My Best Friend

by Victor Thomas

Chapter 3

Monday morning was the first day of my senior year. Last week's practices had been hard, but as expected, I had made the team, along with Todd, Brenden Barrett, Robert Newman, Mark Summers and my other friends. We had been practicing every morning and on weekends as well for the last two weeks. Todd and I had spent most of the weekend hanging out, but now it was time to get serious. Practice would shift to after school now, leaving very little time for homework or other activities, except for weekends.

I worked the combination on my locker, which could be a little tricky at times. I finally managed to get it open just as Todd walked up.

"Scott!" He slapped me on the back as I dumped my books in the locker and slammed it shut.

We walked together toward our first class, talking and laughing. You would think we hadn't seen each other all summer, but we were together every morning during practice, and hung out all the time, including just this past weekend. And we went to the movies at least one a week.

"So, you have any plans for this weekend?" he asked.

"Huh? Oh yeah!" I smiled. "Uhm, I'm taking Allison out Saturday night, then…"

"Hold it, backup there, you're what?"

"I'm taking Allison out. Oh yeah. I didn't tell you about her, did I?"

"Noooo!" he said with great exaggeration.

"Well, just before school started, I saw her down at the river, you know the weekend your parents made you go to your aunts in Oklahoma? Anyway, we were talking and she was kind of giving me the eye…"

"Hot for your bod, huh?"

I smiled and turned a little red, but chose not to answer.

"I could tell she had a thing for me, so I asked her if I could buy her some ice cream. We went to the Hornet's Nest . Anyway, we had fun. We've been talking a lot on the phone since then, and this Saturday, we're going on a date."

"Why didn't you take her out last Friday?"

"I was with you."

"Yeah, but I would have understood if you wanted to go out with her instead. What are friends for?"

"Well, uh…"

I didn't really know what to say. The truth was, I enjoyed spending time with him more than I did with Allison, or anyone else for that matter. Something told me it wouldn't be wise to admit that, so I kept my mouth shut about it. I knew girls were supposed to be the number one priority of every teenage boy, but they weren't that high on my list. I guess I was a 'late bloomer'. I was excited about going out with Allison, I guessed, but I'd really rather have been spending time with Todd.

"Anyway," I said, to get the conversation back on track. "We're probably going to spend some time together on Saturday as well, but you could come over on Sunday. We can goof around all day then."

"Sounds good. Now, tell me more about Allison."

"There's nothing to tell. We just talk on the phone."

"Come on, give! She's got a hot bod. You got a feel of it yet?"

"There's nothing to tell, man. Really! I can make up some shit if you like, but nothing's happened, so far."

"Okay, I'll believe you for now." he looked at his watch. "Shit! We'd better get going or we'll be late for class. See you later."

He was gone in a flash. My conversation with him had created a whole new anxiety over Allison. I pushed it from my mind. One thing at a time, I told myself. I made my way to my first class and took a seat on the far side of the room.

The rest of the day was uneventful. School is school pretty much anywhere in the country. You go to class in the morning, meet up with your friends for lunch, go to more classes in the afternoon and that's it. For most kids anyway. I had football practice after school was over for the day, so I ran out to my car and drove the mile over to the football field on the west side of town. It was actually a combination football and baseball field, plus there was another baseball field behind the locker rooms.

Our first game was this coming Friday against the Saint Paul Indians, then I was meeting Allison afterward. With our first game coming up, Coach Benson was working us hard to get ready for it. Finally, two hours later it was over. I enjoyed my time in the locker room and showers, as usual, then rushed home so I could complete my homework.

I stopped in the kitchen to get something to drink, where I noticed a note stuck to the refrigerator with a magnet, from my mom. 'Scotty, Allison called, she wants you to call her back as soon as you get home'. I looked at the phone, then thought better of it. She would have to wait until I finished my homework.

I finished up my homework and headed toward the kitchen just in time for supper. I set the table while mom finished up and then helped her carry everything into the dining room. I looked at the note on the refrigerator. I knew I needed to call Allison, but I wasn't exactly looking forward to the conversation. I'm still not sure how she's ended up being my girlfriend.

I should've known I was headed in that direction that day at the river. I could tell by the way her eyes drifted over my body that she was interested in me. A lot of girls looked me over, especially when I wasn't wearing a shirt. Sometimes I even liked to check myself out in the mirror. Anyway, she was kind of checking me out as we talked and I noticed some of the guys watching us. She was pretty and had a nice body, but I wasn't all that interested in her. She was certainly interested in me, however, that much was obvious. The guys were watching us and listening in on our conversation. They knew as well as I did that she had a thing for me. I knew they'd think there was something wrong with me if I didn't do something, so I asked her out. She said "yes" almost before I was done asking.

I hadn't planned to have a girlfriend. I hadn't even really thought about it. But, all of a sudden, I had one. We went to the Hornet's Nest, about two miles from Elmore Park, where everyone liked to swim, and I bought her some ice cream. We sat and talked a long time. I did enjoy her company, but I wondered what I'd gotten myself into. The way she kept looking at me made me a little uncomfortable. I felt like I was a juicy steak and she was a dog drooling over me. I know she wouldn't have appreciated the comparison, but that's how I felt.

She called me that very evening, and then twice that night. She made me promise to call her the next day. I did. Later the same day, she called me again. Just before I went to sleep, I called her. I thought it was the thing to do. I felt like I lived on the phone. Dad had even taken to teasing me about it. Why did she have this need to talk to me every five minutes? What was it about girls? We hadn't been on our first real date yet and yet she had to be reassured constantly that I liked her. Girls!

I dialed her number. I sighed. I already knew it by heart.

"Allison, hi, it's Scott."

"Scott!" I could almost hear the swoon in her voice. I must admit it kind of made me feel good about myself.

"Mom said you called. I was at practice."

"Yeah, you just get my message?"

"Yeah, she forgot about it," I lied. "I called you the very first thing."


"Of course." I wasn't big on lying, but what did it hurt in such a case? It was just a little lie to make her feel good.

"How was practice?"

"Nothing special, just practice." I was getting enthused. The thing was, I wasn't nearly as excited telling her about it as I was talking with the guys about it.

"Great. I bet you look good in your uniform."

Oh Jesus! I ignored her last compliment.

"Want to come watch one of my games sometime?"

"I want to watch all of them, at least the home games."

"We won't have one for a couple of weeks, but I'll let you know when it is."

"I'm really looking forward to Saturday night," she said.

"Me too."

I couldn't figure out if I was lying or not this time. Part of me was looking forward to Saturday night, part of me wasn't. It would've been cool going with her just as friends, but I wasn't too thrilled about the whole boyfriend-girlfriend idea. It was all new territory for me, and kind of scary.

The rest of our conversation was pretty dull, not that it had been too exciting up to that point. I thought I'd never get off that phone. Every time I tried to end the conversation; she started in on a new topic. Girls!

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