Game on by Christine Swiderski
High School was tough on me, I was tall, lanky, with pimples; you name any adverse condition that would make the girls go yuk, that was my affliction. I made up for it with smooth, humorous personality. My dad was ruff on me I always figured his discipline was for my own good. I spent a great amount of time keeping my self-occupied. It was difficult to find things to do around the farm after chores. One of my favorite pass times was using a slingshot to shoot squirrels out of the trees, giving the dogs an advantage. The dogs were always annoyed at the squirrels. No competition when you are out of reach and can jump limb from limb. I would tell the dogs ‘Game on’ they would get into position.
I would spend a long afternoon entertaining myself and the dogs. The summer after high school was the time my body started to become more muscular, acne cleared up my voice deepened. At that time I knew I was coming into my own. I cannot say that I held a grudge against the girls who never gave me a chance but I also did not give them any advantage like I did the dogs. One summer evening I was working at the local gas station as a mechanic. My boss said I was a natural. I have a gift, I can hear what is wrong with the car and go right to the problem. Bob’s Shell and Service became very popular. My boss did not want anyone to steal me from the station so he was generous with time off and bonuses. A red Jeep Wrangler pulled into the station; I was just wiping my hands, glancing over I could see a blonde I recognized from High School, her name was Melody. I spent countless nights imaging what melodies I could make her sing. She walked into the garage straight in my direction and asked: “Is there someone who could look at my jeep? I hear a weird sound.”
I smiled and said: “Hey, Melody, you probably do not remember me I am Jake Thorton.”
Her eyes went wide she smiled and slightly moistened her lips, she said: “Wow Jake you have changed. How are you?”
In my mind, I said ‘Game on’
I said: “I am good, your brakes are your problem. Let me pull this truck out and you can pull your jeep in.”
“You can tell just by hearing me pull in?” Melody said
I nodded and motioned her to pull in. After I repaired her breaks I told her I would like to drive the jeep to make sure there were no more problems. She said she would like to go along, I nodded told my boss I would be right back.
I opened her door she slid in with a sweet smile. I made sure to make eye contact but I would not give her the benefit of flirting with her. I kept it all business, even when she place her hand on my knee during the short drive. After we arrived back at the station she paid for the service, and then came back to the garage where I was working on a mini van’s timing. She leaned into me just enough for her breast to touch my arm. I looked at her and said: “You are making me uncomfortable please back off.”
I could tell I pissed her off but she was not relenting, she handed me her phone number and said: “Sorry, I can see your busy. Call me.”
I took the slip of paper and put it into my pocket and resumed what I was doing. ‘Game on’
I did call her and asked if she wanted to meet at the riverside park. She agreed and said she would bring a picnic and that I should bring beer. The silly girl doesn’t realize I just nicked her from the tree and the dogs will enjoy the chase.
When she pulled up I was sitting on a folding chair I brought along. My dogs were sitting alongside me. She came up and asked if there were another chair. I said we would not need one.
Turning to my dogs I said: “Game on” they instinctively growled; I looked up at Melody and said: “You better run” She stood transfixed for a second too long they had her down on the ground. Her screams were muffled by the napkin I stuffed in her mouth. Once she stopped screaming and her body was lifeless I told the girl’s, let’s go. Reaching into the jeep I grabbed the picnic basket and shared it with the girls. After all, they deserved it for playing the game so well.