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Seeking Redemption

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“Are you guys in?”  The blonde boy looked at his two friends, hoping to see a confirmation from them that they accepted his plan.  The two boys nodded back and got into the black Chevy Cruze for the short drive to Becky Summers’ house.  The coordinator of the plan was Corey Williams, the star quarterback of the Tyler High football team and Becky’s boyfriend.  It was Becky’s birthday and Corey’s plan was for a simple birthday wish to be passed on from the three boys.

“Let’s get out here and go to her backyard.  Remember to bring your ski masks.”

Brett Jenkins and Greg Ward laughed as they go out of the car.  The three boys planned to “moon” Becky from her backyard and to sing happy birthday to her when Corey would give the signal.  What 16 year old girl wouldn’t like that as a birthday gift?

The boys got into position in the backyard, put on their ski masks and waited for their signal.     “OK guys, drop them.”

The boys chuckled as they dropped their pants.  Then Corey called out to the house.  “Becky, Becky.  Happy birthday girl.”

The backyard flood light came on as Becky Summers opened her sliding glass door to the rear patio.  The light caught the bare behinds of the three boys perfectly, just as Corey planned.  The girl gave out as brief “oh my god” as she saw what was waiting for her in the backyard.

 

“THIS IS FOR YOU BITCH!!!”

 

Corey’s face got intense as he screamed out the words.  What immediately followed was a long litany of cursing and swearing directed at the young girl.  “YOU….”

 

Confused, Greg Ward tried to understand what was taking place.  The planned “fun” had turned into a vicious verbal attack on Becky from Corey Williams.  Why was this going on?

Pulling up his pants and turning around, Greg could see streams of tears on Becky’s cheeks as she covered her mouth.  Her cry of “why are you doing this Corey?” was largely drowned out by Corey’s continuous flow of vulgar references to the girl.  Finally, after taking all she could, Becky Summers raced back inside her house and turned the spot light off.  Corey gave one last gesture and called out “let’s go guys” as he trotted back to the car.

“What the hell just happened?” thought Ward as the car pulled away from the Summers home….

 

“Greg, can we talk?”  Brett Jenkins, the third “mooner” sat down next to Ward in the school study hall.  “Sue Tompkins says that Becky isn’t at school today because she is real upset.  Corey’s rampage last night is being talked about by all the girls.”

Ward looked around to see how private their setting was before responding.  “Are we being mentioned at all?”

Jenkins shock his head no.  “But Greg, it’s probably just a matter of time before our names get tied to this.  We are Corey’s closest friends.”

“Shit” thought Ward.  What a mess.

“What are we going to do?”

Yes, thought Ward, what are we going to do?

 

 

Greg Ward thought about the situation all day and finally reached a conclusion that he needed to do something uncomfortable.  He borrowed his Dad’s Civic and drove to the Summers house to see Becky.  Embarrassed, he rang the doorbell and was anticipating having to ask Mrs. Summers to see Becky when to his surprise the young girl opened the door herself.

“Oh, um, um, hi Becky….”

“Hi.  Why are you here?”  The girl’s face was red, probably the result of recent crying.

“I, um, I, um, I kind of wanted to tell you how sorry I am about what happened last night with Corey in your backyard.”

“Who told you about that?”

“Um, Sue.  Sue Tompkins.”

“All I told Sue was that Corey came by last night and shouted at me.  I didn’t mention that it was in my backyard and I didn’t mention that Corey was there with some other boys.  So how do you know so much?”

Crap.  She is figuring this all out.

“Greg, you were there, weren’t you?”

“No, no.  I, I wasn’t……”

“Greg, don’t lie to me.  Brett Jenkins and you were with Corey last night.”

The young boy lowered his head and started to draw circles with the toe of his shoe on the concrete landing just outside of Becky’s front door.  Finally, he raised his head to respond.  Tears were coming out of his eyes as he tried to speak.

“Becky, Brett and I had no idea of what Corey had planned.  We were told that this would be a fun birthday gift for you.  You know, Corey said we would be singing happy birthday and all……..”

“A fun gift.  Because every girl want to be serenaded by three bare assed boys on her birthday??”

“Yes.  I mean no.  I mean, I mean.  Ah shit Becky, I’m all confused.  I don’t know what I mean…..”

The girl looked at him with raised eyes.

“Sorry.  I tend to forget to watch my language when I get nervous.”

Becky sighed as she looked at the young boy.  Either he was being sincere or he was the best actor since Tom Hanks.

Finally, she replied.  “OK, I believe you.  I doubt that Brett and you were intentionally involved in this.”  The girl looked away for a moment before speaking again.  “You know Greg, this really, really hurt me.”

The young boy nodded his head, tears still in his eyes.  “I wish there was some way I could correct it.  I, I just don’t know how to make things better….”

Becky sighed.  “You can’t correct what has happened.  But you can try on your own to make things a little better.”

Greg looked perplexed.  “How?”

“Take me out Friday night.”

“What?  I can’t do that.  You’re Corey’s girl……”

Becky Summers frowned at Greg.

“Oh, right.  I guess that isn’t the case anymore.”

