsel. Might have saved me grief.

      I love you!

  2. very interesting- I am finally learning all the details….

    • Oh, darlin’, how is it that the details escaped your notice? Oh, right, We were married before anyone really knew who he was. Almost. Me included.

  3. ALWAYS 20% unless I’ve been ignored.

  4. Ominous music be damned, full speed ahead! I love you, Karen!

  5. Hi! If you are thinking of taking up fiction writing, I think you have a voice and something to say. Somehow, given title of the post and the ominous music I can hear in the background, I get the idea this is not going to be fiction.

    Take care of yourself.

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