I couldn’t believe I was on a Greyhound Bus without my parents. Just Nancy Johnson’s big sister and me. The other fifty people who were on the bus were all hot and had been riding for a long time. You could tell. They had that glazed look in their eyes. By the time we got to Alexandria, my eyes had that look too, only it wasn’t glaze. There were so many stars in my eyes that I could hardly see to step off the bus. I was ready for a hot summer romance. I had the clothes and I had the boobs. I was ready.
I didn’t know why Allison had chosen me to come there for a visit. We hadn’t really been friends. She hung around with my younger sister, Pam and Julie Feesl from across the street. I wondered if maybe by some fluke of nature, Scott had convinced her to invite me because he secretly liked me. It was too much of a stretch even for me to believe that. But Allison hugged me when we got there all the same, just like she had really missed me. She grabbed my arm and we took off for the house. The house was huge. We walked in what I thought was the front door. It was actually the door to the resort store. Where people could stock up on groceries and supplies for camping at the resort. It was cool. A pop machine right in your house. Allison grabbed a candy bar and told me to take one too. I felt like it was stealing, so I didn’t. She led me upstairs to her room and helped me unpack. She didn’t have hot pants. Anyway, where was Scott? I didn’t want to bring it up, they had read the tar too. So they knew. everyone knew. I felt very scared all of a sudden. Was this the biggest mistake I’d ever made. Oh God! That’s right God, it was a miracle remember? Yes, a miracle.
We went outside and she showed me where the guests stayed in the cabins near the lake. It was a great place. The beach was sandy and soft; the water was blue and shimmering. She showed me the barn. I hadn’t expected a barn. There weren’t any farm animals but there were a lot of straw bales. Allison and I spent time playing hide and seek there with the barn cats. As we left the barn, Allison showed m where she would jump on the milk truck when it drove by and she’d get a ride as he made his delivery. We walked around and around. It was then I saw him, by the big tree in the yard. He was swinging from a long rope tied up in a tree. He was still beautiful, tan and beautiful.
I felt sick to my stomach, like I was going to throw up. I was dizzy, and I could hardly pick up one foot to put it in front of the other. I hoped he hadn’t remembered about the tar. Of course he remembered. He looked over and saw Allison and I coming up the path. He kept looking, and he didn’t run away. He didn’t even look away. Oh, he noticed the boobs. Yes, summer had been good to me, I had begun to have a girlish figure, slimmer waist and larger bust. And he had noticed. Dreams do come true. Then he spoke. To this day, I can’t remember what he said. I just smiled and kept walking with Allison. Since my feet were working correctly, I had to just go with them.
Before long it was suppertime, time to sit with their large family. Fortunately Nancy Johnson’s big sister was there… it gave me confidence. It was hard to face their parents, they knew too. It amazed me that they had even allowed me, the brazen girl who wrote in the tar, into their home. They welcomed both Nancy Johnson’s sister and I, we said grace and then the food started coming around the table. I couldn’t see Scott from where I was sitting. I was grateful for that. They had shrimp, I wasn’t much of a fish girl. It’s amazing what you’ll do in the name of love. I never did throw up.
The next morning, Allison and I went out to the beach. Nadeen or ‘Dino’ as her friends called her, and Nancy Johnson’s’ big sister were heading off with an arm load of clean linens. They had to help clean put the cabins before new guests arrived. Allison and I didn’t have to help. So we played on the beach and swam. I wore a blue one piece swimsuit; it was side-less, another surprise from my Mom. One-piece suits were acceptable, two-piece suits were obscene. Apparently side-less was a compromise. I think there must have been something wrong with my Mom that summer. Letting me go on two trips away from home, and both hot pants and a side-less swimsuit. I bet the neighbors were talking.
After the cabins were all clean and ready, Nadeen and Nancy Johnson’s’ big sister came swimming with us. We played in the water all morning. They played games with us and we chased each other underwater. It was fun with the big girls. Finally it was time for lunch, we were starved. Later we helped Alison’s Mom stock shelves in the store. e went to the storeroom and got cases of candy and filled the bins. I was glad to be able to help too. Then we actually had to watch the store for a while and wait on customers that came in. We even took a delivery from the milkman, and we ate candy bars. What a life!
The sun was moving across the sky toward evening. Allison and I were in the yard and Scott came charging up on a moped. He asked if we wanted a ride. Alison said she could teach me how to ride, he said he could teach me. Allison went and to her own moped. I was at a crossroads, what to do? So I did nothing. I said I’d just learn to ride another day. Scott drove off and Allison followed. I waited ont he step with the dog. I told the dog that I loved Scott… yup, he’d read the tar too! I sat there thinking about Scott asking to teach me to ride. I had actually felt kind of scared. I was all in love when it was safe from afar. Having a crush and actually having an opportunity were miles apart. I hadn’t thought about how to get past my dreams and fantasies and into reality. So I sat there perplexed. I dont’ know where Allison went, but Scott came up again and asked me if I wanted a ride. I told him thanks but that I didn’t want to hurt Allison’s feelings. Since when did I have so much loyalty to Allison? What an idiot, yup, I was a planner!
The days kept creeping by. I wanted this time to last forever. I never wanted to go home. There were only a couple of days left before we would get back on the Greyhound Bus. It was Sunday, and the evening meal was over. The whole family was sitting in the living room watching The Ed Sullivan Show. It was then that Scott turned toward me during a commercial and said, and I quote,
“Would you like to go for a walk with me?”
Here it was, the moment I had waited years for. It had finally come. He wanted to be with me. He wanted to go alone with me for a walk. HE WANTED ME!
And I said, and I quote,
The entire room went silent. Even Ed Sullivan was shocked. Then a sound came in unison that I will never forget. The echoing gasp was holding back a family panic. Every person in that room was positive that Scott had a sure thing going here. Instead, I had defied the heavens. Even the angels were standing with their jaws on the floor in disbelief. I was to be damned for all eternity. I too was horrified at my own response. I couldn’t believe what had just come out of my mouth. I was in terror. I had really wanted to shout from the rooftops, “Scott, I love you and yes.. yes, I will go with you.” Just ask the dog.
Suddenly I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move. Scott was so hurt. And my very soul wanted to go after him as he sauntered out of the room, wounded. I couldn’t believe I had done it. It’s been well over thirty years since that day, and I still can’t believe it.
But I got my just rewards. I spent the next three days in a hell of my own making. New families had come to the resort. Some families had girls, teenage girls. Scott had asked one of them to go for a walk, and she could speak, and she said yes. My heart was breaking. Even the dog heard it. I cried and wanted so badly to go home. It tormented me to see him with that girl. Nancy Johnson’s big sister and I were supposed to take the bus at the end of the week. But Scott’s older brother had come to visit his parents, and when he left to go home, I asked if he could take me home. I had been defeated in the worst way.
Scott, where ever you are. I do know how much I hurt you that day. Please know, I’m so sorry. For both of us.