“So will you take me out?”

“Me?  Why would you want me to take you out?  I am a nobody.”

“Why do you say that?”

Greg Ward looked down on the ground.  “Well, Corey is a star football player.  He is handsome and all.  What am I?  A skinny, no talent runt with acne.  Corey only lets me be his friend because I help him with some of his homework.”

“You’re handsome too.”

“No I am not.”

“And you have a cute butt.”

“What?”

“You have a cute butt.  I saw it.  You were on the far right last night.  You should be proud of that bum.  I bet the rest of your body isn’t bad as well…..”

Greg Ward just stood in stunned silence.

“Greg, the polite thing to do is to say thank you for the compliment.”

“I am supposed to say thank you because you think I have a nice ass??”

Becky frowned again.

“Sorry.”

“So how does all of this feel?”

“How does what feel?”

“Being talked about in this manner.”

Greg turned red and frowned.  “Embarrassing and awkward.  And uncomfortable.”

“That, Greg, is how I felt last night.  And Corey was much, much worse.”

Greg teared up again.  “I am so sorry Becky.”

“So then take me out.”

“I, I have never taken out a girl.”

Becky smiled.  “It’s not that hard.  Just say that you want to take me to the football game on Friday and tell me that you will pick me up at 6 PM.”

“Um, well OK.”

“OK what?”

“Let’s go out.”

“Go out where?”

“What you just said.”

“To make it official, you have to actually ask me.”

Geez, girls are so freaking demanding.  “OK, Becky will you go out with me on Friday to the football game?”

“No.”

“What?”

“Just kidding.  Of course I will.  Pick me up at 6.”

 

****************************************************************************

 

Greg Ward drove his Dad’s Civic to the Summers house and picked up Becky at 6 PM as planned.  He had a bouquet of pink carnations for her, a small gift as he continued to seek redemption for his unwitting participation in Corey’s plan.  His cousin Wendy had often told him that flowers would not correct all mistakes with a girl but that they were a start.  Wendy was smart beyond her years.

Greg and Becky sat on the top bleacher in the home portion of the stadium.  A harsh fall wind ripped through them and Becky shivered from the cold.

“Let me put this blanket around you.”

“Thanks,” replied Becky as Greg wrapped the blanket around the two of them.  Then embarrassed, he started to stutter.

“Sor…Sorry.  I, um, I didn’t mean to do that.”

“What?” replied Becky, perplexed about the boy’s embarrassment.

“When I put the blanket around us, my, um, my arm kind of ended up on top of your shoulder.”

“So?”

“I didn’t want you to think that I was trying to do anything.”

“Such as?”

“You know.”

“No I don’t.”

“Um, well, like, you know.  Something bad.”

Becky grinned.  “Like grabbing my breast?”

“What?  Um, well yeah. Like that….”  Greg was scarlet with embarrassment.

“It’s not inappropriate if I give you my permission.”

“You are giving me permission to grab your breast???”

“You didn’t ask me.”

Geez, was she playing with him?  Well there was only one way to find out.  “Um, can, can I hold your left breast?”

“No, what kind of girl do you think I am?”

Greg turned scarlet again as Becky laughed.  “But you can keep your arm on my shoulder.”

 

*****************************************************************************

 

The two teens laughed and talked throughout the game.  By the time they left, it was unclear to them who had actually won the game.

Greg drove Becky to Chi Chi’s pizza for some peperoni pizza and milkshakes.  Not the most suave place to take a girl but give the boy a break.  He’s 16 and cash strapped.

Becky spoke first.  “I had a great night Greg.  Thanks for taking me out.”

Ward smiled awkwardly and tried to reply with a mouth full of pizza.  “Me too.  And thanks for forgiving me.”

“Geez Greg.  Drop the pleading for forgiveness.”

“Sorry.”

“You need to instead think about your next conquest.”

Greg swallowed hard and started to cough.  “Conquest?”

“Yeah, conquest.  Girls are conquests right?”

Ward looked perplexed.  “Like climbing Mt. Everest?”

“Yep.  Only harder.”  Summers laughed as she watched the young boy squirm a little.  “You know Greg.  I think Emily Madison would be a good girl to consider.”

“Emily?  Why?”

“She likes you.”

“Huh?”

“She thinks you’re cute.  And she hasn’t even seen that gorgeous butt of yours.”

“Really?”

“Really.  Hey, trust me.  I hear things.”

“Where?

“In the girls’ bathroom.  Hey Greg, trust me.  Girls talk in the bathroom.”

“I guess that I’ll just have to take your word for that.”

And with that, Greg Ward started to wonder.  Maybe, just maybe, Becky Summers might be correct.  Emily Madison?  Umm…..

The End

Author’s Bio:   Tom Schmidt is a Chemical Engineer working in medical diagnostics in upstate New York.  He enjoys creative writing and has been published in www.short-story.me, www.overmydeadbody.com, and in www.fartherstars.com in the past.  He is currently working on the “Paul Garigan Crime Mysteries”, a collection of short stories centered around a Malibu based police detective which he hopes to publish in the future.  Tom can be reached at tschmidt_stories@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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