Thursday, April 7, 2011

Love Story Part 4

I was all sorts of nervous around Mongoose now. He would flash a smile and I swear my knees would buckle and I would be flat on my face. I would act even more strange than usual which most people assumed was just my personality: Gidget, the strange.

One afternoon a group of counselors had congregated near Arts and Crafts chatting and waiting for our next assignment which probably entailed boating. Suddenly I smelt the most unique smell. I started sniffing the air, it was tropical but strangely so. It seemed extremely unnatural for the dirt, pine tree, lake environment we were inhabiting.

"What in the world is that smell?" I finally questioned outloud.
"It's my chapstick," Mongoose quickly quipped back.

My strange behavior took hold and I rushed up to smell his lips to confirm if it was indeed his chapstick as he claimed. Why did I feel this was necessary? I have no idea. But my nose was millimeters away from his lips and I remember seeing the shock and astonishment on all the faces around me.

I turned beet red and rushed away. Everyone laughed about how forward I was and how I should have just kissed him if I wanted to. I couldn't believe that I had done that but Mongoose took it in stride and seemed to enjoy the moment. I couldn't get over how silly I had been but everyone seemed to forget my strange behavior of the day.

Later we would get assignments for the staff campout. There would be three separate groups going to three separate places. My heart started pounding. What if I wasn't in Mongoose's group? I instantly decided that the campout would be horrible if that was the case and I prayed that some miracle would occur. Well apparently our flirtations were obvious to everyone including our boss and so of course I was not placed in Mongoose's group. I was sad and bitter and thought about him the entire time. What was doing? What cheesy joke was he telling? I wished I could be around that smile, underneath the moon, with the glow of a fire... I had it bad.
Thankfully the campout was only one night away from him and then I would get to see him again.

It was Friday which was our last day of staff training and Potato finally arrived. Potato had worked the summer before and is probably the most well-liked person I have ever met. She is spontaneous, a little flighty, but extremely enjoyable to be around. Everyone was excited when she showed up after finishing cheer camp. She was nothing but fun. She was also the reason Mongoose was at camp. They went to high school together and I learned that they had also dated for approximately a week, but they were friends.

We all decided to have a slumber party for our last night and Potato and Mongoose explained how he had wound up at camp.
"Man, that manager was crazy," Mongoose explained how he had lifeguarded the two previous summers and could no longer stand who was in charge.
"So I overheard him in the lunch line talking about how he hadn't found a job for the summer yet and I knew he would have fun at camp!" Potato explained.
"I figured I didn't really have any other options and when Tejas decided to apply as well I knew it would be a fun summer." He continued to tell me about how he and Potato dated and how awkward it had been.

Potato kept smiling at me knowingly during this discussion and I knew that she knew. Was it that bad? Was my crush completely obvious. Either way she seemed to encourage the match and helped make it possible that I slumbered right next to Mongoose. We set up our sleeping bags and Mongoose teasingly stole mine. So I stole his. Then he decided that he liked my yellow watch better than his periwinkle one so we switched. Then we went to sleep.

Well more like I lay in my sleeping bag with my heart pounding. I was on my side with my hand extended out in front of me a little. It was dark, and quiet and suddenly his hand was in mine. I couldn't think. His deliberate physical touch was too much for my body to handle. So I lay awake as he silently stroked my hand, interwove our fingers, and played with my heart. It slowly lulled to stop and his hand was in my clammy one. Should I move? Do I stay like this? I didn't know the rules. Suddenly his body convulsed and I had a heart attack. Did he have seizures in his sleep? Is he okay? Nope, just twitches. Either way I was on edge and it took a long time that night to fall asleep.


The morning seemed to reflect my attitude. It was bright and crisp and I felt full of energy. I remember being so excited about what was ahead. This boy held all sorts of possibilities and I could physically feel that I was on the verge of pure and utter happiness. We all finished getting ready in the morning and carpooled back to civilization. The sun rose in the sky as did the temperature, but we were young and full of life and we blasted Fall Out Boy singing at the top of our lungs as we coasted down to the valley. We all got dropped off at our respective locations and promised to call each other later that day.

We had tickets to the local baseball game and decided it would be great if the entire staff went together. At home I washed laundry and prepped for meeting up at the stadium. I was giddy as I tried on the perfect outfit. It was still too cold for shorts at night, so I opted for my favorite pair of Lucky jeans a tank top and a light zip-up sweatshirt. Cute and casual. I was never much of a primper so I kept my hair curly and applied my obligatory coat of mascara and some blush. I was still wearing his watch. I had teased him about it extensively because he claimed it was blue and it was clearly periwinkle. Not that guys notice shades of color, but it wasn't the manliest watch. I was glad he had my yellow watch that I had just bought a week earlier for camp. It was like we had a little piece of each other.

I drove to the baseball game and was early. Of course. I had this thing about being on time. I like being early. In a family with six children my parents were constantly late to every activity and function imaginable. I always hated coming after the party had started. I liked to prepare and observe and plan. I hated being off guard. So I called Potato to get her whereabouts. She told me that a couple of her friends were also coming to the game. Great. I had no problem with other people. They were close so I waited in my car for everyone else to show up. Potato parked beside me and I hopped out of the car.

The sun was making that warm fuzzy glow right before it starts to set, when everything around you turns to gold and you start to feel the slightest chill if there is a breeze. I asked where everyone else was. Just then Mongoose pulled up in his zippy red Kia. My heart started to patter. I smiled at him as he got out of the car. There was a girl in the passenger seat but I didn't take any notice of her until I realized that once she got out of the car, she was holding his hand.

Click here for Part 5

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