Here’s an excerpt from “Blossom On the Water,” the first story in my collection THE KING OF CHEROKEE CREEK.
“Blossom On the Water” — excerpt
by Marian Allen
I went away to college, and I worked at Bud’s during the summers. I fell in love with Meredith DeLint from my History of Science class, and she turned out to be from just over the county line, and she came home with me to meet Mom and Dad, and we took her to Bud’s for dinner.
And Bud fell in love with her, too.
Meredith was a beauty: Straight black hair she kept cut shoulder-length, clear pink skin, dark eyes, petite but…you know…built.
I was used to guys looking at her like they wished she had come in alone, but when I saw that same look on Bud’s face… It made me sick. It was almost as if I’d seen it on Dad.
He came over and greeted us, which he almost never does, and took Meredith’s elbow and led her to a table, smiling and moving close to murmur in her ear, as if he didn’t want to shout over the other customers’ voices.
When he seated us, he flashed me his teeth like… not like a challenge, because we both knew he didn’t see it as a contest. It was like he was saying, You know what I’m going to do. Do you really think you can stop it?
I looked him over: about 5’6″, slim, looking like a wimp but, I knew from seeing him with his shirt off, tightly muscled; flat black hair and bright black eyes, skin a dark gold, perfect teeth. Deep creases at the corners of his eyes and mouth, but girls go for a “face with character” sometimes. I took Meredith’s hand.
“No PDA’s.” Dad growled it so I’d know it was half a joke.
He meant Public Displays of Affection. Forbidden on school property. It was in the manuals and everything.
“This isn’t a PDA,” Meredith said. “This is first aid. His hands are like ice.”
I don’t think they warmed up all evening. Bud didn’t hover or do anything obvious. Mom and Dad would have commented if he’d been too obvious–everybody in the restaurant would have. It’s a very small town; we know one another’s surfaces like we know the fronts of the stores on Broad Street. But I knew Bud below the surface–far enough below it, anyway, to see him turning something on I’d never seen him use before. And I could see Meredith responding, unaware.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A mentor hits on a protégé’s sweetheart.