First Love is set in 1975. A church youth group is on a mission trip to New Mexico, helping to build a model of a Spanish torreón , or tower, with adobe bricks. Working along side them is the minister's son, Gabe. He's their age, but seems much more mature to the girls from the youth group. He's clearly interested in Maddie and, to Clayton's dismay, she seems very interested in him. This scene takes place during lunch one day. Patti is Maddie's best friend.
Gabe sat next to Maddie. Very close. Clayton could barely see daylight between them. He was sharing her plate of chips and pico de gallo. Maddie rarely shared her food. Clayton bridled when he saw them. Patti's hand on his arm made him relax a little. Taking a deep breath, he walked toward Maddie, grabbing a Dr. Pepper from the cooler as he passed.
"Hey, Mads. Need a beverage?"
Maddie looked up, puzzled. "I've got one, Clayton. Thanks."
Clayton popped open the can. It spewed all over him, bubbling and frothing. Fortunately, he was already damp, so the additional fluid didn't matter. Had he been dry to begin with, it would have made him look like he'd wet his pants.
"You're gonna want to wash that off," Gabe advised, glancing up at him. "The wasps and ants really love that stuff."
"Thanks. Yeah." Shaking Dr. Pepper off his hands, Clayton went to the back of the building and turned on the garden hose, rather than the fire hose. He had no intention of spraying himself into oblivion.
Patti followed. "That went well."
"You want her? Bring your A Game."
"What if I don't have one? What if bumbling buffoon is my A Game? Huh?"
Patti crossed her arms, eyeing him in disgust. "What I saw last night in the bathroom, that was A Game. This—I don't know what this is." She waved her hands angrily.
Clayton leaned close, talking quietly. "I'm terrified! I can't go up to her now and lay one on her. And I sure can't go up and flirt when she's with him."
"Fine. Sneak another grope in the bathroom." She stalked away.
Clayton shut off the hose and put it away. He wanted to be alone, but knew better than to run off. Instead, he wandered behind the building and sat on stack of lumber.
© 2015 Dellani Oakes